Weaver Dream

Nick Pollack reviews every starting pitcher performance from Sunday.

Luke Weaver vs CIN (W) – 7.0 IP, 0 ER, 1 Hits, 1 BBs, 8 Ks – 17 Whiffs, 30% CSW, 94 pitches.

Y’all know me. When I say “I want every pitcher to be dope,” I genuinely feel that way. One of the greatest joys I have writing these roundups is experiencing those moments when a pitcher rises from the ashes to demand your attention. They’ve achieved. It happened today as Luke Weaver earned the spotlight and all your Twitter questions after he flat out dominated the Reds with an impressive 7.0 IP, 0 ER, 1 Hits, 1 BBs, 8 Ks line, including 17 Whiffs across just 94 pitches.

I’m absolutely amazed, impressed, and disappointed at the same time. I’m amazed that he was able to endure the fantastic Cincy lineup with just two pitches, impressed that he went full-on BSB with incredible precision on high heaters and low changeups, and disappointed that he still doesn’t have a third pitch. Yeah, you know the sad words I’m about to say. I can’t trust Weaver if he doesn’t have a secondary pitch to throw for a strike. It used to be that cutter in 2019, but it left him last year and he threw it once — ONCE — in this start.

I wish I could get behind this, I really do. Maybe he does keep this same rhythm for his start against the Nationals, but without that cutter working, it’s a smaller margin for error. I’m stoked that he’s embracing the high-heater lifestyle and who knows, maybe that’s enough. Feel free to make a speculative add to open yourself up for that weekend stream hosting Washington, but otherwise, I’m okay letting him stay on the wire.


Let’s see how every other SP did Sunday:


Clayton Kershaw vs WSH (W) – 6.0 IP, 0 ER, 5 Hits, 0 BBs, 6 Ks – 12 Whiffs, 33% CSW, 86 pitches.

Aces gonna ace for TATIAGAGood to see him earn a King Cole at…33% CSW?! Seriously? If you’re not aware, there’s a minimum of five full frames to win to prevent openers and short starters from being rewarded and…wow. This was a mediocre pitching day. But not for me. Baseball is a better place with Kershaw cruising. Let’s all be happy he rebounded from that first outing — especially sitting 91 mph today instead of last year’s 90 mph mark.

Adrian Morejon @ TEX (ND) – 0.2 IP, 0 ER, 0 Hits, 1 BBs, 1 Ks – 2 Whiffs, 19% CSW, 16 pitches.

Adrian was removed from this one with a forearm strain. Poor guy, I hope he’s okay.

Brent Honeywell Jr. vs NYY (ND) – 2.0 IP, 0 ER, 0 Hits, 0 BBs, 2 Ks – 4 Whiffs, 38% CSW, 21 pitches.

After all of the hoopla over the years, Honeywell finally made his MLB debut and I wrote all about it during my first GIF Breakdown of the year. In short, I like his stuff, but he’s an opener for now and may not get a proper start for a long while. No need to grab him in your leagues.

Anthony DeSclafani vs COL (W) – 6.0 IP, 0 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 8 Ks – 16 Whiffs, 32% CSW, 94 pitches.

Nice work Tony Disco. Cueto showed us on Friday night how sweet Rockie Road can be and don’t ignore its significant influence on this line. Still, DeSclafani had his slider and curveball working with solid fastballs as well. Now with two starts against Miami ahead, I’d heavily consider him to hold the roster spot. At the very least, see how does in the first one and choose from there. This could work well.

JT Brubaker vs CHC (W) – 5.1 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks – 12 Whiffs, 30% CSW, 74 pitches.

Hey, this works, Coffee Cakes! He got strikes with sliders and four-seamers, while his sinker got outs. Even sprinkled in a few curveballs for strikes because that’s what cool kids do. He’s a Toby and I wouldn’t risk it unless he has the right matchup, but the Brewers and Tigers are next and that might be exactly what you’re looking for. This is pretty much his peak, though.

Mike Foltynewicz vs SD (L) – 7.0 IP, 1 ER, 2 Hits, 3 BBs, 3 Ks – 4 Whiffs, 22% CSW, 91 pitches.

Hot dang! Against the Padres, too! And without any positive change that I can latch onto! I’m sorry Folty, I really want to buy this, but you’re still at just 94 mph, your slider was not the pitch it used to be, and your command was essentially “heart of the plate”. I don’t know what black magic you contracted but I can’t believe it lasts.

Brett Anderson @ STL (W) – 5.0 IP, 1 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 1 Ks – 2 Whiffs, 22% CSW, 91 pitches.

It’s amazing how Brett just finds a way on rare occasions. It’s his way of saying “hey, I can still do something that will get me a contract, right?” Sure, it comes with just one strikeout (HAISTFMFWT?!) that makes it clear this is often a Grave Mistake but if you know the rules, and so do I then you do you.

