Fawning Manaea

Nick Pollack reviews every starting pitcher performance from Wednesday.

Sean Manaea @ SD (W) – 6.0 IP, 0 ER, 1 Hits, 1 BBs, 9 Ks – 15 Whiffs, 36% CSW, 90 pitches.

We really don’t sing enough praises for Sean Manaeawho has earned his AGA label tonight with 6.0 IP, 0 ER, 1 Hits, 1 BBs, 9 Ks – 15 Whiffs, 36% CSW, 90 pitches against the Padres. His fastball began the year at 90/91 mph, and since the middle of May has jumped to 92/93 mph, here sitting at a wonderful 93.2 mph. Meanwhile, his changeup and curveball earned plenty of strikes along the way and it’s just so dang beautiful.

I really didn’t expect this at all, from the lack of longevity to the diminished velocity and overall inconsistent command, Manaea has put all of these concerns to rest. It doesn’t matter if he faces the Mariners or Padres, you should feel pumped to start Manaea on any given night. Aces gonna ace.


Let’s see how every other SP did Wednesday:


Adrian Houser @ PIT (W) – 5.0 IP, 0 ER, 2 Hits, 1 BBs, 2 Ks – 3 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 70 pitches.

Look at Houser, doing great things against the Pirates. Okay fine, good things. I don’t think anyone will look at this and go “yep, that’s the man for me”, making it easy for us to label this as a Birthday Party. For those who believe it’ll last, I’m sure you’ll have your AH-hahaha moment soon. Ohhhh that stands for his name. Nothing gets by this one.

Michael Wacha vs NYY (ND) – 5.0 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 1 BBs, 9 Ks – 14 Whiffs, 35% CSW, 79 pitches.

Hot dang! When Wacha has his changeup, good things can happen and here we saw 7/26 whiffs on the slowball. What’s more spectacular, though, was the 52% CSW on 23 four-seamers, earning six whiffs on their own as the pitch sat 94/95 mph instead of his standard 93 mph. Whoa. Yeah, that’s something. We’ve seen Wacha have his moments before regressing in the very next outing so I wouldn’t bank on it repeating, but monitor his next outing and see if it sticks.

Tyler Mahle @ CHC (W) – 6.0 IP, 0 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 2 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 24% CSW, 103 pitches.

Ha! Look at Mahle, finally giving managers a night of glorious ratios and what did it cost him? All his strikeouts. If your first thought is “oh, he allowed more contact than usual because his stuff wasn’t as great and he got lucky” then you should be doing this instead of me. Why am I even here. He gets the Cruz-less Twins next and you’ll be safe starting Mahle.

Walker Buehler @ SF (ND) – 7.0 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 2 BBs, 8 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 37% CSW, 98 pitches.

Aces gonna ace. His secondaries are still working, and I think I should have raised him a bit last week on The List. I still have a notion that he’ll have his innings limited to some capacity — the Dodgers have nursed him every year, after all — and it’s kept me from pushing him up as of late, but the man keeps producing and that innings limit is an assumption with nothing official. You’ll see it come Monday.

Lucas Gilbreath @ LAA (ND) – 1.0 IP, 1 ER, 2 Hits, 2 BBs, 0 Ks – 1 Whiffs, 23% CSW, 26 pitches.

Oh hey, it’s a bullpen game. You could Gilbreath survived for just a gasp of a start. This is the worst joke you’ve made this year. I mean it. Yeah. I know.

Lucas Giolito @ KC (ND) – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 7 Ks – 18 Whiffs, 40% CSW, 80 pitches.

Aces gonna ace as Giolito earned himself a King Cole. The slider was everything here with 12/29 whiffs alone and I’m loving how the pitch has come into form across the last month. If he holds onto this new skill, he’s going to be such a force when his changeup is missing a ton of bats again.

Tylor Megill vs ATL (ND) – 5.1 IP, 1 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks – 14 Whiffs, 24% CSW, 94 pitches.

Look at Megill go. His changeup was fantastic once again — 7/30 whiffs — and even though his slider and curveball were a bit mediocre, he commanded his heater well enough to survive 5.1 frames. There’s still a bit of work left to be done to go 6+ with consistency, but who cares, he gets Miami next. Go wild.

Nestor Cortes @ TB (ND) – 5.0 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 0 BBs, 5 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 28% CSW, 79 pitches.

