Springs KO Efficient

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.  

Jeffrey Springs (TB) vs NYY (L) – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 0 BBs, 6 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 31% CSW, 80 pitches.

I didn’t quite know what to do with Jeffrey Springs when making The List on Monday as I saw Friday’s start against the Yankees on the docket and thought I wouldn’t want to be starting him there. Well, he certainly proved me wrong (sweet!) via 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 0 BBs, 6 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 31% CSW, 80 pitches, and each of those runs coming off solo shots. This certainly feels good for those who trusted him.

Surprisingly, the changeup wasn’t the money maker here as the four-seamer and slider instead went 21/50 CSW (42%!) combined, though the slow ball did return a fair amount of outs. I’ve seen Springs at times feel like Patrick Sandoval with his high SwStr changeup, a slider for strikes, and a fastball he hopes doesn’t get crushed, and this start makes me wonder if there is some longevity to this.

All that said, there is an elephant in the room — 80 pitches. Springs has tallied 76, 80, 80 across his last three starts, and I can’t help but wonder whether the Rays are going to keep limiting Springs’ pitch counts, meaning for him to perform this well, he needs to be efficient each time he gets the pearl. It ultimately caps his ceiling, and with a flirt of a longball problem, it may mean it’s just a hot Springs instead of a long-term solution (Hot Springs was too obvious of a headline, y’all).

So feel free to pick him up and roll with it against the Rangers and go from there. I have my small concerns, but you should be okay for now.

 

Let’s see how every other SP did Friday:

 

Jameson Taillon (NYY) @ TB (W) – 8.0 IP, 0 ER, 2 Hits, 0 BBs, 5 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 26% CSW, 93 pitches.

Hot dang, look at you! Taillon is as effective of a kitchen sink guy as you’ll find and did a great job playing the East-West game with secondaries, leaving the four-seamer to the top of the zone. I’m a little skeptical about how effective those secondaries are, but he’s executing well enough to make him a solid play on most days. He’s not going to hold a 2.50 ERA and 1.00 WHIP through the year and could be an argument for the best Toby given the sub 20% strikeout rate. Be happy he’s on your side.

Graham Ashcraft (CIN) vs SF (W) – 6.1 IP, 0 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 1 Ks – 5 Whiffs, 24% CSW, 92 pitches.

This is wild to me. Ashcraft pumps 96 & 97 mph sinkers and cutters and has turned a bit into Rasmussen 2.0 with his HAISTBMBWT?! performance. The thing is, there is such a clear path to being more than that: Throw strikes with sliders as they went 10/23 in this one, and it’s all kinds of terrible right now. Why is that so important? Because right now, batters just need to get their timing right for upper 90s and it’s all solved. He needs the off-season to keep them honest, and at the moment it’s so poorly commanded that it doesn’t make a huge difference. But given how effective these heaters have been, it makes me wonder what happens if he does unlock the breaker. I’m intrigued.

José Quintana (PIT) @ SD (ND) – 5.1 IP, 0 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks – 14 Whiffs, 32% CSW, 96 pitches.

The Padres enjoy left-handers and Quintana didn’t care. He elevated four-seamers effectively, sat arm-side with sinkers, and kept curveballs down. And returned just four strikeouts. Whatever, enjoy the times when Quintana is the best version of himself. It’s fantastic seeing someone perform at their peak, you know? There’s no way he produces again versus the Dodgers next…right?

Dakota Hudson (STL) vs MIL (ND) – 4.2 IP, 0 ER, 5 Hits, 4 BBs, 3 Ks – 4 Whiffs, 22% CSW, 97 pitches.

That’s Hudson for you — failing to escape the fifth at 97 pitches, yet 0 ER on the board. You can see how he’s a coin flip.

Chris Flexen (SEA) vs HOU (W) – 7.0 IP, 1 ER, 7 Hits, 2 BBs, 6 Ks – 6 Whiffs, 21% CSW, 99 pitches.

Flexen has endured a gauntlet of opponents and finally came out on top of one. Solid command arm-side through the night, and the Orioles are next. That could work.

Ryan Pepiot (LAD) @ ARI (ND) – 4.1 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 3 BBs, 5 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 31% CSW, 84 pitches.

