José Cheese

Nick Pollack reviews every starting pitcher performance from Monday.

Jose Urquidy vs BOS (W) – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 1 BBs, 9 Ks – 15 Whiffs, 38% CSW, 87 pitches.

In a glorious return from the IL, José Urquidy went 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 1 BBs, 9 Ks across 87 pitches, earning 15 whiffs and a 38% CSW against the strong Red Sox offense. It’s wonderful, beautiful, and plenty better than we could have expected and I don’t think it was a fluke.

After sitting 92 mph earlier in the year, he came out blazing with 93.5 mph cheddar (José Cheese!) on his four-seamer, pushing 40% CSW and 10 whiffs on the pitch. That’s pure bliss right there. Meanwhile, his slider and changeup performed well inside the zone, earning strikes and outs + a few curveballs for called strikes for good measure. It’s all there and while nine strikeouts across six frames won’t likely be Urquidy’s staple, he’s not the sub-20% strikeout arm we saw pre-injury. The heater is back, the secondary stuff is solid, and I imagine he can succeed consistently moving forward, including a repeat evening against Boston.


Let’s see how every other SP did Monday:


Kohl Stewart vs SD (W) – 5.0 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 1 BBs, 2 Ks – 4 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 64 pitches.

I don’t really think this Stewart start had a major impact. Just a standard Kohl minor. Seriously, though, it’s a meh 91 mph heater and not much else. This isn’t the arm you’re looking for.

Rich Hill @ NYY (W) – 5.0 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 2 BBs, 2 Ks – 4 Whiffs, 29% CSW, 56 pitches.

Hill can’t be stopped. Well, maybe the strikeouts can as the Yankees whiffed just four times, but they churned outs for Rich, allowing him to go five on just 56 pitches. Pitching is attrition, the words rung in Kevin Cash’s head as he made the swap for the sixth. This is one wonderful ride for Rich.

Jacob deGrom @ ARI (W) – 6.0 IP, 0 ER, 2 Hits, 0 BBs, 8 Ks – 14 Whiffs, 36% CSW, 70 pitches.

Aces gonna ace. He threw a curveball! For a called strike! It’s crazy how it’s his fourth pitch but a proper #2 offering for anyone else. Even crazier is how deGrom threw one changeup and 97% four-seamer and slider otherwise. The man is just too good.

Tyler Alexander @ MIL (ND) – 1.0 IP, 0 ER, 1 Hits, 0 BBs, 2 Ks – 3 Whiffs, 45% CSW, 11 pitches.

T-Lex opened this bullpen game and it was normal. Absolutely normal. Nothing to see here, except normal things.

Cal Quantrill vs CWS (ND) – 3.2 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 0 BBs, 5 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 30% CSW, 60 pitches.

Oh hey, it’s the UnQuantrifiable. I’m not a fan of his secondaries and while that sinker is decent at 95 mph, it’s not enough to make me a fan. He could see some time instead of Sam Hentgesand I’m not interested if he does.

Wade Miley vs PHI (W) – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 6 Hits, 3 BBs, 6 Ks – 12 Whiffs, 28% CSW, 102 pitches.

That WHIP hurts, but who cares, the rest is lovely with a dub to your name. Cool seeing 12 whiffs as Miley mixed in changeups, curveballs, and a four-seamer with his 51% thrown cutter. This is the Toby we dreamed of for Wade and you should keep letting him fly.

Johnny Cueto vs LAA (W) – 7.0 IP, 1 ER, 5 Hits, 0 BBs, 5 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 24% CSW, 97 pitches.

Hot dang! Cueto steamrolled the Ohtani-and-Trout-less Angels, so let’s not get too starry-eyed by this. Just three whiffs on sliders + changeups ain’t great, though seeing a steady 93 mph on his fastball is certainly welcome. I wouldn’t take the gamble against the Cubs, though.

Corbin Burnes vs DET (ND) – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 7 Ks – 14 Whiffs, 28% CSW, 93 pitches.

Aces gonna ace. Not much of his stuff did anything save for the 52% thrown cutter, not even his ridiculously high SwStr rate slider which…still went 2/7 whiffs because DUH OF COURSE IT DID. Still blows my mind he barely throws that pitch.

José Berríos @ BAL (ND) – 8.0 IP, 1 ER, 5 Hits, 0 BBs, 6 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 101 pitches.

His curveball is working, his fastballs are not, but it’s good enough to carve eight innings in Baltimore. It seems weird to say this after such a great line, but can we please get a start where both pitches are dominating once again? That would be cool. And just 4/40 whiffs on curveballs ain’t it, either.

Jorge López vs MIN (ND) – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 7 Ks – 13 Whiffs, 33% CSW, 90 pitches.

