The King Of Lions

Nick Pollack reviews every single starting pitcher's performances from Monday's games.

(Photo by Juan DeLeon/Icon Sportswire)

If you listen to the Fireside chats I do with Paul Sporer on Sundays (you don’t? DO IT) you’ll remember that we got a little excited about Daniel Poncedeleon’s MLB debut last night. Well it didn’t disappoint with a 7.0 IP, 0 ER, 0 Hits, 3 BBs, 3 Ks performance against the Reds…okay I can’t do this. I’m actually disappointed. What. Yeah, I know, that’s seven no-hit innings! How could I be let down by this? To put it simply, I see Tyler Mahle here. A guy with a fastball to could perform very well on a given day and secondary stuff that has its brief moments (that changeup was so good at times) but mostly is wildly inconsistent, without a strong breaker that I believe in. This isn’t mentioning his 10%+ walk rate in the minors and how I don’t see that going away here. I’ll obviously reassess when he throws more as this was a debut n all, but he never seemed quite comfortable spotting his heater. I want to be wowed in a debut. That feeling of “maybe, just maybe, this guy can dominate often.” I just need that spark, you know? He’s a streamer to me – not a must add – and a possible date with the Cubs next does not interest me at all.

Let’s see how every other SP did Monday:

Rick Porcello – 6.0 IP, 0 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks. There was a tinge of Blame it on the Orioles here, but you felt good starting Porcello here and he did exactly what you wanted. That’s a nice feeling.

Trevor Williams – 6.0 IP, 0 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 1 Ks. This is so boring and I don’t expect any different from Trevor. Just one strikeout? HASTFMFWT?!

Luis Castillo – 5.1 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks. I’ve been talking about Castillo not having his changeup lately, but hey! 6 whiffs on 19 thrown. That’s good! His slider was solid as well, fastball up to 96.4mph…Hmmmm. Am I allowed to suggest in any way that Castillo might be turning it around? Maybe?

Jhoulys Chacin – 5.2 IP, 1 ER, 2 Hits, 0 BBs, 9 Ks. Chacin will do well when Jhoulyst expect it. Seriously though, this is super good, with over half his pitches coming via sliders. He’s a Toby alright.

Patrick Corbin – 7.0 IP, 1 ER, 6 Hits, 0 BBs, 9 Ks. Aces gonna ace. It’s about time I gave that to Corbin as he’s really deserved it. Okay fine, last start was blegh, but it’s 5 ER in five of his last six, and even ignoring his absurdly good April, it’s still a 3.53 ERA, 1.18 WHIP, 28% K rate and 7.7% walk rate since the start of May. I’ve been hesitant to approve of Corbin given his velocity drops, but he sat at a solid 91mph last night and that’s fine by me as long as his slider still works (which it does). Speaking of which, 18 whiffs = Gallows Pole, which is commonplace for Corbin. Atta boy.

Heath Fillmyer – 6.2 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 2 BBs, 6 Ks. I watched a decent amount of this and he ain’t so bad. It’s all okay across the board, which means that he can have a day like this if nothing falters. I imagine his fastball will be the first to fall, though, as it seems pretty dang hittable. I don’t see a secondary pitch that is going to massively take over in any game either, which means the ceiling is lower than I’d like for a guy with a clearly low floor.

Adalberto Mejia – 5.1 IP, 1 ER, 8 Hits, 2 BBs, 3 Ks. It was a spot start for a Cup of Schmo. And they all rejoiced. What? No they didn’t. Stop that. STOP REJOICING.

Sean Newcomb – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 4 BBs, 5 Ks. Secondary pitches were still pretty meh here – 3/19 CSW changeups (7 BIP were good though) and 3/15 CSW on curveballs – but his fastball was solid. He’ll need at least one of those pitches to work better if he wants to lower that walk total, though.

Luis Santos – 2.0 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 1 BBs, 3 Ks. This was a bullpen game. That is all.

Hunter Wood – 2.0 IP, 1 ER, 2 Hits, 1 BBs, 2 Ks. What Santos said.

Brett Anderson – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks. Funny enough, this was my initial streaming option for the day but NOOOOO I had to second guess and go with Barria instead. Wait, are you actually upset that you didn’t believe in Anderson? Okay, that’s a really good point. Enjoy the Birthday Party, Brett.

Jacob deGrom – 8.0 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 10 Ks. Aces gonna ace. Is this what love feels like?

Joey Lucchesi – 5.1 IP, 2 ER, 6 Hits, 0 BBs, 6 Ks. I had Lucchesi as the stream today and he elected to go yesterday instead. Dang, my bad guys. Can’t take a win here because I got it all wrong, but I hope it helped you feel good about rolling with him…? Churve was okay, fastball was decent, it was all fine. But we’ll take that from Joey, way to not be a Fugghesi.

Zach Eflin – 2.2 IP, 3 ER, 5 Hits, 3 BBs, 1 Ks. Blegh. He threw 75 pitches in this one, with just 21% CSW. Yikes. He threw 28 secondary pitches for just 5 CSW – that’s bad – and I really should have called it a DLH as he hadn’t pitched since early July with a blister issue. And it was the Dodgers! My bad y’all, I think Eflin should bounce back next time – it was DLH after all and this was the Dodgers – so don’t cut him loose.

Lucas Giolito – 6.0 IP, 3 ER, 5 Hits, 4 BBs, 5 Ks. It’s a VPQS from Giolito and it says a lot about the season that it made me intriguied. Intrigued! It’s just so shocking to see him not fall flat on his face these days. Curveball was okay – 4 fouls on 11 thrown is actually beneficial! – slider showed up this time, though it wasn’t anything special. I’m still out on Giolito – like everyone is – but at least acknowledge that he’s mediocre is a step up. Good for him.

