On The Mark, Shane

Nick Pollack reviews every starting pitcher performance from Wednesday.

Welcome to the SP Roundup, my daily fantasy baseball article reviewing every starting pitcher’s performance from every Wednesday game. I apologize for the jokes written in my delirium in advance. Have questions? Ask me during my office hours on Twitch weekday mornings from 9 am-11 am ET.  

Shane Bieber vs CWS (W) – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 0 BBs, 7 Ks – 16 Whiffs, 35% CSW, 86 pitches.

I imagine many of you took a sigh of relief seeing Shane Bieber excel against the White Sox today via 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 0 BBs, 7 Ks – 16 Whiffs, 35% CSW, 86 pitches. It’s a fantastic line and one that suggests Bieber has returned in full.

Sadly, I don’t think he has. On one hand, his slider was fantastic — 11/36 whiffs & 39% CSW — but the curveball is still down about 275 rpm & his fastball velo fell further down to 90.2 mph. He’s supposed to be ramping up, not down. When he was crushing it, Bieber sat 94 mph. But Nick, these results are great! Can’t he be a great pitcher without the same curveball and velocity? Sure! He absolutely could. But it doesn’t came with the same dependability of Bieber with four extra ticks of velocity and his classic curve. This feels like a Dennis and I’d consider looking at offers to see if you can take advantage of the excellent start. And hey, I’m not saying Bieber is suddenly outside the Top 30 or anything — he’s still inside my Top 15! — but without that velocity and curve of old, he doesn’t seem like a guy who can flirt with the Top 5 SP in baseball through the year.

 

Let’s see how every other SP did Wednesday:

 

Sandy Alcantara vs STL (ND) – 8.0 IP, 0 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks – 13 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 98 pitches.

Aces gonna ace. Sandy, it is a crime how you didn’t earn a Win in this start. CRIMINAL. You deserve so much more. I will note, his slider earned just 1/16 whiffs as the changeup became the #2 offering and I can’t say I’m thrilled about that. We need that slider working for Alcantara to be to true ace we want him to be. But whatever, way to go fella.

Brandon Woodruff vs PIT (W) – 6.0 IP, 0 ER, 1 Hits, 2 BBs, 9 Ks – 18 Whiffs, 37% CSW, 95 pitches.

Aces gonna ace. PHEEEEEEWWW. It’s so good to see you back, Woodruff. We’ve missed you.

Daulton Jefferies vs BAL (L) – 6.0 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 0 BBs, 5 Ks – 13 Whiffs, 30% CSW, 83 pitches.

I was wondering if Jefferies would be able to pull this off and I was glad to see his cutter excel at 38% CSW, matching his sinker’s clip. Alright y’all, he’s flexed his streamability now, keep that in mind for the future — just not vs. the Giants next week.

Tony Gonsolin vs ATL (W) – 6.0 IP, 0 ER, 1 Hits, 3 BBs, 3 Ks – 13 Whiffs, 25% CSW, 83 pitches.

Well how about that — Gonsolin finally missed bats with the slider, earning 9 whiffs and…58% strikes? Hmmmm, I’m not sure that’s the ticket to long-term success here (hence the 3/3 K per BB) and the splitter returned just 10% CSW. Yeah, I’m still out on this one. Let’s be thrilled the BABIP worked, but this ain’t it.

Shohei Ohtani @ HOU (W) – 6.0 IP, 0 ER, 1 Hits, 1 BBs, 12 Ks – 20 Whiffs, 47% CSW, 81 pitches.

What a way to rebound and make me look really dumb for leading with him last time out. Ohtani set the high mark in CSW at 47% en route to a Golden Goalfueled by a slider he tossed 35 times for 66% CSW. That’s INSANE. Seriously, absolutely mental. Huge props to him for cutting his four-seamer usage down to just 23%, understanding that it’s the weakest link in his approach. Man, it’s nights like these that recalibrate our thoughts. Let’s hope he finds a way to go more than 130 innings this year.

MacKenzie Gore vs CIN (W) – 5.0 IP, 0 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 7 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 28% CSW, 88 pitches.

This may have been Gore’s final start for a hot moment as Blake Snell and Mike Clevinger make their ways back to the rotation, but at least he made us happy before he disappears. I think Gore needs to take another step further from here to soar this season, as the slider wasn’t particularly sharp and the curveball earned some show-me called strikes instead of acting like a true #2/3 offering. This feels like a case of the Reds being the Reds on the road against a good fastball. That said, it is a good fastball and maybe it’s enough to keep Gore relevant when he does make consistent starts again (his removal from the rotation is all hypothetical at this point, but seems like the obvious conclusion).

Miles Mikolas @ MIA (ND) – 5.0 IP, 0 ER, 4 Hits, 0 BBs, 5 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 28% CSW, 86 pitches.

