Schooled By The Dean

Nick Pollack reviews every starting pitcher performance from Sunday.

It’s two straight days of talking about Orioles pitchers (what is 2020?) as Dean Kremer made his MLB debut against the Yankees to the tune of 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 1 Hits, 3 BBs, 7 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 28% CSWThat’s a strong line, even if the Yankee lineup is struggling heavily these days and now we wonder if this is a solid arm to trust moving forward.

Let’s talk about the repertoire. I dig his 94 mph four-seamer as he’s able to command it well around the zone, featuring moments of intent to elevate and gliding along the outside corner to right-handers. He did turn to a sinker a few times that left his hand wildly, and I imagine it’ll stay behind the scenes with its 10% usage moving forward.

It’s a good foundation for his two breakers, a cutter and curveball. The cutter only appeared 14% of the time, but had decent action down-and-away, always aiming for the down-and-away corner against left-handers. It doesn’t have enough bite to get a proper putaway label, which makes me believe this will be a solid strike-getter over time.

His curveball was the major secondary offering at 35% usage, though it performed worst of all with just a 16% CSW. I think there’s potential here to be that whiff pitch, but there needs to be a bit of growth here first.

It adds up to a solid arm, but not an overwhelming one that demands excellence moving forward. He carries more upside than many currently on the wire and I would consider him if he gets a repeat matchup against the Yankees this weekend. He’s not a finished product, though, and don’t treat him as such.


Let’s see how every other SP did Sunday:


Dallas Keuchel @ KC (W) – 5.0 IP, 0 ER, 2 Hits, 0 BBs, 2 Ks – 3 Whiffs, 29% CSW. Keuchel was cruising through five, even while not hitting his spots per usual, and was pulled early with lower back stiffness. Hopefully it means he doesn’t miss his next start, but monitor this situation.

Jacob deGrom vs PHI (W) – 7.0 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 2 BBs, 12 Ks – 35 Whiffs, 40% CSW. Aces gonna be the defacto #1. 35 whiffs, y’all. THIRTY FIVE. I don’t think Dustin May has earned that many in total this season. Okay fine he has, but this Golden Goal is as wild as they come.

Josh Tomlin vs WSH (W) – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 0 BBs, 2 Ks – 6 Whiffs, 24% CSW. Oh man. It’s a Birthday Party and I’m just happy it doesn’t mean Mike Clevinger is prevented from getting starts like it’s 2016/2017 again.

Shane Bieber vs MIL (W) – 5.0 IP, 1 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 10 Ks – 20 Whiffs, 38% CSW. Aces gonna ace. Sorry Bieber, you missed on both counts to the #1 champ. Also, can you not need 103 pitches for just five frames next time? Sheesh, go long in a game for once.

Tejay Antone @ PIT (ND) – 5.0 IP, 1 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 6 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 32% CSW. So it’s a good slider and pretty mediocre fastball, even if it’s coming in at 95/96. His curveball is decent and I think it makes for aguy that I’d take a chance on if he gets the double-header start next week against the Pirates (again). I’m not sure he gets a start before then though, and while I think he’s worth a general stream, that fastball is more hittable than I like + he doesn’t command it awfully well. I prefer Rogers over Antone, for those curious between the two.

Andrew Triggs vs TOR (ND) – 3.0 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks – 6 Whiffs, 30% CSW. That’s a name I have not heard for a long, long time. It’s okay, you can forget it again.

Matt Harvey vs CWS (L) – 2.1 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 0 BBs, 2 Ks – 3 Whiffs, 32% CSW. At least he wasn’t the worst, you know? Good job Birdman, we’re all so proud.

Justin Dunn vs TEX (W) – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 4 BBs, 4 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 34% CSW. Dunn didn’t allow an ER in each of his previous two starts and he’s kept the ratio train rolling for another outing. His curveball and slider tallied for 16/44 CSW – that’ll work – while I don’t buy that his fastball command is good enough to survive against a decent offense. The good news is he doesn’t face one next week with Arizona up next. Lucky kid. Not a must-start by any Johns, just someone to consider if the other options are taken.

