Looking Past The Carloss

Nick Pollack reviews every starting pitcher performance from Tuesday.

You’ve been waiting all season with Carlos Martinez sitting in one of your plentiful IL spots and his date with the Twins returned 3.2 IP, 4 ER, 7 Hits, 1 BBs, 3 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 22% CSWThe line isn’t good, but the underlying numbers are fine. He tossed 80 pitches, making him ready to go 85-90 next time out. He was sporting 94+ mph, that’s great. His slider and changeup were kept down constantly. This is all good enough for a Still ILL start and now that you didn’t’ activate CarMart, you’re served likely with the Reds, Pirates, and Royals to end the year after holding him in your IL spot all year. Those last two starts are a clear start and it’s up to you if you want to activate him for the Reds on the 13th. There’s a chance that’s the Brewers on the 14th, but either way, that’s a weak offense. I think I’d play it safe if I could but it’s fantasy baseball. Live a little.


Let’s see how every other SP did Tuesday:


Alec Mills vs CIN (W) – 6.0 IP, 0 ER, 4 Hits, 3 BBs, 6 Ks – 13 Whiffs, 32% CSW. Ayyyyy he was alright! It’s been a lot of volatility from Mills and it’s nice to see a solid start for a change. He avoided the heart of the plate with excellent four-seamer command, with the occasional slider/changeup/curveball to keep them off-balance. The only true start to consider Mills for the rest of the way is Milwaukee next and I’d still be a little cautious there – he needs this elite command to succeed – but you could do worse.

Spencer Turnbull vs MIL (W) – 6.0 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 3 BBs, 3 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 32% CSW. Hey, look at that! Just 10% sinkers – YES – while his slider earned 35% CSW as his #2 pitch. See, that’s all I’ve wanted. I don’t think the strikeouts will get there until the curveball comes back into play – he didn’t throw a single one here – but going four-seamer/slider will return games like this against middling teams. Too bad it’s the White Sox next, but if it’s more of the same, I could be convinced to go back to Turnbull for Cleveland + Kansas City.

Sixto Sanchez @ ATL (W) – 6.0 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks – 14 Whiffs, 28% CSW. Aces gonna ace. Don’t question Sixto. Just smile and nod. He’s still throwing that sinker for some reason – 1/23 CSW! – and while I understand it returned five fouls and three outs, it also was a ball often and just doesn’t do enough for him. His other three pitches are simply better. Oh and that four-seamer he threw 32 times? It averaged 98.8 mph. AVERAGED. Uggggggh.

Taijuan Walker vs NYY (ND) – 4.0 IP, 0 ER, 2 Hits, 5 BBs, 3 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 26% CSW. Yikes. This is the first of three starts against the Yankees and while he went scoreless, he needed 88 pitches across those four walks and he had none of his secondary pitches working to help him. Do you trust him for Game #2? How about #3? It’s not a good feeling and I’d honestly sit for #2 and see how we feel for #3 after.

Joe Musgrove vs CWS (ND) – 4.0 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 31% CSW. It’s start #2 of Musgrove’s return and we were still waiting this out as he got the hot White Sox lineup, albeit as a righty and not a southpaw. The good news is that his slider/curveball are still cooking and being featured around half the time, the bad news is that it’s 92+ mph on his fastball. I’d love to see him more in the 93/94 mph range and paired with a low pitch count of just 64 pitches, I’m not quite ready to jump back in. It’ll likely be around 75 pitches against the Reds and that caps his ceiling a little too much to jump in. I could be convinced with another strong showing to tackle the Cardinals and/or Cubs after, though.

Lance Lynn vs LAA (W) – 7.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 6 Ks – 13 Whiffs, 29% CSW. Aces gonna ace. If you have a lot of thoughts on Lynn, that’s a waste of valuable brain space. Start him. We’re done.

