Gnarly Davidson

Nick Pollack reviews every starting pitcher performance from Wednesday.

Tucker Davidson @ PHI (ND) – 6.0 IP, 0 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks – 13 Whiffs, 29% CSW, 90 pitches.

It’s been three starts now for Tucker Davidson and after tonight’s 6.0 IP, 0 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks against the Phillies, he’s allowed just three ER in 17.2 frames. Huh. 13 Whiffs and 29% CSW came with this performance, going 10/41 whiffs on sliders and chucking a 93.5 mph fastball. Huh.

I don’t believe that Davidson is the next coming of Trevor Rogers and will ascend into the Top 30, but his fastball/slider combo is kinda solid and there may be some value to be had from him moving forward. Do I start him against the Red Sox next? No, and I don’t think he’s worth the stash through that outing. But just get acquainted with the southpaw and consider him as an option as Atlanta needs the help filling in for Mike Soroka. Think a Toby with decent strikeout upside.


Let’s see how every other SP did Wednesday:


Zack Littell @ TEX (ND) – 1.0 IP, 0 ER, 0 Hits, 1 BBs, 1 Ks – 1 Whiffs, 36% CSW, 14 pitches.

We might go a Littell Long on this roundup… Sammy Long made his MLB debut following Littell to the tune of 4.0 IP, 1 ER, 1 Hits, 1 BBs, 7 Ks across 69 pitches with 10 Whiffs and 35% CSW, making plenty of heads turn. It’s a big curveball he tossed 42% of the time for 34% CSW with a 93 mph heater and a rare changeup. The latter was the clear third option and caused the only hit of his day (don’t get beat on your worst pitch!), while the hook was clearly an effective breaker and his fastball was good enough. The elevated Texas camera made it tough to judge… as well as the quality of said Texas players, and in the end, I’d leave Long on the wire. He’s not quite stretched out and has just two pitches with a date against the Sneks next, who like to feast on southpaws. It’s just too risky and I don’t expect seven strikeouts again.

Sean Manaea vs ARI (W) – 6.0 IP, 0 ER, 2 Hits, 2 BBs, 3 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 25% CSW, 111 pitches.

After sitting 93 mph last time out, Manaea was back at it, here at 92.3 mph. It’s lower, yes, but higher than the typical 91 mph and way higher than the 90 mph two starts ago. His changeup wasn’t as dominant as we’ve seen — hello three strikeouts, terrible to see you — making him need 111 pitches for six innings, despite just four baserunners. He’ll be better next time.

Jake Arrieta @ SD (ND) – 5.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks – 5 Whiffs, 29% CSW, 80 pitches.

Ayyyy, this works Arrieta! And relied on sinkers for called strikes, once again. That’s not the religion you want to worship.

Taijuan Walker @ BAL (W) – 7.0 IP, 1 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 9 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 37% CSW, 93 pitches.

Okay okay, I’ll be raising Walker up next time, even if this was against the Orioles. It’s a King Cole with nine strikeouts, a 94.6 mph four-seamer, and 44% CSW across 27 breakers. That’s way better than we’ve seen. Not enough for me to tell Taijuan is dope forever now, but definitely Top 45.

Tony Gonsolin @ PIT (ND) – 1.2 IP, 1 ER, 2 Hits, 5 BBs, 4 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 26% CSW, 66 pitches.

Hey, Gonsolin has returned! And he threw over 60 pitches across just five outs. Sigh. His slider has been phenomenal in the past and went 0/5 on strikes here. I have to believe he just needs more time and will rebound, but yeah, this was terrible. I’m leaning hold, but I don’t blame you if you want to let him go.

Lance Lynn vs TOR (ND) – 7.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 0 BBs, 9 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 26% CSW, 95 pitches.

Aces gonna ace. Even without whiffs on his four-seamer (2/43!), the man still dominates an elite offense. That’s what’s up.

Zach Eflin vs ATL (ND) – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 8 Hits, 2 BBs, 7 Ks – 14 Whiffs, 34% CSW, 94 pitches.

It’s not a fun WHIP and I’m shocked to see that he featured more changeups than sliders in this one but hey, that’s a solid Dusty Donut and we’ll take it. Still have my concerns with Eflin for the long haul — how much can we depend on the secondary stuff and his ultra-reliance on called strike sinkers ain’t the safest — but he’s certainly earned his keep, even if you elect to sit him for a game as he gets the Dodgers next.

Alek Manoah @ CWS (ND) – 5.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks – 13 Whiffs, 28% CSW, 90 pitches.

Phew. This was a coin flip, and while he didn’t bring the strikeout prowess of his debut (that changeup went 1/8 CSW, though it did earn a few outs), we’ll take the overall effectiveness. Four-seamer sat 94/95 and his slider did great work. Feel encouraged, but not so encouraged to start him carefree against the Sawx next. Another coin flip.

