It’s Over Already?

Nick Pollack reviews every starting pitcher performance from Sunday.

This Monday morning is always a strange one. This is what I do, I wake up and write this roundup for six months straight, and suddenly, it just isn’t.

The first thing I think of is how lucky I am that I get to. I wouldn’t be doing these for seven years (whoa, has it really been seven years?!) if you weren’t reading them and I can’t express enough how thankful I am for all of you. We do all of it for you and it blows me away that we’re continuing to build with each season. Y’all rock.

Then I’m annoyed. I can’t watch the development of Spencer Turnbull removing his sinker or Dylan Bundy actually being a legit fantasy stud across each day of games. There’s always something new, something interesting to talk about and now we just get to hypothesize and dream for six months. It’s like you don’t realize you’re in the golden days until you’re out of them, you know?

Anyway, I truly hope you were successful in your fantasy leagues. I hope it was a fun season and I hope you enjoyed reading these as much as I enjoyed writing them, especially when you allowed me to be really dumb in these blurbs. I still can’t believe y’all stick around after.

 

What’s next is Pitcher List 6.0. We’ve had a secret project in the works for over a year now and that February 9th, 2021 launch is meant to give it the stage we feel it deserves. There’s a lot that will change, but it’s not an upheaval – last year’s 5.0 launch set the foundation and 6.0 is the proper sequel you want. I hope you can hear the excitement I have for it inside these words, it’s a dream.

Truly, thank you. What you’ll see in February is a product of your support, comments, and enthusiasm for this site. We won’t let you down. In the meantime, we’ll have a ton of off-season articles from GIF tournaments, playoff analysis, mock drafts, and a ton of going deeps – including a free month of PL+ if you haven’t joined it yet as I do live broadcasts for every playoff game. Let’s hang for October :)

 

Alright. Let’s talk about baseball one last time:

 

Frankie Montas vs SEA (ND) – 6.0 IP, 0 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 13 Ks – 20 Whiffs, 36% CSW. Well look at you Montas, earning a Golden Goal and taking all the glory on the final day of games. You made owners sweat more than anything, wondering if you’re even worth the start after they trusted you ages, but you honored those who kept the faith. Now the weird question is do we do for 2021? This start was stupid good with 21 called strikes on top of those 20 whiffs, with sliders returning 29% CSW and splitters going 47% CSW on its own. The question for me is if we trust this being an injury hiccup or a product of his natural volatility. I’m guessing most are going to essentially toss this season away and continue him around the Top 20/25, I think he’ll be around 30 or so today. I already made a start to today’s Top 100 SP for 2021 list and I’m already upset at the lack of depth in the pitcher pool. I thought there were more. Nope, Sale, Severino, Syndergaard, and Verlander innately remove about 15% of the Top 25 and that’s annoying. Stupid TJS.

Josh Fleming vs PHI (W) – 6.0 IP, 0 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 23% CSW. Whoa, look at you Fleming! You still shock me with his sliders and low fastballs, but it worked and that’s cool. I’m sad to say I don’t have a penseive for everyone to ensure they remember you as I doubt you’ll be in many discussions for 2021. I’ll do my best, Fleming.

Madison Bumgarner vs COL (W) – 5.0 IP, 0 ER, 2 Hits, 0 BBs, 4 Ks – 3 Whiffs, 17% CSW. Look at Bumgarner, shoving another productive start as he had his best matchup of the year with Rockie RoadI wonder how far he falls in drafts next year – he may get the Jon Lester treatment and still get drafted anywhere and trusted far too long. It hurts a lot to type this as I was definitely in on him this year as a stable innings guy, but he showed up with massively depressed velocity and plenty worse SwStr rate. Ugh. If he’s able to get that velocity back, we’re talking, but I doubt that.

Jose Urena @ NYY (ND) – 2.1 IP, 0 ER, 2 Hits, 2 BBs, 2 Ks – 6 Whiffs, 36% CSW. Welcome to the best start of Urena’s 2020 season. Yep. Daniel Castano tossed 96 pitches after and you already know that’s not something you want to invest in for 2021.

Dustin May vs. LAA (W) – 4.0 IP, 0 ER, 2 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 25% CSW. It’s great to see May get five strikeouts and steal a Win as the follower in this one, but in the grand scheme of it all, I think this season did a service showcasing how May just isn’t a fantasy stud that we would want a guy with his velocity and GIFability to be. Decent floor, though, just with Dodgeritis to deal with along the way.

