Touki or Not Touki

Nick Pollack reviews every starting pitcher performance from Tuesday.

Touki Toussaint vs SD (W) – 6.2 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 79 pitches.

It’s that time of the season when we’re hurting for starters, and our gaze begins to hover the youngins getting their chance in the show. Touki Toussaint has been here before, but it’s been a long time. While I had legitimate doubts before tonight’s outing, he did everything he could to remove them via 6.2 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks (9 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 79 pitches). Just 79 pitches! 41% CSW on curveballs! 30% SwStr on splitters! Against San Diego! Things seem pretty dang cool.

And maybe they are…but I’m not sold yet. Sorry. I mean, sure, if The List were happening tomorrow, Touki would have forced his way into the 70s or so because why not, but the main issue I had with Touki during his first run in the Atlanta rotation years ago was his fastball command, and sadly, that wart is still very much present. He tossed far too many heaters in the heart of the plate, and I’m a bit shocked how little the Padres took advantage of it. The good news here is that Touki should be around for at least one more pass as Atlanta has a pair of doubleheaders this week and need the volume. He’ll get the Phillies, and it’s not a start I’d be targeting, but I understand if you need it on a desperate Sunday.

 

Let’s see how every other SP did Tuesday:

 

Paolo Espino vs MIA (ND) – 5.0 IP, 0 ER, 4 Hits, 0 BBs, 3 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 34% CSW, 73 pitches.

Paolo has gone five frames just two other times this season. His total ER in these three outings? Zero. Too bad he doesn’t go five innings often.

Luis García vs CLE (W) – 6.0 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 0 BBs, 8 Ks – 17 Whiffs, 46% CSW, 79 pitches.

Hot Dang! He’s still really good and it’s wonderful. It seems like once a year I elect to drop a surprisingly good pitcher early in the year because he has a tough schedule ahead and I expect him to disappoint. Garcia plowed through and has been so legit for teams it hurts. This is a 46% CSW for cryin’ out loud, a super obvious King Cole at that and nobody can touch that cutter these days. It’s going to be a rough day when the Astros pull him from the rotation to keep his innings down. I’m not prepared for it.

James Kaprielian vs LAA (W) – 6.0 IP, 0 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 7 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 31% CSW, 100 pitches.

Whoaaaa. Kap had his legit fastball and paired it with a curveball that earned a whopping 9/21 called strikes. That’s what’s up. The Angels are a legit offense, too, and I think I’m willing to say the Rangers give him fits for some reason. I’m just happy he gets to pitch against different teams now. Like the…Padres. Yeah, so thrilled. Ugh, that’s a tough call, but I totally get if you feel you can’t sit Jimmy-K over here.

Mike Minor @ MIL (W) – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 78 pitches.

His heater was a little harder in this one, but I don’t think there’s much to get excited about. I still ain’t touching this.

Shane McClanahan vs BAL (W) – 5.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 7 Ks – 22 Whiffs, 39% CSW, 93 pitches.

That’s a Gallows Pole for Shane as he dominated the Orioles. I’m a little sad he couldn’t push six frames with 93 pitches and just five baserunners, but hey, this is wonderful across the board. Man, your ADP is going to skyrocket in 2022, isn’t it.

Robert Stock @ CIN (ND) – 1.0 IP, 1 ER, 2 Hits, 1 BBs, 1 Ks – 5 Whiffs, 33% CSW, 21 pitches.

Bobby Stonk over here did his best in this bullpen game. That’s it. That’s the blurb. I’m so sorry.

Wade Miley vs NYM (W) – 6.1 IP, 1 ER, 7 Hits, 2 BBs, 8 Ks – 12 Whiffs, 28% CSW, 104 pitches.

This just in, Miley is still really dang good. He’s not even looking like a Spider-Man in this start with eight strikeouts, and he’s lowered his ERA to 2.72 because y’all don’t appreciate him enough. APPRECIATE MILEY MORE.

Tarik Skubal vs TEX (W) – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 0 BBs, 4 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 83 pitches.

It’s just so wonderful to see Skubal doing great things again. Well, pretty good things as his secondaries we’ren’t that special, save for 7/12 CSW on his changeup. But he’s getting lots of outs on fastballs and that’s cool. Okay, fine, I didn’t love this start, but he gets the Royals next and it’ll be fine.

Johan Oviedo vs CHC (ND) – 5.0 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks – 12 Whiffs, 36% CSW, 74 pitches.

Hey, this is one of the better starts I’ve seen from Oviedo as his changeup + slider combined for 20/37 CSW. That’s crazy good and better command than I’m used to from him…kinda. The results were there, but the changeup was hung and his slider got the chases this time, but I’m not sure if he’ll get them in the future. I hope it was the turning point for him, but I’m skeptical and he gets the Reds in Cincy next. Ignore it, you’re better off.

Domingo Germán vs PHI (ND) – 4.0 IP, 2 ER, 3 Hits, 3 BBs, 5 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 24% CSW, 70 pitches.

