A Cobb Story

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.  

Alex Cobb (SF) @ ARI (ND) – 6.0 IP, 4 ER, 7 Hits, 1 BBs, 3 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 97 pitches.

Sometimes, you just have to throw up your hands and call it a day. Maybe you did that with Alex Cobb months ago, maybe tonight’s outing against the Diamondbacks was your last straw, or maybe you’re willing to give it one more go after 6.0 IP, 4 ER, 7 Hits, 1 BBs, 3 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 97 pitches. The splitter went just 5/44 whiffs as the sinker hovered the heart of the zone and we’re left with another outing where it feels like Cobb should do better (95 mph on the sinker!) but the results just aren’t there.

It’s been a weird 2022 of exciting arms getting hurt (Luzardo, Megill, and Lodolo just returning, for example), fizzling after hot starts (Detmers, Brash, Skubal, etc.), or just plain not being what I hoped for (Ynoa, Rogers, Cobb, etc.) and it may mean that there isn’t anything better on the wire to replace Cobb if you’re fed up. This outing doesn’t mean he can’t perform in that next one, but given that he’s had just one legit start since May 11th, I understand if you’re exhausted dealing with this. Go with your gut.

 

Let’s see how every other SP did Wednesday:

 

Corbin Burnes (MIL) vs CHC (ND) – 7.0 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 1 BBs, 10 Ks – 26 Whiffs, 37% CSW, 100 pitches.

Aces gonna ace and earn a Gallows PoleYep, he’s the #1 SP.

Shohei Ohtani (LAA) @ MIA (W) – 7.0 IP, 0 ER, 2 Hits, 3 BBs, 10 Ks – 21 Whiffs, 38% CSW, 100 pitches.

Aces gonna ace. That’s a King Cole as the slider, once again, was tossed nearly 50% of the time to a ton of success. What a glorious pitch — its 45% CSW tonight lowered its season clip, if you can believe it.

José Ureña (COL) @ LAD (ND) – 6.2 IP, 0 ER, 5 Hits, 3 BBs, 2 Ks – 6 Whiffs, 17% CSW, 89 pitches.

Ummmmm what. WHAT. Nick, please give us some analysis. I can’t, this is simply unreal. SOMETHING. Okay okay…uh, he sat a tick harder than last year, but went just 2/50 fastball whiffs. His slider came in three ticks harder for…11% CSW. AND HE TOSSED SHUTOUT BALL AGAINST THE DODGERS. I’m speechless. Welp, this ain’t lasting.

Corey Kluber (TB) @ BOS (W) – 6.0 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 0 BBs, 5 Ks – 12 Whiffs, 33% CSW, 80 pitches.

Whoa, legit respect Kluber. The curve and cutter were both stellar here, helping mask his 88/89 mph sinker. He worked the east-west edges effectively with sinkers & cutters and I wonder if he can do it another time against the Red Sox. Despite this success and what he did against the Yankees, it still feels suspect, you know? The Jays did rough him up last time out, after all.

Max Fried (ATL) vs STL (W) – 6.0 IP, 0 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 82 pitches.

Aces gonna ace. Did you know he had a 2.66 ERA and 1.03 WHIP entering today? Pretty dang cool. I’m so happy that slider is working well again.

Luis Severino (NYY) @ PIT (W) – 6.0 IP, 0 ER, 4 Hits, 0 BBs, 3 Ks – 5 Whiffs, 26% CSW, 88 pitches.

Aces gonna ace. Three strikeouts is a bit underwhelming against the Bucs (1/24 slider whiffs), but whatever, we’ll take it.

Mitch White (LAD) vs COL (ND) – 5.2 IP, 0 ER, 1 Hits, 4 BBs, 6 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 26% CSW, 102 pitches.

I’m glad yesterday’s streaming option elected to actually do the dang thing today. I’m surprised his heater survived as well as it did, while his slider did the rest. This was Rockie Roadthough, so don’t get too enamored — I’d bench against the Cardinals next.

Spenser Watkins (BAL) vs TEX (W) – 6.2 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 3 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 25% CSW, 84 pitches.

Hot dang, look at you! Sure, it was the Rangers n all, but this was a lovely outing for trusting managers, making it the third straight outing of 1 ER or fewer. A quick run-down of Watkins: It’s a pedestrian 92 mph four-seamer (down to just 90.6 tonight, though) with a solid cutter that earns nearly 70% strikes without getting tattered. He spins a curveball in there every so often, but that’s about it and it’s no Nintendo bike — it doesn’t excite. I can grasp y’all streaming him against the Cubs next and hoping he’s in a good enough rhythm to survive, but don’t feel terrible if you don’t a chance to do so. He’s not the second-half savior you’re looking for.

