Past The Severance

Nick Pollack reviews every starting pitcher performance from Sunday.

Welcome to the SP Roundup, my daily fantasy baseball article reviewing every starting pitcher’s performance from every Sunday 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.  

Luis Severino (NYY) @ TB (L) – 6.1 IP, 4 ER, 2 Hits, 2 BBs, 8 Ks – 22 Whiffs, 37% CSW, 103 pitches.

This won’t be very long, I just wanted to throw some praise at Luis Severino as he’s made his return from the dreaded TJS this season and while today’s 6.1 IP, 4 ER, 2 Hits, 2 BBs, 8 Ks – 22 Whiffs, 37% CSW, 103 pitches comes with a slightly too high ERA, his stuff looked great. His changeup was well spotted, his slider earned a 43% CSW, and his four-seamer is making uncomfortable at-bats. He seems locked in and ready to go.

I know the overall numbers speak to “good not great” with his 1.18 WHIP and 24% strikeout rate entering Sunday’s match, but I truly think he’s past the shaking off rust part of this journey and only going to get better as the season continues on. Seeing the changeup return a 37% CSW with a 23% SwStr rate, for example, is one of those elements that begins to shine through the year. Hold on tight and enjoy the ride.

 

Let’s see how every other SP did Sunday:

 

Dylan Cease (CWS) vs CHC (ND) – 7.0 IP, 0 ER, 2 Hits, 4 BBs, 5 Ks – 13 Whiffs, 28% CSW, 108 pitches.

The slider was there, his curveball flirted with the zone and his fastball was…susceptible. But hey, still better than last time and it was the Cubs. Man, he’d be so good if he had excellent command — not even elite command, just stellar.

Marcus Stroman (CHC) @ CWS (ND) – 7.0 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 2 BBs, 2 Ks – 12 Whiffs, 31% CSW, 90 pitches.

It was Stroman on the mound today as Wade Miley returned to the IL, and Stroman cruised against the White Sox. It’s good to see he’s righted the ship from his shaky April.

Corbin Burnes (MIL) @ STL (W) – 7.0 IP, 0 ER, 2 Hits, 1 BBs, 11 Ks – 16 Whiffs, 39% CSW, 99 pitches.

Aces gonna ace as he earned himself a King ColeOh to be #1 on The List…

MacKenzie Gore (SD) vs PIT (ND) – 7.0 IP, 0 ER, 2 Hits, 3 BBs, 9 Ks – 15 Whiffs, 39% CSW, 93 pitches.

Hot dang, look at you! Gore had all the tools working here: curveballs falling for called strikes, sliders for whiffs (6/13!), and four-seamers overpowering Pirates batters at 96 mph. This is the MacKenzie I’ve been waiting for. Maybe it was just a product of Pittsburgh being Pittsburgh, but it was the BSB in a good way and I can’t help but be a bit frustrated I didn’t jump harder on MacKenzie when he returned to the rotation. Let’s hope he repeats it against the Brewers.

Tyler Mahle (CIN) vs SF (ND) – 6.2 IP, 0 ER, 1 Hits, 3 BBs, 8 Ks – 19 Whiffs, 36% CSW, 104 pitches.

Say WHAT?! Huh. Just when we’d given up hope, that’s when Mahle comes flying in on his horse, sword glistening in the setting sun. He got six whiffs on each of his four-seamer, splitter, and slider, and while I could be encouraged to see he had each of his three options, I’m inclined to believe this was more of a Dennis and not buy into those offerings all being there next time out. Please don’t let me be right as he faces the Nationals next.

Tyler Anderson (LAD) @ ARI (W) – 6.0 IP, 0 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 37% CSW, 79 pitches.

Another day, another easy matchup for Anderson and he did what he was supposed to. To showcase the fragility, last start featured 10 changeup whiffs. This one? Just 2/19. Now, I understand translating this as “he has multiple ways to make it work!” and I’m necessarily hating on that, I’m just highlighting that he’s a little more volatile than this stretch would suggest. For example, I imagine many will start him against the Mets without fear next time and while I’d likely do the same, there’s more concern there than I would want.

Elvin Rodriguez (DET) vs CLE (ND) – 4.0 IP, 0 ER, 2 Hits, 0 BBs, 4 Ks – 6 Whiffs, 30% CSW, 53 pitches.

Elvin was doing pretty well against the Guardians until he left with an injury while warming up for the fifth. Poor guy.

Marco Gonzales (SEA) vs HOU (L) – 7.1 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 2 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 21% CSW, 96 pitches.