Johnny Cueto vs ARI (ND) – 5.2 IP, 2 ER, 7 Hits, 3 BBs, 7 Ks – 12 Whiffs, 26% CSW. If you could stream Cueto, this was the start to do it against the Diamondbacks. Just one ER and out away from a VVPQS and that’s fine with me as it came with 7 Ks and not that extra earned run. Why would you even suggest that? I don’t know. He gets the Padres next and noooooooope.

Masahiro Tanaka @ BAL (L) – 5.1 IP, 2 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks – 18 Whiffs, 32% CSW. Another strong start for Tanaka, who tossed fewer than 20% fastballs. You love to see it. No reason to stop tossing Tanaka out there.

Rich Hill vs DET (ND) – 5.0 IP, 2 ER, 6 Hits, 0 BBs, 5 Ks – 5 Whiffs, 31% CSW. Hill got a date with the Tigers and was fine. Kinda what you’d imagine most pitchers would be able to do against the Tigers. Still heavily lacking in the whiff department and his fastball averaged 87.7 mph. That’s not trending in the right direction. He’s lucky to get the Indians next and it’s riskier than I’d like it to be. It’s a 50/50 call in my book as the stuff just isn’t what it used to be.

Chad Kuhl vs CIN (ND) – 3.0 IP, 2 ER, 2 Hits, 4 BBs, 5 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 30% CSW. Yikes, Kuhl was all over the place with his command in this one. I lost faith in Kuhl a start or two ago and this one is just pushing me farther away. It’s going to take an overhaul for me to get excited again.

Garrett Richards @ OAK (W) – 7.0 IP, 3 ER, 7 Hits, 0 BBs, 9 Ks – 15 Whiffs, 37% CSW. If you went with Richards, I applaud your audacity as he’s a Cherry Bomb with few starts on the sweeter side. His slider was as good as we’ve seen all year as his fastball was able to find the plate constantly and return a good amount of outs. I don’t think this is “fixed” Richards, but it’s certainly better Richards and I’m at least considering him against the Giants now. Probably not, but at least he’s shown he can be successful.

Trevor Rogers @ TB (ND) – 6.0 IP, 3 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 10 Ks – 12 Whiffs, 38% CSW. Huh. A PQS with ten strikeouts is absolutely welcome for a guy like Rogers as he did an excellent job keeping his changeup and slider down and right under the zone. I’m kinda digging what he’s serving with four-seamers in the top half of the zone, though I will preach some caution as he’s a bit erratic with his command at times. He’ll get the Phillies on the eleventh and I’m leaning starting him there as a stream. Let’s see how this goes, it can work.

Tyler Glasnow vs MIA (ND) – 5.1 IP, 3 ER, 4 Hits, 3 BBs, 9 Ks – 14 Whiffs, 32% CSW. He looked like Glasnow and it just didn’t go his way here. Keep starting him, aces gonna ace with those nine strikeouts n all.

Aaron Nola @ NYM (L) – 5.1 IP, 3 ER, 8 Hits, 0 BBs, 10 Ks – 18 Whiffs, 30% CSWYou wanted more than 5.1 frames and better ratios, but honestly, Nola pitched well here. He wasn’t able to sneak as many called strikes per usual on his four-seamer, but he got unlucky in the field with a costly error and a misplayed ball or two, and it hurt. You still got 10 strikeouts because, you know, aces gonna ace.

Alex Young @ SF (L) – 5.1 IP, 3 ER, 7 Hits, 0 BBs, 3 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 26% CSW. The Giants are solid offense and Young didn’t have his supreme changeup. Supreme? Yeah, it just felt right. Suuuuppreeeeme. Anyway, he gets the Mariners next and I think that’s a solid stream to consider, especially when he can survive with curveballs like in this one if that changeup returns an 18% CSW again. Seriously, get that fixed, Alex.

