Welcome to the SP Roundup, my daily fantasy baseball article reviewing every starting pitcher’s performance from every Saturday 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.
Eury Pérez (MIA) @ LAD (ND) – 6.0 IP, 0 ER, 2 Hits, 0 BBs, 10 Ks – 22 Whiffs, 39% CSW, 90 pitches.
It’s an absolute joy watching rookie pitchers be their best selves and that’s exactly what we got from Eury Pérez on Saturday, demolishing the Dodgers for 6.0 IP, 0 ER, 2 Hits, 0 BBs, 10 Ks – 22 Whiffs, 39% CSW, 90 pitches for a Golden Goal.
It was a product of four elements. First, his 98 mph fastball was able to live in the zone and go 80% strikes. The slider was phenomenal at a 30% SwStr rate. The curve held a ridiculous 58% CSW. And the changeup? SHELVED. Mostly.
This was the dream for Pérez and watching him was pure bliss. There should be no doubt in your mind that Pérez has legit ace potential in the future, it’s just about consistency. I’m glad the Marlins let him go a full six at 90 pitches (not 80!) and all we can do is hope he has the same feel for those breakers more often than not moving forward. Command is a weird thing.
Let’s see how every other SP did Saturday:
Jake Irvin (WSH) vs PHI (ND) – 6.0 IP, 0 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 7 Ks – 14 Whiffs, 35% CSW, 94 pitches.
Hot dang, look at you! Here’s your Gold Star as Irvin went 35% curveballs for a whopping 42% CSW, while the sinker and four-seamer each sat 95+ mph. I’ve been saying that Irvin needs a third option to make this work, though he’s been separating sinker and four-seamer well, here pulling off high four-seamers, arm-side sinkers, and glove-side curveballs well. Maybe that’s enough? He gets the Marlins next for two games and I wonder if he’s worth a gamble. Probably not since this looked like the peak and not a plateau, but I wonder if he can keep it up. And outside. And inside.
Scott McGough (ARI) @ SD (ND) – 2.1 IP, 0 ER, 1 Hits, 1 BBs, 2 Ks – 5 Whiffs, 25% CSW, 40 pitches.
Good ole bullpen + 3.2 IP of Bryce Jarvis, who didn’t fan a single batter. No fans, no plans, that’s what I always say.
Caleb Ferguson (LAD) vs MIA (ND) – 1.0 IP, 0 ER, 2 Hits, 0 BBs, 0 Ks – 3 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 22 pitches.
He opened for 75 pitches of Ryan Pepiot, who did his job with five frames of 1 ER ball and five strikeouts. It’s cool to see him finally earn 67% strikes with his changeup and the slider did great things, returning 6/16 whiffs, while the 39% CSW four-seamer at 94 mph clearly set up his other offerings. This works but can we rely on that changeup being there?
Julio Urías (LAD) vs MIA (W) – 7.0 IP, 1 ER, 5 Hits, 0 BBs, 5 Ks – 13 Whiffs, 30% CSW, 100 pitches.
He’s getting awfully close to the AGA tag after another solid performance of curves and four-seamers, while the changeup continues to be ole reliable for outs and strikes. Throw in the whole “pitching for the Dodgers is a great thing” element and he seems pretty dang safe.
Kodai Senga (NYM) @ STL (W) – 7.0 IP, 1 ER, 2 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 22% CSW, 97 pitches.
Welp, guess I’m raising Senga higher on The List tomorrow. He’s been a stud, with starts like these impressing me more as he survived with just 6/13 strikes with the forkball. That cutter has gotten much better and I’m glad he’s moved away from the mediocre slider.
Zach Eflin (TB) @ LAA (W) – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 34% CSW, 74 pitches.
Yep, there’s good ole Eflin. You love to see it. It’s kinda cool to see Eflin prosper the way he has after the fantasy community was all in on the Rays making him the best version of himself. Me? I wasn’t one of them. NIIIIIIICK! I’M SORRY, I THOUGHT I WAS BEING LOGICAL.