That’s 15 strikeouts across two of his last three starts and…nah. I can’t do that. Even if JorLó had 36%+ CSW across his sinker/curve/changeup each, I refuse to buy this. It won’t last. It never has.

Mike Minor vs PIT (W) – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 7 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 26% CSW, 98 pitches.

He’s still at 91 mph and missing overwhelming secondaries, but hey, at least it worked against the Pirates. Now it’s MIN + @OAK and I wouldn’t consider Minor.

Logan Gilbert vs OAK (ND) – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 29% CSW, 80 pitches.

Hey, it’s progress! Oh? His slider and curveball were better?! What? Oh, no. In fact, there were horrendous, with just 2/25 whiffs and just 16% CSW between them. But hey, at least the result was great, right? So you’re saying the skills are still highly in question? Sure am. I’m sad right now. We all are, random person. We all are.

Jack Flaherty @ LAD (ND) – 5.0 IP, 2 ER, 2 Hits, 1 BBs, 9 Ks – 16 Whiffs, 30% CSW, 83 pitches.

The bad news here is that Flaherty left with side tightness as he would have normally pitched the sixth. It’s too bad, he was really in rhythm with that slider today. Hopefully he’s able to make his next start.

Trevor Bauer vs STL (W) – 6.2 IP, 3 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 29% CSW, 94 pitches.

Aces gonna give a slightly between PQS with a sub-1.00 WHIP. It’s not the greatest Bauer performance, but don’t overlook how the Win + WHIP help plenty.

Charlie Morton vs WSH (W) – 5.0 IP, 3 ER, 6 Hits, 3 BBs, 6 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 31% CSW, 91 pitches.

Blegh. The fastball and curveball are there, the cutter isn’t. He’s been able to be okay with just the first two as of late, sadly not in this one and now he gets the Dodgers. I guess that’s a sit…? He could still pull it off, though.

Chad Kuhl @ KC (L) – 4.0 IP, 3 ER, 6 Hits, 0 BBs, 5 Ks – 14 Whiffs, 36% CSW, 75 pitches.

Welcome back Kuhl, your slider is great, your heater is…a little better at 95 mph now. Still not grabbing him in 12-teamers, but maybe this pans out over time.

Jimmy Lambert @ CLE (L) – 3.2 IP, 3 ER, 7 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks – 5 Whiffs, 19% CSW, 74 pitches.

Lambert got the call for the doubleheader and I gotta say, I dig that changeup. He had a filthy one in the opening at-bat…and that was about it. I doubt he’ll start much anymore and he’s not worth your time, but it’s nice to see those brief moments of potential, you know?

Jameson Taillon vs TB (L) – 5.0 IP, 3 ER, 5 Hits, 3 BBs, 5 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 28% CSW, 85 pitches.

Sigh. On one hand, his slider was actually better today — finally! — but his curveball was not — NOOO — and this is maddening. You’ve likely moved on to something else by now as I keep staring at these 5.0 IP and 3 ER starts, waiting and waiting for it to shift in the other direction. The skillset is likely better than those on the wire, but we’re two months into the season now and we’re not there yet. I still believe it’ll click into place at some point, but yeah, I’m mad and I’m not going to take it anymore. 

Dylan Bundy @ SF (L) – 5.2 IP, 4 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 30% CSW, 92 pitches.

Bundy allowed three longballs here and that was the difference-maker. His slider wasn’t great, though he nailed it with his curveball, earning 9/14 called strikes with the pitch. I know the real Bundy is still in there once that slider returns, and it shouldn’t be long before it’s back.

James Kaprielian @ SEA (ND) – 3.2 IP, 4 ER, 5 Hits, 3 BBs, 3 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 33% CSW, 81 pitches.

Okay, this one hurts. While I wasn’t in love with Kap’s approach, I still trusted he would be able to produce enough to warrant a start against the Mariners. Sadly, his changeup was wack and failed to support its 20% usage, and the damage was done. With Coors ahead, we can be done with Jimmy here and I wonder if he’ll still be there on the other side. Luzardo should return to the rotation soon enough.

Joe Ross @ ATL (L) – 5.0 IP, 4 ER, 3 Hits, 3 BBs, 7 Ks – 22 Whiffs, 43% CSW, 87 pitches.

Despite pitching on a day with Bauer, Flaherty, Rodón, and deGrom, Ross was the one not only to earn the most whiffs, but win the Golden Goal. The absolute mad lad. Against Atlanta, no less, with a terrible ERA and three walks. WHAT IS HAPPENING. Atlanta chased his slider and had some trouble with his high sinkers, but were able grab three in the first and coast from there. It’s hard not to be a little intrigued by Joe after this and I wonder if he’s worth the time against the Phils next. Likely not, though I’m raising an eyebrow out of respect.

Chris Paddack @ CHC (L) – 4.1 IP, 5 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks – 15 Whiffs, 31% CSW, 93 pitches.

