The Prancing Tony

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

The Dodgers continued their ways of keeping us on their toes, as Tony Gonsolin entered the rotation last night to deliver 6.0 IP, 0 ER, 2 Hits, 1 BBs, 7 Ks against the Cardinals and you’re wondering what it means. If you don’t want to read the whole scouting report, TonGon may not make another start and I’d not waste my time chasing his starts. There you go, carry on if you like.

I watched this one and I wasn’t overly impressed with his stuff. He had a good fastball that seemed to play up a bit, but its command was far from spectacular, as the Cardinals weren’t much of an offense to take advantage of mistakes (good on you, Kolten Wongthough). His splitter was the money maker here, going 10/23 on whiffs (30/90 overall CSW, FWIW) and he executed the pitch well overall. I could see it going in-and-out, though (as most splitters do), and it seems as if his success relies too heavily on the pitch. His slider and curveball were fine, but nothing to write home about and it makes for a guy that I’d stream and possibly own in 12-teamers if he had a locked rotation spot, but not feel like I’m missing out on if I looked elsewhere. Don’t let his Zappa look pull you in.

Let’s see how every other SP did Monday:

Erick Fedde6.0 IP, 0 ER, 6 Hits, 0 BBs, 2 Ks. Two strikeouts in six innings should give you a lot of caution, just like his last name does. Don’t trust the Feddes.

Mike Minor7.0 IP, 0 ER, 7 Hits, 1 BBs, 7 Ks. Weird to see this line with just 3/50 CSW across his slider and changeup combined, but his heaters did a ton of work at 92/93 and Minor defied my previous comments of likely being outside the Top 30 the rest of the way. I still believe that, but please keep proving me wrong, Minor. Please.

Jacob Waguespack6.0 IP, 0 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks. So that’s 1 ER across his last two starts at six frames each. He got super lucky both times, holds a 4.50 K/9 and lacks massively in the “stuff” department—just 23/90 CSW and I’m so out.

Aaron Civale6.0 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 1 BBs, 7 Ks. You know, I probably should have had Civale on The List yesterday, probably around the mid-80s, as he’ll get some time with Bauer out of the picture—I even had him as my streaming pick already! Streaming Record: 71-50. Funny thing, I’m throwing him back to the wire now as he gets the Twins and Yanks now. Schedules, man. That’s where they get ya.

Jordan Lyles5.0 IP, 1 ER, 2 Hits, 2 BBs, 1 Ks. Another streaming option was Lyles here against his former allies of Pittsburgh and while he served us a HAISTFMFWT?!, the man certainly helped out. And now bringing the Rangers into town, I’m down to clown without a frown and own Lyles. That last one didn’t work. YOU DON’T WORK.

Jake Odorizzi6.0 IP, 1 ER, 5 Hits, 3 BBs, 7 Ks. It’s so good to see Odorizzi back to his spring ways. If you’re curious what that is, look at his strikezone plot. He’s extreme with high fastballs with splitters often falling below. Yes, he missed a decent amount with the splitter here, but it’s not enough to discourage me. Trust him against the Indians next.

Rick Porcello6.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks. A man named The Thief is bound to steal a game or two. Don’t let him steal your hearts too.

Jeff Samardzija4.0 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 3 BBs, 3 Ks. He needed 98 pitches for 12 outs. Yikes. Just 19% CSW as well and this is the Loose Lips that we were worried about, even if the ERA was decent. Be scared, y’all.

Sandy Alcantara5.0 IP, 2 ER, 3 Hits, 3 BBs, 4 Ks. He’s a raw arm where the polish jumps off like a skydiving instructor who definitely didn’t tell you enough information before taking the plunge. Wait, I NEED MORE! It’s a risky play assuming Alcantara can be the guy you want on a given night and I’d let this pass.

Chris Bassitt6.0 IP, 2 ER, 8 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks. So now it’s a 2.48 ERA across his last five starts and you’re wondering if it’s time to come back. Nah. Six whiffs with 19/88 CSW is so dreadful and it’s a ton of good fortune for that sparkling ERA – .256 BABIP + 93% LOB = 4.29 SIERA. But hey, he gets the White Sox next and there will be plenty worse streams that day.

