The Presence of Jesus

Nick Pollack reviews every starting pitcher performance from Monday.

I haven’t done a lot of discussion around Jesus Luzardo this season and after yesterday’s 4.2 IP, 4 ER, 7 Hits, 0 BBs, 7 Ks – 12 Whiffs, 29% CSW against the Mariners, I think it’s time. He was pulled at 82 pitches in the fifth as he wasn’t nearly as sharp with his sinker as we’ve seen. Changeups weren’t as elite, either, and it wasn’t the ace performance you want from Luzardo. You may be surprised to see a 4.32 ERA and 1.28 WHIP from Luzardo this year, but instead of the numbers themselves, let’s talk about his overall feel.

He’s not on the same level as the standard AGA guys to me, still working on his overall polish and – I feel weird even saying this – but presence on the hill. I watch Bieber and I think “Bieber is going to dominate this guy” and with Luzardo, there are times that happens but with each pitch, I don’t get that overall sense of a captain steering his ship deftly through the storm. That’s a bad analogy. YOU’RE A BAD ANALOGY. I think you guys get what I’m going for. It’s usually just an experience thing that comes over time and I’m hoping it does in 2021. I imagine many are betting on it to happen. Anyway, it’s the Giants and Mariners next and yeah, you’re doing that.

 

Let’s see how every other SP did Monday:

 

Mike Minor @ SEA (W) – 7.0 IP, 0 ER, 2 Hits, 2 BBs, 8 Ks – 19 Whiffs, 34% CSW. Atta boy Minor! Just 1/22 whiffs on his changeup (lots of called strikes though!) but his four-seamer dominated with 16 whiffs. SIXTEEN. And that’s at 90 mph as he leaned hard into the BSB and jammed right-handers all day up-and-in. It was glorious. Not glorious enough that I’d want to consider this against the Dodgers next, but I’m back for his final start against the Mariners again if he gets that.

Kwang Hyun Kim @ MIL (ND) – 7.0 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 2 BBs, 6 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 27% CSW. We were wondering if Kim was going to be able to go long in this one like it’s an OTC podcast and what do you know, he went seven strong. He’s putting together a fun case for Spider-Man and you’re obviously riding this through the end.

Josh Lindblom vs STL (ND) – 5.0 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 0 BBs, 6 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 36% CSWGreat to see Lindblom not only sit slightly above 90 mph in this one but also have his cutter earning 47% CSW while not getting beat on his heater. His slider – the main whiff pitch we like – wasn’t there, though, but if other things are working, that’s alright. It’s still a very small margin of error with Lindblom and that makes this feel more like a Birthday Party than I’d like it to be. I’d love to be proven wrong and I can understand rolling with his against the Royals next. A little risky there, though.

Dinelson Lamet vs LAD (W) – 7.0 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 2 BBs, 11 Ks – 18 Whiffs, 36% CSW. Aces gonna ace. It still blows my mind how well Lamet is doing on the back of one elite pitch in his slider and a fastball – despite its elite velocity – isn’t all that great. It does make me think the dam would break over a full six-month season, but this is the season of ladders chaos. Who cares, just stay on the DL.

Pablo Lopez vs PHI (W) – 7.0 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 0 BBs, 6 Ks – 14 Whiffs, 34% CSW. YES. I’m so happy for him after a disastrous start last time out and his stuff looked plenty better. Changeups were kept down as well as I’ve seen all year, his sinker matched their locations to keep batters off-balance, and he was able to elevate with four-seamers. His cutter took a night off, though – 1/4 CSW – but his curveball stepped in to earn strikes and hang out at the bottom of the zone. The Nationals are next and that’s a clear start after this, though I understand the trepidation with the mighty Braves after. Up to you there, if he pitches like this, he should be fine then.

Jorge Lopez vs ATL (W) – 7.0 IP, 1 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 3 Ks – 6 Whiffs, 19% CSW. Ladies and gents, that’s a line of a man that finally got favor in the name of the BABIP gods. Let him enjoy this Birthday Party in peace.

Trevor Bauer vs PIT (ND) – 6.1 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 12 Ks – 17 Whiffs, 31% CSW. Aces gonna ace. That’s a 1.71 ERA with a 0.81 WHIP, 37% strikeout rate, and just a 7% walk rate – the best marks across the board in his career. Now it’s just nine starts and that’s small sample wizardry but welcome to 2020 baybeeee. I wonder if the next two starts for deGrom, Darvish, and Bauer will outline the Cy Young…something to think about. Oh then there’s Lamet and Burnes and it’s all so wonderful. I love when pitchers are dope.

Jose Berrios @ CWS (ND) – 5.0 IP, 1 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 2 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 26% CSW. I’m a bit disappointed in just two strikeouts that barely lets us eat, but the White Sox are strong and you’ll take a 1.80 ERA here. Keep rolling with Berrios, of course.

Corbin Burnes vs STL (ND) – 4.2 IP, 1 ER, 5 Hits, 3 BBs, 10 Ks – 16 Whiffs, 36% CSW. He was already over 100 pitches in the fifth as he was a bit too wild, but it’s more of the same from Burnes, really, with 10 more strikeouts in the book and easy consideration the rest of the way. Still weird seeing sub 15% usage of his slider, though, but whatever, all of this is working.

