Jameson Taillon @ PHI (ND) – 0.1 IP, 4 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 0 Ks – 2 Whiffs, 15% CSW, 34 pitches.
Sigh. I’m a fan of Jameson Taillon. I dig his analytics focus, his story, his ceiling of a low ERA/WHIP arm with strikeout potential, and I love the fact he’s added a four-seamer that ranks among the best in SwStr rates. But if there’s a single thing yesterday’s 0.1 IP, 4 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 0 Ks line against the Phillies will tell you, it’s that I’ve been on the wrong side of expecting this to work. We all try our best to sift through all the info thrown our way, deduce the best course of action as we do our best to gaze in the crystal ball, but in the end, it’s always impossible to get these right. We’re all here to talk about this stuff and hope it works out. The discussion is the fun. Sorry for all of that, I feel there are times to repeat it as I can’t help but feel guilty in situations like these – maybe the above is more of a reminder to myself than it is to everyone else.
ANYWAY, back in March I imagined Taillon would be able to rev the engines, make the adjustments and get everything together by early May – late May at the latest. We’re in the middle of June and we’re still at square one. It’s tough to watch and while last week’s edition of The List was already a resignation that this wasn’t likely blossoming soon, seeing Jameson still struggle is painful to watch. Do I believe he’ll be this way for the entirety of 2021? Of course not, but I just went and swapped him out in one of my leagues as there was an option that could help me now. When the day comes that he’s mixing in curveballs and sliders effectively instead of just hoping the high heater works, I’ll be right there with you, Jameson. It’s just not here yet and we all need to accept the situation.
Let’s see how every other SP did Saturday:
Erick Fedde vs SF (W) – 5.0 IP, 0 ER, 4 Hits, 0 BBs, 7 Ks – 12 Whiffs, 23% CSW, 82 pitches.
This is wonderful from Fedde as he earned 7/28 whiffs on 90 mph cutters, but I don’t believe it. After all, Don’t Trust The Feddes.
Jefry Rodriguez vs SF (ND) – 4.0 IP, 0 ER, 1 Hits, 3 BBs, 2 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 23% CSW, 60 pitches.
One hit in four frames is pretty cool, the two strikeouts, low CSW, and lack of repertoire depth is not. He’s more of a JR than a senior.
Kolby Allard @ LAD (W) – 5.0 IP, 0 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 24% CSW, 91 pitches.
Look at Dralla go! Sure don’t buy it in the slightest (Happy Birthday Party!) but hey, this is cool.
Conner Menez @ WSH (ND) – 2.0 IP, 0 ER, 1 Hits, 1 BBs, 1 Ks – 5 Whiffs, 23% CSW, 43 pitches.
Looks like the Giants elected to piece together innings instead of going with a proper starter in this doubleheader game. Let’s move on.
Zach Thompson vs ATL (W) – 5.0 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 0 BBs, 6 Ks – 14 Whiffs, 39% CSW, 66 pitches.
Whoaaaa! Thompson earned himself a King Cole against a solid Atlanta offense and it was on the back of an 88 mph cutter tossed 48% of the time for 47% CSW. I watched a good amount of this one and I dig it, but it’s not as incredible as the award would make you think. If Thompson can keep earning strikes with it, then surprise with his four-seamer and a big curveball, this should be good, but not incredible. I’m a little undecided if I believe that cutter can go 8/32 whiffs each time and it feels as though he needs a more proper whiff pitch in the mid-80s velocity range (slider or change). He’ll get the Cubs next and that’s a bench – just 66 pitches – and hopefully we get a large push to start him after.
James Kaprielian vs KC (W) – 6.0 IP, 0 ER, 2 Hits, 4 BBs, 7 Ks – 12 Whiffs, 36% CSW, 95 pitches.
Ayyy solid stuff Kap! Well, save for the four walks, of course. His four-seamer did most of the work here, tossed nearly 60% of the time for 42% CSW, playing the In-Out game with the pitch, and doing a decent job avoiding the heart of the plate. I’m getting a sense the Yankee offense is improving and I’d avoid Kap for that start.
Yusei Kikuchi @ CLE (ND) – 7.0 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 3 BBs, 6 Ks – 14 Whiffs, 33% CSW, 94 pitches.
What more do we want to see from Kikuchi? That’s 96 mph on his fastball with 10 whiffs on cutters + sliders. The former has become his premier offering akin to Aaron Civale and Yu Darvish and it’s clearly working. The six-man rotation is a bit annoying, but we’re all holding and starting indefinitely.
