Adbert Alzo-bae

Nick Pollack reviews every starting pitcher performance from Friday.

Adbert Alzolay vs CIN (W) – 5.2 IP, 0 ER, 5 Hits, 3 BBs, 6 Ks – 6 Whiffs, 23% CSW, 103 pitches.

We’re nine starts in for Adbert Alzolay and after Friday’s 5.2 IP, 0 ER, 5 Hits, 3 BBs, 6 Ks did you realize he has a 3.81 ERA, 0.93 WHIP, and 26% strikeout rate? Sure, he’s had some luck with a .223 BABIP (20% HR/FB though!), but he’s carried at least six strikeouts in seven of his last eight starts and boasts a ~5% walk rate on the year – this three walk affair makes up 33% of his season walks. Wild (he’s not).

The approach is simple: a 50/50 split of sliders and fastballs. When Huascar Ynoa was a thing, Alzoaly felt like the discount option as it’s close to the same save for a heater coming in four ticks slower, and that’s still what we’re getting as that ERA likely won’t hint at 3.00 and the WHIP…well that’s should climb closer to 1.20 WHIP as we progress through the year. His stuff is good, but not sub 1.00 WHIP good, and I imagine we’ll see a fair amount of mishaps along the way as there will be days where the slider isn’t cooking & that BABIP isn’t nearly as low. We may see those bumps across the next two weeks as he gets the Padres twice, but I’m holding through it. The waiver wire isn’t fun right now and he should be good enough to warrant that spot for the season. Just don’t expect an ascension to the Top 25 SP.


Let’s see how every other SP did Friday:

Hyun Jin Ryu @ CLE (W) – 5.0 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 6 Ks – 6 Whiffs, 25% CSW, 91 pitches. Aces gonna ace. You wanted more than five frames, but whatever, this is fine, especially on a night when it wasn’t all working for Ryu.

Martin Perez vs. MIA (W) – 5.0 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 0 BBs, 4 Ks – 3 Whiffs, 30% CSW 71 pitches. Not the prettiest of starts, but we’ll take it. Streaming Record: 38-18. Quick note, a reader noted I had accidentally skipped two streams (a win and a loss) and they’ve now been added to the record. Anyway, for Perez, he gets Houston next so it’s time to head back to the wire.

Cody Poteet @ BOS (L) – 4.1 IP, 5 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 6 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 24% CSW, 79 pitches. Poteet is a streamer at best at this was inside Fenway – a clear avoid. Now he gets @PIT + Rockie Road and you could do worse searching for a streamer. I’m cool with the Pirates start and we’ll take it from there.

Eli Morgan vs. TOR (L) – 2.2 IP, 6 ER, 8 Hits, 2 BBs, 1 Ks – 6 Whiffs, 20% CSW, 65 pitches. Sadly for Eli, he sports a heater sub 90 mph and that’s not going to cut it, let alone against the Jays. That’s really all you need to know for this MLB debut. Poor guy, this isn’t how he dreamed up this moment.

Gerrit Cole @ DET (ND) – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks – 14 Whiffs, 24% CSW, 103 pitches.

Aces gonna ace. Oddly just a 24% CSW against the lowly Tigers as his slider earned 2/21 whiffs on the day. Weird. Let’s be happy he faced Detroit and not a legit offense here.

Casey Mize vs NYY (ND) – 5.0 IP, 1 ER, 5 Hits, 0 BBs, 7 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 97 pitches.

Whoa, that’s a 32% slider usage from Mize as we’re starting to see some Detroit pitchers lean away from their fastballs. I wonder if it’s a trend we’ll continue to see – Turnbull and Skubal certainly have shown an affinity at times for it. Anway, with Mize, I’m conflicted. That’s 4/5 straight starts with just 1 ER and yet, I’m just not seeing it. In fact, this start made me even think “Have I been overrating the Yankee offense?” as I still didn’t see anything here that made me go that’s a legit starter and how could I have been so blind. 97 pitches for five frames isn’t efficient, he relied heavily on called strikes, failed to earn more than two whiffs with any pitch, yet it worked. Call me crazy, blind, all of that stuff, and Vargas Rule this all you like, I just don’t see a guy who deserves to vault up The List. The overall repertoire simply isn’t appealing enough – don’t overlook the fact he’s faced KCR, SEA, KCR in his previous three starts of this run.

Kris Bubic @ MIN (W) – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks – 12 Whiffs, 29% CSW, 98 pitches.

Ayyy, look at this from Bubic. There’s still some command issues to work through as he’s floating that changeup a bit too much + his heater found the heart of the plate plenty, but that can get ironed out over time. I’m not confident he can have this same success in a repeat matchup against the Twins next, sadly, so I’d leave him on the wire. Monitor it, though. He’s taking small steps forward.

Vladimir Gutierrez @ CHC (L) – 5.0 IP, 1 ER, 2 Hits, 2 BBs, 3 Ks – 3 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 67 pitches.

I watched a lot of this one and I’m sadly not falling for him. It’s a low 90s fastball with a good amount of horizontal ride that came with sporadic command – possibly a product of a windup that has plenty of moving parts. I’m generally not a fan of windups like these as it makes it hard to be consistent with each pitch. His breaker is alright, but it needs to be more if we’re going along with the middling heater. It’s just not enough for me to buy into – maybe as a streamer if he gets more chances.