Jordan Zimmermann @ KC (ND) – 1.0 IP, 0 ER, 1 Hits, 0 BBs, 2 Ks – 2 Whiffs, 17% CSW. Step aside Jay-Z, we’re here to talk about Tarik Skubal who followed up with 5.0 IP, 2 ER, 2 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks – 14 Whiffs, 23% CSW. Wait, just 23% CSW despite 14 whiffs? He struggled to get called strikes, clearly, but I did like his four-seamer approach a lot in this one, just not with exactly the secondary stuff I’m looking for. He’s an upside play for drafts next year that I think I’m just going to sit out on. Unless his slider and curveball are truly locked in, I don’t think we get to a point where we get super confident with Skubal next year.

Brady Singer vs DET (W) – 7.0 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 0 BBs, 5 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 34% CSW. Hot dang! Way to rebound for us after that horrid Cleveland start, Singer. It was more sinker/slider and this certainly was good enough. I have my reservations for a full six-month season as I’m not sure his slider is good enough to pair with his fastball, but he’s definitely someone who should be selected in drafts next year. Probably around the 18th round or so? Honestly, depends on the early schedule – if it’s the Twins or White Sox early, then I’d rather just avoid it. So this means whatever ranking you have of Singer today doesn’t matter? YOU GOT IT DUDE.

Rich Hill vs CIN (ND) – 5.2 IP, 1 ER, 2 Hits, 3 BBs, 4 Ks – 6 Whiffs, 25% CSW. Is this the final regular-season start we ever see of Hill? His velocity was just 87 mph and his curveball isn’t what it used to be. There will be another injury at some point and I can’t help but think it could be when he hangs it up. Maybe we see him give a shot next year, get that major injury and call it a day. Regardless, he’s a shining star for all us to never give up on our dreams and I’m thrilled he was able to succeed here, especially after I read the tea leaves as expected regression. Atta boy, Rich.

Adbert Alzolay @ CWS (W) – 5.0 IP, 1 ER, 2 Hits, 2 BBs, 8 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 32% CSW. Whoa, he went five frames? Just two walks?! Alzolay was shockingly good and staying in the zone here, leaning on his slider more than any other pitch at a 39% rate for 44% CSW – it’s a new breaker that is simply better than what he before. Huh. Am I suddenly liking Alzolay for next year? I still can’t really bank on that fastball command being good enough to endorse him with confidence, but hey, most will forget him, right? Not the worst upside play if the Cubs actually let Alzolay start next year, especially in 15-teamers.

Nick Pivetta @ ATL (W) – 5.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 22% CSW. Oh Pivetta, you threw your heater right down the pipe at 92.5 mph today and it somehow worked. Curveballs were…up. Sliders were all over the place. Just like the good ole days…But seriously, he may actually get a chance in the rotation next year and while that’s a NOPE, I can see him as an ultra-deep AL-Only sleeper. At least he has upside compared to anyone else who has a starting job at the end of those drafts, you know?

Austin Gomber vs MIL (ND) – 4.0 IP, 1 ER, 1 Hits, 2 BBs, 3 Ks – 5 Whiffs, 27% CSW. We were hoping for one more frame and a better curveball – that was all over the place – but it didn’t hurt you if you started Gomber on the final day. I don’t think he turns into a regular STL starter and even if he did, he’d just be a streamer to me. Sorry, Gomber, I didn’t mean to Pyle it on like that.

Bryse Wilson vs BOS (ND) – 3.0 IP, 1 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 2 Ks – 4 Whiffs, 20% CSWI still wonder if Bryse can suddenly turn it on in a big way. I loved his MLB debut and have been waiting for that slider/changeup combination to come into form again. Maybe this off-season growth will be substantial.

Cal Quantrill vs PIT (ND) – 3.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 0 BBs, 2 Ks – 4 Whiffs, 31% CSW. Bullpen game here for the Indians as they got ready for the playoffs. The UnQuantrifiable betrays his name as he’s pretty easy to assess as an avoid for next year. I doubt he regularly starts and even when he does, the upside isn’t there.

Adrian Morejon @ SF (ND) – 2.2 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 0 BBs, 4 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 45% CSWI do wonder if Morejon could be of interest if he’s ever properly stretched out. That knuckle-change is certainly interesting and he’s pumping 96/97 mph – albeit in 40 pitches when he knew he could let loose. But anyway, likely not gonna happen unless Lamet and Clevinger are both out next year and the Padres don’t invest in a starter or two so we move on.

