The Abnormality of Sixto

Nick Pollack reviews every starting pitcher performance from Friday.

Can I have a roundup lead that is just me saying a pitcher is dope? Sixto Sanchez trounced the Rays for a 7.0 IP, 0 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 10 Ks – 17 Whiffs, 33% CSW line and it was a joy to watch. His changeup went 8/37 on whiffs and did a great job of staying down-and-away from left-handers, his four-seamer touched 100.6 mph, and his slider…well I was surprised it was just 2/12 whiffs on that slider. Still, it’s a wonderful repertoire and Sixto is simply electric.

Do you remember the main concern from last week’s GIF Breakdown? I was curious how his stamina would look deeper into the games. The answer there is Sixto turned to a lower mph sinker in the fifth, sixth, and seventh, relying on his changeup plenty more to get the job done. I’m not even fully convinced it is a sinker instead of a depleted tank for his fastball velocity (his sinker falls to as low as 93 mph at times), and I want to see him pumping 98 mph four-seamers constantly in later innings to fully rest my worries.

But whatever, who cares. That’s 7 IP with 10 Ks and gorgeous ratios. He gets the Blue Jays next and you know I’m starting him everywhere. It’s not normal to have this overpowering stuff and I want to watch it incessantly.

 

Let’s see how every other SP did Friday:

 

Ryan Yarbrough @ MIA (ND) – 6.2 IP, 0 ER, 4 Hits, 0 BBs, 5 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 31% CSW. Atta boy Yarbrough. The Fratty Pirate dominated the zone with cutters and while his changeup was atrocious as it fell way off the plate too often, his curveball and sinker did enough to support his signature cutter. It makes me worried about what’s ahead with the Yankees looming, so I’d play it safe if I could there. He needs both his cutter and changeup to pull that one off.

Mike Minor vs LAD (ND) – 6.0 IP, 0 ER, 4 Hits, 3 BBs, 6 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 34% CSWThis is one of the better outings we’ll see from Minor and there’s a part of me that wants to nip this in the bud and call it a Birthday Party but maybe I’m not giving his slider enough credit. Wait. No, it’s getting the small amount of credit it deserves, acting even worse than 2019 with a 165 wRC+ and 1.000 OPS thus far. Bleeeegh. That slider doesn’t get whiffs (still under 12%) and while it finds the zone over half the time, I don’t want to see it being used over 20% of the time. He did go heavier on changeups, yet that came with just 3/30 whiffs (albeit, a 33% overall CSW) and I’m not sold that a 90.8 mph fastball is enough without that changeup doing wonderful things. Like a man lying down in the center of the ring too long, count me out, y’all.

Corbin Burnes vs PIT (W) – 6.0 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 1 BBs, 10 Ks – 13 Whiffs, 29% CSWThis wasn’t prime Burnes with just 12 sliders thrown, he had many pitches working and it helped him steamroll the weak Pirates. It’s sinkers inside to right-handers with cutters to left-handers (not inside enough, but fine), while he was able to pepper in curveballs, changeups, and sliders for a combined 43% CSW. Yep, that’s what I want. And now it could be the Indians + Tigers and YES I WANT ALL OF IT.

Zach Davies @ COL (W) – 5.2 IP, 0 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 6 Ks – 12 Whiffs, 28% CSW. Can’t say I expected Davies’ Vargas Rule to continue in Coors, but here we are. His changeup was great once again – 36% CSW – as everything else lagged behind and this tale will end at some point. But hey, keep letting it ride until that changeup fades and not like how you want it to.

Andrew Heaney vs SEA (W) – 7.2 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 10 Ks – 23 Whiffs, 35% CSWThis is wonderful. Heaney is back to 92 mph and featuring a ton of pitch separation, with his fastballs up and changeups + curveballs down, and can we talk about that hook? It was the best I’ve seen from Heaney’s deuce as it returned 41% and 10/27 whiffs. Unreal. The sad news is that I have no idea what to do with this. We’ve seen Heaney have a great start in the past, then flounder like a somewhat forgettable sidekick in the next one. He’s a quintessential Cherry Bomb and you’re stuck in purgatory wondering if you should spin the wheel or not. I will say, that if Heaney were to break out, this is how it would look. We just don’t know if that’s the destiny or not. That would be cool though, wouldn’t it.

Zac Gallen vs SF (W) – 7.0 IP, 1 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 27% CSWAces gonna ace. Not the overwhelming strikeout game, but he pitched well to induce outs and yep, you’re stoked you drafted Gallen. We’re all Gallen Gals now.

