Getting On The Right Track

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

(Photo by Keith Gillett/Icon Sportswire)

There were a few MLB debuts yesterday with Sean Reid-Foley getting a decent amount of hype as he was called up by the Blue Jays for a start against the Royals and a possible consistent rotation spot. His final line of 5.0 IP, 3 ER, 6 Hits, 3 BBs, 3 Ks wasn’t so bad, but you’re wondering if there’s anything more to do this to consider an add for 12-teamers. I’m going to say maybe. Great velocity here at 94mph for the day, touching 96 at times and falling to 91mph as the game went on. I’d expect constant 93 or so normally with the ability to push to 95 when there’s no extra adrenaline. His best secondary pitch is a tight slider that showed rare whiffability. I can see it being his jack-of-all-trades pitch, but not that overwhelming money pitch we’re looking for. There’s also a curveball and changeup, but the biggest problem I see is everything was with tight break. Nothing with a huge amount of movement, which means the movement needed to adjust when guessing wrong on a pitch is small – that’s good for hitters, bad for pitchers. There’s a chance here for Reid-Foley to be a streaming type and a few games where it all clicks for 7+ Ks, but overall I don’t see a tall ceiling here. I’ll be watching his next start and hopefully getting a different feel for him then.

Let’s see how every other SP did Monday:

Mike Foltynewicz8.0 IP, 1 ER, 5 Hits, 3 BBs, 7 Ks. That’s back-to-back 1 ER 7 K performances from Folty now as our worries should be gone from his 18 ER in four-game stretch. Yes, his slider was dope again and even if there was a Blame it on the Marlins, we can still be happy.

Brad Keller7.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks. Keller has a 15.7% K rate and 10% walk rate. You know I don’t want to chase this in any way. That 3.40 ERA with a 4.77 SIERA (0.38 HR/9!) is just not legit y’all and we have a serious TEEs on our hands.

Clayton Kershaw8.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 0 BBs, 9 Ks. There it is. Finally. TATIAGA gave us a night that reminded us of the good ole days when he was the undisputed #1 starter for years and years. Good to see you again and enjoy your Gallows Pole with 16 whiffs.

Touki Toussaint6.0 IP, 1 ER, 2 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks. The MLB Debut for Touki was very promising and exciting, so much so that I went over the entire start for a GIF Breakdown. If 2,600 words and 22 GIFs are too much, the Tl;Dr is it was a spot start but his curveball is great. Splitter needs work and his fastball can be the setup for his hook, but is far from being a backbone of his arsenal. There’s a lot of polish left to be added, but there’s a high ceiling for 2019/20.

Madison Bumgarner6.0 IP, 2 ER, 7 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks. Bumgarner was one ER away from a VPQS and just four Ks here. Just saying. 27/97 CSW is fine and this whole thing is exactly that. Fine. But I don’t want fine, I want great. Just 2/22 whiffs on curveballs and changeups ain’t gonna make me happy.

Mike Clevinger5.0 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 6 BBs, 4 Ks. I wrote last time about how Clevinger is a little underappreciated, especially lowering his walk rate to sub 8.0% levels. Clev wasn’t nearly as sharp with his heater as he normally is, while just 8 whiffs overall meant he wasn’t getting strikes with his breaking stuff per usual. I’m not worried, just disappointed.

Jacob deGrom6.2 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 12 Ks. Aces gonna ace. And this was the Yankees. He’s just so good.

Andrew Heaney7.1 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks. Heaney got the Padres and went to work. 15 whiffs is a great sign for a guy that has been struggling with them lately as his changeup and curveball were back to what we remember. I’m obviously a little hesitant given the Padres, but this is solid, Heaney.

Sean Manaea7.2 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 3 Ks. Yep, it’s not exciting these days, but you’ll continue to start Manaea and you’re gonna like it.

Tommy Milone4.1 IP, 2 ER, 10 Hits, 1 BBs, 1 Ks. Milone Schmilone. I hope we’re past the whole “but he had that one start against the Mets!” thing, especially when he’s giving you just one strikeout. HAISTFMFWT?!

Clayton Richard8.0 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 0 BBs, 2 Ks. It’s the wrong Clayton! The man who also produced a MS Score of just 8 in this one. Weird to see both Kershaw and Richard have the same 0.50 WHIP on a given day, it’s almost like Clayton is half the man Clayton Kershaw is.

Bartolo Colon5.0 IP, 3 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 3 Ks. I think this is okay from the Groan Ranger, no QS, a 5.40 ERA, and only 3 Ks, but a Win and 1.00 WHIP ain’t so bad, right? That’s where we’re at with Colon.

Merandy Gonzalez4.2 IP, 3 ER, 8 Hits, 0 BBs, 3 Ks. This was supposed to be Trevor Richards so I lost a stream. Womp womp. Merandy is a Cup of Schmo and that’s all you need to know.

