Welcome to the SP Roundup, my daily fantasy baseball article reviewing every starting pitcher’s performance from every Friday game. I apologize for the jokes written in my delirium in advance. Have questions? Ask me during my office hours on Twitch weekday mornings from 9 am-11 am ET.
Luis Garcia vs DET (W) – 7.0 IP, 1 ER, 2 Hits, 2 BBs, 9 Ks – 17 Whiffs, 35% CSW, 91 pitches.
It’s time we move past internalizing today’s horrific headline pun to actually discuss Luis Garcia after he went 7.0 IP, 1 ER, 2 Hits, 2 BBs, 9 Ks – 17 Whiffs, 35% CSW, 91 pitches against the Tigers for the Win. His velocity jumped up to 94/95 mph again and did a great job earning outs, but the real story? That cutter. Ohhhhh that cutter. 13/33 whiffs en route to 52% CSW as the dang thing was ridiculous.
Seeing Garcia with an improved fastball with last year’s premier cutter is a beautiful thing and if he holds those two, everything is fine. This fine is a little debatable as I’m still searching for that slider to return (I really should stop), and the changeup wasn’t much of a factor here save for another option to keep guys a bit honest + he flipped some curveballs in for strikes.
I’m likely being more harsh than necessary as this is a better version of second-half Garcia (when he lost the slider) and that’s a wonderful thing.
Let’s see how every other SP did Friday:
Josh Winder vs OAK (W) – 6.0 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 0 BBs, 8 Ks – 16 Whiffs, 36% CSW, 80 pitches.
Ayyyy it worked! Winder’s second start returned a reluctant streaming pick of the day and Winder was as pretty as can be. He went slider/fastball for an even 40% usage each, both returning six whiffs in a wonderful game of Anything You Can Do. The rare changeup or curveball worked as well and voila, that’s a luscious outing against the A’s. So he’s a pickup, right? Ehhhh it’s the Astros next. Completely different. I’d wait until after that start in 12-teamers, but I understand if you’re desperate and need to jump in now in deeper leagues. Good luck.
Jhonathan Diaz vs WSH (W) – 5.0 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 4 BBs, 4 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 67 pitches.
Oh, I guess Diaz is taking over for Barria these days and this was…fine. The slider had its moments and changeup earned strikes to make it a bit difficult for the Nationals. Nothing to chase here.
Merrill Kelly vs COL (W) – 8.2 IP, 1 ER, 7 Hits, 2 BBs, 8 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 23% CSW, 106 pitches.
So dang close to pulling a Hercules and going the distance. Kelly has been such a wonderful surprise this year and while the 92/93 mph velocity is welcome, it’s not the true catalyst for 2022 — that would be the changeup jumping up in usage, landing for more strikes, adding 5 ticks in O-Swing, and falling from a .243 AVG to .179. So he throws it more often and gets better results, yup, that’ll work. It allows the cutter to be thrown out of the zone more often (15 point drop in zone rate!), inducing plenty more chases (14 point jump in O-Swing!) and it’s all coming together nicely. And now he gets the Marlins?! Too easy.
Eric Lauer @ ATL (W) – 6.1 IP, 1 ER, 2 Hits, 3 BBs, 8 Ks – 18 Whiffs, 32% CSW, 94 pitches.
Yeeeeeeeeesssss. Enjoy the Brew during Happy Lauer as not only did his four-seamer continue to get some whiffs, but his slider and cutter earned 11 on their own as well. The heater is still at 94 mph and I really don’t see why you wouldn’t be in on Lauer these days. THE LIST CURSE DOESN’T EXIST.
Chad Kuhl @ ARI (ND) – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks – 12 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 91 pitches.
Phew. I was worried I had doomed him a second time. Kuhl still has his ridonkulous slide piece — 10/36 whiffs, 42% CSW — and the Sneks are the Sneks. Now the real(ish) challenge begins as he heads to San Francisco against the Giants. That could work given it’s on the road as a right-hander and if you want to Vargas Rule this, hey, I get it. I’m still worried about the sinker, but whatever. He’s killing it.
Vince Velasquez @ BOS (W) – 5.0 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 2 BBs, 2 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 28% CSW, 75 pitches.
I gotta say, seeing VV pump out 11 whiffs is a cool thing, but the two strikeouts it induced made this a game where the balls found gloves instead of grass. Thanks Boston! Don’t chase this.
Yu Darvish vs MIA (W) – 7.0 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 0 BBs, 3 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 28% CSW, 97 pitches.
The opponent doesn’t matter for Darvish and I’m still shocked he fanned just three, especially sitting 96/97 mph on his heater. It was back to the old days of cutters being the primary focus with sliders and splitters taking a back seat, and I wouldn’t be surprised if we see something different next time. That’s the Yu you are.
