Nick Pollack & Paul Sporer Fireside Chat – Super Early 2020 SP Ranks

Nick Pollack (@PitcherList) and Paul Sporer (@sporer) gather for their weekly fireside chat where they ramble about starting pitchers (Simulcast!). This week, they discuss Sporer’s early 2020 SP Rankings, including pitchers Stephen Strasburg, Lucas Giolitoand Luis Castillo.

Sporer’s Top 30 SP Rankings for 2020

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Nick Pollack

Founder of PitcherList.com. Rotographs and Washington Post contributor and has worked with CBS Sports, Grantland, and SB Nation. Former pitching coach and Brandeis alum.

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Comments


Aaron

This was nice. I would’ve liked a little sp rankings list 1-30 if y’all had the time to do it. But all in all it was a nice feel for next year. CPL things though nick, why are u so low on giolito if he’s doing this well with two pitches ( for the most part)? If he gets one more working like it should doesn’t it only get better from here which is a beautiful base to start from.not to mention he plays for a pretty weak offense. Also where do u see Paxton for next year. Seems like the huge upside is always lurking especially with that O behind him. But do u think this could have been a lingering knee injury mixed with some rust and bad luck or do u think he’s just this volatile? Also I think clevinger should’ve taken that 5 pick instead of Bieber. He’s annoying as hell to watch imo cuz I’m not into the flashy types but I truly think next year he’s fringe first tier maybe jumping into it. Again love the content just a couple questions I need answered . Thanks guys.

Nick Pollack

Hey Aaron!

I should have linked to Sporer’s Top 30 SP for 2020 article in the post. Thanks for that, just added it!

Regarding the two-pitch question for Giolito, it’s simple.

SP performance for a full season is about consistency. Any starter can have a solid three game stretch, we’ve even seen through the Vargas Rule guys extending that to double-digits.

Having a two-pitch mix shrinks the margin of error. If Giolito is wild with his heater on a given day, relying heavily on just his changeup will likely not be enough for him to escape the day unscathed.

It happens to Top 15 arms often, but they all have two other options to lean on when those days arise, helping them at least be decent on the days they aren’t carving up lineups.

It’s why you very rarely see top arms do it with just two pitches – and when they do, it’s with two top-tier elite offerings (Sale, for one). Giolito’s four-seamer is getting there, but the changeup isn’t that.

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