Questioning Nathan’s Eovalution

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

(Photo by Cliff Welch/Icon Sportswire)

I love sitting down to do the SP Roundup and get incredibly surprised by a great start from a name I didn’t expect. Tonight, that line comes from Nathan Eovaldi who went 6.0 IP, 0 ER, 0 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks against the A’s in his first start since 2016. That’s six no-hit frames as he was forced to leave with 70 pitches due to the whole DLH situation. What. The. Hell. So you’re wondering if this is worth your time. It was a 30% CSW with his splitter earning 3 whiffs in 13 thrown and everything being kinda meh but he went 14-for-14 on Balls in Play. His velocity sat around 96.5mph – still great and where he left off back in 2016 – but I don’t think his splitter/slider/cutter secondary pitches are all that great for you to consider this a must add. Can he settle in as a guy in the 70s? Sure, I don’t see why not. Do I think he’s going to have some turmoil in the next few weeks? Without a doubt. He’s got plenty of rust to shake off still, six no-hit innings of 0-14 BABIP or not.

Let’s see how every other SP did Wednesday:

Junior Guerra – 6.0 IP, 0 ER, 4 Hits, 0 BBs, 7 Ks. Is this a Blame it on the Cardinals? Maybe. 13 whiffs are a good amount from Guerra, which I don’t totally buy as once again, his splitter didn’t do a whole lot. His slider was super effective though – 7 for 12 on whiffs! – but that splitter isn’t the pitch it used to be and I’m still not sold. I know, I’m expecting the mentions of his 3.70 FIP and 8.45 K/9, etc. and I’m okay with streaming here – like this start against the Cards – just not a full-time job, you know?

Corey Kluber – 6.0 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 0 BBs, 10 Ks. Aces gonna ace. Those questions you had about his strikeout and whiff rates? Gone like my money during a Steam sale.

Alex Reyes – 4.0 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 2 BBs, 2 Ks. If you didn’t watch this start, you should read the GIF Breakdown I wrote with 19 GIFs going over it all for you. In short, just 3 whiffs on 3 sliders in the first and nothing else good. Fastball declined in velocity as Reyes tried to focus more on throwing strikes, though he never hinted triple digits. There’s a lot of polishing left to do, but I trust the stuff moving forward.

Max Scherzer – 8.0 IP, 0 ER, 2 Hits, 1 BBs, 12 Ks. Oh hey, no big deal, just 29 whiffs for Scherzer, marking the second highest total of the season. Oh and a 43 CSW in 111 pitches. Aces gonna ace, alright.

Jason Vargas – 5.0 IP, 0 ER, 2 Hits, 1 BBs, 2 Ks. Should we apply the Vargas Rule to Vargas himself? Nah. Nope. Nay. The three N’s, I always say.

Mike Fiers – 5.2 IP, 1 ER, 7 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks. I remember I had a joke to tell you Fiers was bad last time that made me feel stupid for not thinking of it before. And now I don’t remember it. I hope it was this one. We didn’t start the Fiers. And I’m kinda sad but it was totally worth it to say no. Yeah, definitely that.

David Hess – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 2 Ks. For disappointment this year, the Hess truck’s here! Seriously, just two Ks David? Come on.

Brad Keller – 3.0 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 1 BBs, 3 Ks. Keller made his first MLB start and I’ve already forgotten his name.

Joe Musgrove – 7.0 IP, 1 ER, 7 Hits, 4 BBs, 5 Ks. This was against the Cubs and if I had the brass to start him, I’d be happy with this outcome. I guess I’m fine starting him next time against the Dodgers, but I wouldn’t want to roll the die again in Wrigley after. Musgrove is supposed to be command first, but 4 walks isn’t that, and he had a paltry 17 CSW in 100 pitches here. That’s bad and he should feel bad.

Shohei Ohtani – 5.0 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 3 BBs, 5 Ks. You’ve waited 10 days for an Ohtani start and this is what he gave you. It doesn’t hurt, but it feels like they carved out some DLC that you don’t want to pay for. What happened to good ole unlockables?