Alex Cobb vs STL (ND) – 5.0 IP, 2 ER, 3 Hits, 1 BBs, 8 Ks – 19 Whiffs, 42% CSW, 74 pitches.
Hot dang, look at you! It’s always a wonderful thing where a pitcher quells all your fears in one start. That’s a Golden Goal as Cobb had his fastball at 95 mph (dope) and The Thing returning to form with 14/39 whiffs. Sigh. What a guy. If your leaguemate dropped him for whatever reason, you best jump back on board.
Zach Logue @ MIN (L) – 5.0 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 21% CSW, 90 pitches.
Despite the three-batter minimum rule entering the majors, Zach is trying to bring back the Logue in the only way he can. He’s a soft-tossing 90/91 mph lefty with a decent slider and change. I think it just went his way here and I wouldn’t encourage this save for a desperate stream.
Sandy Alcantara @ SD (L) – 4.2 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 23% CSW, 94 pitches.
His slider went 1/18 CSW. UGH. He’s not there yet. Kinda like Logan Gilbert in that his fastballs are excellent and will allow him to go deep constantly (and just 2 ER ain’t terrible!) and the secondaries are lagging behind, but normally at least the changeup is better than a 19% CSW. Keep the faith, this will turn around proper in time.
Jordan Hicks @ SF (ND) – 4.1 IP, 2 ER, 3 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks – 4 Whiffs, 29% CSW, 68 pitches.
He’s not over 70 pitches yet and I’m not seeing enough from his approach — even with fastball velo at 99 mph — to suggest that he can properly overwhelm batters. That’s four whiffs without legit command. No thanks.
Matt Wisler @ SEA (ND) – 2.0 IP, 2 ER, 2 Hits, 0 BBs, 2 Ks – 3 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 33 pitches.
Oh hey! Josh Fleming pitched again! And I know what all of you are thinking. HOW MANY WHIFFS DID HE GET ON HIS SINKER? Well, he threw 24 of them for…one whiff. That’s 2/107 across his last four games after going 17/69 in his first two. And all was right in the world. Sorry Josh, we knew it wouldn’t last.
Jesse Chavez vs MIL (ND) – 1.0 IP, 2 ER, 3 Hits, 0 BBs, 0 Ks – 2 Whiffs, 33% CSW, 18 pitches.
Ummmm Spencer Strider followed for 4.0 IP, 0 ER, 4 Hits, 0 BBs, 8 Ks – 12 Whiffs, 30% CSW, 69 pitches. Yeah. I’ve been pretty down on the whole Isildur’s Heir thing given how I didn’t believe his command was polished enough to survive with two pitches + it would take time to stretch him out. Wellll that’s 70 pitches of DOPENESS and it may mean he goes five next time out and sticks in the rotation. That said, after Reid Detmers and Matt Brash left bad tastes after their spring hype, I completely understand not chasing this one. That’s eight strikeouts in four innings without a walk, though. I’m doing it in 12-teamers and playing it cautiously from there.
Nathan Eovaldi vs CWS (L) – 5.0 IP, 3 ER, 6 Hits, 3 BBs, 4 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 18% CSW, 101 pitches.
Awwwwww. I was really starting to come around on Eovaldi, but this was the type of game we saw last year during the first half: The splitter and curveball didn’t do nearly enough to help out Eovaldi. Just one of those days.
Beau Brieske @ HOU (L) – 5.0 IP, 3 ER, 5 Hits, 3 BBs, 3 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 26% CSW, 87 pitches.
It’s Beau and the Least you could hope for.
Joan Adon @ LAA (L) – 5.0 IP, 3 ER, 3 Hits, 5 BBs, 6 Ks – 6 Whiffs, 26% CSW, 85 pitches.
He had some impressive at-bats fanning both Trout and Ohtani, but there isn’t enough in the repertoire here for Adon to actually be a proper starter in your fantasy leagues. Like a man at the base of Pura Luhur Lempuyang, he has far too many steps left to climb.
Logan Gilbert vs TB (ND) – 5.0 IP, 4 ER, 7 Hits, 3 BBs, 6 Ks – 12 Whiffs, 22% CSW, 99 pitches.
Noooooo. He hasn’t had his slider & changeup clicking all year and he was still surviving, but without a step forward in the pitches here, it eventually got to him. Still, a really good heater that shouldn’t return an outing like this, but we’re going to see them pop up if he can’t take steps forward with those secondaries.
Game of the Day
Kevin Gausman vs. Shane Bieber – FOR REAL THIS TIME.
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 Dustin Bradford/Icon Sportswire | Adapted by Justin Paradis (@JustParaDesigns on Twitter)
Strider or Jon Gray,
Came to comment on this ridiculous headline. It unlocked a reference in my brain that was untapped for many years. Well done, Nick.
Classic commercial. What was it for?