John Means @ NYM (W) – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks – 15 Whiffs, 27% CSW. So here’s the thing. What has made us excited about the potential of Means? A) A fastball living around 94/95 mph and touching 96+ B) A history of elite changeup command. Well, what we got here were better, but not elite changeups (he just isn’t getting the pitch down like he used to), while his fastball velocity has dropped to 93.3 mph. But hey, at least we finally got a great line and 15 whiffs! He gets the Yankees next and it’s not the performance I wanted to see when I first saw the line. He’s not ready.

Ljay Newsome @ SF (ND) – 1.1 IP, 1 ER, 2 Hits, 0 BBs, 2 Ks – 4 Whiffs, 33% CSWLjay was struck by a liner and removed from this one early. Now it’s the A’s (nope), Astros (nope), and A’s (nope) to end the year if the Mariners keep the six-man rotation. That’s a clear no from me, dawg.

J.A. Happ @ TOR (L) – 6.1 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 10 Ks – 12 Whiffs, 27% CSW. After allowing a two-run shot early, it’s easy for us to yell at Happ and expect a troublesome outing. But look at that, it was the only blemish of the night as he earned 10 strikeouts like it was the start of 2018 all over again. He got most of his whiffs on an 89/90 mph sinker, if you can believe it, while – once again – his slider/changeup/curveball were mediocre at best, earning just 4/31 CSW on the night. Jeeeez. I wouldn’t bank on this sticking for Happ and I’d prefer not to risk it against the Orioles next time…but fine, I get it if you want to Vargas Rule it as he’s been on a roll lately.

Vince Velasquez vs BOS (ND) – 5.0 IP, 2 ER, 7 Hits, 0 BBs, 9 Ks – 16 Whiffs, 34% CSW. We’re going to see a bit of Velasquez as the Phils have a fair share of doubleheaders and this is a lovely start with 16 whiffs. Great to see his slider + curveball return 11/36 CSW while his fastball avoided the heart of the zone and hit the edges for 40% CSW. That’s everything you could hope for from VV. He could go again on the 13th in that doubleheader and it’s still risky given his Cherry Bomb nature, but this is what you’d want to see before that game.

Frankie Montas @ HOU (W) – 5.0 IP, 2 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 30% CSW. This was an ultra risky start given Montas’ recent string of poor command after his back tightness and bless the baseball Gods as he survived five frames. His slider was able to earn outs while he avoided the heart of the plate, though his splitter is still nothing like it once was with just 2/8 CSW across 79 pitches. It’s not where we want him to be, but now with a matchup against Texas, I’d feel okay letting him loose. Let’s make our decision for San Francisco after that game.

Dylan Cease @ PIT (ND) – 5.0 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 0 BBs, 2 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 25% CSW. Cease’s schedule is stupid good to end the year and he did was he was supposed to against the Pirates, while keeping his strikeout rate around the 15% mark. It blows my mind. Everything here points to regression, but it is the Tigers, Reds, and Indians next. It’s a weird state of expecting Cease to crumble while being given every opportunity not to. It’s up to you if you want to trust DC, the last time I did, I have to sit through two hours of Suicide Squad. Blegh.

Chris Mazza @ PHI (W) – 5.0 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 29% CSW. This may be the best outing we’ve seen from Mazza all year. That says a lot. Good, because I can sense another 3,000 word roundup coming and I don’t have all day.

Luke Weaver vs LAD (ND) – 4.0 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 4 BBs, 2 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 22% CSW. This was a bold start to make if you did it and he just didn’t have it. He had some luck with just 2 ER in the book as his cutter went 0/5 CSW, with many fastballs down the middle and too few changeups landing low. This isn’t the Weaver you want to trust and I’d be anxious relying on him in any form the rest of the way.

Daniel Ponce de Leon vs MIN (ND) – 3.0 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 22% CSW. It was a doubleheader – the first of many for the Cardinals trying to stuff all their missed games as fast as possible – and expect to see some more of Ponce de Leon covering those twofers. It’ll be a lot like this, though, as his stuff is a bit raw without great fastball command and little confidence in his secondary stuff. You don’t want to take the plunge.