James Kaprielian (OAK) vs TOR (ND) – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 5 Hits, 4 BBs, 1 Ks – 5 Whiffs, 21% CSW, 94 pitches.

That’s a Dusty Donut alright, with a 1.50 WHIP and just one strikeout (HAISTBMBWT?!), but props to Kap for allowing just one ER to the Jays. We’re not at the point of leaning on him for a stream, though.

José Berríos (TOR) @ OAK (ND) – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 32% CSW, 87 pitches.

See? Nothing to worry about here from The Great Undulater. Nothing like the Canadians feasting on the eh’s, am I right? He should keep it going against the Phils, too, as the curveball was on point once again.

Adrian Sampson (CHC) @ MIL (ND) – 5.2 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 0 BBs, 5 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 28% CSW, 98 pitches.

This might be the best I’ve seen Sampson look all year, featuring precision with changeups, sinkers, and four-seamers, and I’m not sure it’s enough of a ceiling to endure the floor he’s destined to display.

Glenn Otto (TEX) @ BAL (L) – 5.0 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 3 BBs, 5 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 24% CSW, 91 pitches.

I’m glad to see Otto churn out a productive start, but his slider wasn’t overwhelming the way we want it to be. Without that pitch looking like a proper plus pitch, he’s not worth consideration.

Merrill Kelly (ARI) vs SF (ND) – 6.1 IP, 2 ER, 2 Hits, 3 BBs, 6 Ks – 15 Whiffs, 29% CSW, 97 pitches.

Ayyyy nice work Kelly. The heater did work with a 38% CSW and the cutter backed him up nicely, though the changeup went just 42% strikes here. He’ll get the Giants a second time next and while I’m not going to actively chase it, I guess I’m okay letting him go. I just don’t really see Kelly as anything more than a Toby with that worse changeup and sub 93 mph heat.

Josiah Gray (WSH) @ PHI (W) – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 11 Ks – 22 Whiffs, 34% CSW, 100 pitches.

Well ain’t this lovely! After disappointing us against the Marlins, Gray dominated with an elevated four-seamer (11/46 whiffs!) while his slider and curve did the rest at a 63% strike rate. I’m wondering if this is the consistency I was hoping for and I’m excited to see what he does against the Mariners next. Please be your best self…please be your best self…

Graham Ashcraft (CIN) vs NYM (ND) – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 10 Hits, 0 BBs, 1 Ks – 5 Whiffs, 20% CSW, 105 pitches.

A 1.67 WHIP with just one strikeout?! HAISTBMBWT?! I’m not ready to jump back in on Smokey Cheese, especially with the Yanks on the horizon. That seems like a terrible night at the park with his command in question.

Michael Pineda (DET) vs CLE (W) – 5.0 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 2 Ks – 4 Whiffs, 23% CSW, 83 pitches.

Talk about a cheap Win. Is it worth it to you? This feels like Pineda’s ceiling and that’s not a kind statement.

Joe Ryan (MIN) @ CWS (ND) – 4.0 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 3 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 28% CSW, 85 pitches.

Blegh. I was encouraged by the last start from Ryan and while the heater was still solid (41% CSW), the slider is far from the pitch we want it to be. He needs that offering to be the legit starter we’re looking for. That’s not to say he can’t be serviceable without it, he just won’t be that SP #4 until he does.

Aaron Nola (PHI) vs WSH (L) – 7.2 IP, 3 ER, 7 Hits, 1 BBs, 3 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 25% CSW, 97 pitches.

Aces gonna allow two runs in the seventh for a Careful, Icarus and lose the Win. UGH. He went just 3/41 whiffs on changeups + curves, which is all kinds of weird, but whatever, we keep starting the man because duh.

Miles Mikolas (STL) @ ATL (L) – 6.0 IP, 3 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 23% CSW, 92 pitches.

Yeah, okay. A PQS ain’t the most glorious thing, but with a 1.00 WHIP it’ll do just fine with me. That’s Mikolas: just fine with me.

Trevor Rogers (MIA) vs LAA (L) – 4.2 IP, 3 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 33% CSW, 81 pitches.

Awwww, I was really hoping Rogers was figuring it out and in one aspect, he has: His four-seamer was elevated incredibly well and returned 43% CSW here. The issue was the sporadic locations of his changeups and sliders. Maybe he can keep that heater and improve the secondaries, but we’re not there yet and we’re all so tired of waiting. So tired. Keep an eye on this from afar, though.