Max Scherzer @ BOS (W) – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 6 Hits, 0 BBs, 11 Ks – 21 Whiffs, 36% CSW. Aces gonna ace. It’s wonderful to see Scherzer demand to be taken seriously and maybe my movement on The List was all it took. Yep, definitely that.

Zack Wheeler vs ATL (ND) – 5.2 IP, 1 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 3 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 18% CSW. It’s a terrible CSW as his sinker earned 4/36 CSW, but did you realize that pitch is the third best sinker by pVal? It gets outs and while I’m still waiting for him to embrace the BSB and develop consistency with a secondary pitch to turn into a legit strikeout arm, Wheeler is showing all the Tobyout there how it’s done. We’re just fine with that.

Jonathan Loaisiga @ NYM (ND) – 3.0 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 0 BBs, 3 Ks – 5 Whiffs, 33% CSWThere’s a timeline where Loasiga was stretched out as a starter for the Yankees. And it is marvelous. 

Tyler Mahle vs CHC (W) – 6.2 IP, 2 ER, 2 Hits, 2 BBs, 11 Ks – 19 Whiffs, 37% CSWWhoaaaa that’s a King Cole for Mahle. HOT DANG. The hero in this one was a slider that returned 12/44 whiffs and a 41% CSW. Crazy good, leaning heavily into the BSB and life was gorgeous. I question if this slider is here to stay – much like his time in the rotation – but if he gets another turn, that’s the Pirates on September 4th. I cannot express how much I want that start to be real.

Dustin May @ TEX (ND) – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 3 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 29% CSWMay is doing everything he can to earn that Spider-Man award, but he happened to face Minor’s best day of the year, so no Win for you. But yeah, just three strikeouts as you know this vinyl record by now.

Hyun Jin Ryu vs BAL (ND) – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 8 Hits, 1 BBs, 7 Ks – 12 Whiffs, 22% CSWIt’s not the greatest CSW start, but you won’t really see that from Ryu as his ticket to paradise was sponsored by Weak Contact From Changeups Off the Plate – WCFCOP is a wonderful organization. You’ll take that 1.50 WHIP with the 3.00 ERA and 7 Ks and you’ll like it.

Nick Margevicius @ LAA (L) – 5.2 IP, 2 ER, 7 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 27% CSWI wonder what it will take for us to legitimately consider Margevicius. A lot. Yeah. A lot.

Jordan Montgomery vs NYM (ND) – 5.0 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 0 BBs, 6 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 34% CSWYep, I’m very happy with this. He got unlucky to lose a win and I imagine he can go deeper than five frames moving forward + look at that CSW. Mmmmm I’m so in.

Triston McKenzie @ STL (ND) – 4.0 IP, 2 ER, 3 Hits, 3 BBs, 3 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 27% CSWAfter dominating the Tigers, the Cardinals put up a better fight. It didn’t help having to wait a long time for him to get his first pitches in, but that’s not a great excuse. His curveball did little in this one – shocking since it’s his best secondary pitch – while his four-seamer wasn’t commanded as we want it to be. He’s very much still rosterable and I’m very much in against the Royals next, but it’s a reminder of that floor we don’t want to see.

John Means @ TOR (ND) – 4.0 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 3 Ks – 5 Whiffs, 24% CSWHe’s at 94.3 mph right now and touching 96+, so it’s just a matter of command and getting stretched out for Means. I think he could have pitched like this and gone six comfortable frames, but there’s still room to grow with his changeup and breakers first. He’s at 74 pitches now and I’m thinking one of the next two starts against the Mets will wow us. You gots this Means.

Reynaldo Lopez vs KC (ND) – 4.0 IP, 2 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks – 6 Whiffs, 24% CSWNah, we need more Lopez, you know that. I know that. We all know that. And knowledge is power, unlike your changeup and fastball right now. Slider was actually kinda good though, but 94 mph on four-seamers? Yeah, nah.

Danny Duffy @ CWS (ND) – 5.2 IP, 3 ER, 7 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks – 12 Whiffs, 33% CSWThe ChiSox are fantastic against left-handers and Duffy still managed to serve a Philly with a 33% CSW – even after needing more rest due to forearm tightness. Unreal. He gets another matchup against Chicago and I just can’t believe he pulls this off twice. I can’t.

David Peterson vs NYY (ND) – 4.0 IP, 3 ER, 4 Hits, 3 BBs, 3 Ks – 4 Whiffs, 23% CSWIt was his first start back from injury, earning a very clear Still ILL tag, especially facing the Yankees. He’s a decent streamer, though, and let’s hope he can be stable in September.

