Marco Gone No More

Nick Pollack reviews every starting pitcher performance from Tuesday.

Marco Gonzales vs OAK (ND) – 4.0 IP, 1 ER, 2 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks – 6 Whiffs, 32% CSW, 50 pitches.

It’s been just over a month, and I’ll be honest, it felt like longer that we haven’t seen Marco Gonzales on the bump. He made his return on Tuesday to a solid 4.0 IP, 1 ER, 2 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks line and it seems like he was the man you dreamed of in April — after all, a 43% CSW on sinkers definitely seems like the Marco we saw in 2020.

However, I’m not entirely sold. His sinker command wasn’t around the edges, but featured many pitches in the heart of the plate, while he went a full zero-for-eight on changeup CSW. Not great. But he gets the Tigers next! Surely that will work out. It could…if he throws more than 75 pitches. Marco was allowed just fifty here against the A’s and I’m inclined to let Marco stay on the wire with his command-reliant approach as he works up a pitch count again. Sure, he could turn into that dream Toby soon enough (and if you have the open spot, why not), but there’s a lot of risk here, especially in the short term.

 

Let’s see how every other SP did Tuesday:

 

John Gant @ LAD (ND) – 6.0 IP, 0 ER, 4 Hits, 3 BBs, 4 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 31% CSW, 95 pitches.

Gant stood on the edge of the balcony, right hand slotted on his hip, left holding a fresh cup of joe. He inhaled a full breath of the morning, looking out at his fellow peers below him, those who worked so hard to achieve greatness and after graduating with honors, now sprawled on the ground in exhaustion. They deserved better, and they took the brunt today. Gant welcomed a breeze as it snuck through his blue robe before he took a sip from his mug. “It’s better to be lucky than good,” he announced proudly into the still air.

Robbie Ray vs MIA (W) – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 9 Ks – 22 Whiffs, 35% CSW, 96 pitches.

Ray, you beautiful, beautiful man. This was a day of tragedy. Of sadness. Madness. SUCH LITTLE RADNESS. We are all so lucky you were able to be the man we wanted you to be. I’m looking at the “auto-start” tier of my morning streaming rankings and noticed that only Bieber and Ray allowed fewer than three ER tonight. There were nine pitchers in that tier. It’s a humble reminder that fantasy baseball is a cruel game, and I sure don’t know anything about it. Annnnnyway, it was wonderful to see Ray return to his old ways, spot heaters in the upper third of the zone and falling to the bottom in his previous game. It helped him earn a Gallows Pole and cruise through the Marlins’ lineup. Now it gets tougher and if he’s spotting heaters like this, he’ll be just fine.

Stephen Strasburg @ ATL (ND) – 1.1 IP, 1 ER, 1 Hits, 2 BBs, 1 Ks – 2 Whiffs, 23% CSW, 30 pitches.

Strasburg was tossing 89/90 mph fastballs and he left the game. But Nick, it was from a comebacker! Yeaaaah, that’s a convenient excuse. It’s obvious Strasburg was still injured and I’d be shocked if we see him any time soon, let alone again in 2021. It’s a brutal world out there.

Luis Garcia vs BOS (W) – 7.0 IP, 1 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks – 19 Whiffs, 29% CSW, 106 pitches.

Among all this pain, we had multiple pitchers who excelled despite all odds, including García against the strong Boston offense. That’s nineteen whiffs, earning nine off four-seamers, the others with cutters and sliders. It’s somehow still working for Garcia and all I can do is throw up my hands and Vargas Rule this. I had him lowered given this tough schedule + the likelihood Garcia is out of the rotation once Lance McCullers Jr. returns or when they want Cristian Javier to get more innings but if he’s doing this, well then they don’t have a choice.

Andrew Heaney @ SF (W) – 6.1 IP, 1 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 7 Ks – 12 Whiffs, 29% CSW, 89 pitches.

The man is the sweetest of Cherry Bomband it’s a bit wild to see him go 73% heaters in this one and live to tell the tale, especially against the lefty-smashing Giants. Or at least they are supposed to be lefty-smashing. It’s pretty clear that you’ll never know what you’re gonna get from Heaney on the ERA front, but at least he’ll keep giving you strikeouts and a decent WHIP. There’s something to that.

German Marquez vs TEX (ND) – 7.0 IP, 1 ER, 2 Hits, 2 BBs, 7 Ks – 13 Whiffs, 35% CSW, 88 pitches.

Ayyyy the slider and curveball did well as his four-seamer earned 11 called strikes + outs. Now he hosts the Athletics in Colorado and the tough decisions continue. Even if I’m missing success like this, I’d rather just try my luck elsewhere.

