Sean Manaea vs CWS (W) – 7.0 IP, 1 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 9 Ks – 13 Whiffs, 30% CSW, 101 pitches.
I know it’s been under a month since I featured Sean Manaea, but after struggling for weeks, we’ve seen Manaea return to the stud of July against the Jays and he’s repeated it tonight against the ChiSox with a gorgeous 7.0 IP, 1 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 9 Ks – 13 Whiffs, 30% CSW, 101 pitches performance. Yes, he’s a different man and you should trust this.
The biggest catalyst is his sinker – it sat over 93 mph for the third straight start and earned 33% CSW across 73 thrown. Believe it or not, I think there’s more to be desired as his changeup and curveball were far from their best selves, but clearly when that sinker is working like this, Manaea is going to cruise. In short, I’d imagine Manaea can hold this velocity through the end, meaning all four starts ahead – @KCR, SEA, HOU, @HOU – are worth your time. Yes, even the Astros. Enjoy the ride.
Let’s see how every other SP did Thursday:
Carlos Hernández @ BAL (W) – 6.0 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 3 BBs, 1 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 19% CSW, 89 pitches.
I mean, those ratios are great and it’s a Win, but seriously? Just one strikeout?! HAISTBMBWT?! I still have some questions about command, but he did have decent pitch separation with four-seamers relatively up and breakers relatively down. Keep starting the man, but I do wonder if we’ll see that glorious breakout we desire across his final three starts.
Tony Gonsolin @ STL (ND) – 3.0 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 2 BBs, 3 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 31% CSW, 55 pitches.
As expected, we didn’t see a whole lot of Gonsolin as he pitched just 2.1 frames in his rehab start. However, what we did see was Gonsolin earned 8/18 whiffs on his slider. FINALLY. I’ve been waiting for his elite slider to return ALL SEASON. He could get the Sneks next time around and I’d be encouraged with that sweeper if it weren’t for the expected ~65/70 pitch count. Womp womp. Maybe he’s useful in the final weeks of the season.
Jake Woodford vs LAD (ND) – 4.0 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 2 BBs, 3 Ks – 3 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 66 pitches.
Ah yes, The Amish Mustang made another appearance and this was just as boring as a day on the plow. Hey, that’s some good work, plowing. I’m sure it is, mister. I’m sure it is. Y’all know you don’t want Woodford and his 4.5% SwStr rate.
Ranger Suárez vs COL (ND) – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks – 15 Whiffs, 24% CSW, 96 pitches.
Another solid start from Suárez, who is taking full advantage of that sweet sweet Phillies schedule. The changeup came to play in this one, going 8/26 whiffs, though I do wish we’ll see something more than fastball/changeup at some point. Ah, who cares, it’s such an easy set of opponents (CHC, BAL, PIT, @MIA) that it doesn’t matter + we’re not leaning into him in 2022 drafts, right? Right?!
Reynaldo López @ OAK (L) – 5.0 IP, 1 ER, 6 Hits, 3 BBs, 2 Ks – 12 Whiffs, 28% CSW, 90 pitches.
I guess that works…? Streaming Record: 84-65. His four-seamer worked well at 96 mph, but the slider left a lot to be desired (14% CSW, yuck) and nothing else showed up. At least he’s at 90 pitches now and I could see 5-6 beneficial frames next time out against the Angels. That breaker has to be better…right?
Marcus Stroman @ MIA (ND) – 6.1 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 0 BBs, 7 Ks – 16 Whiffs, 35% CSW, 94 pitches.
Lovely stuff here from Stroman, leaning on his splitter 30% of the time for whiffs and outs, sinkers for called strikes, and sliders + cutters for everything in between. It’s the package you’re looking for consistently and he’s in a great place with the Cardinals and Red Sox ahead. Take em down, Stro.
Cal Quantrill vs MIN (W) – 7.2 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 23% CSW, 109 pitches.
I know we’ll eventually ween off the Nicoderm CQ over the off-season, but for now, you best continue relying on that sinker/slider combo. The Royals are next and that should work too. This is one heck of a Vargas Rule.
