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 10 am-12 am ET.
Johan Oviedo (PIT) @ STL (L) – 7.0 IP, 1 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 10 Ks – 13 Whiffs, 38% CSW, 93 pitches.
I’ve had a soft spot for Johan Oviedo dating back to the 2021 season, but there have been two significant hurdles holding him back from success: fastball consistency and playing time. The latter has been fixed by the Pirates’ injuries, but the former has been in question even during Oviedo’s successful nights on the bump. And here we are with Oviedo returning a King Cole via 7.0 IP, 1 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 10 Ks – 13 Whiffs, 38% CSW, 93 pitches against a tough Cardinals crew. Has he fixed his heater?
Nope. The heater is still a weakness for Oviedo, here returning a paltry 42% strike rate across 24 four-seamers, but that’s the magic number. 24 heaters. He pulled its usage to just 26%, instead focusing on 70% breaking balls and a handful of changeups. Those breakers were filthy, each returning a CSW above 40% and tons of strikes and this could work. It’s the Cleveland way, just 134 miles southeast.
I’m not completely sold, though. We haven’t seen this curveball have a whole lot of success in the past and its excellence may be a product of small sample. Meanwhile, the fastball is still an issue and if there’s any degradation in his slider or curveball, he’ll get exposed quickly. Meanwhile, Coors + LAD are next on the docket and that seems awfully risky.
Oviedo isn’t a bad gamble to take – if he does well in Coors or against the Dodgers, y’all know he’s going to be snatched up everywhere. That said, he still earned a Loss in this game and he won’t go 10 strikeouts frequently. There may not be enough reward to take it on. Your call.
Let’s see how every other SP did Friday:
Mike Clevinger (CWS) vs BAL (ND) – 6.0 IP, 0 ER, 1 Hits, 5 BBs, 5 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 29% CSW, 92 pitches.
I’m not seeing the thing to get me hooked on Clevinger as those five walks are as glaring as anything. Now he gets the Rays + Jays + Twins and I think you’re better off just ignoring this. It’s just four-seamers & sliders where neither one is an elite offering – yes, even the slider that returned just 2/21 whiffs here.
Jake Woodford (STL) vs PIT (ND) – 5.1 IP, 0 ER, 7 Hits, 1 BBs, 3 Ks – 5 Whiffs, 33% CSW, 81 pitches.
Wait, 0 ER? No no no, you’re supposed to ease the path for us to get Matthew Liberatore up to the majors by May 1st. Amish Mustang, be
better worse different.
Patrick Sandoval (LAA) @ BOS (ND) – 3.2 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 3 BBs, 6 Ks – 12 Whiffs, 33% CSW, 90 pitches.
Talk about inefficient pitching, requiring 90 pitches for just eleven outs. Yeeeesh. I’m not sure why he didn’t turn to the changeup more often (just 13% usage) as the Red Sox kept laying off the slider. I’m hoping for that magic stretch to come in the near future where Sandoval clicks with his slow ball and slider and I think it’s worthwhile to hold for it. The talent is still there.
Taijuan Walker (PHI) @ CIN (W) – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 28% CSW, 98 pitches.
Awesome work Taijuan. The fastball was 93/94, the splitter returned a ton of outs, and the slider gave him a 31% CSW along the way. I still consider him a Toby at best given nothing exceptional inside the repertoire and it’s up to you if he’s worth it for the White Sox.
Eric Lauer (MIL) @ SD (ND) – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 30% CSW, 94 pitches.
Despite all odds with his 90.8 mph heater, Lauer is still making it work. No, I don’t get it and I don’t think we’re even at a point to Vargas Rule this. I’m still in avoid territory against the Mariners up next. It just doesn’t seem legit and if you disagree, then you do you. Feels like a proper Double Bubble waiting to happen.
Trevor Rogers (MIA) vs ARI (W) – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 7 Ks – 12 Whiffs, 30% CSW, 96 pitches.
Hot dang, look at you! Rogers’ command was everything we want to be, following the BSB perfectly with four-seamers up and changeups down (and sinkers, too, which helped steal strikes). Despite my desire to see his slider excel (0/11 CSW), if Rogers can locate like this moving forward, I’m incredibly excited. It’s just one start, though, and location isn’t sticky after one start. We’re encouraged, but those saying “THIS IS IT!” should require more starts before buying in fully. He gets the Giants next and that seems like a proper mix of risk/reward to see if Rogers can keep it going.
Joey Wentz (DET) vs SF (ND) – 5.2 IP, 1 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 7 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 33% CSW, 94 pitches.
Yessssssss. Those high heaters with increased velocity are coming through for Wentz, with cutters landing in the zone and the curve + change doing their best to help. It’s not the worst schedule ahead for Wentz (CLE, @MIL, BAL), which could make him a decent AL-Only play for teams looking for anything.
José Berríos (TOR) vs TB (W) – 5.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 0 BBs, 6 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 31% CSW, 77 pitches.
