Reiding Railroad

Nick Pollack reviews every starting pitcher performance from Friday.

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.  

Reid Detmers vs BAL (L) – 5.0 IP, 2 ER, 3 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks – 6 Whiffs, 24% CSW, 70 pitches.

I’ve been pretty vocal about my love for Reid Detmers this season and at first glance, his 5.0 IP, 2 ER, 3 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks – 6 Whiffs, 24% CSW, 70 pitches performance against the Orioles is solid and helps your teams (and worth a streaming victory!), but it’s not the performance from Detmers I’m looking for right now.

You see, the potential of Detmers is pretty straightforward: He has a 91-93 mph heater he commands decently well and can elevate for whiffs, a curveball he confidently tosses in the zone for strikes, and a slider that earns whiffs under the zone. At least, that’s how it should work. The biggest struggle this year has been getting swings outside the zone and with the command of his breakers I saw last night, he’s not close to getting there. He hung both sliders and hooks often in this one, rarely executed the slide piece out of the zone, and it screamed “unfinished” to me.

I wanted this to be the day where we begin to truly recognize the potential of Detmers. A point where we could get on the railroad tracks and trust it to lead us through the year. Instead, I’m feeling like we’re going to have to wait a bit longer for that day to arrive and in retrospect, an April rise to fame for the 22-year-old seemed awfully naïve. All that said, Detmers should be fine against the Guardians next week and it’s not a “jump off the boat” situation — just one where I’m going to dampen my expectations until we truly see him showcase his potential.

 

Let’s see how every other SP did Friday:

 

Kyle Wright vs MIA (W) – 6.0 IP, 0 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 11 Ks – 20 Whiffs, 39% CSW, 95 pitches.

Okay okay okay, Wright is kinda dope. The curveball is performing insanely well – 39% CSW and 70% strikes — while the four-seamer and sinker duo was commanded stupid well this game. Seriously look at this plot of sinkers and four-seamers. He elevated four-seamers with precision and stayed on the edges with the sinker, even jamming batters inside constantly. I never expected to see this from Kyle this year and for Snitker to give him the confidence in a bases-loaded jam with two outs in the sixth in a one-run game is just the cherry on top. He got out of it, sealing this legit breakout outing. What. A. Stud. Enjoy the Golden Goal and let’s keep it going for a long time.

Michael Kopech @ MIN (ND) – 5.0 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 1 BBs, 7 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 30% CSW, 83 pitches.

Ahhhh so this is what it looks like when Kopech has four-seamer command. He abandoned the slider and curveball here (just 22% usage between them) in favor of overwhelming Twins batters endlessly with high heaters at 95/96 mph and it obviously worked. It’s like he gave Bailey Ober a nod to say “This is how it’s done.” I’m not kidding, you can easily count how many heaters sat lower third or below. I dig it Kopech, now go and prosper against the Royals.

Sam Long @ WSH (ND) – 2.0 IP, 0 ER, 2 Hits, 0 BBs, 1 Ks – 5 Whiffs, 39% CSW, 31 pitches.

This wasn’t Tyler Beede as we had hoped as Long essentially opened for Jakob Juniswho did something remarkable here — 5.0 IP with 0 ER and 12% fastballs. That’s right, Junis went 51% slider and 34% changeup with a pair of curveballs to boot. The result was 9/52 whiffs on the slider & change and a wonderful time on the bump. Huh. You love to see a pitcher lean on his best stuff instead of sticking to the ole book about heaters but can this really stick? Eck would call it “salad” given how those two pitches sat under 83 mph (sup Ryan Yarbrough) and you have to think the next team he faces will be prepared for this. I don’t believe it warrants a pickup.

Trevor Rogers @ ATL (L) – 5.0 IP, 0 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks – 17 Whiffs, 31% CSW, 95 pitches.

It’s not as shiny as I’d want it to be, but for all the “what do I do with Rogers?” questions I’ve seen this week, this should do a whole lot to quell your fears. This was against a strong Atlanta offense & he has his changeup back like the good ole days — 8/31 whiffs and 66% strikes. Still work left to be done with the slider, but things are totally fine. Next stop, six frames. PLEASE.

Chris Flexen vs KC (W) – 7.0 IP, 1 ER, 6 Hits, 0 BBs, 5 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 29% CSW, 84 pitches.

Oh hey! It’s 2021 Flexen showing up for a day. I’m glad this worked out and I imagine Flexen could be a Toby through the year once again. Up to you, I know you see those seven frames and think “Nick, that’s not replaceable on the wire!” and I’m here to lean into your ear and softly whisper, “Yes it is…” Have the faith, this was an exception of a start, not the rule.

David Peterson @ ARI (ND) – 5.2 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 1 BBs, 3 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 29% CSW, 65 pitches.

Peterson was the backup streamer and did more of the same against the Sneks at ~94 mph. His slider returned 39% CSW and I’m amazed he nearly completed six frames at just 65 pitches. It looks like Taijuan Walker is returning later in the week and Peterson’s time is up, but even if he got that start against the Phils I wouldn’t have started him.

