Over The Hill

Nick Pollack reviews every starting pitcher performance from Monday.

You don’t need a lot from me to talk about Rich Hill today. We can only get a photo of him on the Dodgers since he’s done so little with the Twins thus far and after a good line last week, his third start of the year returned 3.1 IP, 2 ER, 3 Hits, 4 BBs, 2 Ks – 4 Whiffs, 28% CSW against the White Sox. You’re wondering, where does that put him on The List? You’ll find out today as I pushed it back a day for the Trade Deadline (check out the weekly Livestream on Twitter at 1 pm EST!) and it won’t be pretty.

Sure, it was the ChiSox, but Hill is sitting 88/89 and struggling to miss bats. Just 4/67 whiffs here with a fastball that finds the heart of the plate too often. He doesn’t have the stamina to push 85+ pitches, he’s already been on the IL once this season, and his command is all over the place. You have visions of years past of Hill’s superb K/BB and games of eight strikeouts without a single free pass. Well, you can get a free pass now for starting him next time as he faces Detroit, but even there I’m starting to wonder if it’s worth it. Can he survive 5+ innings? Will he ever earn 10 whiffs again?

I think that next start is the true indicator of what we do with Hill, but my gut says you’ll be holding on for too long there, even with it being Detroit n all. The ceiling has been lowered and the floor is creaky. And not that enduring creak of a house with gorgeous history. There’s no charm down there.

 

Let’s see how every other SP did Monday:

 

Shane Bieber @ KC (ND) – 6.0 IP, 0 ER, 1 Hits, 4 BBs, 9 Ks – 13 Whiffs, 33% CSWAces gonna ace. Four walks though? Like why?

Tyler Glasnow @ NYY (W) – 6.0 IP, 0 ER, 2 Hits, 1 BBs, 9 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 31% CSW. Aces gonna ace. His fastball wasn’t that great, honestly, finding the lower half of the zone way too much in this one, resulting in just 1/55 whiffs, but his curveball was a doozy – 46% CSW! – and if his curveball works, his fastball becomes more effective for called strikes. They shake each others’ hand, as Fast would say. That’s two straight games surviving against the Yankees, I think y’all can be confident in Glasnow, yeah?

Keegan Akin @ TOR (ND) – 4.1 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 2 BBs, 6 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 32% CSW. Akin got his first start for the Orioles and hey, this ain’t bad! Not one of his three pitches fell under the 30% CSW mark, his four-seamers sat the top of the zone and went 7/49 on whiffs, while his slider and changeup earned strikes down. Not bad at all. I feel like he squeezed the most out of his stuff in this outing, though, and I’m sure there’s plenty worse to go from here. I won’t rule out the idea that Akin could be something to consider, though, so don’t flat out ignore him.

Garrett Richards @ COL (ND) – 3.2 IP, 0 ER, 1 Hits, 0 BBs, 4 Ks – 4 Whiffs, 23% CSW. What a wild and wacky start. The Padres only let him throw 47 pitches as he was pulled in the fourth, 39 of which were fastballs. That’s right, his excellent slider was thrown just six times and he just made it work, somehow, in Coors, with meh commanded fastballs. Sometimes you throw your hands and take a deep breath realizing you don’t have a horse in the race. It’s still anxiety-inducing. RIGHT?!

Marco Gonzales @ LAA (W) – 9.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 8 Ks – 14 Whiffs, 31% CSW. With this start, Gonzo now has a 3.09 ERA with a 0.92 WHIP and 23% K Rate. What. The man is pounding the zone with sinkers and four-seamers with a 65%+ zone rate on each and well overperforming. Like crazy. No pitch holds a 13%+ SwStr rate and I think this is toeing the line of being a legit Toby or not, but I have to hand it to him, he’s spotting his cutter well and that curveball isn’t killing him. Now he gets the Rangers next? Yeah, okay, I’d be fine doing a Vargas Rule here.

Dakota Hudson @ CIN (W) – 7.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 0 BBs, 7 Ks – 13 Whiffs, 31% CSW. 7/19 whiffs on sliders and 39% CSW on his curveball. I’m telling y’all, you want this Hudson Valley ranch all up in your rotation. Not just to dip, lather it up. Ahem, seriously, I’m believing that Hudson is leaning more on breakers and getting results here, allowing him to get more strikes than before as that horrific walk rate of old fades like an 80s polaroid in the 50s. Great pitch separation as well, featuring sinkers inside to right-handers, curveballs down, and sliders away. I’m in y’all.