Dane Dunning @ COL (ND) – 4.2 IP, 2 ER, 6 Hits, 0 BBs, 3 Ks – 13 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 78 pitches.

Is this surviving Coors? It’s not a whole lot of anything. Shrug. He gets the Rays next and you could do worse as a streamer.

Shane Bieber vs CWS (W) – 7.0 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 7 Ks – 16 Whiffs, 32% CSW, 103 pitches.

Aces gonna ace. Phew, at least you’ve still got it. Slowly and steadily, he’ll bring that WHIP down to what you expect.

Caleb Smith vs NYM (ND) – 5.0 IP, 2 ER, 3 Hits, 1 BBs, 2 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 26% CSW, 58 pitches.

So this is a thing again and he’s hovering 92 mph. That’s cool, but he’s only at 58 pitches — way to be efficient for five frames — and he’s still figuring out the full repertoire. I’ll be cautiously watching from afar but I really hope we can get a hint of what we saw in the first half of 2019. That’ll be cool.

David Price vs STL (ND) – 1.2 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 3 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 30% CSW, 50 pitches.

It was a bullpen game and they almost pulled it off. Fifty pitches for five outs ain’t gonna cut it, and it only makes Tony Gonsolin seem more appealing as a lock in the rotation when he arrives in a week or two.

Garrett Richards @ HOU (L) – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 4 BBs, 5 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 23% CSW, 97 pitches.

He can’t keep getting away with it. In Garrett’s defense, his slider was finally a solid offering, earning 32% CSW as it found the bottom of the zone. His fastball was actually pretty solid as it gravitated toward the upper edge of the strikezone and this kinda works. Maybe if we’re still believing the Yankees are a meh offense by the weekend, I’d give Richards a shot then. Vargas Rule and whatnot. At least he has his slider back, right?

Bruce Zimmermann vs MIN (W) – 5.1 IP, 2 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 7 Ks – 19 Whiffs, 40% CSW, 87 pitches.

Among all of the aces, of course BZ earns the King Cole against a solid Twins lineup. His slider was as good as I’ve seen from him, earning a crazy 70% CSW across 23 thrown — 70%! — executing a strong BSB with four-seamers constantly up-and-in to right-handers. Hey, I dig this when it works, but we’ve seen Zim have it one day and gone the next. I wouldn’t chase it.

Tyler Glasnow @ NYY (ND) – 7.0 IP, 3 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 8 Ks – 15 Whiffs, 30% CSW, 100 pitches.

Aces gonna ace. Despite the trio of runs, observing this massacre of pitching lines surrounding him, I’m thrilled to see a 3.86 ERA. THRILLED. He managed to fill the zone with heaters and solid sliders and it worked. Everything’s fine here.

Domingo German vs TB (ND) – 5.0 IP, 3 ER, 3 Hits, 0 BBs, 5 Ks – 13 Whiffs, 30% CSW, 86 pitches.

A pair of HRs did everything here in efficient fashion. He pitched well and despite the blegh 5.40 ERA, you should feel good about rostering Domingo.

Aaron Nola @ CIN (W) – 5.0 IP, 3 ER, 8 Hits, 2 BBs, 2 Ks – 12 Whiffs, 26% CSW, 94 pitches.

Aces gonna toss 94 pitches and earn just two strikeouts. I don’t care if there’s a win, this is maddening and I’m sad Nola is going through this tough stretch. Normally he has two of his three offerings working well, but here it was just his curveball with four-seamers and changeups each earning sub 25% CSW marks. Surely it gets easier for him now, right? Oh, you mean like ATL + LAD? No, not like that at all. Brace yourselves, I feel your struggle.

Kyle Hendricks vs SD (W) – 6.0 IP, 3 ER, 7 Hits, 0 BBs, 4 Ks – 4 Whiffs, 31% CSW, 75 pitches.

On a day like today, I’m happy with a PQS from Hendricks, especially against the Padres. However, earning just four whiffs is pretty dang pedestrian, like I’m taking the train while eating a hotdog. Nothing gets more “average citizen” than that. His changeup earned outs but few whiffs, while the curveball is still out of the equation. Hopefully it’s all better next time out versus the Giants.

Marcus Stroman @ ARI (ND) – 6.0 IP, 3 ER, 7 Hits, 0 BBs, 6 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 40% CSW, 90 pitches.