Sonny Gray @ MIN (ND) – 5.1 IP, 2 ER, 2 Hits, 4 BBs, 4 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 31% CSWKinda weird to see the four walks in this one as he simply lost a few batters. I think he pitched pretty well, though he was more volatile in his secondary stuff than we’re used to, earning just 6/40 whiffs on curveballs and sliders. There’s a lot of question about next year’s Gray – is he the early ace or the September drag? – and I’m leaning that the off-season will help him get back to the ace vs. the disappointment.

Drew Smyly vs SD (L) – 5.0 IP, 2 ER, 3 Hits, 1 BBs, 10 Ks – 18 Whiffs, 32% CSW. Here’s your hype man for 2021. I’m willing to take bets now on how much helium will be pushed here, I will say that his fastball velocity did fall here from previous starts, siting 93/94 mph instead of 94/95 and that is significant. He’s also throwing curveballs like the good ole days and I’d be willing to snag Smyly at the very end. Nothing more, I really don’t see a six-month stretch of Smyly dominance, it just doesn’t feel right to me given his injury record. It could be a wonderful start to the year on whatever team he joins, but yeah, don’t go crazy, ya’ll. It feels like you’re talking to yourself. MAYBE.

Marco Gonzales @ OAK (ND) – 5.0 IP, 2 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 25% CSW. We just wanted one more start to end the season and there it is. Wonderful job Marco, you successfully had a Vargas Rule of a season, now I’m out for 2021. Yes, yes, he had a 3.10 ERA and a 0.95 WHIP with a 23% strikeout rate. Lovely. I don’t buy that he’s this good with his 88 mph fastball to justify it. Don’t draft Tobys, y’all.

Tanner Roark vs BAL (ND) – 4.0 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 2 Ks – 12 Whiffs, 23% CSW. Roark should be known as the worst ERA among all starters, but get this, he didn’t toss enough innings across his 11 starts to qualify. Ouch. Actually, that’s a lie. Jordan Lyles is three innings shy to represent his 7.00+ ERA and Derek Holland‘s 6.86 ERA across 40+ IP should be mentioned as well. Enjoy him at $12M next year, Toronto.

Jordan Lyles vs HOU (ND) – 3.0 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks – 5 Whiffs, 25% CSW. Hey, this was actually one of the better Lyles performances I saw with his fastball and curveball getting excellent separation and sliders around the zone. So that’s cool. Too bad we’re reset and it likely ain’t happening next spring.

Patrick Sandoval @ LAD (L) – 2.2 IP, 2 ER, 1 Hits, 3 BBs, 3 Ks – 2 Whiffs, 16% CSW. Ehhhh, I was hoping the “Irish Panda” would take a step forward with more innings, but yeah, he never did. Womp womp. Maybe one day.

Brett Anderson @ STL (L) – 2.0 IP, 2 ER, 2 Hits, 1 BBs, 1 Ks – 2 Whiffs, 29% CSW. He got a blister and was pulled early with Daniel Ponce de Leon Freddy Peralta coming in after for two frames of 3 ER and 3 Ks. We never did see that “new slider”, did we? That’s sad, I hope it’s there next year.

Clarke Schmidt vs MIA (L) – 4.0 IP, 3 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks – 4 Whiffs, 23% CSW. After all this time, we finally saw Schmidt get a start on the final day of the season and it was pretty meh. Sinkers weren’t spotted well, his slider didn’t get the whiffs we saw in Summer Camp and yeah, this ain’t it. I don’t think the Yankees will allow him to be a major part of 2021, so I don’t have much hope here. The stuff ain’t bad, though.

Aaron Nola @ TB (L) – 3.2 IP, 3 ER, 6 Hits, 3 BBs, 6 Ks – 14 Whiffs, 33% CSW. Aces gonna hold the #1 CSW pitch thrown at least 250 times in 2020 via his curveball at 42.9% (thanks Fast) and while the results haven’t been what you want over the last couple starts, I’m falling for Nola again for 2021. His changeup has improved, the innings will be there, and he finally moved past the 30% strikeout rate. Among so many questions inside the Top 20, Nola seems…easy. He is Easy-A, after all.

Austin Voth vs NYM (W) – 5.0 IP, 4 ER, 9 Hits, 0 BBs, 4 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 27% CSW. Blegh. the upside of Voth is throwing 93/94 with an array of secondary pitches that earn a solid amount of whiffs. He’s not doing that now and I’ll need to see something new in the spring to feel differently.

Keegan Akin @ TOR (ND) – 3.0 IP, 4 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 24% CSW. Yeaaaaah, I’m just not seeing enough here for me to take the dive next year. Hope he defies us all, though.