Walker Buehler @ ARI (ND) – 2.2 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 0 BBs, 2 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 23% CSW. So it looks like Buehler was dealing with his blister again and paired with an error, it was a shaky start. I wonder if the Dodgers will rest him up and give Alex Wood a chance or two in the rotation as they are set for the playoffs at this point. Blegh, I feel for those rostering Buehler right now.

Tyler Mahle @ CHC (L) – 7.0 IP, 3 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 10 Ks – 22 Whiffs, 38% CSWWell, well, WELL, look at this. A Golden Goal for Mahle as he worked the BSB to perfection, featuring 44% CSW on sliders and excellent fastballs up. He got a bit unlucky with untimely triples, and looked dominant through seven frames. Now he gets the Cardinals and I’m so very in, though it’s the White Sox and Twins after and we may want to look elsewhere then. I will say, if it’s more BSB and near GG consideration against the Cards, I’d consider sticking with him. This. Works. Streamin Record: 24-23.

Jose Berrios @ STL (W) – 5.0 IP, 3 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 8 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 30% CSW. His curveball was good, but not electric (3/23 whiffs) while he threw too many heaters down the pipe. Still, good enough to give you a 1.20 WHIP and 8 Ks, though, and that’s fine with me. No cause for alarm as the curveball is still at a high enough level to cruise through September.

Triston McKenzie vs KC (ND) – 5.0 IP, 3 ER, 3 Hits, 1 BBs, 7 Ks – 12 Whiffs, 30% CSW. The good news: He commanded his four-seamer super well with excellent sliders on the corners, while his curveball was a solid #3. The bad news: he’s only throwing 92.4 mph. We saw 94 mph in his debut and it’s a bit typical to see some depression of velocity in future starts as they aren’t infused with tons of adrenaline, and we did see ~93 mph after that initial debut. I don’t think this is a major cause for concern and while we’re not seeing the tremendous SwStr with four-seamers now (just 4/47 here), his slider and curveball are good enough + this was improved fastball command. I’m still very much in.

Anibal Sanchez vs TB (W) – 5.0 IP, 3 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 6 Ks – 13 Whiffs, 31% CSWThis is a 5.40 ERA with a 1.20 WHIP. Is that what you want?! It’s not the same cutter/splitter combination of old and you really need to get that idea out of your head.

Zach Eflin vs BOS (ND) – 5.0 IP, 3 ER, 8 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 30% CSW. We’re going to do this again like with Sanchez as that’s a 5.40 ERA and 1.80 WHIP…but you got six strikeouts? His curveball that made us excited two starts ago was nowhere to be found, again, but it’s the Marlins next. That’s fine with me, I think you’re okay starting him there and then playing it by ear for the Jays after.

Andrew Heaney @ TEX (L) – 5.0 IP, 3 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 25% CSWEhhhh this isn’t prime Heaney. 91 mph instead of 92+, his changeup was floated a TON (14% CSW = blegh), and while his curveball was solid, it wasn’t the brilliance we saw a few starts ago. Now it’s Coors – nope – and you’re really just considering the Rangers again on the 19th for the rest of 2020 as there’s a date with the Dodgers on the 25th. I don’t think he’s worth a 10-day-long stash for that Texas start, so plan accordingly.

Zack Greinke vs OAK (L) – 6.0 IP, 4 ER, 7 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 29% CSWAces gonna ace. Good on Greinke for pushing six frames after allowing 4 ER early. I was enjoying his ERA looking identical to 2019 before this start and now there’s a 30+ point gap. How dare you.

Mike Clevinger vs COL (W) – 5.0 IP, 4 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 8 Ks – 13 Whiffs, 33% CSW. Aces gonna dominate for a lot and then disappoint briefly. He’s so good and then gets burned and it’s frustrating a lot of us. Obviously you’re not benching him, but I feel y’all. I really do.

