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 Playback.tv weekday mornings from 10 am-12 pm ET.
Carlos Rodón (NYY) vs TB (L) – 4.0 IP, 4 ER, 4 Hits, 4 BBs, 5 Ks – 12 Whiffs, 23% CSW, 97 pitches.
I’ve been one of the bigger endorsers of Carlos Rodón since he’s made his 2023 debut, outlining his career of being a fantasy stud and not letting a few bad starts as he shakes off rust to deter fantasy managers from what could be a league-winning run to end the year. However, it’s hard to keep that faith after starts like tonight against the Rays: 4.0 IP, 4 ER, 4 Hits, 4 BBs, 5 Ks – 12 Whiffs, 23% CSW, 97 pitches.
The good news: Rodón only allowed three hard-hit balls all evening and doesn’t seem nearly as lost on the mound as the four walks would suggest (is it bad that I kinda wish he had one fewer strikeout? I can’t be the only one). The four-seamer is doing what it has done in the past in the upper half, though he has yet to have that extra oomph as he’s sitting a little above 95 mph instead of pushing 96-97 mph, nor is he ramping up within starts as he used to.
As for the slider, there’s some work to be done for it to help out more with the heater, but its 60% strike rate with a 20% SwStr rate tonight is all it needs to be. This is on the fastball to dominate as it has in previous seasons and I’m here twiddling my thumbs, waiting for it to happen.
I’m conflicted. On one hand, we’ve seen pitchers in the past need some time after injury to get back into the rhythm they know from the past. On the other, I keep seeing the same 95.3 mph heater from Rodón with only a handful of 96/97 mph fastballs and it makes me wonder if that’s only going to go down, not up. You’d think by the fifth start he would have gotten a bit more juice back, right?
I’m still going to lean into Rodón for now based on the track record across the last two seasons. However, with each start sitting below 96 mph I have to lower Rodón a little more in my ranks. Come on Rodón, let my dream become reality that you are more than what you currently are.
Let’s see how every other SP did Tuesday:
Framber Valdez (HOU) vs CLE (W) – 9.0 IP, 0 ER, 0 Hits, 1 BBs, 7 Ks – 16 Whiffs, 34% CSW, 93 pitches.
Well look at that, Valdez is completely fine. I find it interesting when I write these blurbs about no-hitters or perfect games about how it rarely feels like anything special from a pitch performance level. Sure, the results are special, but Framber still didn’t use cutters and he chucked a ton of sinkers over the plate that fortunately found gloves instead of grass. At least we saw the curve be its peak self, though, with 12/42 whiffs and a ton of strikes. I still want the cutter back for sustainability…DUDE IT WAS A NO-HITTER. Whatever, I can still be rational for the future! You do you, I’ll at least tell you he doesn’t have his AGA label back after just one outing. Okay, deal. THIS WASN’T A NEGOTATION.
Sandy Alcantara (MIA) vs PHI (ND) – 8.0 IP, 0 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 24% CSW, 101 pitches.
That’s two beautiful starts back-to-back from Alcantara, though the changeup wasn’t as good in this one as it hung a bit too much inside the zone. Fortunately it returned outs, but I’m not sure he gets as fortunate in the future. Nick, celebrate. It’s Sandy’s resurgence as you said. STOP THAT. Just two starts of legit Sandy and this one didn’t have all the skills we normally see in those times. Don’t you dare jinx this.
Andrew Heaney (TEX) vs CWS (W) – 6.0 IP, 0 ER, 2 Hits, 0 BBs, 11 Ks – 16 Whiffs, 33% CSW, 80 pitches.
Hot dang, look at you! We know Heaney always has it in him, but we certainly don’t expect eleven strikeouts on a given night. The White Sox did their thing of chasing all the sliders out of the zone and I would not say he spotted the four-seamer particularly well. He did have moments upstairs, but there was a whole lot of “here’s the fastball, do your best.” It’s the Marlins next and this is the moment I tell you he’s still a clear Cherry Bomb where this start dictates nothing about the next one.
Zach Eflin (TB) @ NYY (W) – 6.0 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 0 BBs, 5 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 28% CSW, 72 pitches.
It wasn’t flashy, but Eflin executed his stuff and got the results you want. The fact you were able to get six productive frames and have Eflin be limited to just 72 pitches to ensure his knee is okay is absolute bliss. It’s lovely when it works out like that.
Johan Oviedo (PIT) vs DET (W) – 7.0 IP, 1 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 23% CSW, 99 pitches.
I’m glad he came through for those who streamed him, but this was not precise Oviedo. Sometimes, it just works and you give the man a thumbs up as you veer past his window. Don’t ask why, just know he was looking for the thumbs up and was happy you were there.
Spencer Strider (ATL) vs LAA (W) – 6.2 IP, 1 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 9 Ks – 31 Whiffs, 36% CSW, 110 pitches.
Aces gonna ace with 31 whiffs. The Irish Panda on the other side just chuckled that he couldn’t get one more.