Bleeegggh. I don’t think Paddack pitched that poorly here, but his fastball was a bit more hittable and in the heart of the plate than we like. He gets the Mets twice now, though, so you should still feel good about this.

Carlos Rodón @ CLE (ND) – 6.0 IP, 5 ER, 9 Hits, 1 BBs, 8 Ks – 12 Whiffs, 36% CSW, 85 pitches.

Awwww. His fastball was still 96 mph and his slider went 46% CSW across 35 thrown, but his heater was more hittable than usual. The stuff is still there, keep the faith and buy low(er) if you can after this one.

Merrill Kelly vs NYM (L) – 6.2 IP, 5 ER, 9 Hits, 2 BBs, 6 Ks – 6 Whiffs, 33% CSW, 83 pitches.

It was a PQS through six, but Kelly had to allow two more in the seventh for a Careful, Icarus and a failed stream. Streaming Record: 39-20. I can’t say I’m truly buying into Kelly, but with a second start this week against the Brewers, I guess I’m in for one more. It’s debatable.

Triston McKenzie vs CWS (ND) – 5.1 IP, 5 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 10 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 33% CSW, 86 pitches.

What a ridiculous start. Great to see his curveball commanded well at the bottom of the zone (finally), while his slider was terribly erratic. Fastballs dodged the edges constantly, but the White Sox hit the mistakes and Whamo! There’s your ERA. This was easily the most impressive game of the year for McKenzie, though, and I’m tempted to take the chance against the Orioles + Mariners next. It could stick.

Eduardo Rodríguez @ HOU (L) – 4.2 IP, 6 ER, 7 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks – 6 Whiffs, 30% CSW, 97 pitches.

It has been all kinds of rough for Eduardo this season as he’s failed to lock in his four-seamer + changeup combo. The lackluster offering was the changeup in this one, and while I’m traditionally okay giving a pass against Houston, this has been the trend for a bit with Eduardo. Now he gets the volatile Yankees and I’m out.

Vince Velasquez @ CIN (L) – 3.0 IP, 6 ER, 5 Hits, 3 BBs, 3 Ks – 4 Whiffs, 23% CSW, 65 pitches.

Ouch. It’s a two-start week for Velasquez and it started VV badly. I wouldn’t rule out value against the Nationals next, though I’d consider plenty others first. His fastball wasn’t great and his secondary stuff wasn’t any better.


Game of the Day 


Sandy Alcántara vs Robbie RayI just love watching both of these arms so much.


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


Featured image by Justin Paradis (@JustParaDesigns 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.

4 responses to “José Cheese”

  1. Fletch says:

    When i saw those flags blowing in Chicago during pregame i knew paddack was in for a short day. Two of those homers Paddack gave up were pretty weak.

  2. Reginald says:

    I started the season with both Taillon and Urquidy but was forced to drop Urquidy when he went to the IL. I didn’t pick him back up yet based on his matchups this week; should I drop Taillon for Urquidy tonight?

    • theKraken says:

      Those two are right on the verge of waiver wire. Flip a coin! A crystal ball would be helpful. In July this will look like a dumb question, but today I think they have pros and cons that cancel each other out.

  3. theKraken says:

    I wonder what the thought process was on removing Hill so early. Its not like they should be expecting much down the stretch or like he has a long career ahead of him. I guess they had priorities other than winning the game and preserving the bullpen yesterday. I guess they had some scummy RP that they wanted to feed some good match-ups to. If I were a betting man, I would say that I think they want to manufacture some value out of Wacha. Every bad pitcher should be so lucky as to have the game plan revolve around him.

    I also am not really considering dropping Taillon. They are being really tight with his pitch counts which doesn’t make sense. I am the #1 advocate for not rushing a guy back from TJ, but Tallion did not rush back and he should be getting more run than he is which I think will help. Best way to get feel back is to pitch some actual innings. Shame on the Mets for not being responsible adults and making Thor wait to pitch in real games. I expect that Taillon will improve… who knows maybe he wont. NYY is a terrible place for most people to pitch, but I think Taillon tops the buy-low list. The buy-low list is the most important list there is! People like to talk about the top of the top 100, but that is just patting yourself on the back as opposed to the key to fantasy success.

    I watched some Berrios yesterday – I don’t watch much anymore as it is too frustrating. He was throwing a harder slurve yesterday – it should be classed as a cutter, but it really isn’t a cutter either. It was a pretty nice wrinkle and I think it helped with his success the other day. That is what frustrates me about Berrios – what a talented and healthy arm he has been blessed with…. along with an incredible ability to spin a baseball but he never really puts it together. I have seen that guy throw quality CH, nasty 2 seamers that run in on hands and sink – all kinds of cool stuff but he lacks an understanding of how to get hitters out.

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