Luis Castillo7.0 IP, 2 ER, 3 Hits, 1 BBs, 13 Ks. Aces gonna ACE. 48/119 CSW (40%!) with 26 whiffs (Gallows Pole) via 18/51 off his changeup. Ridiculous. Few things make me happier than the upside of Castillo truly expressing itself.

Jacob deGrom7.0 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 8 Ks. Aces gonna ace. Yep, just another day clobbering the Marlins.

Kyle Hendricks6.1 IP, 2 ER, 1 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks. Aces gonna ace. I think I may have been slightly soft on my ranking of Hendricks yesterday, as he’s getting the AGA label now for his unbelievable consistency for your squads.

Mike Montgomery5.0 IP, 2 ER, 7 Hits, 1 BBs, 7 Ks. Monty got the Sawx and somehow produced. Sure, the WHIP is bad, but seven Ks?! DAAAAAANG. His huge curveball went 8/24 on whiffs alone, but sadly there really isn’t enough in the rest of his repertoire to keep his pitch count low enough to survive six. I can see people jumping on for a rare stream against the Tigers or whatnot, but nothing more. Wait, that’s who he plays next. IS THAT SO?

Charlie Morton7.0 IP, 2 ER, 7 Hits, 0 BBs, 9 Ks. Aces gonna ace. There was some surprise about my “low” rank of Morton and while this certainly reinforces that outcry, among the options ahead. I have a little more faith that they’ll have the stamina through September to carry your team, not to mention that this game does surprise me a little, given Morton’s recent struggles. Maybe I made the tier line one too high (this is why I was so reluctant to add the tier markers), but I still stand by yesterday’s ranking.

Spencer Turnbull3.0 IP, 2 ER, 2 Hits, 3 BBs, 7 Ks. Huh. 76 pitches in three frames is blegh in this DLH, but 7 Ks is a welcome surprise. His 93mph heater that went 14/40 CSW is great in my book, but the rest of the repertoire was a bit meh against the ChiSox. I’m not quite ready to jump back in here.

Vince Velasquez7.0 IP, 2 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 3 Ks. Another popular streaming option yesterday was VV, who somehow went seven frames here against the Diamondbacks. Better sliders than usual and some fortunate balls in play from aggressive Diamondback hitters helped him coast at just 95 pitches across seven frames. However, I think this is a bit of a trap and I’d proceed with caution. This is really atypical from Velasquez without much different with his mix.

Lucas Giolito6.0 IP, 3 ER, 8 Hits, 2 BBs, 8 Ks. I’ve been hesitant to hand out the AGA label to Giolito lately and despite the 8 Ks, a VVPQS doesn’t help his case, especially against the Tigers. Still, 34/107 CSW with a great changeup is certainly a positive, I just want more than 1/12 CSW on sliders, you know?

Merrill Kelly6.0 IP, 3 ER, 8 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks. A VQS from Kelly, on the other hand, is certainly welcome. He returned to his curveball for 12/36 CSW. That’s fine, though just one cutter is awfully surprising. WHERE DID THE PITCH GO?! Here’s to hoping he can coast curves/cutters in the near future, but I’m not trusting him until I see it again.

Mike Soroka7.0 IP, 3 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 3 Ks. It’s looking more and more like we should have collectively sold high on Soroka at the end of June, as he holds a 3.22 ERA (4.45 SIERA), 1.40 WHIP and 20% K rate across his last six starts since the start of July. It’s not like he’s killing you and this start helps, but it’s nothing close to the hype he had prior. Not to mention, that was the general sentiment everywhere, as Soroka had a 20% K rate, .247 BABIP and 7.7% HR/FB (4.07 SIERA) through those first 14 starts. It may have been hard to actually get proper value back even if you wanted to jump off at the right time. For those that own him now, it looks like we’re riding this one out. Good luck, we’re all counting on you.

Gabriel Ynoa4.2 IP, 3 ER, 5 Hits, 0 BBs, 2 Ks. To be completely honest, this is better than I expected from Ynoa against the Yanks. So props for that, bud.

