Changing of the Gaard

Nick Pollack reviews every starting pitcher performance from Tuesday.

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

Noah Syndergaard (LAA) @ NYY (L) – 2.1 IP, 5 ER, 7 Hits, 1 BBs, 0 Ks – 1 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 45 pitches.

It hasn’t been a fun few weeks rostering Noah SyndergaardHe was able to survive the first inning a few starts ago, rebounded last time, and now has fallen back down via 2.1 IP, 5 ER, 7 Hits, 1 BBs, 0 Ks – 1 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 45 pitches against the Yankees tonight. This one was rooouuugggh.

Syndergaard earned just one whiff across the night, failing to command his pitches well and tossing so many over the heart of the plate. Seriously, look at the plot — it’s bad. And I really don’t know how to feel about Thor at the moment. On one hand, he’s been pumping away like a Toby with a touch more upside through the year, on the other he still doesn’t have his breakers of old and his heaters are three ticks down, not destined to be whiff pitches.

You’re in a really tough spot now with the Red Sox and Mets ahead. I want to say that you shrug this off and expect a rebound in at least one of those games, but I see all the reasons why you’d want to move on and chase something else. I think it comes down to who you’re dropping him for if you do, but in most cases, I think the best play is to chance it for a rebound. He’s not likely to pitch this poorly next time out.

 

Let’s see how every other SP did Tuesday:

 

Adam Wainwright (STL) vs SD (ND) – 7.0 IP, 0 ER, 2 Hits, 1 BBs, 10 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 36% CSW, 115 pitches.

Here I am, suggesting Waino may be past his peak after his last outing as if I know something about pitching. Yeeeeeeesh. Wainwright took full advantage of a Padres offense that struggles against right-handers, earning called strikes galore with his hook and sinker, just like the prime of 2021. And now he gets the Cubs and Reds, so seriously, what do I know. You keep starting the man after all.

Martín Pérez (TEX) vs TB (W) – 7.0 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 0 BBs, 5 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 33% CSW, 85 pitches.

DON’T. QUESTION. THE. PÉREZ. Seriously, don’t think about this, just start the dang man.

George Kirby (SEA) @ BAL (W) – 6.0 IP, 0 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 8 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 28% CSW, 94 pitches.

Can we get rid of the idea that Kirby is “struggling” now? I still don’t love the slider, but it doesn’t matter with that amazing four-seamer. Start him against the Rangers.

Luis Castillo (CIN) @ BOS (W) – 6.0 IP, 0 ER, 1 Hits, 3 BBs, 10 Ks – 22 Whiffs, 34% CSW, 100 pitches.

Ummmmmmmmm Castillo did the BSB proper with four-seamers up (10 whiffs) and changeups (8 whiffs) + sliders (4 whiffs) down. I’ve always thought of Castillo as going more east-west with his heater and to see him lean into this is all kinds of AWESOME. He earned a Gallows Pole for his efforts, featuring nearly an extra two ticks of velo on both the slowball and sweeper AND he only threw six sinkers. This is new. This is great. THIS IS EXCITING. I’ll stop using caps now, sorry. You should be stoked as h*ck.

Michael Wacha (BOS) vs CIN (L) – 5.2 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 0 BBs, 3 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 26% CSW, 72 pitches.

Atta boy Wacha! I didn’t expect this at all and seeing just 2/23 CSW on your sinker is pretty dang funny (yes, I legit chuckled when I saw it) but it’s the Reds on the road and at least your four-seamer and changeup were decent…? Don’t fall for this.

Trevor Williams (NYM) vs WSH (W) – 5.0 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 2 BBs, 1 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 23% CSW, 80 pitches.

Wow, Williams pushed back the clock and gave me May 2019 vibes with this one, earning a 0.00 ERA despite all signs of the opposite. I mean, come on, just one strikeout?! HAISTBMBWT?!

Joey Wentz (DET) vs MIN (ND) – 4.0 IP, 0 ER, 1 Hits, 0 BBs, 4 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 36% CSW, 55 pitches.

Joey left this game early with a shoulder strain and I have to feel bad for the man — his four-seamer was cooking Twins hitters. This was his start! The one he’d dreamed of. I hope he’s alright.

Jordan Montgomery (NYY) vs LAA (W) – 7.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 26% CSW, 87 pitches.

That’s a wonderful outing from The Bearthough it doesn’t stave off my thoughts of him being more a Toby than a legit starter to hold. Whatever, he got his first Win of the year and gets the Tigers next. Keep on keepin’ on.

Frankie Montas (OAK) vs HOU (L) – 7.0 IP, 2 ER, 7 Hits, 0 BBs, 5 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 29% CSW, 98 pitches.

A touch of Careful, Icarus here with Montas entering the eighth and allowing another run. It wasn’t one of those dominating starts we know from Montas, but hey, we’ll take this all day. Please do more of the same against the Red Sox, K? Thx.