David Peterson (NYM) @ CIN (ND) – 3.2 IP, 3 ER, 4 Hits, 5 BBs, 7 Ks – 12 Whiffs, 26% CSW, 93 pitches.

I got what I deserved here, as I didn’t realize Peterson was so highly rostered and wasn’t allowed to be my streaming pick. He had the strikeouts back — woot! — but those ratios are rough and inspire little hope against Atlanta next time out as a southpaw. I’d avoid that, personally.

Mitch Keller (PIT) vs NYY (L) – 6.0 IP, 4 ER, 10 Hits, 1 BBs, 7 Ks – 14 Whiffs, 31% CSW, 95 pitches.

Seven strikeouts are cool, but those ratios are like the morning bus arriving on time — it’s exactly what we expected.

Brad Keller (KC) @ HOU (W) – 5.2 IP, 4 ER, 5 Hits, 3 BBs, 3 Ks – 12 Whiffs, 22% CSW, 105 pitches.

For what it’s worth, Keller did sit a full tick harder on his four-seamer in this one. I doubt it sticks, but he does get the Tigers next…

Brayan Bello (BOS) vs TB (L) – 4.0 IP, 4 ER, 6 Hits, 3 BBs, 2 Ks – 6 Whiffs, 23% CSW, 79 pitches.

I watched this one and here’s the low-down: His stuff is fun with 96/97 mph sinkers, a slider with a good amount of horizontal bend, and promise in his changeup, but the command just was not there. It may have been jitters, it may just be a product of the man himself. He was worth the pick-up to see what happens and I’d expect Bello to head back to Triple-A after this one. No need to hold onto this one.

Shane Bieber (CLE) @ DET (L) – 5.2 IP, 5 ER, 7 Hits, 3 BBs, 6 Ks – 16 Whiffs, 30% CSW, 93 pitches.

Ouch. He got punished on many pitches in the heart of the plate, it’s as simple as that. Bieber was a bit off and all we can do is hope he rebounds against the White Sox.

Cristian Javier (HOU) vs KC (L) – 5.0 IP, 5 ER, 4 Hits, 3 BBs, 7 Ks – 12 Whiffs, 29% CSW, 95 pitches.

Say what now? Javier, PLEASE. Your fastball command was far worse here (including 4/51 whiffs, blegh) and it didn’t work out despite the 67% strike rate on sliders. So great, Javier is acting like a Cherry BombI don’t want to believe that and instead, I’ll just start him against the Angels as if this never happened.

Lance Lynn (CWS) vs MIN (ND) – 5.0 IP, 5 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks – 15 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 91 pitches.

Sigh. I had concerns about this and still placed him in the second tier of today’s starters LIKE AN IDIOT. Stupid Twins. He’s still showcasing depressed fastball velocity (92 mph instead of 94) and questionable command, though the whiffs are still present. It’s too bad he has to face the Twins in two starts — I feel that Lynn could feast on weaker teams, he can get his (and your) confidence back quickly. At least I’d expect better against the Guardians next.

 

Game of the Day 

 

Logan Webb vs. Joe Musgrove – Aces gonna ace it out. It’s what you want.

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 Scott Winters/Icon Sportswire and Yasamine June/Unsplash | Featured Image 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.

2 responses to “A Cobb Story”

  1. Anon says:

    Javier is the most extreme flyball pitcher in the majors. Only he and Hunter Greene have GB/FB under 0.50. This is going to happen from time to time with him.

  2. Jayson says:

    I don’t want to be rude, but somehow the same happened last year with Bassitt. Pitching elite and providing elite numbers but still having to listen about him like if it wouldn’t last throughout the season. And here we are this season with another case named Alex Cobb, but the other way around. What has Alex Cobb done in MLB to get so much patience? Nothing. He has been bad since the beginning of the season. Unlucky I heard. Is that unlucky at this point? I mean it’s almost half the season and he has been one of the worst pitcher fantasy wise. Was he an ace in the past? No. Does he hold any Win or Ks upside? Not at all. So what’s the point? He still is recommended by messing start after start. He still ranks higher than people having better ERA and WHIP. I just find it ridiculous pretty much like last year when Bassitt was treated as a meh pitcher for pretty much the whole season while providing better numbers than pitchers called Aces…

    And about Trevor Rogers can we just stop acting like he ever was an incoming Ace. Last season the time he pitched he was overperforming out of nowhere. He was just lucky.

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