Ceases To Amaze

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

We had another fun debut yesterday with Dylan Cease finally taking the grand stage, returning a 5.0 IP, 3 ER, 4 Hits, 4 BBs, 6 Ks line against the Tigers. If you missed it, make sure to check out Fast’s excellent GIF Breakdown from yesterday, showcasing all his pitches and presenting strong analysis. To the point, I don’t love Cease, but he should clearly be owned as there’s room for development. I expect his heater to sit around 96 mph (those 98+ pitches were adrenaline based), which is great, though he’s a thrower, not a pitcher. I don’t trust that Cease is an arm that can pinpoint location with heat often, as he missed – yes, not intentionally – missed up, falling behind often. I love throwing high heaters, y’all know that, but they have to be intentional. The sequencing needs to be right and you have to be precise with the pitch, which isn’t what we saw yesterday. He did bring back its velocity in the later innings to get a bit more command of it, but I don’t want a slower arm to attain this and even his better command wasn’t great.

Secondary stuff was good, though it isn’t going to save Cease when he struggles to get ahead with that heater. Curveball will be an early-in-counts pitch often and his slider should miss more bats moving forward. The biggest surprise was the changeup that he found a strong feel for in the final frames. This is supposed to be “developing” pitch, not a polished offering, so don’t expect another six whiffs on slow balls next time out – it even burned him for a longball.

So what does it mean? I think it details a Cherry Bomb who could take a step forward if he learns to fine-tune that fastball command. Otherwise, he may be battling with curveballs and sliders plenty…which may bite him more than this one if he’s not facing the Tigers lineup. I prefer McKay and Gallen over Cease and he’ll likely be hovering in the 50s on Monday – Yes, I prefer Joe Musgrove.

Let’s see how every other SP did Wednesday:

Mike Clevinger6.0 IP, 0 ER, 4 Hits, 0 BBs, 9 Ks. Clev did this in just 79 pitches, earning 35% CSW along the way. I know some of you were worried after his two DLH starts, but we’re cool now. So dang cool.

Sonny Gray8.0 IP, 0 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 12 Ks. SONNY FREAKIN’ GRAY! Twelve strikeouts as people run to their wire to see if he’s still available, shake their heads with disappointment and skip on to the next guy. Not only did he earn 19 whiffs and 39% CSW, but he did so against the Brewers. Absolutely killing it with his curveball and pushing his slide piece to the wayside. Seeing Gray have the deuce once again is a wonderful thing and I really hope this carries over next time out. I really do.

Mike Leake7.2 IP, 0 ER, 5 Hits, 0 BBs, 7 Ks. Ah yes, Leake. The one who allowed 11 ER across his last two starts including 7 ER against the O’s. That guy.

David Phelps1.0 IP, 0 ER, 0 Hits, 1 BBs, 1 Ks. Everyone’s favorite Blue Jay Jacob Waguespack followed Phelps and he went…it doesn’t matter. It really doesn’t.

Ryne Stanek1.0 IP, 0 ER, 0 Hits, 0 BBs, 2 Ks. Austin Pruitt followed Stanek and did decently well with 5.0 IP, 3 ER, 6 Hits, 3 BBs, 7 Ks. No, I don’t think he’s worth your time but if he does get an eventual chance to legit start (which I don’t think he will), there may be some value here.

Stephen Strasburg7.1 IP, 0 ER, 2 Hits, 2 BBs, 14 Ks. Aces gonna ace. Daaaaaaang dude.  39% CSW with 23 whiffs (Gallows Pole) as Strasburg took full advantage of the Marlins. I just wish you could do this for like four starts in a row, you know?

Mike Fiers6.0 IP, 1 ER, 5 Hits, 0 BBs, 4 Ks. It’s unreal how Fiers finds a way to keep this going, but here we are. Vargas Rule this TEEs and we’ll talk when the wall is hit.

Domingo German6.0 IP, 1 ER, 5 Hits, 0 BBs, 6 Ks. This was a DLH for German…who didn’t care and cruised past the Mets. Start him without fear.

Wade Miley6.0 IP, 1 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 6 Ks. Miley sees your Coors and doesn’t care, doing what Freeland did last year. Good to see him getting into rhythm as we have to feel confident with him moving forward.

Sandy Alcantara5.2 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 4 BBs, 5 Ks. I wanted to be more impressed by this Alcantara start, but to see none of his pitches earn more than two whiffs on its own was a bit sad. At least his curveball earned 16/20 strikes, though. I think his sheen is starting to wear off and it could be a rugged second half.

Tyler Alexander5.0 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 0 BBs, 4 Ks. Tyler made his MLB debut against the ChiSox and it was…okay. Just 21/86 CSW and only five whiffs to his name, though I think his curveball is decent to go with mediocre 91.5 mph heat. It’s pretty meh and not worth your time to stream. Maybe deep AL-Only leagues if he sticks around (this was a double-header, after all), but we can give him the Cup of Schmo label today.

Jaime Barria5.0 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 8 Ks. Man, I remember getting a little excited about Barria last season and it was a product of him having games like this one. I would be shocked if it was consistent, but that doesn’t mean we can’t consider him for the occasional stream.

Jhoulys Chacin6.0 IP, 2 ER, 7 Hits, 0 BBs, 8 Ks. Remember kids, Chacin will do well when Jhoulyst expect it.

Ross Detwiler6.0 IP, 2 ER, 8 Hits, 1 BBs, 2 Ks. Ha! This is something. Wow, what good analysis. Well it is! I’m amazed that I need to tell people not to pick up Detwiler, i.e. you don’t want to get the Deets. It’s just wild to me.

