Of all the notable pitching performances from the weekend, two in particular stand out.
Patrick Sandoval took his biggest step yet toward stardom, striking out 13 over 8 2/3 one-hit innings Saturday against the Twins. His changeup was responsible for 13 of his 21 swinging strikes and is quickly emerging as one of the best in all the majors. You can see it in action here:
The outing was Sandoval’s third straight of seven-plus innings, and in only one of his 11 starts has he allowed more than three earned runs. He has a 3.22 ERA, 1.06 WHIP and 10.2 K/9 across those 11 starts (his overall numbers made slightly worse by a few relief appearances early on). Most impressive of all, though, is that his 16.3 percent swinging-strike would be the second-best in baseball if he had the innings to qualify.
Yet somehow, he’s rostered in just 46 percent of CBS Sports leagues. Frankly, it should be twice that many.
Touki Toussaint‘s success, meanwhile, has spanned only two starts, which makes his 38 percent roster rate easier to understand. His latest was a seven-inning, 10-strikeout effort at the Phillies on Sunday. His stuff played up better than in his previous start, highlighted by a GIF-tastic splitter and curveball.
The previous outing against the Padres was impressive in its own right, though. He allowed one run on three hits over 6 2/3 innings, striking out five. Combined with his last two outings at Triple-A Gwinnett, where he was rehabbing a strained shoulder, he has a 1.40 ERA, 0.74 WHIP and 11.6 K/9 over his past four starts. A simplified delivery may be to credit for his breakthrough if it’s indeed legit.
“Basically it’s just pick up the leg and throw the ball,” he told The Athletic. “In the past I was, like, spinning, like going toward the first-base side. Now I’m more linear, so it’s up and to home plate.”
A former first-round pick by the Diamondbacks, the 25-year-old has always had a GIF-worthy arsenal. If he’s finally learned how to harness after all the fakeouts of the past, he could break through in a big way. He may not be a must-add like Sandoval is, but anywhere you’re looking for upside at starting pitcher, Toussaint is worth a shot.
Here’s who else made a case to be added this weekend …
Possible waiver wire pickups