Tony’s Award

Nick Pollack reviews every starting pitcher performance from Sunday.

Tony Gonsolin vs ARI (ND) – 4.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks – 14 Whiffs, 24% CSW, 83 pitches.

I wouldn’t say I’m incredibly enthused about Tony Gonsolin at the moment, though there are some positive elements from today’s 4.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks (14 Whiffs, 24% CSW, 83 pitches) against the Diamondbacks. His pitch count was over 80, his splitter and slider earned some whiffs, he earned six strikeouts, and, most importantly, it does seem like he has a hold on the #4 spot in the Dodgers’ rotation. There’s your gold star, Gonsolin, your participation award.

I’m not sold on his slider, though, which still has some room to grow from previous seasons and makes me a little hesitant to jump on board. And then there’s the fact that I can’t help but wonder if Gonsolin’s security is fleeting and he’ll be back to long relief by August. The Dodgers are sure to make some deal for a starter as they’re down to three + Kershaw has a barking elbow. Then there’s David Price beginning to ramp up as a starter and suddenly we could be in a situation where Gonsolin isn’t performing well enough to justify the rotation spot. Still, he has the spot for now and it makes for consideration moving forward. Just not as the possible stud he was in previous seasons.


Let’s see how every other SP did Sunday:


Aaron Loup vs PIT (ND) – 2.0 IP, 0 ER, 2 Hits, 0 BBs, 2 Ks – 4 Whiffs, 35% CSW, 26 pitches.

Congrats Loup, you succeeded in this bullpen game. I’m so proud. Eickhoff following…not so much. I’m not so proud.

José Suarez @ SEA (W) – 5.0 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 26% CSW, 88 pitches.

Hey, this worked! There was a bit of hype around Suarez when he entered the rotation and it’s nice to see him pull of a solid start against a weak offense. His curveball landed for strikes aplenty and he turned to changeups over 30% of the time to…some success. Not a whole lot, but it worked well enough paired off the four-seamer. The whole package is still a bit too underwhelming for me, but maybe he’s a possible streamer down the road.

Ryan Weathers vs COL (ND) – 2.0 IP, 0 ER, 2 Hits, 1 BBs, 1 Ks – 2 Whiffs, 28% CSW, 29 pitches.

Weathers left this early with a possible Achilles injury and we’re sad. Streaming Record: 57-42. That’s just how the Carrasco falls apart. I imagine Weathers will hit the IL as he wouldn’t start for a while anyway, making him a clear drop if you don’t have the room.

Robbie Ray @ TB (W) – 7.0 IP, 0 ER, 1 Hits, 1 BBs, 11 Ks – 17 Whiffs, 35% CSW, 103 pitches.

Aces gonna ace. He had a no-hitter until the seventh and absolutely dominated the Rays, earning a share of the Gallows PoleTo think he did this while his breakers had an off day. Man, I love Mr. Hot Pants.

Wily Peralta @ MIN (ND) – 5.0 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 2 BBs, 2 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 21% CSW, 97 pitches.

There’s another beneficial start at the hands of glorious BABIP for Peralta and all I can wonder is how long it will last. Remember Gant and Ureña doing things earlier in the year? This is oh-so-similar. Don’t Vargas Rule it, there’s such little gas left in the tank. What if there is though? Fine, he had a great changeup last time – once – and it wasn’t here now. His slider O-Swing is below 20%, and his fastball returned a 19% CSW here. Happy? Yes, I’m sorry to make you mad. LOOK AT WHAT WILY DOES TO US.

Merrill Kelly @ LAD (ND) – 5.1 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 3 Ks – 5 Whiffs, 20% CSW, 88 pitches.

Kelly was churning outs and left early with a leg cramp. I wouldn’t say he was at his peak, but hey, he was performing against the Dodgers! He had that Quality Start in his sights and I’m glad it was just a cramp. He’s a considerable Toby moving forward.

Jon Gray @ SD (W) – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 3 BBs, 7 Ks – 17 Whiffs, 36% CSW, 90 pitches.

