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Shedding Singer

Nick Pollack reviews every starting pitcher performance from Thursday.

Brady Singer @ TB (L) – 2.2 IP, 6 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 3 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 30% CSW, 70 pitches.

I think I’m guilty of ignoring Brady Singer a bit this season and it’s time to talk it out. After a decent pair of starts against the ChiSox and Tigers, we just assumed Singer could handle the Rays. Not so much — 2.2 IP, 6 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 3 Ks with 7 whiffs and 30% CSW, and it’s unsettling. Is Singer just a Toby? Is he even worth your roster spot?

As far as what he’s doing to get outs, not much has changed. He still relies on called strikes with sinkers while his slider can show up for whiffs here and there. After all, the pitch did hold a 19% SwStr here. The problem is, that’s not enough. His slider is good but not electric, making it tough for him to rely on it as a proper putaway offering. Meanwhile, the sinker isn’t a great mitigator of hard contact, essentially begging for a third pitch to help get strikes and keep batters off it through games. It adds up to a low ceiling and a lava floor. That sounds like a terrible game. Trust me, it is. Anyway, Singer is a decent play when he does face those poor offenses (even if this was one), so I guess I’m holding for the Pirates next, but don’t hesitate to use his spot to churn for others through the year. Keep an open mind.


Let’s see how every other SP did Thursday:


Carlos Martínez @ ARI (ND) – 6.0 IP, 3 ER, 3 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 28% CSW, 86 pitches. CarMart boasted a no-hitter through the first six frames before it came apart in the seventh in a Careful, Icarus where all three hits came around to score. Womp womp. I’m still a bit skeptical that we can trust him moving forward and his schedule has made it easy for us with the Dodgers, Reds, and Cubs ahead. You know that ain’t for you.

Jon Duplantier vs STL (ND) – 4.2 IP, 4 ER, 7 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 86 pitches. Duplantier got a chance in the rotation with Widener out, and this was…not great. His slider is his best offering and earned 41% CSW, but he tossed it just 20% of the time, relying on sinkers and four-seamers without the command you want. Sit this one out until it clicks.

Marcus Stroman vs COL (W) – 6.0 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 2 BBs, 3 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 30% CSW, 90 pitches.

Atta boy Stroman, I slotted you in the top tier in the daily pitcher ranks and you did what you were supposed to against Rockie Road. Well, mostly. Your slider was legit, but your sinker was a bit off. That’s a pair of starts without it and that splitter you had last time out? Yeah, that didn’t show up at all. You’re lucky you have Arizona next before your two starts against the Padres. You’ve got time to figure it out.

Ryan Weathers @ MIL (ND) – 4.0 IP, 0 ER, 1 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 24% CSW, 78 pitches.

The fella is producing quality frames, but it’s just four and there’s a lower floor here than someone like McClanahan. Let’s not dance around this any longer, I’d replace him if there’s anything decent on the wire.

Sonny Gray @ WSH (W) – 6.0 IP, 0 ER, 2 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 24% CSW, 90 pitches.

So it wasn’t pretty as he earned just 5/38 whiffs on breaking balls, but hey, there’s a good start and you’re going to sit there and like it. I mean, of course I like it. YOU BETTER. I’m still waiting for that magical start when both the deuce and slide piece are doing wonderful things again and hopefully that’ll be next time out against Philly. Still start him, because duh.

Alek Manoah @ NYY (W) – 6.0 IP, 0 ER, 2 Hits, 2 BBs, 7 Ks – 13 Whiffs, 35% CSW, 88 pitches.

Well this was a wonderful debut. I wrote all about it with 3,800 words and dozens of GIFs & the main takeaway is that you want to hold Alek everywhere. It’s a solid three-pitch mix with enough command to stave off anxiety. The only question is how many innings the Jays will let him throw, but let’s worry about that later.

Shane McClanahan vs KC (W) – 5.0 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 0 BBs, 6 Ks – 16 Whiffs, 41% CSW, 63 pitches.

Am I sad that the Rays didn’t let Shane pitch the sixth despite just 63 pitches to his name? Oh absolutely. Am I still absolutely in the love with the man and don’t really care if he’s giving you five innings of this quality? YOU’RE DANG RIGHT I AM. He held an overall 25% SwStr in this one. OVERALL.

Adrian Houser vs SD (ND) – 5.0 IP, 0 ER, 1 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks – 6 Whiffs, 24% CSW, 84 pitches.

It took a total of three starts to edge out his 10 strikeout performance, but hey, we got there. If you’re wondering, there’s still nothing else in that repertoire save for the sinker and like a membrane with strong cellulose, that makes for a tough sell.