Martin Perez @ PHI (ND) – 5.0 IP, 4 ER, 5 Hits, 6 BBs, 2 Ks – 5 Whiffs, 17% CSWMmmm, the “ace” of Boston held the Phillies to under an ER per inning, with 11 baserunners in five innings. Shudders. Last time out, his changeup led the way and, well, you can’t bank on that, can you.

Michael Wacha vs BAL (L) – 4.0 IP, 4 ER, 7 Hits, 0 BBs, 3 Ks – 6 Whiffs, 21% CSW. Oh cool, it’s Wacha making Mets fans enraged, once again. It’s kinda funny, I watch Wacha and at times I think “man, he’s actually pretty good” then he gets smacked around and it all goes away so quickly. Be like Renee and Wacha away.

Mike Minor vs HOU (ND) – 3.1 IP, 4 ER, 3 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 30% CSW. Y’all have been reading the roundups and can answer this: what makes Minor great? His changeup. Guess how many he threw in this one? Nein. Well, despite your reluctance to participate, you nailed it. Just nine thrown at 22% CSW, forcing him to rely on fastballs and sliders and that’s just not a ticket for success. The A’s are likely going six-man the rest of the way, but with their doubleheaders, he’s likely to get the Mariners next. I think that’s a start you can make…? It’s pretty close and honestly, without that changeup, it’s a rough road ahead.

Chase De Jong @ OAK (ND) – 3.0 IP, 4 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 3 Ks – 5 Whiffs, 29% CSW. We thought this would be Brandon Bielakbut instead we got De Jong and the rest-less equipped Astros bullpen. There’s nothing to see here, no more soap opera jokes, I promise.

Ryan Yarbrough @ WSH (L) – 2.2 IP, 4 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 1 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 23% CSW. This was a clear Still ILL with the main focus being his pitch count – 70 thrown – and command of his cutter/changeup. Well, those secondaries reutnred just 6/36 CSW (That’s terrible) and now with another start against the Nationals following, I think I’m out for now. Maybe against the Orioles or Phillies after, but he’s not where he needs to be for me to trust the Fratty Pirate.

Chi Chi Gonzalez @ SD (L) – 0.1 IP, 4 ER, 0 Hits, 3 BBs, 1 Ks – 3 Whiffs, 29% CSWWelp, Chi Chi had a moment of bliss in the past and he’s not even close to it now. There’s an outside chance he has a decent stream in his possible final start of the season in Arizona, but yeah, let’s not think about that for a while.

Logan Webb vs SEA (ND) – 5.0 IP, 5 ER, 6 Hits, 3 BBs, 4 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 25% CSW. It was the one situation where Webb actually had a matchup worthy of a Toby and…it wasn’t a performance worthy of the label. Despite his last name, he’s nowhere close to being Spider-Man.

Adrian Houser @ DET (L) – 4.2 IP, 5 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 6 Ks – 13 Whiffs, 27% CSW. His sinker wasn’t the elite CSW pitch it has been, and his changeup/curveball/slider are far from a strong #2. He couldn’t handle the Tigers, I wouldn’t have faith he can handle anyone moving forward. Let him go.

Jakob Junis @ CLE (ND) – 4.1 IP, 5 ER, 7 Hits, 0 BBs, 3 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 31% CSWDespite the Royals having one of the best remaining schedules out there, you simply can’t trust Junis in the slightest. Youth is wasted on the young. Or something like that.

Kyle Wright vs MIA (L) – 4.0 IP, 5 ER, 7 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks – 6 Whiffs, 24% CSWThere was a time we thought he was the right Wright. He’s actually a right right Wright, which is the same as a left and that’s what I did with Wright. I left him on the wire.

Randy Dobnak @ STL (L) – 2.2 IP, 5 ER, 2 Hits, 2 BBs, 2 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 28% CSWOh no. You’ve rostered Dobnak on his path of being Spider-Man and it looks like his time may be coming to an end. The White Sox are next followed by the Cubs and I think you’re best moving on. You’ve served us well, Randy, but I thought this was America.  I THOUGHT THIS WAS AMERICA.


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.