Mikolas did his job against the Marlins, making up for his poor stream against the Pirates. Thanks 8-Miles. We appreciate you. He gets the Mets + Diamondbacks in a two-start week next and I’m all for it, even if the Mets start may be a bit shaky.

Jordan Lyles @ OAK (W) – 5.0 IP, 0 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 31% CSW, 89 pitches.

Ayyyy, Lyles had his best slider while he pounded the zone with heaters and that spells success when you’re in O.Co. He’ll get the Yankees next and y’all know you don’t want that. I hope it was a wonderful Birthday Party. Don’t lose my invitation in the mail next time.

Daniel Lynch vs MIN (W) – 5.0 IP, 0 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 2 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 25% CSW, 81 pitches.

I’m pretty thrilled to see Lynch get his chances on the hill, but he sure isn’t doing enough to get me jump aboard. He’s a Frozen Banana until we see something legit across multiple pitches.

Carlos Rodón @ NYM (W) – 5.0 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 2 BBs, 8 Ks – 19 Whiffs, 34% CSW, 95 pitches.

Aces gonna ace. He really is that good, it’s just a matter of his health turning its ugly head or not. And fine, maybe his drop in velocity to 95.5 mph (from 97+!) goes down further, but I highly doubt that. And don’t be afraid of the 95/96 mph heaters — that’s where he was most of the time last year. It very obviously works (17 whiffs) .

Logan Gilbert vs TEX (W) – 6.2 IP, 0 ER, 6 Hits, 0 BBs, 4 Ks – 12 Whiffs, 28% CSW, 92 pitches.

That’s another start where Gilbert didn’t have a masterful secondary pitch but his four-seamer is so good that it didn’t matter. Man, he could be incredible if he ever truly develops that slider or changeup.

Mitch Keller @ MIL (L) – 5.1 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 0 BBs, 7 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 32% CSW, 75 pitches.

Hey! It actually happened! Yeah?! Did Keller get most of his whiffs via breakers? What? No, he earned just four across his slider/curve/change. Nah, what he did was actually give you a worthwhile outing. Oh. This isn’t how I wanted him to succeed:  Despite going 10/13 slider strikes, this was a 70% fastball night, and I feel like this is a trap.

Luis Severino @ DET (ND) – 5.0 IP, 1 ER, 7 Hits, 2 BBs, 3 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 23% CSW, 88 pitches.

Severino got Singled Out a bit here and did not have nearly the same breakers that he had in his previous outing. His heater was also down about a tick as well as he had a legit off night. Let’s be happy it wasn’t worse than it was. I’d expect a major rebound against the Orioles next time.

Triston McKenzie vs CWS (ND) – 4.1 IP, 1 ER, 1 Hits, 4 BBs, 4 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 25% CSW, 80 pitches.

Ehhhh, that’s a whole lotta walks and just 4.1 frames. McKenzie went hyper heater in this start with 78% fastballs, which were not commanded well, but neither were his curveballs or sliders. He’s lucky to get through this one without damaging ratios. On top of that, the 93/94 velocity we saw last time fell to just 91.5 mph here. UGH. Not a great day for Triston. Let’s hope it’s better against the Angels.

Merrill Kelly @ WSH (W) – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 39% CSW, 80 pitches.

Like a whiskey bottle that replenishes itself, Kelly is the gift that keeps on giving. But there is some bad news — his fastball velo fell further in this one, to just 91.5 mph. That’s essentially 2021 levels, making Kelly not a whole lot different than the man we knew. Well, fine, his changeup is much better now (42% CSW here) and that seems like it’s here to stay. Still, I can’t get as excited as I want to be about Kelly without that harder heater, even if he did a great job finding the edges here. He gets the Dodgers next and…oof that’s hard. You could Vargas Rule him at the very least, but, you know, it’s the Dodgers. Tough call there.

José Berríos @ BOS (W) – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 8 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 28% CSW, 96 pitches.

Depsite the 1.50 WHIP, I’ll take it from Berríos against the Sawx. He hasn’t clicked in quite yet with the curve, even though it generally performed well here. Now he gets the Sawx again + the Astros, but you’re starting him for both. Why? Because he’s The Great Undulator — the opponent doesn’t matter.

Chris Paddack @ KC (L) – 5.0 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 0 BBs, 4 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 35% CSW, 71 pitches.

The Paddack experiment in Minnesota has returned a 47% CSW on four-seamers and there could be something to that. I have no idea why he leaned 25% on curveballs that went 50% strikes, but if the heater is this effective moving forward (read: great command up in the zone), Paddack could show flashes of his 2019 self. Don’t ignore it.

Jimmy Lambert @ CLE (L) – 3.2 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 33% CSW, 73 pitches.

Did you know that Lambert was starting? Did you even know he existed? Wow. I won’t tell him, don’t worry.

Drew Rasmussen @ CHC (ND) – 3.0 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 28% CSW, 79 pitches.

