Luis of Mind

Nick Pollack reviews every starting pitcher performance from Saturday.

Luis Garcia vs TEX (W) – 5.0 IP, 1 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 30% CSW, 94 pitches.

With Jake Odorizzi and now Jose Urquidy dealing with injuries, the Astros have turned to Luis Garcia in the rotation and after yesterday’s 5.0 IP, 1 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks, he’s boasting a 3.34 ERA, 1.11 WHIP, and 28% strikeout rate across 35 frames. That’s legit production. Streaming Record: 28-14.

I’ve been a bit uneasy about assessing Garcia thus far. It’s a slightly above average 93 mph heater with a collection of secondaries in a cutter that moves like a slider, a changeup, and a curveball. The cutter has legit moments – 7/18 whiffs here – and I think there is potential to squeeze more out of it as he avoided the pitch plenty against left-handers. Imagine if he were jamming batters with the pitch as well…That changeup has been effective in previous starts, but returned just 7% CSW here, and the 74-80 mph curveball is a solid mix-up pitch, though you shouldn’t expect it to miss many bats.

In the end, I think Garcia is good enough to take advantage of solid matchups like the Rangers yesterday and…the Rangers again next time out. However, with Framber Valdez’s return on the horizon + Urquidy and Odorizzi each in a position to bump Garcia, I don’t think his skill set is strong enough to demand a rotation spot through the full year. That’s okay, enjoy the short-term performances and we’ll figure it out later.


Let’s see how every other SP did Saturday:


Martin Perez vs LAA (W) – 6.0 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 4 BBs, 5 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 28% CSW, 97 pitches.

The story of this one was Perez having a great feel for his changeup, allowing him to get strikes with cutters and sinkers. I wouldn’t say it demands a start against the Phils next, though. Maaaaybe the Marlins after.

Trevor Bauer vs MIA (W) – 7.0 IP, 0 ER, 2 Hits, 0 BBs, 10 Ks – 21 Whiffs, 32% CSW, 113 pitches.

Aces gonna ace and earn a Gallows PoleDid we really expect anything else against the Marlins? He’s flat out killing it.

Drew Smith @ TB (ND) – 2.0 IP, 0 ER, 2 Hits, 0 BBs, 3 Ks – 6 Whiffs, 33% CSW, 24 pitches.

It was a bullpen game that included Joey Lucchesi tossing 31 pitches. Let’s move on. But he has a decent fastball! He’s a reliever. We’re moving on. Sean Reid-Foley also pitched! WE’RE MOV–Wait what. Oh, just 23 pitches. WE’RE MOVING ON.

Anthony Kay vs PHI (ND) – 4.0 IP, 0 ER, 1 Hits, 2 BBs, 6 Ks – 12 Whiffs, 32% CSW, 79 pitches.

Look at Kay going 79 pitches and featuring 65% four-seamers. There isn’t much in the secondary department save for a decent cutter and while I dig the high 94/95 mph approach, it works when there’s a pitch he can hit at the bottom of the zone. Maybe that cutter develops more to at least come down into the zone and keep batters questioning each fastball, but I need to see more first.

Ian Anderson @ MIL (W) – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 2 Hits, 4 BBs, 4 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 25% CSW, 110 pitches.

One day Anderson will grasp how to cut out his wasted curveballs and changeups from his repertoire. Until then, expect the walks to be more elevated, but it’ll come with few hits and a solid ERA. The man just doesn’t give in. It does create a lower floor than we’d like (more walks, duh) but he’ll still be effective. Cool to see 110 pitches as well, hopefully it doesn’t affect him in the next one. Times have changed, ya’ll.

Domingo German @ BAL (W) – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 6 Ks – 19 Whiffs, 38% CSW, 80 pitches.

Four-seamer was at a middling 93 mph – I want to see 94+ but at least it’s not 91 mph – and his curveball was ridiculous. We’re talking 57% CSW and 11 whiffs as he tossed it 38% of the time, helping him earn a King Cole. You love to see it and now he gets Texas?! SIGN ME UP.

