Quant Defy

Nick Pollack reviews every starting pitcher performance from Tuesday.

Cal Quantrill vs STL (ND) – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 28% CSW, 90 pitches.

I can’t tell you that I woke up today thinking Mmmmm, it’s about time we got into the nitty grits with Cal Quantrill , but hey, the man went 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 28% CSW, 90 pitches against the Cardinals, following “The Cardinal Rule” to a T, earning his third quality start in four games. Is this an arm to pick up down the stretch?

I wouldn’t say so. Sorry. Oh. The stuff doesn’t speak to sustainability as his slider returned a poor 18% CSW and his sinker relied heavily on called strikes. I watched some of this and never felt too secure with each pitch he threw and while he has the chance of churning through innings with his sinker, I wouldn’t rely on it. It’s cool to see him have some success, but this is a “TEEs”, not a “Vargas Rule”.

 

Let’s see how every other SP did Tuesday:

 

Brett Anderson @ PIT (W) – 6.0 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 1 BBs, 3 Ks – 6 Whiffs, 21% CSW, 72 pitches.

Look at Anderson go, having himself a lovely outing in the way few can. Talk about a “Birthday Party”.

Jordan Montgomery @ TB (W) – 5.0 IP, 0 ER, 5 Hits, 3 BBs, 5 Ks – 16 Whiffs, 25% CSW, 102 pitches.

Look at that, a share of the “Gallows Pole” for “The Bear” with curveballs taking the spotlight and earning eight whiffs. I’m still waiting for a bit more from JorMont — he doesn’t locate yackers in the zone and his changeup wasn’t a major player in this one, leading to three walks and an inefficient five frames — but he’s certainly making himself valuable. I hope you feast when placed in front of the fish over the weekend.

Brad Keller vs CWS (ND) – 7.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 26% CSW, 90 pitches.

Am I proud of Keller? Sure, why not. Do I think this is sustainable? Naaaaah. Well…naaaah. It was 94+ mph at least and he’s getting a better feel for the slider, but that floor is oh so low and even in a lovely ratio outing, it came with just four strikeouts. That’s not the coconut I climb the tree for.

Logan Webb vs LAD (ND) – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 39% CSW, 80 pitches.

My oh my. I’m stoked to see Webb earn a “King Cole”, even if it’s because his sinker was barely waved at (13/30 called strikes?!). His slider was solid, his changeup was decent, and the Dodgers weren’t able to do a whole lot. I don’t think Webb is a finished package yet as they’re more to iron out with the secondaries and his next start against Houston is still a challenge. I’d be very cautious there.

Julio Urías @ SF (ND) – 5.2 IP, 1 ER, 6 Hits, 0 BBs, 5 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 29% CSW, 86 pitches.

Even though it’s a “Philly”, I’ll certainly take it from Urías. That changeup was bad, allowing hits and returning just 1/20 CSW, but the hook and heater saved him. Get that slow ball back, Urías.

Kenta Maeda vs DET (ND) – 6.1 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks – 14 Whiffs, 31% CSW, 91 pitches.

Why do I feel so cautiously optimistic about Maeda? It may be that he hasn’t had that start yet, the one where it’s so dang good everyone is buzzing about his redemption, even though he’s been on a legit tear for weeks now. His splitter was stupid good here as he located it just out of the zone seemingly every time he through it. Fine, fine, I’m allowing myself to be a bit more excited now. But why does he have to face the Reds next?!

Austin Gomber @ LAA (ND) – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 7 Ks – 14 Whiffs, 34% CSW, 91 pitches.

Theeeerrrre we go. Gomber tossed 50% heaters last time during his “Still ILL” and I was enraged. That wasn’t the man we fell for in the spring. Tonight? 22% fastballs. Awwwww yeah. The slider and curve did wonderful things and the changeup played a huge part at 37% usage. I absolutely dig this, but do I dig it enough to start him against the Padres in San Diego? Probably not? Maybe? This approach works, y’all, and you can take so many worse chances.

Dylan Cease @ KC (ND) – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks – 14 Whiffs, 29% CSW, 89 pitches.

