Mills In General

Nick Pollack reviews every starting pitcher performance from Monday.

After a pair of successful starts, I’m sure many are wondering how good Alec Mills actually is. He earned a Win across 7.0 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 3 BBs, 4 Ks against the Royals last night (Streaming Record: 5-6), though it came with just 6 Whiffs and a 22% CSW. That doesn’t spell much long-term success…right?

Well, I really like the command I saw. He saved his four-seamers to jam left-handers up-and-in, then bruised right-handers with sinkers inside and off the plate. If you’re wondering how to be successful without a high CSW, it’s exactly like this as these pitches return plenty of outs and few extra-base hits. The main problem is his lack of a whiff pitch. Just 1/21 whiffs on sliders, 0/11 on curveballs, and 3/18 on changeups aren’t going to cut it, but nevertheless, Mills was able to carve out seven frames and proved his worth. It’s a Toby alright, and I think he’s okay to start against the Brewers next time. The ceiling is a bit capped (like a normal ceiling, look up to find it), but this could help in a shortened season. It has the makings of a Vargas Rule, after all.


Let’s see how every other SP did Monday:


Frankie Montas @ SEA (W) – 7.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 4 BBs, 9 Ks – 12 Whiffs, 44% CSWMontas had 32 called strikes in this game, helping him today’s King Cole. Mariners, what are ya waiting for?! Montas did a great job landing his slider in the zone (0 whiffs but 14 called strikes made for a 54% CSW. That’s baseball, Suzyn) while his splitter earned a 22% SwStr rate. I’ll take it. Oddly with all of those called strikes Montas still walked four, but this game was certainly more encouraging than the last. Not the overwhelming Oh yeah, Montas is doing everything we dreamed of! kind of performance despite the line, but it’s a good nod of satisfaction like sipping your favorite whiskey. Or milkshake. Or whatever you nod with satisfaction to. You get it.

Sonny Gray vs CLE (W) – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 8 Ks – 12 Whiffs, 33% CSWAces gonna ace. The HR came off a heater in the first and that was it for the day. I moved him into the Top 10 yesterday and with his easy schedule, I don’t think that’s going to change. Awww yeah.

Danny Duffy @ CHC (L) – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 4 BBs, 6 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 31% CSWDuffy was the back-up streamer today and I’m still sad to see him throwing under 92 mph. Remember when he was averaging 95 mph back in 2016 when he shook us? That was cool. I like that he elevated with heaters, though, and decent command overall makes him a worthy streamer contender moving forward. His next two starts are against the Twins though so… maybe not for a bit.

Gerrit Cole vs PHI (W) – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 25% CSW. Aces gonna ace. This is underwhelming, isn’t it? We’re not seeing the stupid fastball that turns into sliders away that leave batters wondering why they chose the path in life they did. But hey, it’ll likely get better over time and then it’s the Yankees with so many Wins ahead… alright fine. But maybe not #1?

Carlos Rodon @ MIL (ND) – 2.0 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 0 BBs, 1 Ks – 2 Whiffs, 35% CSWDespite the CSW, Rodon was a bit shaky here and eventually left with shoulder soreness. Ugh, I feel bad for Rodon. He had an opportunity to get innings again after returning from TJS and this isn’t what he imagined.

Jacob deGrom @ ATL (W) – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 10 Ks – 25 Whiffs, 36% CSWAces gonna ace. Surprisingly, we have yet to have a night where one pitcher earned both the Gallows Pole and King Cole, deal with it deGrom and enjoy your 25 whiffs and be better. Anyway, I was tempted to lead with deGrom because somehow he’s gotten even better. Nearly two ticks more velocity on his fastball, 1.5 point jump on his slider, and over two ticks more SwStr than 2019. Yes, I’m very tempted to slot him at #1 above Cole. Maybe I should. We’ll see.

Johnny Cueto @ COL (ND) – 5.0 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 26% CSWCueto had a date in Coors and wasn’t so bad. That’s legit praise, you know. Now he gets the Dodgers and Oakland so those waiting for that “perfect” stream may never get it. Welp.

Brett Anderson vs CWS (ND) – 3.0 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 0 BBs, 2 Ks – 5 Whiffs, 27% CSWHey, Brett Anderson is back!… for 52 pitches. And two strikeouts. And a 6.00 ERA. And 1.67 WHIP. But he’s back!

Zach Plesac @ CIN (L) – 7.0 IP, 3 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 33% CSWYep, I’m falling hard for Plesac. I watched a good amount of this one and the fact that all 3 ER came off of a pair of HRs, each swatted in 3-2 counts as Plesac battled makes me like him even more. Those weren’t charity cases, Nick Castellanos and Joey Votto had to earn them. Meanwhile, Plesac looked well in control of all his pitches and I’m so infatuated. If he’s somehow still out there, grab him. Just do it.

