Brown Butter

Nick Pollack reviews every starting pitcher performance from Monday.

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

Hunter Brown (HOU) vs TEX (W) – 6.0 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 30% CSW, 79 pitches.

Here I am, making my daily SP streamer rankings and I see (null) for the Astros before discovering it’s Hunter Browna pitcher with an 11% walk rate in the minors and middling numbers as of late (though a 31.5% strikeout mark). Following my streamer rules, I not only didn’t encourage a start for his MLB debut, but I went the extra mile to brush it off as a quick call-up that shouldn’t last five frames as they fill in Justin Verlander’s spot.

Boy was I wrong. Brown was magnificent in his MLB debut, finishing with a dream line of 6.0 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 30% CSW, 79 pitches against the Rangers, earning his first career victory. The kid was dotting 97/98 mph heaters in the first frame, tossed a 96 mph slider, showcased a wicked curveball, and had me shouting at the screen in disbelief at what this “no name” was doing. How do the Astros keep doing this?

Some bad news: I don’t believe his command is quite there yet. He threw a ton of strikes, though it wasn’t with a delicate nature, especially with the slider and curve as they often flew out of his hand like a morning newspaper hoping to hit the porch. His heater also seemed a touch more hittable than the eye test would suggest (that things zips out of his hand) as the Rangers got plenty more hard contact than you’d want.

Regardless, I expected nothing and got an exciting young arm, who now could get the Tigers and Athletics up next. Ummm yes, I want this. I wouldn’t be shocked if we’re a bit disappointed next time, but it’s worth the gamble against baseball’s worst offense. This is the fun stuff.

 

Let’s see how every other SP did Monday:

 

Lance Lynn (CWS) @ SEA (W) – 7.0 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 1 BBs, 11 Ks – 25 Whiffs, 39% CSW, 89 pitches.

Yep. Aces gonna ace. Lynn has been locked in for a month now and this Gallows Pole should be the last bit of evidence the jury needs. 13/39 whiffs on a 93.8 mph heater is chef’s kiss.

Ryne Nelson (ARI) @ SD (W) – 7.0 IP, 0 ER, 4 Hits, 0 BBs, 7 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 34% CSW, 87 pitches.

I’m sorry what. Okay, sure, I was surprised by Hunter’s MLB debut, but Ryne? The dude who went four innings with 0 strikeouts on August 25th in Triple-A? The kid fired 95 mph four-seamers in his MLB debut (97/98 in the first!) and it worked + landed his curveball for 7/12 called strikes, and even boasted a solid slider as well. I’m not sure I love his slow-then-super-fast mechanics over the top, but it seemed to have some giddy-up to disrupt Juan Soto, and generally batters will tell you how good a fastball is. Maybe he’s taking Tommy Henry’s spot, maybe it’s a six-man now, I don’t know, but either way, he’s getting Coors or the Dodgers next if this sticks. So let’s forget about this for now, okay?

José Suarez (LAA) vs DET (ND) – 7.0 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 1 BBs, 7 Ks – 15 Whiffs, 34% CSW, 92 pitches.

Ayyyy it worked! Suarez took full advantage of his time with the Tigers – Blame it on the Tigers – as he had everything working – changeups for whiffs, sliders for strikes, and well-spotted heaters to befuddle Detroit batters. It may tempt you to take a shot against the Guardians next week, though I wouldn’t get carried away with it. Suarez has these moments, but isn’t this good.

Aníbal Sánchez (WSH) @ STL (W) – 5.0 IP, 0 ER, 2 Hits, 2 BBs, 3 Ks – 5 Whiffs, 20% CSW, 81 pitches.

After a difficult first frame, the man plodded through four more frames with ease, even featuring his “butterfly” change again at times (1/22 CSW on the slowball, FWIW). Yes I’m shocked it’s still working, no I’m not assigning a Vargas RuleHe gets the Phils + Atlanta + Atlanta + Phils. Not fun.

Martín Pérez (TEX) @ HOU (L) – 7.0 IP, 1 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 25% CSW, 103 pitches.

HE HATH RETURNED. The changeup was masterful down-and-away from right-handers, while the cutter hugged the edges. The sinker was a bit more questionable, but it was a step forward from his last start and brings hope that Pérez can close out this season properly. Thing is, it’s the Jays next – are you buying into this rebound there? I’m not sure I have the guts to do it yet. If he does come through, the Rays, Angels, Mariners, and Yankees await. That could work.

Blake Snell (SD) vs ARI (L) – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 10 Ks – 20 Whiffs, 40% CSW, 98 pitches.

That’s a King Cole from Snell as he looks ready to take on the Dodgers next. You may think it was the four-seamer doing its thing, but no, this was allll slider. We’re talking 15/38 whiffs on the slide piece as the hook took a backseat (just six thrown) and the changeup was featured just twice (why even throw it twice? What’s the point?!). I’m here for it, take down the Dodgers, Snell. YOU CAN DO THIS.

Jack Flaherty (STL) vs WSH (L) – 5.0 IP, 1 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks – 14 Whiffs, 31% CSW, 91 pitches.

He’s back! He was sitting 92/93 early, but ramped it up as the start went on, ending at a solid 94 mph while featuring a fantastic slider. Yessssss. The Pirates and Reds are next and I sincerely hope he’s paying off for everyone who has held on for as long as they have. Y’all deserve this.

Adrian Houser (MIL) @ COL (W) – 5.0 IP, 1 ER, 2 Hits, 2 BBs, 2 Ks – 4 Whiffs, 21% CSW, 70 pitches.