Ross Stripling – 7.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 9 Ks. You cannot stop Stripling right now, though I should mention that the Phillies are not the strongest of offenses. Whatever, you own Stripling and you should keep holding for as long as there’s a good reason not to. Spoiler Alert: There isn’t a good reason thus far.

Jose Urena – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 2 BBs, 6 Ks. If you roster Jose, Urena boatload of trouble.

Kyle Hendricks – 5.0 IP, 2 ER, 7 Hits, 1 BBs, 1 Ks. Yeah, this is almost as mediocre as any “the third” movie you’ll ever watch. I want more Hendricks. MORE.

Matt Moore – 5.1 IP, 2 ER, 8 Hits, 2 BBs, 6 Ks. That WHIP is terrible as there is always something to hate on with Moore. Always.

James Paxton – 5.0 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 4 BBs, 5 Ks. Blegh. Pax, you’re supposed to make me feel awkward about leaving you out of the Top 10, not this pedestrian garbage that forces me to be awkward about your injury history. Don’t do this to me.

Clayton Richard – 7.0 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks. It’s the wrong Clayton! Who kinda looks like the right Clayton 1/3 of the time. Not enough of the time, but sometimes. It is almost time for Clayton, though, as it’s been some time since Kershaw stepped on the bump. Today is that day y’all. Today is that day.

Eduardo Rodriguez – 6.2 IP, 2 ER, 3 Hits, 1 BBs, 7 Ks. Dude is dope and feels dope. That’s three straight starts of 7 strikeouts while allowed 4 ER total. Are y’all buying yet?

Luis Severino – 7.0 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 11 Ks. Aces gonna ace. I understand the whole deGrom/Verlander/Cole debate, but how could I say no to this?

Julio Teheran – 7.0 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 3 BBs, 3 Ks. Yeah, I know I don’t have Teheran on The List and it probably upset some people. Also note that there isn’t a single pitcher there that I wouldn’t not consider for a stream (gotta love triple negative sentences!) and Teheran, well, I don’t want to trust him in most cases. It worked tonight, but are you sure his 5.11 FIP, 7.25 K/9, and 4.03 BB/9 are worth the risk next time?

Sam Gaviglio – 6.0 IP, 4 ER, 7 Hits, 0 BBs, 4 Ks. Sammy. Gavi. Buddy. This just isn’t going to work, like my buddy Steve who refuses to get his life in order and stop sleeping on my couch. I can hear you WELL MAYBE IF DIDN’T SLEEP ON COUCH YOU WOULDN’T.

Jon Gray – 3.1 IP, 4 ER, 6 Hits, 3 BBs, 5 Ks. Gray is someone I just don’t want to deal with anymore. Yes, he will have that stud start here and there, but is it worth the steady pain?

Derek Holland – 5.0 IP, 4 ER, 8 Hits, 2 BBs, 0 Ks. Holland had just two whiffs overall as he failed to hold off the Dutch Invasion in Coors. It’s okay Derek, nobody expected you to succeed.

Dallas Keuchel – 5.0 IP, 4 ER, 7 Hits, 3 BBs, 7 Ks. Four-Seamers were up and in – like way up in the zone – while sliders, changeups, and two-seamers found their way on the bottom half and away. It didn’t really work in the end, though he did a good job of missing the entire middle of the zone. I think Keuchel is more-or-less a 3.50 ERA pitch with a sub 1.20 WHIP and that’s totally valuable in this SP Landscape, even if it comes with just ~20% strikeouts.

Sean Manaea – 5.0 IP, 4 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 3 Ks. Man, it’s tough to watch Manaea still struggle to jam that four-seamer inside to right-handed batters, which is the pitch that reinforces the effectiveness of his changeup and slider. It didn’t stop him from 11 whiffs here, but without that feel of spotting his heater, I’m super reluctant to get back on the boat. Get me excited again Manaea, please.

Sal Romano – 5.0 IP, 4 ER, 7 Hits, 0 BBs, 3 Ks. Romano, didn’t they send you back for possible E.coli? No? You sure you’re still supposed to be here?

Zach Eflin – 4.0 IP, 5 ER, 7 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks. I didn’t love this stream, but I certainly chose it above others that did better and I deserve the L. Stupid Jays and their stupid runs. Streaming Record: 32-19.

