Clearing The Cash

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

I can’t believe we’re doing this but FINE, we’re going to talk about Andrew Cashner today. Yesterday’s 7.0 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 0 BBs, 4 Ks performance against the Jays and now that’s 5 ER total over his last five starts with a Quality Start in each. Huh. This year has been a little bit different for Cashner as he’s dramatically pulled back on sinkers in favor of four-seamers (we approve) while nearly doubling his changeup usage. Is that changeup good? Nah, it’s just the fourth best changeup by pVal in the majors. It’s a money pitch, earns grounders, and has returned just a .181 BAA…but it doesn’t strike out batters with a sub 20% strikeout rate on the slow ball. Cashner still doesn’t have that K pitch in his arsenal and even with this great offering, there’s nothing left to support it. Think Trevor Richards without the strikeouts. That’s not good at all. So let’s look back at this fantastic five-game stretch. 15% strikeout rate. .198 BABIP. 0 HRs allow. 4.79 SIERA. Yeah, this is going to hurt.

Let’s see how every other SP did Saturday:

Gerrit Cole7.0 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 2 BBs, 9 Ks. Aces gonna ace. We really don’t see many starters give you the full on goose egg in the ER department much anymore.

Chris Paddack5.2 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks. It was a better but not stellar Vulcan changeup from Paddack in this one, though his heater did some serious work at the top of the zone. We’re all happy with the final result and there’s little reason to doubt Paddack’s production in the weeks ahead.

Max Scherzer7.0 IP, 0 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 11 Ks. Aces gonna ace. It was Scherzer against the Royals, of course he was going 44% CSW with a Gallows Pole at 25 whiffs. Duh.

Madison Bumgarner2.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 0 BBs, 2 Ks. He was going to rise tomorrow on The List and he still might despite the liner to the elbow as I imagine he should make his next start given that X-rays were negative. It really is too bad, though, I was just starting to come around on him as his curveball has improved.

Jon Lester6.1 IP, 1 ER, 6 Hits, 3 BBs, 3 Ks. It’s super boring but you’ll take it as a Lester owner. It’s what you signed up for.

Michael Pineda6.0 IP, 1 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 9 Ks. Can you guess what went right for Pineda? If you said “fastball velocity” you get all the points. Pineda was sitting 94 mph in this one, helping him earn 34% CSW on just four-seamers and collect 16 whiffs for the night. Great stuff and deserves a bit of your love if you’re hurting for another arm in a 12-teamer.

Robbie Ray6.0 IP, 1 ER, 2 Hits, 5 BBs, 8 Ks. Those five walks aren’t pretty, but the bottom line sure is. Here’s to hoping this is the start of the fun times.

Blake Snell5.0 IP, 1 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks. He needed 93 pitches to get through five frames of the Yankee lineup and that’s a bit meh, but Snell is being productive and that’s a good thing. Feel confident through the second half, of course.

Dario Agrazal6.0 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 1 Ks. Dario, serving us a HAISTFMFWT?! is not how to win us over, like talking about disc golf with Pam.

Shane Bieber8.0 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 0 BBs, 8 Ks. Mmmmm I love seeing Bieber on fire. That’s 8 ER total in his last five, wheeling and dealing as he’s featured a pretty lax schedule. Did you realize he has a 31.5% strikeout rate this year while boasting a 6+ IPS?

Anthony DeSclafani6.0 IP, 2 ER, 7 Hits, 2 BBs, 6 Ks. Atta boy Tony Disco, way to take advantage of the Indians. Streaming Record: 55-38. Don’t get super confident in this past this outing – the WHIP isn’t great after all – but pick your spots when you need it and The Ant-Man will help.

Marco Gonzales8.0 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks. That’s a 2.89 ERA from Marco across his last six starts, facing tough teams like the Astros, Brewers, and even the A’s twice. His changeup has really been working in that time and I’m not too sure that’s going to last without his old cutter. It could and I can see some taking a chance for a Toby here, but it’s not something I’d feel upset missing out on.

Andrew Heaney5.0 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks. Heaney was handed a tough matchup against the Astros and did just fine. Sinkers up (yes Sinkers, Heaney is weird but think four-seamer here), changeups and curveballs down, and things are good. Just more heaters inside to right-handers next time, K thx.

Jon Gray5.0 IP, 3 ER, 8 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks. Blegh. Gray, we’re just starting to consider if you’re worth the headache these days, starts like these are only making everyone upset. 16 whiffs is pretty cool, though, just be better when you get starts on the road, okay?

Kenta Maeda7.2 IP, 3 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks. Maeda had himself a glorious opening six frames, then allowed a HR in each the seventh and eighth to put a bit of a damper on this one. Still, love the line, love 16 whiffs and 33% CSW, and I love how good his slider/changeup were on opposite sides of the plate. He should get a little love tomorrow.

Clayton Richard6.0 IP, 3 ER, 7 Hits, 1 BBs, 2 Ks. It’s the wrong Clayton! A PQS with two strikeouts is as bland as it gets. If you’re not in a QS league, this start only hurt.

