James Kappa

Nick Pollack reviews every starting pitcher performance from Wednesday.

James Kaprielian @ BOS (W) – 5.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 3 BBs, 6 Ks – 15 Whiffs, 29% CSW, 95 pitches.

It feels like a decade, but we finally got a good look at James Kaprielian as he made his MLB debut for the Athletics. After a shifty first inning that included walking in a run, he walked out of the park with a 5.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 3 BBs, 6 Ks across 95 pitches. Solid stuff here as he earned 15 whiffs against a strong Red Sox lineup, and it’s that moment we always like to ask: Is it worth a pickup?

In short, no. He gets the Astros next, and I’m not seeing quite enough for me to take the leap there. His four-seamer came in at 93 mph and wasn’t terrible, but pretty pedestrian, especially for a debut (we normally see guys push it a bit with their adrenaline pumping n all). His slider and changeup combined for nine whiffs — sweet! — and I did enjoy him leaning on that slow ball to earn a few strikeouts, while the slider could sustain that whiffability. Is it enough of a package to trust right away? Not really, but after that Astros start, I’d consider him for the Angels if the skills were still there in Houston. I think he’s going to be the best, JK! Random person, is that a joke or are you just shouting his name? It sounds like a joke. Oh you know me, JK! This isn’t helping things.


Let’s see how every other SP did Wednesday:


Yu Darvish @ COL (ND) – 4.0 IP, 0 ER, 2 Hits, 1 BBs, 2 Ks – 5 Whiffs, 21% CSW, 76 pitches.

Aces gonna not blow up in Coors but pitch only four frames as he worked a ton of deep counts. It’s strange — one walk and two strikeouts doesn’t suggest pitch inefficiency (that’s usually avoiding deep counts!), but the Rockies were able to put the ball in play late in at-bats + an error in the first extended his afternoon and combined with getting pinch-hit for in the fifth, it turns into a short day. Whatever, at least it didn’t hurt.

Sam Hentges vs CHC (ND) – 4.2 IP, 0 ER, 4 Hits, 4 BBs, 6 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 26% CSW, 84 pitches.

I’m not saying Hentges truly deserves your attention — 84 pitches for sub five frames is far from enticing — but the dude chucks 95 mph with a curveball and slider that combined for 17/39 CSW (44%!). There may be something to this long term as he works out some kinks. Oh Cleveland, how do you do it?

John Gant @ MIL (ND) – 5.0 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 3 BBs, 4 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 91 pitches.

Did you know that Gant has yet to allow more than two ER all year? Did you also know that his 1.83 ERA is supported by 5.22 xFIP as he holds an 85% LOB rate and 4.0% HR/FB rate? He can’t keep getting away with it. It’s not even a Vargas Rule, it’s just madness.

Jose Urquidy vs LAA (ND) – 3.2 IP, 0 ER, 2 Hits, 0 BBs, 4 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 36% CSW, 44 pitches.

Sooooo Urquidy left this one in the fourth with the trainer after he was throwing 89/90 mph suddenly. I really hope he’s okay. The latest word is shoulder discomfort, and I hope it’ll take just a small rest. Monitor this.

Austin Gomber vs SD (ND) – 5.1 IP, 0 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 37% CSW, 83 pitches.

Ha, look at you go, Gomber. I should have realized that the Padres without Tatís, Myers, and Hosmer may be a bit easier to handle, but this is still Coors! I think Gomber has decent stuff as a streamer on the road and don’t get into your head that Gomber is safe when pitching in Colorado. It’s not supposed to work like this.

Gerrit Cole @ TB (W) – 8.0 IP, 0 ER, 4 Hits, 0 BBs, 12 Ks – 24 Whiffs, 43% CSW, 106 pitches.

Aces gonna ace and earn a Golden Goal, making me seriously wonder if I should have made him #1 on Monday. It’s really hard to see this after Bieber’s WHIP struggles and not feel like he deserves that #1 spot. Oh, 16 whiffs on four-seamers alone across just 48 thrown is disgusting.

Collin McHugh vs NYY (ND) – 2.0 IP, 0 ER, 0 Hits, 1 BBs, 2 Ks – 5 Whiffs, 38% CSW, 29 pitches.