Mike Minor @ CWS (W) – 7.0 IP, 1 ER, 2 Hits, 2 BBs, 7 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 28% CSW, 100 pitches.

Soooo it’s still not the heater we want to see at 91 mph (not 92-94!) but his changeup was finally doing good things again as he was able to flick sliders inside to right-handers consistently for strikes. I’m conflicted about that changeup since it wasn’t ideal locations (not down far enough) but it still had success. Fastball command wasn’t great either and I watch this going How?!…He isn’t the man we wanted in the pre-season, sadly.

Cole Irvin @ MIN (ND) – 6.2 IP, 1 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 2 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 31% CSW, 81 pitches.

I’m happy for Irvin, I really am. It’s not easy going 18/20 outs in the field. Y’all know this is a Grave Mistake and he’s hoping to be Spider-Man when all is said and done. That’s just not the guy I want to chase. The good news here is it’s @LAA, SEA, @SEA next and if you feel you have to hold him through the Angels for the Mariners, it may be worth your while. It’s a 90 mph fastball + changeup combo that doesn’t excite me, but should be good enough if you package those three starts.

Chris Paddack vs STL (ND) – 4.0 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 1 BBs, 2 Ks – 5 Whiffs, 23% CSW, 84 pitches.

I’m stoked to see Paddack at 84 pitches, but I hate seeing 5% on 21 changeups. Yeesh. It was a case where he felt he had to do it all with the heater, allowing for deeper counts and a decent amount of foul balls. It’s still a much better fastball than before, though, and he should be primed to dominate the Mariners and Brewers now. Just get a decent changeup working, okay?

Justus Sheffield vs CLE (W) – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 2 Ks – 6 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 94 pitches.

After failing to take advantage of the Rangers, it’s good to see Sheff do some good against Cleveland. I still don’t love where he’s at with his slider + Changeup (combined 19% CSW) and I wouldn’t trust him save for a desperate stream.

Jordan Holloway @ LAD (L) – 3.0 IP, 2 ER, 2 Hits, 4 BBs, 2 Ks – 4 Whiffs, 26% CSW, 74 pitches.

It was the Dodgers and we had zero expectations but I wanted at least something I could point to moving forward, you know?

Tyler Mahle @ COL (ND) – 7.0 IP, 2 ER, 7 Hits, 0 BBs, 4 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 26% CSW, 93 pitches.

Look at Mahle, heading to Coors and surviving. It was a bit lucky, though, as his fastball command was off and his slider went just 4/44 whiffs. This isn’t the typically Mahle and let’s just emit a sigh of relief as we cozy up to the Giants at home next.

Seth Frankoff vs WSH (ND) – 4.2 IP, 2 ER, 3 Hits, 4 BBs, 4 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 21% CSW, 90 pitches.

He stepped into Zac Gallen’s spot (I’m sad) and there’s little here to get excited about. 91 mph heater, a meh slider, a changeup with some bright spots, and that’s it. This is a Cup of Schmosadly.

Johnny Cueto @ PIT (ND) – 4.1 IP, 2 ER, 8 Hits, 0 BBs, 2 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 28% CSW, 72 pitches.

He was a popular streaming option and after a Still ILL outing, Cueto still needed more time. And now he gets Cincy? Yeah, nah. Maybe he’ll improve enough to make us consider Arizona after.

Jhoulys Chacin vs CIN (ND) – 4.0 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 3 Ks – 5 Whiffs, 21% CSW, 53 pitches.

Oh hey, it’s Chacin, who pitched when Jhoulyst expect it. Okay, we kinda knew this would happen and also knew he wouldn’t be tossing a ton of pitches. In Coors. Against the Reds. Why are we still talking about this?

Aaron Nola @ TOR (L) – 6.2 IP, 3 ER, 9 Hits, 1 BBs, 8 Ks – 17 Whiffs, 31% CSW, 103 pitches.

