Luis OutCastillo

Nick Pollack reviews every starting pitcher performance from Saturday.

Luis Castillo @ CLE (L) – 4.0 IP, 4 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 2 Ks – 3 Whiffs, 17% CSW, 84 pitches.

Another start for Luis Castilloanother series of frustrated tweets and comments as he underperformed, this time via 4.0 IP, 4 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 2 Ks against Cleveland. He missed zero bats on 34 heaters, just one on 24 changeups, and held an overall 17% CSW across 84 pitches and, as always, I’ll be completely honest with you. I could just call it a day and say “DROP CASTILLO!” and everyone would feel it would be right. No one would judge me for it and it would sure make my Twitter notifications happy.

But I won’t do it. Sacré bleu. I won’t say that Castillo didn’t deserve a poor line (3 whiffs! 17% CSW!), but he wasn’t granted any favors with multiple errors in the field and some poor luck along the way. He wasn’t that bad. As for his stuff, I think there’s a tweak to be made to get him more consistent on his fastball locations, simply with his timing on driving off his back leg and when he leans forward with his top half. That could very well be me just spouting nonsense from my office chair, and it does come from a place of reality – Castillo will make adjustments. Maybe it’s that, maybe it’s something else, but I think we can all agree that he hasn’t suddenly be banished to the shadow realm. His changeup has its movement, his slider was actually pretty dang good, and he’s still chucking 97 mph. He’ll be better over time and while I’ll likely have him around #40 or so on Monday, you’ll wisely realize that’s not a drop from your team. You’ve endured the poor six-week stretch, he won’t hold a 6.42 ERA, sub 20% K rate, and .357 BABIP for the full year.


Let’s see how every other SP did Saturday:


Lance Lynn @ KC (W) – 5.0 IP, 0 ER, 1 Hits, 4 BBs, 6 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 30% CSW, 90 pitches.

Aces gonna ace. I’m a little sad he just went five frames, but I wouldn’t be shocked if this is his lowest pitch count for the rest of the year.

Tommy Hunter vs ARI (ND) – 2.0 IP, 0 ER, 0 Hits, 0 BBs, 1 Ks – 0 Whiffs, 24% CSW, 17 pitches.

The Mets opened for Joey Lucchesiwho earned one whiff on 59 pitches. I think that’s all that needs to be said.

Clayton Kershaw @ LAA (W) – 5.0 IP, 0 ER, 2 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 30% CSW, 71 pitches.

Good to see TATIAGA earn his title again, here on three days rest as it limited him to just 71 pitches. That slider is simply too filthy.

Kevin Gausman vs SD (W) – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 1 BBs, 7 Ks – 14 Whiffs, 31% CSW, 97 pitches.

See this billed as Gausman vs. Musgrove made for a pretty easy excuse to grab some popcorn and now I regret it. I always do, popcorn kernels are the worst. Annnnny, Gausman has now allowed 1 or 0 ER in 6 of 7 starts this year, including three games against the Padres. The man deserves to be higher on The List, doesn’t he. And here I was questioning if he could keep the gains he made in 2020. Why do I even do this.

Aaron Civale vs CIN (W) – 7.0 IP, 1 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 26% CSW, 107 pitches.

Yesss, you love to see it from Civale. I’ve been expressing some concern to Civale’s ceiling as of late, which can be translated as a “Sell high” label, and I’m not sure that philosophy has shifted because of this outing. He still lacks that overwhelming single pitch that you see in every single Top 25 pitcher on The List and if you’re saying it’s his curveball, you should know he threw it just 17% of the time for 28% CSW. It’s good, just not that pitch. Now he gets @SEA and we’re all cool with that.

Max Scherzer @ NYY (ND) – 7.1 IP, 1 ER, 2 Hits, 1 BBs, 14 Ks – 22 Whiffs, 41% CSW, 109 pitches.

Aces gonna ABSOLUTELY ace. Scherzer really wanted to make a statement here and did so with a Golden Goal against the Yankees, fanning 14 in the process. 47% CSW on your four-seamer will do that. What. A. Stud.

Erik Swanson @ TEX (ND) – 2.2 IP, 1 ER, 2 Hits, 1 BBs, 0 Ks – 2 Whiffs, 20% CSW, 45 pitches.

We thought this would be Ljay Newsomebut he followed for 27 pitches. So yeah, this happened and that’s cool, I guess.

Vince Velasquez @ ATL (ND) – 5.1 IP, 1 ER, 2 Hits, 3 BBs, 6 Ks – 14 Whiffs, 29% CSW, 90 pitches.

Huh, did you know that Velasquez has allowed under 3 ER in each of his last four starts? Sure, the first two came with fewer than five frames, but it’s still better than I expected, especially since it includes Coors and Atlanta. I wouldn’t start him against the Jays, but if you want to be proactive, he could get the Marins twice after and each of those may be worthwhile.

Jose Berrios @ DET (ND) – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 6 Hits, 5 BBs, 1 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 23% CSW, 104 pitches.