Matt Manning (DET) @ CLE (W) – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 2 Ks – 3 Whiffs, 23% CSW, 87 pitches.
He sat 93 mph with a ton of hittable fastballs and went 0/36 whiffs on sliders + changeups + curveballs. Wow. Yeah.
Kutter Crawford (BOS) @ NYY (W) – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 1 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 29% CSW, 82 pitches.
The Yankees are floundering in every fashion, but Kutter did a good job with his cutter and curve + his fastballs were elevated well. Unfortunately, it’s Houston twice + Tampa Bay after. With just six weeks of the season left, I’m not sure you want to hold onto Crawford.
Freddy Peralta (MIL) @ TEX (W) – 5.2 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 11 Ks – 22 Whiffs, 39% CSW, 109 pitches.
Whoaaaaa, YOU CAN’T STOP HIM. I’m pretty shocked to see Peralta actually execute the BSB to perfection (his old nickname was Professor Chaos, after all). Peralta is on one h*ck of a run and making an argument for an AGA tag soon. If he’s this dominant against the Padres next time out, I think he’ll have it. Enjoy the Gallows Pole against the mighty Rangers, you wonderful man.
Cole Irvin (BAL) @ OAK (ND) – 5.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 3 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 26% CSW, 77 pitches.
Ayyyy it worked! Unfortunately, the Orioles couldn’t seal a Win for him, but his change and sinker were solid enough to make it through five frames of production. With Rockie Road up next, you may want to consider him for one more, too.
Justin Steele (CHC) vs KC (W) – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 6 Hits, 0 BBs, 7 Ks – 13 Whiffs, 32% CSW, 99 pitches.
It’s about dang time we had a lovely start from Steele, though it’s not with the same precision I normally see from his four-seamer. It’s been a bit since I’ve seen a prime Steele outing, but hot dang is his schedule luscious and even when it’s not the best version of himself, we still get a line like this. Yeah, we cool.
Mitch Keller (PIT) @ MIN (W) – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 7 Hits, 1 BBs, 12 Ks – 18 Whiffs, 39% CSW, 98 pitches.
Wait, Keller with whiffs?! 8/31 on cutters, 4/18 on sweepers?! OH COME ON. He’s a Cherry Bomb in my eyes, but this was fantastic command and with tighter sweeper velocity + movement, there could be something there…UGH. The man even had 5/22 four-seamers whiffs, elevating with intent. I GUESS WE’RE BACK IN.
Cristopher Sánchez (PHI) @ WSH (ND) – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 7 Hits, 0 BBs, 5 Ks – 6 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 78 pitches.
His changeup was terrible (like the numbers on one side of the street, it was odd), but the slider and sinker made up for it. With Ranger Suárez on the IL, it secures Sánchez’s rotation spot once again, likely nabbing the Cardinals next weekend. We’re still holding and riding with it.
Logan Gilbert (SEA) @ HOU (W) – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 8 Hits, 1 BBs, 3 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 25% CSW, 92 pitches.
A near VPQS with a Win is great in my book given Gilbert’s recent struggles + the Astros offense. The new slider is still doing its thing (nine whiffs!) and yet, the four-seamer isn’t. NEW SKILL VS. OLD SKILL. Please Gilbert, figure out that heater again, you can be so good if you do.
Chris Bassitt (TOR) @ CIN (W) – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 3 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 37% CSW, 79 pitches.
He’s opponent agnostic. That’s why you started Bassitt in Cincy, like the smart fantasy manager you are.
Ken Waldichuk (OAK) vs BAL (ND) – 5.2 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 3 BBs, 7 Ks – 14 Whiffs, 32% CSW, 81 pitches.
Waldi had a better sweeper this time around (still a bit inconsistent, but executed well more than usual), propelling that strikeout total and looking a bit more like the promising southpaw we want him to be. Consider him as a strikeout upside play, especially against the laboring White Sox crew. Ultra risky, though.