Whoa, they let him go a full five frames?! Nestor hasn’t done that all season. Sadly, I don’t think he has the repertoire you should care about, and I’m just here to celebrate with him. Yay.

Tanner Houck vs TOR (ND) – 4.0 IP, 1 ER, 2 Hits, 1 BBs, 7 Ks – 14 Whiffs, 33% CSW, 75 pitches.

Yeah, Houck is kinda dope. That slider is super filthy — 39% CSW and 37% usage is LOVELY — and his heaters did enough to carve four smooth innings. Streaming Record: 65-46. I am a little worried Houck will be ousted if a starter is acquired at the deadline + they need room for Sale, and even if he’s killing it, I could see them still pulling him back. I really hope that doesn’t happen.

Robbie Ray @ BOS (W) – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 5 Hits, 3 BBs, 8 Ks – 21 Whiffs, 30% CSW, 108 pitches.

Aces gonna ace. Red Sox Schmed Schmox, am I right? He won another Gallows Pole and also, my heart. About three months ago. His slider was a little better here, so that’s cool.

Madison Bumgarner @ TEX (W) – 7.0 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks – 6 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 84 pitches.

I’m still conflicted about Bumgarner as he’s under 90 mph for the third straight start. I’m gonna say Blame it on the Rangers, who are now even worse without Joey GalloBumgarner gets a proper test against the Giants next and I’m not starting him where I have him rostered. He’s not pitching at the level he needs to be.

Jordan Lyles vs ARI (ND) – 7.0 IP, 2 ER, 2 Hits, 2 BBs, 6 Ks – 15 Whiffs, 28% CSW, 98 pitches.

Hot dang! Look at you, Lyles. Those whiffs are rooted in eight four-seamers if you can believe it, though the new 2021 slider earned outs instead of CSW and that’s okay. Even with the 15 whiffs, I wouldn’t buy into this Birthday Party. The club’s cover was just too high.

Max Fried @ NYM (L) – 7.0 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 9 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 33% CSW, 106 pitches.

Lovely bounceback Fried, we needed this one even if you didn’t get the win. His curveball was as good as I’ve seen with 55% CSW, though the slider shouldn’t be earned just 1/22 whiffs. Get that pitch in check, please.

Zach Plesac vs STL (W) – 5.0 IP, 2 ER, 7 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 26% CSW, 89 pitches.

It’s not a major step, but at least it’s a positive one. There are still some major questions in his slider and changeup that I hoped would be answered here and now he gets the Jays. Ugh. I wouldn’t be starting him there. HE’S NOT READY.

Kris Bubic vs CWS (ND) – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 3 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 25% CSW, 89 pitches.

I’ll take this any day from Bubic, who still has a problem of elevating too many dang changeups (and tossing them too far arm-side off the plate). This isn’t the turning point I’m looking for, so let’s ignore it and move on.

Jake Odorizzi @ SEA (W) – 5.1 IP, 3 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 3 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 24% CSW, 95 pitches.

Blegh. Sure, the WHIP is fine and it’s a dub, but three strikeouts and a poor ERA makes for two straight disappointing Odorizzi outings against mediocre opponents. I’m losing faith here and his next start would be the Dodgers. Yeah, I’d step away from this. It’s time. We gave it a good run, ya know?

Yusei Kikuchi vs HOU (L) – 5.0 IP, 3 ER, 7 Hits, 2 BBs, 7 Ks – 16 Whiffs, 33% CSW, 101 pitches.

Soooo his slider/cutter both returned, but he was 94/95 (not 96 mph) and got beat on some pitches over the plate. In other words, I feel just fine about Kikuchi even with those poor ratios. Sign me up for his next start against the Rays.

Andrew Heaney vs COL (ND) – 6.0 IP, 3 ER, 4 Hits, 3 BBs, 8 Ks – 17 Whiffs, 30% CSW, 104 pitches.

He hosted Rockie Road and I’m pleased to see a PQS with eight strikeouts and a 1.17 WHIP. Given how bad the floor has been, I see this as an absolute win. Fun (read: not fun) fact: His changeup went 0/8 CSW. Shudders.

Zach Davies vs CIN (L) – 6.0 IP, 4 ER, 7 Hits, 4 BBs, 8 Ks – 15 Whiffs, 29% CSW, 104 pitches.

Annnnnd we’re back to destroying your ratios. 13/40 changeup whiffs are mighty fine, though. I wouldn’t chance it with Davies.