What a dude. Despite the bump last time out against the Athletics, Gonzo responded with another 7+ frame start to pad his ratios. This was essentially changeup/sinker alone — weird, I know — and I feel weird encouraging a blind start of Marco right now, but he gets Texas next so…start him? Start him.

Luis Garcia (HOU) @ SEA (ND) – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 26% CSW, 85 pitches.

Ehhhhhhh his four-seamer and cutter were okay, not great. I’m glad this worked, but despite the line looking sexy, it’s wasn’t the kind of outing that gets me going, you know? Like watching it was the equivalent of falling asleep and not realizing you lost two hours of your day. Whatever, start him against the Royals and this should be fine.

Chris Bassitt (NYM) vs PHI (ND) – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 2 Hits, 3 BBs, 7 Ks – 12 Whiffs, 32% CSW, 100 pitches.

Aces gonna ace. Phew, I was going to have to strip it away if this one didn’t go right. The cutter and slider each did what we wanted them to, while the sinker was solid per usual. A real test is next against the Dodgers and if he can overcome that one, I think we can all exhale comfortably.

Zack Wheeler (PHI) @ NYM (ND) – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 3 BBs, 7 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 26% CSW, 101 pitches.

Aces gonna ace. His heater is comfortably sitting at 96 mph, while the slider is doing good work inside the zone with a 65% strike rate. This wasn’t even the best commanded heater we’ve seen, either, and he’s still producing for your teams + would have had a Win if it weren’t for a 9th inning HR from Nick Plummeryeah, that guy. It ain’t easy being a Philly right now.

Max Fried (ATL) vs MIA (W) – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 6 Hits, 3 BBs, 5 Ks – 15 Whiffs, 30% CSW, 104 pitches.

Aces gonna ace. The WHIP is creeping up and that’s no fun, but I’m always happy to see Fried’s curveball and slider nabbing strikes. He’s your consistent SP #2 through the year and that’s cool with all of us.

Sonny Gray (MIN) vs KC (W) – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 2 Hits, 0 BBs, 4 Ks – 6 Whiffs, 28% CSW, 80 pitches.

The curveball and slider each earned a whole lot of strikes and that is the most important part of Sonny’s game. Those breakers are incredibly hard to hit, and if he’s forcing batters to deal with them, he’ll have a good day at the park. Now he gets a challenge against the Jays and I’m crossing my fingers the curve and slider are there.

Nick Pivetta (BOS) vs BAL (W) – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 5 Hits, 3 BBs, 5 Ks – 6 Whiffs, 25% CSW, 106 pitches.

Sure, I’ll take it, even with the poor 1.33 WHIP. He gets the Athletics next and I think you’re okay still riding this, though there’s always a chance Pivetta falls apart, even against Oakland.

Shane McClanahan (TB) vs NYY (W) – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 7 Hits, 0 BBs, 7 Ks – 17 Whiffs, 34% CSW, 92 pitches.

Aces gonna ace. Wear your McClanafan shirts proudly as that four-seamer is so far and away better than I could have imagined this year — 42% CSW here with a 25% SwStr rate. Hmmmm that’s good.

Josiah Gray (WSH) vs COL (W) – 5.0 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 4 BBs, 3 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 24% CSW, 93 pitches.

Josiah eeked out a decent outing here despite being served the gift of Rockie Road and I think that says enough about his prospects on your roster moving forward. Try other options.

Triston McKenzie (CLE) @ DET (L) – 7.2 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 8 Ks – 13 Whiffs, 28% CSW, 90 pitches.

Hot dang, look at you! I really need to be raising McKenzie up on The List, don’t I. He did an excellent job of keeping his four-seamer at the top of the zone, while his breakers…hovered the zone, though I wouldn’t say they came with the same precision down. Still, the Tigers couldn’t handle the heater and it was a marvelous day. Gotta think it continues against the Orioles.

Alex Cobb (SF) @ CIN (ND) – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 3 BBs, 8 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 38% CSW, 87 pitches.

Okay, this is better. There’s another level past this one, but it was your standard curveball and sinker for strikes + 7/31 splitter whiffs. Now with Miami next, he should be held and trusted.

Roansy Contreras (PIT) @ SD (ND) – 5.0 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 3 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 28% CSW, 76 pitches.

Is it exceptional? Nah. It felt a little like more of the same, though there was a bit more precision than we saw in the debut. The slider was generally placed down-and-armside, and he was able to spot some curveball in the zone for strikes. It does feel a bit underwhelming, but who cares with the Sneks up next. Start him against Arizona, of course.