Dylan Cease vs MIN (ND) – 4.2 IP, 1 ER, 5 Hits, 4 BBs, 4 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 23% CSW. It really blows my mind how Cease is able to avoid dings to his ERA despite these atrocious WHIP marks and consistently low strikeout performances. He’s all over the place and I wouldn’t trust him in the slightest the rest of the way.

Cody Ponce @ CIN (ND) – 4.0 IP, 1 ER, 1 Hits, 2 BBs, 3 Ks – 3 Whiffs, 27% CSW. There isn’t enough here, y’all. Sorry, Cody.

Jimmy Yacabonis vs OAK (L) – 1.1 IP, 1 ER, 2 Hits, 3 BBs, 1 Ks – 3 Whiffs, 18% CSW. Hey, it’s Yacabonis! You think he meant to bone us? Yeah, I even told Jimmy, “Yeah man, ya can bone us, we’re not trusting you in fantasy leagues.” On the real, I do wonder if he’ll excel now that he’s not an Oriole. On the actual real, I don’t see a time when we legit consider Yacabonis.

Daniel Ponce de Leon @ MIL (ND) – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 9 Ks – 17 Whiffs, 34% CSW. Whoa, daaaang Daniel! This is the absolute ceiling for Ponce De Leon as he was able to throw his curveball comfortably in the zone for strikes, allowing him to go upstairs with heaters and get away with it at 38% CSW. Do I believe he can do that often? Nope. This was the very best we’ve seen from him and very likely one of those days and not a sudden fix. At least we can keep in our heads that he’s capable of this every so often, though.

Clayton Kershaw @ SD (L) – 6.1 IP, 3 ER, 5 Hits, 0 BBs, 9 Ks – 21 Whiffs, 37% CSW. It’s always lovely to see Kershaw excel – look at that Golden Goal for TATIAGA – but that seventh inning just wasn’t what you wanted from Kershaw as he lost this lovely duel against Lamet. It’s so great having Kershaw being a legit ace once again.

Mitch Keller @ CIN (ND) – 3.0 IP, 3 ER, 2 Hits, 4 BBs, 4 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 28% CSW. Hey, he’s back! So it was a Still ILL as he threw just 65 pitches and didn’t have great command. Slider/curveball didn’t do magical things either and there are your four walks. His four-seamer averaged 95 mph though and I know it sounds crazy, but I can see Keller avoiding disaster in his final start or two and then turning into another fun flier for 2021. Not a 16th round flier, but you know, someone to consider late and seeing how the start of the season goes. That’s fun.

Anthony DeSclafani vs PIT (ND) – 4.2 IP, 4 ER, 7 Hits, 1 BBs, 7 Ks – 16 Whiffs, 30% CSW. Hmmmm alright, I’m okay here. Those ratios are poor and the reason I went with Touki instead (yikes), but his had decent pitch separation, helping him earn 43% CSW on four-seamers and Tony Disco can be successful as a two-pitch fastball/slider arm and it’s up in the air what he gets next time out. The Reds could give Tejay Antone another start, pushing Tony Disco to a start against the Brewers instead of the White Sox. You can see the implications here. I think you’re okay starting Tony Disco vs. Milwaukee, not so much the White Sox.

Vince Velasquez @ MIA (L) – 3.2 IP, 4 ER, 7 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 34% CSW. You never know what you’re gonna get from VV and…yep. That’s the bad side. He’s an option for those that have little to lose and need to chase upside.

Marco Gonzales vs OAK (W) – 6.0 IP, 5 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 7 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 33% CSW. While that ERA does hurt, getting 7 Ks and a 1.17 WHIP from Gonzo with a dub ain’t so bad. This could have been a lot worse if Kyle Lewis didn’t pull back an early grand slam, and the changeup/cutter than has done him plenty favors wasn’t a winning combo here, if you can believe. Sinkers and curveballs did the work and with Houston left, I think you set him aside.

Touki Toussaint @ BAL (L) – 2.2 IP, 5 ER, 7 Hits, 3 BBs, 2 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 31% CSW. Bleggggh. I didn’t want to go with Lindblom or Disco and I played myself. Streaming Record: 25-24. He’s not a finished product and while his curveball was a strong asset, his splitter wasn’t there and his fastball is far from commanded well enough to be a solid offering. We’re done here.

 

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.

 

 

Danny Duffy vs. Detroit Tigers – Great matchup and he’s locked in with his BSB these days. Joe Musgrove vs. Cincinnati Reds – Duffy missed his flight and is getting skipped, looks like I’m taking the chance with Musgrove today instead.

 

Tomorrow’s Streamer

 

Brady Singer vs. Detroit Tigers – Sign. Me. Up.

 

Day After Tomorrow’s Streamer

 

Dean Kremer vs. Tampa Bay Rays – I could understand going Griffin Canning against the Diamondbacks instead, but I feel his volatility is way higher than Kremer’s and it makes for a questionable choice. I mean, Kremer is too, but Canning is a little moreso.

 

Game of the Day

 

Carlos Carrasco vs. Yu Darvish – Man, Darvish gets all the fun starts.

 

 

(Photo by Cody Glenn/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.

  • Avatar Zach says:

    Looks like Danny Duffy is no longer starting today. Happen to have another stream in his place?

  • Avatar Elliot says:

    Would you rather stream Urquidy over Musgrove if he was available? Or, failing that, Boyd?

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