Ranger Suárez (PHI) @ MIA (ND) – 6.1 IP, 1 ER, 10 Hits, 2 BBs, 3 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 28% CSW, 81 pitches.
We’re not there yet and if you keep asking, I’m going to turn this car right back around.
Pablo López (MIN) @ STL (W) – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 0 BBs, 5 Ks – 12 Whiffs, 28% CSW, 94 pitches.
That sinker is killing it on the inside edge while the four-seamer returned a 40%+ CSW, the changeup got all the strikes, and the sweeper was well spotted. He’s so dang good and so close to that AGA label.
Jesse Scholtens (CWS) @ TEX (L) – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks – 6 Whiffs, 31% CSW, 80 pitches.
Get used to Scholtens as the White Sox dealt both Lynn and Giolito and there’s not a whole lot else to turn to. This is your clear Gold Star outing against a strong Texas squad and I don’t think we can depend on a 33% called strike rate on his breakers moving forward. But hey, featuring the curve and slider nearly 60% of the time could be a path to fantasy relevancy…? Maybe? Probably not?
Zack Greinke (KC) vs NYM (ND) – 5.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 0 BBs, 3 Ks – 5 Whiffs, 24% CSW, 72 pitches.
Greinke does what Greinke does. Even though no one ever talks about him, I’ll still miss him when he retires.
Pedro Avila (SD) @ COL (ND) – 4.0 IP, 1 ER, 5 Hits, 3 BBs, 7 Ks – 18 Whiffs, 39% CSW, 88 pitches.
Who?! The Padres dealt Weathers so they pivoted to Avila, who had been struggling massively in Triple-A. What I saw was a 55% CSW curveball, a mediocre 94 mph heater, and a sometimes solid changeup that works well low. Wait, is that curve legit?! Ehhhh, I don’t think so. In addition, the Padres added Rich Hill, who will slide into Weathers’ spot, leaving none for Avila. We move on.
Miles Mikolas (STL) vs MIN (L) – 7.0 IP, 2 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 7 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 28% CSW, 109 pitches.
Dang, seven strikeouts from Mikolas? Ah, five of them came on called strikes and the Twins are a weird offense right now. I won’t rule out Mikolas as worthwhile against Rockie Road and the Royals up next, but I can’t help but wonder whether this is the best start we see from Mikolas in the final two months of the year.
Patrick Sandoval (LAA) @ ATL (L) – 5.0 IP, 2 ER, 3 Hits, 4 BBs, 3 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 20% CSW, 90 pitches.
Everything was nearly two ticks up in this one and that should get your attention. Well, everything save for the changeup that sat exactly at league average across 18 thrown and went….22% CSW. In fact, everything went sub 23% CSW save for his 3/5 CSW curveball. Wow. Such pitch. Stop starting Sandoval.
Gavin Williams (CLE) @ HOU (L) – 5.0 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 4 BBs, 6 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 26% CSW, 93 pitches.
Interesting. Williams actually spotted his slider and curveball well here – it was the fastball that was the most mediocre with a ton of thigh-high heaters, while his elevated four-seamers didn’t quite hit their spots. At least he’s getting better with the breakers, which both lost a ton of vertical break in exchange for more velocity and it seemingly worked for him. Oh, and adding an extra tick on the fastball is cool, too, but please spot it first. K thx.
Lance Lynn (LAD) vs OAK (W) – 7.0 IP, 3 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 7 Ks – 16 Whiffs, 37% CSW, 93 pitches.
HE’S FIXED! Ummmm he allowed three solo shots and faced the Athletics. Super weird to see him go 70% fastballs and just four cutters, though. Did the Dodgers say “Hey, stop throwing that”? It’s possible, but then again, he replaced it with curveballs that went 5/13 strikes (I wonder why he didn’t throw it more with the White Sox…) and I kinda like Lynn’s cutter. I’m curious what we get when Lynn faces a real team in the Padres up next.
Kyle Bradish (BAL) @ TOR (W) – 7.0 IP, 3 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 7 Ks – 12 Whiffs, 34% CSW, 98 pitches.
I dig that Bradish is using more sinkers than four-seamers, but 7/34 whiffs on the pitch is absolutely unexpected. It’s also weird to see him return a 0.71 WHIP and seven strikeouts with his slider and curve going just 4/39 whiffs, but here we are. What a strange game. Guess we start him against the Mets, eh? Oh no, Toronto is getting to you.
José Quintana (NYM) @ KC (ND) – 6.2 IP, 3 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 2 Ks – 4 Whiffs, 19% CSW, 89 pitches.
Ehhhhh, that’s a pretty blegh outing for those not in QS leagues. The command I saw in the first two starts went out the window here, which is all kinds of frustrating when it would have consumed the Royals. Why be elected king when you can eat king? It makes me concerned to start him against the Orioles next, especially with Atlanta around the corner.
Freddy Peralta (MIL) @ WSH (W) – 6.0 IP, 3 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 7 Ks – 12 Whiffs, 31% CSW, 94 pitches.