Wait, this worked? HOW?! Zer. NOT RIGHT NOW THIS IS SERIOUS. After doing this, I can see your temptation to try starting him against the Reds in Milwaukee. I implore you to reconsider as he tossed just 70 pitches and was pretty dang mediocre across the repertoire. It’s far riskier than you think.

Kevin Gausman (TOR) @ BAL (W) – 6.2 IP, 2 ER, 7 Hits, 0 BBs, 6 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 33% CSW, 93 pitches.

Gotta love that splitter + a four-seamer that can earn 15 called strikes. Please get that WHIP down to a respectable mark across your comfortable ROS schedule, K? Thanks.

Michael Wacha (BOS) @ TB (ND) – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 7 Hits, 0 BBs, 7 Ks – 12 Whiffs, 30% CSW, 97 pitches.

Nods aggressively as the camera zooms in. The changeup is still filthy, the velocity is…way down to just 91.8 mph, but the command is there, and the cutter is hugging gloveside. Yep, this is what you wanted to see from Wacha, I think you’re fine riding this one in September.

José Berríos (TOR) @ BAL (W) – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 8 Hits, 2 BBs, 2 Ks – 4 Whiffs, 15% CSW, 91 pitches.

That’s a Dusty Donutalright. It sure doesn’t make us feel great about holding onto Berríos, but I think you gotta do it against TBR, BAL, @TBR ahead. Good luck, we’re all counting on you.

Triston McKenzie (CLE) @ KC (ND) – 5.2 IP, 2 ER, 3 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 22% CSW, 101 pitches.

Yeah this works. It’s a touch underwhelming, but at least he got his slider down this time as it earned him a boatload of strikes (79%?!) – super important when he went just 2/20 whiffs on the hook. The Twins are up next for two in a row, presenting the toughest challenge left of his 2022 season. Bring it on.

Jameson Taillon (NYY) vs MIN (ND) – 5.0 IP, 2 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 3 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 19% CSW, 83 pitches.

Blegh. It just isn’t much, you know? At least he gets the Rays + Orioles next and one of those should return a Win and more than five frames.

Chris Archer (MIN) @ NYY (ND) – 5.0 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 2 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 25% CSW, 76 pitches.

It’s not bad, it’s just not good. This isn’t worth the roster spot.

Logan Webb (SF) @ LAD (W) – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 7 Hits, 0 BBs, 6 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 30% CSW, 101 pitches.

This was a tough call and I’m glad it worked out for trusting managers. You’re going to another pair of these with LAD & @COL on the horizon and I’m personally going for it. He’s gotten us this far with a 2.89 ERA, let’s give him a chance to bring us home.

Keegan Akin (BAL) vs TOR (L) – 2.1 IP, 2 ER, 2 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 36% CSW, 42 pitches.

This was a bullpen game as the Orioles elected to give Jordan Lyles extra rest for his sickness. So he was Akin? No, just an illness.

Marco Gonzales (SEA) vs CWS (L) – 7.0 IP, 3 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 3 Ks – 13 Whiffs, 30% CSW, 96 pitches.

I will absolutely take this from Gonzo. Now comes the hard part with Atlanta next, though, it gets pretty easy after that – @LAA, @KCR, TEX, DET. Up to you if you want to hold him on your bench for those four outings.

Brady Singer (KC) vs CLE (ND) – 6.0 IP, 3 ER, 9 Hits, 0 BBs, 1 Ks – 4 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 93 pitches.

Blegh. This does nothing in your standard leagues as a VPQS with a HAISTBMBWT?! is all kinds of frustrating. That’s two clunkers in a row for Singer, at least he’s got Detroit next.

Luis Patiño (TB) vs BOS (ND) – 5.0 IP, 3 ER, 5 Hits, 3 BBs, 4 Ks – 14 Whiffs, 31% CSW, 91 pitches.

Womp womp. I’m glad the slider is earning some whiffs, but I need to see his four-seamer dominate like last year, and 7% SwStr at a tick down ain’t it. Leave him on the wire.

Mike Baumann (BAL) vs TOR (L) – 5.0 IP, 3 ER, 8 Hits, 0 BBs, 2 Ks – 6 Whiffs, 19% CSW, 78 pitches.

And that’s the last they ever saw of him. You can still hear him in the woods – the sounds of his balls hitting wood echoing through the forest. KNOCK. KNOCK. KNOCK.

Ryan Feltner (COL) vs MIL (L) – 5.1 IP, 4 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 7 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 28% CSW, 92 pitches.

Feltner has limited upside, pitches his home games at Coors Field, and doesn’t deserve a spot on your team. This should be the blurb for every Colorado starter.

Andrew Heaney (LAD) vs SF (L) – 5.1 IP, 6 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 8 Ks – 19 Whiffs, 38% CSW, 90 pitches.

Ouch. The Giants jumped Heaney for four longballs in this one, reminding us of the old days. The days we worked so hard to forget. The fastball was punished when poorly located, the changeup was great save for a longball, and the slider…well that was good as it earned a 41% CSW. Chalk this one up to annoyance and keep starting the man – at least he tossed 90 pitches.

Tyler Alexander (DET) @ LAA (ND) – 4.1 IP, 6 ER, 10 Hits, 0 BBs, 2 Ks – 5 Whiffs, 22% CSW, 85 pitches.

Even against the Angels, you’re short-handed if you believe in the T-Lex.

 

Game of the Day 

 

Jesús Luzardo vs. Aaron Nola – We’re living every day like it’s Nola day + I want to see Luzardo dominate so badly.

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 Doug Murray/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.

One response to “Brown Butter”

  1. zidane says:

    thank you for the information

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