Mike Minor @ CWS (ND) – 4.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 3 BBs, 3 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 85 pitches.

Soooo this ain’t great. Minor’s velocity fell to 91+ mph from the 92/93 last time and his changeup was nowhere to be found — like my industrial-strength hair-dryer, he can’t live without it. Props to him for just one ER through four with your backup stuff, and let’s hope he can get the skills back moving forward. I ain’t starting him against the Jays, though.

Max Scherzer @ LAD (L) – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks – 12 Whiffs, 26% CSW, 90 pitches.

Aces gonna ace. Life is so much better when you don’t give up multiple home runs. Just give us a little more than five strikeouts next time, okay? And throw that dang slider more, it’s one of the best in the game and deserves so much more than 11% usage. Jeez.

Logan Allen vs DET (W) – 5.0 IP, 1 ER, 2 Hits, 3 BBs, 5 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 30% CSW, 92 pitches.

Atta boy Allen, way to take advantage of a date with the Tigers. Sure, I’m not in love with your stuff and think it’s kinda boring, but let’s all be happy that you were able to dodge the four-game series against the White Sox. Well, kinda, as you now get the Reds + Yankees. Yeaaaaah nah. If you think Logan is more like Tim and would improve your home, you’re lightyears off.

Dylan Cease vs KC (ND) – 4.2 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 3 BBs, 6 Ks – 14 Whiffs, 28% CSW, 90 pitches.

The only question that matters — has he fixed his command yet? Nope. Look at how spotty all those pitches are — the red dots are supposed to be up, the yellow ones down. Yikes. Thing is, it’s Cleveland twice in a row now, and I know we’re all tempted to start him for both. That’s up to you, maybe he takes a step forward or maybe it’s just like this but for five frames. It’s a Cherry Bomb and plan accordingly.

Jose Urena @ CLE (L) – 4.2 IP, 2 ER, 3 Hits, 5 BBs, 4 Ks – 5 Whiffs, 15% CSW, 85 pitches.

Even on a good day, Ureña can’t get through five innings, had close to a 2.00 WHIP, and had 15% CSW. My lord, that physically hurt to type out. So remember kids, if you roster José, Ureña boatload of trouble.

German Marquez @ SF (L) – 5.2 IP, 3 ER, 6 Hits, 3 BBs, 7 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 24% CSW, 97 pitches.

If Márquez is on your squad, this is exactly the start you throw him out there for — on the road and against a meh offense — and what you got was one out away from a VPQSThat’s not what you want. It’s a painful world rostering Márquez and I hope you find some peace with it. What about you? Me? I’m just avoiding the issue entirely.

Matt Shoemaker vs SEA (ND) – 5.0 IP, 4 ER, 7 Hits, 1 BBs, 7 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 31% CSW, 91 pitches.

Ehhhh, it’s a Dusty Donut as I love the seven strikeouts, but those ratios hurt. The shocking part for me is how The Cobbler didn’t have his splitter, but went to work on his slider for 43% CSW. That just doesn’t seem right nor sustainable for Shoemaker who is known to go on runs when he has that splitter working. It gets tougher for him now with the Angels and Oakland and I think I’m out for those. Much better teams than the Tigers and Mariners, don’t let these weak offenses blur your judgment.

Jordan Montgomery @ TB (ND) – 5.0 IP, 4 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 32% CSW, 82 pitches.

Blegh. Possibly the most disappointing outing of the day as Monty looked fresh against the Orioles last week. Fastball was a touch lower here hovering 92 mph vs. the 92/93 we saw before and he was punished on a poor cutter and poor changeup, each for a longball. So it goes, I don’t think The Bear pitched so poorly and to the many tweets asking if you should drop him, it’s a clear hold from me. He’s a guy you’ll be glad to roster through the year. I’m banking on general development as he gets more experience in the bigs — especially with that new cutter.

Nick Pivetta @ BAL (W) – 6.0 IP, 4 ER, 7 Hits, 3 BBs, 7 Ks – 16 Whiffs, 24% CSW, 101 pitches.

Funny story, I faced Fast this week in the PL staff league and streamed Pivetta for Ks against him because it’s Pivetta and gave me just enough Ks to win the category. It’s fantasy baseball y’all, do the fun things. Annnnyway, it’s hard not to be a little impressed with Pivetta here, even if it was only 24% CSW, and the Orioles, and 4 ER, and a 1.67 WHIP. But the whiffs and Ks! He’s still at 95 mph — sweet — but his secondary stuff wasn’t there today. He needs to do better than 6/43 whiffs on breakers, especially against these bois. He gets the White Sox and Jays next and you can bet he’s off my team tomorrow morning.