Austin Gomber @ MIA (W) – 5.0 IP, 1 ER, 5 Hits, 0 BBs, 5 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 35% CSW, 84 pitches.

Gomber wasn’t as dominant with his changeup and curveball, but the slider was excellent and that’s all he needed. Streaming Record: 41-27. It’s the Padres in Coors next, so back to the wire you go — I may take the chance at Coors against the Brewers after, though.

Griffin Canning vs KC (W) – 6.2 IP, 1 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 6 Ks – 18 Whiffs, 33% CSW, 89 pitches.

Look at that, a Gallows Pole for Canning as he found his slider and curveball again. FINALLY. I’ve missed those pitches, truly, and they returned 11/46 whiffs on the pair combined. I am a bit concerned Canning’s velocity fell to just 92.5 mph in this one (typically hovering 94 mph), but I’ll take the breakers returning if it means a little worse heater. It’s a tough call against Oakland next as he’ll slide into the “Questionable” tier for that one.

Gerrit Cole @ MIN (W) – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 0 BBs, 9 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 32% CSW, 94 pitches.

Aces gonna ace. Spin is still down and his four-seamer only earned two whiffs on 45 pitches… and it didn’t matter. Still a touch concerning, but then again, aren’t all aces going to be affected? I don’t think there’s anything actionable about the whole spin rate drama.

Adam Wainwright vs CLE (W) – 7.0 IP, 2 ER, 3 Hits, 0 BBs, 6 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 29% CSW, 95 pitches.

The cutter wasn’t elite, but it was good enough and his curveball did the rest. That’s all Waino needs to take down Cleveland, and fortunately he gets Miami next. Keep this ride on cruise control.

Braxton Garrett vs COL (L) – 4.0 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 3 BBs, 3 Ks – 6 Whiffs, 25% CSW, 77 pitches.

He tosses a sub 90 mph fastball and earned 5/24 CSW on his slider. Do they sell “half stuff” Oreos? That’s what this feels like.

Vladimir Gutiérrez vs MIL (W) – 7.0 IP, 2 ER, 6 Hits, 3 BBs, 7 Ks – 13 Whiffs, 28% CSW, 102 pitches.

Hot dang! Look at you, Vlad. Your slider and curveball returned an 18% SwStr combined as your fastball sat 92/93. This isn’t the most incredible thing ever, but it’s good enough for the Brewers. He’ll get them a second time and while it’s awfully tempting, I’d err on the side of caution — I’m not sure his secondaries will be this good if we spin the wheel of chance a second time.

Yu Darvish vs CHC (L) – 7.0 IP, 2 ER, 3 Hits, 2 BBs, 8 Ks – 17 Whiffs, 36% CSW, 100 pitches.

Aces gonna ace and almost earn a Gallows Pole. That’s his sixth start with at least seven frames this season, and that’s dope.

Kyle Gibson vs SF (ND) – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks – 15 Whiffs, 33% CSW, 92 pitches.

It was a pair of solo shots as Gibson continued playing that jazz, rocking through another six frames. It feels like he could go solo for a full game with the roll he’s on, and I doubt we pull the chord out any time soon. These starts are music to my ears and you shouldn’t be skipping a beat as long as he’s in rhythm. Are you done yet? He can’t help but score you points. ARE YOU DONE YET?! Yes, yes, I’ll take a rest. NICK.

Tyler Anderson vs LAD (L) – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 2 Ks – 5 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 92 pitches.

Pretty dang impressive from Anderson as he faced the Dodgers, acting like a Grave Mistake as he carried a 1.33 WHIP. Okay, so not that impressive, but hey, a 3.00 ERA is a 3.00 ERA. Wow, what analysis. Fine, his cutter/changeup wasn’t great as his fastballs were still CSW darlings. Just get more than 2/45 whiffs on slowballs and cutters, okay?

Matt Peacock @ OAK (L) – 1.2 IP, 3 ER, 3 Hits, 3 BBs, 1 Ks – 4 Whiffs, 29% CSW, 48 pitches.

Peacock was pulled after a comebacker deflected off his hand, though, it’s not like he was dominating before it. Please turn off The Office, we can stop streaming Peacock now. We were streaming Peacock? Nah, no one’s doing that. Stares into the camera.

Jake Odorizzi @ BOS (W) – 5.0 IP, 3 ER, 3 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks – 12 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 77 pitches.

Odorizzi sat 93 mph last time and I said something to the tune of “sit him against the Sawx and monitor if he does this again — if he does, he’s worth the pickup.” Well, it was 92.7 mph as he painted the top of the zone red. Now’s the time to roster Odorizzi with TEX, CWS, DET next. The risk against the ChiSox is worth the other two games.