Patrick Sandoval (LAA) vs TB (L) – 4.2 IP, 2 ER, 7 Hits, 3 BBs, 4 Ks – 15 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 100 pitches.
Nothing like The Irish Panda failing to go a full five frames despite tossing 100 pitches. His changeup got whiffs, the slider didn’t, because the two haven’t been seen in the same room together.
Braxton Garrett (MIA) @ LAD (L) – 6.0 IP, 3 ER, 5 Hits, 0 BBs, 6 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 28% CSW, 81 pitches.
Hot dang, look at you! Sure, it’s a PQS and you can’t get too excited about that, but it concludes a dangerous two-step with Garrett coming out with his head above water. The cutter and slider command were actually great (finally!) and I think I’m ready to jump back in with the cutter looking good again. He’ll get the Nationals next and that works for me.
Merrill Kelly (ARI) @ SD (W) – 5.1 IP, 3 ER, 5 Hits, 4 BBs, 3 Ks – 6 Whiffs, 25% CSW, 102 pitches.
Blegh. We know he’s better than this. The changeup wasn’t terrible but not as good as we’ve seen (6% CSW, 50% strikes, but solid low locations), and he chucked a few too many comfortable cutters and fastballs while losing a few too many batters. So it goes, we move on.
Tanner Bibee (CLE) vs DET (L) – 5.0 IP, 3 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 91 pitches.
This is really just one earned run & hit off from being a solid outing, so nothing really to shift here about Bibee. He’s been featuring a different slider for a little bit now, with a little more velocity and tighter movement, and it may be why it has had success despite not having the best locations and ability to sequence inside an at-bat. The breaker performed well here once again – 8/36 whiffs and 36% CSW – and even with some dramatically poor fastballs, he did feature plenty in the upper half here. The changeup and curve are still erratic, though, and it feels really weird leaning into Bibee with his unreliable command. But hey, maybe the slider/fastball is enough and we’re going to keep starting him, hoping that’s the case.
Dane Dunning (TEX) vs MIL (L) – 5.0 IP, 3 ER, 7 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks – 12 Whiffs, 28% CSW, 99 pitches.
The slider and cutter usage was still decently high, but under 50% usage and they didn’t take over as we’ve seen before. Still good, though (20% SwStr), and enough to hold for the Twins next.
Sonny Gray (MIN) vs PIT (L) – 6.2 IP, 4 ER, 4 Hits, 3 BBs, 7 Ks – 13 Whiffs, 30% CSW, 93 pitches.
A bit of Careful, Icarus here as Gray allowed three in the sixth and one in the seventh. Nothing to report here, really, as you’re going to keep starting Sonny. Great to see the sweeper going 65% strikes and a 35% SwStr rate. Mmmm that’s the good stuff.
Logan Webb (SF) @ ATL (ND) – 6.0 IP, 4 ER, 9 Hits, 0 BBs, 5 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 28% CSW, 95 pitches.
Stupid sexy Atlanta.
Brandon Williamson (CIN) vs TOR (L) – 5.2 IP, 4 ER, 9 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 30% CSW, 101 pitches.
I’ve seen worse from Williamson from a skills standpoint, and I’d consider him a discount Toby at the moment. He gets @ARI + @SFG + SEA up next and there are worse streams out there with his changeup still part of the equation.
Kyle Freeland (COL) vs CWS (W) – 5.0 IP, 4 ER, 8 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 22% CSW, 95 pitches.
There are some elements that are interesting, like a solid approach to get his curves and changeups down, even if they didn’t quite hit like he wanted to. But yeah, don’t.
Yu Darvish (SD) vs ARI (L) – 5.0 IP, 4 ER, 9 Hits, 1 BBs, 7 Ks – 12 Whiffs, 21% CSW, 104 pitches.