Brad Keller vs CLE (ND) – 6.1 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks – 6 Whiffs, 23% CSWAyyyy the Keller train got back on track! Streaming Record: 21-18. And I didn’t like it! He’s down to just 91.9 mph on his fastball – that’s a full tick drop, yikes – his pitches were all over the place, and just 4/35 whiffs on breakers. Nope, we’re done here, I got lucky with this stream, alright.

Jacob deGrom vs MIA (L) – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 9 Ks – 31 Whiffs, 41% CSW. Aces gonna earn a King Cole and get burned by his team once again to leave empty-handed in the dub department. It’s one of those times when a joke is funny because of how true it is. Just so true.

Chase Anderson vs BAL (ND) – 5.0 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 0 BBs, 8 Ks – 16 Whiffs, 30% CSW. Look at Chase go! 16 whiffs! Eight strikeouts! Just 92.5 mph fastball velocity! Hey, wait a second. Yeah, I think this was Anderson beating up on a struggling Orioles offense moreso than Anderson really coming into his own, though seeing 7/30 whiffs on changeups and curveballs is a pleasant sight. He would get the Sawx next and meh, I’m out.

Jaime Barria vs SEA (ND) – 4.1 IP, 1 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 3 Ks – 6 Whiffs, 23% CSWI can’t help but think someone needed a lower ERA, saw Jamie and shouted IIIII just met a starter named BARRRIIIIIIIIIIA! That’s the most positive I can be here. I’m trying for you, Jamie. I’m trying.

Lucas Giolito @ MIN (ND) – 5.0 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 8 Ks – 24 Whiffs, 37% CSW. Aces gonna ace but not throw another no-hitter because it’s the Twins, not the Pirates. I kid, he 100% deserved that game last week with stupid good CSW and Whiff marks, and it carried over in this one. He did a great job jamming left-handers and keeping his changeup down-and-away and he’s in a wonderful spot right now. 14/39 whiffs on slow balls is everything you want.

Spencer Howard vs WSH (W) – 5.0 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks – 6 Whiffs, 29% CSW. Yeah, nah. He’s not ready. Changeups are still being floated, his slider isn’t particularly sharp, and he’s not blowing me away with his four-seamer yet. I think this is too risky through the end of 2021 unless something changes.

Trevor Rogers @ NYM (W) – 5.0 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 28% CSW. So I don’t want to give Rogers the ole Cup of Schmo label. He throws 93 mph with intent to elevate, but in this one, pitches fell a bit far down in the zone. He has a decent changeup he keeps down, and sometimes that slider works. This isn’t a ringing endorsement, is it. Well I think there’s something here but it’s too risky at the moment. I’m intrigued, okay?

Max Fried @ BOS (W) – 5.0 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 24% CSW. A bit of a weird one here from Fried as he went super heavy into his curveball, throwing it more than any other pitch at a 37% rate. It wasn’t even that great, either, but he needed it as his slider was gone. 0% CSW on 10 thrown and that’s not cool. I’m impressed Fried was able to survive five frames without it, and he located his fastball well in the top third of the zone to make it happen. I’m still a little cautious about Fried overall given the inconsistencies of his arsenal each night, but yeah, he’s clearly Top 30 right now. Don’t know if he is entering 2021 though…

Brent Suter vs PIT (ND) – 3.0 IP, 2 ER, 1 Hits, 1 BBs, 3 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 26% CSW. We knew he’d return Suter or later and then we remembered that Suter just is not worth our time. Maybe he’ll be a Toby again, but I won’t hold my breath like I’m walking through my cousin’s apartment. He’s gotta get his act together.

Trevor Williams @ MIL (ND) – 4.0 IP, 3 ER, 7 Hits, 2 BBs, 6 Ks – 14 Whiffs, 26% CSW. Great pitch separation and a lot of high cheese at 92 mph earned Williams those whiffs in this one. I don’t really buy into it for the longhaul, but against the Brewers? Sure that works. Nick, this was a terrible ratio start. Oh, right. Even when he does better, it’s not what you want. Too bad he can’t play his own team. Yes it is. 

Gerrit Cole vs TB (L) – 5.0 IP, 4 ER, 8 Hits, 4 BBs, 7 Ks – 17 Whiffs, 33% CSW. What is going on with Cole? He’s still getting whiffs and killing it with CSW, but he’s allowing too many longballs and even adding too many walks to the crew as well. He’s not #1 anymore today, likely #3, and it’s annoying. That’s it? Yeah, this isn’t a death sentence as he’s sitting 97 mph and guys go through turbulence all the time, it’s just a good eye roll as you continue to start Cole because duh.

