Misledward Cabrera

Nick Pollack reviews every starting pitcher performance from Tuesday.

Edward Cabrera @ NYM (L) – 4.0 IP, 3 ER, 7 Hits, 0 BBs, 2 Ks – 6 Whiffs, 25% CSW, 53 pitches.

It wasn’t the most earth-shattering debut for Edward Cabrerabut we saw skills in his repertoire and command that suggested he could be a strikeout arm and help down the stretch. A date with the Mets today in Game 2 of the doubleheader looked appetizing enough and what we got was not: 4.0 IP, 3 ER, 7 Hits, 0 BBs, 2 Ks – 6 Whiffs, 25% CSW, 53 pitches. What is going on here?

What’s wild to me is Cabrera’s reluctance to throw his 96.4 mph heater, tossing it just 23% of the time. I’ve preached starters leaning heavily on their breakers instead of a fastball, but those are situations where their secondaries are phenomenal and deserve the extra attention. Here, Cabrera’s changeup is good but not elite, his curve went 0/12 CSW, and his slider was touched just nine times. Let the heater fly! Ease up on the changeup! Maybe use the slider instead of the curve! I don’t think this second outing defines Cabrera, which I imagine many will do (that’s two starts of 2 Ks! What’s all the hype about?!), and keep in mind he was pulled early as it was a seven-inning doubleheader. He’s still in the rotation and the future schedule is great. There’s tweaking to be done, but I don’t expect it to take all September. It’ll be okay.

Sidenote: I feel like I should talk about Elieser Hernandez as well, despite our stats not excepting it as a game from today. The final line was 5.0 IP, 1 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 23% CSW, 83 pitches and it’s solid, but not great. I’m still waiting for the slider to truly take over (just 23% CSW here) and I’m wondering how the Marlins rotation will shape out over the next week. At the very least, he’s good enough to keep starting, but I do worry he’ll run into a poor outing or two soon because of that lack of electric repertoire.

 

Let’s see how every other SP did Tuesday:

 

Yusei Kikuchi vs HOU (ND) – 7.0 IP, 0 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 28% CSW, 95 pitches.

Right when I’ve been saying “Why are you still holding onto Kikuchi,” he elects to have his best start in ages. Against Houston. I’d be very cautious believing in this for a repeat matchup against the ‘Stros, especially when his cutter + slider returned 0/17 whiffs, forcing him to rely plenty on his changeup. That’s not a sustainable path to success for Kikuchi.

Trevor Williams vs MIA (ND) – 4.1 IP, 0 ER, 4 Hits, 0 BBs, 4 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 30% CSW, 57 pitches.

Trevor got the call to fill in for some innings and made the most of it, learning 75/25 fastball/slider. I’m glad it worked for him here because it sure isn’t going to work a whole lot more in the future, let alone get consistent starts in the first place. Sidenote: Let’s talk quickly about Taijuan Walker’s start from today in the second game of the doubleheader: 4.2 IP, 3 ER, 7 Hits, 0 BBs, 6 Ks – 17 Whiffs, 26% CSW, 102 pitches.His fastball sat comfortably at 95.4 mph and honestly, that’s all I really care about. I don’t expect the splitter/slider/curve to be there each game, but as long as the heater is there and coming in HOT, things should normally be fine. Exceptions are part of life, y’all.

Blake Snell @ ARI (W) – 7.0 IP, 0 ER, 0 Hits, 2 BBs, 10 Ks – 19 Whiffs, 34% CSW, 107 pitches.

The man has seen the light and there’s nothing we can do but watch in awe. More like awwww because I dropped him in July. Hey, I feel you, but you did what needed to be done. Let’s just be glad he’s finally pitching well. Amen. Don’t you dare stop starting Snell now.

Lance McCullers Jr. @ SEA (ND) – 5.0 IP, 0 ER, 4 Hits, 3 BBs, 3 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 26% CSW, 102 pitches.

Yeah, I’ll take it. He didn’t have his slider at all and leaned on the hook half of the time as a result. It was fine, but this was a man figuring it out and battling himself, not a guy out on the hunt. That should change next time out.

Zach Plesac @ KC (W) – 7.0 IP, 0 ER, 2 Hits, 0 BBs, 7 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 24% CSW, 96 pitches.

I’m on a quest for Plesac’s changeup and while it came with just 1/23 whiffs and 17% CSW, he got strikes with it via foul balls and hey, that’s progress. His fastball did more work than it should here and it’s not what you want to see before the Red Sox on the horizon. Just 1/12 slider whiffs ain’t it.

Keegan Akin @ TOR (W) – 5.0 IP, 1 ER, 2 Hits, 3 BBs, 5 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 24% CSW, 85 pitches.