Julio Urías @ SD (W) – 5.0 IP, 1 ER, 2 Hits, 3 BBs, 6 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 36% CSW, 75 pitches.

So the velocity is still down, but it came up half a tick here to 92.7 mph. Still not flirting with 95 mph, but better. Meanwhile, the curveball was outstanding and that’s a cool thing. All you can do is just keep starting Urías at this point.

Jameson Taillon vs CLE (W) – 5.0 IP, 1 ER, 7 Hits, 0 BBs, 5 Ks – 6 Whiffs, 26% CSW, 84 pitches.

Whoa, Taillon’s most used pitch in this one was not his four-seamer, nay, it was his hook at 26% usage. A bit of a shock to me given the curve’s 55% strike rate in this one. It’s weird seeing Taillon in a “Kitchen Sink” mentality — technically six different pitches were thrown here as he featured a cutter at 91 mph — and sadly none of them are exceptional in my book save for the heater, which saw a slight uptick in velocity to 94/95 from 93/94. He’s still getting solid matchups (Orioles again next) and I’d keep starting him, but I’m not holding him for the long term given the lack of nastiness in his arsenal.

Steven Matz @ CIN (W) – 5.0 IP, 1 ER, 7 Hits, 2 BBs, 6 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 28% CSW, 80 pitches.

He got Singled Out against the Reds but ultimately did the things we wanted him to. That defense is sure to limit the hits a bit more in the future…right? Yeah, totally. Gotta believe that.

Freddy Peralta @ PHI (ND) – 5.0 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 2 BBs, 6 Ks – 13 Whiffs, 28% CSW, 89 pitches.

See y’all, everything’s fine. Well, not everything; his slider is still struggling to replicate its 2021 success. But he did a great job getting his heater over the plate and success followed. He’s fine. Now Aaron Ashby on the other hand…that’s not going incredibly well as the Brewers pushed him in the eighth and allowed three runs because of it. He’s not worth the stash right now in 12-teamers, especially without a defined role in the rotation.

Glenn Otto @ OAK (W) – 5.0 IP, 1 ER, 2 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks – 15 Whiffs, 35% CSW, 75 pitches.

What a lovely outing from Otto, who featured his excellent slider for 8/21 whiffs here. Sadly, he gets the Astros next and I wouldn’t trust the same success to follow. Keep an eye on him, though — there’s some streamability here.

Zac Gallen vs NYM (ND) – 5.0 IP, 1 ER, 2 Hits, 1 BBs, 7 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 32% CSW, 79 pitches.

He’s still four-seamer first (its command was phenomenal in this one), but the curve came alive a bit via 7/10 strikes. He had some solid changeups as well and everything is cool in Gallen land. I imagine we’ll start seeing him go past 80 pitches next time out and those quality starts will start coming our way. It’s all coming together…

Bailey Ober vs CWS (ND) – 5.0 IP, 1 ER, 5 Hits, 0 BBs, 6 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 24% CSW, 79 pitches.

Even though Kopech executed more of the Bailey Oberizzi method, Ober still succeeded (obviously) with sliders and changeups and that’s cool with me. Keep starting him — he gets the Rays next and they aren’t as scary as they used to be.

Ranger Suárez vs MIL (ND) – 4.2 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 3 BBs, 4 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 28% CSW, 89 pitches.

Ehhhhh, I’m still waiting for Suárez to hint at his 2021 self. The slider is getting more action but its 15% CSW isn’t very encouraging (9/13 strikes is solid, though). Keep sticking with it, but we may just have a Toby on our hands here.

José Quintana @ CHC (ND) – 4.2 IP, 2 ER, 3 Hits, 3 BBs, 3 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 24% CSW, 87 pitches.

He’s still trying his best to execute the BSB and one of these days I’m sure it’ll actually pay off. I can’t wait for that birthday celebration. Well, I can, but I’ll be super happy for you when it arrives.

Eli Morgan @ NYY (L) – 3.0 IP, 2 ER, 1 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 29% CSW, 51 pitches.

Hey, it’s Eli! His performance oddly wasn’t an extreme in this one as his changeup/slider were far from their best selves, but the 91.2 mph heater managed to sneak in six whiffs. When the fastball doesn’t get hit hard, good things can happen. He only got this start because of the doubleheader earlier in the week and with Cal Quantrill now off the COVID-IL, it’s time to give Morgan the ole pat on the back. It’s time.

Bruce Zimmermann @ LAA (W) – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks – 12 Whiffs, 28% CSW, 76 pitches.

All of that Detmers talk overshadowed an impressive performance from Bruce where he fanned the first three batters of the game. His changeup was impressive last time out and did more of the same here, even flashing a fantastic slider at times as well. The problem here is his four-seamer — only 14% CSW and a hittable pitch in general — but he only tossed it 28% of the time in favor of secondaries. I’m likely late to say “hey, AL-Only, this ain’t so bad” and he could replicate his success another time against the Yankees, but for 12-teamers, I’m not a massive believer yet. Seems like a guy hoping to be a Tobyyou know?