AND THAT’S WHY THEY CALL HIM THE GREAT UNDULATER. Nah, he’s likely gonna be too rough to roster after his next start against the Astros. He has to get it right one of these starts though, you know? Oddly enough, this was the game Berríos didn’t have his best curveball with just a 47% strike rate on the signature hook. Weird.
Trevor Williams (WSH) vs CLE (ND) – 5.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 2 Ks – 2 Whiffs, 20% CSW, 95 pitches.
That’s just six runs in three games for Williams and you may be thinking it’s one of those stretches for Williams. You can Vargas Rule if you must, but I insist you don’t. Two whiffs?! Seriously?! He can’t keep getting away with it.
Tommy Milone (SEA) vs COL (ND) – 4.2 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 2 BBs, 3 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 82 pitches.
Here’s a name I didn’t expect to see today. And massive props to him for suddenly getting the call (Marco Gonzales was put on paternity leave) and giving the Mariners nearly five full innings. Milone the human is wonderful, Milone the 12-teamer play sadly isn’t. Love that changeup location, though.
Justin Steele (CHC) @ LAD (ND) – 7.0 IP, 2 ER, 3 Hits, 1 BBs, 8 Ks – 17 Whiffs, 32% CSW, 101 pitches.
It was one of those nights for Steele as he was able to lean on his four-seamer for 71% of his pitches, returning 11 whiffs along the way. Not typical at all for Steele, though he gained four inches of vertical rise on the pitch while his slider was effective at a 44% CSW. Props to him, it led to his Gallows Pole and he’s now allowed just 3 ER total across 19 IP so far. Does this mean Steele is the Real Deal? Maybe? Ehhh, I still think he’s incredibly susceptible to the blow-up (but who isn’t these days?) as this kind of heater performance isn’t the norm and there isn’t a third pitch to reasonably rely on. Still, he gets Oakland and Miami in two of his next three starts and that alone makes him a hold at the moment. Let’s hope this pans out.
Nestor Cortes (NYY) vs MIN (ND) – 7.0 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 0 BBs, 7 Ks – 12 Whiffs, 28% CSW, 93 pitches.
There’s the Nestor we’ve been waiting for. I expected more from the four-seamer (just 2/23 whiffs), but the cutter was filthy, and the sweeper was just happy to contribute. Things are good.
Charlie Morton (ATL) @ KC (W) – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 28% CSW, 89 pitches.
This is a clear line of Morton not being fully up to speed, but it’s the Royals. The Royals solve everything. The curve looked like the pitch we wanted it to be, while the fastball was middling and his sinker/change/cutter got enough strikes to push through. I’m a little concerned about the Padres up next, but I’ll likely slot Morton at the end of the Probably Start tier.
Martín Pérez (TEX) @ HOU (W) – 5.0 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 4 BBs, 4 Ks – 3 Whiffs, 24% CSW, 90 pitches.
That’s a Dusty Donut and you’ll take it if you had the brass to start Pérez against the Astros. A win is a win is a win. His cutter was way off in this one and those walks should disappear against the Royals next week.
Tanner Houck (BOS) vs LAA (ND) – 4.0 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 4 BBs, 6 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 29% CSW, 90 pitches.
That may be it for Houck in the rotation with Brayan Bello returning on Monday. Sadly, we never got the peak we dreamed of entering the 2022 season and without a great pitch to back up his slider, we’re unlikely to ever get there. The air is just too dang thin.
Sean Manaea (SF) @ DET (ND) – 3.1 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 26% CSW, 82 pitches.
The changeup wasn’t there, and the sinker was wasted a bit too much, preventing Manaea from getting out of the fourth inning. I’m still encouraged by his velocity and intent to elevate, though clearly are a few kinks left to work out. I’m a believer and y’all need to hold for his start against the Marlins next.
Cal Quantrill (CLE) @ WSH (ND) – 6.0 IP, 3 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 3 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 21% CSW, 104 pitches.
So-So Cal gave us the PQS but without any other benefits. A horrid WHIP, just three strikeouts, and he fell short of a Win. Against the Nationals. But it’s the Tigers and Rockie Road next! Uggggh FINE.
Noah Syndergaard (LAD) vs CHC (ND) – 6.0 IP, 3 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 9 Ks – 16 Whiffs, 35% CSW, 92 pitches.
A PQS for Thor is what you were chasing, the nine strikeouts were not. The changeup has been Syndergaard’s best pitch and it carried him here with 10/33 whiffs (eight of which returned a strikeout), while the sinker was an effective called strike offering. That’s really it and its lack of depth makes Syndergaard a proper Toby with rare strikeout moments like these. I don’t feel the need to hold tight here with the Mets next, but if you’re in for that one, you’ll be rewarded with the Pirates after.
Louie Varland (MIN) @ NYY (ND) – 6.0 IP, 3 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 8 Ks – 12 Whiffs, 31% CSW, 83 pitches.
It was Varland instead of Bailey Ober taking the skipped Kenta Maeda start simply because of how the Triple-A rotation was set up and Varland did far better than we anticipated. His cutter and four-seamer came in two ticks up from last year (96 mph on heaters for a 46% CSW!) and he was able to spot sliders and cutters down (changeup was a bit…meh). I wonder if that velocity was the last piece for Varland and I’m curious what he’ll look like in future outings. Despite the eight strikeouts, I wouldn’t say this was a game of dominance, though.
