Let’s Be Frank About This

Nick Pollack reviews every starting pitcher performance from Thursday.

Welcome to the SP Roundup, my daily fantasy baseball article reviewing every starting pitcher’s performance from every Thursday game. I apologize for the jokes written in my delirium in advance. Have questions? Ask me during my office hours on Twitch weekday mornings from 9 am-11 am ET.  

Frankie Montas (NYY) vs TOR (L) – 6.0 IP, 6 ER, 8 Hits, 1 BBs, 2 Ks – 6 Whiffs, 18% CSW, 92 pitches.

There are some days where I begin writing this article, take a gander at today’s performances, and emit a massive sigh. Today is one of those days as I can’t avoid talking about Frankie Montas any longer, returning another horrific outing for Yankee fans via 6.0 IP, 6 ER, 8 Hits, 1 BBs, 2 Ks – 6 Whiffs, 18% CSW, 92 pitches. On one hand, at least he threw 90+ pitches, on the other, well everything else.

Sure sure sure, he allowed a unicorn HR to Vlady Jr. as the ball barely landed in the right-field porch, but Montas is clearly not the man we saw in the first half and it’s hard to tell whether he’ll be able to find his groove before season’s end. His slider was a better offering this time, but I didn’t like the cutter, and his splitter was left up far too often, like that one glass you shoved above your cupboards and are too lazy to retrieve. You know the one and you wish things were different.

The Montas we want to see features splitters for a chunk of whiffs, sliders weaved in for called strikes and outs, and fastballs that can avoid the heart of the plate and cripple bats for grounders galore, helping him devour six frames in the blink of an eye. Such a display hasn’t occurred from Montas since June and it makes it awfully hard to tell what to do now.

want to say hold. The shoulder issue seems to be in the past with his workload tonight and he may need another start to find the groove, but it’s still in there. His ceiling could be huge down the stretch for your fantasy teams and unless there is something legit on your wire, I think you’re better off rolling the die with Montas. Good luck, I’m sharing your anxiety.


Let’s see how every other SP did Thursday:


Zac Gallen (ARI) @ SF (W) – 7.1 IP, 0 ER, 4 Hits, 0 BBs, 12 Ks – 17 Whiffs, 39% CSW, 99 pitches.

OH DANG. Gallen returned 10/26 whiffs on his curveball alone, baffling Giants hitters all night under the zone while the four-seamer was as elite as you’ll find at earning called strikes at a marvelous 36% rate. Throw in some changeups and cutters for strikes, and you’ve got yourself a mighty good stew there. I sure hope that curve is this wicked moving forward and I’m hungry for more against the Royals next, though I will note that my excitement is still a little dampened by the change and cutter not quite being up to their potential in this one. Praise the heater and hook.

JT Brubaker (PIT) vs BOS (W) – 7.0 IP, 0 ER, 2 Hits, 0 BBs, 7 Ks – 13 Whiffs, 38% CSW, 84 pitches.

Hot dang, look at you! Can’t say I expected his sinker to return a marvelous 49% CSW on any day, and the slider paired nicely with 74% strikes, down-and-armside. You really can’t ask for a better Coffee Cakes start and it is farfetched to expect that sinker to be nearly as good moving forward. He gets Atlanta next and that feels like a toss-up to me, at best.

Adam Wainwright (STL) vs COL (W) – 7.0 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 0 BBs, 7 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 35% CSW, 89 pitches.

The called strikes were aplenty with 23 on the evening across sinkers, curves, and cutters, as Waino took full advantage of Rockie RoadThe Cards have a nice schedule the rest of the season (ohh NL Central…) and it feels like 2021 again with our confidence in the St. Louis veteran. It should be more of the same against the Cubs next time out.

Adrian Sampson (CHC) @ BAL (W) – 5.2 IP, 0 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 6 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 26% CSW, 86 pitches.

Sampson had a good four-seamer and located his sinker well, earning a Win as he overcame Orioles MagicTM. It’s not an approach I want to rely on with any consistency – it’s rather boring – and I feel like we’ve already had this song and dance. I wouldn’t do it against the Cards.

Luis Patiño (TB) vs KC (W) – 5.2 IP, 0 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks – 16 Whiffs, 29% CSW, 86 pitches.

Hey, he’s back! And his heater is still a tick down from last year, but at least he’s throwing more strikes now…? Yeah, I’m not jumping back in super heavily quite yet as we don’t know how Patiño fits into the rotation moving forward. However, if the Rays are in fact going six-man now, he’ll get the Angels next and I can’t complain with that one – the man did earn 16 whiffs, after all. I’m just a little wary of the heater not being the elite pitch it used to be.