Chris Paddack vs LAD (W) – 6.0 IP, 3 ER, 5 Hits, 0 BBs, 5 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 26% CSWAces gonna ace for a PQS with a lovely WHIP. He allowed a bomb to Joc Pederson to start the game and settled in nicely thereafter, though I’m a little annoyed by the lack of overwhelming pitches from Paddack. Yes, he’s attacking and getting deserved outs while going deeper into games than most, it’s just not coming with that 25%-30% strikeout rate as he can’t earn whiffs easily (regardless of the Dodgers, y’all). Something to think about.

Jake Arrieta @ NYY (L) – 5.0 IP, 3 ER, 7 Hits, 0 BBs, 4 Ks – 4 Whiffs, 35% CSWWe expected nothing and honestly, this isn’t so terrible. I mean, it doesn’t help you in the slightest, but it could have been way worse, you know? Arrieta can be a streamer in the future, that’s about it.

Walker Buehler @ SD (ND) – 5.0 IP, 3 ER, 3 Hits, 3 BBs, 3 Ks – 5 Whiffs, 23% CSWAces gonna still need more time in the oven. I’d say Buehler should be all set for his next start following this one against the Padres, but you want to see more, you know? At least Fernando Tatis Jr. longball was something else, going oppo on a curveball down and away, and I wouldn’t ding Buehler for that, but… yeah. 23% CSW ain’t what we expected. Don’t freak out, he’ll be fine.

Lewis Thorpe vs PIT (ND) – 4.0 IP, 3 ER, 6 Hits, 4 BBs, 3 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 24% CSWI didn’t expect to see nearly 70 pitches thrown by the Thorpedo in this one, slotting in as Homer Bailey hit the IL. Thorpe was closer to returning a solid line than you think, as his sliders and changeup had great separation arm-side vs. glove-side, but he overthrew each just a bit too much. I’m not saying I believe he’ll get there next time, but normally you see a line like this and just ignore them the rest of the way. I wouldn’t do that.

Chi Chi Gonzalez vs SF (ND) – 3.0 IP, 3 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 3 Ks – 5 Whiffs, 24% CSWI remember a day last year when Yu-Gi-Oh CCG had an amazing day out of nowhere and it was wonderful. Here’s to another like that at some point.

Derek Holland @ MIN (ND) – 5.2 IP, 4 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks – 12 Whiffs, 35% CSWThe Dutch Invasion struck if you started Derek against the Twins. On the real, you knew this wasn’t going to work… right? But hey, look at that CSW! That’s pretty cool.

Justus Sheffield vs OAK (L) – 4.2 IP, 4 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 31% CSWWe’re not quite there yet with Sheffield, who has axed his four-seamer in favor of sinkers this season. It’s performed decently well so far, but he’s just not getting enough out of his slider (29% CSW, only 6/34 whiffs here) and it’s preventing the upside city we were hoping we’d find one day. I’d hold back streaming Justus for now.

Mike Soroka vs NYM (L) – 2.1 IP, 4 ER, 3 Hits, 4 BBs, 0 Ks – 2 Whiffs, 21% CSWThis was so sad. Soroka was having a little trouble, then jumped off the mound during a grounder and tore his Achilles tendon. Poor kid, all of us were excited to see him get more innings to continue developing and sadly he’ll be set back for a good while now as he’s out for the year. This year, man…


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.


Tyler Mahle vs. Cleveland Indians – I don’t have a lot here so it’s Mahle, even if he’s against Bieber. Blegh. I would rather go Adam Wainwright against the Tigers, but it’s not confirmed quite yet.


Tomorrow’s Streamer


Randy Dobnak vs. Pittsburgh Pirates – Easy choice here. Dobnak is a Toby on a winning club against a poor offense. I’m all for this.


Day After Tomorrow’s Streamer


Kyle Freeland vs. San Francisco Giants – Yes, it’s inside Coors but I think Freeland is figuring it out once again. He’s worth the stream.


Game of the Day


Pablo Lopez vs. John Means – I’m just so happy we finally get to watch PabLo pitch + let’s hope Means has his new velocity and better command this time around.


(Photo by Stephen Hopson/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.

4 responses to “Mills In General”

  1. Kent says:

    Didn’t Montas win the King Cole, no DeGrom? (44% CSW)

  2. Jason says:

    Do you like Pablo as a streamer today?

  3. Tom says:

    Any thoughts on Corbin Burnes’s 3.2 inning piggyback outing? I would’ve watched but didn’t realize he was gonna pitch.

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