Cann You Do Dig It?

Nick Pollack reviews every single starting pitcher's performances from Tuesday's games.

It was the MLB debut for Griffin Canning and I didn’t really know what to expect. While the result was 4.1 IP, 3 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks, that doesn’t do the outing justice. Canning fanned five batters straight across the second and third frames, cruising the first time through the lineup. Was saw curveballs for strikes, an 89 mph slider getting whiffs, and 94 mph up in the zone. IT WAS GLORIOUS. Then he allowed his first hit in the fourth and things got tougher. The nerves of the start kicked in, with fewer pitches executed correctly, including his first official run scoring on a bases-loaded wild pitch. The fifth inning was a bit better, even with the solo shot to Brandon Drury – it wasn’t a bad pitch! Just a bad pitch call, up-and-away heater out of the zone – but the double was a slider at 86mph that got too much of the zone, a double that scored after his removal from the game. What does it all mean? It means you should be holding onto Canning. I really like his skill set and while there is still some extra polish needed to get consistency with it all, his stuff is electric. His 18 whiffs earned a share of the Gallows Pole…in just 82 pitches (34% CSW). His overall velocity did wane in the fourth and fifth – down about two ticks everywhere by the end – but it was his first start and I’d anticipate the velocity being around 92/93 (not 94 but not 91) moving forward. That works for me. He gets the Tigers next and I’d be all over that outing.

Let’s see how every other SP did Tuesday:

Jhoulys Chacin6.0 IP, 0 ER, 2 Hits, 3 BBs, 1 Ks. Look at that. The moment I finally get rid of Chacin, he does well again, this time hosting the Rockies. Chacin will do well when Jhoulyst expect it. Thing is, it also came with just one strikeout. ONE STRIKEOUT?! HAISTFMFWT?!

Gerrit Cole7.0 IP, 0 ER, 1 Hits, 3 BBs, 11 Ks. Aces gonna ace. His 18 whiffs earned a co-share of the Gallows Pole with Canning and life is good.

Luis Castillo6.2 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 3 BBs, 7 Ks. Aces gonna ace here too. YES FINALLY. It feels so good to say that to Castillo. I’ve waited 18 months for this.

Rick Porcello8.0 IP, 0 ER, 2 Hits, 2 BBs, 8 Ks. I hate on Porcello a good amount – 5.52 ERA after this start? 12% walk rate? 1.71 WHIP?! HA! – but 31% CSW against a solid Oakland team is noteworthy as his essential two-pitch mix of sliders/fastballs did the trick, making it a 2.29 ERA and 17% K-BB rate across his last three starts against the Rays, Tigers, and A’s. It’s time to reconsider him in 12-teamers.

Adrian Sampson5.2 IP, 0 ER, 5 Hits, 0 BBs, 5 Ks. For one night only, enjoy the GREAT SAMPSON! See him now while he still has his hair!

Zack Greinke7.2 IP, 1 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 7 Ks. He protec, he attac, but mostly, HE ZACK. It’s a 3.27 ERA, 0.95 WHIP and 27% K rate through 7 games of a 6.5 IPS. Sure, the 9% swinging-strike rate dictates a small drop in Ks, but I’m a little tempted to throw the AGA label at him again as he deserves more love in the ranks.

Spencer Turnbull6.0 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks. Did you realize Turnbull has a 2.53 ERA through six starts? It’s a bit nuts and given his kinda mediocre starts, I expected something closer to 4.00…which is represented in his 4.38 SIERA. There are a decent amount of red flags – near 10% walk rate, 7.1% HR/FB rate, fastball usage around 2/3 when I’d want to see something closer to 50% with his strong slider and curveball – but Turnbull survived the test against the Phils and has the Royals ahead. I’m all about grabbing this and seeing how it plays out.

Jason Vargas5.1 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 3 BBs, 5 Ks. Vargas is beginning to earn himself his rule again as that’s three straight starts with just 1 ER each. So go pick him up? Ha, please don’t. Seriously, DON’T.

Cole Hamels5.1 IP, 2 ER, 6 Hits, 3 BBs, 7 Ks. Like a terrible compilation 10-disc set from the 80s, the whiffs just keep coming. Thirteen in this start as his changeup was the slow ball of old (6/17 whiffs!) and that’s a lovely thing. Keep rolling with Hamels, his strikeouts are kinda real and it’s wild.

Jordan Lyles4.0 IP, 2 ER, 3 Hits, 4 BBs, 5 Ks. Ehhhhh I’m not a fan of Lyles and he needed 96 pitches to get through just four frames here. That’s kinda whack. Please don’t start doing the Greinke rhyme again. 