Wow, talk about a Birthday Party. This lowered his ERA to 6.90 on the season and he didn’t do anything new here.

Charlie Morton @ LAD (ND) – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 2 BBs, 8 Ks – 12 Whiffs, 30% CSW, 106 pitches.

Charlie’s uncle Charlie doesn’t care about your offense. The pitch earned plenty of outs as the heater did the rest, and look at that. Morton survived 1/3 tough outings across four. That’s confusing. YOU’RE CONFUSING. What even are you? Anyway, keep starting Morton and let’s hope he finishes this stretch unscathed.

Brandon Woodruff @ SF (W) – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 5 Hits, 3 BBs, 8 Ks – 19 Whiffs, 36% CSW, 92 pitches.

Aces gonna ace. There’s another King Cole for the books as it was standard “four-seamer dominance” for Woody. I wonder, where does he rank among SPs for you for 2022?

Zach Davies @ MIN (ND) – 4.1 IP, 1 ER, 6 Hits, 0 BBs, 3 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 26% CSW, 84 pitches.

Are you holding onto Davies in a 12-teamer? Stop doing that. You’re pushing Davies and no one wants that.

Lucas Giolito vs PIT (ND) – 4.1 IP, 2 ER, 3 Hits, 4 BBs, 5 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 28% CSW, 82 pitches.

Lucas wasn’t at his best and was pulled early after tweaking his leg while fielding a ball. Yeah, not what you want to hear. Monitor this one, but I wouldn’t be shocked if Giolito missed some time. Don’t worry ChiSox fans, you’re 10 games up and Lynn + Giolito will be back for the playoffs. Also, Reynaldo López is getting a start over the weekend now and that could work. Everything’s fine.

John Gant vs CHC (L) – 5.0 IP, 2 ER, 3 Hits, 0 BBs, 5 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 25% CSW, 89 pitches.

Oh no, it’s John. Don’t make eye contact—OH HEY NICK! Hey John. Sooo, did you check out my new ERA? It was under 4.00 today! Yep, totally saw it John. And that WHIP! Just 0.60!.Uh huh. Welp, see ya later. Oh right, bye! Yeeeesh, that guy won’t ever stop, I wonder how many people he actually convinces. Maybe those guys who are playing football now hahahahaha. Sigh. I miss those guys.

Jaime Barria vs NYY (ND) – 4.1 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 2 Ks – 3 Whiffs, 23% CSW, 74 pitches.

This doesn’t help anyone. Sadly, Barria’s starts rarely do. Now hold on, if Jaime jump in here…Oh no. No. You can’t after that. Totally fair.

Walker Buehler vs ATL (ND) – 7.0 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 30% CSW, 92 pitches.

Aces gonna ace. A bit underwhelming for the NL Cy Young favorite, but when aces aren’t at their best, they still help your squads. That’s what’s up.

Ryan Yarbrough vs BOS (W) – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 0 BBs, 3 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 28% CSW, 78 pitches.

Whoa, “The Fratty Pirate” took his salad to Eck in the booth and said, “leaf me alone”. I think this is the worst of the worst. I’m doing the David Wright GIF right now. Yeah, I deserve this. But I don’t deserve a life where I trust Yarbrough after this to start him against Boston a second time. I don’t expect it works out again.

Jordan Lyles vs COL (W) – 6.2 IP, 3 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 7 Ks – 16 Whiffs, 33% CSW, 104 pitches.

I could see some taking a desperate chance on Lyles and this is absolutely a win for them. His slider was legit while four-seamer earned strikes and that’s all there was to it. Don’t let it get to your head, though, and even if the Angels have been a poor offense for the past month, I wouldn’t bank on Lyles having that heater/slider combo working again.

Zac Gallen vs SD (L) – 6.0 IP, 3 ER, 5 Hits, 4 BBs, 4 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 28% CSW, 94 pitches.

That’s a VPQS with a better, but still not great changeup, while the rest of his secondaries did little to nothing. There’s still a month left and all I need is one or two starts to lean on to make me a believer in drafts next year. You gots this Gallen.

Jakob Junis vs CLE (L) – 4.2 IP, 3 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 38% CSW, 78 pitches.

Junis made his return and flexed that slider we’ve loved over the years, with a fastball and cutter for strikes. Hey, I expected worse from Junis here and this was kinda impressive. I’m not sure we see a whole more of Junis, though, and even if we did, we need more before we trust him.

Cole Irvin @ DET (ND) – 4.2 IP, 3 ER, 7 Hits, 2 BBs, 2 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 20% CSW, 84 pitches.