David Price vs SF (ND) – 2.2 IP, 0 ER, 0 Hits, 0 BBs, 5 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 46% CSW, 35 pitches.

I mean, sure David. I wish you were throwing 95 pitches instead of 35, but sure, great job. Cool seeing you live at 94 mph again.

Patrick Sandoval @ OAK (ND) – 5.0 IP, 0 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 84 pitches.

This was supposed to be Shohei Ohtanibut he got delayed in traffic and had to ride BART to get to the stadium — too late to prepare and he’ll start tomorrow. The Irish Panda stepped up and performed admirably in his place. I don’t think there’s quite enough here at the moment for us to latch onto (outside of the fact he doesn’t have a real spot in the rotation), so let’s just give him the thumbs up and move along.

Chris Bassitt vs LAA (W) – 9.0 IP, 0 ER, 2 Hits, 1 BBs, 9 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 29% CSW, 114 pitches.

Look at this wonderful man. He didn’t earn more than three whiffs on a single one of his pitches, yeah he just kept plodding along, earning outs with sinkers and four-seamers. That’s right, his breakers didn’t do a whole lot and he just shoved heaters over the plate and forced the Halos to do something about it. You know, the standard Bassitt approach. There’s no reason to stop believing now with Seattle, Arizona, and Kansas City ahead.

Chris Flexen vs TEX (W) – 7.0 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks – 12 Whiffs, 31% CSW, 87 pitches.

Oh hey, it’s Flexen at the beach! His success is all about four-seamers and cutters playing off each other and he did it to a wonderful effect against the Rangers. It’s hard to expect Flexen to perform at his peak on a given night, though, so yeah, this has Birthday Party written all over it.

Joey Lucchesi vs COL (ND) – 3.2 IP, 1 ER, 2 Hits, 3 BBs, 2 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 29% CSW, 70 pitches.

Lucchesi and failing to go four full innings — please try to find me a better duo.

Bruce Zimmermann @ CWS (ND) – 5.0 IP, 1 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 33% CSW, 82 pitches.

Look at that, Bruce had his four-seamer command again! The WHIP wasn’t great but whatever, the man survived. Props to him for that.

Germán Márquez @ NYM (L) – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks – 15 Whiffs, 39% CSW, 62 pitches.

A start on the road against the depleted Mets lineup? Yup, this had success written all over it for Márquez. He needed this. It’s up to you if you want to trust him against the Rangers in Coors next. I’m leaning start but ehhhhhh. Coors, man.

Shane Bieber @ DET (W) – 7.0 IP, 1 ER, 1 Hits, 4 BBs, 12 Ks – 24 Whiffs, 42% CSW, 103 pitches.

Aces gonna ace. Yeah yeah yeah, that’s what I get for making him #5 or whatever. Four walks just isn’t his style, though it does mean he sat outside the zone a bit more, so I guess that’s a positive shift for him. In the end, he walked four and still earned a King Cole,so what do I know, save for his curveball earning a fantastic 49% CSW across 45 thrown. That I do know and boy do I love it.

Spencer Howard @ MIA (ND) – 4.0 IP, 1 ER, 2 Hits, 3 BBs, 4 Ks – 6 Whiffs, 32% CSW, 66 pitches.

Yeah, yeah, we didn’t really expect Howard to go more than five frames at most and four seems about right. What really mattered was if his secondary stuff showed up today. The result? Just 30% non-fastballs and they produced 2/20 whiffs. Just like using construction paper scissors on plastic, that ain’t gonna cut it. I’m still out until I see that slider and/or changeup show up in a major way.

Dylan Cease vs BAL (W) – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 10 Ks – 29 Whiffs, 39% CSW, 111 pitches.

Sooooo Cease had the most obvious Gallows Pole of the year as he earned 29 whiffs, 14 of which coming from his four-seamer. His slider was on point as it has been over the last month, but the fastball, that was a surprise. He spotted it often at the top of the zone at 95 mph and it’s hard to not fawn. The changeup and curveball…well they’re not something to be trusted but it doesn’t really matter if that fastball and slider are working. And now he gets Cleveland + 2x Detroit?! HAVE MERCY.

Pablo López vs PHI (ND) – 7.0 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 92 pitches.

Oh, look at that. Another fantastic start for PabLó without a win in his name. Baseball isn’t fair, just like his changeup. Cool to see him rely on 20% cutters in this one too, going 13/18 for strikes. I’m all for that, though it’s not the aggressive cutter of many others you may associate the pitch with. It helps, just not enough to be a replacement for the changeup when the pitch disappears. It’s been a great season of that slow ball being there the heavy majority of the time and here’s to hoping it stays that way.