Triston McKenzie vs SEA (ND) – 0.2 IP, 1 ER, 0 Hits, 4 BBs, 0 Ks – 1 Whiffs, 19% CSW, 32 pitches.
Four walks?! Jeeeeeeeeez. Let’s collectively ignore Triston for a bit – even if he performs well in his next start (will Cleveland send him back down?), can you really trust him?
Steven Matz @ BOS (W) – 5.2 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 8 Ks – 17 Whiffs, 33% CSW, 111 pitches.
Look at that, Matz had a tough Boston matchup, didn’t care, and earned a Gallows Pole. Hot dang! That curveball finally earned some whiffs, going 7/30 as his sinker did some legit work earning strikes. Is this enough for us to start him against the Yanks next? Well, that’s 4 ER allowed across three of his last four starts…it’s a 50/50. Up to you. At the very least, he’s allowed to toss over 100 pitches, giving him a high ceiling.
Marcus Stroman vs SD (W) – 6.1 IP, 1 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 8 Ks – 15 Whiffs, 36% CSW, 85 pitches.
The Stroman parade continues as he was able to earn seven whiffs on sinkers here, while mixing in cutters and sliders for 6/20 whiffs. Keep on keepin’ on.
Dylan Cease @ DET (W) – 5.0 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 7 Ks – 15 Whiffs, 34% CSW, 82 pitches.
It was just five frames, but it was more of the Cease we’ve enjoyed over the past month and change…in a way. His slider was dominant once again, while nothing else really stood out. I’m going to be nervous when he’s facing legit teams in the near future, but I guess we just keep starting him and hope one of his fastball and curveball figure it out.
Vince Velasquez vs NYY (ND) – 5.0 IP, 2 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 30% CSW, 83 pitches.
VV got the Yankees and was…fine. Those ratios aren’t going to get you excited and a strikeout per inning is a standard Velasquez affair. Now it’s the Giants and that’s still a coin flip – I’d only start him if I felt I needed strikeout help.
Corbin Burnes vs PIT (ND) – 4.0 IP, 2 ER, 8 Hits, 3 BBs, 8 Ks – 16 Whiffs, 39% CSW, 92 pitches.
Aces gonna get knocked around for 11 base runners in four frames. Against the Pirates. What has gotten into you Burnes?! He didn’t trust anything outside his cutter and curveball and I think he’s pushing it a little too far into the extreme reliance of that cutter. A better sprinkle of variety may be the answer.
Jose Berrios vs HOU (W) – 7.0 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 8 Ks – 6 Whiffs, 30% CSW, 99 pitches.
FINALLY. Berrios got just one whiff on 61 fastballs as he sat sub 94 mph on both four-seamer and sinker, and his curveball didn’t perform well as his changeup had to make up for the mediocre breaker…awww man. This isn’t normally what we see when Berrios performs this well and sadly that means I’m still questioning if he can translate into the Top 25 arm we all want him to be. Hey, at least he gets the Mariners next and that’s great.
Kyle Hendricks vs STL (W) – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 3 Hits, 1 BBs, 2 Ks – 6 Whiffs, 29% CSW, 87 pitches.
We’ll take this, but a two-strikeout performance from Hendricks isn’t quite the game that will get us heavily reconsidering Hendricks as a top 30 starter again. I ain’t complaining, though.
Wade Miley vs COL (W) – 7.0 IP, 2 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 3 Ks – 13 Whiffs, 24% CSW, 103 pitches.
Miley got Rockie Road and did what a potential Spider-Man was supposed to do. Too bad he heads to San Diego next, I’m tempted to still start him there.
Kevin Gausman @ WSH (L) – 4.0 IP, 2 ER, 3 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 38% CSW, 64 pitches.
Aces gonna toss just 64 pitches and allow 2 ER for the first time in 10 starts. It was a part of a doubleheader and was given a surprisingly quick hook and I don’t like it. Whatever, it was just a One Night Bland.
Luis Garcia @ MIN (L) – 4.1 IP, 3 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 26% CSW, 84 pitches.
Nooooo. His roll came to an end against the Twins as he oddly tried to do too much with his four-seamer instead of leaning on the cutter and breaker like he normally does. He gets the ChiSox next and I imagine he can rebound. That is a tough call, now.
Joe Musgrove @ NYM (L) – 6.1 IP, 3 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 7 Ks – 12 Whiffs, 31% CSW, 84 pitches.
