Beauty Marcus

Nick Pollack reviews every starting pitcher performance from Wednesday.

Marcus Stroman @ CIN (W) – 8.0 IP, 0 ER, 1 Hits, 1 BBs, 7 Ks – 12 Whiffs, 31% CSW, 90 pitches.

It hasn’t been an easy month for Marcus StromanHe dealt with hip soreness, his grandmother passed away, and he has been out of rhythm with his repertoire. Until today. He went to Cincinnati and put on a Stro show — 8.0 IP, 0 ER, 1 Hits, 1 BBs, 7 Ks – 12 Whiffs, 31% CSW, 90 pitches — and you should have seen that slider. Oh my, did it move and swerve and whirl away from bats for 59% CSW and eight whiffs. And when that pitch is working, the rest comes together nicely.

The question is if it will stick or not for Stroman, but in the end, it doesn’t matter a whole lot — the floor is high enough where Stroman is generally worth the start anyway, now you’re just celebrating that there’s a higher ceiling than before. Let’s hope the slider can stay at this level — it’s certainly disappeared in the past and this could be no different.


Let’s see how every other SP did Wednesday:


Erick Fedde vs MIA (ND) – 6.0 IP, 0 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 29% CSW, 84 pitches.

Blame it on the Marlins. Seriously, that’s it. He allowed at least five ER in three of his last four starts. Don’t Trust The Feddes.

Chris Paddack @ ATL (W) – 5.0 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 0 BBs, 1 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 21% CSW, 77 pitches.

Ayyyy he survived a start! With…one strikeout. HAISTFMFWT?! His heater sat at a solid 95 mph, though I didn’t see a whole lot from his curveball or changeup to suggest the rebound is coming. Sure, he’s the sheriff, but the one that still somehow has his job despite passing out with his feet up in the office. I’d still be very cautious here.

Spencer Howard @ NYY (ND) – 3.0 IP, 0 ER, 1 Hits, 1 BBs, 2 Ks – 5 Whiffs, 26% CSW, 42 pitches.

Wait what. You’re not supposed to be here. You’re supposed to be in the minors stretching out to become a proper starting pitcher. Oh, look, you went just 42 pitches in this game. YOU SHOULDN’T BE HERE.

Eric Lauer vs KC (ND) – 5.0 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 0 BBs, 6 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 26% CSW, 82 pitches.

His cutter is being thrown slower (blegh) and his four-seamer is still mediocre, but then again, that’s zero ER and six strikeouts with a 0.60 WHIP, SO WHAT DO I KNOW. I’m glad to see it, looks like it was a wonderful Birthday Party.

Michael Pineda @ CWS (W) – 5.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 3 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 26% CSW, 73 pitches.

Somehow, someway, Pineda produces with that slider. It’s crazy to me, he truly lives and dies with the pitch regardless of opponent and here he went 9/25 whiffs with a 40% CSW on sweepers. Gotta tip your cap to the guy.

Adam Wainwright vs CHC (ND) – 7.0 IP, 1 ER, 6 Hits, 0 BBs, 5 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 35% CSW, 84 pitches.

It’s pretty dang cool watching Waino keep up his stellar season, here earning a King Cole with his curveball and…sinker?! The cutter wasn’t there and he still managed to make it work. Whoa. Majors props to you, Adam.

Nick Neidert @ WSH (ND) – 5.0 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 3 BBs, 2 Ks – 5 Whiffs, 22% CSW, 79 pitches.

It’s cool to see NN do something decent on the hill. Now that I’ve typed that out, all I can think of is Neidert’s middle name is Ivan. Or maybe Ignacious. I hope it’s Ignacious. Anyway, this won’t last. His arsenal can best be described as a toaster that makes bread room temperature. It doesn’t work.

Matt Manning vs TEX (W) – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 31% CSW, 77 pitches.

Manning is trying to be a Toby and I’m glad to see he did what he’s supposed to against the Rangers. I’m not sure I’m ready to just give him the label proper yet and I’m sure not seeing enough in the arsenal to believe he can be a whole lot more than that this season. I sure hope I’m wrong, though. He gets the Twins next so don’t even think about it.

Madison Bumgarner vs PIT (ND) – 5.0 IP, 1 ER, 7 Hits, 0 BBs, 1 Ks – 3 Whiffs, 25% CSW, 79 pitches.

I know what you’re thinking. Sure, it’s a HAISTFMFWT?! but that’s two straight great starts from Bumgarner! He’s gotta be worth the pickup. Nay. He ain’t. Remember the #1 facet of his success prior to injury: four-seamers thrown at 91+ mph. This start and last has come with sub-90 mph fastballs. PACK IT UP BOYS. Not to mention, three whiffs? Seriously?!