Aces gonna add a few more questions as it’s essentially a VVPQSThose questions really shouldn’t be there, though – this was in Dunedin, possibly the worst matchup for pitchers. He relied a ton on changeups as his curveball wasn’t there and to see 13/40 whiffs with 40% CSW is fantastic. Here’s to hoping that slow ball sticks as he gets his curveball back next time against the Sawx. A little risky there given his last two starts, I know, but you gotta do it.

Trevor Williams @ DET (ND) – 2.0 IP, 3 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 2 Ks – 5 Whiffs, 29% CSW, 42 pitches.

He labored through both innings and you look at your roster wondering why you ever thought this was a good thing. I dunno man. I dunno.

Jorge Lopez vs NYY (L) – 2.0 IP, 4 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 28% CSW, 71 pitches.

I think we should have complete separation from anything Yankees and J-Lo. Well, probably everything for Lopez, but the Yankees, too.

Shane McClanahan vs NYM (W) – 5.1 IP, 4 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 7 Ks – 16 Whiffs, 35% CSW, 75 pitches.

It was a pair of longballs that did McShane in but we should be excited to see him go 5.1 innings and 75 pitches. It at least tells us that the Rays will let him go longer if he has the pitch count. As far as his stuff, his slider earned 10 whiffs and 44% CSW and outside of one or two mistakes, the pitch was elite. And he’s still sitting 96/97 and hinting 100 mph. HOLD THIS MAN.

Dane Dunning @ HOU (L) – 4.0 IP, 4 ER, 7 Hits, 3 BBs, 3 Ks – 6 Whiffs, 26% CSW, 76 pitches.

Dunning was fresh off a fantastic outing against the Mariners that got many hyped, but there’s a massive difference between Seattle and Houston. The stuff just isn’t good enough against solid offenses and with NYY, @LAA, @COL ahead, I’m still staying away.

Jose Berrios vs OAK (ND) – 7.0 IP, 4 ER, 8 Hits, 0 BBs, 6 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 25% CSW, 103 pitches.

Okay, you hate the ERA. That makes sense. Be happy that Berrios pushed past the early struggles to give you seven frames and a solid 1.14 WHIP + six strikeouts. Things could have been plenty worse. His fastball has been lacking a little as of late + 4/41 whiffs on curveballs ain’t what we want to see. In short, he’s good enough to keep starting as we wait and hope that he can break out of his shell for that wonderful run again. It’s weird to see him waiting more on the heater than the breaker, though.

Tyler Anderson vs SF (ND) – 5.0 IP, 4 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 7 Ks – 12 Whiffs, 26% CSW, 91 pitches.

I know he’s been on this ridiculous run – and hey, that’s seven strikeouts! – but this was the lefty-mashing Giants and now it’s Atlanta. I’m out for that one as well as his four-seamer wasn’t nearly as good as we’ve seen in this one. I get if you need to for deeper leagues, though.

Brett Anderson vs ATL (L) – 3.2 IP, 4 ER, 8 Hits, 3 BBs, 3 Ks – 6 Whiffs, 22% CSW, 77 pitches.

Brett lost the battles of the Ander children, to the surprise of none. You have to believe if the Brewers are in any sort of playoff contention that Brett gets placed at the deadline. And hey, it’s the NL Central, so who knows.

Carlos Rodón vs KC (L) – 5.2 IP, 4 ER, 8 Hits, 3 BBs, 5 Ks – 15 Whiffs, 24% CSW, 110 pitches.

Okay, he’s mortal. The skills that he added this year aren’t totally gone – 95 mph fastball still there! – but his changeup and slider were worse in this one. He’s still going 110 pitches though, and I imagine he can be better with his two secondaries moving forward. As long as he has that heater, I’m still game.

Jose Ureña vs CHC (ND) – 2.2 IP, 4 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 1 Ks – 2 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 48 pitches.

Remember when he was constantly going seven frames? What a time that was. But now he gets the Royals + Cleveland + Brewers! Sigh…I guess we have some tough decisions to make. Probably out for the Royals and take it from there?

