The Civale Parlé

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

It’s the end of June and we normally see a rise of prospect pitchers getting their chances to make an impact in the bigs. The latest is Cleveland arm Aaron Civale, replacing Mike Clevinger in the rotation and matched up against the Tigers, Civale impressed with a 6.0 IP, 0 ER, 2 Hits, 3 BBs, 6 Ks line that is sure to induce plenty of owners to run to the wire. Is he worth your time, though? I don’t think so. 15/85 CSW tells you a lot as his four-seamer earned just 3/30 CSW at 91 mph, without the pristine command you’d want from someone featuring a middling heater. His slider had its moments with excellent break, but also floated out of the zone and did little to impress consistently. His changeup isn’t anything to write home about either – 1/23 whiffs – and while the line is excellent, the Tigers are a terrible litmus test. I’d group Civale in with Yamamoto and Elieser instead of Plesac and Canning. It means I’d pick him up for the Orioles next, but play the matchups closely.

Let’s see how every other SP did Saturday:

Brian Johnson5.0 IP, 0 ER, 4 Hits, 0 BBs, 4 Ks. Naaaaah, he’s going to have a Nervous Breakdown and you’re going to be happy that you were just a Fly on the Wall when it happens.

Noe Ramirez2.0 IP, 0 ER, 1 Hits, 0 BBs, 1 Ks. Ramirez opened for Felix Pena who went 4.0 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks. That’s fine, I guess. I really think you’re better off going after legit streams than chasing the likes of Beeks, Pena, Yarbrough, etc. FWIW. There just isn’t enough reward for the world domination Risk.

Chris Archer5.0 IP, 1 ER, 2 Hits, 3 BBs, 5 Ks. Heeeeeyyy, he survived for once! This is lovely. It’s not ultra-mega-extreme-elite-bonanza but it’s nice to see Archer be productive. Just four sinkers throw but only 2/38 whiffs on four-seamers as he’s sitting 94mph. That’s not bad, I think he’s not out of the woods yet for those thinking he’s turned a major corner.

Mike Fiers6.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 3 BBs, 2 Ks. The ride continues for Fiers as this Vargas Rule has extended 11 starts now, boasting a 2.73 ERA along the way. Do I expect it to stick in the second half? Nah. Can you keep riding it until it falls apart? By all Johns.

Dakota Hudson7.0 IP, 1 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks. I really should be giving Hudson more love – he’ll 100% be there on The List on Monday. I don’t think he makes a major difference in 12-teamers overall as he’s faced some poor offenses to allow 1 ER in four of his last five games, while his K/9 sits at a paltry 6.30 (4.70 SIERA for the year), but I can see it being as Toby as Toby gets for owners. And that’s fine.

Hyun-Jin Ryu6.0 IP, 1 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks. Aces gonna ace. I’ll make him #7 on Monday, I think you guys understand why I can’t put him into the top tier yet. I hope to be completely wrong about Ryu’s injury history – truly – I just can’t overlook it.

Vince Velasquez5.0 IP, 1 ER, 1 Hits, 0 BBs, 5 Ks. I kinda love this. Velasquez is two-pitch now so pull him after five and don’t you dare risk the third time through the lineup, even against the Marlins. Just 57 pitches thrown and let’s be happy that this worked. Do I think VV is worth the pickup? No way, 60 pitches could equate to 2.2 IP next time out.

Zack Wheeler7.0 IP, 1 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks. This start was even smoother through six frames with just three baserunners and zero earned runs, but I can’t be mad about that. I can be about the 14/94 CSW that is atrocious. He didn’t have his best fastball, sitting 95/96 instead of the 97/98 we normally see and he’s still missing the vertical depth on that slider. I can only hope that the new pitching coaches can help figure this out because this really should have been a worse day. Hey, luck works both ways!

Jose Berrios7.0 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 3 BBs, 3 Ks. Aces gonna ace. Kinda. His changeup wasn’t good, but his curveball was…serviceable at least. Berrios tossed in a few cutters – maybe learned from Odorizzi? – returning a trio of outs and all three thrown, which is nice, but I’m not sure we’ll really see that often. I really wanted this to be a step in the “BERRIOS IS DOPE AGAIN” direction but I can’t really give it that label. Seven whiffs overall just isn’t that.

Andrew Cashner6.0 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 3 Ks. So that’s 4 ER total in Cashner’s last four starts. Don’t call it a trend! Don’t worry, I won’t. The dude has collected eight strikeouts across his last four games, after all. Total? Yes, just like the cereal.

