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 Playback.tv weekday mornings from 10 am-12 pm ET.
Javier Assad (CHC) @ TOR (W) – 7.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 2 Ks – 5 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 90 pitches.
There was a touch of intrigue with Javier Assad in 2022 and in the following off-season after he returned a 3.11 ERA, but we didn’t see playing time, nor anything exciting inside the repertoire to suggest he could hold the mark for another season.
Well, after his third 5+ inning appearance against the Jays yesterday – 7.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 2 Ks – 5 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 90 pitches – Assad is holding a…3.12 ERA across 60% more innings. Wait, so you’re saying this is real? Ha, no. Just wanted to have some fun.
Jeez, the Jays are really struggling as an offense. They just floundered against the Guardians and now Assad with his cutter that held just a 24% CSW across the season was magnificent, while the sinker got a ton of outs, the four-seamer went 33% CSW, and the slider held a 60% strike rate. This is the Gold Star for me and I’m sorry to say that Assad’s command felt like an anomaly in this one. Maybe he keeps it against the White Sox next time, but even then would still have to have good fortune to repeat anything quite like this. I’d pass.
Let’s see how every other SP did Friday:
Jon Gray (TEX) @ SF (W) – 7.0 IP, 0 ER, 2 Hits, 0 BBs, 7 Ks – 14 Whiffs, 33% CSW, 87 pitches.
YES. I’ve been waiting for Gray to begin his regularly scheduled ascension and while the slider has been doing its part (and again tonight with 11/37 whiffs and 43% CSW), the four-seamer locations still needed tweaking. Funny enough, I’ve seen better from Gray in the past, but this was still better than what he showcased against the Marlins. There was some Blame it on the Giants here, but I think we keep rolling against the Angels and hope he takes another step forward.
Lance Lynn (LAD) vs COL (W) – 5.0 IP, 0 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 9 Ks – 18 Whiffs, 33% CSW, 94 pitches.
Just nine cutters as the slider and curve woke up and Lynn is looking like an absolute dream with the Dodgers. Sure, Rockie Road helped him earn that Gallows Pole, but the schedule isn’t getting much harder. What a ride this has been.
Charlie Morton (ATL) @ NYM (W) – 5.0 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 7 BBs, 4 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 25% CSW, 105 pitches.
Okay good, thanks Mort–SEVEN WALKS?! Why. It’s the Mets, and you acted like the too-kind guy holding the door for a whole bus tour. Why are you the way you are?
Scott Alexander (SF) vs TEX (ND) – 1.0 IP, 0 ER, 0 Hits, 1 BBs, 2 Ks – 5 Whiffs, 44% CSW, 18 pitches.
I feel like Scott and I have gotten used to each other by now, especially in the way I completely ignore him every time he shows up. Ross Stripling followed here for 5.0 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 0 BBs, 3 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 30% CSW, 73 pitches against a dangerous Rangers team and he absolutely deserves credit for that. That said, his changeup and slider were far worse than I usually see them and it’s a bit too mediocre for me to legit lean into with the Rays next. He’ll be questionable there.
Dylan Coleman (KC) vs STL (ND) – 1.0 IP, 0 ER, 0 Hits, 3 BBs, 0 Ks – 0 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 22 pitches.
He opened for Angel Zerpa who disappointed all from A to Z who considered it for decent ratios. But I had a good day! Yes, W, you did. Sorry L, it wasn’t your day. No one is ever on my side…
Luis Castillo (SEA) vs BAL (W) – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 2 Hits, 2 BBs, 8 Ks – 16 Whiffs, 28% CSW, 101 pitches.
Aces gonna ace. That other start never happened, y’all. Don’t know what you’re talking about.
Cristopher Sánchez (PHI) vs MIN (W) – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 6 Hits, 3 BBs, 5 Ks – 12 Whiffs, 30% CSW, 107 pitches.
See? Everything is back to normal, even if the 1.50 WHIP is a bit annoying. I wonder how the rotation will shape up for the Phillies after this week with their six-man rotation likely falling back to a five-man, but I have to believe Cristopher will still be a part of it.
Blake Snell (SD) @ ARI (W) – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 2 Hits, 4 BBs, 7 Ks – 16 Whiffs, 36% CSW, 98 pitches.
Four walks and it doesn’t matter – the Snell way. He earned a King Cole on the back of a 32% called strike rate on his four-seamer, while the change and curve dominated for 13 whiffs. Kinda interesting as he’s going more east-west than north-south at the moment (I know, from Blake himself!). Keep it going.