Musgrove hasn’t dominated like we want him to, but that WHIP & strikeouts with a near PQS make this a proper Dusty Donut and that’s fine with me. It’s going to get tougher now though, with CIN, LAD, @CIN on the horizon. Let’s hope he brings his A-Game.
Max Fried @ MIA (L) – 6.0 IP, 3 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 28% CSW, 94 pitches.
Aces gonna earn a PQS and just four strikeouts against the lowly Marlins. His four-seamer and slider simply weren’t good and that’s not typical. Don’t be concerned.
Caleb Smith vs LAA (ND) – 4.1 IP, 4 ER, 5 Hits, 3 BBs, 6 Ks – 5 Whiffs, 23% CSW, 103 pitches.
Remember last time? Smith had 92+ velocity (yay!) and all that was missing was the secondaries. Well, in this one we still saw just 2/45 whiffs on sliders + changeups and…90.9 mph heaters. Smith, you’re walking the wrong way on the stairs. Guess we’re out again as we wait for Smith to get the skills back.
Jackson Kowar @ OAK (L) – 1.1 IP, 4 ER, 5 Hits, 3 BBs, 1 Ks – 1 Whiffs, 19% CSW, 57 pitches.
Welp, we’re still waiting for the real Kowar to show up as he fought his command once again. In due time, I guess.
Rich Hill vs BAL (ND) – 4.2 IP, 4 ER, 4 Hits, 3 BBs, 5 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 70 pitches.
Awww, it was the first tumble down the Hill for Rich, but who cares, he has the Mariners next. There’s no way you’re skipping that.
Trevor Bauer vs TEX (L) – 6.1 IP, 4 ER, 9 Hits, 2 BBs, 8 Ks – 15 Whiffs, 31% CSW, 117 pitches.
The story here is Bauer’s spin rates falling ~150 rpm across each pitch and that’s a huge difference. His four-seamer still performed well for what it’s worth, but it does seem apparent that the lack of sticky stuff is going to affect Bauer in some way. Does it turn him into an SP #3/4? Absolutely not. I also wonder how many others will be affected by their dropping spin rates, too, and that means it’s a smaller relative drop in value. Still, I can see a strong argument removing Bauer from the Top 10 and that may be what happens on Monday. We’ll talk about it.
Alex Cobb @ ARI (ND) – 3.0 IP, 5 ER, 7 Hits, 1 BBs, 3 Ks – 2 Whiffs, 29% CSW, 55 pitches.
Blegh. Streaming Record: 41-30. The splitter was bad and it made us feel bad. Thing is, he gets DET, @TBR, BAL next – can Cobb get it back for these outings? Ehhh I guess. Maybe.
John Gant @ CHC (L) – 1.2 IP, 5 ER, 1 Hits, 5 BBs, 1 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 23% CSW, 65 pitches.
Remember when he had a sub 2.00 ERA? Not any more. HAISTFMFWT?!
Chad Kuhl @ MIL (L) – 3.1 IP, 5 ER, 5 Hits, 4 BBs, 2 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 28% CSW, 93 pitches.
It’s a meh 94 mph sinker + a good but not elite slider. This ain’t it.
Jorge Lopez @ TB (L) – 4.2 IP, 5 ER, 8 Hits, 1 BBs, 8 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 28% CSW, 95 pitches.
Hey, eight strikeouts! Hey, terrible ratios that force us all to collectively nod in understanding!
Nick Pivetta vs TOR (L) – 5.0 IP, 6 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 6 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 96 pitches.
Yeaaaah. His curve + slider totally 4/46 whiffs and I was hoping for more before his start against the Royals. That’s going to be a tough call, I guess if you need the punchouts and a chance for a Win, Pivetta is an option.
Jose Urena vs CWS (L) – 1.2 IP, 7 ER, 5 Hits, 3 BBs, 1 Ks – 4 Whiffs, 16% CSW, 58 pitches.
And that’s why if you’re rostering José, Ureña boatload of trouble.
German Marquez @ CIN (L) – 5.0 IP, 8 ER, 12 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks – 13 Whiffs, 28% CSW, 93 pitches.
Welp, this may be the WHERST of the year as Marquez earned a score of 22 in this one. It’s not every day you see 14 baserunners. The ride that is Marquez is not for me.
Game of the Day
But Nick?! Where are the streaming picks? – I’ve moved them to the daily SP Matchups & Streamer Rankings article.
Featured image by Justin Paradis (@JustParaDesigns on Twitter)