A Different Shane of Existence

Nick Pollack reviews every starting pitcher performance from Thursday.

Shane McClanahan vs BOS (L) – 5.0 IP, 4 ER, 8 Hits, 2 BBs, 8 Ks – 19 Whiffs, 36% CSW, 88 pitches.

It’s going to sound weird to say after a line of 5.0 IP, 4 ER, 8 Hits, 2 BBs, 8 Ks – 19 Whiffs, 36% CSW, 88 pitches, but I absolutely adore Shane McClanahanI know that sounds incredibly odd and downright annoying to hear after a 2.00 WHIP and 7.20 ERA start, but there’s so much more to this outing.

I adore his 96 mph heater and I adore his slider that is usually a bit better than the one we saw today. But what I truly adore, is a curveball that went 7/19 whiffs and a 58% CSW out of the blue, going 15/19 strikes. The kid is learning new tricks oh-so-fast and yes, you can be upset “Nick, who cares?! He didn’t do well!” and I’ll tell you you’re missing the forest for the trees. A McClanahan with three legit pitches instead of two is budding in front of us. This right here, this is development. If that curveball is this good moving forward, he’s a legit Top 20 starter next year, without a doubt.


Let’s see how every other SP did Thursday:


Eduardo Rodriguez @ TB (W) – 6.0 IP, 0 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks – 14 Whiffs, 28% CSW, 94 pitches.

I was down on Erod for this one as he hasn’t had his changeup or cutter doing what you want it to do and I didn’t expect them to return. Well, the slow ball went 11% CSW…but earned plenty of outs, while the four-seamer was still excellent at 37% CSW and 9/43 whiffs. I don’t believe this was a start that suggests Eduardo is ready to be legit again, but hey, I’m glad he can make it work at times. He feels awfully close to being a Werewolf.

Mitch Keller @ CHC (ND) – 6.0 IP, 0 ER, 6 Hits, 0 BBs, 8 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 33% CSW, 89 pitches.

Whoa, Mitch did it! His slider was as good as I’ve seen this year with 7/25 whiffs, while his heater earned a ton of called strikes to power through the Cubs lineup. I definitely don’t trust the fastball/slider tandem to hold, so let’s not do anything rash.

Triston McKenzie @ KC (W) – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 2 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 30% CSW, 76 pitches.

Atta boy Triston! He executed the BSB well as his slider and curveball combined for 41% CSW, sitting at the bottom of the zone constantly. This is the McKenzie we’ve dreamed of, even sitting a cool 93 mph instead of the 92 we’ve seen most of the year. He gets the Twins next and I’m down.

Eric Lauer @ SF (ND) – 7.0 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 22% CSW, 90 pitches.

Hot dang, look at you! Like Erod, Lauer is a Werewolf and apparently facing the mighty Giants is what brings out the best in ya. It’s still four-seamer/cutter all the way and the latter was definitely on the better side. The real hero was BABIP, though, and ya’ll know ain’t gonna last. Don’t get suckered in here.

Logan Webb vs MIL (ND) – 7.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 10 Ks – 21 Whiffs, 41% CSW, 92 pitches.

Logan’s run continues writing its legend, here earning a Golden Goal as both the sinker and slider returned a 41%+ CSW. Incredible. I don’t care what you do, don’t stop starting Webb. But what ab—AHH BUH BUH BUH BUH. Don’t even consider the other options.

Mike Minor vs CLE (L) – 5.0 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 0 BBs, 4 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 23% CSW, 93 pitches.

I’m glad to see this one worked for Minor, though he didn’t give us much of anything to get excited about. Is he worth a stream against the Orioles? Ehhhh maybe in the deepest of leagues, but I’d avoid it where I could.

Paolo Espino vs PHI (ND) – 5.1 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 34% CSW, 89 pitches.

Espino didn’t bring back the slider whiffs, but the Phillies welcomed four-seamers for called strikes eighteen times and made for a decent 5.1 frames of baseball. He’s not the worst deep-league arm out there, but the ceiling isn’t worth the floor in 12-teamers.

Chi Chi Gonzalez vs ATL (ND) – 3.2 IP, 3 ER, 4 Hits, 4 BBs, 1 Ks – 2 Whiffs, 18% CSW, 79 pitches.

With Jon Gray hitting the IL, Chi Chi had to start against Atlanta and it went pretty much how you’d expect. Is it really a HAISTBMBWT?! if one strikeout was one more than we expected? Suit man whispers in my ear. Still is, eh? Alright then.

Frankie Montas @ DET (W) – 6.2 IP, 3 ER, 5 Hits, 3 BBs, 7 Ks – 16 Whiffs, 33% CSW, 103 pitches.