Kyle Muller vs SD (L) – 4.0 IP, 1 ER, 2 Hits, 3 BBs, 3 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 24% CSW, 87 pitches.

Considering we gave Alec Mills the streaming victory, seems fitting we do the same here for Muller. Streaming Record: 61-44. I’m glad he was able to get out unscathed against San Diego, though he was incredibly inefficient as his command far too often, and I should mention that the heater sat 93 mph today instead of 94+. It doesn’t mean I’m off the train — it’s the Phils next and I’m okay with that — but it’ll be the main focus of his second half as the breakers sure are good enough.

Julio Urías vs SF (ND) – 7.0 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 30% CSW, 96 pitches.

See, this is what we expect every time for Urías, if not more strikeouts to the bill as well. Curveball was great, fastball earned plenty of strikes, and changeups got outs. Why can’t you be this all the time? Maybe he can now. Maybe he can…

Logan Webb @ LAD (ND) – 5.0 IP, 2 ER, 3 Hits, 3 BBs, 5 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 28% CSW, 75 pitches.

The slow ball was doing wonders and he took on the Dodgers like it was nothing. He’ll have to do it a second time, though…and then the Astros after that, but the Brewers in 2/3 weeks! I’m not holding him through the gauntlet.

Asher Wojciechowski vs PHI (ND) – 4.0 IP, 2 ER, 3 Hits, 3 BBs, 4 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 25% CSW, 83 pitches.

Say whaaaaat. A-Bomb over here is still finding a way to make starts in the majors and actually had some decent secondaries. His fastball is still blegh, though, and there’s no way you’re actually considering him for fantasy. Womp womp.

Kyle Hendricks @ STL (ND) – 6.1 IP, 2 ER, 8 Hits, 0 BBs, 3 Ks – 5 Whiffs, 26% CSW, 90 pitches.

This was exactly what we expected – two veteran, slow-tossing arms showing the rest of the majors how to carve innings on a budget. Hendricks is trying his best to be Spider-Man this year and I’m glad he was able to follow “The Cardinal Rule”. Keep starting the man, despite the low whiffs and strikeouts.

Eli Morgan @ HOU (ND) – 5.0 IP, 3 ER, 3 Hits, 0 BBs, 5 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 29% CSW, 77 pitches.

Hey, he was up to 91/92 mph suddenly (he sat sub 90 mph in his debut!), but that’s still a pretty dang mediocre heater. Nice job surviving Houston, though. Kinda.

Reiss Knehr @ ATL (ND) – 1.2 IP, 3 ER, 1 Hits, 2 BBs, 1 Ks – 2 Whiffs, 18% CSW, 45 pitches.

I expected nothing and I’m still disappointed. 

Dylan Cease vs MIN (L) – 5.0 IP, 3 ER, 7 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks – 19 Whiffs, 33% CSW, 92 pitches.

Look at Cease earning a Gallows Pole for his managers, who promptly look at the award that has zero impact on their fantasy teams and throw it into the window. His slider was legit in this one (10/32 whiffs!), but he didn’t have the support he needed from his four-seamer or changeup. Mostly the four-seamer. I’d keep rolling with Cease as his ceiling is stupid high when that breaker is working, but I get it if you can’t endure the volatility. The man is a Cherry Bomb, alright.

Brad Keller @ MIL (W) – 6.2 IP, 3 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 6 Ks – 6 Whiffs, 24% CSW, 97 pitches.

Ain’t that kinda pretty. Okay not that much, but the man has it in him to give you six-plus frames on a given night. Cool to see him live 94/95 and lean 35% of the time on sliders. It gives him a fighting chance to be serviceable.

Michael Wacha vs BAL (ND) – 5.0 IP, 3 ER, 6 Hits, 0 BBs, 2 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 24% CSW, 58 pitches.

Since that one random start of bliss, each outing will forever be seen as a “Changeup yay or nay” situation. I think you can tell that this one belongs in the Nay pile.

Austin Gomber vs SEA (W) – 6.0 IP, 3 ER, 3 Hits, 1 BBs, 3 Ks – 5 Whiffs, 25% CSW, 71 pitches.

Honestly, I’ll take a PQS from Gomber on his Still ILL outing. Just 71 pitches is more in line with what we expected and I’m sad to see him go 45% heaters and embracing the 30% usage before the injury. It doesn’t help that his slider went 0/13 CSW, though. I imagine the approach will return when he gets the feel for his slider and curve again.

Alexander Wells @ TB (ND) – 5.2 IP, 3 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 7 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 31% CSW, 93 pitches.

