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Ashby Nimble, Ashby Quick

Nick Pollack reviews every starting pitcher performance from Wednesday.

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

Aaron Ashby (MIL) @ SD (ND) – 5.2 IP, 0 ER, 4 Hits, 3 BBs, 5 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 34% CSW, 91 pitches.

We’ve been waiting for this day since last summer. The day we finally see Aaron Ashby land in the rotation and never leave again. I wasn’t expecting much as I thought he would be out of rhythm + he was facing a Padres squad that feasts on southpaws. Well, that wasn’t the case today — 5.2 IP, 0 ER, 4 Hits, 3 BBs, 5 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 34% CSW, 91 pitches — and there’s a bit to unpack here.

First of all, that’s a King Cole and I’m very proud of Ashby for it. His slider went 46% CSW, his sinker stole strikes, and he even landed 8/12 curveballs in the zone. What a guy. I ignored the changeup here, though, and that’s the biggest issue at the moment — I’ve adored Ashby from the beginning as a guy armed with an elite slider, a changeup he tosses in the zone at any moment, and a 96+ sinker. Without that changeup backing up the slider, I do have a slight worry the sinker will get hit decently hard moving forward.

That said, Ashby is a pickup everywhere right now. The changeup question? It could easily correct itself and even if it doesn’t fully, Ashby clearly can still succeed. He gets the Cubs next and I’m starting him everywhere for it. This may be your last chance, don’t let Ashby get taken by another’s click.

 

Let’s see how every other SP did Wednesday:

 

Erick Fedde (WSH) vs LAD (W) – 6.0 IP, 0 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 30% CSW, 90 pitches.

Remember kids, Don’t Trust The Feddes. He had a total of six whiffs on his sinker tonight, effectively doubling its season total. Can’t say I find that sustainable. Meanwhile the cutter and curve were pretty pedestrian (or Feddestrian) and I’m not buying it. Sorry, Fedde has been kinda good lately and I needed to squash the idea that I didn’t actually know about the guy and just wrote the stupid joke instead. I SEE ALL.

Cristian Javier (HOU) vs CLE (W) – 5.2 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 1 BBs, 9 Ks – 20 Whiffs, 33% CSW, 96 pitches.

I think he needs to toss a few more strikes with breakers, but does it really matter when his four-seamer was commanded this well at the top of the zone and dominated? We’re talking a 21% SwStr rate for his heater tonight and that’s a number all starters dream of. Don’t see why this doesn’t continue against the Athletics.

Paul Blackburn (OAK) @ SEA (W) – 5.1 IP, 0 ER, 1 Hits, 5 BBs, 2 Ks – 5 Whiffs, 21% CSW, 81 pitches.

Five walks and two strikeouts? Why must this man be like the millennium and make me ask Y2K? He’s a Toby who hasn’t let the act fall yet, and if you want to trust that against the Astros, that’s a you thing. I’m not.

JP Sears (NYY) vs BAL (W) – 5.0 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 30% CSW, 84 pitches.

Whoa, this actually worked?! Sears made the first start of his career and produced for the managers who trusted him on the back on his 93/94 mph heater. He was fortunate to get out of a first inning jam on a questionable 3-2 changeup, and settled down nicely from there, relying mostly on that heater to hit its spots and mixing in some decent sliders along the way. I don’t adore this a whole lot for whenever he gets the call in the future, I just don’t dig the Sears catalog of pitches enough.

Lucas Giolito (CWS) vs BOS (W) – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 5 Hits, 4 BBs, 7 Ks – 17 Whiffs, 32% CSW, 101 pitches.

He had a rough first and settled down well to earn the Win here. Lots of slider whiffs, changeups for strikes, and a solid four-seamer against a hot Red Sox offense means you’re going to see that 1.50 WHIP and be happy with everything else. Start him against Toronto, too.

Julio Urías (LAD) @ WSH (L) – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 3 BBs, 3 Ks – 6 Whiffs, 17% CSW, 87 pitches.

As long as you accept Urías to be like Logan Webb more than Corbin Burnesthen you should have no problem with him this year. Yeah, but this feels like he’s going to regress. Oh absolutely, the dude needs to get better — 0/24 whiffs on curveballs is horrific — and I expect him to, just not into Top 10 SP territory. Good news here is he sat 93/94 instead of ~92 mph. Let’s hope that sticks.