Andrew Abbott (CIN) @ PIT (W) – 5.2 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 0 BBs, 9 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 31% CSW, 98 pitches.
Phew. This was far from pristine command on his changeup and four-seamer and yet the results are the results. With the way the Jays have squirmed against high four-seamers lately, I think you’re fine with Abbott hosting the Jays next time out. Still a bit scary in Cincy, especially without the best command here.
Austin Gomber (COL) @ LAD (L) – 5.0 IP, 2 ER, 8 Hits, 1 BBs, 2 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 78 pitches.
HE DID IT AGAIN. Yeah yeah yeah, terrible WHIP, 2 Ks, a Loss, and a 3.60 isn’t worth it. I know. But now I can say Gomber has gone 2 ER or fewer for eight of his last nine starts now. WILD. It’s not gonna last, but WILD.
Aaron Civale (TB) vs CLE (ND) – 5.0 IP, 2 ER, 7 Hits, 1 BBs, 2 Ks – 3 Whiffs, 19% CSW, 91 pitches.
He’s still leaning a little more into his fastballs than I’d personally like (36% here) but I don’t believe the curve will go 0/20 whiffs moving forward. All fine here.
Chris Sale (BOS) vs DET (ND) – 4.2 IP, 2 ER, 1 Hits, 0 BBs, 7 Ks – 12 Whiffs, 43% CSW, 58 pitches.
He’s back! And nearly survived long enough for the Win as the Red Sox didn’t want to exceed 58 pitches as he was perfect in his first four frames. Velocity sat 94.5 mph (that’s fine, though we’d want 95/96 in time), and the slider went 75% strikes. This is wonderful, the only question is how quickly he’ll ramp up. I think the Red Sox will be patient here.
Joan Adon (WSH) vs OAK (ND) – 3.0 IP, 2 ER, 2 Hits, 2 BBs, 3 Ks – 6 Whiffs, 17% CSW, 63 pitches.
Just 63 pitches for Adon in this one as he dealt with leg cramps. He doesn’t do a whole lot with his four-seamer and curve and I’d look elsewhere if you haven’t already.
Ian Hamilton (NYY) @ MIA (ND) – 2.0 IP, 2 ER, 3 Hits, 0 BBs, 2 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 38% CSW, 29 pitches.
With Carlos Rodón and Nestor Cortes hitting the IL + Domingo Germán removed for the year, Randy Vásquez had an opener and tossed 3.2 IP of 2 ER baseball in relief. Yay. Kinda wild that Clarke Schmidt is the Yankees #2 SP right now with a 4.23 ERA and 1.29 WHIP on the year.
Justin Verlander (HOU) vs LAA (W) – 6.0 IP, 3 ER, 6 Hits, 0 BBs, 7 Ks – 13 Whiffs, 25% CSW, 95 pitches.
Yeah, we take the Bailey Special all day from Verlander. Good BSB execution, too.
Paul Blackburn (OAK) @ WSH (L) – 5.2 IP, 4 ER, 8 Hits, 4 BBs, 3 Ks – 4 Whiffs, 20% CSW, 103 pitches.
Paulie Punchouts, NO! The slider and change that have been so good were so not here. We’re talking 0/17 CSW on the slider (ZERO) and just 5/12 changeup strikes. That ain’t it.
Tarik Skubal (DET) @ BOS (L) – 5.1 IP, 4 ER, 7 Hits, 2 BBs, 3 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 24% CSW, 94 pitches.
Can’t say I loved all the sinkers and four-seamers heavily over the plate, but the slider and change were generally solid here. I’m still very much on board, he just needs to tweak those heaters a touch. Don’t forget, he’s still at 96 mph.
José Berríos (TOR) vs CHC (L) – 4.1 IP, 4 ER, 9 Hits, 0 BBs, 3 Ks – 12 Whiffs, 32% CSW, 91 pitches.
Blegh. The man got Singled Out by all his low pitches – curves, changeups, and sinkers – while the four-seamer remained untouched. Would you look at that. Nothing to be alarmed about here.
Michael Kopech (CWS) vs MIL (ND) – 4.1 IP, 4 ER, 5 Hits, 5 BBs, 4 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 25% CSW, 96 pitches.
Stop trying to make Kopech happen. It’s never gonna happen.