José Berríos (TOR) @ NYY (W) – 6.2 IP, 1 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 9 Ks – 14 Whiffs, 40% CSW, 95 pitches.

Of course you come through the start after I was all “hey, you can drop this guy.” Sadly, I feel like it was a bigger product of the floundering Yankee offense letting him get all the strikes they wanted, catalyzing each heater to earn 40%+ CSW marks (congrats on the King Cole!). Now it’s a gamble for this Cherry Bomb against the Red Sox and I would exercise caution wherever possible.

Spenser Watkins (BAL) vs CHC (L) – 5.2 IP, 1 ER, 5 Hits, 0 BBs, 2 Ks – 5 Whiffs, 23% CSW, 80 pitches.

Welp, that’s what I get for changing the streaming pick this morning away from Watkins. He sure doesn’t do a whole lot and now he goes from the weak Chicago club to the decent Chicago club and I want no part in it. Be glad this worked and move on.

Yu Darvish (SD) vs WSH (L) – 8.1 IP, 3 ER, 5 Hits, 0 BBs, 6 Ks – 14 Whiffs, 34% CSW, 96 pitches.

Aces gonna ace, with a touch of Careful, Icarus as Darvish allowed 2 ERs in the ninth, earning him the loss. But the cutter dominated in this one as he went deep in yet another start. He’s failed to six innings just twice all season – one 5.2 IP and one 1.2. Insane.

Max Castillo (KC) @ TB (L) – 5.0 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 1 BBs, 3 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 29% CSW, 69 pitches.

Max came over in the Merrifield deal and I really dug his changeup sitting down-and-armside a ton in this one. Can’t say I adored the rest a whole lot, but if he can keep spotting that slow ball, maybe we can settle for some streams down the road.

Aníbal Sánchez (WSH) @ SD (ND) – 5.0 IP, 1 ER, 1 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks – 5 Whiffs, 25% CSW, 79 pitches.

Hey, he survived for once! And there’s nothing here for us to feel like this is anything more than a Birthday PartyMan, the Padres really aren’t the offense I thought they would be with Soto + Bell.

Max Fried (ATL) vs NYM (W) – 7.0 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 0 BBs, 6 Ks – 14 Whiffs, 34% CSW, 93 pitches.

Aces gonna ace. It’s great to see Fried pitching again as he got over his concussion, and he didn’t disappoint as the changeup, curve, and slider each returned a 40% CSW. Ahhh, it’s good to have him back.

Dane Dunning (TEX) vs OAK (W) – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 3 BBs, 4 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 29% CSW, 92 pitches.

Great job Dunning. You had your sinker command + some decent changeups and sliders along the way. This has always been inside the range of outcomes for Dunning, and I’m glad it worked out this time. Coors is next, though, so let’s disappear until he gets the…Astros after? Nah, who’s after that? The Red Sox? Next. Jays? Nope. Ahhh the Athletics in a month. That could work. Maybe.

Jacob deGrom (NYM) @ ATL (L) – 6.2 IP, 3 ER, 5 Hits, 0 BBs, 9 Ks – 20 Whiffs, 31% CSW, 95 pitches.

Aces gonna ace and earn a Gallows Pole because duh. How dare he allow three earned runs, doesn’t Atlanta know who this is?

Corbin Burnes (MIL) vs LAD (W) – 5.2 IP, 3 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 6 Ks – 14 Whiffs, 30% CSW, 103 pitches.

Aces gonna fuddle around against the Dodgers and serve a PhillyI was optimistic Burnes would still be a Top 5 SP against an elite opponent and I’m disappointed he didn’t come through. We needed this one, Burnes.

Luis Garcia (HOU) @ CWS (W) – 5.0 IP, 3 ER, 7 Hits, 4 BBs, 4 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 97 pitches.

Jeeeeez, this ain’t getting better for Garcia. I hate to say it, but you can drop him if there’s something on the wire. I think he’s a bit fatigued with this marking his fifth rugged start in a row and we saw his decline last year around this time as well. Throw in a date with the Twins next and the answer becomes clear.

Logan Webb (SF) vs ARI (L) – 4.2 IP, 3 ER, 9 Hits, 3 BBs, 0 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 92 pitches.

Ummm what. HAISTBMBWT?! The thing that’s weird to me – I don’t think he pitched all that poorly. He kept the ball down, still got some whiffs, and sure, the hits he allowed were all on hittable pitches, but to get close to zero breaks go your way is cruel. I don’t think it’s a sign of the future, just a One Night BlandWhatareyagonnado.