Kyle Freeland vs SD (ND) – 4.1 IP, 4 ER, 11 Hits, 0 BBs, 2 Ks – 5 Whiffs, 19% CSWBlegh. If you’re a Tobyyou get benched in Coors, especially against the Padres. I really did want him to defy the label though, you know?

Robbie Erlin @ PHI (ND) – 4.0 IP, 4 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 3 Ks – 4 Whiffs, 31% CSWOh hey, Robbie did a thing. Cool.

Michael Wacha @ NYY (ND) – 3.0 IP, 4 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 7 Ks – 15 Whiffs, 36% CSWHey, that’s a lovely CSW even if it was just for three frames – and 15 whiffs too! Welp, I never trust those ratios to be good, nor do I think he’s capable of seven strikeouts again any time soon.

Daniel Ponce de Leon vs CLE (L) – 0.2 IP, 4 ER, 2 Hits, 4 BBs, 0 Ks – 1 Whiffs, 12% CSWI can hear it now as he took the last hit, annoying bird, I AM THE GREAT LEON! But then I remembered Ponce means a type of rock and now my mind is jumping to Casterly Rock and what am I doing right now. Oh right, Ponce De Leon doesn’t have enough in his repertoire to be a reliable starter. Next!

Kyle Hendricks @ CIN (L) – 6.0 IP, 5 ER, 10 Hits, 0 BBs, 6 Ks – 6 Whiffs, 31% CSWThis start dragged Hendricks down to a 4.09 ERA with a 1.09 WHIP as his strikeout rate sits at just 19%. That WHIP is cool, but man, that CGSHO to kick off the season is really carrying this season. Keep starting him and I feel you right now.

Martin Perez vs WSH (L) – 4.0 IP, 6 ER, 8 Hits, 0 BBs, 1 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 28% CSWYeaaaaah Perez has been a very questionable Toby and a HAISTFMFWT?! with those ratios is all kinds of sad. He’s turning into a Laston Martin.

Tyler Anderson @ ARI (ND) – 4.2 IP, 7 ER, 9 Hits, 3 BBs, 3 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 27% CSWOh no. Anderson wasn’t nearly as good as his previous two starts and this hurt. A lot. Streaming Record: 18-18. Guess Anderson is off the menu for now.

Derek Holland @ MIL (ND) – 5.0 IP, 8 ER, 6 Hits, 4 BBs, 8 Ks – 16 Whiffs, 35% CSW. It’s hard to avoid the Dutch Invasion these days and even with that CSW and whiff rate, his mistakes get pummeled. It’s not what you want.

 

Today’s Streamer

 

For those unaware, I’m forced to make my streamer picks under the condition of sub-20% owned in Fantasy Pros’ consolidated ownership rates.

 

 

JT Brubaker vs. Milwaukee Brewers – I think his slider is solid, his command is good, and that sinker can earn outs – This start was pushed back to Saturday for those confused. Tyler Mahle is another option as he gets the Cubs.

 

Tomorrow’s Streamer

 

Alex Young vs. San Francisco Giants – It’s in Arizona, Young has a great changeup and curveball that could show up, and there isn’t another clear choice. Let’s roll the die again.

 

Day After Tomorrow’s Streamer

 

Brad Keller vs. Cleveland Indians – This didn’t work last time, but it doesn’t mean it can’t here.

 

Game of the Day

 

Trevor Bauer vs. Yu Darvish – Over / Under 18 strikeouts in this one? How about 30 whiffs?

 

 

(Photo by Larry Radloff/Icon Sportswire)

Nick Pollack

Founder of Pitcher List. Worked with MSG, FanGraphs, CBS Sports, and Washington Post. Former pitching coach and Brandeis alum. Wants every pitcher to be dope.

2 responses to “The Abnormality of Sixto”

  1. Avatar Donald Schuldt jr says:

    Hey Nick, great job as always nobody in the industry I lean on more for pitching analysis than you and Fast. I’m curious what you think of Pineda, for the ROS and next week if he slots back in.

    • Nick Pollack Nick Pollack says:

      Hey thanks man!

      I wouldn’t go after Pineda. Too much volatility and uncertainty there + unless he’s thrower harder than ever with his slider looking as good as it can or he has a new third pitch that can be effective in the zone, it’ll be the same ole inconsistent Pineda that you can’t rely on.

      That’s not the experience I want to have with my pitching staff.

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