Jakob Junis (SF) @ PHI (ND) – 4.1 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 2 BBs, 3 Ks – 5 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 64 pitches.

Blegh. The changeup was featured a decent amount and was okay, while the slider wasn’t as elite as we want it to be with just 3/40 whiffs. At least it’s Miami next and he can bounce back once again if you need a Sunday Streamer. Just don’t expect more than five frames.

Cristian Javier (HOU) @ OAK (ND) – 4.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 4 BBs, 4 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 19% CSW, 85 pitches.

Ummm what. Javier wasn’t able to be as precise with the heater up in the zone (he let them fly a bit too much arm-side) and he struggled to earn strikes with the breakers (54% strike rate). He gets the Mariners next and I’m still holding. Let’s hope the skill comes back.

Devin Smeltzer (MIN) @ DET (W) – 6.2 IP, 2 ER, 6 Hits, 0 BBs, 4 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 26% CSW, 101 pitches.

Hey, this worked! Smeltzer acted like a real Toby against the Tigers, leaning heavily on the changeup to get the job done. Next it’s the Jays, and then Joe Ryan returns after that, likely kicking him out of the rotation. It’s been a pleasure, Devin.

Blake Snell (SD) @ STL (ND) – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 2 Hits, 3 BBs, 6 Ks – 15 Whiffs, 30% CSW, 98 pitches.

So the results are pretty solid, though I’m not sure this is the Snell we’re looking for. He struggled a bit getting his four-seamer in the zone (61% strike rate), while the breakers combined for just 3/31 whiffs. Oh no…that means…Yep. The changeup hath returned, but hey, it did well! 47% CSW across seventeen thrown is pretty cool, even if I think he floated the pitch far too often. I’m a touch conflicted here given I want to see the Snell with an overpowering heater + devastating breakers, not a game where the changeup is the biggest catalyst, especially when that changeup isn’t located super well.

Charlie Morton (ATL) @ ARI (ND) – 5.0 IP, 4 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks – 5 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 83 pitches.

Yeah this is pain. A lot o’ pain. Morton, you had the Sneks yet just 2/31 curveball whiffs while the four-seamer going 13% CSW. And now it’s Coors?! Uggggh. I still believe Morton will help through the year  (and hey, he gets the Pirates next) but if you’re staring at Aaron AshbyI’d go Ashby, you know? If it’s just a Tobyhold Morton, but we’re getting to the point where we can’t just sit around forever. Bleeeeeeeeeegh.

Ranger Suárez (PHI) vs SF (ND) – 4.1 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 3 BBs, 5 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 22% CSW, 100 pitches.

Hmmmm. There were more changeup whiffs, but not a whole lot, but the real story is the crazy good pitch separation that reminds me of his peak 2021 self. Just look at this work of art. That’s sinkers and four-seamers landing on opposite corners with changeups sitting right under the zone. If Suárez keeps pitching like this, I think it’ll work out. Seriously, this is paint.

Eric Lauer (MIL) @ CHC (ND) – 4.0 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 3 BBs, 6 Ks – 12 Whiffs, 26% CSW, 89 pitches.

Oh no. That’s a few starts for Lauer and you’re wondering if the magic of April has worn off. The good news is that the four-seamer is still as strong as ever with a 16% SwStr rate and 93/94 mph velocity. The question is if the slider and cutter can step up or not: They combined for just 18% CSW in this one and that has to change moving forward. I expect it to, but it’s not a given.

Mitch Keller (PIT) @ LAD (W) – 5.0 IP, 2 ER, 2 Hits, 5 BBs, 5 Ks – 6 Whiffs, 28% CSW, 98 pitches.

Can’t say we expected Keller to survive the Dodgers, which includes a 1.40 WHIP and five walks. Sooooo yeah, this is not MmmmK. This is MmmmNOToK.

Ryan Yarbrough (TB) @ TEX (L) – 6.2 IP, 3 ER, 6 Hits, 0 BBs, 3 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 24% CSW, 87 pitches.

The Fratty Pirate strikes again, going nearly seven frames here against the Rangers. Is it glorious? Nah. Is it worthwhile? Maaaybe? That ERA is meh, the strikeouts are few, he earned a Loss, but at least you got a good WHIP. Look at you, you’re smart, kind, and gorgeous. And even if you’re just two of those things (you’re three, stop that), you can do better than Yarbrough.

Cal Quantrill (CLE) vs KC (W) – 6.1 IP, 3 ER, 6 Hits, 0 BBs, 5 Ks – 5 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 97 pitches.

Another day, another 6+ frames of 3 ER ball for The Unquantrifiable. The man is a Toby any way you cut it.