Danny Duffy6.2 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 5 BBs, 3 Ks. It sure isn’t pretty, is this a Streaming Win? The ERA is lovely, but no dub and that blegh WHIP. You tell me y’all, you tell me.

Kyle Gibson6.0 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 4 BBs, 5 Ks. Ehhhh I’ll take it. The WHIP is bad but everything else is fine and I’m fine with being fine with Gibson.

John Means 7.0 IP, 2 ER, 6 Hits, 0 BBs, 5 Ks. Yes, we will certainly take this from Means against the Rays. Some think I’ve been too harsh on Means this year and that might be right given me lack of initial support for him. I still think he’s a Toby at best at the end of the day, but keep on riding him until we need to have a serious talk.

Adam Wainwright5.0 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 3 BBs, 6 Ks. Honestly, with how much we all expect Wainwright to fall off at any moment, any start like this is a welcome sight for those daring enough to trust him. This is a huge risk, without a doubt, and I don’t recommend it, but who knows, maybe he extends this surprising decency for another month or two.

Bryse Wilson6.0 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks. Really great to see Wilson has a solid start against the Phillies. He showcased a strong 95mph heater – 33% CSW on the pitch! – though his secondary stuff still is a little behind. Bad news is that he’ll likely be facing the Brewers next as the Braves reset their rotation after the ASB and I’m not taking a chance there. But if that works out…count me in.

Chris Archer5.0 IP, 3 ER, 5 Hits, 3 BBs, 8 Ks. He wasn’t supposed to start this one, but Archer toughed out an injured hip and fanned eight for your squad. Sure, the ratios are bad, but do you really expect good ratios from Archer?

Walker Buehler7.0 IP, 3 ER, 9 Hits, 0 BBs, 9 Ks. Aces gonna ace. Yeah, that ratios should be a little better, but this is productive and nothing like that last start in Coors. What start in Coors? Right. My bad.

Merrill Kelly6.0 IP, 3 ER, 6 Hits, 0 BBs, 2 Ks. It’s a PQS against the Dodgers, which is actually okay for Kelly. And that 1.00 WHIP sure is fine. Not bad, I’m still super cautious about Kelly, but not bad.

Cal Quantrill4.1 IP, 3 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks. Quantrill was limited to 72 pitches since he returned to the rotation and needed to be stretched out. He’s someone to consider as a streamer, but don’t make a move until we get confirmation that he’s starting again and it’s a team you want him to face.

Jason Vargas5.1 IP, 3 ER, 7 Hits, 2 BBs, 6 Ks. Is this the wall? I don’t think it’s the wall. THE VARGAS RULE LIVES.

Shaun Anderson4.0 IP, 4 ER, 8 Hits, 1 BBs, 3 Ks. Shaun-A barely missed the QS last time out and now isn’t even coming close. You don’t want this.

Yu Darvish6.2 IP, 4 ER, 7 Hits, 0 BBs, 6 Ks. Two more longballs as Darvish threw just 8 sliders with 72 fastballs & cutters. The homers will continue until Darvish actually throws a third pitch with confidence…I really just don’t get why he hates his slider these days. I really don’t.

Peter Lambert5.0 IP, 4 ER, 5 Hits, 3 BBs, 2 Ks. Man, those first two starts of his career were so exciting. I know, this was Houston in Coors, but still. Still.

Nick Pivetta5.2 IP, 5 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks. That’s four starts of 4+ ER since the complete game as he sticks around as a Cherry Bomb. Just like those two games of bliss were not going to last, this crater of production won’t either. There will be some starts moving forward that will get you excited again and the cycle will repeat.

Chris Sale5.2 IP, 5 ER, 9 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks.  Just 25/104 CSW from Sale is shocking as he earned only one whiff on 60 fastballs. Weird, especially against the Blue Jays. He still averaged 94 mph on it so we’re all fine there just a weird day.

Ariel Jurado6.0 IP, 6 ER, 7 Hits, 1 BBs, 7 Ks. Even with the seven strikeouts, I don’t want to be a part of this world. I don’t think you do either.

Daniel Norris5.0 IP, 6 ER, 8 Hits, 3 BBs, 2 Ks. Yeaaaah. Sorry Norris, you’re just not cutting it these days.


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.


Tommy Milone vs. St. Louis Cardinals – The Cards are struggling with their bats and Milone is a shockingly decent play these days. Obviously Anibal Sanchez against the Marlins over this, but he’s likely gone.


Tomorrow’s Streamer


Martin Perez vs. Texas Rangers – Blegh. I danced between a few options here and settled on Perez, who showcased improved velocity last time out. Here’s to hoping.


Day After Tomorrow’s Streamer


Anthony DeSclafani vs. Cleveland Indians – He had a strong performance last time out and I think he can take on a middling Cleveland lineup.


Game of the Day 


Luis Castillo vs. Brandon Woodruff – Well this should be all kinds of fun. Who fans more?


(Photo by Scott Winters/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.

3 responses to “Ceases To Amaze”

  1. Vinny says:

    A QS from Duffy? That def counts as a streamer win in my book

  2. David says:

    I’m going to vote on win for Duffy. A QS isn’t enough to tip me over. I wanted one of a lower BB, more K, less HR.

  3. Chelsa says:

    Hi Nick. Good article as always! Came across something on another fantasy baseball site that I thought you’d appreciate. Jake Ciely of The Athletic had this to say about your recent analysis of Jack Flaherty… “I want everyone to see why I believe @PitcherList is one of the must-followers for #FantasyBaseball – it’s nuggets like this that are on point WAY more often than not (Jack Flaherty).”

    Congrats! Glad that your peers recognize!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Account / Login