The Ex-Kyles

Nick Pollack reviews every starting pitcher performance from Wednesday.

Kyle Hendricks @ ATL (L) – 3.2 IP, 7 ER, 11 Hits, 0 BBs, 3 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 23% CSW, 71 pitches.

Being a pitching fan is a double-edged sword. For all the passion I have watching the little guys succeed (Oveido! Pivetta! Ynoa!), there’s a sad truth to each day of games – there is going to be at least one starter who will underperform. It’s just the nature of the game as these incredibly skilled people aren’t perfect and in general, there’s at least one disappointment every. Single. Day. Baseball ain’t fair.

Today, that disappointment belongs to Kyle Hendricks who destroyed many a week with 3.2 IP, 7 ER, 11 Hits, 0 BBs, 3 Ks against Atlanta, prompting many tweets with the same question: “Can I drop Hendricks?” The answer is nuanced – shocking, I know – but if you want a broad answer, he sure is. As with every “should I drop him?” question, it’s all about who you’d be replacing him with. Is it a long-term play? Then you may as well stick with Hendricks as I don’t feel he’s this bad. I imagine he’ll tinker and figure out his changeup and curveball, while his sinker command will improve over time. However, if you’re watching yourself fall behind and there’s a clear add on the wire, something like Madison Bumgarner getting Rockie Road then you have the green light to make the swap. Figure out today today and tomorrow tomorrow.


Let’s see how every other SP did Wednesday:


Clayton Kershaw vs CIN (W) – 7.0 IP, 0 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 8 Ks – 23 Whiffs, 39% CSW, 90 pitches.

Aces gonna ace for TATIAGA. It was a Gallows Pole with his slider working as well as you’ll ever see it and he’s still sitting 91 mph. Ahhh Kershaw, never leave us.

Tyler Glasnow vs OAK (W) – 7.0 IP, 0 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 10 Ks – 19 Whiffs, 40% CSW, 97 pitches.

Aces gonna ace. The slider is back and everything is wonderful. Phew. DON’T YOU DARE LEAVE US AGAIN.

Domingo Germán @ BAL (W) – 7.0 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 35% CSW, 92 pitches.

After featuring a 90/91 mph fastball last time out against Cleveland, Germán sat 94 mph in this one and even earned 42% CSW on his changeup. Whaaat. Couldn’t you have, you know told me beforehand? But seriously, it’s great to see it from Domingo after I was legit disappointed to see him pitch so poorly his last time out. I’m not sure it warrants a pickup, though, as Houston is next and he may have his rotation spot skipped. But at least we can keep this in mind moving forward.

Huascar Ynoa vs CHC (W) – 5.1 IP, 0 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 9 Ks – 18 Whiffs, 36% CSW, 101 pitches.

Mmmmmm. This was what you wanted, even if he couldn’t get through the full six frames. The man even hit a home run in this one, LET HIM CELEBRATE IN PEACE. Atlanta had a sizeable lead, making for a good time to get Ynoa’s pitch count above 100 pitches without stress, and hopefully we’ll get a consistent 90+ moving forward. As for his stuff, Ynoa is hovering 50% sliders and featured them at a 40% CSW with 12 whiffs. It’s glorious y’all and when he’s boasting 97 mph and solid fastball like in this start, it’s Game Over man. Keep starting him.

Ryan Weathers @ ARI (ND) – 1.0 IP, 0 ER, 0 Hits, 1 BBs, 0 Ks – 0 Whiffs, 21% CSW, 19 pitches.

This turned into a bullpen game as Weathers was pulled with an arm injury. Noooo. Spin and velocity were down on the heater, and let’s just hold our breath that he’s okay. You’re safe to drop. Sadly.

Nick Pivetta @ NYM (W) – 5.0 IP, 0 ER, 1 Hits, 3 BBs, 7 Ks – 15 Whiffs, 31% CSW, 93 pitches.