Kevin Gausman (TOR) vs CWS (W) – 5.0 IP, 3 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks – 14 Whiffs, 24% CSW, 98 pitches.

Aces gonna not do enough. But hey, the splitter is still missing bats and things will work out better in the future, I promise.

Justin Steele (CHC) vs MIL (ND) – 5.0 IP, 3 ER, 3 Hits, 4 BBs, 6 Ks – 12 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 102 pitches.

We jumped ship after the last one and I’ll give him credit for 31% CSW on the four-seamer. That and a horizontal wiggle of the hand is all I’ll give him, sprinting away to make sure he doesn’t join my team.

Bryan Baker (BAL) vs SEA (L) – 1.1 IP, 3 ER, 2 Hits, 1 BBs, 1 Ks – 4 Whiffs, 28% CSW, 29 pitches.

For a guy named BB, I’m shocked he just had one walk. Ohhhhh he lasted just 29 pitches as it was bullpen game. Carry on.

Cole Sands (MIN) @ DET (L) – 4.0 IP, 4 ER, 5 Hits, 4 BBs, 4 Ks – 12 Whiffs, 21% CSW, 91 pitches.

I generally prefer Cole Sands to hot sands — my feet are so appreciative — but today was a question of What would you rather get burned, your heels or your fantasy team? There’s no winning in games of Would You Rather? — the only solution is to not play.

Julio Urías (LAD) vs PIT (L) – 6.0 IP, 4 ER, 8 Hits, 1 BBs, 8 Ks – 18 Whiffs, 40% CSW, 91 pitches.

Awfully strange to see such poor ratios from a King Cole winner, but here we are. Urías went nearly 50% curveballs here for 40% CSW, saving his four-seamer as an elevated whiff pitch and kept his changeup down. He made some mistakes in the middle, though, and those got hit by the Pirates. Just how it goes some games.

Humberto Castellanos (ARI) vs ATL (ND) – 4.2 IP, 5 ER, 7 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 25% CSW, 76 pitches.

Yeah, that seems about right. His name isn’t Castellayes. NICK. PLEASE. Sorry, I can hear your groans from here, in the past.

Rony García (DET) vs MIN (L) – 5.0 IP, 6 ER, 7 Hits, 1 BBs, 7 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 24% CSW, 90 pitches.

That curveball is a solid breaker, but he struggles controlling it and the heater does far too little. This ain’t it.

Lucas Giolito (CWS) @ TOR (L) – 4.2 IP, 6 ER, 8 Hits, 2 BBs, 8 Ks – 18 Whiffs, 31% CSW, 99 pitches.

Awwww this hurts. Giolito’s changeup wasn’t at its best and his heater was a bit erratic as the Jays punished him. And yet, he still earned 18 whiffs — I think y’all know Giolito is far better than the ratios of this one suggest. Some days you own the baseball, some days it owns you, and some days you get angry at the arbiter who decides who owns what. HOW DARE THEY HAVE SO MUCH POWER.

Daniel Lynch (KC) @ CLE (L) – 4.0 IP, 6 ER, 9 Hits, 3 BBs, 2 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 79 pitches.

Womp womp. I was hoping the slider would return in a big way, just a game of just 2/20 whiffs ain’t it. Sigh. Thaw the Frozen Banana for another good while.

Patrick Corbin (WSH) @ NYM (L) – 4.1 IP, 7 ER, 12 Hits, 2 BBs, 6 Ks – 13 Whiffs, 28% CSW, 106 pitches.

Yikes. We talked to Derek Carty tonight on The Nick & Alex Baseball Show (you should subscribe!) and Corbin came up in conversation as the pitcher who has been hurt most on team defense & how unlucky that is. As if Corbin needed more things to not go his way.

 

Game of the Day 

Carlos Rodón vs. Aaron Nola – I believe in a Rodón rebound and in living every day like it’s Nola day.

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 John McCoy/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 “Changing of the Gaard”

  1. Paul says:

    Re: the pain of rostering Charlie Morton. Well Ashby is no longer available in our league (although Jeffery Springs is). But Shane Baz is coming off my IL soon, and so someone will have to go: Kirby, Rasmussen… or Morton.

  2. Jayson says:

    I don’t want to be rude, but fantasy wise I think it’s time for all Morton holders to drop him. It just doesn’t make sense to keep holding him and even to keep starting him like if something good would happen. Only idiots repeat the same things but expect different results. We don’t speak about an ace. We speak about a very good pitcher who is hold. At best he was drafted as a SP2. At best! Time to drop him because it definitely looks like the regression is real. And I doubt anybody in your league will claim him right now hahaha.

    As well, about Javier I’m doubtful he ever fixed his control issues. It’s highly possible he just fooled us with few awesome starts. The K potential has always been here. The lack of control, too. One more bad outing and he will be back to his last season 1.18 WHIP hahaha.

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