Blegh. Just 70 pitches as Germán isn’t stretched out (he hasn’t gone over 70 pitches since the end of June), and those ratios don’t help at all. Now he gets the Red Sox, and that’s a clear nooooppe. If he’s still on your squad, make sure you check out the wire. Absolutely, such a great show. I’ve resisted all these years to make that joke, and somehow, tonight is the night I break. Serenity now.

Brett Anderson vs KC (ND) – 5.0 IP, 2 ER, 3 Hits, 2 BBs, 3 Ks – 4 Whiffs, 22% CSW, 72 pitches.

This is the most Brett Anderson start you could find. He should frame it. You can’t frame a start. Tell that to my BSB poster. LAWYERED.

Yu Darvish @ ATL (L) – 5.2 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 3 Ks – 12 Whiffs, 25% CSW, 95 pitches.

Aces gonna ace. Yeah, that’s fine. Not #2 on The List fine, but it’s fine.

Marco Gonzales @ COL (W) – 5.0 IP, 2 ER, 6 Hits, 3 BBs, 3 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 28% CSW, 85 pitches.

Hey, give him some slack. Marco had to endure Coors and that’s a difficult gig. Like my metal band Dumpster Desire performing at my friend’s roommate’s sister’s daughter’s five-year-old wedding. It was a tough crowd.

Darien Nuñez vs SF (ND) – 2.0 IP, 2 ER, 2 Hits, 1 BBs, 2 Ks – 5 Whiffs, 28% CSW, 29 pitches.

The real story was Josiah Gray pitching in relief and going 4.0 IP, 4 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 7 Ks across 77 pitches. His stuff is legit as he packed a punch with a 95 mph heater + a pair of breakers that earned 44% CSW across 41 thrown, but he left some meaty heaters over the plate and that got walloped. That’s alright, it was an MLB debut and I imagine the Dodgers will use him again for Rockie Road next time out — also with an opener to help his chances for a win. He’s worth the pickup.

Trevor Rogers @ WSH (ND) – 5.0 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 3 BBs, 3 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 28% CSW, 78 pitches.

Aces gonna…meh. His changeup was plenty hittable (1/20 whiffs?!), and it’s his second straight outing of mediocrity as we clutch our pearls wondering how much more we’ll see Rogers this year. Don’t worry, he’s fine and while he’ll miss a few starts here and there, it won’t be a disaster.

Dallas Keuchel vs MIN (ND) – 5.0 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 6 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 25% CSW, 89 pitches.

Hey, this is wonderful from Dallas. He hasn’t pitched since July 9th, where he tossed the best game I’ve seen from him for ages. This wasn’t quite at that level, but it was more of the same from his cutter, at least, and I’m encouraged enough to start him against the Royals next. Probably.

Bailey Ober @ CWS (ND) – 5.0 IP, 3 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 32% CSW, 66 pitches.

There are days when you can deal with B.O. There are other days where you simply can’t. This was a sit due to the ChiSox and the changeup returned in a good way, but the Angels are next and I ain’t taking the risk.

Dane Dunning @ DET (L) – 4.2 IP, 3 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 2 Ks – 5 Whiffs, 28% CSW, 72 pitches.

Man, Detroit really is making a statement lately, proclaiming to the world they will not be streamed against any longer. Rebel against those who which to exploit us! I still can’t believe the ChiSox got Lance Lynn for Dunning.

Tyler Anderson @ ARI (ND) – 6.0 IP, 3 ER, 7 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 36% CSW, 77 pitches.

PQS with six strikeouts? Yep, that’ll do. Streaming Record: 60-44. He’s a Toby, making him a decent streamer against the Sneks. It’s that simple.

Alex Wood @ LAD (ND) – 5.0 IP, 3 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 7 Ks – 16 Whiffs, 39% CSW, 93 pitches.

Yeah, we should be holding Wood everywhere. That’s a 49% CSW slider as his #1 pitch of the night (46% usage!) while his sinker earned 38% CSW on its own, with 92.4 mph velocity. That’s everything you want, everything you need, everything…but a win and good ratios. Trust the skills, especially against a weaker opponent than the Dodgers next time out as he gets — checks notes and smiles — the Pirates.

José Suárez @ OAK (L) – 5.2 IP, 4 ER, 3 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 32% CSW, 73 pitches.

And the legend of Suárez slowly dissolves into endless history. That curveball was stupid good, though, earning 48% CSW as Suárez’s #2 pitch, but that heater just gets his way too often. Thing is, he gets Rockie Road next and there might be a fun stream.

Aaron Nola @ NYY (L) – 5.1 IP, 4 ER, 7 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks – 12 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 101 pitches.

Sigh. The curveball was fantastic, the heater and changeup were not. It was his first start after missing time with COVID, though, and I’m not ready to start believing he’s back to his poor ways again. Stick it out, he’s going to help more than hurt from now through the end.

Trevor Williams @ STL (ND) – 5.0 IP, 4 ER, 7 Hits, 1 BBs, 3 Ks – 13 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 95 pitches.

I get it, you started T-Dubs as you tried to follow the The Cardinal Rule but instead you committed a Cardinal Sin. So close.