Oh snap, it’s a new Darvish approach! Instead of sliders & fastballs, we got curves this time around and I don’t hate it. I don’t think his command was as good as we’ve seen and he was Singled Out a bit by the Sneks, but I love seeing the curve and slider be the main breaking ball focus. Fun fact – just one of those nine hits came on 40 sliders and curves – the four-seamer and sinker are mostly to blame.
Yonny Chirinos (ATL) vs SF (ND) – 4.0 IP, 4 ER, 7 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 25% CSW, 77 pitches.
Why is Yonny still starting. Please, Atlanta, let Winans or Soroka or AJSS take his spot. I don’t see a reason not to.
Brady Singer (KC) @ CHC (L) – 3.2 IP, 4 ER, 9 Hits, 2 BBs, 3 Ks – 14 Whiffs, 35% CSW, 91 pitches.
Noooo, he’s cooked, right? Ummm, no? The slider is still beautifully spotted and earned 11 whiffs, while the sinker returned 12 called strikes. In other words, he got Singled Out and that’s baseball. With the slider as good as it is, you keep starting Singer and don’t think twice.
Tyler Glasnow (TB) @ LAA (L) – 6.0 IP, 5 ER, 8 Hits, 0 BBs, 7 Ks – 16 Whiffs, 33% CSW, 89 pitches.
I’m sorry what. Glasnow’s slider got absolutely TROUNCED by the Angels for most of the damage here and that’s just how it is sometimes.
Matt Waldron (SD) vs ARI (L) – 5.0 IP, 5 ER, 5 Hits, 3 BBs, 5 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 26% CSW, 96 pitches.
Remember kids, Don’t Trust A Knuckleballer. Cool to see another, though, even if was just 16% usage.
Chase Silseth (LAA) vs TB (ND) – 3.2 IP, 5 ER, 5 Hits, 3 BBs, 4 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 26% CSW, 77 pitches.
The splitter and slider combined for 7/35 whiffs, which isn’t inherently bad, but when they have to lead the charge for a generally mediocre fastball, it’s bad. That’s two straight without dominance from either one, but it was the Astros + Rays. Maybe it’s still in there against the Mets or Athletics next. I’m not holding my breath, but I can see it happen. Sidenote: Griffin Canning followed Silseth for 52 pitches of 3.1 IP, 1 ER, 2 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks as his slider and four-seamer combined for a 20%+ SwStr rate. I wonder if he gets stretched out again and takes Silseth’s spot in a week or two.
Jesse Scholtens (CWS) @ COL (L) – 3.0 IP, 5 ER, 5 Hits, 5 BBs, 2 Ks – 5 Whiffs, 21% CSW, 86 pitches.
Womp womp. I absolutely adore the pitch separation of four-seamers up and breakers down, but those breakers and heaters just missed the zone a little too much. This is way different than your standard five-walk game and I see some stupid sneaky potential against the Athletics if he takes this start and refines it slightly. Not going for it in 12-teamers, though.
Framber Valdez (HOU) vs SEA (L) – 5.0 IP, 6 ER, 10 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks – 14 Whiffs, 26% CSW, 88 pitches.
Sooooooo. This is getting really rough, isn’t it. The cutter is still shelved, the curve was only used 18% of the time for 50% strikes, and it’s becoming more of a “please sinker, find gloves” with each start. That’s not it for Valdez and I have to believe the curve and cutter will do better in the future, even with this horrible stretch right now. With the Tigers likely up next, I can’t see myself not starting him there. Take it start-by-start.
Gerrit Cole (NYY) vs BOS (L) – 4.0 IP, 6 ER, 7 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 24% CSW, 86 pitches.
Aces gonna clunk. Cole didn’t have any secondaries to save him and whatareyagonnado.
Miles Mikolas (STL) vs NYM (L) – 4.2 IP, 7 ER, 7 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 22% CSW, 91 pitches.
Stop. Rostering. Mikolas.
Game of the Day
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Photo courtesy of Icon Sportswire | Adapted by Aaron Polcare (@bearydoesgfx on X)