1/25 changeup whiffs for the 80-grade slowball. I really hope the pitch can come together at some point. Meanwhile, both his heater and slider were decent and it’s the Sneks, so one run on the board. No thanks.

Cole Irvin (OAK) vs TEX (ND) – 6.1 IP, 2 ER, 6 Hits, 0 BBs, 4 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 22% CSW, 93 pitches.

Ayyyy, he truly is a Toby once again. Sadly, like driving down from Dallas, it’s Houston on the horizon and I’d avoid that.

Alek Manoah (TOR) @ LAA (ND) – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 7 Hits, 0 BBs, 9 Ks – 18 Whiffs, 33% CSW, 98 pitches.

Aces gonna ace as Manoah earned a Golden Goal and granted confidence in his strikeout rate, splitting the whiffs nearly evenly between his four-seamer and slider. He’s really good, y’all.

Garrett Whitlock (BOS) vs BAL (ND) – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks – 6 Whiffs, 30% CSW, 84 pitches.

Imagine leaving the game with an 8-2 lead and not getting the Win. Aaron Nola has entered the chat. Okay okay okay, fine. This was a start where Whitlock got a ton of sinker called strikes and if y’all have read these roundups over the years, you’ll know I hate banking on sinker called strikes as the catalyst for success. Just 1/49 whiffs on that pitch and I would say I’m concerned for his next outing, but it’s against Cincinnati. So fine, keep holding and start him.

Chase Silseth (LAA) vs TOR (ND) – 4.1 IP, 2 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 0 Ks – 2 Whiffs, 23% CSW, 60 pitches.

So if I had a multiple-choice with ten options of how Silseth’s line would have ended, I would have guessed this one last. A HAISTBMBWT?! without a single strikeout?! Allowing just 2 ER? Only 60 pitches!? He tossed just 13 splitters without returning a whiff and my hope for his 12-teamer legitimacy is fading fast. The Phillies are next and hooooyyy boy that’s an avoid.

Brandon Woodruff (MIL) @ STL (L) – 4.0 IP, 2 ER, 2 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 33% CSW, 61 pitches.

Woodruff left this one early with an ankle injury. What the h*ck, we’ve been waiting for a rotation spot to open for Ashby since last summer, and now two open in a week?! COME ON. On the real, Woodruff may actually make his next start and we’ll find out more soon. I hope he’s okay.

Bailey Falter (PHI) @ NYM (L) – 3.0 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 3 BBs, 2 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 24% CSW, 82 pitches.

Did you expect anything different? Why? He leans so heavily on a 91 mph heater paired with a slider that went 0/21 whiffs. Sooooo yeah, he only started to give their starters an extra day of rest. Let’s move on.

Sean Manaea (SD) vs PIT (ND) – 7.0 IP, 3 ER, 4 Hits, 3 BBs, 5 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 29% CSW, 98 pitches.

Manaea featured a few too many hittable sinkers here, but for the most part he did good work against the Pirates as he’s sitting 91+ these days. Keep starting the lad.

Carlos Rodón (SF) @ CIN (L) – 5.1 IP, 3 ER, 7 Hits, 3 BBs, 2 Ks – 6 Whiffs, 22% CSW, 99 pitches.

Hmmmm. That’s three straight now for Rodón, with this one a bit more alarming given it’s the Reds n all. He struggled a little to get heaters over the plate, but the Reds were ready for it — 3/33 whiff rate is atrocious for Rodón — and it makes me wonder whether something has slightly changed on the heater as of late. It’s weird to see it perform so poorly. For now, I’m willing to brush it off and keep going, and I don’t want to say “tipping” because that often feels like a snake oil answer we rarely know the answer to. Sometimes it’s true, but to lean heavily into that without any objective evidence does us no good.

Trevor Rogers (MIA) @ ATL (ND) – 5.0 IP, 3 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 3 Ks – 13 Whiffs, 25% CSW, 88 pitches.

