It hasn’t been the ideal first half for Luis Castillo in 2020. After earning his fifth loss via 5.0 IP, 4 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 7 Ks – 16 Whiffs, 30% CSW against the Cubs, he’s still without a Win, carries a 4.10 ERA, a 1.47 WHIP, and a 9% walk rate, making you wonder why we even like this guy.
Well, that’s because his HOTEL tells a different story – .379 BABIP, 66% LOB rate, and 14% HR/FB rate add up to a 3.44 SIERA, while his 31% K rate is still elite. Castillo’s 16% SwStr rate is sixth best in the majors, while his 58% groundball rate should limit the extra-base hits and overall ERA.
So what gives? For starters, the Reds are in the bottom tier of defenses, not helping that .379 BABIP and high groundball rate. I imagine we’d see Castillo comfortably under a 4.00 ERA if he were on, say, the Cardinals or Athletics. But the biggest impact has been his changeup – the pitch we call the best slow ball out there. It may shock you that its pVal this year is…-2.7. Yeah, it’s been a negative pitch. That changeup has shot up in zone rate, from 29% to 45%, allowing batters to adjust when beat and put the ball in play more often – O-Contact rate is up 15 points & its SwStr is down five ticks. We saw it yesterday as well, with Castillo’s changeup earning just 1 whiff on 13 thrown, making it his fourth pitch yesterday and returning 8% CSW. EIGHT PERCENT.
Castillo isn’t prime Castillo at the moment. It doesn’t mean he can’t rebound from it and not to mention, even when he doesn’t have his elite offering, he still earned 16 whiffs and a 30% CSW. That’s what happens when you add a tick of velocity to 97/98 while your slider is a solid pitch. I wouldn’t worry as the luck will help, his strikeouts will stick, and his changeup will only improve. Maybe not Top 10, but don’t panic.
Let’s see how every other SP did Sunday:
Chris Paddack @ COL (W) – 6.0 IP, 0 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 8 Ks – 14 Whiffs, 36% CSW. Whoaaaa look at you go! Paddack has had so many struggles with his fastball this season and I’m surprised that a turnaround start came inside Coors. That’s a King Cole as his changeup supported the pitch effectively and even a few cutters mixed in for strikes. Curveball not so much but whatever, Paddack’s fastball sat away from batters and wasn’t burned. I don’t think this is the Paddack we’re hyped about – he was a pro at jamming batters, not staying away from them – and it makes me think this is the perfect sell-high moment as he gets the A’s next. Until I see four-seamers bothering batters up-and-in constantly, I don’t think it’s the sheriff from 2019.
Justin Dunn @ LAA (ND) – 6.0 IP, 0 ER, 1 Hits, 3 BBs, 6 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 26% CSW. Solid stuff Dunn and for the second time in a row he fanned six across six frames without a single ER. He went fastball heavy here and it worked, but I’m not seeing the makings of a legit arm here. Vargas Rule it if you must, I sure wouldn’t. That curveball and heater found the middle of the plate way too often and it just wasn’t an all-around strong approach.
Deivi Garcia @ NYM (ND) – 6.0 IP, 0 ER, 4 Hits, 0 BBs, 6 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 25% CSW. It was the MLB Debut for Garcia and I was…underwhelmed. I like that he elevates with his heater and has a solid curveball, but it’s ~92 mph and he didn’t wow me enough. Ben Palmer wrote an excellent GIF Breakdown of his start that you should read and while I’m in for a possible second start for their double-header this weekend against the Orioles, I wonder if he’ll get another shot after that. Sixto is way better.
Dane Dunning vs KC (ND) – 5.0 IP, 0 ER, 0 Hits, 1 BBs, 7 Ks – 13 Whiffs, 34% CSW. And I’d contend that Dunning is better as well, going 79 pitches and dominating with his breaker – 48% CSW! – showing off some elevation with four-seamers and confidently pounding the zone. I’m not sure his sinker will perform this well again, but he’d get the Royals a second time if all stays the same and I’d double down on double dee. Streaming Record: 20-18.
Steven Brault @ MIL (ND) – 3.0 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 29% CSW. STEVE BRAULT! Stop pushing with your legs, you’ve hit the ceiling. But it was only three frames! I know…sniff…I know.
Tyler Chatwood @ CIN (ND) – 2.1 IP, 0 ER, 2 Hits, 0 BBs, 0 Ks – 3 Whiffs, 29% CSW. He left with elbow discomfort as this tale likely comes to an end for the season. What a ride this was.