Yonny Chirinos6.0 IP, 2 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 3 Ks. It’s not super pretty, but I’ll take Chirinos refusing to give you a clunker as we’re happy to be riding this one. Nothing really stood out in this game, but he pumped the zone, featured some nice splitters, and did well with his slider. Keep on keepin’ on.

Chris Paddack5.0 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 3 BBs, 1 Ks. He’s back! And disappointing! Just 4/26 CSW on his changeup as he still doesn’t have the feel for the Vulcan changeup back but anyone that stuck with him through the minor league stint should feel fine. He should be plenty better moving forward and will return on The List around the low 30s or so.

Masahiro Tanaka6.0 IP, 2 ER, 8 Hits, 1 BBs, 1 Ks. Ehhhh, alright Tanaka. A 3.00 ERA from you even with that 1.50 WHIP and only one strikeout is acceptable if you’re facing the Astros. But on the real, HAISTFMFWT?! There are a lot of those today.

Spencer Turnbull5.0 IP, 2 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks. I just don’t understand how Turnbull, with his good heater and high potential slider and curveball, returned just three whiffs on 100 pitches. THREE. It’s frustrating as I feel he’s in the middle ground of not quite putting it together and could explode out of nowhere, but as an owner, I’m okay passing on him for other options in shallower leagues. He hasn’t given you a whole lot in 12-teamers lately – just 19 strikeouts across his last five games – but I think he’ll eventually get there. The potential is there.

Danny Duffy8.0 IP, 3 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks. Ehhhhhh, fine. You want a reason to believe in Duffy, this does absolutely nothing for us either way. Seriously, even his fastball velocity sat at exactly his season average of 92.1 mph.

Elieser Hernandez5.0 IP, 3 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 6 Ks. Whoa whoa whoa. 30/79 CSW for Elieser! His slider was fantastic against the Phils, while he got some whiffs up in the zone with heaters. Huh. But the ratios! Yeah, a pair of solo shots in the third messed everything up and he was pulled after five (not sure why). This is certainly encouraging and I’d wait to see how Yamamoto performs to see who sticks around when Smith returns next week. This changes things a little. Still not sure if I love him for potential Phils/Nats dates in his next two starts, but I’m at least a little intrigued now.

Peter Lambert5.0 IP, 3 ER, 7 Hits, 1 BBs, 1 Ks. That first start was a fun one against the Cubs. It really was. It’s time to let that one go as he’s pulling a Corbin Martin on us. No more livin’ la vida loca. 

Tommy Milone5.0 IP, 3 ER, 4 Hits, 3 BBs, 6 Ks. He still got six strikeouts! But no win and bad ratios. Womp womp. Streaming Record: 51-31. Next are the Astros so let this one go.

Tyler Beede4.0 IP, 4 ER, 6 Hits, 3 BBs, 3 Ks. Yeaaaah. Even after his previous performance, Beede is still a Cup of Schmo and we’re just going to have to live with that.

Luis Castillo3.2 IP, 4 ER, 5 Hits, 5 BBs, 6 Ks. The walks have finally come around to crush Castillo, even with his 16/96 whiffs in this one. It’s certainly a problem that’s inhibiting his true rise to stardom, but I’ll let this one slide a little as he did face the Brew Crew. And I mean slide in that he’ll probably be #10 tomorrow behind Ryu, Buehler, and Greinke.

Odrisamer Despaigne3.0 IP, 4 ER, 8 Hits, 1 BBs, 0 Ks. He has the sexiest name in baseball – Despaigne – but that can only get a man so far. Zero strikeouts? HAISTFMFWT?!

Derek Law1.1 IP, 4 ER, 2 Hits, 2 BBs, 0 Ks. Gaviglio followed for 2 ER in 3.2 IP. Whoop. De. Scooby. Doo.

Wade Miley5.0 IP, 4 ER, 2 Hits, 4 BBs, 7 Ks. Huh. Normally I get upset that the strikeouts don’t keep up with the ratios, but here’s the other way around. The Yanks are tough n all, so at least be happy with the strikeouts if you found yourself needing to let Miley fly.

Anibal Sanchez6.0 IP, 4 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks. I think I’ll take it, but can you make it a PQS next time Sanchez? K thanks. He’s been a nice surprise since his return from the IL and I hope that cutter sticks like it did last year. Keep riding this.