Deivi Garcia vs. Toronto Blue JaysHe’s better than his last start and deserves your love.


Tomorrow’s Streamer


Brady Singer vs. Cleveland Indians – So it’s really only Singer or Skubal vs. the Cardinals (no way I’m trusting Arrieta vs. Miami) and I guess I’ll go with Singer’s stuff messing around with the Indians after five straight tough matchups against the Twins and White Sox.


Day After Tomorrow’s Streamer


Alex Young vs. Seattle Mariners – There isn’t a start that grabs me here and I’d stream Yusei Kikuchi or Dakota Hudson if I could. I can’t.


Game of the Day


Yu Darvish vs. Trevor Bauer – We’re doing this again? Sweet.



(Photo by Jimmy Simmons/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.

14 responses to “Looking Past The Carloss”

  1. NickFolesMVP says:

    No Vince Velasquez? 9ks in 5 IP yesterday

  2. theKraken says:

    Temper that Sixto enthusiasm by looking at his injury history. Hes tiny, throw super hard and has always been hurt. Its the reason he isn’t an ace. Well, that and the fact that he has 4 GS (corona starts) in his career. Believe it or not, he is sporting a career high K rate at the moment – better than anything he has ever done at any (short) stop in the minors. I imagine that is largely due to the fact that he is rarely healthy. Throws a ton of SL with all of those other factors… I’ll pass the risk on to someone else. I’d be happy if I had him but I would also be looking to sell high.

    Unfortunately, McKenzie has always been accused of not holding his velocity and such. He is Dee Gordon skinny and lanky to boot. I really like him and hope he can stick as a starter but I cant think of anyone who has ever quelled such concerns. Carl Edwards is a good comp. The good news is that he was always hailed as pitchability over stuff so maybe that velocity isn’t needed…. I am hoping at least.

    • Nick Pollack says:

      Interesting points about Sixto, all I’ll say is that for 2020 I’m 100% loving what I’m seeing. It may be something to consider for 2021 though.

    • John says:

      Yeah, I think the Sixto hype is getting a bit out of hand. I’ve seen some people even say he has HOF ability and that he may be a Top 5 SP next season. I owned him until I myself sold high on him, and still think he has a lot of potential, but until the K-rate can get up to what his repertoire is. I still get enthusiasm for him in the end though, especially with how this season has been.

      Personally, I think McKenzie is actually the better pitcher of the two though, and did pitch better last night even though his line doesn’t show it. If DeShields doesn’t completely blow a short routine flyball by starting back on it for no reason, everybody would be talking about how good McKenzie was last night (and has been outside of 1 start).

      I get concerns about him because of his own injury history and build, but I’m still all in based on his minor league stats and the Indians’ track record with starting pitching.

      • John says:

        Oops, forgot to finish… “but until the K-rate can get up to what his repertoire is”… I’m not ready to declare anything like that yet.

    • Rocket says:

      When I watched the game last night, I was shocked by how well Sixto completely handcuffed a very good Atlanta offensive team. He has the fastball (velo/movement) to fill the zone and create weak contact outs, along with the secondary pitches to create punch outs. As far a the injury risk, take a look around the league and see how many SP’s have gone down this year. What SP’s have a low injury risk?

  3. Josh says:

    Hate to call you out, but 3 ER in 5.0 innings is a 5.40 ERA, not 7.20, right? 4 ER in 5.0 innings would be a 7.20 ERA.

  4. Kenji says:

    Kikuchi is actually only 8% rostered, so fair game for a Friday streamer!

  5. Kris says:

    Is Cease getting the Tigers Sunday? I thought he’s getting the Twins on Monday, which I’m certain is a clear sit, if not drop.

    • Nick Pollack says:

      Still unclear if the ChiSox go four-man or five with the day off. We’ll see what happens, I imagine they’ll skip Gio Gonzalez if they can.

  6. rainmaker says:

    lol at the great South Park reference

  7. Mr_Hogg says:

    You really think 94/95 is enough for CMart to be effective?

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