Corbin Burnes (MIL) @ CWS (ND) – 5.2 IP, 5 ER, 8 Hits, 3 BBs, 5 Ks – 14 Whiffs, 26% CSW, 107 pitches.
His cutter is still a sub-10 % SwStr rate and I hate that I have that concern. He’s fanned just five in each of his last three games and I can feel my eye twitch just by typing that out. Get that cutter back.
Tylor Megill (NYM) vs ATL (L) – 5.1 IP, 5 ER, 9 Hits, 1 BBs, 3 Ks – 6 Whiffs, 21% CSW, 84 pitches.
That looks about right for the mediocre Megill against the elite Atlanta offense. He’s at least sitting 96 mph, but the secondaries show little promise and the four-seamer isn’t missing a whole lot of bats.
Xzavion Curry (CLE) @ TB (ND) – 5.0 IP, 5 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 1 Ks – 2 Whiffs, 20% CSW, 70 pitches.
Yeaaaaaaah. Curry isn’t as spicy as you want him to be.
Johan Oviedo (PIT) vs CIN (L) – 5.0 IP, 6 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks – 13 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 93 pitches.
Womp womp. That heater just isn’t it, especially when the curve and slider combine for just 5/33 whiffs. That’s why he’s a Cherry Bomb.
Ryne Nelson (ARI) vs SD (L) – 3.0 IP, 6 ER, 7 Hits, 1 BBs, 2 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 26% CSW, 73 pitches.
Huh. The four-seamer wasn’t great and at least he flexed more curves, sliders, and changeups for decent results. I wonder if he can have a better fastball and keep those secondaries. Probably not.
Dallas Keuchel (MIN) @ PHI (L) – 1.2 IP, 6 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 0 Ks – 3 Whiffs, 24% CSW, 49 pitches.
Zero strikeouts from Keuchel? What. No way. HAISTBMBWT?! Fortunately, I DIDN’T PUT ANY BREAD IN THE TOASTER. Can’t be upset about no butter if you don’t need the butter.
Jesús Luzardo (MIA) vs NYY (L) – 3.1 IP, 7 ER, 9 Hits, 1 BBs, 2 Ks – 6 Whiffs, 26% CSW, 73 pitches.
Oh no. Luzardo has now allowed 15 ER in his last three starts, including three games totaling just seven strikeouts in his last five. That’s a lot of random things. What I’m saying is Luzardo has had these weird games of few strikeouts among starts of clunkers and it’s multiple signs of either fatigue, bad fortune, or just baseball being weird. He’s making more mistakes than usual in the heart of the plate with his fastball and slider and not getting his brilliant secondaries down like he used to. I don’t buy the fatigue argument – his velocity is there and his release point hasn’t changed – and I think this is one of those valleys pitchers go through. Not to mention, I think he pitched well against the Rangers last week and that’s just how it goes sometimes. Keep trusting him.
Reid Detmers (LAA) @ HOU (L) – 2.1 IP, 7 ER, 7 Hits, 3 BBs, 0 Ks – 4 Whiffs, 23% CSW, 48 pitches.
Fastball down to 94 mph, slider went 0/15 whiffs, command was terrible, he faced the Astros…yeah. I’m hoping for a resurgence around the end of August/early September, but hot dang it’s sad to see the month-long trend continue after some legit excitement for a bit.
Adam Wainwright (STL) @ KC (L) – 1.0 IP, 8 ER, 9 Hits, 0 BBs, 0 Ks – 0 Whiffs, 15% CSW, 39 pitches.
Sigh. The Cardinals know this is it and there’s no reason not to let Wainwright try to have a few more good moments. He needs two more Wins for 200, let’s hope he gets it.
Kyle Gibson (BAL) @ SEA (L) – 5.1 IP, 9 ER, 12 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 24% CSW, 89 pitches.
Oh dear. And this is why I hadn’t put Gibson in the questionable start tier all year and FINE I’VE LEARNED MY LESSON. I thought the Mariners would give into the change and slider, but that would require Gibson to throw good pitches in the first place to chase. Simply put, too much was over the plate and they burned him. With the Pads and Jays next, it doesn’t seem like the time to jump in. But who knows, Gibson could be far better then because, well, he’s Kyle Gibson.
Game of the 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 Playback.tv livestream! I answer all questions there for free: 10:00 am – 12:00 pm ET Monday through Friday.
Player photo courtesy of Icon Sportswire | Adapted by Aaron Polcare (@bearydoesgfx on Twitter)