Huascar Ynoa vs WSH (ND) – 5.0 IP, 2 ER, 3 Hits, 2 BBs, 7 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 28% CSW, 89 pitches.
Huascar did exactly what he was supposed to do, even if his four-seamer wasn’t as electric as we normally see it & the slider whiffs were a little harder to come by. Man, there really are so many quality arms heading into 2022 that make me wonder if a guy like Ynoa will slip through the cracks and be an easy target outside the Top 30 SP. I trust him to be a lot more helpful than harmful next season. Search your feelings, Ynoa it to be true.
Jesús Luzardo vs NYM (ND) – 5.2 IP, 2 ER, 2 Hits, 4 BBs, 8 Ks – 23 Whiffs, 35% CSW, 97 pitches.
Sure, four walks are frustrating, but Luzardo is figuring it out as his curveball and changeup combined for nearly 60% usage and 17 whiffs between them. He’s beginning to believe. Well, it’s been three starts since he’s reduced his heaters dramatically and it’s clearly working given the 23 whiffs and a Gallows Pole here. Heck, even the four-seamer earned 45% CSW for a change as he spotted the pitch up in the zone and down-and-away from righties with stellar command. Huh. Luzardo really is blossoming in front of us.
John Means vs KC (L) – 7.0 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 21% CSW, 89 pitches.
Huh. Means’ velocity fell to 92.4 mph (not 93.5 mph like last time) and his changeup went just 10% CSW. Not great, Bob. However, the curveball stepped up in a big way, getting tossed 28% of the time for 32% CSW, carrying this southpaw through seven frames. So at least he’s got that going for him. I’m a little worried about the velocity dipping + the changeup still being an issue, but if those both come back and he still has this breaker, things could be flat-out awesome. He gets the Yankees next and that’s a toss-up in my book. Good luck.
Antonio Senzatela @ PHI (ND) – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 3 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 24% CSW, 90 pitches.
Oh Senz-A, you just keep doing you and I’m just gonna stay over here, on the side of the gym where I know I’m safe. But all I’m doing is getting some punch. Sure you are, Antonio. Sure you are. If you’re thinking of making a move, you should know he gets @ATL, LAD, SFG next. You know that ain’t it.
José Berríos @ NYY (W) – 6.2 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 8 Ks – 16 Whiffs, 40% CSW, 109 pitches.
We have four starts to go and the ERA sits at 3.52. Keep starting “The Flag”, but don’t be shocked if he finds a way to sit 3.70 at the end of the year. Meanwhile, this was a start featuring his best curveball with a 52% CSW and sinkers + four-seamers pounding the zone effectively. Enjoy that King Cole, I hope you’re closer to a 3.00 ERA when all is said and done.
Néstor Cortes Jr. vs TOR (ND) – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 6 Hits, 0 BBs, 5 Ks – 12 Whiffs, 19% CSW, 103 pitches.
Hey, I’m super impressed with this one. The Jays are legit and Cortes spun another fantastic outing, on the back of a solid heater and slider combo. I still believe he’s overperforming and this can’t last, but it’s the Twins and Cleveland next. If you have him, keep going and hope for the best.
Andrew Albers @ CLE (L) – 4.0 IP, 3 ER, 6 Hits, 4 BBs, 2 Ks – 3 Whiffs, 21% CSW, 98 pitches.
Wait, Alberts is still starting for the Twins? Ohhhh right. Randy Dobnak was placed on the IL. Okay okay, the Twins are still separating Michael Pineda and Bailey Ober. Phew. What about Albers? What about him? Like an anthropomorphic stick figure, the line speaks for itself.
Erick Fedde @ ATL (ND) – 6.0 IP, 4 ER, 5 Hits, 0 BBs, 7 Ks – 14 Whiffs, 26% CSW, 108 pitches.
Remember kids, Don’t Trust The Feddes.* Unless he faces the Marlins*
Game of the Day
But Nick?! Where are the streaming picks? – I’ve moved them to the daily SP Matchups & Streamer Rankings article.
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Photo by Bob Kupbens/Icon Sportswire) | Adapted by Aaron Polcare (@bearydoesgfx on Twitter)