Triston McKenzie @ SEA (L) – 4.1 IP, 5 ER, 5 Hits, 3 BBs, 6 Ks – 15 Whiffs, 32% CSW, 90 pitches.

Yeaaaaah. At least it’s 91/92 mph now for McKenzie and that slider + curveball did go 12/36 whiffs, but his command is all over the place across those breakers. When they worked, they worked, but he got into worse counts constantly because of their erratic nature. His heater was spotted a bit better, though, but we’re at the point where you don’t want to be putting yourself in harm’s way.

Adam Wainwright @ SD (L) – 4.0 IP, 6 ER, 8 Hits, 3 BBs, 2 Ks – 5 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 92 pitches.

Awwww. I was hoping that Waino could be his shockingly dominant self against a lineup dealing with COVID. Welp, I guess I have to give him the Cherry Bomb label now as and I’m starting him against the Cubs next. His curveball and cutter weren’t nearly as good in this one and it was just one of those days.

Dylan Bundy @ BOS (L) – 4.0 IP, 7 ER, 8 Hits, 2 BBs, 3 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 37% CSW, 83 pitches.

Yikes. I got many questions about Bundy after his previous outing asking what was wrong and I brushed it all off, saying this was an easy start. Ohhh boy. This was a product of a good amount of hung pitches, multiple of which came in two-strike counts. He’s still getting ahead but is having the classic problem of not executing the right pitch to put them away. He was able to correct it in 2020 and in April, I imagine this is just a blip. With his curveball and slider each sitting above 45% CSW in this one + his heater still above 91 mph, we have to believe it’ll recover.

Joe Ross @ ARI (L) – 4.0 IP, 8 ER, 8 Hits, 3 BBs, 5 Ks – 6 Whiffs, 30% CSW, 86 pitches.

The man does well against the Yankees and then struggles – as a right-hander – against the Diamondbacks. Oh volatility, why must you be a thing.


Game of the Day 


Huascar Ynoa vs. Freddy Peralta It’s like the Peralta vs. Alzolay’s with more fastballs and sliders than you can shake your fist at.


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


Photo from Dustin Bradford/Icon Sportswire | Design by Quincey Dong (@threerundong 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.

6 responses to “Luis of Mind”

  1. DrW says:

    Have deGrom coming back hopefully sometime soon, do I hold McClanahan or Kopech?

    • theKraken says:

      Is it a keeper and will you keep them? If not, then realize that neither merit much long-term consideration. I wouldn’t look further than the next start. Kopech for sure though… How long till TB realizes their dream and converts him to the bullpen or a hybrid role?

  2. theKraken says:

    I actually don’t love Garcia’s cutter. I think I have seen him throw it slower and then it is a slider. He has days where his cutter is a liability whereas the slider is a safer pitch. One is out of the zone and the other is in. I think he is just mixing speeds on a slider. I also think he seems like he mixes speeds on curves as well. Put that all together and I think you have a guy that might know how to pitch. I imagine that the best version of Garcia throws a bunch more ch instead of fb. I would think that the fb could definitely play up if he has several plus soft offerings. Honestly, I am not at all sold on Garcia, he is just a guy that I have watched a lot this year. Isn’t it weird how well he fits right into that weird rotation. It is full of guys very similar to him. Probably worth remembering how many bad pitchers have had great stretches this year when pointing out some positives.

  3. theKraken says:

    Bullpen game = admitting to your fans and the players in your organization that you did not make a good enough effort to acquire a pitching staff. People should lose their jobs over such poor management and development. Free agents are plentiful and affordable. This also means that you have no starters in AAA even capable of filling in.

  4. theKraken says:

    Isn’t it weird that McKenzie has zero track record of control issues. Its not like he is overthrowing. The velo and command make it seem like something is wrong but he keeps going out there. He’s weird.

  5. Morneau Mr. nice Guy says:

    Hey Nick, thanks as always for these write ups. How do you decide the order in which you list the pitchers in each round up?

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