Sooo we really care about Ryan Yarbrough here, but that was just 3.1 innings and 56 pitches, and does it really matter? Does anything matterWhoa, who are they? Nihilists, Nick. Don’t go near em. Ah. Yeah, I’ll stay back. Just like how I treat The Fratty Pirate on the wire. GOT EM.

Jon Lester vs PHI (ND) – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 6 Hits, 3 BBs, 4 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 20% CSW, 97 pitches.

Whoa, look at you, Lester. I guess this is a Birthday Party even with the 1.50 WHIP. That’s the state of things.

Max Fried vs TOR (ND) – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 2 Hits, 3 BBs, 4 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 28% CSW, 89 pitches.

It’s pretty refreshing to see Fried settle into the arm we all saw him to be during the preseason — and I wasn’t even the high guy on him! That slider was lovely and I hope to be awarding Fried the AGA label soon. Maybe two or three starts once he really shows everything is fine.

Hyun-Jin Ryu @ ATL (W) – 7.0 IP, 1 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 30% CSW, 94 pitches.

Aces gonna ace. It’s good to have you back and not in a Still ILL scenario. This game was a joy to watch, by the way. Two solid southpaws just getting. It. DONE.

Jon Gray vs SD (L) – 5.2 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 3 BBs, 6 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 32% CSW, 95 pitches.

What a wild season for Gray. He can’t handle the Diamondbacks on the road, but the Giants and Padres in Coors? Sure! Why not. BECAUSE COORS IS UNDEFEATED. Calm down, you can just ignore Gray and not deal with any of this. Remember, just remove the anxiety and stress from your life. It’s a choice — recognize and move forward. (I should note: The Padres were without Hosmer, Myers, or Tatís. It makes a difference.)

Zach Davies @ CLE (ND) – 5.1 IP, 1 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks – 12 Whiffs, 28% CSW, 75 pitches.

If you elected to stream Davies, be proud this one worked out. Is it an outing that suggests we trust Davies again as a consistent streamer? Nah. But hey, at least he has a chance now and that’s cool.

Trevor Cahill vs CIN (ND) – 5.1 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 0 BBs, 1 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 22% CSW, 74 pitches.

Those are wonderful ratios, but come on Cahill, just one strikeout?! HAISTFMFWT?! I’m legit amazing he was able to survive with so many balls in play but here we are. Don’t you dare buy into this, you know way better.

Sonny Gray @ PIT (ND) – 4.2 IP, 1 ER, 7 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks – 12 Whiffs, 26% CSW, 87 pitches.

Aces gonna…underwhelm massively. Sure, it’s just one earned run but that WHIP stings and he somehow couldn’t finish five frames. When I say “somehow” I mean his slider was out of wack and his curveball was decent but not the major pitch it’s been recently. It’s frustrating, I know, but I really don’t think this is a death sentence for Gray and he keeps his AGA label. The breakers will be better, keep the faith.

Taijuan Walker vs BAL (W) – 7.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 3 BBs, 4 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 30% CSW, 97 pitches.

Walker, you did exactly what you were supposed to do, and I respect that. Your slider was even better than I expected as well, with 38% CSW as your #2 pitch. Not a standard affair, and it wasn’t even necessary, but there it was and we’re all happy about it. Good luck against Atlanta next, though. Like me overbooking a restaurant, I have a lot of reservations there.

Julio Urias vs SEA (W) – 7.0 IP, 1 ER, 2 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 39% CSW, 87 pitches.

Aces gonna ace. Phew, I hope y’all weren’t made I gave it to him last week and he failed us. Leave it to the Mariners to get things back on track. So wonderful to see that curveball and changeup each hold a 45%+ CSW.

Brandon Woodruff vs STL (ND) – 7.2 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 1 BBs, 10 Ks – 19 Whiffs, 39% CSW, 98 pitches.

Aces gonna ace. That’s a 1.64 ERA and 0.73 WHIP as he holds a 6.17 IPS for the season and a strikeout rate hinting at a 35% clip. It’s pretty ridiculous right now.