Jaime Barria vs HOU (ND) – 5.0 IP, 3 ER, 3 Hits, 2 BBs, 6 Ks – 18 Whiffs, 33% CSW. Whoa, 18 whiffs! 33% CSW! A BSBThat’s pretty cool Barria, I gotta say. Seeing 10 whiffs on a 92 mph heater while you pitched backward with your slider for 48% CSW makes me hope that your changeup can be good enough to turn you into a legit starter. With just those two pitches, I’m not entirely sure this is going to work consistently, but at least now that he’s at 86 pitches, I won’t rule out another surprising start like this one. Too bad he gets Coors next. Womp womp.

Mike Fiers vs SD (L) – 5.0 IP, 3 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks – 4 Whiffs, 27% CSW. Fiers is a Toby and Tobys don’t get starts against good offenses like the Padres. It’s simply, y’all.

Dakota Hudson @ CHC (W) – 5.0 IP, 3 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks – 6 Whiffs, 22% CSW. Ehhhh I wanted better from Hudson here. After showcasing two great breakers in his previous starts, his slider and curveball returned just 1/24 whiffs and that ain’t gonna cut it. I’m willing to suggest that one of them can return next time against the Reds, but that’s not a more difficult decision than I’d like it to be. I’m starting him, but please don’t be this guy. I need the whiffs.

Casey Mize @ MIN (ND) – 4.0 IP, 3 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 3 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 19% CSW. Poor Mize, he’s getting the Brady Singer treatment with his second consecutive start against the Twins and it wasn’t great. The good news is that his cutter returned…but it failed to record a single called strike as its command wasn’t the same as we saw a few weeks ago. His splitter went 1/17 CSW and…yeah. There’s no reason to roster Mize right now. This ain’t the man you want.

Jordan Lyles @ SEA (L) – 6.1 IP, 4 ER, 3 Hits, 4 BBs, 4 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 31% CSW. Cool to see him go into the seventh, but the rest of the line is your standard Lyles. True Lyles, you could say. I wouldn’t because that’s dumb. Yeah, but you could.

Brett Anderson @ CLE (L) – 5.0 IP, 4 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 1 Ks – 4 Whiffs, 23% CSW. Bleeeegggggghhhh. In typical Anderson fashion, he served us just one strikeout – HAISTFMFWT?! – and there’s absolutely nothing to salvage from this one. Welp that’s a questionable ratios streamer for ya.

Julio Urias vs COL (ND) – 4.1 IP, 4 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 6 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 32% CSW. It’s like a yo-yo with Urias, bouncing between poor and great outings. The Dodgers pulled him at just 75 pitches in the fifth with his curveball earning just 21% CSW despite leaning on it for 45% of his pitches. That’s not the Urias we know. I think he’s still worth your roster spot, but the ceiling is clearly capped and if you need his roster spot instead of risking it against the Astros, I understand moving on. He’s not a stable rock and the Dodgers may be more protective of him down the stretch as the playoffs are locked in place.

Ryan Castellani @ LAD (ND) – 4.1 IP, 4 ER, 6 Hits, 4 BBs, 1 Ks – 6 Whiffs, 18% CSW. The kid ain’t terrible, but facing the Dodgers isn’t where we want him to start. I mean, come on, just one strikeout? HAISTFMFWT?!

Robbie Ray @ BOS (ND) – 4.0 IP, 4 ER, 6 Hits, 3 BBs, 5 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 29% CSW. Ray made his first start with the Jays and his old arm-circle is back. Didn’t do a whole lot in any direction and yeah, we’re not touching this whatsoever. When I said I wanted so R&R, this was the exact opposite of my desires.

Patrick Corbin @ ATL (L) – 5.1 IP, 5 ER, 9 Hits, 3 BBs, 6 Ks – 14 Whiffs, 23% CSW. While his fastball was 90/91, his fastball command was far from what it needs to be. The good news is that his slider was commanded super well here and he’s actually a little closer than last start despite the ghastly numbers. It is a rough moment, though, and I feel for managers rostering Corbin. He gets the Braves again and that could constitute a sit if you need to play it safe.

