The Elieser Vice

Nick Pollack reviews every starting pitcher performance from Sunday.

I’m sure you have many questions about Elieser Hernandez after he went 5.0 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 0 BBs, 9 Ks – 15 Whiffs, 38% CSW against the Braves yesterday. Okay, probably just one: Should I pick him up for his start against the Nationals? I’m going to say…maybe.

I know, that’s not the answer you want, let me explain. Elieser is a two-pitch arm at the moment (funny enough, his three changeups went 0/3 CSW, as his fastball and slider each held a 39%+ CSW. Wild), and while his fastball did well yesterday, I don’t think it’s all that special. He took advantage of a struggling Braves offense that’s missing Ronald Acuna and Ozzie Albies terribly and it’s not something I expect to stick through the year. His slider is a great offering, don’t get me wrong, but it speaks to a mini-Lamet type and we already know I call Lamet “Professor Chaos”. That’s not the greatest endorsement. Not to mention, there was a good amount of luck here and it’s all just…not the poster child for sustainability.

The Nationals are also heating up now, with Soto fully back, Asdrubal doing marvelous things, and Turner looking like the man we drafted in the first round (save for failing to steal a base. Seriously?!). There’s a chance Elieser does pull it off, but I think this is the only taste of a King Cole he gets across this season (one pitch short, stupid Scherzer), with multiple sub six-inning games and questionable ratios. He’s not this good.


Let’s see how every other SP did Sunday:

Robbie Erlin @ MIA (ND) – 4.0 IP, 0 ER, 1 Hits, 0 BBs, 5 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 28% CSW. Whoa, look at Erlin go! You know this is nothing to buy into, but we can all take a moment to be happy for Erlin, yeah?

Justus Sheffield @ HOU (ND) – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks – 4 Whiffs, 22% CSWSheff got the Astros and earned just four whiffs. I know, I just read that. Sometimes I need to emphasize it, you know? His slider returned 14% CSW and the Sheffield you truly want isn’t here yet. This was the lucky one and he tends to be a bit spotty.

J.A. Happ vs BOS (W) – 5.2 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 2 BBs, 3 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 24% CSWYou were served a Philly from Happ, but hey, at least you got your cheap Win. That isn’t a given from Happ these days. A better performance, but still very trepidacious on a given night. I’d only consider him if I couldn’t handle subtitles and was hurting for dubs.

Robbie Ray vs SD (ND) – 5.0 IP, 1 ER, 0 Hits, 6 BBs, 4 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 27% CSW. Oh Ray. It’s like the Diamondbacks wanted Edwin Jackson to return and used you as a conduit. But for real, the Ray we were hyped about in the beginning just isn’t here yet. His slider isn’t commanded as it should and his heater isn’t hitting corners like an ace. I’d be very careful trusting him until the man we want shows up.

Dakota Hudson @ CWS (L) – 4.0 IP, 1 ER, 2 Hits, 1 BBs, 3 Ks – 6 Whiffs, 25% CSWExpect low pitch counts across the board from the Cardinals for a while as Hudson could have easily gone more than 55 pitches and four frames in normal circumstances. His sinkers did the things we expect, though I’m shocked at just seven sliders thrown and his curveball getting more love – that slider is the main item of intrigue for me with Hudson as it had a 20% SwStr last year…wait a second. He didn’t throw a curveball last year and it went 4/11 CSW here. Interesting…not enough to really jump on so far save for deep leagues, but I’ll be monitoring his breaking stuff plenty next time out.

Garrett Richards @ ARI (ND) – 7.0 IP, 2 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 2 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 24% CSW. I know the strikeouts and whiffs aren’t ideal, but Richards attacked effectively with fastballs here and put them in good locations against the Diamondbacks. I’m happy with this, but I don’t think I have the brass to start him against the Astros next. Definitely the Mariners after, though.

Zack Wheeler vs NYM (W) – 7.0 IP, 2 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks – 5 Whiffs, 21% CSW. Uggggggh, Wheeler earned just two whiffs on 27 secondary pitches, none on his slider. He’s pitching east-west with his fastball. The man is a ratio-focused arm now and it’s incredibly frustrating. Sure, he’s helping and you’ll be glad to own him, etc., but that Top 20 SP ability is just going to waste. He’s more like a late 20s, mid 30s pitcher now.