Andrew Heaney (LAD) @ MIL (L) – 4.2 IP, 3 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 10 Ks – 19 Whiffs, 36% CSW, 89 pitches.

Nothing like going 10/14 outs via way of the K and earning 19 whiffs, but still providing poor ratios and a Loss because of the dang longball. Why do home runs even exist? Despite the ERA and WHIP, those ten strikeouts showcase why you’re still holding onto him and he deserved better luck than this.

Antonio Senzatela (COL) @ STL (L) – 1.2 IP, 5 ER, 6 Hits, 0 BBs, 2 Ks – 3 Whiffs, 21% CSW, 28 pitches.

Senz-a left with a knee sprain as he tried to cover first and I hope he’s okay. No one deserves that.

Josh Winckowski (BOS) @ PIT (L) – 5.0 IP, 6 ER, 7 Hits, 1 BBs, 2 Ks – 6 Whiffs, 25% CSW, 83 pitches.

Womp womp. I really should have stuck with Watkins as the streamer, shouldn’t I? Winck had a great opportunity for a Win against the lowly Pirates and mucked it up with hittable sinkers and sliders, allowing plenty of hard hit balls and a pair of longballs. Against the Pirates. Before this game, he wasn’t set to get another start after this, and he certainly will not now.

Zach Logue (OAK) @ TEX (L) – 4.1 IP, 7 ER, 6 Hits, 3 BBs, 2 Ks – 6 Whiffs, 20% CSW, 79 pitches.

Don’t touch Logue, he’ll likely drain you of everything you have. Ohhhhh, will he have a streak of white hair after doing so? …maybe.

Lucas Giolito (CWS) vs HOU (L) – 3.0 IP, 7 ER, 8 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 22% CSW, 85 pitches.

Ugggggggh. This really was a bad day for a lot of guys. We had our concerns about Giolito entering this one and he featured plenty of meatballs with fastballs, sliders, and slowballs that he got slapped around by the Astros. I still want to believe he’s in there somewhere, but he’s in a rugged spot and this wasn’t just “but it was the Astros!” situation. He’s still wearing a TIARAthough, and I won’t rule out the Orioles bringing out the best in him, but it’s getting harder and harder to justify starting him. Do what you must – there isn’t much of the season left.


Game of the Day


Brady Singer vs. Shane McClanahan – Will Singer be the same man? Will McShane get his velocity back up and be the stud arm again?

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

Have Questions? – Join my morning Twitch livestream! I answer all questions there for free: 9:00 am – 11:00 am ET Monday through Friday.

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.

One response to “Let’s Be Frank About This”

  1. Jayson says:

    “Despite the ERA and WHIP, those ten strikeouts showcase why you’re still holding onto him and he deserved better luck than this.” I would say in fact not really for anybody smart. ERA, WHIP, K, SV (or SV+HLD), and usually W or QS. The Dodgers officially announced that Heaney would have a limited pitch count until the end of the regular season. It basically means that unless he suddenly becomes one of the 10 best SPs in MLB, he will hardly pitch deep enough to qualify for a W or QS. Obviously not taking SV or SV+HLD as he’s not a reliever. It lets you ERA, WHIP, and K. I may be wrong but when a guy who started to pitch in MLB in 2014 and who holds a 4.57 ERA and 1.25 WHIP throughout a career of 670 IP, in my opinion his yesterday performance against the Brewers is more of the norm than Heaney suffering a lack of luck. So in a 12 teams league, Heaney is just an average SP with a huge strikeout (K) upside pitching for one of the very best MLB teams. That’s it no?

    Heaney has showed his strikeout upside here and there even when he was pitching for the Angels. HR isn’t being unlucky. HR has been what has maintained him as an average pitcher carrying a 4.57 ERA and 1.25 WHIP in 670 IP in the MLB. This is the same guy as previous seasons. Better scenery for sure and he added something in his pitches but there is no breakout in anything. He currently still carries an elite ERA (1.77) and WHIP (1.04) but that’s only because he only pitched 35.2 IP. Let me remind everybody that 2 outings ago, he was carrying a 0.64 ERA and 1.00 WHIP. His ERA and WHIP will surely inflate the same way it happened with Pablo Lopez. The more Heaney will pitch, the lesser elite his ERA and WHIP will be…. until the day we will have an article telling us “sorry he never became what I expected”. We know the song.

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