Griffin Canning vs SEA (ND) – 8.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 7 Ks – 14 Whiffs, 32% CSW. Whatever you’re thinking, stop it. He gets the Astros next and you can’t do that to yourself. He’s a Cherry Bomb, sure and the question has been if his stuff would be there on a given night and here, it definitely was, especially with four-seamers up-and-in to left-handers. You love to see it. It came with backdoor sliders too, which are cool, but not ideal Canning. Don’t pick him up for the Astros and wait this out.
Johnny Cueto @ ARI (ND) – 6.2 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 3 BBs, 6 Ks – 12 Whiffs, 28% CSW. You never know with Cutoe and here he got his changeup down a ton while elevating that 91/92 mph four-seamer effectively against a weak Arizona lineup. He gets them again and I understand letting him one more time there.
Taylor Clarke vs SF (ND) – 5.0 IP, 1 ER, 1 Hits, 1 BBs, 7 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 35% CSW. Clarke got the start over Alex Young and returned a wonderful line as his four-seamers stayed low but around the edges effectively. He spun sliders over the plate for strikes and BAM! That’s a 35% CSW against the Giants. I’m not loving everything here, but I can fathom Clarke putting up a decent line against a meh offense down the road. Nothing I’m running to the wire for, though.
Seth Lugo vs NYY (ND) – 3.2 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 7 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 38% CSW. We’re up to 60 pitches now for Lugo and seeing 7 strikeouts in 11 outs is pretty pretty cool. His curveball did wonders here with 6/14 whiffs and he was able to sneak fastballs for 9/33 called strikes. Sliders nipped the corner as well and hey, this could work! He’s going to likely be around 70 pitches next time, though, so it means we’re still a ways away from the ceiling being worth the risk, but I get it if you want to dive into Lugo anyway. He’ll be on The List tomorrow (not today, it’s trade deadline day!).
Tony Gonsolin @ TEX (ND) – 3.0 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 3 BBs, 5 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 32% CSW. Come on Dodgers, why are you removing Gonsolin after just 62 pitches? With Walker Buehler on the IL, Gonsolin should have a rotation spot now, though you never know what the Dodgers will do, especially with the trade deadline today. I’d hold and keep starting him when I can. He shouldn’t go just three frames again.
Adam Wainwright vs CLE (W) – 9.0 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 9 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 34% CSW. I have to hand it to Wainwright, this was a super impressive start as he toughed out nine frames across 122 pitches to get there. 31 called strikes in all to fuel that 34% CSW as his curveball and cutter did most of the heavy lifting. He’s a Toby alright and I think you’re safe starting him against the Cubs next.
Kris Bubic @ CWS (ND) – 5.1 IP, 2 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 8 Ks – 17 Whiffs, 30% CSW. Whoaaa, Bubic final did good things! He tossed 106 pitches here and despite hanging so many changeups and floating them too far away, he still earned 10/38 whiffs on the pitch as his fastball got strikes at the bottom of the zone. Hmmmm, I don’t think this is the approach that is going to make Bubic a consistent arm to trust, sadly. This wasn’t a pitcher in control and owning batters. There’s still too much risk here.
Blake Snell @ MIA (W) – 5.0 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks – 12 Whiffs, 31% CSW. He went just 75 pitches this time as the Rays elected to take it easy with him cruising through five. I wanted that extra frame, yo, but whatever. Aces gonna ace. Curveballs and sliders aren’t finding the zone like I want, but that deuce did return 50% CSW so I’m happy here.
Rick Porcello @ NYY (ND) – 5.0 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 2 Ks – 3 Whiffs, 21% CSW. With a date in the Bronx, this is pretty fine with me for Porcello. I mean, he can do what he wants, it won’t affect me.
Michael King vs NYM (ND) – 3.2 IP, 2 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 3 Ks – 5 Whiffs, 24% CSW. Bullpen game here for the Yanks and he was the King of all our hearts. What, this is a really basic line. Fine, he wasn’t clubbed. Better? Sure.
Casey Mize vs MIN (ND) – 3.0 IP, 2 ER, 2 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 28% CSW. It took him 67 pitches for three frames and I’m so confused. Where is his golden cutter? He didn’t throw a single one this entire start and it’s the pitch that makes me like Mize. Instead of he couldn’t find his splitter and used his curveball – his fourth pitch – to try to get strikes. It worked, but still, that’s not it. Oddities aside, he got the Twins and we weren’t thrilled with this start in the first place…and now he gets the Twins again. Brtual.
Kenta Maeda @ DET (L) – 6.0 IP, 3 ER, 6 Hits, 0 BBs, 8 Ks – 16 Whiffs, 31% CSW. Aces gonna ace. It’s a PQS but a decent WHIP and 8 Ks. Kinda meh from Maeda against the Tigers – not even a Win! – but whatareyagonnado.