Anthony DeSclafani vs LAD (ND) – 2.2 IP, 4 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 3 Ks – 5 Whiffs, 24% CSW, 66 pitches.

Blegh. Tony Disco has faced the Dodgers five times this year and has just one start under three ER. The lesson of this roundup is to follow the dang rules, and all we have to do is not start DeSclafani against the Dodgers. That’s it.

Garrett Richards vs TOR (L) – 4.0 IP, 4 ER, 8 Hits, 1 BBs, 2 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 67 pitches.

Oh right, you’re still a thing, and likely not for much longer — I imagine the Sawx will acquire at least one arm during the deadline + Chris Sale is about two weeks away. Time is a-tickin’, Richards and this ain’t gonna do it.

Jordan Holloway @ BAL (ND) – 2.1 IP, 4 ER, 3 Hits, 4 BBs, 4 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 32% CSW, 60 pitches.

Womp womp. Holloway has the ability to produce on a given night, but we’re not talking a coin flip chance, nay, more like a fortunate section of the Pundit square. Double recessive baybeee.

Steven Matz @ BOS (L) – 3.1 IP, 4 ER, 9 Hits, 1 BBs, 2 Ks – 5 Whiffs, 25% CSW, 71 pitches.

Blegh. He’s a Toby and you don’t start Tobys against the Red Sox. I feel like that bus driver as I point to the signFollow the rules.

Jorge López vs MIA (ND) – 2.0 IP, 5 ER, 7 Hits, 2 BBs, 2 Ks – 6 Whiffs, 24% CSW, 58 pitches.

Look. It’s JorLó. You know this man. If you don’t, the above is this man. He’s had it rough despite having oddly filthy stuff in brief moments of spark, like a flicker of light escaping a campfire before it dissolves into the autumn air. Have sympathy for the man, his struggle is surely a burden.

Kwang Hyun Kim @ CLE (L) – 2.2 IP, 5 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 0 Ks – 2 Whiffs, 22% CSW, 58 pitches.

Nooooo. Kim has been sneaky fantastic over the past month and it came to a screeching halt against Cleveland without a single strikeout — HAISTBMBWT?! and you’re wondering if he’s worth Atlanta next. It’s just a blip and while his stuff left wasn’t good, I’m not going to ignore everything else over 2.2 innings.

Max Kranick vs MIL (L) – 5.0 IP, 6 ER, 10 Hits, 1 BBs, 3 Ks – 12 Whiffs, 26% CSW, 73 pitches.

Remember when he started his career throwing five no-hit innings? Why can’t small samples be right for once? There are some things to like in the arsenal — a pair of decent breakers + a 94 mph heater — but there’s no reason to chase it. Maybe a desperate stream in the future but I wouldn’t like it.

Wily Peralta @ MIN (ND) – 3.1 IP, 6 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 1 Ks – 4 Whiffs, 18% CSW, 76 pitches.

Oh hey Wily, didn’t see ya there after we all dropped you before this start and followed the Vargas RuleThat’s what y’all did, right? RIGHT?!

Blake Snell vs OAK (L) – 4.0 IP, 7 ER, 7 Hits, 4 BBs, 1 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 20% CSW, 86 pitches.

Sigh. I can’t say I ever thought I’d see Snell earn a HAISTBMBWT?! across four frames BUT HERE WE ARE. Despite doing a great job of locating his heaters up, his secondaries failed to complement it appropriately, allowing Oakland batters to be patient and slap heaters. I still think he’ll turn this around eventually, but if you haven’t dropped him yet, I imagine there’s something out there to help you instead. It’s likely in your best interest to do so instead of stashing and hoping.

J.A. Happ vs DET (L) – 3.0 IP, 9 ER, 10 Hits, 4 BBs, 2 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 22% CSW, 88 pitches.

Man, Detroit really has Happ’s number these days. And fortunately, I deleted it from my phone about a month ago. Can’t risk it.


Game of the Day 


Gerrit Cole vs Luis PatiñoIt’s our #1 SP + we get another chance at Patiño blossoming.

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 Bob Kupbens/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 “Fawning Manaea”

  1. Mike Honcho says:

    In a 12 teamer, would you drop Odorizzi or Stripling or BOTH for Alzolay and/or Houck?

  2. Oldtimer says:

    Pundit square? Punnet.

    • Nick Pollack says:

      But we are pundits…

      It was a mistake I left in because I thought it was funny. (Narrator: It wasn’t)

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