Not Your Folty

Nick Pollack reviews every single starting pitcher's performances from Thursday's games.

If you are an owner of a red SUV with Arizona license plates, your car is about to get towed Mike Foltynewiczyou might be a little worried after today’s 4.2 IP, 2 ER, 8 Hits, 0 BBs, 3 Ks line against the Padres. He wasn’t particularly sharp last time out, but we were able to easily brush that off with Coors + expected rust. Not that 2 ER here are innately bad, but the combination of only three strikeouts and failure to complete five frames in 80 pitches is alarming. Well, let’s look back to 2018 – what pushed Folty into hinting AGA levels? His slide piece. How was it today? 1/23 on whiffs with 3/23 CSW overall. Yikes. It wasn’t horrible and did find the zone often, but it led to mixed balls in play including Ian Kinsler’s tate. This isn’t the massive whiff pitch it was last year…yet. Give this some time, he didn’t have a proper spring training and often feel of breaking pitches is the last to return. I wouldn’t be freaking out quite yet and I’d even throw him out there against the Dodgers next week as much as I want to emotionally tell you otherwise. Start Folty.

Let’s see how every other SP did Thursday:

Noah Syndergaard9.0 IP, 0 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 10 Ks. He did it. The mad man actually did it. Kinda. KINDA?! Well…his slider was kinda bad? Everything else was lovely though, especially with heaters up in the zone – 36/104 CSW is great and a testament to carving through a lineup for nine full innings. The BABIP didn’t demolish him this time around and it’s like April didn’t happen. But it did and we’re not out of the woods yet. Sorry. I just want that slider back – 0/7 whiffs, 3 called strikes, 1 ball in play as he really struggled to do what he wanted with the pitch. It’s about time things went his way, I just wanted everything to go perfectly, you know?

Danny Duffy6.0 IP, 1 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks. Whoaaaa DUFF MAN! 19 whiffs for a Gallows Pole, 34% CSW, 10/34 whiffs on your slider, daaaaaaaaang dude! Remember when Duffy was legit for a moment? This is what it looked like. Well, kinda. His velocity was better than 91.2 mph back then, BUT STILL. I would suggest a pickup….but he gets the Astros next and I ain’t taking that chance. It’s too bad, he’d be such a fun stream against a team like the Tigers or Orioles or any group of animals, really.

Dakota Hudson6.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 7 Ks. Wait, Hudson is allowed to strike out batters? I thought it was against Dakota law. Seriously, he had a 16.5% K rate entering this one. 15 whiffs is remarkable as his slider did some work (11/22 CSW!) and things are cool. They aren’t great – I really don’t think this lasts – but this is cool.

Tyler Mahle5.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 0 BBs, 7 Ks. Why didn’t I stream Mahle instead? Why?! This was one of the better starts I’ve seen for Mahle’s deuce – 11/24 CSW is strong – but I wouldn’t put major stock in it performing this way moving forward. The A’s are next and that’s a tough call, I’d personally avoid it, even with Mahle’s fantastic K/BB numbers at the moment.

Charlie Morton6.2 IP, 1 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 9 Ks. I feel so weird about Morton. If I own him, I’m super happy starting him for every game, but I feel like I’m playing with fire. He isn’t an SP #1 – I don’t think we really should feel like he’s an SP #2, but we’re starting him hoping today isn’t the day his start gets cut short due to injury. Just one more day. Just one more.

Stephen Strasburg6.2 IP, 1 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 9 Ks. Aces gonna ace as it’s three stud starts in a row now for Stras. I’ve missed saying this. Excellent job of keeping his curves and changeups down while mixing heat up – 40/108 CSW with 17 whiffs!

Jose Berrios7.0 IP, 2 ER, 7 Hits, 0 BBs, 5 Ks. Aces gonna ace (this is fun!). A pretty weird one from Berrios as his curveball was thrown for strikes, but just 1/16 on whiffs, and instead earned a ton of outs in the field with the pitch (11/16 strikes overall). That works and meant he only needed to throw seven changeups, which, to his credit, was 5/7 strikes in its own right. 