Jon Lester vs STL (L) – 3.1 IP, 5 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 33% CSW. I still can’t believe how much Lester is rostered in leagues – he’s still at 50% rostered. FIFTY PERCENT. He’s not even a proper Toby any more.

Framber Valdez @ LAA (L) – 7.0 IP, 8 ER, 11 Hits, 2 BBs, 2 Ks – 6 Whiffs, 26% CSW. Oh no. It was the day where Framber’s curveball wasn’t on like it has been the past month, returning 14% CSW and nightmares for fantasy managers everywhere. His sinker isn’t good enough to make due when that deuce isn’t working its magic. This isn’t typically the analysis I give, but Stacast gives a fire emoji for each hard-hit ball in play and Framber had 15 yesterday. Fifteen. Normally I see eight and go “oh, not great.” FIFTEEN. He was served a worse version of Careful, Icarus by Dusty Baker, getting sent out there for the eighth inning and not getting pulled until he allowed three straight singles to start the frame. WHY?! Of course all three came around to score. So hey, this could have been seven frames of 5 ER and 10 baserunners and that isn’t so terrible. I had initially called Framber a Vargas Rule as once the curveball goes, Framber goes, but I think given how long he’s been successful, you can try to hold for one more outing and see if it returns. It’s a risky play, I imagine he’s earned your respect for one hiccup.


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.



Kevin Gausman vs. Arizona Diamondbacks – This is the start where it all comes together for dominance.


Tomorrow’s Streamer


Tyler Mahle vs. Chicago Cubs – I like where Mahle is at right now and I’d let him fly against the Cubs.


Day After Tomorrow’s Streamer


Deivi Garcia vs. Toronto Blue JaysHe’s better than his last start and deserves your love.


Game of the Day



Zac Gallen vs. Kevin Gausman – This can be stupid good.


(Photo by Mark Goldman/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.

7 responses to “Schooled By The Dean”

  1. Triumph the Dog says:

    I get why Gausman can get back on track today but vs Gallen it likely won’t line him up for a W right?

    Also how you like Kikuchi at least for his next couple of starts? Projected for ARI SF?
    Despite his struggles vs high octane teams (HOU COL LAD SD) his peripherals are still really nice.

    Makes sense to drop Urias for Kikuchi right?

    Montas is available but cmon vs HOU? Pass right?!
    I also like Dunn but not as much as Kikuchi (both get ARI later this wk)

    • Nick Pollack says:

      Hey, sorry I missed this one yesterday.

      It’s close with Kikuchi vs. Urias, but I would wager in favor of Kikuchi for the super short term – Kikuchi vs. Arizona over Urias vs. HOU.

      I’m passing on Montas, too.

      I’m not a fan of Dunn, I think his fastballs is too hittable and secondaries aren’t special enough.

  2. larry womack says:

    Need streamers this week:

    Boyd vs Mil
    Webb vs Sea
    Milone @ Mia
    T. Anderson vs Sea
    Alex Young vs Sea
    T. Rodgers vs Phi

    Who would be your top 3.


  3. theKraken says:

    You think of a cutter as a breaking ball? I think of it as a FB variant. I don’t think it serves the purpose of a breaking ball at all. I assume that pitch classification is a giant train-wreck in the realm of FB variants.

    • Nick Pollack says:

      Sometimes, yeah. It depends on the cutter, really.

      There’s a four-seamer with cut-action: not a breaking ball

      Then there’s a cutter that’s closer to a slider movement: that’s a breaking ball.

      Jacob deGrom’s slider could be called a cutter and it has similar movement to Kremer Dean’s –> breaking ball.

  4. theKraken says:

    Lyles, while not good, did have an icarus yesterday. Everything was looking a lot better through 6.

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