German Marquez vs SD (L) – 6.0 IP, 5 ER, 8 Hits, 2 BBs, 7 Ks – 15 Whiffs, 31% CSW. Okay this is getting weird. His slider is still there – 6/11 whiffs! – but his heater isn’t. The pitch was all over the place and the strong Padres offense smacked it around in luscious elevated Coors. And now you’re in a tough spot. Do you trust Marquez in Los Angeles against the Dodgers? My heart says yes with his curveball and slider working this well. Just tweak that heater a bit, you’ll be better on the road. Please be better on the road.

Colten Brewer vs ATL (L) – 4.0 IP, 5 ER, 8 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks – 6 Whiffs, 28% CSWColt gave us a 45 in the IP and ER department and I’m so sorry I forced in that joke. Now I just need to zig zag back into a normal line…WHAT AM I DOING. Well, not picking up Brewer, that’s for sure. Nice save. Thanks random person.

Erick Fedde @ PHI (L) – 6.0 IP, 6 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks – 6 Whiffs, 26% CSW. Remember kids, Don’t Trust The Feddes.

Anthony DeSclafani vs STL (L) – 3.2 IP, 7 ER, 7 Hits, 4 BBs, 3 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 26% CSW. Nothing quite like a two-out, bases-loaded, 3-2 fastball down the middle for a grand-slam to end your evening, you know? Poor Tony Disco, he wasn’t pitching well in the first place, but this was one pitch away from a 3 ER game in four innings, but he served a meatball. He deserves the Cherry Bomb label at this point, but don’t overlook that he could rebound in a big way against the Pirates next. I’m leaning that he’s a better bet than what’s on your wire for that start.

 

Today’s Streamer

 

For those unaware, I’m forced to make my streamer picks under the condition of sub-20% owned in Fantasy Pros’ consolidated ownership rates.

 

 

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.

 

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.

 

Day After Tomorrow’s Streamer

 

Zach Eflin vs. Washington Nationals – He’s owned in just 18% of leagues as of Tuesday morning, which means you can take the chance on Eflin’s new curveball taking shape.

 

Game of the Day

 

Zach Plesac vs. Kansas City Royals – He’s back from exile and I’m so curious if he still has the same command and stamina. And of course, there’s also Aaron Nola vs. Patrick Corbin and duh I’m watching that.

 

 

(Photo by Adam Davis/Icon Sportswire)

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.

6 responses to “Over The Hill”

  1. Avatar Mile High at 8am says:

    How about Gausman at Coors???

  2. Avatar Ryan says:

    Plesac or Civale?

  3. Avatar Boom says:

    Once again D Hudson defies all statisticians and continues to roll. I’m glad most paid professionals continue to dog Hudson and his peripherals saying he doesn’t get Ks, or his BABIP isn’t sustainable. Crazy.

    • Avatar theKraken says:

      I would like him on someone else’s team for sure. I like your point that some people succeed without fitting the mold. I am not sure that fat-cat statistician vibe is quite right as I imagine it is more like interns and bloggers but I hear you. Personally I have never liked him and he needs to keep earning the opportunities. It is all super fishy… he was a one-pitch guy and now he is going away from that. Maybe that could be good but I remain skeptical. Lots of BB and few Ks doesn’t work for anyone but maybe he has fixed the BB. His BABIP is unsustainable as .215. I have never been a fan but I hope you are right that he is a special case.

  4. Avatar theKraken says:

    I watched some of Hill’s start yesterday and I didn’t think it was terrible. It was weird but I wasn’t super discouraged. He got in trouble and I think the hook was warranted… you should check out the moment he got pulled. He was on the rubber getting ready to throw a pitch and they called timeout to remove him – he was not too happy. Sure he as rushing and trying to do exactly that but… #niceManagingExPlayerWithNoExperience.

    What about all those days where Glasnow isn’t an ace? That makes him not an ace. He reminds me a lot of James Paxton. The man averages short of 5 IP / GS and has a WHIP over 1.20. He has his good days but he is not consistent or durable – those are kind of the characteristics for an ace in my book. Glasnow seems like one of those Twitter hero types. That isn’t the real Yankees either…

    IMO you should be railing SD for yanking Richards that quickly. There was no reason for that other than someone off the field had some stupid idea about the last hitter he would face. Veteran throwing a gem… get him out of there out intern had an idea. Quick hooks of capable pitchers has always worked out great IN LAD.. wait no it hasn’t. Wait a minute, every team I can think of that does that kind of thing is a revolving door of injuries and middle relievers.

    Re: Cole – HR allowed is a trash metric. Don’t worry about it.

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