Domingo Germán vs TOR (L) – 5.2 IP, 2 ER, 3 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks – 15 Whiffs, 26% CSW, 98 pitches.

Solid start here from Germán as he allowed a pair of longballs and not much else against a strong Jays lineup. Curveball was still alive, and while I wish there was more from his changeup, as long as he has a decent fastball to pair with the breaker, he’s fine on a given night. With the Rays next, you should feel pretty good about it.

Antonio Senzatela @ NYM (L) – 4.0 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 3 Ks – 3 Whiffs, 22% CSW, 67 pitches.

On first glance, this looks fine, but when you realize it’s just four frames, you’ll see that this start, like the goggles, does nothing. Streaming Record: 36-17. This may be the only time I trust Senz-a all year — it’s the most ideal circumstance! — and he couldn’t pull it out. Of course he couldn’t.

Kolby Allard @ SEA (L) – 4.0 IP, 2 ER, 2 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks – 6 Whiffs, 35% CSW, 57 pitches.

It was the first start of Dralla’s season and I guess this is good. For him. For you? Nah, this doesn’t do a whole lot of anything, like this stress ball on my desk. Why did I purchase you.

Stephen Strasburg vs CIN (L) – 5.0 IP, 3 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 29% CSW, 87 pitches.

Soooo he’s still at 91.8 mph on his fastball, and I’m worried. The worse heater forced him to throw over 1/3 curveballs, though they were super effective at a 42% CSW. I’m not sure I have the confidence to rely on Stras against Atlanta right now with this meh of a heater + struggles with his changeup (1/5 CSW!). That’s where we’re at.

Jordan Montgomery vs TOR (ND) – 4.2 IP, 3 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 1 Ks – 5 Whiffs, 16% CSW, 73 pitches.

It was far from a solid matchup and sadly The Bear wasn’t able to bring his A-game to match it. His previously superb hook earned just 22% CSW while his changeup and sinker didn’t do a whole lot better, propelling a horrid 16% CSW and just one strikeout. One strikeout?! HAISTFMFWT?! I don’t know random person, I DON’T KNOW. He should be fine against the Rays next time out, he’ll snap out of it.

Tyler Anderson vs CHC (L) – 5.0 IP, 3 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 30% CSW, 88 pitches.

Save for enduring one of the most ridiculous of plays that I still can’t wrap my head around, Anderson had a decent day on the bump — something he desperately needed after the shellacking he received last time out. He gets the Royals and that’s not a terrible deep stream. He really didn’t have his changeup in this one, though. Seriously, it went 0/8 CSW. That should return next time.

Kyle Hendricks @ PIT (W) – 7.0 IP, 3 ER, 6 Hits, 0 BBs, 5 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 31% CSW, 83 pitches.

Sure, it’s not ideal against the Pirates, but alright. His curveball still isn’t the pitch we saw last season, but at least his changeup has picked up its slack across his last four starts. It’s a debatable sit for me against the Padres next, but at least he’s made it a tough call now.

Matthew Boyd vs CLE (L) – 5.0 IP, 4 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks – 12 Whiffs, 29% CSW, 102 pitches.

Ouch. He relied on his slider heavily and went just 4/28 CSW for an atrocious 14% clip. I think that tells the tale and has been the narrative I’ve discussed this season as I just can’t be a Boyd Boy again until that slider returns. Go and get her/him/them, Boyd, and become a Boyd Man. We all know you can. He gets the Brewers + Mariners next so I’d still hold on here.

Robbie Ray @ NYY (L) – 4.2 IP, 4 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 25% CSW, 80 pitches.

Blegh. He allowed a two-run shot to Aaron Judge and didn’t have the same command of his fastball, acting like an Aussie as he was featuring it in the bottom third of the zone instead of the top third (I’m so sorry for that one). It’s the first hiccup I’ve seen from Ray in regards to his fastball command since he made the shift in his third start of the season and while it could be him sliding out of rhythm, it’s too small a sample to suddenly suggest his magical days are over. I’m still in, especially with Miami next.

Alex Wood @ LAD (L) – 6.0 IP, 4 ER, 6 Hits, 0 BBs, 8 Ks – 12 Whiffs, 31% CSW, 83 pitches.

Sooo that ERA ain’t pretty but a 1.00 WHIP and eight strikeouts? Yeah, that’s still really good — not everything is wins and ERA. His slider is still solid and the sinker sat 92 mph. The schedule is easier now and you should keep drifting with Wood.