Dane Dunning (TEX) @ OAK (ND) – 4.1 IP, 2 ER, 7 Hits, 3 BBs, 5 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 24% CSW, 91 pitches.

His command wasn’t terrible, but it didn’t work out for Dunning. That happens and part of the deal: Even with his best command, Dunning’s stuff isn’t so good that it’s immune from a start like this. Doesn’t make you all that interested, does it?

Zach Davies (ARI) vs LAD (L) – 5.1 IP, 3 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 28% CSW, 92 pitches.

The changeup isn’t the prime slow ball, and he’s sitting 89 mph. I don’t care if this is the Dodgers, it’s more a Davies problem than an opponent problem.

James Kaprielian (OAK) vs TEX (ND) – 4.1 IP, 4 ER, 6 Hits, 0 BBs, 2 Ks – 6 Whiffs, 23% CSW, 64 pitches.

Welp, I guess last year’s inability to perform against the Rangers has carried over into 2022. Exchange him for something else if you started him as I want nothing to do with his start against the Sawx.

Elieser Hernandez (MIA) @ ATL (L) – 4.0 IP, 4 ER, 7 Hits, 0 BBs, 3 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 26% CSW, 77 pitches.

The Marlins are dealing with a bevy of injuries at the moment, meaning Hernandez is still getting looks in the rotation (Edward Cabrera is getting the call tomorrow given Cody Poteet’s injury and that’s not a start to make inside Coors) but just because Elieser is here doesn’t mean you should lean on him. The slider tries its best, but there isn’t enough across the repertoire, sadly.

Kyle Freeland (COL) @ WSH (L) – 5.2 IP, 5 ER, 7 Hits, 4 BBs, 2 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 19% CSW, 107 pitches.

I was hoping this was a decent stream given it was A) on the road and B) against a middling Nationals squad, but Freeland had diminished velocity (down nearly two ticks!) and it made everything worse. Womp womp.

Zack Greinke (KC) @ MIN (L) – 4.0 IP, 5 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 2 Ks – 3 Whiffs, 29% CSW, 77 pitches.

This wasn’t a matchup where you’d consider Greinke, and it goes to show you why this isn’t a matchup to consider Greinke. I hope he does something special this year to get him the attention his career deserves.

Patrick Sandoval (LAA) vs TOR (ND) – 3.0 IP, 5 ER, 5 Hits, 3 BBs, 4 Ks – 12 Whiffs, 35% CSW, 72 pitches.

This one hurts. On one hand, I’m super happy to see his slider perform so well via 10/32 whiffs and a 44% CSW, but his changeup was terrible with just 1/13 whiffs. That ain’t the Sandoval we know and love. Hopefully it opens the path to an elite changeup and slider through the year, but my instinct is that we haven’t seen enough starts with pristine slow balls as of late and I’m a touch concerned. Start him against the Phillies next and hope for the best.

Miles Mikolas (STL) vs MIL (L) – 5.2 IP, 6 ER, 9 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks – 13 Whiffs, 26% CSW, 115 pitches.

Oh no. I mean, we knew Mikolas wasn’t going to hold a 1.96 ERA and 0.98 WHIP for the season and some regression was absolutely due. And props to the guy for going 115 pitches here in an effort to survive six — it’s not easy. I don’t think this outing is the mark of a downward spiral, and with the Cubs next, you accept the worse ratios today and hope they’re better tomorrow.

Bruce Zimmermann (BAL) @ BOS (L) – 4.0 IP, 6 ER, 8 Hits, 1 BBs, 2 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 17% CSW, 82 pitches.

Oh dear. He’s a Frozen Banana as I hope the changeup and slider can turn the corner in time. Maaaaaybe he’s worthwhile against the Guardians, but boy was his changeup not great.

José Berríos (TOR) @ LAA (ND) – 2.1 IP, 6 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 1 Ks – 4 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 56 pitches.

Noooooooooo. I wanted The Great Undulater to be on the other side of the pendulum, but instead he hit another wall. Blegh. I’m still buying low on Berríos given the long-term outlook of this, but man do I have sympathy for all y’all dealing with this.

 

Game of the Day 

Spencer Strider vs. Zac Gallen I’m so excited to watch this one. Let’s hope Strider goes at least 70 pitches here (I’d say the O/U is around 65). Also, keep an eye on Ethan Small in his MLB debut for the Brewers. It’s a doubleheader and likely getting sent back down after, but it could be interesting for the future.

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.

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