CC Sabathia7.0 IP, 3 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks. I’m pretty impressed with Sabathia going at least six frames for three straight starts after doing so just twice in his first eleven games. Can’t say I really expect that to be a new thing for CC, but he is a cheap Win Toby and if that suits your fancy, go right ahead.

Caleb Smith6.0 IP, 3 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks. Great to see Caleb back, I gave everyone the green light to deny the DLH. So it was a blegh PQS (4.50 ERA) via two longballs – on the road in Atlanta seems about for Smith – but the six Ks and 1.00 WHIP are wonderful. It’s so nice to have you back Kaleb.

Jesse Chavez5.0 IP, 4 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 3 Ks. Yeaaaah, we didn’t expect that strikeout per inning with decent ratios, did we?

Miles Mikolas4.0 IP, 4 ER, 6 Hits, 0 BBs, 6 Ks. Mikolas allowed a pinch-hit grand slam in the fourth, ruining what was a fantastic opening three frames. Slider was back down to 86mph and the whole “Mikolas on the road” idea is still resonating in my head…but this was actually good until that fourth frame. Blegh. It’s getting harder and harder to believe in a full on return, but there is plenty of season left. It’s all about weighing your options.

Glenn Sparkman6.0 IP, 4 ER, 9 Hits, 2 BBs, 3 Ks. Yep, this discount superhero isn’t worth your money.

Noah Syndergaard5.0 IP, 4 ER, 7 Hits, 3 BBs, 3 Ks. The Mets have made it clear that their mode of attack with Syndergaard is to keep the ball low. NOOOOOOOOOO. I’m sure they really love his 8/87 whiffs and 0 whiffs on secondary pitches yesterday. It’s working so well to keep the ball down. SO WELL.

Max Fried5.0 IP, 5 ER, 11 Hits, 1 BBs, 7 Ks. I’ve been pushing Fried for a bit during this long rough stretch and I understand if y’all need to let him go. I expected him to get his command back a bit sooner, but now I’m losing a little hope that he’ll turn it around before August arrives. I still think there’s a lot of upside here – especially with the introduction of that slider – but without his fastball/curveball combination working like it did in April, it’s going to be more starts like these.

Jake Arrieta4.1 IP, 5 ER, 11 Hits, 0 BBs, 4 Ks. Arrieta has been droppable for a long time and now it’s been revealed he has a bone spur that needs to get removed at some point. Well ain’t that just lovely.

Adrian Houser4.0 IP, 5 ER, 7 Hits, 3 BBs, 5 Ks. There was some talk of Houser being a possible provider after his time in the pen, but I really don’t see the path to upside here. Let this one go.

Chris Bassitt4.1 IP, 6 ER, 7 Hits, 0 BBs, 3 Ks. We all want to be Bassitt Hounds, but this just won’t cut it. You don’t have to stick this one out.

Lucas Giolito4.0 IP, 6 ER, 4 Hits, 5 BBs, 5 Ks. Awwww we were hoping that after last week’s start against the Twins that his walk issues were on the way out, but this game against the Cubs was all kinds of rocky. He’s been facing the toughest teams out there lately and things should lighten up so stick with Giolito through the second half He won’t be a Top 15 play with his secondary pitches, but he’ll be solid.

Rick Porcello5.2 IP, 6 ER, 9 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks. The Thief is a Toby, which means he has a good amount of blegh starts. He should be a little better in the second half, but if you can stream or chase some upside, you definitely should be doing that.

Jordan Zimmermann3.1 IP, 7 ER, 13 Hits, 0 BBs, 2 Ks. Jay-Z doesn’t have the blueprint for success. I’m so hip.


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.


Tyler Mahle vs. Cleveland Indians – I’m amazed I can still pick him, you should ride his strikeout rate against the Tribe as we head into the break.


Tomorrow’s Streamer


None – It’s the ASB, y’all. Let’s watch some dingers and filthy pitches this week.


Day After Tomorrow’s Streamer


None – What he said.


Game of the Day 


Aaron Nola vs. Zack Wheeler It was a great matchup last time and here’s to more of the same as each continues their ascension.


(Photo by Mark Goldman/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 “Clearing The Cash”

  1. MaxRo says:

    Hey Nick, What’s up?

    Caleb Smith is on my wire. I had to drop either German, Boyd or Woodruff. Would you pick any?, or none?
    It’s a points league with QS (and wins and all).

    Thanks for your column. Great to read it everyday.

  2. theKraken says:

    Re: Thor – You are really putting it on the organization? I don’t think anyone makes anyone do anything. Watching the games, I don’t get the impression that there is a lot of coaching or conversations. Nobody gets reprimanded for doing something completely stupid let alone execution and selection of pitches. I don’t imagine Thor being much of a listener even if they did have anything to say. If MLB base-running and general situational awareness is a proxy for coaching (it is at every other level), then there isn’t any. I imagine Thor does his best to do what he thinks is best. I can’t really imagine a grown man, professional athlete at that, just driving straight off a cliff because somebody told him to. He is frustrating for sure, but he deserves all of the blame… and all of the credit when he starts putting together some starts because that won’t be the coaching staff/analytics dept either.

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