Tyler Wells (BAL) @ CWS (ND) – 5.1 IP, 3 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 3 Ks – 12 Whiffs, 29% CSW, 85 pitches.
Ehhhh that’s a decent WHIP, but you didn’t get anything else out of this one as he didn’t have his best curve or changeup with too many wasted four-seamers. Womp womp. At least he gets the Tigers next and that’s a decent stream in my book. Don’t treat him as anything more.
Kodai Senga (NYM) @ OAK (ND) – 4.2 IP, 4 ER, 7 Hits, 4 BBs, 7 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 30% CSW, 96 pitches.
Ahhhhh so this is what Senga looks like when he doesn’t have his splitter. The signature offering went just 6/17 strikes, forcing him to be four-seamer/cutter/slider and, well, it doesn’t work quite as well. Does that mean he’s a Cherry Bomb? That depends on how often we believe his splitter to be there. And given it’s a splitter – excuse me, Ghost Fork – I have to lean premium Cherry Bomb until he shows he can survive without it.
Luis Garcia (HOU) vs TEX (L) – 5.0 IP, 5 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 7 Ks – 12 Whiffs, 29% CSW, 91 pitches.
The cutter is still good and I’m glad he’s introducing more sliders, but the fastball is still highly questionable. Why can’t he do the whole 25% fastball thing? The slider, cutter, curve can do the rest. I’m worried about the Jays + Rays up next.
Madison Bumgarner (ARI) @ MIA (L) – 5.0 IP, 5 ER, 9 Hits, 1 BBs, 1 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 24% CSW, 82 pitches.
A HAISTBMBWT?! A 2.00 WHIP? A 9.00 ERA? Against the Marlins?! Why are the Diamondbacks okay with this when Brandon Pfaadt exists?
Drew Rasmussen (TB) @ TOR (L) – 4.1 IP, 5 ER, 8 Hits, 4 BBs, 4 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 22% CSW, 93 pitches.
Noooooooo. The Rays lost a game and Rasmussen brought their demise with a near 3.00 WHIP despite maintaining the same great cutter command that we saw previously. Sure, he had some waste pitches and the four-seamer wasn’t elevated like before, but this may have been more of a product of the Jays being great than Rasmussen “just not actually being that good”. I’m still a believer, y’all. Weird to see just seven sliders, though.
Austin Gomber (COL) @ SEA (ND) – 3.2 IP, 5 ER, 6 Hits, 4 BBs, 2 Ks – 6 Whiffs, 22% CSW, 86 pitches.
Connor Overton (CIN) vs PHI (L) – 3.0 IP, 5 ER, 5 Hits, 3 BBs, 0 Ks – 3 Whiffs, 18% CSW, 55 pitches.
The Reds really shouldn’t be throwing The 2,001 Pounder out there every five days. What about me? …Nick? I’m sorry, I figured just staring at you blankly for a good 30 seconds would do the trick.
James Kaprielian (OAK) vs NYM (ND) – 3.2 IP, 6 ER, 4 Hits, 7 BBs, 4 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 31% CSW, 95 pitches.
The velocity is still down and the walks are oh-so-present. Cool, we’re seeing the worst version of Jimmy Hat so far. Maybe it’s another way to finagle Mason Miller into this rotation. JUST CALL HIM UP ALREADY.
Michael Wacha (SD) vs MIL (ND) – 4.1 IP, 7 ER, 11 Hits, 1 BBs, 3 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 26% CSW, 93 pitches.
Ah. So the ten-strikeout game really was smoke and mirrors after all. Funny story: he allowed the same number of hard-hit balls (9) as his opponent Lauer, who went 6 IP of 1 ER ball. That’s baseball Suzyn.
Brady Singer (KC) vs ATL (L) – 5.0 IP, 8 ER, 10 Hits, 0 BBs, 8 Ks – 14 Whiffs, 36% CSW, 85 pitches.
Oh dear. This time around, he got the slider whiffs but the sinker couldn’t sneak in for called strikes. He’s still a Cherry Bomb ya’ll and we just need to accept him for who he is. Just start the man – he’ll be more helpful than harmful in the overall scope of the season.
Game of the Day
Freddy Peralta vs. Seth Lugo – Peralta is always a joy to watch while I’m also anxious to watch more of Lugo – can he put it all together and cruise through six innings?
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: 10:00 am – 12:00 am ET Monday through Friday.
Photo courtesy of Icon Sportswire | Adapted by Aaron Polcare (@bearydoesgfx on Twitter)
Trevor Rogers is a super interesting player this year – bread and butter is fastball/change-up. That recipe rarely holds up over multiple seasons. However if he can introduce a league average third pitch it can be amazing.
My theory is he changed his arm slot last season to put in a slider and the value created from the slider was less than the losses inflicted on the fastball and change-up.
He went back to his original arm slot last fall and is back at it this season. If he can find another way to create a third pitch that is league average, he will be money.