Way to go Gray, I’m proud of ya. That’s a share of the Gallows Pole as you went 85% slider/fastball, boasting 39% CSW between them. He has it in him to be a solid arm for any team that acquires him, but don’t forget, there is a nasty floor there, too. It’s not all bells and whistles, unlike my van. Your van? Yeah, I ride it around as an alarm clock for this random village. It has all kinds of bells and noises and whist—Imma stop you there. Thanks.

Kevin Gausman vs WSH (W) – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 3 BBs, 9 Ks – 17 Whiffs, 35% CSW, 102 pitches.

Aces gonna ace. He left the seventh with the bases loaded and one run did come in after (a tinge of Careful, Icarus) but even with it, he’s still dope. That’s a share of Gallows Pole with 10 whiffs on splitters and how can you not love that?

Hector Santiago vs LAA (ND) – 3.0 IP, 1 ER, 2 Hits, 1 BBs, 1 Ks – 3 Whiffs, 21% CSW, 33 pitches.

This was a bullpen game (we had a lot of those today) and Santiago did an admirable job. Here’s your typed-out thumbs up that doesn’t nearly have the same effect.

Brandon Woodruff vs CIN (ND) – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 9 Hits, 0 BBs, 4 Ks – 12 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 106 pitches.

Aces gonna ace. It’s not the WHIP or strikeouts you want, but six frames of 1 ER ball is always welcome. Absolutely startling to see him go 36% curveballs in this one, but hey, it worked and his heater wasn’t as great as we’ve seen before. You gotta learn how to adapt when things aren’t clicking and it’s a major element as to what makes an ace an ace.

Luis Castillo @ MIL (ND) – 5.1 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 6 BBs, 6 Ks – 17 Whiffs, 30% CSW, 102 pitches.

Six walks?! Really?! Your changeup still hasn’t dominated for a start – 5/25 whiffs here – though I’m still stoked to see your slider improve over the last month, here earning 45% CSW across 20 thrown. Just get that slider in order and you’ll get a full share of the Gallows PoleI promise.

Chris Bassitt @ TEX (W) – 7.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 3 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 94 pitches.

Yep, this is cool with me. Sure, few strikeouts, but you got everything else on a night where his secondaries were blegh. You should be thrilled about this.

Brandon Kintzler @ BOS (ND) – 1.0 IP, 1 ER, 1 Hits, 0 BBs, 0 Ks – 1 Whiffs, 31% CSW, 13 pitches.

It was announced in the AM that Aaron Nola was placed on the COVID-IL so we had a surprise bullpen game for the Phils and we all know how that was gonna turn out. With a Phillies win? Actually…huh. Look at them actually get it together for nine innings at a 4.00 ERA. Way to be.

Spenser Watkins vs CWS (ND) – 4.1 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 3 BBs, 4 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 22% CSW, 83 pitches.

This is a Cup of Schmo and for all of you that are now focused on football and saw S. Watkins with confusion, shame on you. I can’t believe I even uttered that sport’s name here. What have I done.

Dylan Cease @ BAL (ND) – 5.0 IP, 2 ER, 2 Hits, 2 BBs, 6 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 29% CSW, 85 pitches.

Yeah, that’s fine. Cease has two rules. Have your slider (41% CSW, check!) and have one other pitch work. His four-seamer sure wasn’t that, but his curveball stepped in to earn strikes and phew, he made it. That fastball was super hittable, though. He’s a bit lucky they didn’t jump on it more.

Framber Valdez vs NYY (ND) – 4.0 IP, 2 ER, 6 Hits, 6 BBs, 5 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 25% CSW, 91 pitches.

The curveball was dope, the fastball was not. It really was not. That’s the problem I’ve had with Framber before his 2021 campaign and I’m sad to see those February concerns come to light – I was just getting over them! I think I need to lower Framber tomorrow given his recent stumble and don’t forget, you can watch me do the full Top 100 SP update tomorrow live from 12-4 EST on TwitchAnnnnyway, his long leash + a winning ballclub + that fantastic curveball makes me think we’re going to see Framber perform well plenty more than not, so I wouldn’t be too concerned. Just not full-on dominance on the regular, is all.