Patrick Corbin – 6.0 IP, 6 ER, 8 Hits, 1 BBs, 10 Ks. Sooooo Corbin was up to 90mph in this one – that’s better, but still back to 92 – while his slider was flat out dirty via 14 whiffs in 49 slide pieces. 35 CSW in 96 pitches, but Adam Duvall had to hit a grand slam and had to get in on the action with a two-run bomb of his own. Y’all know how I feel about Corbin – sell before the market picks up on his lost velocity – and this doesn’t change that view.

Reynaldo Lopez – 2.2 IP, 7 ER, 8 Hits, 1 BBs, 2 Ks. Well this is stupid bad. The Merry-Go-Round wouldn’t stop in the third frame as ReyLo got bounced super early, slightly Singled Out. One of the most frustrating pitchers to own and I have no choice but to label him a Young Gun. Sure, he could figure it out next week, next month, whenever. And I do believe he will at some point, but is it worth it for you to hold until then? Probably not.

Fernando Romero – 1.2 IP, 8 ER, 9 Hits, 1 BBs, 1 Ks. Hoooo boy, this was a doozy. Poor Romero got absolutely shelled against the Royals, though he didn’t pitch so badly. I actually felt bad for him that the Moustakas HR left the yard, as he pitched exactly what his catcher wanted, and the ball still managed to hit the base of the foul pole. I’m not ready to drop here if you can believe it, especially with the ChiSox next.

Today’s Streamer

Shane Bieber vs. Minnesota Twins – Why not, let’s have some fun.

Tomorrow’s Streamer

Tyler Mahle vs. San Diego Padres – The Pads are known to be bad at heaters and even with his recent struggles, I think Mahle can do this.

Day After Tomorrow’s Streamer

Matt Harvey vs. San Diego Padres – I sound like a mad man, but the Padres are bad and Harvey increased his fastball velocity. Maybe this works out.

Game of the Day

Clayton Kershaw vs. Aaron Nola – It’s Nola Day AND Kershaw is back. I don’t care if Bieber is making his MLB debut, this is what’s up.

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.

36 responses to “Questioning Nathan’s Eovalution”

  1. Jeff says:

    I watched the Ohtani start and he started with pretty poor command and fastball velocity in the low 90’s and slowly shed the rust and was throwing 101 after the first rain delay

  2. Andy says:

    Musgrove was getting squeezed in this start. Should’ve had a few more K’s…

    • Mike says:

      Agreed. First BB was an intentional walk to Rizzo in the 1st. 2nd BB should have been a K — was on a full count after ump completely whiffed on a first pitch slider that fell perfectly in the bottom of the zone. 4th BB were pitches 95-96-97-98 after Hurdle sent him out for the 7th already at 89 pitches — after missing almost two months with an injury — good call, Clint. Control was there. Ump wasn’t.

      • M says:

        But, Musgrove was pretty bad in this one. Cubs bailed him out of 1st and 2nd 1out, bases loaded one out AND a 1st and 2nd no out….he was real lucky in this one. Cubs strand more runners than anyone else in the league and this game was no exception (13 base runners and only 1 to show)

        • KC says:

          Musgrove’s avg fastball velocity fell from 94.3 in the first start to 93.5 in this start… better than 14 of his 15 starts last year. Babip was .318 in this start. I’m probably holding.
          Points league… drop Bour, Cron, Musgrove, or Taillon for Kingham?

    • Bob says:

      Also one of the walks was intentional. I think he looked pretty damn good all things considered especially against a really good cubs team. And you’re right the umpire was horrendous yesterday. I’m holding until he gives us a reason not to.

  3. Bbboston says:


    Great work! What do you think about Gossett’s mpg spike. Looks like + 2-3mph.

  4. Michael says:

    The Fiers thing you said last time was “if you play with Fiers, you’re gonna get burned”

    • eric says:

      Do you anticipate that Stripling will remain in the Dodger rotation ROS? Would you drop any of the following hitters for Stripling? Alonso, Meadows, Soto. Thanks!

    • Nick Pollack says:

      That’s so much better than this one…

      Thanks Michael!