Drew Smyly vs PHI (ND) – 5.0 IP, 5 ER, 5 Hits, 0 BBs, 3 Ks – 13 Whiffs, 24% CSW, 91 pitches.

Oooof this hurt. He didn’t have his cutter in his first start and it came back to bite him in this one with just four thrown on the evening. Meanwhile, his fastball sat 92/93 and the Phillies attacked, hitting efficiently by timing their longballs well. Those smart Phillies. I’m a touch worried that he needs that cutter back to pair with his heater, but at least the curveball is still performing well. He gets the Cubs + Arizona next and I wouldn’t be worried.

Matt Moore @ ATL (ND) – 5.0 IP, 5 ER, 9 Hits, 0 BBs, 5 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 25% CSW, 80 pitches.

Oh hey Moore. I guess you’re still here. That’s cool, that’s cool. As Matty Moore, which M&M are you? Pretzel. Ohhh because you were a thing, then canceled, then came back? Cool, cool, cool, no doubt, no doubt. Welp, see ya later.

Chris Flexen @ MIN (ND) – 5.0 IP, 5 ER, 8 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks – 5 Whiffs, 21% CSW, 84 pitches.

You know me, I always want Flexen at the beach, but instead we got Flexen in the mirror with just the right lighting. That cutter that made it work the first time just wasn’t as good against a proper lineup in the Twins and it’s something to note. The man is shooting for a Toby label and that ain’t my Yste jam. Is that a Dream Theater joke? You’re h*ckin’ right it is.

Trevor Williams @ PIT (L) – 3.1 IP, 5 ER, 10 Hits, 2 BBs, 3 Ks – 5 Whiffs, 28% CSW, 75 pitches.

Oh come Trevor, you were so good last time out. This time, you scattered fastballs while you had less precision on the slider and curveball. And a bit Singled Out as well, but somewhat deserved. Five whiffs against the Pirates is a bit of a tell. If you can’t trust a guy against the Pirates, can you trust him at all? Save T-Dubs T-Ells for a desperate stream and nothing more.

Jose De Leon @ ARI (L) – 4.1 IP, 6 ER, 8 Hits, 3 BBs, 9 Ks – 18 Whiffs, 37% CSW, 89 pitches.

For a guy that clearly labored through 13 outs, De Leon still had a fantastic sinker that earned 36% CSW, 8 whiffs, and propelled him to a Gallows Pole. Huh. I saw the line — especially against Arizona — and was initially let down that this fun flier was already a bust, but to see that he went 10/45 on changeup + slider whiffs is a bit enticing. Sure, his command of the pitches wasn’t ideal, but they have more upside than I gave them credit last time. And yeah, that sinker is doing things. He should get Cleveland next and I’m still streaming him there, even after taking the loss here. Streaming Record: 4-7. Cut me some slack, Jack. April streaming is harder than any month.

Jorge Lopez vs BOS (L) – 4.0 IP, 7 ER, 8 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 29% CSW, 68 pitches.

Jorge with the full-on dead dove here, and all we can do is avoid. A void? Like a black hole? I don’t know how to be a BLACK HOLE, Nick. And I don’t know how to get rid of you, but we keep living, don’t we.

Daniel Ponce de Leon vs MIL (L) – 1.1 IP, 7 ER, 6 Hits, 4 BBs, 0 Ks – 3 Whiffs, 17% CSW, 52 pitches.

Welp, despite José allowing 6 ER, Daniel over here elected to lose another battle of the Lions. He doesn’t have his curveball to land for strikes and his fastballs weren’t commanded. At all. Like if Mr. Bean suddenly became a general, you know those troops would fail. It just wouldn’t work. Seriously, there’s nothing left if he doesn’t have that fastball. Give this a long rest until something changes.


Game of the Day 


Gerrit Cole vs Robbie Ray – It’s Cole + we get a look at Ray for the first time in-season. Here’s to hoping he’s throwing a ton of strikes.


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


Photo by Bob Kupbens/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.

6 responses to “Weaver Dream”

  1. Alex Fast says:

    I didn’t find it funny

  2. Simsbad says:

    Kenley Jansen also had improved velocity that stuck for all of his pitches. Wonder if the atmosphere or weather was working in favor of the pitchers since McKinstry was the only batter on either team able to connect with the pitching.

  3. Don't be a Hader says:

    So you’re starting R.Ray in a 12-teamer today???

  4. Jason says:

    Minor’s stuff looked brutal. I was excited after the 94mph FB his last spring start but yesterday he was as low as 88 according to ESPN. Not good.

  5. Perfect Game says:

    Thoughts on Gallen returning this week? Do you still consider him a top 15 ROS after this injury? What’s your conservative number of IP this season?

  6. AH says:

    Making a note every time someone underestimates what J.T. Brubaker could become. And I say that while rostering him nowhere except a Best Ball.

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