Sean Manaea vs LAA (ND) – 6.2 IP, 1 ER, 6 Hits, 3 BBs, 8 Ks – 17 Whiffs, 33% CSW, 94 pitches.

That’s a Golden Goal for Manaea as he sat 92.5 mph. If your memory is wonderful, you’ll realize he’s added a tick of heat across each of his last three starts – 90, 91, 92.5. Pair that with consistent success with his changeup (38% CSW!) and a solid curveball and you’ve got yourself a lovely evening. I really hope that velocity sticks (I’m skeptical) and now with SEA + ARI ahead, this can be a wonderful few weeks.

Framber Valdez vs SD (ND) – 4.0 IP, 1 ER, 2 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks – 4 Whiffs, 26% CSW, 72 pitches.

Hey, he’s back! Annnd I’m backing to wondering if that sinker is good enough. Doesn’t matter, he got past the tough first outing and tossed 72 pitches. Now he gets BOS x2 + MIN and I’m leaning sit at least for the first start. He won’t go long and that’s a small margin of error against the Sawx. I’d hold on the bench just to see what that’s like – maybe he shows more signs of 2020 and makes you feel confident in the repeat matchup after. Or at the very least, you’re up for stashing for two weeks to start him when his pitch count is high and he’s past the tough schedule.

Walker Buehler vs SF (ND) – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 3 BBs, 3 Ks – 5 Whiffs, 21% CSW, 92 pitches.

Aces gonna ace. Just 0/38 whiffs on four-seamers is truly weird for Walker, while his curveball + slider totally just one of their own combined. Come on Buehler, we need some strikeouts here. Please. Ks thx.

Dinelson Lamet @ HOU (ND) – 3.0 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 3 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 28% CSW, 64 pitches.

And it’s three frames again for Lamet. The pain. That slider is still wonderful as always, though the heater was far from its strong self with 3/26 CSW. Yikes. Anyway, move on from Lamet. Maybe we’ll see five frames by August or whatever, it’s not worth the hold.

Anthony DeSclafani @ LAD (ND) – 4.2 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 4 BBs, 3 Ks – 6 Whiffs, 22% CSW, 90 pitches.

Blegh. Look, Tony Disco is great when not facing strong offenses. He got the Dodgers, it didn’t work. He should be better for you against the Cubs, Nats, and Sneks next.

Justus Sheffield vs TEX (W) – 5.0 IP, 2 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 1 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 22% CSW, 74 pitches.

Oh Sheff, I’m glad you were able to survive the Rangers, but a 1.60 WHIP with just one strikeout isn’t going to inspire hope moving forward. Seriously, one strikeout?! HAISTFMFWT?!

Johan Oviedo @ ARI (ND) – 4.1 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 6 BBs, 3 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 24% CSW, 91 pitches.

Yeaaaah, he’s a Young Gun as Oveido needs time to get that command in check. The stuff is cool, though, we just need time.

Jordan Lyles @ SEA (L) – 6.0 IP, 3 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 8 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 33% CSW, 95 pitches.

There was some hype around Lyles based on a new slider making rare appearances through the year and looking at this PQS with eight strikeouts + a share of the King Coleyou’d think he had it here, too. Nope, this was all curveball at he held a 48% CSW with the pitch as he tossed it 42% of the time. It’s what made Lyles a thing in years past and it’s wonderful to see it here. Do I think it’ll stick? Nah, he’s gone in-and-out with it since that old run and now he gets Coors. Let’s give the collective thumbs up and move on.

Shohei Ohtani @ OAK (L) – 6.0 IP, 3 ER, 3 Hits, 4 BBs, 5 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 29% CSW, 93 pitches.

My eyes were on his fastball velocity and while it was still down, it was at 94 mph, not 92 mph. That’s a PQS as a result as his splitter was ridiculous, but the slider/cutter wasn’t and sadly the command questions returned with it. Hopefully he’s on schedule for his next start and can feast on the Mariners, while creeping back up with his fastball velocity.

Madison Bumgarner vs STL (L) – 4.0 IP, 6 ER, 5 Hits, 4 BBs, 4 Ks – 5 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 92 pitches.

Here’s the most disappointing start of the night as Bumgarner sat 92 mph on his heater, but his command was off. Too many pitches over the heart of the plate, poor curveballs, and he looked lost, fighting himself with every pitch. You likely want to drop him and I totally understand you for it, but he gets the replaceMets next and I’m personally holding for it. Considering the velo is still there, a rebound can happen easily. We see blips like this all the time.

Randy Dobnak vs KC (L) – 6.0 IP, 6 ER, 9 Hits, 1 BBs, 3 Ks – 6 Whiffs, 20% CSW, 89 pitches.

Yiiiiikes. Dobnak’s sinker got knocked around and his new slider went 2/26 whiffs. This ain’t it. He’ll get a chance at redemption next week if he’s still in the rotation and I think this start is enough of a deterrent to drive us away.


Game of the Day 


John Means vs. Lance Lynn – I wonder what the over/under on total innings is here, 13.5? This should be fantastic.


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


Photo by Mark Alberti/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 college pitcher, travel coach, pitching coach, and Brandeis alum. Wants every pitcher to be dope.

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