My shoulders are in pain for how much I’ve shrugged at Rasmussen this season. He’s just not for me, y’all. I hope his slider and/or cutter can be a legit whiff pitch to complement the four-seamer, but I’m sick of waiting. He just doesn’t do enough.

Dane Dunning @ SEA (L) – 4.0 IP, 3 ER, 6 Hits, 3 BBs, 3 Ks – 5 Whiffs, 24% CSW, 79 pitches.

Yeaaaaah. Nothing to see here from Mr. Four-and-Dunning.

Jake Odorizzi vs LAA (L) – 0.2 IP, 3 ER, 2 Hits, 4 BBs, 2 Ks – 4 Whiffs, 24% CSW, 42 pitches.

It was an incredibly laborious first frame, causing Odorizzi to get pulled as he eclipsed 40 pitches. Cristian Javier later came on for 55 pitches and fared plenty better for 3.2 innings of scoreless ball. When will they learn?

Vladimir Gutierrez @ SD (L) – 4.2 IP, 3 ER, 2 Hits, 4 BBs, 2 Ks – 4 Whiffs, 28% CSW, 71 pitches.

Fly with Vlad and you’ll be sad. Sorry, Gutie.

Eduardo Rodriguez vs NYY (ND) – 6.0 IP, 3 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 24% CSW, 98 pitches.

Ehhhh. It’s a PQS where his WHIP actually helps for a change. I’m not seeing anything in the repertoire to pull me back in, but at least he gets the Twins next. That should provide some respite, no?

Germán Márquez vs PHI (ND) – 6.0 IP, 4 ER, 8 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 31% CSW, 90 pitches.

I don’t know your reasoning for rostering Márquez, but you do you.

Zach Eflin @ COL (ND) – 5.2 IP, 4 ER, 9 Hits, 0 BBs, 5 Ks – 16 Whiffs, 29% CSW, 86 pitches.

I mean, it was Eflin in Coors — we already dropped him. The cool news here is the curveball showing up for 22 thrown at 41% CSW. Hopefully that sticks as we can now pick him back up to stream against Rockie Roadwhich should be absolutely lovely if he can come close to replicating those 16 whiffs.

Charlie Morton @ LAD (L) – 5.1 IP, 4 ER, 6 Hits, 3 BBs, 4 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 21% CSW, 95 pitches.

Bleeeegh. I want to remind y’all that Morton started slowly last year as well (for the first six weeks!) and eventually held a 3.35 ERA for the year. His velocity is just fine, the curveball is still good, and this will fix itself. He gets the Cubs next, and that should be the palette cleanser we’ve been looking for.

Chris Bassitt vs SF (L) – 6.0 IP, 5 ER, 8 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks – 15 Whiffs, 33% CSW, 97 pitches.

Noooooooo. The Giants jumped on him early in the first for a trio of runs and despite relatively settling down after the frame, the damage was done. Seriously, he was great otherwise and I wouldn’t worry about this one.

Nick Pivetta vs TOR (L) – 4.0 IP, 5 ER, 7 Hits, 4 BBs, 4 Ks – 12 Whiffs, 33% CSW, 95 pitches.

Yikes. It was the Jays against the volatile Pivetta. It doesn’t seem like this one had much of a chance.

Erick Fedde vs ARI (L) – 3.1 IP, 6 ER, 8 Hits, 1 BBs, 3 Ks – 4 Whiffs, 23% CSW, 80 pitches.

Remember kids, Don’t Trust The Feddes. Even against the Sneks.

Marcus Stroman vs TB (L) – 4.1 IP, 7 ER, 8 Hits, 2 BBs, 7 Ks – 12 Whiffs, 30% CSW, 88 pitches.

Ouch. Stroman got knocked around in this one, but at least he gave you seven strikeouts along the way…? He gets Atlanta next and while you know it won’t be this bad, it’s hard to feel great about that outing with how rough of an April it’s been. I don’t want to say he’s worth the drop, but I also don’t think the juice is worth the squeeze if he keeps this up, you know? If there’s something else on the wire, yeah, you can do it. “We drafted him for his floor”, I say, pointing to the giant hole in my kitchen as my friend Paul waves from the basement. This isn’t what we signed up for.

Dallas Keuchel @ CLE (L) – 1.0 IP, 8 ER, 10 Hits, 1 BBs, 0 Ks – 4 Whiffs, 17% CSW, 48 pitches.

I know some of you took a shot on Keuchel for a two-start week. I am so terribly sorry. At least you won’t do that again…right?

 

Game of the Day 

Kevin Gausman vs. Tanner HouckSuper splitter vs. Super slider?

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 ET Monday through Friday.

Featured image by Justin Paradis (@JustParaDesigns on Twitter)

Nick Pollack

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

One response to “On The Mark, Shane”

  1. Nostalgia says:

    I miss the writeup of how the streaming pick of the day did.

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