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Moving Past Rogers’ Danger Field

Nick Pollack reviews every starting pitcher performance from Saturday.

Welcome to the SP Roundup, my daily fantasy baseball article reviewing every starting pitcher’s performance from every Saturday 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.  

Trevor Rogers vs MIL (W) – 5.1 IP, 1 ER, 5 Hits, 0 BBs, 8 Ks – 14 Whiffs, 39% CSW, 103 pitches.

Stop a moment and think to yourself. Is Trevor Rogers having a good or bad season? Sit on that and let me tell you that after yesterday’s 5.1 IP, 1 ER, 5 Hits, 0 BBs, 8 Ks – 14 Whiffs, 39% CSW, 103 pitches performance against the Brewers where he secured not just a Win but a King ColeRogers has allowed a total of 4 ER in five of his seven games combined. Yep, two starts tallying 12 ER before the middle of May mess things up a bit.

Now, the real reason we were down on Rogers wasn’t the ERA, nay, it was his changeup and slider failing to look like their former selves. Good news – the slider was as filthy as I’ve ever seen it, returning 47% CSW with 8/30 whiffs. That’s fantastic…but the changeup was generally ineffective with a 45% strike rate. With the fastball still being great, if Rogers’ slider can perform at a strong level moving forward, we’re out of the woods, but do we believe that will happen? I’m not entirely convinced – one start does not define a pitcher – but if he were to be on the path of redemption, it would begin with a start like this, backed by the improvement of one of his secondaries.

And who knows, maybe the slider stays near this level and the changeup returns in full. Then you’ve gone from no aces to two aces turned an SP #4 into a stud overnight. A man can dream.

 

Let’s see how every other SP did Saturday:

 

Zach Thompson vs CIN (W) – 6.0 IP, 0 ER, 1 Hits, 3 BBs, 3 Ks – 5 Whiffs, 25% CSW, 76 pitches.

Hey, this worked! He didn’t have his supreme curveball (1/11 CSW is bleeeegh) but his cutter and sinker got the job done against a poor Cincinnati squad. It’s a Birthday Party without his complete repertoire and I don’t blame him for still wearing the hat for the entirety of Sunday. Gotta enjoy the good times when you can.

Dallas Keuchel vs NYY (ND) – 5.0 IP, 0 ER, 4 Hits, 3 BBs, 3 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 23% CSW, 86 pitches.

Oh hey, Keuchel survived again. Cool.

Dakota Hudson vs SF (W) – 5.0 IP, 0 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 2 Ks – 2 Whiffs, 18% CSW, 80 pitches.

What a TobyIt’s a coin flip each day if the BABIP will go his way or not, so plan accordingly. Seriously, leave it to Hudson to toss 80 pitches and earn just one whiff. Unreal.

Jhonathan Diaz @ OAK (ND) – 4.2 IP, 0 ER, 1 Hits, 4 BBs, 4 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 25% CSW, 75 pitches.

Soooo I wonder if the Angels will let Diaz hold onto this rotation spot or allow Chase Silseth to be their sixth man proper. I’m happy for Diaz that he was (h)on point for this start, but you know not to add him. Welp, (h)onto the next starter.

Michael Pineda vs BAL (ND) – 1.1 IP, 0 ER, 0 Hits, 0 BBs, 0 Ks – 2 Whiffs, 25% CSW, 20 pitches.

Pineda left this one with a fractured finger. Poor guy. Looks like Wily Peralta will be the guy in his spot moving forward and that has as much intrigue as a falling down piece of bread. If you get this reference, I applaud you. If not, I applaud you too because you’re you. You rock.

Michael Lorenzen @ OAK (W) – 7.0 IP, 1 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 3 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 23% CSW, 99 pitches.

Lorenzen against a team like the Athletics feels like a no-brainer as Michael tossed effective 94 mph sinkers, elevated with four-seamers, and got outs with changeups and sliders. Now he gets them again and there’s zero reason to not let it ride for another spin.

Paul Blackburn vs LAA (ND) – 6.2 IP, 1 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 3 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 26% CSW, 86 pitches.

The man is a Vargas Rule and will hopefully settle into being a Toby through the year once the wall is hit. He’ll get the Angels a second time and I don’t have faith it’ll be this good.

Charlie Morton vs SD (ND) – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 2 Hits, 1 BBs, 9 Ks – 15 Whiffs, 36% CSW, 83 pitches.

That’s two straight redemption starts from Morton as his four-seamer and curveball were working like the good ole days. It certainly feels like Morton is back, I’ll wait for one more before congratulating those who held one through the opening month.

Zac Gallen vs CHC (ND) – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 2 Hits, 1 BBs, 9 Ks – 14 Whiffs, 35% CSW, 96 pitches.