Mike Fiers @ SF (W) – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 7 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks – 5 Whiffs, 20% CSW. He got the Giants and did what you wanted him to do. Now I feel like Han when I say don’t get cocky, kid. I wouldn’t start Fiers against the Angels next.

Lance McCullers vs SEA (ND) – 5.2 IP, 2 ER, 3 Hits, 3 BBs, 7 Ks – 16 Whiffs, 33% CSWIt’s frustrating seeing that Philly and lack of Win from McCullers, but so happy that he has plenty more pitch separation now with heaters up and curveballs down – 53% CSW on 36 deuces! – and it’s obviously working. Seattle isn’t the biggest challenge, but I’m feeling good with McCullers at the moment. Next step: nail down that changeup.

Dallas Keuchel vs STL (W) – 5.2 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 1 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 28% CSWIt wasn’t the extreme neckbeards of locations as we’ve seen thus far from Keuchel, but it was still dramatically down and did the job. Yes, I’m annoyed it’s both a Philly and just one strikeout – HAISTFMFWT?! – but it’s Keuchel. You know what you signed up for Spider-ManYes, Johnny. Spider-Man.

Randy Dobnak vs KC (W) – 5.1 IP, 2 ER, 3 Hits, 1 BBs, 3 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 27% CSW. Dobnak does as Dobnak do. I’m a bit shocked he went slider heavy for 38% usage in this one, but it returned those 10 whiffs and helped him carve out another Win with good ratios. It’s lovely rostering Dobnak.

Dustin May @ LAA (ND) – 4.1 IP, 2 ER, 7 Hits, 0 BBs, 2 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 26% CSW. Does it surprise you to see only 8 whiffs? How about needing 88 pitches to get through just 4.1 frames? He’s a foul ball machine (21 in this game!) that’s making it harder to be efficient, as he can’t quite miss the bats he wants to. It’s a sinker, not a four-seamer. Y’all have played this record before, you know I’m going to tell you about his capped ceiling with this approach and until he moves away from a sinker focus + adds a legit whiff pitch, he’s just a glorified TobyNothing wrong with that.

Yonny Chirinos @ TOR (ND) – 2.2 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 0 BBs, 3 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 28% CSWIt was a clear DLH here for Chirinos as he was limited to just 50 pitches here. Not a terrible effort, but we’re a few starts away until he can go about 80, which means you leave him on the wire for a bit.

Jon Gray vs TEX (W) – 7.0 IP, 3 ER, 3 Hits, 2 BBs, 7 Ks – 17 Whiffs, 37% CSWWhoaaaa, nice job Gray! I’m a bit surprised that he was able to perform inside Coors, but hey, this is the weak Rangers offense. 17 whiffs and 37% CSW is no joke as his slider was cruising – 51% CSW across 35 thrown is unreal, with spectacular locations down-and-in to left-handers. I’m not a Gray believer now as he gets the Dodgers next, but after that it’s the Diamondbacks on the road and that’s cool with me.

Brady Singer @ MIN (L) – 5.2 IP, 3 ER, 4 Hits, 4 BBs, 2 Ks – 6 Whiffs, 28% CSWAlright, we knew Singer had two straight games against the Twins and he wasn’t worth your time. Poor rookie getting hazed like that. I’m so glad that his next start is against the Twins. Finally, so much needed respite. You read that right.

Logan Webb vs OAK (L) – 4.1 IP, 3 ER, 3 Hits, 5 BBs, 5 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 30% CSW. I think there will be a time when Webb will be worth your stream. His stuff speaks to a Toby n all, but he’s just not getting the matchup you want. Just you wait…just you wait…

Matt Shoemaker vs TB (ND) – 4.0 IP, 3 ER, 3 Hits, 1 BBs, 7 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 27% CSW. He was ejected before the fifth inning of this one, which is all kinds of disappointing as he could have survived for a PQS or even just one more frame for a potential Win. Great to see seven strikeouts and that low WHIP, and maybe Shoemaker is a sneaky play through the full year. I’m skeptical given his stuff, but hey, it could happen.

Michael Fulmer vs CLE (ND) – 2.2 IP, 3 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 2 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 28% CSWSeeing him every five days with just a few innings of mediocrity feels like punishment I don’t deserve. Fine, I probably deserve it, but make it stop.