Jhoulys Chacin4.2 IP, 5 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks. It’s a 5.88 ERA this year with a 1.51 WHIP for Cachin. He must be killing it in our WorstBall leagues.

Zack Godley4.0 IP, 5 ER, 9 Hits, 2 BBs, 0 Ks. I really miss the days when Godley wasn’t The False God. I really do. He would never serve us a HAISTFMFWT?! Never.

Lance Lynn7.0 IP, 5 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks. Noooooo. On the plus side, Lynn had a terrible first frame and then allowed just 1 ER across the next six to help salvage the start with a 1.00 WHIP and six strikeouts. I’ll probably raise him tomorrow and people will say “Lynn allows 5 ER and you raised him?” but not you. You’re not like that.

Mike Foltynewicz4.0 IP, 8 ER, 8 Hits, 2 BBs, 2 Ks. How disappointing has this been for Folty? He was demoted to Triple-A following this outing to go figure things out. Do you hold? Do you drop? I’d say that you’d be okay dropping for a streamer if you have decent options, but I do imagine that Folty will make a few tweaks and return soon to help the Braves this year. It really comes down to finding that slider again, which he’s only had for one game this season and once that’s back in action, everything else should fit. I imagine this will be a three week trip to the minors at most.

Jose Quintana4.1 IP, 8 ER, 9 Hits, 2 BBs, 2 Ks. Well this was horrible. It had been just one game above 3 ER for Quintana since April 5th, though he’s lasted at least six frames just once in his last six starts now. What is wrong with him? Fastball command. It’s been all over the place, preventing him from setting up changeups well while his curveball is fine, but not great. When he was cruising in April, his heater was everything. Now it’s detrimental and causing all of his problems. This is Quintana, someone who goes through the standard ebbs and flows of every Toby and this isn’t a massive surprise. You may want to drop him and if there’s something valuable out there with Quintana being the last link, sure, why not. I think he’s just going to be a Toby through the rest of the year.

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.


Michael Pineda vs. Kansas City Royals – It’s Pineda or Kelly vs. the Giants and I didn’t like what I saw last time from the latter.


Tomorrow’s Streamer


Adam Plutko vs. Kansas City Royals – I really have maybe three choices here. Not a fan of this one.


Day After Tomorrow’s Streamer


Tyler Mahle vs. Los Angeles Angels He’s the clear choice as we’ll continue to stream him against middling offenses as long as we can.


Game of the Day 


Jordan Yamamoto vs. Enyel De Los Santos – Sure, I don’t care a whole lot about Fair Jordan, but De Los Santos is certainly interesting.


(Photo by Frank Jansky/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 “The Civale Parlé”

  1. WheelhouseWreck says:

    Need to make a roster spot. Would you give Giolito and Minor for deGrom?

    • Nick Pollack says:

      It depends on the league size. 10-teamer, yes. 12-teamer, it would depend on my SP depth otherwise, but I’m leaning yes.

      14-teamer and beyond, I’d hold Giolito and Minor.

  2. Ryan says:

    Love ya but still pissed at you with the Ryu injury repeated musings early on.
    I still love you….but I hate you

    • Nick Pollack says:

      Why the anger? We’re just talking baseball here – something we both clearly love :)

      I understand why you want Ryu higher and that’s totally fine. I think you get my reasoning for it and as long we understand each other, that’s all that matters.

      If you want to value Ryu higher than me, by all means!

  3. Paul says:

    I did not find the Brian Johnson comment to be tasteful. Not the type of message to put out, especially targeted at people who struggle with anxiety and mental health.

    • Nick Pollack says:

      Hey Paul,

      With Brian Johnson, all I do is quote AC/DC song titles (Brian Johnson was the name of their singer) – “Nervous Breakdown” was intended as a reference to one of their songs + Johnson breaking down in an ability sense on the mound. No mention of mental health was intended.

      I now realize the song was named “Nervous Shakedown”, not Breakdown. Completely my error there.

      I apologize for that and I’m sad to hear that I overlooked this interpretation. I’ll be sure to be more careful moving forward.

  4. Ryan says:

    No, bud. Like I’ve said before, if you hadn’t convinced me early on in the season that he’d be injured by his 3rd trip to the mound, he was available and I would have snagged him.

    But, hey, I have the top pitching lineup in my league because of you. I just say it would benefit you going forward to not rely on a guys past injuries so much in your observations of them; especially guys with the talent of Ryu. I’ve seen you mention it with Morton this year. C’mon, man, every now and then a premium guy doesn’t get injured and has a Cy Young caliber season!

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