Wonderful PL Staffer Christian Mack said it best: “I’m starting Pivetta in a deep dynasty tonight solely because deGrom is on the mound.” Y’all know the story with Pivetta by now – he’s peppering the upper half of the zone with 95 mph fastballs, but he needs to take the next step and command his breakers in the bottom half (and lower). Did Pivetta do that in this one? Not really. Sure, he had a high ~36% CSW across 46 breakers; but it was more of the Mets being passive than bringing the good stuff. The good stuff? Yeah, you know, the good stuff. The Tigers follow and it’s awfully tempting to try this again. It’s a Cherry Bomb at his best, and I’d probably just ignore it. If he does well, superb, good for you, but I wouldn’t be too sad if I missed out. He just isn’t there yet.

Erick Fedde @ TOR (W) – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 2 Hits, 3 BBs, 7 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 31% CSW, 98 pitches.

Whoa, this is cool as Fedde performed super well with his cutter – 36% CSW and six whiffs – while getting eleven called strikes on sinkers. Oh no, that’s double-digit sinker called strikes. From a pitcher who doesn’t have a great fastball – Oh man, y’all are doing my work for me these days! Okay, I’ll stop talking to myself but the point is still there: You don’t want to trust this. So remember kids, Don’t Trust The Feddes.

Jacob deGrom vs BOS (L) – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 1 BBs, 9 Ks – 19 Whiffs, 31% CSW, 93 pitches.

Aces gonna ace. Did someone wish for deGrom to be the best pitcher in baseball as a monkey paw curled, ensuring it would come with a losing record? Also, only 19 whiffs for deGrom in this one, he’s losing a step.

J.A. Happ @ CLE (W) – 7.0 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 3 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 96 pitches.

Happ has done it again, going at least seven frames and taking my Twitch stream sign-off to heart with a mighty low BABIP. He’s the starter form of Sean Doolittle, and it doesn’t work over a long period of time. Suit Man whispers in my ear. What?! He gets the Rangers next?! Fiiine, one more Happ. BUT JUST ONE MORE. Suit Man leans in again. OKAY, MAYBE THE TIGERS TOO.

Alex Wood vs COL (W) – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 9 Ks – 15 Whiffs, 38% CSW, 97 pitches.

The Wood train keeps chugging along, even if he had a touch of Careful, Icarus with his two ER coming in the seventh as he flirted with a no-hitter. That slider is just so good right now, here earning 10/37 whiffs as he relied on his sinker for called strikes. Sure, the changeup did some things too with 5/23 whiffs, but that slider! And 91/92 mph sinker velocity! Now the question is if he’s in such a good groove that you’d trust Wood inside Coors + the Padres next. Yeah, I’m sorry I wouldn’t do that. But look good he pitched! BUT IT’S COORS. Don’t get too cute.

Sandy Alcántara @ MIL (W) – 7.0 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 0 BBs, 4 Ks – 12 Whiffs, 31% CSW, 93 pitches.

Mmmmm it’s so fun to watch him pitch. Truly. The best part is there is another level for him to hit – something along the lines of deGrom with his slider and changeup doing a bit more to complement his effective fastball. Obviously a hard leap to take, but it’s the same three-pitch mix…just not as GOAT. I’m thinking one or two starts away from that AGA label and with Arizona x2 ahead, it could be smooth sailing.

Sonny Gray @ LAD (L) – 5.2 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 3 BBs, 11 Ks – 16 Whiffs, 44% CSW, 95 pitches.

Funny story, I was stressing about this one with the Twitch chat this morning (8:30 am-10:00 am EST every weekday morning!) and after allowing two ER early, I was like many of you – anxious and frustrated. Then, you know, Sonny went off, leaning hard into his curveball for 57% CSW across 30 thrown and earning a King Cole. Soooo yeah, I think the man is back. I’m pretty impressed that he did this without his slider, but that curveball is just that good. He did the smart thing and focused on what worked against a super strong offense. Sadly, he has another test with the White Sox next, but it should get plenty easier for Cincy in that division soon. Feel good about this.