Chris Paddack6.0 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks. Another great start from Paddack as he does such a good job of commanding his heater up-and-in while staying low with secondary stuff. If only we got 180 frames of him this year…

CC Sabathia5.1 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks. You C this line? Get used to this line.  You’re going to C it a lot. Stop, I C what you’re doing. YEAH YOU DO.

Adam Wainwright6.1 IP, 2 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks. Can I call Waino’s 3.73 ERA a TEEs when it comes with a 4.63 SIERA, 6.7% swinging-strike rate, and 9% walk rate? I think so. Yeah, that sub 4.00 ERA surprised me, too.

Clay Buchholz5.0 IP, 3 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 3 Ks. Blegh. He was the Call Boy and it just doesn’t help. Anywhere. It’s close to a dub, but just far enough away that we regret the Clay of the day. Streaming Record: 17-15.

Walker Buehler5.1 IP, 3 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks. A better start here from Buehler as batters were finally whiffing on his four-seamer again – the Giants are kinda known for that aren’t they? – though I’m surprised to see him still struggle plenty with putting sliders and curveballs over the plate – just 4/19 CSW on the breakers combined is pretty blegh. There’s still room to go here, but things are at least better with the heat.

Drew Pomeranz4.0 IP, 3 ER, 3 Hits, 2 BBs, 3 Ks. I want to see he’s the Dirty Cheerleader, but he really isn’t and it’s sad. Like Anibal below, Pom Pom is a Panda. Not good enough for the roster, but maybe one day. Maybe.

Anibal Sanchez5.0 IP, 3 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 7 Ks. This is a step in the right direction for Anibal, but I ultimately see a Panda more than a Toby. 

Vince Velasquez3.2 IP, 3 ER, 6 Hits, 3 BBs, 7 Ks. You thought Lyles was bad? VV threw 99 pitches and didn’t even survive four frames! It’s almost like he’s made to be a reliever or something. He’s a Cherry Bomb through and through and even as I yo-yo him about on The List, he’s not going to remove himself from the label.

Sandy Alcantara5.1 IP, 4 ER, 7 Hits, 3 BBs, 1 Ks. Sandy is just so raw and it’s killing us all. Well not really since no one owns him, but it hurts to watch this. Earning just one strikeout is making me shake me head with pity. HAISTFMFWT?!

Trevor Bauer7.0 IP, 4 ER, 4 Hits, 4 BBs, 10 Ks. Bauer, buddy, this was the Marlins. He struggled in the opening two and settled down in the final five, but still, dude, come on. We do have our first three-way Gallows Pole tie with this game, though, earning 18 whiffs and 40/105 CSW…it’s just those first two frames where it didn’t work.

Aaron Brooks4.1 IP, 4 ER, 6 Hits, 3 BBs, 2 Ks. Don’t go chasing Brooks, stick to the waterfalls that you’re used to.

Felix Hernandez6.0 IP, 4 ER, 8 Hits, 1 BBs, 8 Ks. Ummm, that’s back-to-back 8 K games from Felix. It’s his second straight game with 45%+ CSW on his curveball…yeah there’s something up here. Sure, the rest here is sad with a 1.50 WHIP and 6.00 ERA but there may be some sneaky value if that deuce is back to its prime. It may not and everything can be dumb as he hovers 90 mph with his heaters, but hey, it’s something!

German Marquez7.0 IP, 4 ER, 6 Hits, 0 BBs, 6 Ks. This is frustrating as he was perfect through five and then allowed a 3-run bomb to Jesus Aguilar to ruin the evening. Don’t bench Marquez at any point here and he’s a clear Top 25 arm at this point. Not propelling to Top 10 or anything, but the SP #2 you want him to be.

Julio Teheran7.0 IP, 4 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 8 Ks. More HR problems from Teheran, though his slider was doing some work. It’s a Dusty Donut with that nice WHIP and strikeouts, but you really don’t know what you’re going to get from Teheran and that’s not cool at all, unlike the box of chocolates I was just referencing. Those are always welcome.

Michael Pineda5.0 IP, 5 ER, 9 Hits, 1 BBs, 2 Ks. Another game against the Stros, another disappointment. I can imagine people staying far away from Pineda now…but I don’t know if that’s right. Sure, these games have been bad, but Pineda could show up in a heartbeat. Fine, avoid him for the Yanks, but his high strikeout ceiling means you have to keep a watchful eye.


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.


Spencer Turnbull vs. Philadelphia Phillies – Bleeeegh. I was debating between this, Anthony DeSclafani vs the Mets and a few other meh names at the end. I like Turnbull’s ceiling ultimately so he gets the nod despite the matchup. I’m not a fan of this one. Update: Looks like it’s Tony Disco after all.