Chris Flexen @ DET (ND) – 6.0 IP, 3 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 3 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 30% CSW, 83 pitches.

Sure, I’ll take a PQS from Flexen, Detroit or not. Yep, that’s it. That’s the blurb.

Patrick Corbin @ TB (ND) – 5.0 IP, 3 ER, 3 Hits, 4 BBs, 3 Ks – 3 Whiffs, 19% CSW, 93 pitches.

This started out poorly and Corbin did recover, for what it’s worth. Sinker sat 90.5 mph and he earned just one slider whiff, though, so I’ll just go ahead and sit in the corner for the next few hours and cry this out.

Shane McClanahan vs WSH (ND) – 3.0 IP, 3 ER, 5 Hits, 3 BBs, 4 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 35% CSW, 77 pitches.

Bleeeeeegh. This was the Nats, and it felt like the day Shane would finally go six full frames. We got half of that as he held a near 3.00 WHIP to go with that 9.00 ERA. Yuck. The stuff is still phenomenal, but he lost command of it at times and the Nationals punished what they hit. He’s a premier talent who I’ll be ranking high for 2022, though I should be lowering him on The List as he goes through his development + the Rays won’t let him extend far into games. It’s too bad, truly.

Casey Mize vs SEA (ND) – 6.0 IP, 3 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 6 Ks – 12 Whiffs, 24% CSW, 99 pitches.

I wanted to see more than a 24% CSW, 2/22 slider whiffs, and a 4.50 ERA (PQS) from Mize against the Mariners, but alright, I guess we’ll take it. He’s earning some whiffs on four-seamers, too, and that’s a cool thing, I sadly still don’t trust the whole repertoire to speak to his current low ERA and WHIP to stick. Sure hope it does, though, and he’s worth the start against the Royals next week.

Jean Carlos Mejía @ STL (L) – 0.2 IP, 4 ER, 3 Hits, 2 BBs, 1 Ks – 4 Whiffs, 24% CSW, 38 pitches.

Welp, you had zero thoughts about Mejía before this and now we’re back to square one. We’ve always been on square one. Well alright then. Where were we. In the same place. Right right right. Let’s move on. Uggggh.

Brett Anderson @ CIN (L) – 3.0 IP, 4 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 0 Ks – 2 Whiffs, 15% CSW, 59 pitches.

It’s a Grave Mistake constantly with Anderson as the ceiling is far too low to risk this atrocious floor. And look at that, zero strikeouts (HAISTFMFWT?!). His name isn’t Brekk, after all.

Brad Keller @ LAA (L) – 5.1 IP, 5 ER, 8 Hits, 4 BBs, 4 Ks – 6 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 97 pitches.

Ouch. His slider was horrific and his fastball couldn’t do it all. Loving this four-seamer at 94.8 mph, though. If he can get the command back, this could work. That’s an IF bigger than a Gerrit Cole pause and I wouldn’t wager it’ll come to fruition.

Nathan Eovaldi vs HOU (L) – 5.2 IP, 5 ER, 11 Hits, 3 BBs, 5 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 28% CSW, 107 pitches.

Ouch. Eovaldi got burned plenty on the secondary stuff here and it’s going to be a problem all year. You don’t want him for the Jays next, and is he worth holding for the KCR start after? I’m leaning no.

Matt Harvey vs NYM (L) – 3.0 IP, 7 ER, 8 Hits, 1 BBs, 2 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 26% CSW, 61 pitches.

Fun Fact: drivers license was written about Harvey’s former relationship with the Mets. It’s painful to see him try so hard to earn their love once again to do… this.

Randy Dobnak vs NYY (L) – 4.2 IP, 8 ER, 11 Hits, 3 BBs, 0 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 20% CSW, 87 pitches.

Dobna doesn’t deserve his final letter. You know, his actual name is Dobbbbbbna. There we go, glad we fixed Randy.


Game of the Day 


Ian Anderson vs Zack WheelerIt might be a touch frustrating as Anderson is highly inefficient, while Wheeler is going pound heaters and Atlanta BETTER LIKE IT.


But Nick?! Where are the streaming picks? – I’ve moved them to the daily SP Matchups & Streamer Rankings article.


(Photo by David J. Griffin/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.

2 responses to “Gnarly Davidson”

  1. Donald Schuldt jr says:

    Any thoughts on Sam Long?

  2. Bobbo says:

    Nick, I’ve been holding McClanahan since the beginning. Two starts in a row and it looks like he’s going to have some bumps in the road. Would you drop McClanahan for Skubal at this point? I could, of course, also drop Tony Disco (but he’s got the Nats tonight and the Sneks next), Domingo German or Kyle Hendricks. Interested to hear what you think.

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