I’m happy Stroman could earn a share of the  King Cole, though I am sad it came with a three-run shot that turned this into a PQS. I’m also upset I can’t get more on the Stroman train as this start was fueled by 18 called strikes and a slider + splitter secondary approach that was…fine. Nothing incredible, but good enough for the Sneks. You’re going to keep starting him, but I doubt you’ll get to a point where you brag to your friends about rostering Stroman.

Ryan Weathers @ CHC (L) – 5.0 IP, 4 ER, 7 Hits, 1 BBs, 2 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 28% CSW, 88 pitches.

So he’s finally up to 88 pitches and five frames again, but doing so suddenly means he’s throwing poor frames. Baseball ain’t fair. He’ll get the Mets twice now and even with Pete Alonso back, I’m leaning on letting Weathers start with this many pitches under his belt. His slider is too wicked & he’s tossing 94+.

Brady Singer vs PIT (W) – 5.2 IP, 4 ER, 8 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 29% CSW, 94 pitches.

I was reluctant to stick with Singer after his last start, but it’s the Pirates Nick, this couldn’t be that bad. Unlike many of the other outings tonight, this one should be a final straw for those still rostering Tom. Let this Brady go, I promise he won’t win a championship after you do. That never happens. But seriously, let him go.

Sonny Gray vs PHI (L) – 4.2 IP, 4 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 8 Ks – 12 Whiffs, 36% CSW, 96 pitches.

While his slider worked, his curveball didn’t + two homeruns did him in as Gray was wildly inefficient. I think he’s closer than before to the man we seek, but yeah, this day was rough. ROUGH.

Sandy Alcantara @ TOR (L) – 6.0 IP, 4 ER, 9 Hits, 0 BBs, 4 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 29% CSW, 89 pitches.

I was hoping tonight would be the night I could Sandy his AGA label back. This was his first test since that fabled Dodgers outing and he…failed. I still love his stuff, but he made too many mistakes with sinkers and hung a slider to Vlady that went over the fence for three runs on the board. You gotta be a little better, Sandy.

Chris Bassitt @ SEA (ND) – 4.0 IP, 4 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks – 13 Whiffs, 31% CSW, 83 pitches.

Yeaaah, for being on such a good roll, it’s weird to see Seattle be the team that broke Bassitt’s momentum, but welcome to June 1st. He got whiffs from everything here, including 5/11 on changeups, while his cutter earned 38% CSW and even his curveball did some work. I’m leaning that this was a blip and not the wall to push us to move on — six strikeouts and just one walk ain’t bad at all — and with ARI + KCR next, it’ll be easy to forget this one.

Matthew Boyd @ MIL (ND) – 4.2 IP, 5 ER, 5 Hits, 3 BBs, 4 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 21% CSW, 95 pitches.

Rinnnnng *Riiiing. Elllo? Who? Boys lie duh? Is that a statement? ….uh huh….uh huh…Ohhhh Boyd’s slider. Yeah, I’ve heard of it. Hasn’t been seen for two years. Sent a man down the path of destruction, looking for that thing. I say it’s bad news. You’re better off chasing another old legend…ohhh you’re welcome, have a good day, ya hear?

Max Fried vs WSH (L) – 3.2 IP, 5 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 7 Ks – 12 Whiffs, 32% CSW, 92 pitches.

You’d think Atlanta would run away with this after their starter left after just four outs, but Fried had other plans. His slider and curveball were solid, but the heater was hittable and the Nationals took advantage. Ugggh. I’ve been saying that I believe Fried will earn his AGA label soon and while this certainly delays it, he’s a good enough pitcher that it should come over the next few weeks. Keep starting him.

Michael Pineda @ BAL (L) – 3.0 IP, 5 ER, 7 Hits, 0 BBs, 1 Ks – 5 Whiffs, 28% CSW, 53 pitches.

Pineda had one start this year without his solid slider (against the Royals) and it was a disaster. Here, against the Orioles, Pineda didn’t have his slider and…it was a disaster. He was 7-for-8 having the pitch before this start and it’s still a good wager to make.

Dylan Cease @ CLE (L) – 3.1 IP, 6 ER, 8 Hits, 1 BBs, 2 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 24% CSW, 94 pitches.

I’m pretty there’s a curse placed on The List as Cease’s large image obviously influenced this disaster against Cleveland. I’ve been excited about Cease’s slider across the last month and seeing his four-seamer follow suit last time out encouraged great days ahead. Sadly his fastball was over a tick slower, making his fastball more hittable in the zone. Fortunately, he gets Detroit next and he could fix this before he’s forced to face the strong Jays crew.

