The Fault In Lauer Starts

Nick Pollack reviews every starting pitcher performance from Thursday.

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

Eric Lauer (MIL) vs MIA (ND) – 5.0 IP, 0 ER, 1 Hits, 0 BBs, 9 Ks – 13 Whiffs, 34% CSW, 71 pitches.

We’ve seen a lot of different performances from Eric Lauer this season, though tonight’s 5.0 IP, 0 ER, 1 Hits, 0 BBs, 9 Ks – 13 Whiffs, 34% CSW, 71 pitches was one of the best. His four-seamer was back to flirting with 94 mph as it held a 41% CSW and near 33% SwStr rate and it sure does look like the Lauer we saw back in April.

…except it was the Marlins. The cutter and the slider weren’t bad, but they weren’t all too amazing, and that heater? Take a look at its locations. This is not the spots of a guy featuring his best fastball and I hate to be that guy, but hot dang, the Marlins should have done more with this.

So fine, even if Lauer didn’t pitch to the ridiculous tune of this box score, you have to wonder if it’s good enough to take down the Diamondbacks in his final start of the year. He’ll likely be allowed to toss around 80 pitches or so and if he’s sitting 94 mph, he absolutely has a chance for fantasy production. Just don’t think it’s a slam dunk and expect something close to this.

 

Let’s see how every other SP did Thursday:

 

Eduardo Rodriguez (DET) vs KC (W) – 6.2 IP, 0 ER, 5 Hits, 4 BBs, 3 Ks – 15 Whiffs, 26% CSW, 102 pitches.

I’ve been pretty vocal about not starting Erod and I’m happy it worked for those who relied on him here (I couldn’t convince myself to lift him out of the third tier) but he did something new in this one – he finally had changeup whiffs, going 7/26 on the pitch. FINALLY. He spotted the slow ball super well, kept his cutters armside, and while he still has some control questions, the 15 total whiffs give him some upside in his next start against Seattle.

Jeffrey Springs (TB) @ CLE (ND) – 6.0 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 0 BBs, 5 Ks – 15 Whiffs, 38% CSW, 88 pitches.

Another great start from Springs, earning a King Cole here as the changeup was once again fantastic. That’s a 2.45 ERA for Springs through 132 innings now. Insane.

Shohei Ohtani (LAA) vs OAK (W) – 8.0 IP, 0 ER, 2 Hits, 1 BBs, 10 Ks – 18 Whiffs, 30% CSW, 108 pitches.

Aces gonna ace. He flirted with a no-hitter, getting it broken up with two outs in the eighth frame. I guess I’ll put away my Shohei Nohtani shirts, then.

Carlos Rodón (SF) vs COL (W) – 6.0 IP, 0 ER, 2 Hits, 0 BBs, 10 Ks – 18 Whiffs, 36% CSW, 95 pitches.

Aces gonna ace. The velocity was still a little down, but I think we can stop worrying about his cracked nail now. Enjoy the co-share of the Gallows Pole

Javier Assad (CHC) vs PHI (W) – 5.0 IP, 0 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 3 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 26% CSW, 80 pitches.

The cutter didn’t return, but surprisingly the slider showed up and did some work, enough to get him through five innings for a Win. I don’t like Assad nearly as much as his teammate Wesneski, nor as much as guys like Luis Ortiz or Drey Jamesonbut they don’t get the Reds on the road in their next start…I don’t love it despite the matchup – Assad’s stuff isn’t nearly as good as you want it to be – but he could make it work again.

Steven Wilson (SD) vs LAD (ND) – 1.0 IP, 0 ER, 0 Hits, 0 BBs, 2 Ks – 3 Whiffs, 58% CSW, 12 pitches.

The singer of Porcupine Tree opened this one for Sean Manaeawho put up a respectable 4.0 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 0 BBs, 3 Ks line against the Dodgers. Clearly that was the problem all along – the first inning. DUH. Ooorrrrr maybe his slider was actually good again with a 56% CSW. Nah, totally the first inning.

Cal Quantrill (CLE) vs TB (ND) – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 0 BBs, 4 Ks – 6 Whiffs, 23% CSW, 86 pitches.

You started him for a quality start and you got one. The man will win the award for the most Toby out there – the true Flenderson.

Nathan Eovaldi (BOS) vs BAL (ND) – 4.2 IP, 1 ER, 5 Hits, 0 BBs, 3 Ks – 6 Whiffs, 29% CSW, 72 pitches.