What a weird start. Berrios had no faith in locating his fastball over the plate, electing to throw his curveball at a whopping 45% clip. Yes, WHOPPING. It was the only pitched that worked, and he powered through this start against, yeah, the Tigers. He should make the adjustment to not be this next time and for some good news, I can imagine his curveball still performing well (32% CSW) while he finds his heaters again. So that’s cool.

Adrian Houser @ MIA (W) – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 0 BBs, 10 Ks – 17 Whiffs, 35% CSW, 94 pitches.

Hoooooooooo MY! Ten strikeouts?! With that sinker?! If you’re thinking Houser must have done something new, he did but I can’t understand it. The man tossed 72% sinkers, earning 12 whiffs and 35% CSW with it, while mixing in breakers for 5/18 combined whiffs. He did a great job of living at the bottom of the zone and sticking to the corners, but man, ten strikeouts?! That’s just not right. I still feel like it’s a typo. Anywho, he gets Atlanta, Cincy, and San Diego next so welp, see ya later.

Jose Urena vs MIN (ND) – 4.1 IP, 2 ER, 9 Hits, 2 BBs, 3 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 22% CSW, 94 pitches.

After a plethora of seven-inning performances, it all caught up to Ureña here as he held a WHIP above 2.00. Maybe he can get on track against the Cubs and Mariners and maybe I would rather take a bus to Ohio. Why Ohio? Oh, I thought we were just saying random things that had no inherent value because obviously I’m not taking a bus to Ohio. I still don’t get it. And I still don’t get how Ureña had a four-game stretch of a 2.25 ERA and 1.04 WHIP across seven innings each start BUT I DIGRESS.

Merrill Kelly @ NYM (L) – 5.2 IP, 2 ER, 3 Hits, 5 BBs, 6 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 25% CSW, 99 pitches.

Hey, this ain’t so bad from Kelly, but there really isn’t enough going on in this repertoire to make me sit up in my chair. I’m so relaxed Kelly, I’m not getting out of my zen for this.

Frankie Montas vs TB (W) – 5.1 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 6 Ks – 12 Whiffs, 32% CSW, 88 pitches.

I think we’re beginning to see Montas get into a rhythm with his fastballs, here earning 10 whiffs on four-seamers and sinkers alone. He’s not quite there with the feel for his splitter and slider, though, but with the fastballs on his side, that’s good enough to trust each time out. For the most part. I’m cool with him facing Minnesota again, though I understand if you’d like to be conservative about it.

Trevor Williams vs PIT (ND) – 4.0 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 6 Ks – 5 Whiffs, 23% CSW, 83 pitches.

You see Williams’ name next to the Pirates and you can’t help but wonder if he could pull it off. It is his former team, after all. Well here we are, hours later, and he last just four frames with a 23% CSW. I don’t know what I expected. Just don’t put yourself through this.

Wil Crowe @ CHC (ND) – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 93 pitches.

Will you look at that, it’s a Birthday PartyNo, no, don’t apologize, I certainly didn’t deserve an invite, Crowe.

Corey Kluber vs WSH (ND) – 5.2 IP, 2 ER, 6 Hits, 3 BBs, 6 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 33% CSW, 101 pitches.

Okay, so many of us (read: Nick and Nick alone) were looking at this start as the defining one for Kluber after succeeding last time with changeups and not as much the rest of his repertoire. Well, that changeup was still great with 50% CSW across 20 thrown and the rest…were still pretty dang good. 91 mph on the sinker, lots of called strikes on curveballs (that’s weird, right? Normally it’s an O-Swing pitch, not a Zone% pitch), and his cutter was still effective. Yeah, I think we should be happy with Kluber, especially with the Orioles and Rangers ahead. Like breadsticks at the OG, keep it coming.

Daniel Castano vs MIL (L) – 4.0 IP, 3 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 70 pitches.

Is this good for Castano? I can’t tell if this is good. That’s not good. No, it’s not.

Steven Matz @ HOU (W) – 5.0 IP, 3 ER, 8 Hits, 0 BBs, 4 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 92 pitches.

Is this a first step toward regaining our love for Matz? I wouldn’t say so and his next trio of starts look to be Philly, Sawx, Yanks. Yeaaaaah, I’m out.

Ian Anderson vs PHI (ND) – 6.0 IP, 3 ER, 6 Hits, 3 BBs, 7 Ks – 12 Whiffs, 30% CSW, 94 pitches.

It’s a VPQS from Anderson and I guess this is okay. Not really, but if this is his bad day, then I’m okay with that. He’s still missing far down with his changeup too often and I’d like a little more consistency with that curveball in the zone, but yeah, Anderson should be fine. I think he belongs in the forties on The List, though.

Tyler Glasnow @ OAK (L) – 5.2 IP, 3 ER, 2 Hits, 4 BBs, 11 Ks – 16 Whiffs, 35% CSW, 101 pitches.

Aces gonna ace. The slider was good enough as it found the zone often and while the strikezone plot looks like a kid excited to be at Disney World and wants to do all the things at the same time, fortunately for Glasnow, it doesn’t really matter. He’s too hard to hit.

Joe Musgrove @ SF (L) – 5.0 IP, 4 ER, 8 Hits, 0 BBs, 7 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 30% CSW, 90 pitches.