Tyler Skaggs6.0 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 3 BBs, 5 Ks. Sooooo it was a 20/98 CSW. Yeah. I did like that Skaggs went up high with heat and earn 10% whiffs with four-seamers, but he was pretty easy to hit today and the Jays didn’t take enough advantage of it. But hey, we’ll take this and I’m still starting Skaggs until further notice.

Matt Strahm6.0 IP, 2 ER, 8 Hits, 0 BBs, 6 Ks. It’s wild to see Strahm returning productive start after productive start following his season debut that was oh-so terrible. What’s even wilder is that he’s doing it without making me entirely convinced it’s legit. He’s still not earning the whiffs we want out of his slider – just 3/32 here! – while his fastball is averaging 91 mph, not sitting 92/93 that we want (he was hovering 91/92 early, which fell a bit as the game continued). I think this is a bit of a sell high in his current state as I’m losing faith that he’ll refine his full repertoire any time soon. It’s not that he’s inherently bad I just think he’s more like a 3.90 ERA guy with a 1.25 WHIP than the 3.03 ERA with a 1.10 WHIP we see now.

Lucas Giolito5.0 IP, 3 ER, 7 Hits, 2 BBs, 7 Ks. I was skeptical that Giolito would not only do well in a Still ILL scenario – especially with breaking stuff – but also stave off the Red Sox in the first game of “The Battle of the Pink Laundry” and…he did pretty well. 16/98 whiffs is awfully impressive (28/98 CSW is okay) and I was surprised to see him go 4/6 with curveballs for strikes. Meanwhile, changeups and sliders were solid and I’m kinda in here. He gets the Tribe next and sign me up.

David Price6.0 IP, 3 ER, 7 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks. Whoa, I don’t think I’ve seen a legit VPQS yet the entire season, I’m not kidding. Maybe one or two happened and I forgot to spit out the term, but here it is. And I’m not happy about it. Price now holds a 3.75 ERA and the man deserves better. Well, things are better with his 29.6% strikeout rate and 1.14 WHIP, but I want him to be like Jack Donaghy and be the complete package. Figure it out.

Aaron Sanchez4.0 IP, 4 ER, 9 Hits, 2 BBs, 2 Ks. Yeaaaaaah. Any hype I’ve had about Sanchez rebounding this year is pretty lost at this point. Even if he does well next time, I ain’t trusting it. I need to see some legit change for me to go in there.

Jon Gray5.2 IP, 5 ER, 7 Hits, 2 BBs, 9 Ks. It’s a little taste of a Dusty Donut as those strikeouts soften the blow of bloat in his ERA and WHIP. I still can’t really make out what to do as a Jonny Gray owner, with all my thoughts always falling on “well, if you own him, you start him save for the worst matchups.” This was out of Coors – yay – but in Milwaukee – nay – but ya still had to do it – okay. Next up are the Giants – Horray! – back in Colorado – no way. I know, that’s, like, so unreal, man.

Freddy Peralta4.0 IP, 6 ER, 8 Hits, 3 BBs, 3 Ks. Why did I do this. Why did I trust Peralta and not someone like Mahle after Tony Disco cruised yesterday. WHAT WAS I THINKING. Streaming Record: 18-15.

Brad Peacock3.2 IP, 7 ER, 8 Hits, 2 BBs, 2 Ks. Hoooo boy. Peacock is Cherry Bombing it up and we don’t like it. Not one bit. The Twins are a tougher team that the Tribe last week, and they did get his number a bit on April 22nd, but we didn’t expect this. He really doesn’t like going upstairs and his variety is killing him, earning just six whiffs for the day, zero on 40 fastballs. That’s a problem. It’s also a problem that Forrest Whitley is still down in Triple-A. I don’t think they’d make the swap now, but if he falters against the Royals next week? Well, we might be seeing a change then. I wouldn’t hesitate to swap out Peacock if there’s someone like Griffin Canning on your wire.


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.


Jerad Eickhoff vs. Washington Nationals – I’d consider Tyler Beede as well or even Jorge Lopez for the desperate, but I like Eickhoff’s skill set the most.


Tomorrow’s Streamer


Chris Bassitt vs. Pittsburgh Pirates – I know, it’s kinda nuts, but Bassitt has looked solid in his first two starts and it’s the Pirates.