Artie Lewicki4.2 IP, 3 ER, 6 Hits, 3 BBs, 3 Ks. Artie is just one C away from a piece written about him. Unfortunately, I don’t see how he can be the shining sea we want him to be.

Marco Gonzales5.0 IP, 4 ER, 8 Hits, 3 BBs, 4 Ks. I was hoping Marco could get back on solid footing against the A’s but his cutter was still poor, sitting up in the zone as he returned 23/96 CSW. Yes I’m worried that the wall has been hit and I’d heavily consider holding back on that start against the Dodgers.

Zack Greinke6.1 IP, 4 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 6 Ks. Everything was fine until a three-run shot in the fourth turned this from great to terrible in a snap. I don’t feel so good, Mr. Pollack. I know Zack…I know. So it goes, expect Greinke to provide a better line next time out.

Reynaldo Lopez5.0 IP, 4 ER, 7 Hits, 1 BBs, 2 Ks. Blegh. Welp, I can still dream of future seasons when ReyLo has consistency with his entire repertoire and can take advantage of weak teams like the Tigers. One day…

Miles Mikolas7.0 IP, 4 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks. I know it’s 4 ER and that’s bad, but it’s also a super low WHIP. Four Ks are whatever but there’s something to be said about the offset of ERA and WHIP a little bit here.

Luis Severino4.0 IP, 4 ER, 7 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks. Man oh man, what do we do with Severino? 56 pitches through the first two frames, though he did get a little bit of bad luck his way. The biggest problem I saw in this one was the inability to throw his slider inside the zone for a strike, relying too much on chases on the pitch and doing a worse job nullifying batters sitting on heat. I know a lot of you are worried about this – I am too! – but I’m just not seeing enough of an issue that can’t be resolved in a week or so. This will be your stud in the playoffs, you should be fine, and if he gets any drop next week (I’m not sure I will), he’s still Top 15, no matter how many angry tweets I get.

Homer Bailey5.1 IP, 5 ER, 10 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks. Well, yeah, it’s Bailey. He had two nice starts and then remembered who he was.

Pablo Lopez5.1 IP, 5 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks. Awwww, I was a little disappointed to see Pablo struggle here as I still think he’s a sneaky Young Gun for 2019 with a chance to be productive through the end of 2018. 15 Whiffs here were on the back of his changeup and curveball – a really nice sign as getting whiffs is easily the biggest knock on his approach. He simply couldn’t steal a strike in the zone here, though, and if he can get that back this may turn into something. We’ll see.

Today’s Streamer

Jaime Barria vs. San Diego Padres – The Padres are blegh and Barria can take advantage.

Tomorrow’s Streamer

Derek Holland vs. Los Angeles Dodgers – I’m not giving up on him after his last start. There’s also Felix Pena vs. San Diego Padres but I’m not a fan of Pena much anymore.

Day After Tomorrow’s Streamer

Sam Gaviglio vs. Kansas City Royals – He suddenly pulled back with heaters and threw breaking balls, leading to a much better performance last time out. Few options anyway, so I’ll take the chance on that different approach sticking.

Game of the Day

Nick Pivetta vs. Rick Porcello – I wonder if Porcello can take advantage of the Phils while Pivetta has a serious test against the Sawx (I’m benching where I can).

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.

5 responses to “Getting On The Right Track”

  1. WormsleyCommonGang says:

    I noticed on yesterdays SP roundup – you had Trevor Richards in as your SP Streamer but it appears he is pitching today against ATL.

    Do you still recommend him as a streaming option?

  2. Frankie says:

    After the way the last few games have gone for LAD, do you expect to see Maeda deployed in the 8th or 9th any time soon? Do you honestly see Stripling as a Hader-type, perhaps getting the 6th inning++ with a lead? It seems as if Roberts doesn’t have a feel for what he wants, or what his bullpen is capable of, i.e. pulling Alexander in Coors after .1 IP vs having nobody warming in the pen when he started the 9th last night. Very confusing for everyone.

  3. Harrison says:

    Who’s the best stream today for Ks and the highest floor for ratios?

    German Marquez @ HOU
    Mike Fiers vs SEA
    Jaime Barria @ SD

  4. Southern Marylander says:

    I added both Touki and Reid-Foley for their starts yesterday and will hold until keeper decision time in spring training. Think either are decent bets for 2019?

  5. theKraken says:

    Hey Nick, I don’t ask a lot of questions but is there any reasonable chance Robert Stephenson has any success tomorrow v CLE? I either skip it and don’t meet my max starts or use it – I have no other options and its a points league… playoffs. I am leaning towards just falling one start short for the week which is painful but I think is the right decision. Can’t imagine a win or QS and blowup potential is pretty high. Pretty much the worst spot starter ever, no?

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