Matt Peacock vs MIA (L) – 5.0 IP, 2 ER, 6 Hits, 0 BBs, 3 Ks – 3 Whiffs, 22% CSW, 64 pitches.

This was supposed to be Zac Gallen, but he has a UCL strain and they’re putting him on the IL for a couple of weeks and assessing then. Oh, cool. That sounds like a six-week IL stint as he’ll then need to rehab in all likelihood. Meanwhile, we got this combination of Peacock, Young, which sounds like a bird dating show and I’m so sorry I’ve created that image. You should see the trio of whiffs and low 22% CSW and know everything you need to about Matty to pass like it’s go.

Justin Dunn @ LAD (L) – 3.1 IP, 2 ER, 3 Hits, 3 BBs, 2 Ks – 5 Whiffs, 26% CSW, 72 pitches.

Dunn got into trouble in the fourth at 72 pitches and was pulled a bit early. It wasn’t the pitch efficiency we want to see, and while I’m digging the 94.3 mph velocity, his slider was gone as he turned to curveballs instead which were…not as good. If he can unlock one of those two breakers proper, there’s potential here, and I’d take a gamble next week as he faces the Tigers. There’s a sneaky stream for ya.

Blake Snell @ COL (ND) – 4.0 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 3 BBs, 7 Ks – 15 Whiffs, 32% CSW, 84 pitches.

Oh, Snell. You’re still not putting sliders and curveballs inside the zone and once again, you’re throwing too many pitches per out. One day, the skill set will return. One day. Oh, and Coors, too. Don’t forget that part and keep starting Snell.

Cody Poteet @ ARI (W) – 5.0 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 0 BBs, 6 Ks – 13 Whiffs, 36% CSW, 77 pitches.

Uhhhh who? Oh you know, just a small-statured Cody. Ah yes, Peteet. Like you, I had no idea who this guy was and watched this outing against the Diamondbacks. He ramped up that heater as the game went on, and it’s not the worst four-seamer I’ve seen (7/41 whiffs!) and his changeup had its moments + some good shapes on that slider and curveball. Do I think Peteet is a guy who can survive for a while and hold a spot on your roster? Not in the slightest, especially with Elieser likely returning in two weeks (at the latest) and Sixto in June. If he sticks, he gets the Phillies twice, and I think that’s too much risk for me, especially with the low pitch count. Sorry Cody, we barely knew ya.

Casey Mize vs KC (W) – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 3 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 96 pitches.

Wait, this worked??? Streaming Record: 26-13. I feel like I’ve been saying that a few days in a row now as clearly the streaming record CANNOT. BE. STOPPED. As for Mize, his fastball got some whiffs and his slider was able to fall in for called strikes, but I’m not seeing a man who overpowered the Royals, making them shake in their boots. Mize ain’t no Woody, he ain’t making em reach for the sky. He’ll make you preach for the guy if you trust this to last, though.

Zack Wheeler @ WSH (ND) – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 8 Hits, 1 BBs, 7 Ks – 6 Whiffs, 30% CSW, 98 pitches.

Aces gonna ace. There, I said it, even if it came with a 1.50 WHIP. He’s going to give you the volume with a strikeout rate hovering 23% or so. It’s wonderful, just like seeing him turn to his slider 36% of the time. I never thought I’d see the day, likely because he had a bit of trouble commanding his sinker. Whatever, the pitched earned a whoppin’ 43% CSW and everything is wonderful.

Danny Duffy @ DET (L) – 6.0 IP, 4 ER, 7 Hits, 2 BBs, 8 Ks – 16 Whiffs, 34% CSW, 100 pitches.

We knew that Duffy wasn’t going to hold onto a 0.60 ERA, but still, that’s an ER over a PQS and it’s a bit frustrating. It felt like some timely hitting from the Tigers as I don’t think Duffy pitched poorly — he’s still at 93.8 mph! — and I’m still starting him against the White Sox next week. I don’t see a pumpkin yet.

Eduardo Rodríguez vs OAK (L) – 6.0 IP, 4 ER, 7 Hits, 1 BBs, 9 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 29% CSW, 99 pitches.