JT Brubaker @ CLE (ND) – 5.0 IP, 5 ER, 7 Hits, 2 BBs, 3 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 27% CSW. Awwwww, Streaming Record: 35-31. I’m glad that record reversed itself from the 0-6 start (stupid pitch counts/short games to start the year), but I wanted this one to end us all on a high note. He’s a streamer for next year, but I wouldn’t consider him in 12-teamer drafts next year. It’s an interesting sinker/slider mix but not quite enough to suggest more.

Chase De Jong @ TEX (L) – 3.2 IP, 6 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 6 Ks – 12 Whiffs, 34% CSW. Chase got 79 pitches and was…meh. It’s a solid curveball, but his fastball ain’t good enough. I feel bad for him, it’s the end of the year and he’s getting a “Have a great summer! – Nick” in his yearbook after writing an essay for others.

Kyle Freeland @ ARI (L) – 2.1 IP, 6 ER, 8 Hits, 2 BBs, 2 Ks – 3 Whiffs, 28% CSW. Nooooo Freeland, this start was the destined one. All of your previous games were a showcase that we could trust you on the last day and…blegh. His changeup and sliders were lofted a bit and he never got into a groove. It was fun, Freeland, it truly was.

Reynaldo Lopez vs CHC (L) – 1.1 IP, 6 ER, 4 Hits, 3 BBs, 3 Ks – 5 Whiffs, 29% CSW. Hey ReyLo. I know it’s hard. I know. We’ve been here before. You still have a remarkably good fastball, you know, we just gotta get you to figure out that slider and changeup. You can do it, you can do it…

Seth Lugo @ WSH (L) – 1.1 IP, 6 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 1 Ks – 4 Whiffs, 26% CSW. Lugo nooooooo. A summation of the Mets season as we know this should be better, but it just didn’t work. I really feel for the Mets. That rotation just took such a hit and they couldn’t get out of that hole. Really curious to see what their rotation looks in next season, at least they have deGOAT in there. As for Lugo, I imagine he sticks as a starter and I’m totally fine with his as an SP #6 or so. I imagine you may be forced into a higher pick and that ain’t right to me.

 

Today’s Streamer

For those unaware, I’m forced to make my streamer picks under the condition of sub-20% owned in Fantasy Pros’ consolidated ownership rates.

 

None – That’s it. That’s the game. I’ll be moving these streaming picks to the Rankings article next year to make everything more streamlined for y’all and I can’t thank all of you enough for checking out these articles daily. It makes my heart swell. Good luck today!

 

Tomorrow’s Streamer

 

Nope – I miss it already.

 

Day After Tomorrow’s Streamer

 

Yeah, nah – COME BACK.

 

Game of the Day

 

Tomorrow! – Playoffs start tomorrow and I’ll be watching all of them + broadcasting them inside the Discord Voice chat. Come hang :)

 

(Photo by Cody Glenn/Icon Sportswire)

Nick Pollack

Founder of Pitcher List. Worked with MSG, FanGraphs, CBS Sports, and Washington Post. Former pitching coach and Brandeis alum. Wants every pitcher to be dope.

13 responses to “It’s Over Already?”

  1. Avatar Umpy70 says:

    Fell into this site this year and now read it everyday. Great job Nick!

  2. Avatar Josh says:

    Keep doing what you do, Nick. Amazing work, and I’m pretty sure my whole league reads your site now!

  3. Avatar best SITE ever says:

    won my championship this year with a lot of help from this site! great information, analysis, and responses in the comments. keep it up

  4. Avatar Larry V says:

    Nick, I *really* appreciate and enjoy your write-ups. Love your insight. And funny. For this final article to include the ‘De Jong yearbook’ quote is top shelf. You’re such a tease, though! Feb 9, 2021?? Ok, ok, I’ll wait… and that date is already circled.

    Thanks again to you and the entire PL bunch!

    • Nick Pollack Nick Pollack says:

      Well, PL+ members may get a sneak peek to test a few new things before then…

      Thanks for the kind words! I’m glad you enjoyed that De Jong blurb :D

  5. Avatar Elliot says:

    Thanks once again Nick!

  6. Avatar Reganzap says:

    Thanks, Nick, I rely on you year after year, punt pitching in the draft and let you guide me to a strong staff over the season. Works better over 6 months than 2, lol!

  7. Avatar Firtree baseball says:

    Got a perfect 50 in pitching in both my 10-team roto leagues this year. Thanks so much Nick!

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