Whoa. While this line looks like a typical outing of Rogers’ 2022 struggle, this was far different. He went 52% changeup and was precise with the pitch. No floaters here, save for a rare few that flew too far arm side. I haven’t seen this at all this year from Rogers and it makes me wonder whether he figured something out. Sadly, his heater wasn’t as good as we normally see it + his slider was essentially non-existent. Huh. I wonder how we should act to this. Which is the anomaly that we buy into: the four-seamer being off or the changeup performance? It’s like a Punnett square, making 25% chance of both failing or succeeding next time. At the very least, trying something new instead of the same ole approach that wasn’t working is encouraging. He’s trying. Ugh, why does it have to be Coors next?

Bailey Ober (MIN) vs KC (ND) – 3.0 IP, 3 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks – 6 Whiffs, 28% CSW, 61 pitches.

Womp womp. I’m a little upset seeing him go just 61 pitches after tossing 78 last time out, but he wasn’t his usual self. Expect better against the Tigers next time.

Ian Anderson (ATL) vs MIA (ND) – 5.2 IP, 4 ER, 4 Hits, 3 BBs, 5 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 24% CSW, 100 pitches.

Blegh. His changeups and curveballs sat higher up than usual and he still had control issues with the fastball. Dangit Anderson, it’s getting awfully tough to justify a hold in 12-teamers. But it’s Arizona next! FINE.

Madison Bumgarner (ARI) vs LAD (L) – 6.0 IP, 5 ER, 7 Hits, 2 BBs, 3 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 26% CSW, 92 pitches.

It’s a Toby against the Dodgers. Good news, Bumgarner sat 91/92 mph on his heater and it could carry through the summer. Against Atlanta who loves to feast against southpaws? Nah, but consider him as a streamer if you can in future weeks.

Jon Gray (TEX) @ OAK (ND) – 6.0 IP, 5 ER, 5 Hits, 3 BBs, 5 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 29% CSW, 91 pitches.

This may be the most disappointing start of the night for me as Gray had a wonderful opportunity to dominate the Athletics and simply didn’t have his slider. Womp womp. I think it’s a case of “Does he have his slider?” for his next start against the Rays and I’d take the shot. The heater was still good here.

Carlos Carrasco (NYM) vs PHI (W) – 5.2 IP, 5 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 7 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 85 pitches.

Yikes. I’m glad you were at least able to salvage seven strikeouts, but neither the slider nor changeup were able to overwhelm, leaving Carrasco to rely on his four-seamer more than we want to — at least it was at 94 mph instead of 93. The good news is he has the Nationals + Padres next and that should be worth your while.

Justin Verlander (HOU) @ SEA (L) – 6.0 IP, 6 ER, 10 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks – 12 Whiffs, 20% CSW, 99 pitches.

Awwww, the regression finally hit in a hurry as Verlander allowed…checks notesfour home runs. Yeesh. Brush it off and keep starting him because duh and we’ll chat about this later.

Brad Keller (KC) @ MIN (L) – 4.0 IP, 6 ER, 11 Hits, 3 BBs, 3 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 85 pitches.

I mean, it’s the Twins and Brad isn’t meant to be started against them. Cleveland is next, though, so don’t rule out a good outing there. Not saying you should do it in 12-teamers, but there’s a decent chance.

Kyle Bradish (BAL) @ BOS (ND) – 1.2 IP, 6 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 2 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 26% CSW, 62 pitches.

Yikes. The pitch I like was his slider, but that was poor, and the four-seamer wasn’t located well, and it all just fell apart. There’s too much work left to be done here.

 

Game of the Day 

Yusei Kikuchi vs. Michael Lorenzen – Does Kikuchi still have it? And can Lorenzen survive against a good offense?

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 Cliff Welch/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.

2 responses to “Springs KO Efficient”

  1. BB says:

    Wondering if Springs might ultimately have more of an innings limit than a pitch limit – particularly as a career reliever prior to now, wouldn’t really expect him to go more than six (which I’ll take in today’s environment). Question is whether they would let him throw more than 80 pitches to get there, he’s just been so efficient so far that it hasn’t been an issue.

  2. Aaron says:

    All I wanna say is thank you Nick. I started playing in 2019 and because of you and your site I understand almost everything there is to know about fantasy baseball now. I’ve used other sites but this one is the best for sure. You taught me exactly what to look for in a pitcher in every circumstance. And now I hardly have to visit because my moves are so efficient. I never give props unless it’s due. You are the most efficient fantasy baseball voice about any specific position and it’s just gold Jerry. Gold! Lol

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