And here I was, worried about his fastball command disappearing in his previous starts…wait a second. Those ratios are terrible. Ohhhh, he only had his fastball in this one. Got it. Cool to see Eduardo give you nine strikeouts so you had something to salvage, though. Kinda like hearing a giant “SORRY!!!” as a car speeds away after splashing a puddle of rainwater onto your suit. Well now. What a nice fella.

Andrew Heaney @ HOU (L) – 5.1 IP, 5 ER, 9 Hits, 0 BBs, 5 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 26% CSW, 96 pitches.

Blegh. I was hoping Heaney could power through it as he had before, but it just wasn’t there. Not the worst command I’ve seen from Heaney and it could have been a decent performance if it weren’t for the Astros. He should cruise against Cleveland and Texas next.

Dallas Keuchel vs MIN (W) – 5.2 IP, 6 ER, 8 Hits, 1 BBs, 1 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 26% CSW, 84 pitches.

Yiiiiikes. It may be time to put the rest the idea of Keuchel as a stable Toby and maybe he’s just a streamer these days. It’s another HAISTFMFWT?! as well, and it’s getting hard to bank on the rest.

Matt Harvey @ NYM (L) – 4.1 IP, 7 ER, 8 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 24% CSW, 78 pitches.

Annnnd that Harvey train has come to an end. Or did it ever leave the station? I dunno, I stopped checking the times on Harvey’s train after his departure from the Mets about…five years ago. Sure, he could be decent against a terrible opponent, but you’ll feel dirty even trying to do it. Respect yourself, you deserve better.

J.A. Happ @ CWS (L) – 3.1 IP, 9 ER, 9 Hits, 2 BBs, 3 Ks – 6 Whiffs, 24% CSW, 89 pitches.

This wasn’t a start you had labeled in your calendar, but you still expected something better than this. I’m actually surprised they gave Happ the chance to allow nine ER in the first place, keeping him in that long in the fourth frame, but here we are. I’d say Careful, Icarus but this is like jumping off your bed dreaming of wings and making a large thud moments later. There was never a chance.



Game of the Day


Jack Flaherty vs Corbin BurnesCorbin is back and Flaherty should carve up a weak Brewers lineup. This is gonna be good.


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


Photo by Dustin Bradford/Icon Sportswire | Adapted by Aaron Polcare

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.

6 responses to “James Kappa”

  1. BBBoston says:


    As you know, I’ve been following Hentges pretty closely, including this latest start. I had two observations to share. – When he pitched a batter backwards, he dominated the stanza.
    – Overall, the catcher is calling way too many FB’s. His FB is far more impactful when used less. Further, at times his FB command just disappears and he drifts into the zone too much…..


  2. Andrew says:

    I generally enjoy the “conversations with self” in these write-ups Nick … but the “Nihilists” mention was especially sweet today… well played Mauer

  3. Stan says:

    Thoughts on an Aaron Nola for Ozzie Albies and Dylan Bundy trade ?

  4. Karl says:

    I watched Sonny’s start and a handful of those hits were awkwardly hit flares on pretty good pitches, two by Kevin Newman and a broken bat single by Ben Gamel. His stuff looked pretty damn filthy. Wasn’t a great performance but definitely a situation where the line looked worse than the pitcher.

  5. theKraken says:

    Isn’t it funny to type strong Redsox lineup? This is the same trash group from 2020, no? I really do think that strength of schedule is pretty problematic for many reasons.

    Re: Darvish – Hard to justify pulling a veteran after four innings with a reasonable pitch count. The deep counts didn’t run the pitch count up that high… the man allowed three base runners.

    I know SP is dire, but Fried is no ace IMO. I don’t think he has any of the desired attributes. He lacks health, Ks and consistency. Career WHIP = 1.35

  6. Jim says:

    I think you’re a bit harsh on E Rodriguez. He was 1 pitch away from a QS. And the 5th inning was a soft hit parade with the As scoring on a RBI groundout and a BALK! ERod has been money all year despite struggling with his repertoire. I dropped J Montgomery and claimed Rodriguez when dropped in my league and not regretting it one bit.

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