Nick Martinez vs LAD (L) – 4.2 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 5 BBs, 4 Ks – 13 Whiffs, 29% CSW, 102 pitches.

Martinez was surviving through four, then allowed a pair of longballs in the fifth and that was it. The five walks are frustrating, but I still believe in Martinez. I think his changeup and cutter are wonderful, his overall command is great, and his fastball…well that’s the biggest problem. He is supposed to be at 93/94 mph, but I saw a whole lot of 91 mph here as he sat 92.4 mph on the night. I wonder if he can get that back up comfortably past 93 mph, turning his four-seamer into a more consistent whiff pitch. Anyway, he heads now into Cincinnati and that’s okay, but I’m not thrilled about it. Feel free to swap him out for something else right now — I’m sure your leaguemates won’t be chomping at the bit.

Michael Wacha @ TB (W) – 5.0 IP, 2 ER, 3 Hits, 2 BBs, 3 Ks – 4 Whiffs, 20% CSW, 82 pitches.

This is better than I expected, but just three strikeouts and overall mediocrity across the repertoire have me feeling like I’m over-testing the plastic chair I’m about to step on to change a lightbulb. The foundation just doesn’t feel right. Then you remember you’re 6’4″ and don’t need no stinkin’ plastic chair. It was a simile, okay? Jeez.

Justin Verlander vs TOR (ND) – 6.0 IP, 3 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks – 5 Whiffs, 22% CSW, 85 pitches.

That’s a PQS as I can’t ascend Verlander quite yet. Just 1/42 whiffs on four-seamers and 3/30 on sliders weren’t what we’re looking for. But hey, we’ll take this from a date against the Jays — a 0.83 WHIP and five strikeouts is pretty cool with me.

Brad Keller @ SEA (L) – 4.2 IP, 3 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 18% CSW, 91 pitches.

Blegh. Welp, it was a fun two starts from Keller as his slider was horrendous in this one. Seriously, after the pitch steered him in the first two outings, it returned 1/19 CSW here. YIKES. It’s always a gamble with Keller, but I’d avoid the White Sox next.

Ross Stripling @ HOU (ND) – 4.0 IP, 3 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 2 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 33% CSW, 61 pitches.

With Hyun Jin Ryu on the IL, Stripling is getting stretched out proper and will get a few more chances to start. Bad news is…it’s the Sawx and Yankees next. Womp womp.

Hunter Greene vs STL (L) – 3.1 IP, 3 ER, 4 Hits, 4 BBs, 3 Ks – 6 Whiffs, 21% CSW, 66 pitches.

After setting the record for most 100 mph pitches thrown in a game, Greene sat 95.8 mph yesterday, a full three ticks down from his 98.8 mph average heater prior. Yikes. He said afterward an injury wasn’t at play and he just had an off day. I’m sure he’s right, it feels awfully…questionable at the moment. But Nick! It’s still 96 mph! His heater was hittable at 100 & he still doesn’t have command. It’s a concerning thing. I don’t think we drop him yet, but if it’s still down next time, we’re clocking out.

Corey Kluber vs BOS (L) – 5.0 IP, 4 ER, 11 Hits, 1 BBs, 3 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 89 pitches.

The cutter and curve weren’t as good as we’ve seen and the fastball is still sub 89 mph. This ain’t it.

Drew Smyly vs PIT (L) – 5.0 IP, 4 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 83 pitches.

It’s the same ole Smyly but a tick lower on the heater. So not good? Not good.

Adam Oller vs TEX (L) – 5.0 IP, 5 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 2 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 19% CSW, 88 pitches.

You don’t want Adam. You want the Oller guy. Wait, that means you’re saying you WANT Oller. No, I want the Oller guy. YOU DID IT AGAIN.

Patrick Corbin vs SF (L) – 1.2 IP, 7 ER, 7 Hits, 3 BBs, 4 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 33% CSW, 60 pitches.

YOU WERE THE CHOSEN ONE PATRICK. Oh wait, this is Corbin, not Sandoval. 1/17 whiffs on his slider tells the tale: He’s earned just five whiffs on sliders the entire season. Zimmermann had only one fewer across his 12 thrown yesterday. Ouch.

 

Game of the Day 

Matt Brash vs. Kansas City Royals – Super. Brash. Bros. (Get your shirt here!)

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.

Photo by Brian Rothmuller/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.

3 responses to “Reiding Railroad”

  1. Mallex P. Keaton says:

    I suppose this is where it’s important to note the Angels’ sketchy history of developing their pitching prospects. A history littered with guys who had to figure it out on their own and/or plateaued in their development with so much room for growth left.

  2. Patrick says:

    Darvish?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Account / Login