Corey Kluber – 4.0 IP, 3 ER, 9 Hits, 1 BBs, 3 Ks. Dude, what is this. There’s talk of Kluber’s right knee that caused him to get poor release points, which might mean a DL stint is coming to help him get back on track. 5.21 ERA, 1.26 WHIP, 19.5% K rate over his last seven starts is not what the #3 should be doing. I probably should have demoted him yesterday, but just 3 days worth of games (+1) made me feel like I should wait another week before major moves. I’m thinking under Kershaw (or maybe even Nola…?) right now.

Francisco Liriano – 4.2 IP, 3 ER, 6 Hits, 3 BBs, 6 Ks. Sure, whatever Liriano.

Jaime Barria – 5.0 IP, 4 ER, 4 Hits, 3 BBs, 2 Ks. Bleeeegh. Barria got the ChiSox and didn’t do what he should have. It’s annoying and dumb and I hate everything. Streaming Record: 59-33. He gets the Mariners next for what feels like the 20th time and I’m passing.

Kevin Gausman – 4.2 IP, 5 ER, 3 Hits, 3 BBs, 2 Ks. Well, yeah. Gausman got the Red Sawx. Duh.

Gio Gonzalez – 5.2 IP, 5 ER, 6 Hits, 5 BBs, 5 Ks. There’s always something wrong with Gio these days and a date with the Brewers went pretty poorly, though there was a tinge of Careful Icarus as he allowed 3 ER in the sixth. Can’t call myself a fan of Gio right now, but it’s not out of the question he helps the rest of the way. I’m typing this with a massive shrug right now (it’s kinda hard to do, honestly). Just trying to set the scene for you.

Ross Stripling – 4.2 IP, 5 ER, 7 Hits, 0 BBs, 6 Ks. I think some people are going to be worried about Stripling after allow 4 ER just a few starts ago as well. Don’t be. He almost escaped this one, but 2-out 3-run blast on a 2-2 count to Rhys Hoskins did all of the damage. He was one pitch away from everything being fine and if we’re going to make moves based on one pitch, well, that’s just not right to me.

Jose Urena – 4.0 IP, 5 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks. If you roster Jose, Urena boatload of trouble.

Luke Farrell – 3.1 IP, 6 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 2 Ks. Fuke Larrell is worth your time like standing in line at the DMV for five hours is how you want to spend your Mondays.

Luis Severino – 5.0 IP, 6 ER, 11 Hits, 0 BBs, 8 Ks. Aces wanna ace. Sevy got a bit Singled Out with two dingers as well with his fastball looking more hittable than usual + a changeup that was pretty meh. His slider is still dope, though, and at the end of the day, it was still 33/96 CSW. Don’t overthink this.

Cole Hamels – 5.0 IP, 7 ER, 9 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks. A grand slam set the tone early in the second, and Hamels never got comfortable here. While I won’t say that Hamels is fantastic and a must own, I do think he’s a little better than you’d think with his 4.72 ERA and 1.37 WHIP. Just play matchups and I think you’re okay.

Today’s Streamer

Ryan Borucki vs. Minnesota Twins – Do I expect much? Not really. Borucki could turn into a Toby though and the Twins don’t scare me. Joey Lucchesi vs. New York Mets – I love when rotations are actually solidified so we can make better streaming picks. Lucchesi is under 20% owned and gets the Mets, making me think he can avoid being a Fugghesi. Frankie Montas vs. Texas Rangers – WHAT A ROLLERCOASTER OF EMOTIONS. Lucchesi obviously went last night but instead of Borucki, I’m going Montas against the Rangers. I just like his stuff slightly better.

Tomorrow’s Streamer

Sam Gaviglio vs. Minnesota Twins – Blegh, but there really aren’t any other choices. Yes, Danny Duffy is owned in over 20% of leagues…it’s 55%. Wild.

Day After Tomorrow’s Streamer

Nick Kingham vs. New York Mets – How is he owned in under 20% of leagues still. How.

Game of the Day

Aaron Nola vs. Kenta Maeda Happy Nola Day everyone.

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.

7 responses to “The King Of Lions”

  1. Avatar Vinny says:

    Hey Nick,

    You seeing even the slightest hint of Castillo turning it around is the best birthday gift I could ever ask for! The morning podcast made my day so far!

  2. Avatar J.C. Mosier says:

    Gibson still a “start” this week now that he’s facing the Sawx instead of the Jays? I’m deciding between Gibson and Stroman (just one) to help fill the void created by the losses of Edu and Fulmer.

  3. Avatar Mike says:

    I’m with you on Giolito. It’d be crazy to trust him given how terrible he’s been, but there’s been actual progress if you dig deep. He had been improving his K/9 and BB/9 every month before stalling out a bit here in July (though not a real step back either), but perhaps more intriguing is his velo by the month:

    April — 91.1 mph
    May — 91.7 mph
    June — 92.6 mph
    July — 93.0 mph

    Again, like the rest of his numbers, it’s not anything to write home about. But for a kid who possessed one of the best fastballs in the minors at one point and seemingly lost it overnight when the Nationals decided to alter his mechanics, it’s at least interesting to see the velo ticking back up there little by little.

  4. Avatar Frankie says:

    Hey Nick,

    At this point, would you rather own D Rodriguez ROS over Newcomb or Castillo?

  5. Avatar Ryan Hicks says:

    Which streaming option do you like better? I need help in all pitching categories. My team is sucking this week.

    CC and Santana are hot matchups with the opposing team hitting weak against them over history. Nick has the weak Mets that can sometimes produce.

    1. CC Sabathia home vs Royals
    2. Ervin Santana (off 60-day DL) away vs Toronto
    3. Nick Kingham home vs Mets

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