Day After Tomorrow’s Streamer


Spencer Turnbull vs. Kansas City Royals – A pretty easy stream as Turnbull boasts a 2.57 ERA – crazy!


Game of the Day


Tyler Beede vs. Sonny Gray – There’s a decent amount of hype around Beede + I want Gray to keep dominating.


(Photo by Rich von Biberstein/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.

17 responses to “Not Your Folty”

  1. Josh says:

    Beyond the injury risk, what’s stopping you from fully buying into Morton?

    • Manley Ramirez says:

      Too scared on Morton. Treating him like he’s Hill level. If you fade him as an injury risk, you have to do the same for Kershaw, but that’s not reflected in your rankings.

      Just being on the mound is a mine field. Seemingly stout types like Kluber, Clevenger and Snell have all gone down already. Why be all shook about Morton when he’s been healthy for a good year +.

      • Manley Ramirez says:

        #28 is fair for Morton, actually… you are not really fading him….more just the pessimism in your comments.

    • Doug B. says:

      I ended up with him autodrafted in 2 leagues, and while I love him as a pitcher, I get the hesitation… I got Ryu in the same leagues as well, and that’s a more stark example of the reason for trepidation. Pitchers break, and they break often, and they often break badly and are out for the season or most of it. Morton isn’t young, and he only has a bit of time pitching at the level he’s been at recently.

      At the tiers that Morton and Ryu exist in for their performance, getting top-tier reliever inning counts out of an SP can be intensely frustrating, and it’s nearly nearly impossible to replace what you expect to get from them, especially at the worth those who drafted them paid in draft capital.

      I personally think that TB handles pitchers very well as far as getting the most out of them that they possibly can, but that’s often at the expense of their health.

      In Morton’s case, I think he’ll have the results, if not the health, at least through this season. (Next season, likely his retirement season, will probably be less effective.)

      He is deserving of being one of the few actual declared SP’s on the Rays, but they don’t have the best track record of keeping their P’s healthy. I think Morton’s been around long enough to question if he’s being told to do something that isn’t conducive to his health. I think he’s a solid, higher-end #2, especially with THAT pen behind him and with that defense behind him, but the Rays are likely to burn him out and replace him in the rotation w/ Honeywell or someone else once the young bucks are healthier.

      If you’re one of those that are still underrating the Rays, you should stop right now. They’re a legitimate threat in the AL East, especially with the depth they have to make moves at the trade deadline for what they need to keep it going.

  2. Doug B. says:

    Hi Nick, thanks for your insight every day…

    I really like Weaver, as I think l you do, but I’m scared of starting him in Coors on the May the 4th (Star Wars Day!) after the 2 HR’s last start. Maybe I’m just reliving bad memories, but I’m leaning towards the bench, especially in my points league that heavily penalizes HR’s allowed.

    Are you rolling with him for his upcoming start? Why/why not?

    Thanks for your time.

  3. Manley Ramirez says:

    #28 is fair for Morton, actually… you are not really fading him….more just the pessimism in your comments.

  4. Vinny aka PitcherList_SuperFan says:

    Pitcher List is dope and I feel dope for reading them everyday

  5. Frankie says:

    Nick, I swapped out Peacock for Porcello today. I know Poor-cello isn’t exactly a Spice Girl, but he has to be better than holding a Cherry Bomb, right? (Hopes Nicks says, “Right.”)

  6. al says:

    14 team h2h points league with limited keepers:

    Should I still be holding onto Urias or am I wasting a roster spot for another SPARP like Strahm or a bench bat in Franmil Reyes or Jesus Aguilar?

  7. larry womack says:

    Would you stream Odorizzi @ NYY this weekend. My other choices are Miley vs LAA, Roark vs SF. Pretty slim choices.


  8. Carlos says:

    Nick would you drop Peacock for Lucchesi if he’s available on the waiver wire 12 H2H. My gut says yes but my guys been wrong before!

  9. theKraken says:

    I just watched the highlights, but it looked like Thor got a bunch of pretty questionable strikes called yesterday.

  10. Vandy211 says:

    Another battle of Vandy pitchers today in Gray and Beede.

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