Montas made a surprise start here as he had trouble with his visa, preventing him from starting in Toronto tomorrow. So he started against the Tigers instead and things were a touch off because of it. Still a decent outing, just not that kind of outing we’ve been used to as of late. Still love him, though, and yes, I’m starting him against the ChiSox next time out.

Keegan Thompson vs PIT (ND) – 1.2 IP, 3 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 3 Ks – 6 Whiffs, 33% CSW, 54 pitches.

You didn’t know who Keegan was before reading this roundup and sadly, he’s not giving you a good enough reason to change that. He’s a Cup of Schmo and it’s time we move on.

Carlos Carrasco vs MIA (ND) – 5.1 IP, 3 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks – 12 Whiffs, 30% CSW, 82 pitches.

It was wonderful to see Carrasco lean into the changeup for the second straight start, here earning 9/32 whiffs on the pitch against the Marlins. The slider was…fine, but the four-seamer wasn’t spotted well and that was that. His slider wasn’t the elite pitch of old, either, and it’s all underwhelming. No matter, he’ll get the Marlins again and we’re lucky he gets another shot at making this matchup work.

Sandy Alcantara @ NYM (L) – 6.1 IP, 4 ER, 8 Hits, 0 BBs, 6 Ks – 12 Whiffs, 29% CSW, 98 pitches.

Sandy was a surprise start for the Marlins today and didn’t earn the same whiffs on his slider as last time out. His fastball was a little lower, but still sat 97 mph, and he didn’t have his best heater command. You could argue being in the dark about when he was starting may have messed him up (or was he never in the dark?) and I’d expect him to recover in a repeat matchup next time out. Please have better fastball command.

Touki Toussaint @ COL (ND) – 3.0 IP, 4 ER, 6 Hits, 0 BBs, 0 Ks – 1 Whiffs, 24% CSW, 46 pitches.

Touki was forced to take on Coors. Touki earned just one whiff and failed to earn a strikeout (HAISTBMBWT?!). Touki wishes to never step foot in Coors again. We all do, Touki. We all do.

Aaron Nola @ WSH (ND) – 4.0 IP, 6 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 34% CSW, 83 pitches.

Nooooooooooo. The curve got shellacked a bit, including a Juan Soto longball, while the changeup and four-seamer actually did business as usual. Huh. It’s usually the reverse. Welp, you gotta keep starting him so let’s hope for the best. Hope for the best? That’s all you have for me? What do you want me to say? I’d still keep starting Nola as the rewards help more than starts like these hurt, and there’s not much else you can do. Fine. You mean charge him $10,000 for pitching a poor performance? That’s madness! No, like it’s okay. Ohhhhh.

Matt Manning vs OAK (L) – 3.2 IP, 8 ER, 8 Hits, 3 BBs, 1 Ks – 3 Whiffs, 15% CSW, 80 pitches.

Oh dear. It feels like for each step forward, he’s taking two back. These are MY steps! You can’t take em! Entering today, Manning held a 12.6% strikeout rate and that number is certainly lower after this. Yeeeeeeesh.


Game of the Day 


Adam Wainwright vs. Freddy Peralta – What’s the over/under for combined strikeouts here? 14.5?

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 EST Monday through Friday.

Photo by Cliff Welch/Icon Sportswire | Adapted by Aaron Polcare (@bearydoesgfx 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.

2 responses to “A Different Shane of Existence”

  1. Jayson says:

    For how long will PitcherList keep allowing Nola to pass between the lines?

    Just admit you were wrong and move on! For months since his very first signs of struggles, we have had a weekly post about how Nola should be fine and end as an elite SP with elite numbers. We are in September!

    About the argument that “I’d still keep starting Nola as the rewards help more than starts like these hurt” is wrong! Easy to prove and unbreakable lol. Let’s take Nola’s last 10 starts:
    He got destroyed 5 times including 4 times he probably killed the week of his fantasy owner alone.
    He had 2 “quality” starts.
    He had 3 awesome starts.
    => So once again, I’m waiting to see unbreakable proofs that Nola’s rewards help more than bad outings hurt… because it’s simply not true unless you play in a rotisserie league lol.

    And about “, and there’s not much else you can do”, well, there is and there was! Nola should have been traded away or even dropped (in shallow leagues) from a while already.

    To start again and again Nola to expect things will suddenly change while we are already in September is moronic. Sorry.

  2. King Donko of Punchstania says:

    How should we value Logan Webb going into next year for dynasty leagues? I took a flyer on him a month ago and am still waiting for regression, specifically in the whiff metric. Awfully encouraging thus far.

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