Germán Márquez vs SEA (L) – 6.0 IP, 4 ER, 7 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 25% CSW, 91 pitches.

Wait, what. Márquez has been on such a role and sure, this was him pitching at home, but it was the Mariners! You shouldn’t be worse than a VPQS! He heads to the Angels next and I’d still start him there. He’s on the road and still had a good slider + curve here.

Taylor Widener vs PIT (ND) – 4.2 IP, 5 ER, 8 Hits, 1 BBs, 8 Ks – 12 Whiffs, 30% CSW, 80 pitches.

There’s some intrigue in the repertoire of Widener and take note moving forward as he’ll be stretched out now. That slider and changeup looked good tonight and he’s an interesting stream against the Rangers next Tuesday.

Triston McKenzie @ HOU (L) – 4.0 IP, 5 ER, 8 Hits, 1 BBs, 3 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 24% CSW, 93 pitches.

Yeaaaah. The velocity was still up, but one tick instead of two, while the Astros feasted on it and his lack of a strong secondary pitch. He gets the Rays next and I wanted to see a little more from his stuff despite the shellacking to make me feel better, you know? I think I’d avoid it for now as the previous outing feels more like an anomaly given the velocity drop here.

John Means @ TB (L) – 5.0 IP, 5 ER, 7 Hits, 0 BBs, 2 Ks – 5 Whiffs, 23% CSW, 78 pitches.

Bleeeggh. It was a Still ILL for Means, but he showcased massive spin rate drops as y’all remember suddenly that he hasn’t pitched since before June 21st. It was 166 rpm off his heater despite sitting at his 92/93 mph from the spring and the pitch wasn’t nearly as effective. Neither was his changeup and that’s all there is to see. He gets the Marlins next, so you really shouldn’t worry. For now.

 

Game of the Day 

 

Chris Paddack vs Kyle MullerHey Paddack, make sure you do well for my boy Muller. I don’t want to get frustrated waiting for him to get back on the hill.

But Nick?! Where are the streaming picks? – I’ve moved them to the daily SP Matchups & Streamer Rankings article.

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Photo by David John Griffin/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 pitching coach and Brandeis alum. Wants every pitcher to be dope.

  • Avatar Dan Doherty says:

    Could we call Darvish’s start a Still ILL? Just came back from a quick stint with back tightness.

  • Avatar theKraken says:

    The lead should be Josiah Gray. It is unfathomable that that they used him as a reliever. There is no way to explain it other than that the organization is run by sociopaths with absolutely no regard for their players. By starting an absolute scrub they did not give themselves the best chance to win. On a human level they wasted Gray’s debut as a reliever. Rather than give him a moment, those lunatics in the analytics department gave themselves one as they deployed an opener. Gray has been developed his entire life as a starter, but I guess they only try to play good baseball below the MLB level. No surprise that he did poorly at something that he has not been developed to do.
    The Dodgers farm system is amazing. I think the way that they minimize the talent at the big league level is even more impressive. They do their best to destroy a potential dynasty. The scrubs that they give innings to are amazing. I get why the Rays do this kind of stuff as their priorities are being competitive with zero commitment to acquiring talent. However, the Dodgers have talent falling out of their pockets and they try to minimize it through silly progressive game management. Its frustrating and I have a hard time watch baseball these days as this is the trend sweeping the league. People that don’t enjoy real baseball shout stick to OOTP sims as opposed to being affiliated with MLB baseball. Look at the players getting ABs and IP for that team. It is truly inexcusable. No team gets less from what they have… this has been true for years but they have lost their damn minds at this point. Ironically, I think people could make a difference by squawking about it because the people (bots?) making the decisions can’t be conducting any authentic analysis – I suspect it is about the level of Twitter or the FG comments section. Yes, I am saying that the ideas must be coming form the lowest levels of Internet analysis.

  • Avatar theKraken says:

    I think that yesterday is exactly what you get out of SM. In a dream match-up he went 5. He is a fine arm and all but he is injury-prone that is not pitch efficient and the Rays will pull the plug real quick. I don’t see him as a reliable, durable arm at any point which makes him seem like a back-end arm to me. It is highly possible that this is the upper-end of his production. He is a two pitch lefty without a change-up. I guess it is better to be young than good and I hope people keep thinking like that.

    I am not sure how much HOU will limit Garcia. He threw 108 innings in 2019 – its hard to say how innings increase over two seasons, but he could throw 150-ish. He is older and doesn’t lean on a power arsenal which helps. I am really hoping that he gets away from the cutter as he throws as he has some nice slow pitches. He needs to continue to develop those, not just throw his best pitch half the time and mix other stuff in. That is an RP mentality and too many guys pitch with it. Elite SP don’t get to that point with that recipe. That recipe leads to short term success and then a a career going off the rails. Its similar to a hitter just selling out for power… when it gets bad, its over.

  • Avatar Eric says:

    “Stick it out, he’s going to help more than hurt from now through the end.” How many times can I read something like this about Nola, not just here, but EVERYWHERE, before we all realize he just is what he is?

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