Dylan Bundy (MIN) vs DET (ND) – 5.2 IP, 1 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks – 14 Whiffs, 29% CSW, 85 pitches.

Sooooooo Bundy tossed 29% sliders in this one for 44% CSW. IT’S ABOUT DANG TIME BUNDY. Can you up that to 35%+ and do this a second time against the Tigers? Dang that would be cool.

Glenn Otto (TEX) @ LAA (W) – 5.0 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 2 BBs, 7 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 25% CSW, 87 pitches.

Huh. I’m a bit shocked to see seven strikeouts where his slider was tossed just 14% of the time with one whiff. This feels like a Birthday Party more than a launching pad and I wouldn’t lean on it to convince me to start him against the Rays.

Yu Darvish (SD) vs MIL (L) – 6.2 IP, 2 ER, 3 Hits, 2 BBs, 7 Ks – 13 Whiffs, 31% CSW, 108 pitches.

That cutter did legit work in this one across 50% usage while the slider took a major backseat for only 20% CSW. Man, I wish that slider were to come back out and dominate like we know it can. Buuuut he was great without it. Sure, sure. I just want that stupid good start, you know? A man can dream.

Cal Quantrill (CLE) @ HOU (L) – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 6 Hits, 4 BBs, 3 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 18% CSW, 95 pitches.

That’s a Dusty Donut for the most Toby of the Flendersons. You can’t deny he knows how to reach the sixth frame and keep his ERA at a respectable level, but the rest? You don’t want the rest. Nicoderm CQ over here still gives you some of the bad stuff even if you’re trying to move on from the worst.

Jakob Junis (SF) vs NYM (W) – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 3 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 28% CSW, 86 pitches.

Paul Sporer texted me a good point about this start — Joey Bart was behind the dish and we saw 30% changeup usage this time around. I can’t help but wonder if that’s legit correlated…though the changeup wasn’t nearly as good as we saw in that appearance against the Nationals (just 15% CSW and 2/26 whiffs on the slowball). That said, the slider was back to being its wonderful self and it was enough for Junis to roll against the Mets. Now let’s hope it’s still there against the Phils — I’d be careful.

Rich Hill (BOS) @ CWS (L) – 5.0 IP, 2 ER, 2 Hits, 1 BBs, 1 Ks – 3 Whiffs, 32% CSW, 65 pitches.

As a southpaw and being, you know Rich HillI’m happy he was able to go five strong here. But just one strikeout?! HAISTBMBWT?! I don’t think the risk is worth the ducats.

Luis Castillo (CIN) vs CHC (W) – 5.0 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks – 12 Whiffs, 30% CSW, 94 pitches.

Oddly enough, the slider was the hero in this game as the changeup earned just 2/20 whiffs. Castillo is sitting 96/97 mph and the hot weather is creeping in like dawn’s sunlight. Feel it’s warmth and may it give us life in the grueling days of June. I’m excited for Castillo to be his best self soon.

Tyler Wells (BAL) @ NYY (L) – 5.0 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 0 BBs, 2 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 30% CSW, 77 pitches.

Okay, sure thing Wells. Forgo this one as all’s Wells ends.

Ryan Feltner (COL) @ PIT (ND) – 5.0 IP, 2 ER, 3 Hits, 2 BBs, 7 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 26% CSW, 90 pitches.

It’s a lovely thing, pitching outside of Coors. It means even guys like Feltner can make it work. And I gotta hand it to him — he sat two ticks harder in this one and featured a solid slider. Not enough for me to actually lean into this against the Nationals

Rony García (DET) @ MIN (ND) – 4.0 IP, 2 ER, 3 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 78 pitches.

He has a 93+ mph heater that can do well when spotted and a curveball with great movement but not a whole lot command. The changeup is…nothing to write home about and you’re left with a pretty blegh starter who could have moments of bliss when he finds the plate more than usual. I wouldn’t want to go Thrice-A-Rony at any point this year, let alone once.

Robbie Ray (SEA) vs OAK (L) – 6.0 IP, 3 ER, 7 Hits, 1 BBs, 10 Ks – 24 Whiffs, 33% CSW, 95 pitches.