Eric Lauer vs DET (L) – 2.0 IP, 7 ER, 7 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 33% CSW, 66 pitches.

After tossing 85+ pitches last time out with decent success, Lauer seemed like the only possible option for today’s streaming pick. Narrator: He was not. Streaming Record: 39-21. His cutter was up to 91.5 mph in this one though. There’s something to that I CAN FEEL IT. 

Alex Wood vs LAA (L) – 3.2 IP, 7 ER, 4 Hits, 4 BBs, 2 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 73 pitches.

Yiiiiiiikes. After showcasing 92 mph and an elite slider over the last month, Wood suddenly tossed 91 mph and went 1/27 slider whiffs. So yeah, for all the analysis we can do, often it just doesn’t matter. I’m willing to bet he recovers and with the Rangers ahead, I’m not rage-dropping. Control yourself and start him then.

Wil Crowe @ KC (L) – 4.0 IP, 8 ER, 8 Hits, 2 BBs, 3 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 20% CSW, 76 pitches.

I can’t help but imagine his name like a sign, offering his service to make noises. Wil Crowe for $15. Yes, this day of pitching disaster has truly brought the worst out of me.

 

Game of the Day 

 

Shane McClanahan vs Jordan MontgomeryHopefully Shane can hint at six frames + I’m itching to see JorMont perform well with his curveball.

 

But Nick?! Where are the streaming picks? – I’ve moved them to the daily SP Matchups & Streamer Rankings article.

 

Photo by Keith Gillett/Icon Sportswire | Adapted by Justin Paradis (@JustParaDesigns on Twitter)

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.

  • Avatar DB says:

    “The man is the sweetest of Cherry Bombs and it’s a bit wild to see him go 73% heaters in this one and live to tell the tale, especially against the lefty-smashing Giants. Or at least they are supposed to be lefty-smashing.”

    A YUUGE part of the lefty-smashing has been Longoria, and he tweaked an intracostal (sp?) yesterday and was out of the lineup.

  • Avatar DB says:

    Picked up R. Ray off waivers before this start and snagged Manoah before his first last week…

    I also drafted Ryu. Buffalo is basically the opposite of Dunedin, park-factor-wise. Been there many times and seen it first-hand.

    I have lots of top-teir pitchers on my rosters, but basically every single pitcher on the Blue Jays is undervalued right now due to park factors, and I’m not hesitating in the slightest to pick them up.

    Just putting that out there.

    • Avatar DB says:

      Also putting it out there:

      Your Blue Jays hitters won’t do nearly as well at home as they have been. Factor that into your trades.

  • Avatar Stephen Honovich says:

    Is it possible that Luis Garcia’s stuff plays up because of his obnoxious windup?

    • Avatar theKraken says:

      Absolutely. He executes pretty well in a league where most don’t. He also has a diverse arsenal. He changes speeds. He is pretty crafty and has some swing and miss offerings. I don’t see a Cy Young in the making but he is at least going well at the moment.

  • Avatar Don't be a Hader says:

    Based on the learned comments of this column and others on this site, I dropped Luis Garcia prior to his start against the Dodgers/Red Sox. Since then he’s 2-0, lowered his ERA and WHIP, and had 2 of his longest outings. Maybe I’ll have to trust my eyes more than what I read before outsmarting myself into dropping a guy for a rival owner to get for nothing.

    • Avatar theKraken says:

      Read my comments, bro.

    • Avatar The Mustache says:

      I stopped taking the experts’ advice as gospel after one advised me to trade Jack Flaherty for Addison Russell in a keeper league in 2017, maybe ‘18. I was desperate for a young SS so I did it. Worst and most regrettable trade I’ve ever made.

  • Avatar Bobby says:

    Looks like Weathers lines up against the Cubs Monday and not the Mets this weekend. Bummer.

  • Avatar theKraken says:

    You know who should be ashamed of themselves? The Seattle Mariners for not promoting Jarred Kelenic straight to MLB out of spring training. Those bastards! Remember when that was a major story lol. I like him just fine but that entire narrative has been proven to be stupid.

    Good on the Dodgers for creating a gameplan that includes using Joe Kelley. A taxed bullpen and a loss is not the way it is done. What are the chances that the interns in the analytics department learn their lesson from their early season experimentation? Not good. I think that they are more concerned with validating their absurd strategies as you would have to be pretty anti-everything to run a team the way they do. They usually wait until August to light the staff on fire but they are getting an early start this year. I imagine that Rich Hill would be a great fit right about now. I hope that they are appreciative of the gifts that that their minor league development has given them on a daily basis.

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