Cole Irvin @ TB (L) – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 7 Hits, 1 BBs, 8 Ks – 12 Whiffs, 29% CSW, 98 pitches.

Have I been overlooking Irvin? Or are the Rays struggling that badly? To repeat one of my favorite bits, a little bit of Colomé, a little of Coulombe. This was Irvin dominating with nine whiffs across four-seamers and sinkers as I still don’t love what I’m seeing from his curveball and slider. Those fastballs? 91 and 90 mph, respectively. It’s not what you want. I’ve seen worse command in my day, though, but with the Jays next, just let him go.

Vince Velasquez @ STL (ND) – 4.1 IP, 3 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 26% CSW, 74 pitches.

When that day comes and Velasquez fans eight or whatever ridiculous number in a start again, make sure you remember games like this one. They’ll always exist, like Jazz and Bob Ross’ popularity.

Alex Cobb @ TEX (ND) – 2.0 IP, 3 ER, 6 Hits, 0 BBs, 2 Ks – 3 Whiffs, 25% CSW, 51 pitches.

Ouch. Just 11% CSW on splitters for Cobb as he needed 51 pitches for just six outs. That’s as efficient for pitching as a Hummer is for gas conservation. Look, we saw the man go nuts for one game with the most volatile pitch in baseball and he hasn’t been able to replicate it in the two games after, including this one against a below-average squad. You’re better off not taking the chance.

Johan Oviedo vs PHI (ND) – 5.0 IP, 3 ER, 3 Hits, 2 BBs, 7 Ks – 17 Whiffs, 34% CSW, 86 pitches.

I watched this one and I’m impressed. I really like his stuff from a pair of breakers that can earn whiffs to a 95+ mph fastball. The problem here is his command. There are plenty of moments when he’s locked in, but overall it seems he just needs more innings under his belt to iron out the wrinkles – his mechanics look clean enough to suggest a tangible improvement on the horizon. When? I’m not sure and it may be a bit too soon to say he’s a clear streamer if he gets the Mets next (though if it’s opposite deGrom…) but Oviedo should be on your radar. I think there’s plenty of success in his future.

Zack Godley vs MIA (L) – 3.0 IP, 3 ER, 1 Hits, 5 BBs, 5 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 29% CSW, 73 pitches.

That is a name I have not heard in a long, long time. Okay fine, he started last year too, but still – I didn’t expect to wake up and see Godley on the docket. Annnddd…yeah. That’s Godley.

Justin Dunn @ HOU (ND) – 5.2 IP, 3 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 2 Ks – 4 Whiffs, 20% CSW, 84 pitches.

The velocity is still up at 93/94 mph from the 91 mph we saw last year, but his breakers haven’t progressed as I was hoping they would (3/34 whiffs). This is more of a long-term play with his gauntlet of a schedule, though, and I’m sitting against the Angels next. But the Rangers after? As long as I see something in the slider whiff department next week + that fastball velocity, I’d be in for that one.

Riley Smith vs SD (L) – 4.0 IP, 3 ER, 6 Hits, 0 BBs, 0 Ks – 1 Whiffs, 17% CSW, 46 pitches.

Look at this line. One whiff. Zero strikeouts. HAISTFMFWT?! What do you think he throws? If you guessed 70% sinkers and 20% changeups, YOU’RE WRONG. 17% changeups, get it right. You don’t need me to tell you to avoid this.

Mike Minor @ PIT (ND) – 4.1 IP, 4 ER, 6 Hits, 3 BBs, 6 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 29% CSW, 95 pitches.

