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Starting Pitcher Barometer, Week 13: A Minor Thing

The Starting Pitcher Barometer returns! After an unscheduled week off due to real-life nuisances, there is much turmoil within my starting pitcher rankings. We’ve got two weeks of starters to jettison, including superstars Shane Bieber and Tyler Glasnow from two weeks ago. There are also a ton of spin rate decliners thanks to MLB’s mid-season sticky substance ban. There is much ado about it, but far too much to get into within this rankings article. For more on the injury potential for pitchers, check out this great piece from Nic Civale. There is also this one from Chris Clegg, citing specific starters whose spin rates have dropped dramatically.

The most egregious drop following the substance ban is Trevor Bauer. Gerrit Cole and Corbin Burnes get a bit of a drop as well, although it’s not like you’re ever benching them anyway. Here are a few more non-stick tidbits. The Teflon of this article, if you will.

  • I’ve been very hesitant to buy in on Nick Pivetta. In none of my leagues did I enjoy his recent 6.2 no-hit innings against the Rays. He has given you 94 K’s and an even 4.00 ERA through 81 innings. That’s pretty sweet. His velocity is up two ticks, which portends well moving forward. I still worry about his 4.22 BB/9, however, and his CSW is a below-average 27.4%. He’s a fine streamer, but I’m not going crazy.
  • I have long been a fan of Tony Santillan. He is a very thicc boi, but don’t call him Fat Tony. He’s got swing-and-miss stuff, namely his slider, which has earned a 50% whiff rate through 13.2 IP. He struggles with control, however. As a fly-ball heavy pitcher, Great American Small Park isn’t the greatest park to call home, either. The free passes can be a real problem when combined with a bunch of home runs. He’ll be a pass for me in his next start, which comes at home against the Padres.
  • Fresh off an 8 ER debacle against the lowly Marlins, Zach Davies rebounded with six no-hit innings against the Dodgers. Such are the vagaries of the fantasy baseball pendulum. He has a 49:41 K:BB ratio through 79.1 IP and I still don’t trust him.

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The Starting Pitcher Barometer

The Risers

Jose Urquidy, HOU (+21) – Urquidy gets a big bump up in my starting pitcher rankings to SP47 after logging three straight seven-inning starts. The key has been his 94th percentile walk rate, sitting at 4.4%. His ceiling isn’t immense, as he has just a 7.82 K/9 and a sub-par 28.7% CSW. He should continue to be a good source of Wins and Quality Starts.

Patrick Sandoval, LAA (+31) – I just mentioned Sandoval recently when he debuted, and how great his changeup was. Well, his changeup is still incredible (58.4% whiff rate!!). However, his arsenal is still evolving.

Sandoval Pitch Chart

Sandoval has started incorporating his curveball and slider more. He even used the slider more than his changeup in his latest start. He deployed the slider 25% of the time, earning a 46% CSW with it. This is a young lefty whose repertoire is still evolving and is extremely intriguing. He rises from a pure curiosity dart throw to a solid streaming option.


The Fallers

Mike Minor, KC (-22) – I came into the season expecting Minor to be a cheap, durable bounce-back candidate. That has not gone according to plan at all. Minor had a major hiccup in his last start in which he allowed nine earnies in just five innings. It came against the Rangers, a matchup he should have been able to take advantage of. His ERA has ballooned to 5.12 through 91.1 innings, although his 4.04 FIP considers him to be a bit unlucky so far. His K-BB% remains a solid 17.4% as well, pointing towards a deep league buy-low opportunity. Minor’s changeup (.316 wOBA, .283 BAA) just isn’t where it needs to be, though. I’d be hesitant to expect too much from him the rest of the way.

Brady Singer, KC (-23) – Another Royal is singin’ the blues this week. Singer has flashed upside at times this year, but in two of his past three starts, he hasn’t escaped the fourth inning. As with Minor, his ERA (4.70) is far worse than his FIP (3.96). However, unlike Minor, Singer is only a two-pitch starter. He also currently lacks the type of control Minor has shown, and has gone 6+ innings in just five of his 16 starts. He’ll need a decent third pitch to earn my trust.

Singer Game Log

The Newcomers

Zach Thompson, MIA (SP60) – Another in the seemingly endless reservoir of pitchers name Zach/Zack/Zac, Thompson is already looking like a guy who will stick around. Yes, I struggle to remember how to spell their first names sometimes. Okay, a lot. Anyway, Zachy T had his breakout performance in his latest effort against the Nationals, striking out 11 batters over six innings. He now has a 2.00 ERA with a 25:6 K:BB ratio through 18 innings. He is finally getting fully stretched out after beginning the season in a multi-inning relief role in the minors.