Well ain’t that lovely. His four-seamer got nine whiffs despite finding the middle of the plate often, but hey, it worked. Good enough sliders too and while the overall command wasn’t what we want by now from Cease, it was good enough. And now he gets Cleveland so yep, not much more to discuss here.

Vladimir Gutiérrez @ CHC (W) – 6.1 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 3 BBs, 5 Ks – 13 Whiffs, 33% CSW, 109 pitches.

Ayyy it worked! He even earned a fair amount of whiffs along the way and featured that same command to spread out his different pitches around the zone. I kinda dig it, but even on this good of a day, it’s still a 1.26 WHIP. Can’t say I dig that. He gets the Mets next and I’m still out.

Adam Wainwright @ CLE (W) – 7.0 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 8 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 33% CSW, 87 pitches.

Chef’s Kiss. Waino, you have given us fantasy managers such a lovely gift in 2021. We whined like a sweet Bordeaux when it seemed you were stealing a rotation spot from other arms in 2020, but look at you now, dominating with regularity. That curveball may be one of the most underrated pitches in baseball. Keep starting him whenever.

Dane Dunning vs ARI (W) – 6.1 IP, 2 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 3 Ks – 4 Whiffs, 23% CSW, 78 pitches.

I guess this is good. It’s awfully boring, though, like…you know, I’ve sat here for five minutes trying to think of something boring to make a joke of, but I can honestly find the intriguing element of any popular topic. People are fans of things for a reason and that thing is always interesting, you know? It’s all about the person talking about it. Aha! Ahem. It’s awfully boring, though, like someone trying to explain a topic in the slowest, repetitive way. See? SO BORING.

Shane McClanahan vs NYY (L) – 6.0 IP, 3 ER, 9 Hits, 3 BBs, 6 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 31% CSW, 89 pitches.

On the plus side, it’s six full frames from Shane. On the negative, it’s a “VVVVPQS” and that hurts. A lot. His slider wasn’t nearly as effective as we’ve seen in the past and his four-seamer dropped dramatically to 95.3 mph instead of 97 mph, though its command wasn’t a major issue. He should get Boston next and I’m still starting him there — the curveball was great and helped him get through this start with just three ER.

Charlie Morton @ NYM (W) – 5.0 IP, 3 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 29% CSW, 89 pitches.

Blegh. The ratios don’t help but at least you got a win and a handful of strikeouts. Come on Morton, you can handle the Mets. Let out the beast. I do wonder if he’s beginning to break down a little as he’s not one known for longevity through a season. His 1.1 mph increase on his curveball tonight may speak to the opposite happening, but it is something to think about. Anyway, keep on starting Morton because duh.

Sandy Alcántara @ BAL (W) – 6.0 IP, 3 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks – 13 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 85 pitches.

It’s a “PQS” from Sandy and hey, I’m happy he’s tossing six frames again. That was a weird stretch. His slider looked great here, but his changeup wasn’t as filthy as we normally see it — just 2/19 whiffs and 26% CSW. I talked about it during the OTC podcast on Monday: Sandy’s stuff speaks to legit top-10 upside, and my ranking of him is expecting his final 10 weeks to hint plenty at that ability. It’s in there, it’s just a matter of time.

Chris Paddack vs OAK (ND) – 6.0 IP, 3 ER, 9 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks – 14 Whiffs, 28% CSW, 102 pitches.

It’s a “VVPQS” from Paddack and I guess that’s acceptable? The fastball was great at 95/96 mph, but the changeup and curveball were not. Come on secondaries, catch up. “Rockie Road” is next and presents an interesting opportunity. Take the chance his changeup gets back into a groove and the velo sticks.

José Suárez vs COL (ND) – 3.1 IP, 4 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks – 14 Whiffs, 28% CSW, 88 pitches.

Womp womp. Hey Paddack, maybe look out for that “Rockie Road” coming your way. Props to Suárez for going just 35% fastballs here as his changeup/curve returned 13 whiffs. Sadly, it just wasn’t in the cards and he may get better fortune against the Rangers over the weekend. Don’t overlook it if you need a stream — the 14 whiffs and secondary-heavy approach could return gold.

Adbert Alzolay vs CIN (L) – 5.0 IP, 4 ER, 7 Hits, 0 BBs, 4 Ks – 12 Whiffs, 31% CSW, 81 pitches.