Cole, you’re a Tobyor at least I thought you were. I’m sorry to do this Cole, but I’ll need your brown suit and tie. Irvin slams them on the desk but they don’t make a sound. This isn’t a cop movie, it’s an HR department. Control yourself.

Hyun Jin Ryu vs BAL (L) – 5.2 IP, 3 ER, 3 Hits, 3 BBs, 6 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 31% CSW, 95 pitches.

Meh. It’s an out away from a PQS and even those aren’t good in standard leagues. The changeup still wasn’t great and I’m ready to drop if you are. Nick, we’ve been ready for the last month. FINE. Drop em like he’s not. 

Bryse Wilson @ CWS (L) – 5.0 IP, 4 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 1 Ks – 2 Whiffs, 23% CSW, 69 pitches.

We didn’t have any expectations here for Bryse, even if it was a HAISTBMBWT?! and helped nobody. He has a solid schedule for three straight now but it is awfully hard to trust a man after performing this mediocrely. Is that a word? I think so, I sat there for a good minute or two and I’m landing on yes. Oh, so I should start Wilson against the Cubs? What, no. Well, maybe. Ehhhhhhhhh—Are you gonna finish that thought? I was kinda hoping it would just fade out into the screen. Oh. Carry on. Ehhhhhhhhhhhhhh

Austin Gomber @ TEX (L) – 4.1 IP, 4 ER, 4 Hits, 6 BBs, 2 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 20% CSW, 89 pitches.

Bleeeeeegh. Gomber tossed 45% fastballs and I feel like that’s all I need to say. He’s not flexing the same secondaries as earlier in the year and even with the nice schedule, Gomber just hasn’t been the guy as this has marked his fourth straight road start of despair. DESPAIR. He does get Atlanta at home next but even so, I wouldn’t chance it.

Matt Moore @ WSH (ND) – 3.1 IP, 5 ER, 6 Hits, 5 BBs, 2 Ks – 4 Whiffs, 20% CSW, 82 pitches.

No Moore. Please. No Moore. JUST THINK OF THE CHILDREN!

Brad Peacock @ TB (L) – 2.1 IP, 5 ER, 2 Hits, 2 BBs, 0 Ks – 1 Whiffs, 17% CSW, 48 pitches.

The Sawx called up Peacock and led this bullpen game, earning just one whiff in the process. That ain’t the Peacock who knew how to flaunt it years ago. You’ve changed.

Jameson Taillon @ LAA (L) – 4.2 IP, 6 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 6 Ks – 20 Whiffs, 33% CSW, 92 pitches.

Despite earning a Gallows Pole, this isn’t it. The curveball was better this around, but the slider was hung, he made some mistakes, and blammo, that’s your game. He’s awfully close though, as the four-seamer command truly is a fantastic skill. He gets Toronto next and I’m on the fence there. I’m leaning start but play your situation accordingly.

Tarik Skubal vs OAK (L) – 5.0 IP, 6 ER, 7 Hits, 3 BBs, 6 Ks – 13 Whiffs, 30% CSW, 97 pitches.

Yikes. I was amped about his previous start with a great four-seamer + a strong slider to complement it in the zone and here we got…a solid slider without a strong fastball in the zone. Close, but not quite right. The changeup was better, though — 4/10 whiffs! — but yeah, we need that heater not burning Skubal. Fortunately, Pittsburgh is next and I’d jump back in there. It’s Pittsburgh, y’all, get off yer high horse.

Johnny Cueto vs MIL (L) – 3.2 IP, 6 ER, 10 Hits, 2 BBs, 1 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 20% CSW, 84 pitches.

Cueto was on the COVID IL, but came back here and…wasn’t good. The man was out of rhythm and understandably so, but now he gets the Dodgers and he doesn’t bring enough to the table to A) start him there and B) hold him as a stash until his next start. Don’t get Cueto cute.

Patrick Corbin vs PHI (L) – 5.0 IP, 6 ER, 9 Hits, 4 BBs, 4 Ks – 6 Whiffs, 17% CSW, 93 pitches.

Yeah yeah yeah, whatever Corbin. WE’RE DONE HERE. Nick…please. I AIN’T COMIN’ BACK.

 

Game of the Day 

 

Joe Ryan vs Chicago Cubs – It’s another MLB debut! Feel free to pick up Joe and see how he performs, there’s a decent amount of hype surrounding him.

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

Have Questions? – Join my morning Twitch Livestream! I answer all questions there for free: 9:00 am – 11:00 am EST Monday through Friday.

Featured Image by Jacob Roy (@jmrgraphics3 on IG)

Nick Pollack

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

  • Avatar neil says:

    In the minors his fastball was one of his worst pitches at getting whiffs btw

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