Thompson Heat Map

His curve has earned a preposterous 57.1% whiff rate on 61 pitches. He has been able to locate it low in the zone for both whiffs and ground balls. While his fastball lacks premium velocity, it has an 89th percentile spin rate. Both his cutter and four-seam have been fly-ball offerings, which is fine for his home starts, in particular. He doesn’t have a huge spin rate on his curve, so it will be interesting to see if hitters catch up to it or start laying off it. For now, he’s very stream-worthy.

Kyle Muller, ATL (SP75) – While another Kyle (Wright) continues to struggle in the same organization, Kyle Muller has come up and shown promise. Muller has been a prospect of some pedigree, going 44th overall to the Braves back in 2016. He most recently shut out a potent Reds lineup through five innings, allowing just one hit with two walks and nine K’s. Both his slider and curveball earned over a 40% CSW, which is patently absurd.

Muller Game Log

There are only two things keeping him from debuting higher in my starting pitcher rankings. First, his role. He isn’t guaranteed a starting gig moving forward, but you have to think the Braves are impressed with what he has shown so far. Secondly, his control. He had an awful 5.46 BB/9 at Triple-A Gwinnett before being called up, and it was just as bad in 2019 (5.48 BB/9). Be cautious, but I’d optimistically roll him out for his next scheduled start against the Marlins.


Top 100 Starting Pitcher Rankings

RnkNamePrev. Rank
1Jacob deGrom1
2Max Scherzer7
3Yu Darvish5
4Brandon Woodruff6
5Gerrit Cole2
6Zack Wheeler9
7Kevin Gausman13
8Carlos Rodon15
9Clayton Kershaw11
10Corbin Burnes8
11Lucas Giolito16
12Walker Buehler12
13Trevor Bauer4
14Joe Musgrove21
15Lance Lynn17
16Freddy Peralta19
17Trevor Rogers20
18Julio Urias14
19Aaron Nola18
20Zac GallenNA
21Tyler Mahle22
22Robbie Ray28
23Pablo Lopez23
24Framber Valdez31
25Jose Berrios27
26Sandy Alcantara24
27Hyun Jin Ryu25
28Lance McCullers26
29Zack Greinke30
30Zach Eflin29
31Sean Manaea39
32Charlie Morton34
33Luis Castillo42
34Chris Bassitt33
35Dylan Cease36
36Shohei Ohtani38
37Ian Anderson37
38Chris Paddack48
39Luis Garcia44
40Anthony DeSclafani40
41Yusei Kikuchi45
42Max Fried41
43Tarik Skubal47
44Kyle Hendricks49
45Blake Snell35
46Kenta Maeda43
47Jose Urquidy68
48Shane McClanahan55
49Kyle Gibson57
50Taijuan Walker60
51Rich Hill46
52Frankie Montas50
53Marcus Stroman51
54Nathan Eovaldi54
55Alex Wood52
56Tony Gonsolin62
57Patrick Corbin65
58Alek Manoah53
59Jordan Montgomery59
60Zach ThompsonNA
61Adbert Alzolay58
62Jon GrayNA
63JT Brubaker69
64Casey Mize67
65Eduardo Rodriguez72
66Domingo German66
67Patrick Sandoval99
68Jake Odorizzi87
69Sammy LongNA
70Nick Pivetta80
71Adam Wainwright89
72James Kaprielian81
73Joe RossNA
74Ross Stripling84
75Kyle MullerNA
76Dylan Bundy64
77Wade Miley75
78Kwang Hyun Kim79
79German Marquez82
80Cole Irvin78
81Logan Gilbert92
82Anthony KayNA
83Danny DuffyNA
84Dallas KeuchelNA
85Ryan Yarbrough74
86Dane Dunning85
87Eric LauerNA
88Jameson Taillon88
89Matt ManningNA
90Andrew Heaney77
91Alex Cobb76
92Mike Minor70
93Chris Flexen93
94Brady Singer71
95Johnny Cueto95
96Steven Matz94
97Caleb Smith97
98Tony SantillanNA
99Adrian Houser98
100Spencer Howard90


Fell Off The List

Shane Bieber (Injury), Tyler Glasnow (Injury), Aaron Civale (Injury), Austin Gomber (Injury), Dinelson Lamet (Injury), Matthew Boyd (Injury), Michael Pineda (Injury), Keegan Akin (Performance), Jackson Kowar (Minors), Garrett Richards (Performance), Tucker Davidson (Injury), Tyler Anderson (Performance).

For more help on the pitching front, check out Mike Carter’s Two-Start Pitchers for the week.

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  1. Yants says

    lol thicc boi

    1. Nathan Dokken says


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