Blegh. This was my streaming pick of the day (Streaming Record: 15-10) and while it looked decent at first, it fell apart as Minor didn’t have any of his good pitches working, forcing him to turn to his slider. Spoiler alert: His slider is his worst pitch. I was overlooking his 91 mph velocity (not 92-94) because it was the Pirates and now he puts me in a tough spot with Cleveland next. I’m leaning bench for that…? If you can’t take on the Pirates and your stuff is gone, you can’t trust him the next time, right? Yeah.

Mitch Keller vs KC (L) – 2.1 IP, 4 ER, 3 Hits, 5 BBs, 2 Ks – 6 Whiffs, 20% CSW, 83 pitches.

And that’s why Keller wasn’t on The List this week. He can’t find his slider and curveball, and it’s straight pain to watch him labor through it. Sigh. I won’t rule out success from Keller if we start seeing those pitches return but there’s no reason for you to endure as he goes through it. That’s just masochistic.

Zack Greinke vs SEA (ND) – 4.0 IP, 4 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks – 12 Whiffs, 24% CSW, 85 pitches.

Bleeegh. Look, he’s had four starts totaling four ER and two totaling 10 ER. It’s weird that the Mariners were the culprits tonight but in general, Greinke will be a rock for your squad. He’s still a sub-3.50 ERA after this game, you know.

Germán Márquez @ SF (L) – 4.0 IP, 4 ER, 4 Hits, 3 BBs, 5 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 29% CSW, 89 pitches.

It was Deutsch night in baseball as the Germáns hit the bump and surprisingly, despite having both his curveball and slider working last time AND getting a start in Oracle park, Márquez was the one who floundered. Uggggh, being a Márquez manager is an unhealthy lifestyle. It’s not going to change but if you have him rostered, you gotta hold on for @ARI and @STL next. Here’s to hoping that curveball returns next time – be glad his slider was there, at least.

Dane Dunning vs LAA (L) – 5.0 IP, 4 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 34% CSW, 70 pitches.

Dunning was jumped for all four runs in the first and settled down a bit after, featuring sinkers for called strikes and more changeups than sliders. I still don’t dig the overall arsenal as it speaks to a streamer and not someone to hold, cherish, and care for as you age together, and I think you’re better off leaving him on the wire until his start against Seattle at the earliest.

Logan Allen vs MIN (L) – 1.1 IP, 6 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 1 Ks – 3 Whiffs, 17% CSW, 52 pitches.

This isn’t the LA LA land you dreamed of. I’ll be honest, all I can do when Logan performs poorly is act like this prairie dog.

Steven Matz vs WSH (L) – 3.2 IP, 6 ER, 8 Hits, 1 BBs, 2 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 29% CSW, 80 pitches.

Uh oh. I’ve been calling this a bit of a Vargas Rule and the question now is if we’re going to adhere to that label and move on. I want to say give him another shot (he still went 5/20 whiffs on changeups!), but the Athletics could still swing the hot bat and it’ll be Houston after that. Your call here, I think it depends if there’s a great stream out there to drop him for.

Dean Kremer vs NYY (L) – 4.1 IP, 6 ER, 10 Hits, 0 BBs, 4 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 89 pitches.

Yikes. Kremer was brought back up for this outing and is still looking nothing like his September 2020 self. As much as I look forward to him having a great start so I can say “DK! DK is here!”, it’s hard to think that’ll happen any time soon.


Game of the Day 


Aaron Nola vs Kwang-Hyun KimKim is off an eight strikeout game and it’s Nola day.


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


Photos by Icon Sportswire | Adapted 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.

3 responses to “The Ex-Kyles”

  1. Lei says:

    Thanks to your SP roundup I didn’t start Cobb, and there was a lot of hype from other people. I also got Ynoa thanks to U. U’re awesome! Keep it up!

  2. Perfect Game says:

    Ynoa or Javier ROS in a standard roto across all categories (QS instead of W)?

  3. Jim says:

    Alex Wood is at Coors next, then vs Texas and at Pittsburgh.
    Would not recommend to Drop. Possibly bench next week, then roll out.

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