Walker Lockett4.2 IP, 4 ER, 8 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks. You’ve already changed Walker in a chest and tossed the Lockett Key. I’ve already heard this joke. Well aren’t you special.

Dario Agrazal5.0 IP, 5 ER, 8 Hits, 2 BBs, 1 Ks. Yeaaaaah. Another HAISTFMFWT?! and I’m wondering if I’ll have to write a single blurb on Dario in 2020.

Patrick Sandoval – 5.0 IP, 2 ER, 3 Hits, 2 BBs, 8 Ks. It defeats the purpose of having a False Starter when the Opener allows five runs in the first (Trout, how could you?!), but the Irish Panda did his best to keep up with Luis Castillo with an impressive 33/96 CSW of his own. Interesting… Yeah, I kinda liked what I saw here. 94+ heat, a slider he trusts plenty, a changeup that did a ton of damage once he settled in and a big hook. His first frame started with a nervous walk and two balls that got past the catcher for a run, and he really grooved after. I’m intrigued. I’d consider him, as he’ll get his chances with Felix Pena out for the season… but not against the Sawx next. Definitely not.

Masahiro Tanaka5.1 IP, 5 ER, 10 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks. Uggggggggh. Tanaka, you had a new splitter last time and now a matchup against the Orioles should have gone well. IT SHOULD HAVE. But nay, 4/28 CSW on the splitty and too many heaters and hung sliders did you in. Can we really trust him these days? Honestly, I think you’re better off streaming than chasing Tanaka. It just seems a little more predictable than whatever this Cherry Bomb is doing.

Robert Dugger5.0 IP, 6 ER, 5 Hits, 4 BBs, 3 Ks. Excuse me Robert, it’s Digger. Seriously, get it straight. But I dug a lot. Yes, we can see the five-foot hole you made for yourself pretty clearly, thank you very much. Anyway, this is a Cup of Schmo with a ~90mph heater and nothing to save him.

Michael Wacha3.2 IP, 6 ER, 7 Hits, 2 BBs, 3 Ks. Yeaaaaah, Wacha really shouldn’t be starting anymore. It’s too bad Alex Reyes simply can’t stay healthy. Maybe a mid-September start…? Anyway, don’t trust Wacha. Like, at all.


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.


Dylan Cease vs. Detroit Tigers – He looked solid against the Mets last time out, and the Tigers are weaker. Dinelson Lamet vs. Seattle Mariners – I just assumed he was over the 20% threshold, but nope, Lamet is wildly available. I still like this play for Cease as well, but Lamet is the better play.


Tomorrow’s Streamer


Ivan Nova vs. Detroit Tigers – I obviously don’t think too highly of the Tigers offense if I’m willing to chase a Super Nova…


Day After Tomorrow’s Streamer


Danny Duffy vs. Detroit Tigers – Pretty easy choice here with Duffy as an overall decent streaming option + a great matchup vs. Tigers.


Game of the Day 


Mike Foltynewicz vs. Minnesota Twins – Terrible matchup, but I’m stoked to see what he looks like after an extended stay in the minors.


(Photo by Brian Rothmuller/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 Prancing Tony”

  1. BBHHI says:


    Let me throw out a thought in Bassett….let me know if it resonates with you as being right.

    Bassitt pitches backwards and has enough of a Two seamer that the end result is poor contact and GB.. I love that he’ll give a base….when needed. He’s a competitor.

  2. Ryan DC says:

    2 thoughts:
    1) I was fine not having tiers, and I’m not sure how much they add to the List. The people clamoring for numbered tiers are little babies crying out for a blankie. If they are a lot of work than you should drop them.
    2) HOWEVER, the tiers that Sporer uses on FG actually are helpful because they are descriptive and therefore somewhat less arbitrary. Have you considered aligning your tiering system with his #1/MS/US/etc system?

    • Nick Pollack says:

      I have thought about Sporer’s method and I completely understand why he does it.

      To me, there are guys that I’d start a little less frequently than another, but his ceiling makes him a more worthwhile play, thus messing up the order on The List.

      There’s ultimately no perfect answer, sadly.

  3. Chucky says:

    Can I call the Beede speculation is bust and try Sandoval. I liked what I saw as well.

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