Jameson Taillon @ HOU (ND) – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 3 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 28% CSW, 85 pitches.

Hey, that’s a solid little stretch from Taillon as of late and it’s interesting seeing him turn to sinkers here and there against right-handers – I’m kinda for it at his low ~10% usage. The hero in this one was the hook while his slider earned outs over the plate, save one that Kyle Tucker dropped the barrel on effectively. It’s not enough for me to think he’s anything more than a Toby at the moment, but small steps. I’m waiting for the day the slider returns in full or a day when he goes four-seamer/curveball to massive success. We’ll see if we get it.

Erick Fedde @ SF (L) – 5.0 IP, 3 ER, 8 Hits, 3 BBs, 7 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 31% CSW, 95 pitches.

Sure, you got seven strikeouts, but at what cost? AT WHAT COST?! Solid curveball and cutter in this one, though. That was cool. Not cool enough to roster or trust, but hey, it was cool.

Pablo López vs ATL (W) – 6.0 IP, 3 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 9 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 40% CSW, 83 pitches.

If you missed it, Pablo fanned the first nine batters he faced, setting a modern MLB record. He then pitched three more frames without a single strikeout. That’s baseball, Suzyn. His changeup was legit – duh – as was his four-seamer command and sadly, his cutter & breaker weren’t anything special once again. Still, 40% CSW = King Cole and I couldn’t be happier for him.

Rich Hill vs TOR (L) – 5.0 IP, 3 ER, 4 Hits, 3 BBs, 2 Ks – 5 Whiffs, 24% CSW, 68 pitches.

He isn’t the same. I wouldn’t be rostering Hill in my 12-teamers and he’s a question mark even in 15s, save for a two-start week, in which I’d make an audible groan making that decision.

Ian Anderson @ MIA (L) – 2.1 IP, 4 ER, 6 Hits, 5 BBs, 4 Ks – 12 Whiffs, 28% CSW, 64 pitches.

I was thinking about leading with Anderson given this huge disappointment (and in general, his volatility), but that’s all moot because he’s apparently dealing with shoulder soreness and will likely hit the IL. Bummer. I do think there’s a legit ace in here somewhere down the road and I look forward to that development. For now, we wait.

José Berríos vs DET (ND) – 7.0 IP, 4 ER, 3 Hits, 4 BBs, 8 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 108 pitches.

What a maddening pitcher. A start after he redeemed himself with incredible curveballs and made an attempt to pull his ERA below 3.50, here he is bringing it back up again via a 17% CSW breaker. It’s a true Dusty Donut with a 1.00 WHIP and eight strikeouts certainly helping and it really was just one bad inning in the fifth. But still, José just finds a way. It’s unreal.

Nick Pivetta vs PHI (L) – 4.0 IP, 4 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks – 5 Whiffs, 20% CSW, 76 pitches.

Awwwww. He pitched at his ceiling last time out and now performed at his floor. Why are you the way that you are. Seriously, that heater went 0/35 whiffs and the curveball 1/26. That ain’t gonna cut it, bucko.

Kolby Allard vs OAK (L) – 6.0 IP, 4 ER, 5 Hits, 0 BBs, 3 Ks – 6 Whiffs, 24% CSW, 84 pitches.

Nothing quite like allowing four homeruns on a bright sunny day. Yeah, you really don’t want to trust Dralla. Too bad the whole nine-strikeout game didn’t stick, in which I actually mean, too bad the whole 5/16 whiffs on changeups from last time didn’t stick. Just 1/10 here and that’s not it.

Chase De Jong @ NYM (ND) – 5.0 IP, 5 ER, 4 Hits, 3 BBs, 3 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 22% CSW, 95 pitches.

I can’t help but think of Juan Ponce de Leon each time I read de Jong’s name. Juan’s whole goal was to chase the youth of his life, you know? The Explorer’s Purpose. Or The One for Juan. I dunno, that last one sounds like an area code. These nicknames for Chase certainly make him more exciting than his lines, so never say I did nothing for you.


Game of the Day 

HR Derby –
The roundup will be back on Thursday night. See y’all then.

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

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Photo by Adam Davis/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.

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