Eovaldi came back from the IL and is throwing softer. Yep, we’re down to 93.7 mph now and ohhhh nelly that is a scary thing. Stay away, ya’ll.

Ranger Suárez (PHI) @ CHC (L) – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 7 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 92 pitches.

Soooo it worked. Ish. That’s a good ERA with five strikeouts, but you got a Loss and a blegh WHIP. I’m happy with it given how Suárez has disappointed plenty against a weak schedule over the last month and at least the changeup and sinker were spotted well this time around. Forget about it now, though – the Astros are next and you know very well to avoid that one.

Louie Varland (MIN) vs CWS (ND) – 5.0 IP, 2 ER, 3 Hits, 2 BBs, 3 Ks – 6 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 74 pitches.

Yeah we’ll take that. I wasn’t all too impressed by anything specifically from Varland and wouldn’t chance it again, but solid stuff here.

Lucas Giolito (CWS) @ MIN (ND) – 5.0 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 3 BBs, 6 Ks – 12 Whiffs, 28% CSW, 93 pitches.

He’s all the way down to 90.8 mph now, but at least the changeup and slider are still effective offerings. Man, if he had that heater up three ticks to its normal ~94 mph range, he’d be crushing with these secondaries. It seems like his high ceiling is gone at this point, making his next start against the Twins (again) a bit more precarious than I’d like – this is closer to the ceiling than the floor.

Braxton Garrett (MIA) @ MIL (ND) – 4.0 IP, 2 ER, 6 Hits, 0 BBs, 2 Ks – 6 Whiffs, 25% CSW, 76 pitches.

Womp womp. He had a low enough pitch count to go a full five and make it work, but it wasn’t in the cards. Not his best stuff and with Atlanta next, that’s it for our consideration of Braxton for the year. We all appreciate your service, Garrett.

Mike Baumann (BAL) @ BOS (ND) – 4.0 IP, 2 ER, 6 Hits, 0 BBs, 2 Ks – 5 Whiffs, 23% CSW, 74 pitches.

Mike Awwwwman it didn’t work out. Is that his name? Tonight, yes. Tomorrow? That’s up to you. No, Mike. It’s up to Mike.

Brusdar Graterol (LAD) @ SD (ND) – 1.0 IP, 2 ER, 3 Hits, 0 BBs, 1 Ks – 1 Whiffs, 23% CSW, 22 pitches.

The Dodgers did the same as the Padres and used an opener and while it worked for Andrew Heaney – 4.0 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks – it didn’t for Graterol. This helped out our 3rd/4th favorite southpaw in Los Angeles as Heaney was able to be put in line for a Win despite tossing just four frames. I’ll take it all day.

Cole Irvin (OAK) @ LAA (L) – 4.0 IP, 3 ER, 9 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 30% CSW, 77 pitches.

The legend of Irvin has been lost in the wind and I’m not sure we want anything to do with it next week when Cole gets his shot at redemption. I won’t rule it out, but it’s not looking great.

Marco Gonzales (SEA) vs TEX (ND) – 5.0 IP, 4 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 78 pitches.

Blegh. I was maybe a touch too high on Gonzo here, but I felt the Rangers weren’t that large of a threat and Marco had been good enough over the last month to come through here. At least he has the Tigers next and you have to hold on for that one.

Jonathan Heasley (KC) @ DET (L) – 4.2 IP, 4 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 1 Ks – 3 Whiffs, 18% CSW, 80 pitches.

That’s two straight poor outings against the Tigers for Heasley. It feels like a GIF of a soccer player failing to score on an empty net twice.

Ryan Feltner (COL) @ SF (L) – 6.0 IP, 5 ER, 6 Hits, 3 BBs, 5 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 23% CSW, 91 pitches.

[ColoradoStarter.blurb] Nope, he’s just getting the shortcode today and that’s final.

Jon Gray (TEX) @ SEA (ND) – 5.0 IP, 6 ER, 8 Hits, 3 BBs, 5 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 29% CSW, 98 pitches.

Blegh. That’s a pretty dang disappointing outing as it didn’t come through at all for Gray. He sat a tick down once again at 95 mph nad wasn’t as precise across the board, and are we trusting him for the Yankees in his final start of the year? I’m still in, but it’s a second tier spot if not third now that it’s two in a row like this.

 

Game of the Day

 

Jacob deGrom vs. Max Fried – Two studs in a massive game that could decide the NL East. You need to watch this.

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.

Photo by Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire | Adapted 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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