This is getting a little silly as Ray this year is paying for all the good luck he got last year, but he’s still at 94 mph and earning all the whiffs. That’s yet another Gallows Pole for Ray and he’s a stud despite the ratios at the moment. Like Timberlake once said, BUY BUY BUY.

Drew Rasmussen (TB) vs MIA (W) – 5.0 IP, 3 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 7 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 29% CSW, 87 pitches.

Huh. So the slider + cutter whiff parade didn’t quite happen like last time, but now the four-seamer is getting in on the action…but also he’s allowing more hits and his ratios are getting worse. Do I like this or not? I DON’T KNOW. Why can’t we have the whiffs and the good ratios?! I want to believe this is a good thing as the four-seamer was well commanded up in the zone and sliders/cutters were thrown with intent down-and-arm-side. Let’s do it.

Reid Detmers (LAA) vs TEX (ND) – 6.0 IP, 5 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 3 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 73 pitches.

So a third pitch did show itself here in the form of a solid changeup, but the curve didn’t do enough, the slider is still a work in progress, and the fastball wasn’t great. Give the 22-year-old some time as there will be a moment where it all clicks together this year. The good news is he’s already entered “post-hype” territory and people won’t be paying attention when it happens, except for us. I’ll let you know when.

Charlie Morton (ATL) vs PHI (ND) – 4.1 IP, 4 ER, 9 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 26% CSW, 90 pitches.

Blegh. Just when we thought we were turning a corner proper, Morton lands this one into our laps with a DEAL WITH IT grin. Curveball was still there, it was simply the heater failing him immensely. The good news it’s Arizona next and you should be safe there instead of dropping him, the bad news is it’s Coors after. Make your decision next week.

Kyle Hendricks (CHC) @ CIN (L) – 4.0 IP, 4 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 1 Ks – 2 Whiffs, 19% CSW, 68 pitches.

He’s a Cherry Bomb independent of opponent. Don’t you forget it. Can’t say I expected a HAISTBMBWT?! against the Reds, but here we are.

Zach Thompson (PIT) vs COL (ND) – 3.0 IP, 4 ER, 7 Hits, 0 BBs, 3 Ks – 6 Whiffs, 23% CSW, 65 pitches.

No curveball, no pickup. It’s that easy.

Ranger Suárez (PHI) @ ATL (L) – 4.1 IP, 5 ER, 6 Hits, 4 BBs, 4 Ks – 6 Whiffs, 23% CSW, 88 pitches.

Did he have his changeup? Nope, just 2/20 whiffs. Soooo this is pretty dang bad, isn’t it. Sure is, rando. More like blackout Ranger, am I right? Drop him if you haven’t yet.

Cody Poteet (MIA) @ TB (L) – 3.0 IP, 5 ER, 4 Hits, 3 BBs, 1 Ks – 5 Whiffs, 25% CSW, 52 pitches.

I feel trapped in the “We have Jesús Luzardo at home” meme with Poteet, but TWIST! It’s Luzardo from May 2021. Sigh.

Thomas Szapucki (NYM) @ SF (L) – 1.1 IP, 9 ER, 7 Hits, 3 BBs, 2 Ks – 4 Whiffs, 20% CSW, 49 pitches.

This is horrific, but I can’t help but wonder if Szapucki, with his heater that touched 97 mph from the left side actually has some upside to him if he gets more chances. His first at-bat of the game was pretty cool with a big breaker and well-spotted heaters, while he had some nice changeups as well. NICK. HE ALLOWED 9 RUNS. I know, I know. It was terrible. I can’t help but try to find the positivity among the darkness, okay? This doesn’t make Thomas destined for failure like other guys who finally get a chance at starting.

 

Game of the Day 

Aaron Nola vs. Kyle Wright – I want to live every day like it’s Nola day and hey, maybe we see studly Wright today, too.

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.

Photos by Larry Radloff/Icon Sportswire | Adapted by Ethan Kaplan (@DJFreddie10 on Twitter and @EthanMKaplanImages on Instagram)

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.

  • Chuckles Tiddlesworth says:

    Nola Day? Had this guy for the ast two years. I consider it my weekly Nolanoscopy.

  • Raymond W Clark says:

    Hi Nick,

    Would you rather have L Severino or A Ashby?

    Thanks,
    Ray

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