  5. Derek says:

    I just flipped Flaherty for Teoscar Hernandez in anticipation of him getting demoted with the return of Reyes and Martinez. It’s starting to look like Weaver will be the odd man out. Thoughts?

  6. Rufus T. Firefly says:

    I’ve got Flaherty and Manaea.
    ERod, TRoss and CalSmith are on wire. Do I make a move or hold?

    • Nick Pollack says:

      With that thick a wire, definitely drop Manaea for Ross.

      Flaherty/Erod/Smith are all pretty even to me, though I have a little more faith in the longterm ability of Erod.

  7. Southern Marylander says:

    I have no other comment than to thank Fernando Romero for his service. He kept my rotation aloft for a few weeks while I sat forlornly questioning where my collection of 200+ K, 15+ W capable SP (CarMar, Darvish, Ray, Carrasco, Greinke) went wrong (6 / 16 in K, 15 / 16 in W).

    Now the wolf has attacked, the family has been saved, and Pa is taking Old Yeller behind the barn…

  8. Barry says:

    I’m so done with J. Gray. I’m pretty sure he is safe to drop now. Montas and Kingham are both available. Which one do you like ROS? Thank you as always.

  9. Nick says:

    Any take on Clayton Richard’s improvement this year? SwStk% up to 9.9%, ground ball rate still north of 55%. Looks like he’s using his slider a lot more and basically scuttling his change.

  10. Chucky says:

    Just trying to gauge the value of Dave Mengden. Been getting inquires about him. 12 Team Dynasty…no contracts. Is he a flash in the pan? Or is there some upside? Co-owners are smitten with age and Mengden is 25, so that’s marketable in my league in and of itself. The numbers minus the Ks look impressive. I got offered Grandal ( currently starting Barnhart). Should I squeeze or take the money and run?

  11. Frankie says:

    So Jon Gray is someone you don’t want to deal with — and I feel you. I have him in my Points league and despite his K upside, he makes me nervous EVERY. TIME. OUT. But… do you trust him more than Teheran? Gray in the 70s, Teheran unranked. I would have to think Teheran is the more trustable at this point. He is going deep into games at least, whereas Gray is not.

  12. Scott says:

    Time to move on from manaeaamd consider him a streamer in a 10 team league? May has been a disaster and there’s still some babip negative regression on the horizon if you look at his stats.

  13. Ben says:

    Oh, Jon Gray. I can’t drop him, since he’ll get snatched up in an 18 team league and there aren’t any worthwhile replacements. His xFIP was 3.05 coming into last night’s start (!!!!). He has to normalize at some point, right? RIGHT?!?!?!

  14. omar says:

    Drop Reynaldo to pick up Eovaldi and pick spots to use him? AL Only.

  15. Play Ball says:

    Who do you trust more…Kersh or Verlandaer ROS in a standard roto (QS, K, ERA, WHIP)?

    • Nick Pollack says:

      I understand most will say Verlander, but I’m still leaning Kershaw given the track record. Verlander hasn’t made it last through a whole season for a while.

      • Play Ball says:

        Even with Kershaw’s bicep tendon issue? Speaking of which, do you start him tonight…first start off the DL?

  16. theKraken says:

    I don’t think you need to question leaving the Big Maple out of the top 10. As great as he is on his on days, the rest of that cohort doesn’t have as many off days as he does – that combined with the injury history makes him hard to rank.

  17. theKraken says:

    Not sure how much you read or remember what I always say about Manaea, which is that he has a track record of brief brilliance followed by hard regression going back to his college days. It is really interesting that it always works out like that, but it does.

    • Nick Pollack says:

      There was a lot more misfortune for his struggles in 2017, though, with injuries + an illness. A little different.

  18. J says:

    Who won the Gallow’s Pole?

  19. Chucky says:

    Just trying to gauge the value of Dave Mengden. Been getting inquires about him. 12 Team Dynasty…no contracts. Is he a flash in the pan? Or is there some upside? Co-owners are smitten with age and Mengden is 25, so that’s marketable in my league in and of itself. The numbers minus the Ks look impressive. I got offered Grandal ( currently starting Barnhart). Should I squeeze or take the money and run?

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