Jorge Lopez @ TOR (ND) – 4.2 IP, 3 ER, 3 Hits, 3 BBs, 3 Ks – 3 Whiffs, 24% CSW. Oh hey, Lopez is now an Oriole! And the hope that his oddly great stuff at times will ever become consistent and dominant is still lost in the winds of summer. That devilish season, always taking my stuff through an invisible force.
Brandon Woodruff vs PIT (L) – 5.0 IP, 4 ER, 4 Hits, 3 BBs, 7 Ks – 18 Whiffs, 34% CSW. Aces gonna earn a Gallows Pole resorting to sinkers for a 48% CSW yet get a bit unlucky and nothing else to support his heater. It’s weird when Woodruff turns to sinkers over four-seamers suddenly, but hey, that pitch worked and I just wish there’s a world where Woodruff has a fantastic slider and/or changeup to propel him into the Top 10. For now, you keep starting Woodruff and hope for the best. His fastball is too good to make his floor go any lower than this.
Tanner Roark vs BAL (ND) – 5.0 IP, 4 ER, 8 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 25% CSW. So Roark had a 2.00 WHIP and a 7.20 ERA. Yep.
Aaron Civale @ STL (L) – 6.0 IP, 5 ER, 8 Hits, 2 BBs, 3 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 26% CSW. Nooooooo. Civale’s curveball earned just one whiff while he didn’t have the precision on sinker like we normally see. Cutters fell to the middle of the plate too often and there you go, a disappointing six inning start. I know some are going to treat this like it’s him coming down to Earth, but I think his stuff is certainly better than this and I’d continue trusting him. Don’t go dropping him for some spring chicken or anything silly. He is the spring chicken.
Kyle Gibson vs LAD (L) – 5.0 IP, 5 ER, 5 Hits, 4 BBs, 8 Ks – 14 Whiffs, 32% CSW. So here’s the thing. Gibson was pushed to 102 pitches and did so with 55 sliders and changeups. That’s what you want to see, but his sinker was meh and the Dodgers are good. Great pitch separation with his changeup and slider, FWIW. I’d be cautious with Gibson, still.
Zack Godley vs WSH (ND) – 4.2 IP, 5 ER, 8 Hits, 1 BBs, 3 Ks – 5 Whiffs, 31% CSW. It’s The False God who isn’t fooling anyone. It’s Godley, not the actual thing.
Sandy Alcantara vs TB (L) – 4.0 IP, 5 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 2 Ks – 5 Whiffs, 26% CSW. So this wasn’t the return we hoped for. On one hand, he was able to go for 84 pitches – great! – but his command wasn’t as sharp as what we saw in his first start about a month ago. A MONTH AGO. His changeup was just 2/8 CSW across the start and I have to think that’ll be different moving forward. He gets the Rays again and I think it may be worth the gamble.
Austin Voth @ BOS (L) – 2.0 IP, 5 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 3 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 33% CSW. Sorry Voth, maybe you’ll show up in 2021 with your secondary stuff doing great things and popping 93/94 instead of 91/92. That would be cool.
Ryan Castellani vs SD (L) – 2.0 IP, 5 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 2 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 32% CSW. I mean, this was the Padres in Coors. I know Castellani is actually kinda decent, but come on. This is the least surprising line tonight.
Tommy Milone @ PHI (ND) – 2.1 IP, 7 ER, 8 Hits, 0 BBs, 2 Ks – 6 Whiffs, 24% CSW. Welcome to Atlanta, Milone, where people were already questioning your acquisition and now…well, yeah. I think he can still be decent, but this hurts.
Jake Arrieta vs ATL (L) – 1.1 IP, 7 ER, 6 Hits, 3 BBs, 0 Ks – 1 Whiffs, 13% CSW. Arrieta, I hope you remember the good ole days and never forget them. You deserved them and you were awesome. This ain’t you.
For those unaware, I’m forced to make my streamer picks under the condition of sub-20% owned in Fantasy Pros’ consolidated ownership rates.
Brad Keller vs. Cleveland Indians – This didn’t work last time, but it doesn’t mean it can’t here.
Chad Kuhl vs. Chicago Cubs – I don’t have much of a choice here with Asher Wojciechowski as the only other upside arm getting a middling matchup (vs. Mets). I wouldn’t do this but let’s hope his slider is on point.
Day After Tomorrow’s Streamer
Tyler Mahle vs. St. Louis Cardinals – I was super impressed with Mahle’s fastball and slider last time out and I’m crossing my fingers it sticks here.
Game of the Day
(Photo by Shelley Lipton/Icon Sportswire)