The slider went just 10/24 strikes and that’s all kinds of pain. You had one job and you could have been so much. The four-seamer is still fantastic, it’s just about getting enough strikes on his slider + curve and I’m sad we didn’t see it here. At least you got the dub and seven strikeouts, so take a bite of the Dusty Donut.
Alex Cobb (SF) vs ARI (ND) – 6.0 IP, 3 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 30% CSW, 84 pitches.
The splitter failed to earn whiffs (yikes), but fortunately its batted balls found plenty of gloves instead. Phew. It’s not fun relying so heavily on the batted ball for Cobb and without the slider, I really want to see that splitter missing bats again. I thought last time was the start of a trend, and I was bamboozled. BAMBOOZLED I TELL YA.
Zac Gallen (ARI) @ SF (ND) – 6.0 IP, 3 ER, 7 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks – 14 Whiffs, 31% CSW, 91 pitches.
Bleeeeegh. Sure, it’s a PQS but I want a little more from Gallen against the Giants. That said, this was the most refined I’ve seen his approach in ages, going all in on the BSB with four-seamers up (43% CSW and nine whiffs!) while the secondaries stayed low. Thing is, they didn’t get the chases they normally get, resulting in low strike rates and a bit more struggle than expected. If this approach sticks around, I absolutely think it works for Gallen. Just gotta nail down those changeups and curves slightly better.
Brayan Bello (BOS) @ SEA (W) – 6.0 IP, 4 ER, 8 Hits, 2 BBs, 7 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 34% CSW, 86 pitches.
It’s still just sinker and changeup for Bello and while I’m glad he finally earned more than five strikeouts in a game once again, I still question his value in the second half without a strong third pitch. He’s a bench against the Jays, but likely worth holding for the Tigers after.
Justin Steele (CHC) vs CIN (W) – 6.0 IP, 4 ER, 9 Hits, 0 BBs, 6 Ks – 14 Whiffs, 29% CSW, 101 pitches.
Another day, another start with a comfortable lead. At least he didn’t walk anyone this time and I don’t see anything to suggest Steele is much different than normal outside of the final line. Okay, maybe a little worse fastball command, but nothing to get alarmed about. We continue onward.
Matt Manning (DET) @ PIT (L) – 6.0 IP, 4 ER, 8 Hits, 0 BBs, 6 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 29% CSW, 85 pitches.
Okay so the 95 mph heater went back to 94 mph and he earned just four slider whiffs. So Manning is still not worthwhile to pick up. Correct. I hate being correct. Me too. Stop being correct.
Hyun Jin Ryu (TOR) vs BAL (L) – 5.0 IP, 4 ER, 9 Hits, 1 BBs, 3 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 28% CSW, 80 pitches.
He’s back! Ryu returned from TJS in this obvious Still ILL and didn’t have the stupid good changeup of old, but did showcase his classic hook. What I saw was the ole Toby version of Ryu, not the man pushing a 25%+ strikeout rate and I don’t think that’s something to chase quite yet. Give him some space for now.
Peter Lambert (COL) vs SD (L) – 4.1 IP, 4 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 2 Ks – 6 Whiffs, 25% CSW, 79 pitches.
As if you needed more reason to avoid Lambert, he was down 1-2 ticks on the heater. Fun.
Ken Waldichuk (OAK) @ LAD (L) – 3.2 IP, 4 ER, 1 Hits, 3 BBs, 5 Ks – 12 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 86 pitches.
It was the Dodgers and like all protagonists at the beginning of the movie, he isn’t ready yet. He’s a Young Gun, alright.
Josiah Gray (WSH) vs MIL (L) – 3.2 IP, 5 ER, 4 Hits, 3 BBs, 3 Ks – 5 Whiffs, 26% CSW, 81 pitches.
He had a touch of Canibal McSanchez, but relied more on sinkers than cutters here as the slider and curveball failed to land low as intended. In other words, it all fell apart like a tissue paper diorama in the rain. Why did you make that out of tissue paper? WHEN LIFE GIVES YOU TISSUE PAPER, YOU DON’T CRY, YOU MAKE DIORAMAS. At least, that’s what my mother always said.
Bryce Miller (SEA) vs BOS (L) – 5.2 IP, 6 ER, 7 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 29% CSW, 93 pitches.
Uggggggh. After preventing a single longball in your first five starts, Miller has become a tater machine, following up a 4 HR game with two more here. I’m not going to overreact to two straight 6-ER games from Miller after tallying just 8 ER in his six games prior, not to mention a return to quality after a pair of clunkers earlier in the season. It’s in your best interest to keep the course against the Angels next.
Ben Lively (CIN) @ CHC (L) – 4.0 IP, 13 ER, 13 Hits, 2 BBs, 2 Ks – 6 Whiffs, 22% CSW, 94 pitches.
I know Greene and Lodolo are returning by the end of the month, but they couldn’t find anyone else to grab at the deadline? Really?
Game of the Day
But Nick?! Where are the streaming picks? – I’ve moved them to the daily SP Matchups & Streamer Rankings article.
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