Adam Plutko @ DET (ND) – 2.2 IP, 3 ER, 6 Hits, 0 BBs, 1 Ks – 5 Whiffs, 21% CSWBleeeggggggh. I really should have gone with Elieser. Streaming Record: 13-10. Let’s not do this again.

John Means vs WSH (ND) – 0.2 IP, 3 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 0 Ks – 1 Whiffs, 18% CSWOkay so after not pitching for 12 days as his father passed away (poor John), Means returned and we didn’t expect much of a pitch count. Well, that climbed to 34 pitches in the first and he was pulled even earlier than anticipated. His command was a bit off as changeups were floated up, but he still had his increased velocity. The problem here is we have to reset the clock now as he’s not stretched out and likely won’t be until three starts from now. So sadly you can throw him back to the wire and look to add Means again in September. It’s frustrating, I know.

Rick Porcello @ PHI (L) – 6.0 IP, 4 ER, 10 Hits, 0 BBs, 6 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 23% CSW. I’m a bit surprised at the six strikeouts but the rest is right in line with Porcello. You don’t want this burden.

Chris Mazza @ NYY (L) – 3.0 IP, 4 ER, 8 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks – 6 Whiffs, 27% CSWI’ve been sitting here for about five minutes trying to figure out how to add “rah, tee” after his last name and I just can’t do it. Just like Chris can’t escape the Cup of Schmo label.

Julio Teheran vs LAD (L) – 3.0 IP, 4 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 3 Ks – 6 Whiffs, 27% CSW. Velocity is under 90 mph, his slider is nowhere to be found and he only threw 60 pitches as he’s still getting stretched out. Yeah, that’s a no from me, dawg.

Max Scherzer @ BAL (W) – 7.0 IP, 5 ER, 8 Hits, 1 BBs, 10 Ks – 23 Whiffs, 39% CSWAces gonna earn a Golden Goal but allow 3 HR and make everyone go crazy. If deGrom were fully healthy, Scherzer would be #4 today, but let’s be real. You should still start Scherzer always because duh.

Jon Lester vs MIL (ND) – 6.0 IP, 5 ER, 9 Hits, 0 BBs, 5 Ks – 6 Whiffs, 23% CSW. Yeaaaah, he’s a Toby and this is what a Toby looks like. I thought they were supposed to be decent. Sometimes, yes. But not always.

Josh Lindblom @ CHC (ND) – 5.0 IP, 5 ER, 3 Hits, 4 BBs, 8 Ks – 19 Whiffs, 37% CSW. That line ain’t pretty, but those strikeouts and CSW sure are. His slider and cutter are developing as we hoped while his fastball was well-spotted up-and-in to right-handers. Now is the time to grab Lindblom with the Pirates around the corner. Seriously, you can drop Means to do so.

Kolby Allard @ COL (L) – 3.0 IP, 6 ER, 8 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 32% CSW. Yeaaaah, this was Dralla in Coors and what else did you expect? Dralla? I just can’t help myself but see Allard backward. It’s a Castlevania thing.


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.



Touki Toussaint vs. Washington Nationals – I’d consider Robert Gsellman but I don’t think he’s stretched out enough yet. Brandon Bielak hosting the Rockies on the road could be strong as well.


Tomorrow’s Streamer


David Peterson vs. Miami Marlins – Sure, let’s do it again. Looks like the Dodgers are rolling Tony Gonsolin out there again as he faces the Seattle MarinersYes. Please.


Day After Tomorrow’s Streamer


Patrick Sandoval vs. San Francisco Giants – I think it’s time to take a chance on Sandoval’s solid secondary stuff over Alec Mills‘ (vs. Cardinals) meh overall repertoire.


Game of the Day


Zac Gallen vs. Chris Bassitt What can I say, I’m a Gallen Gal.



(Photo by Gregory Fisher/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.

4 responses to “The Elieser Vice”

  1. Stan says:

    Hey Nick,
    Don’t think you want to start Plutko today, but otherwise, great work as usual!

  2. xdwm9525@gmail.com says:

    Hey, Nick. You should update your streaming picks — Plutko went yesterday and today is Touki-day.

  3. xdwm9525@gmail.com says:

    I see you did when I refreshed the page. Nevermind. Nothing to see here.

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