IT FINALLY HAPPENED. Gallen has a fantastic four-seamer (31% CSW here) and I’ve been waiting for one of his cutter or changeup to wake up. WELL LET ME TELL YA – 7/24 whiffs with a 46% CSW on the changeup and I’m thrilled. ECSTATIC. I don’t want to give out the AGA label yet because it’s just one start of the package fully coming together (50% CSW on curveballs too because life is just so good) + this was against the Cubs n all. Do it a second time vs. Chicago and we’ll talk. Maybe. Ahhhh I’m stoked. Are you a Gallen Gal yet?

Shane Bieber @ MIN (ND) – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 7 Hits, 3 BBs, 7 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 29% CSW, 109 pitches.

Phew(ish). Fastball was up a tick to 91.2 (still not 94 lol) but the breakers did not do their ZOMG things. And then there’s the 1.67 WHIP looking straight at us. Hmmmmmmm. Whatever, keep starting him and hope for the best.

Chris Bassitt vs SEA (ND) – 5.2 IP, 1 ER, 5 Hits, 3 BBs, 8 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 32% CSW, 108 pitches.

It’s getting hard to expect anything different from Bassitt. It’s the week of promotions and Chris is no expectation, congrats buddy. Aces. Gonna. Ace.

Kyle Hendricks @ ARI (ND) – 5.2 IP, 1 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 2 Ks – 5 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 94 pitches.

I’m glad we got the solid Hendricks today, though his curveball and changeup earned just 3/40 whiffs here. He gets the Sneks again next start and while you’re likely starting him, I’ll be nervous about it all week.

Devin Smeltzer vs CLE (ND) – 5.0 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 2 BBs, 2 Ks – 6 Whiffs, 29% CSW, 77 pitches.

It’s cool to see Smeltzer again, though he’s hoping to be a Toby and nothing more. I’m not sure we’ll see him get another turn in the rotation with Dylan Bundy likely coming back against the Royals later this week, and if Smeltzer does get another shot, he’s not the worst streamer in deep leagues against Kansas City. I wouldn’t touch it in 12-teamers though.

Hyun Jin Ryu @ TB (ND) – 4.2 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 3 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 25% CSW, 71 pitches.

Ryu returned from the IL in this Still ILL outing and did pretty dang well. Changeups were effective, curveballs landed for strikes, and his fastball wasn’t crushed. Now he gets the Reds and I’d jump in there, but just remember that he’s essentially a Tobywhich means you want to avoid bad matchups when they come in the future.

George Kirby @ NYM (ND) – 4.0 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 1 BBs, 1 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 22% CSW, 89 pitches.

If you recall the blurb after his debut, I mentioned how the secondaries aren’t what we want them to be. Well, that slider went 1/22 whiffs and while the four-seamer was effective + his changeup went 69% strikes, he’s still missing that extra bit of pizzazz if he’s to truly push the needle this year. Think teammate Logan Gilbert but a touch worse. It’s fine for your fantasy teams – he has a decent floor with a legit ceiling as he continues to develop – just temper your expectations and prevent yourself from living in the Kirby Dreamland.

Ryan Yarbrough vs TOR (ND) – 3.2 IP, 1 ER, 2 Hits, 3 BBs, 2 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 21% CSW, 80 pitches.

Another day for “The Fratty Pirate”, another start where we lower our heads in defeat. I mean, it was the Jays after all and now he’ll face more birds in Baltimore, which should make for an interesting stream – he was at 80 pitches here after all.

Rich Hill @ TEX (W) – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 7 Hits, 0 BBs, 4 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 29% CSW, 94 pitches.

After he went six frames last time out, Hill went even further, all the way to a full six across 94 pitches. Outstanding. The Rangers really are struggling the much, huh. He’ll get the Mariners next and I’m not sold he’ll be able to keep it going there, but hey, you can do worse.

Bruce Zimmermann @ DET (L) – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 7 Hits, 1 BBs, 2 Ks – 3 Whiffs, 24% CSW, 80 pitches.

Now class, I want you to observe this start from Bruce Zimmermann. What do you see? A-A…A TobyYes Jessica! Excellent job. 

Jakob Junis @ STL (L) – 5.2 IP, 2 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 3 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 30% CSW, 91 pitches.

Is this a streaming victory? It’s a 1.23 WHIP with a near 3.00 ERA. I think so…? Anyway, Junis’ slider wasn’t as elite as it was in the previous three outings, while the changeup’s once sparkling self has dulled.

Jordan Montgomery @ CWS (ND) – 4.1 IP, 2 ER, 6 Hits, 3 BBs, 4 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 26% CSW, 86 pitches.