Game of the Day


Dinelson Lamet vs Framber ValdezDinelson is starting and that’s always fun + Framber has returned. Let’s hope we get more than seven innings combined.


But Nick?! Where are the streaming picks? – I’ve moved them to the daily SP Matchups & Streamer Rankings article.


Photo by Keith Gillett/Icon Sportswire | Adapted by Aaron Polcare

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.

  • DB says:

    I grabbed Manoah a couple weeks ago after digging as deep into his stuff as I could, and I waffled over the last 36-48 hours whether to start him… it was truly a last-minute decision, but DAMN, AM I GLAD I DID!

    (The diminished nature of the Yankees for that game and the fact it was only going to be 7 innings w/ another game that might need a bullpen behind it made me a lot more confident than I normally would have been.)

    Watched every pitch in this one, and I have to say, I’m pretty much 100% behind Pollack’s great GIF breakdown.

    I normally never give that kind of credence to someone w/ so short a track-record, but the aforementioned research lead me to think that situation doesn’t matter to this guy.

    When he toes the slab, everything else goes away.

    Biggest question of the day though…

    Are they ever going to take the leash off Cheesey Mac? (Yes, I just made that up, and yes, you can steal it… I don’t have a pitching website, so it might as well get some use somewhere that deserves it.)

    So, so sick of seeing 17 batter, 67 pitch counts… Granted, he’s a bit of a gimmicky pitcher w/ his FB that darts out of the zone at 102 mph, but who’s going to hit that in any count, any time through the order?

    SET US FREE, Kevin Cash and Neander! A “TEST” a third time through the order in a dominant game will hurt no one.

    • theKraken says:

      It is funny to see people fawn over every arm that gets called up these days. Interestingly the entire industry has never been too high on him. I am not sure what that is about – it could be based on his appearance – that would be the best case. He has had a great 2021 so far. Yesterday was a cake matchup – even I, the resident skeptic, picked him up for yesterday’s start. Short pitch counts are super scary – you can certainly lose and winning is tough.

      Re: Cheesy Mac – Very few people have ever thought he had any chance to be a durable starter. It is possible that they are making good decisions in limiting his workload. The extreme power pitcher arsenal thing probably doesn’t play as well as the pitch count inflates. I also expect that they might prefer a dominant left-handed bullpen arm over a starter. The arsenal certainly fits the profile of an RP. Even without prior health concerns, having a hard SL as your primary pitch is just scary. The CB and CH are looking awful based on the outcomes which is a bit more gas on the fire. I could see them being abandoned soon. That is very the TB way though – throw your arm off and then they move on to the next arm that they burn up. Lots of reasons to be skeptical of this situation. Some dudes can get away with weird profiles, but it is always against the odds. As exciting as the results are at this point, most of the negatives are still there. The exception is the command which has taken a step forward. I would be selling as hard as I could in a dynasty format.

  • BBBoston says:


    Time to wake up, drink a cup of coffee in a Pitcherlist mug, throw on your waders, set up you fly rod and catch a Bassitt AGA. The guy’s pitching command/mix is reminiscent of another Oakland fish – Catfish Hunter. Give it up man.

    • theKraken says:

      Love a HOF comp lol.

      • BBBoston says:

        That was kind of over-the-top, but had to be done for two reasons:
        1) The Fish Connection Was IMPOSSIBLE to ignore
        2) Bassitt is all about mix/command. While clearly not a hall of famer, the guy is exhibiting artistry for nearly two years of IP. At some point, someone will give him his due.

  • theKraken says:

    I figure that TB has their mind made up on McClanahan’s role already. Keep in mind that TB doesn’t care about their players or how they are doing. They gave away their season last year on that principle. Look at the way they tried to ruin Cronenworth’s career. Look at where Brendan McKay is sitting right now. SM was always targeted for the bullpen or some other kind of limited role and I figure that they are probably married to the idea. Cole Wilcox is very similar IMO and they went out of their way to acquire him. They lust after the idea of players in a limited role and I do not think that they are capable of adapting their plans. It was encouraging to see the results yesterday, but that was not much of a team that he was pitching against either which probably belongs in the writeup. There are so many reasons to be skeptical that SM is ever a reliable or durable arm – some are his fault and others are organizational. Sometimes there are guys like SM with major injury concerns that do become healthy as professionals, but they almost always have a short lifespan as SP which makes the fact that he isn’t currently pitching deep even more painful. I hope I am wrong. I do hate the Rays but everyone loses when talented players are not on the field.

    In typical fashion, you have the Dodgers doing an inferior imitation of the TB gameplan. In a shocking development, they started winning games again when they let their SP pitch and Kenley close. I wonder how that works.

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