Tomorrow’s Streamer


Freddy Peralta vs. Colorado RockiesIt’s this or Tyler Mahle against the Mets and I’ll take a stab at the Rockies on the road. Update: Woodruff is getting skipped or pushed back or I don’t know. Just not starting anymore.


Day After Tomorrow’s Streamer


Jerad Eickhoff vs. Washington Nationals – I’d consider Tyler Beede as well or even Jorge Lopez for the desperate, but I like Eickhoff’s skill set the most.


Game of the Day


Miles Mikolas vs. Max Scherzer – Maybe that slider returns today for Mikolas. Maybe I can just say AGA for Scherzer. PLEASE. I’m curious in Cal Quantrill but not expecting a whole lot.

(Photo by John Cordes/Icon Sportswire)

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.

21 responses to “Cann You Do Dig It?”

  1. Sam says:

    Where would paddack rank if he had 180 IP in him this year?

  2. Mikey says:

    Debating dropping Pablo Lopez for Turnbull. I just don’t see P-Lo having a realistic shot to accumulate some wins, especially in his division. Whereas Detroit has all kinds of fun matchups. Make the move?

    • Nick Pollack says:

      I think that’s fine with me. Pretty close for the outlook but Turnbull’s next start is more favorable.

  3. Will Lankford says:

    12 team points league, I have Eovaldi should I drop him for Turnbull or Skaggs or stay put

  4. Mike P says:

    How does Canning compare to the other young arms like Soroka and Paddack in your opinion?

  5. Chucky says:

    Shark or Lucchesi? Keeper, with zero chance of either being kept

  6. Kyeonghan says:

    Hey, Nick. I lost my #1 SP… (Clevinger).. I dropped him because of shallow bench.
    I think I can get Bauer with Lorenzo Cain. Do you think the trade is good for me?
    I want to ask “Do you think legit #1 SP is mendatory?”
    My current roster is Realmuto, Voit, Chavis, Rendon, Hunter Dozier, Story, Judge, Buxton, Eloy, Franmil, German Marquez, Darvish, Glasnow, Caleb, Freeland, Canning, Yates, Holland and Musgrove.

  7. Play Ball says:

    I own Buehler and was hoping for a turnaround against the lowly Giants offense. He’s gotten to the sixth inning once in his first six starts. His K/9 is under 7. How many starts to you give him to determine maybe he’s not going to put up the counting stats and ratios we though he would?

    • Nick Pollack says:

      That’s always the question that’s impossible to answer.

      When does a few grains of sand become a pile? Or a heap? What is the threshold?

      I don’t think there will be a definitive time to say that, but I can say that I expect Buehler to take steps forward as we continue this year.

  8. John says:

    Hey Nick!!!
    Great article!! I read these everyday and thoroughly enjoy them. So i need some help…..10 team 10 keeper league H2H pts Ottaneau scoring and i’m considering trading Arenado for either Gerrit Cole or Tailon and Bieber or Tailon and Wheeler. Below are my best offensive players

    Bellinger, Altuve, Lindor, Guerrero jr, Harper, Soto and Acuna…..I have Degrom, Marquez, Bauer, Verlander as my best pitchers but I’m up in the air about trading Arenado for pitching….

    What say you?

    Thanks in advance!!

    • Brad says:

      I’m not Nick, but you shouldn’t be trading Arenado straight up for any pitcher imo. Maybe Scherzer. I’m not a rankings slave or anything, but for example ESPN has Arenado ranked the 6th best player overall, Scherzer is 11th and Cole is 24th, just to give you an idea. In H2H hitters are much better than pitchers because you can’t stream hitters effectively and hitters play every single day. This holds even more true in 10 team because there are better streamers available.

      Finally, you have 3 of the top 6 pitchers, why bother getting any more?

  9. Dan says:

    Expectations for Tyler Beede? Worth a grab in 12 tm dynasty league? AAA #’s look great but nothing the previous years are promising.

  10. theKraken says:

    In the Teheran v Paddack matchup yesterday – the only thing Paddack did better was not allow the HR… just saying that the takes are awfully different. I guess that I am low on him because the only time I saw him it wasn’t great. When I saw him, the opponent (whoever it was), was laying off of the CH down pretty easily… which seems like the problem with his two-pitch mix. I just looked up his pitch mix… what is an NU? I think the concern should be that hitters take one of his pitches away from him. The day I saw him, that is what happened and he is on his first trip through the league.
    I would also prefer to roll out Greinke over Castillo. Last night didn’t seem like the start to earn the label IMO. I am sure I amalone, but I don’t think he has the track record or consistency for the label.

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