Hmmmm that’s a pair of poor outings in a row, each against the Giants. At least he still gave you seven strikeouts – a sign of an ace (we all saw it). I’m not giving him the AGA label, but now he has me humming Ace of Base and that’s close, right? 49% sliders in this one is kinda rad, also kinda unnecessary. His curveball, changeup, and four-seamer are pretty good, too.

Garrett Richards @ BAL (W) – 7.0 IP, 4 ER, 8 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 24% CSW, 98 pitches.

You got a Win but there’s not much else to be satisfied with here if you started Richards. Streaming Record: 22-13. It’s a bit annoying as I do like how he’s feeling more comfortable with fastballs over the zone, though it does make him more susceptible to, you know, getting hit. His slider held a poor 19% CSW, though, and I have to think once the pitch is doing its normal thing, he can get away with more hittable heaters.

Cristian Javier vs TOR (L) – 5.1 IP, 5 ER, 4 Hits, 4 BBs, 8 Ks – 13 Whiffs, 30% CSW, 91 pitches.

Noooooo. I’m thrilled to see that breaker suddenly return whiffs once again – 10/27! – but sadly his fastball didn’t show up as it missed arm-side a good amount, opening the door for some great hitter counts and too many free passes. We saw him whiff with his breaker before and lose it, I hope this time it can stick around for a second straight start. Pair that with a decently commanded heater and Javier is living his best life.

Kohei Arihara vs SEA (ND) – 3.2 IP, 5 ER, 6 Hits, 3 BBs, 3 Ks – 4 Whiffs, 23% CSW, 74 pitches.

There’s still hope that at some point Arihara becomes a reliable Toby but if he can’t handle the Mariners, then we’ve got trust issues. I don’t like trust issues. I like trust, but issues? Nah, not a fan. The only good ones are magazine issues and this ain’t that. 

Carlos Martinez vs COL (W) – 5.0 IP, 5 ER, 6 Hits, 5 BBs, 2 Ks – 2 Whiffs, 20% CSW, 97 pitches.

Apparently CarMart was in a lot of pain in this one, pitching with a twisted ankle. I guess it explains the sole two whiffs and general atrocity that is this game…and how it all worked out for him as he got a Win in the end. Way to go I guess…? So sorry if you moved forward with this one. Stupid Rockie Road n all.

Dylan Bundy vs LAD (L) – 3.1 IP, 6 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 3 Ks – 5 Whiffs, 24% CSW, 67 pitches.

Yikes. Bundy’s slider wasn’t close to the CSW darling it normally is and his heaters + changeup were simply too hittable. I wouldn’t worry much, even with the Sawx and Twins next. I think you’re still starting him in both.

Chi Chi Gonzalez @ STL (L) – 4.0 IP, 7 ER, 8 Hits, 1 BBs, 1 Ks – 6 Whiffs, 23% CSW, 80 pitches.

Welp, you didn’t care for this CCG anyway, so let’s just be glad you never get suckered in and paid legit dollars for it.

Zac Lowther vs BOS (L) – 2.1 IP, 7 ER, 7 Hits, 2 BBs, 3 Ks – 12 Whiffs, 32% CSW, 65 pitches.

The man made his MLB debut and it was a 90/91 mph heater with a decent changeup and curveball. Yes, it’s a Cup of Schmo and I know, that’s a Lowther blow. Sorry kiddo.

Daniel Lynch vs CWS (L) – 0.2 IP, 8 ER, 7 Hits, 1 BBs, 0 Ks – 5 Whiffs, 35% CSW, 34 pitches.

I’m in awe that the Royals allowed Lynch to pitch to the 10th batter of his first-inning after already allowing 7 ER on the board. As far as the stuff goes, I keep the same assessment I had before – his fastball command is off, but there is promise in his slider and changeup and they can be solid secondaries. I had hope those fastball issues would be better now removed from his debut, but it wasn’t great here, and throw in some bad luck, well you’ve got yourself an 8 ER stew. Poor kid, he’s better than this.


Game of the Day 


Nate Pearson vs. Zack Greinke – Hey, he’s back! I wonder how long Nate will pitch and if he’ll be anything more than upper 90s + a slider. Also, watching Greinke is always therapeutic. Do that.


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


Photo from Nick Wosika/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.

2 responses to “Luis OutCastillo”

  1. DB says:

    Castillo: He’s always had filth, but has he ever truly gone beyond cherry-bomb status? He’s had some great runs, how could he not with the straight-filth he has access to, but there’s always been something, (and that specific thing has changed from year-to-year,) that has kept me from believing in him. It usually has something to do with control vs. command though.

    Also gonna say “TOLD YA SO!!!” about urging people to pick Lynch up before his first start. Man, do I feel sorry for those that grabbed him right off the bat then held onto him for this one. He needs time in the higher minors, or he’ll get washed out.

    Note to FBB MGR’s… do yourself a favor and DO NOT GRAB GUYS THAT HAVE NEVER PITCHED ABOVE HIGH A FOR AN SP SLOT ON YOUR (standard, non dynasty) TEAM!!!


  2. Mike Honcho says:

    What’s a reasonable buy low type player to offer for Castillo? 12 team roto.

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