Blegh. The new cutter was poor and barely touched — 1/8 CSW — but the standard sinker/slider was still decent. What you do you want, he faced a solid Reds crew and they got the one or two extra hits to turn this into a poor outing, including an HR from Joey Votto that I still can’t believe he hit. The good news is he faces the Nationals on Sunday — that offense will have little left after they make their deals this week. I’d start him there.

Erick Fedde @ PHI (ND) – 4.2 IP, 4 ER, 8 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks – 4 Whiffs, 21% CSW, 86 pitches.

Remember kids, Don’t Trust The Feddes.

Spenser Watkins vs MIA (L) – 4.0 IP, 4 ER, 9 Hits, 1 BBs, 1 Ks – 6 Whiffs, 22% CSW, 87 pitches.

He’s a right-handed J.A. Happ, which means you’re going to be let down a whole lot and serve you a “HAISTBMBWT?!” — If you’re confused about the phrase change, I explained it here.
“Butter my bread” is hilarious, and I imagine we can get behind it quickly. Anyway, Watkins ain’t what you’re looking for.

Lance McCullers Jr. @ SEA (ND) – 6.0 IP, 4 ER, 6 Hits, 3 BBs, 8 Ks – 16 Whiffs, 33% CSW, 109 pitches.

Dangit. There was a bit of “Careful, Icarus” here as things got rough in the sixth frame, but on the plus side, his curveball and slider each returned a 38% CSW…? He’s gotta throw better fastballs if he wants to avoid the chance of an outing like this one. He normally does.

Taylor Widener @ TEX (L) – 3.2 IP, 5 ER, 5 Hits, 5 BBs, 3 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 21% CSW, 87 pitches.

Womp womp. Call me when you get your command back. Maybe.

Tyler Alexander @ MIN (ND) – 4.0 IP, 5 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 2 Ks – 2 Whiffs, 21% CSW, 56 pitches.

T-Lex ain’t stomping out anything these days, unless it’s HIGH PRICES! Sure, why not. He’s not costing anyone a dollar on the wire. WHAT A SALE!

James Kaprielian @ SD (ND) – 4.1 IP, 6 ER, 7 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 29% CSW, 89 pitches.

Ahhhh, dang it. Given how successful Kap was been all year, I was hoping he could go toe-to-toe against the Padres and his slider was gone. Whatever, start him against the Angels next and forget about this.

Luis Oviedo vs MIL (L) – 1.0 IP, 6 ER, 5 Hits, 3 BBs, 2 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 36% CSW, 55 pitches.

Yikes. Luis stepped in for a scratched Tyler Anderson, who was traded to the Phillies, then returned to the Pirates, then dealt to the Mariners, and it went terribly.  It’s not the Oviedo you think this is, but that doesn’t mean we can’t feel bad for him as Hey, you. Feel bad for him.

Matt Moore vs WSH (L) – 4.0 IP, 6 ER, 7 Hits, 2 BBs, 3 Ks – 6 Whiffs, 23% CSW, 69 pitches.

The light bulb. It was all he had inside the room, and it had abandoned him too. He waited for something, anything to happen. Minutes. Hours. Days. The light stayed dark. He had no choice. He had to give in. “I can’t take it, I can’t go through with it,” he shouted, pounding on the door. No Moore, NO MOORE!” The light bulb returned. The door creaked open. He was free.

Chris Flexen vs HOU (ND) – 4.0 IP, 7 ER, 9 Hits, 0 BBs, 3 Ks – 2 Whiffs, 25% CSW, 75 pitches.

Annnnd I think this “Vargas Rule” has come to a close. Just two whiffs across 75 pitches is more disappointing than my 90s music standards, and yes, this was the Astros, but he got wrecked. I’d only consider Flexen as a rare streamer, honestly.

Jerad Eickhoff vs ATL (L) – 3.1 IP, 10 ER, 7 Hits, 5 BBs, 4 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 29% CSW, 80 pitches.

We didn’t know who was starting this one until the afternoon, and I think Jerad didn’t want to know either. Poor guy.

 

Game of the Day 

 

Patrick Corbin vs Zack Wheeler – Corbin tossed 94 mph last time while Wheeler is dope and makes us feel dope.

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 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.

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