Hey, Alexander served a Philly with seven Ks and that’s pretty dang good. However, he tosses 88 mph heaters with a decent slider and that’s about it. So in short, Wells? Forgo.

Jordan Lyles @ DET (L) – 7.0 IP, 4 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 22% CSW, 109 pitches.

Meh. That’s a good WHIP n all, but it feels like the most forgettable seven-inning start of the year. Carry on without Lyles.

Garrett Richards @ TOR (W) – 5.2 IP, 4 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks – 15 Whiffs, 32% CSW, 82 pitches.

Richards elected to throw just 33% heaters in this one in a dire effort to not be so terrible. And guess what: it kinda worked. Well, to be more accurate, his slider finally worked. 9/29 whiffs and 38% CSW as the premier pitch of the evening is what we’ve wanted all season long and it was good enough to go nearly six full against the Jays. The floor is so ghastly that we’re not jumping back in yet (he still allowed four ER, after all) but take note of it. Richards could be an option once again if the slider keeps up.

Robbie Ray vs BOS (L) – 5.0 IP, 4 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks – 14 Whiffs, 29% CSW, 79 pitches.

Aces gonna blegh. Simply put, the Red Sox jumped on some fastballs and his slider didn’t help a whole lot. Ray has certainly done enough to warrant at least one blip like this before you do anything rash so…don’t do anything rash.

Lance McCullers vs CLE (ND) – 5.0 IP, 4 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 8 Ks – 15 Whiffs, 34% CSW, 100 pitches.

Noooo, I just sang your praises last time out and while his slider was excellent — 43% CSW and 12/49 whiffs — he had nothing to support it. It’s old McCullers again. I thought these times were different! Where is that classic curveball?! He should rebound, don’t panic.

Max Kranick @ ARI (ND) – 3.0 IP, 4 ER, 7 Hits, 1 BBs, 3 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 22% CSW, 74 pitches.

Wait, Kranick, I thought you weren’t allowed to give up hits. It’s nice to see him toss 95 mph heaters, but the overall repertoire doesn’t speak to dominance and you’re better off chasing other stuff for now. Maybe one of his slider and curveball can be what we want, I wouldn’t bank on it.

Jeff Hoffman vs NYM (L) – 4.0 IP, 5 ER, 7 Hits, 3 BBs, 0 Ks – 5 Whiffs, 18% CSW, 82 pitches.

In the easiest Still ILL out there, Hoffman returned to little fanfare — it’s not like you rushed to roster him before the injury. He needs his breaker to make things happen and it wasn’t here today. If he keeps getting starts, I’d imagine it would return (breaking ball feel is often the last element to return after missing time), but who’s to say Hoffman with his old breaking ball is fantasy relevant. Who, truly, is to say.

Bryse Wilson vs SD (ND) – 2.0 IP, 5 ER, 4 Hits, 4 BBs, 2 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 25% CSW, 60 pitches.

This game was suspended in the fifth but it doesn’t really matter for Bryse. Well, kinda — he’s on the hook for the loss. Anyway, he got the call for the doubleheader and even if you give him some slack for facing the Padres, there’s still ain’t enough rope to pull him onto your roster.

Keynan Middleton @ COL (L) – 1.0 IP, 5 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 1 Ks – 6 Whiffs, 30% CSW, 30 pitches.

I don’t think we talk enough about the biggest argument against openers — they can ruin your start before you get to the bulk guy. I expected to be Chris Flexenbut he was pushed to Thursday and Darren McCaughan came on for five frames and one ER…despite not allowing a hit or earning a strikeout. Ummm Sarah Langs, has that ever happened before? Regardless, I trust y’all can tell what kind of pitcher he is without me saying it — he tosses 88 mph sinkers without a filthy secondary offering. So yeah, I hope you enjoyed the roundup. You’ve learned so much over the years, I’m proud of you.


Game of the Day 


Anthony DeSclafani vs Walker BuehlerCan Tony Disco get over his hump? Will Buehler keep his secondary command? I’ve got the popcorn ready.

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 Dustin Bradford/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.

3 responses to “Beauty Marcus”

  1. BB says:

    Lauer has now allowed two or fewer ER in seven of his 10 starts (averaging 5.7 IP), including a total of two ER over 23.1 IP in his last four outings. He’s getting to be an old man from all those birthday parties.

  2. xdwm9525@gmail.com says:

    This next week may not be bad against teams like the Twins without Kiriloff and Cruz. TBR could be more dangerous. It will be an interesting week.

  3. posty says:

    Nick Neidert middle name is William…

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