After four straight starts of earning all the called strikes on his sinker, it wasn’t gravy in this one, returning just a 20% CSW on the pitch as his changeup + curve weren’t enough to rein it back. To be fair, it was the lefty-mashing White Sox. Meh, whatever he gets the Orioles twice now and that should be a lovely pair of starts for The Bear.

Sean Manaea @ ATL (ND) – 7.0 IP, 3 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 12 Ks – 23 Whiffs, 32% CSW, 104 pitches.

You don’t need me to tell you not to worry about the ratios after he fanned 12 and earned a Gallows Poleright? 14/50 whiffs on his 92 mph sinker is simply lovely. He may need more love from me on The List…

Ranger Suárez @ LAD (W) – 7.0 IP, 3 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 24% CSW, 102 pitches.

Whoaaa, I’m thrilled about this. Ranger had a strong start last week but I wanted to stay away from a date with the Dodgers. What we got was a meh ERA, a lovely WHIP, a Win, six strikeouts, and most importantly, confidence in our man moving forward…nah just kidding. Wait, what. His changeup went 1/14 CSW and his slider returned 33% strikes. He’s not the man we want him to be yet and now he has to face the Dodgers again?! No thanks.

Germán Márquez vs KC (W) – 6.0 IP, 3 ER, 3 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks – 15 Whiffs, 28% CSW, 90 pitches.

I’m glad he got a PQS but y’all know where I stand here. Márquez ain’t the guy for me and good luck rostering him if you must.

Luis Castillo @ PIT (L) – 5.0 IP, 3 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 2 Ks – 6 Whiffs, 24% CSW, 90 pitches.

Bleeeeegh. Castillo was a touch harder in velocity, but he’s still down two ticks while his changeup returned 3/28 whiffs. He’s not back yet and now you don’t want to roll the dice against the Jays. Look, we know Castillo will return at some point and with each start, those chances get higher. It’s unfortunate that he faces Toronto and if you want to bench him for it, I get it. At the same time, I can see him getting it back in this one. I’m coin-flipping it at the bottom of the Questionable Start tier and it’s up to you what you want to do with that.

Erick Fedde vs HOU (ND) – 4.0 IP, 3 ER, 5 Hits, 3 BBs, 6 Ks – 12 Whiffs, 30% CSW, 82 pitches.

Remember Kids, Don’t Trust The Feddes.

Eric Lauer @ MIA (L) – 5.0 IP, 4 ER, 6 Hits, 0 BBs, 7 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 26% CSW, 87 pitches.

So you’re not thrilled with that ERA, but the fastball is now even harder at 94.5 mph and he still gave you seven strikes and a decent WHIP when he didn’t have his best stuff. There’s something in that. If there’s a manager who thinks the wheels are coming off, I’d swoop in.

Julio Urías vs PHI (L) – 6.0 IP, 5 ER, 8 Hits, 0 BBs, 3 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 75 pitches.

Ouch. Urías’ fastball is slowly climbing up at least (93 mph!) but the breaking ball was not what it needed to be. He’ll get another shot at the Phillies later this week and I’d start him there. I think the breaker will be better and things should go his way.

Cristian Javier @ WSH (L) – 3.2 IP, 7 ER, 8 Hits, 3 BBs, 5 Ks – 13 Whiffs, 26% CSW, 84 pitches.

Oh no. The Nationals have messed up some good pitchers this week (get healthy Tylord. PLEASE.) and Javier is the latest as he featured too many pitchers in the heart of the plate. I wouldn’t panic too much – the Rangers should be a great palette cleanser – but I feel for all of you who have been anticipating Javier’s time in the rotation. What a cruel game this is.

Adam Oller vs LAA (L) – 5.0 IP, 8 ER, 6 Hits, 3 BBs, 3 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 19% CSW, 95 pitches.

Yoooo Nick, can I Oller at Adam? That is a terrible idea on so many levels. SO MANY LEVELS.

Glenn Otto vs BOS (L) – 4.0 IP, 8 ER, 8 Hits, 4 BBs, 4 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 94 pitches.

Yikes. The Sawx have fully woken up and Otto now has to deal with the Astros and Angels next. There will be a time to be interested in Otto, I promise.

Carlos Hernández @ COL (L) – 4.0 IP, 9 ER, 8 Hits, 3 BBs, 3 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 26% CSW, 85 pitches.

Carlos has been struggling + it was Coors. This was as easy to avoid as that one AirBnB with just a plain mattress on the floor and etchings on the wall. But it’s just $10 a night! How dare you.

 

Game of the Day 

Patrick Sandoval vs. Frankie Montas – I want to see Sandoval and Montas each earn a ton of whiffs with their slow ball. That would be so lovely.

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

Have Questions? – Join my morning Twitch livestream! I answer all questions there for free: 9:00 am – 11:00 am ET Monday through Friday.

Featured image 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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