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 Playback.tv weekday mornings from 10 am-12 pm ET.
Joe Ryan (MIN) @ STL (L) – 4.0 IP, 7 ER, 9 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks – 14 Whiffs, 21% CSW, 103 pitches.
I took no joy in removing the AGA label from Joe Ryan last week and watching him go 4.0 IP, 7 ER, 9 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks – 14 Whiffs, 21% CSW, 103 pitches against the Cardinals is even more painful. With this outing, Ryan now has an 8.63 ERA and 1.80 WHIP across his last seven starts. But at least he has 52 strikeouts, too! That’s true, it’s a 14.5 K/9 in that time, but there’s something clearly wrong, despite the punchouts.
We all know Ryan’s best pitch is his four-seamer, which he does a fantastic job of keeping elevated and racking up the whiffs. This evening was no exception with 11/58 whiffs and a ton of hiLoc%, though they also allowed two of his four longballs.
And yet, I still wouldn’t say their lack of dominance is the problem. Instead, it seems clear that he’s not getting enough support from his secondaries as the splitter let him down once again here with just 1/19 whiffs and a sub-20 % CSW across his last six starts.
But here is where it gets weird. You may be like me and assume that the slider has been at fault, too. But it hasn’t. It’s held a 62% strike rate, a fantastic 37% CSW, and an exceptional 5.53 PLV across his last six games, a mark that would be inside the 95th percentile if it were across the full season. However, it’s had some bad fortune in the field (+6 Hit Luck and a .625 BABIP) and the breaker was far from a reliable pitch here.
It does make me wonder if Ryan isn’t too far off. With the splitter failing so frequently (two HRs here, too!) and a good enough track record with the breaker, maybe he pulls back from the splitter as he did here (18% usage) in favor of sweepers in the future (24% usage tonight). It might turn this stretch around once he actually executes the slider as he had across his last six games. There’s a chance he pulls it off and with the four-seamer clearly needing the help, it could be the ticket to Ryan’s TIARA coming off just in time for your final push. At any rate, he gets the Tigers next and any thoughts you had about giving Ryan a break should be thrown out the window – defenestrate for all you college readers as I know it’s your favorite word. It’s every liberal arts college kid’s favorite word.
Let’s see how every other SP did Wednesday:
Cole Ragans (KC) vs NYM (W) – 6.0 IP, 0 ER, 7 Hits, 1 BBs, 8 Ks – 13 Whiffs, 38% CSW, 94 pitches.
IT HAPPENED IT HAPPENED. This was my favorite residual effect of the trade deadline and to see Ragans so quickly take advantage is a beautiful thing. That said, it wasn’t 97/98 mph heaters, but 94/95 mph and that’s a huge difference from the arm I was expecting, even if he slightly increased the heater’s spin rate from then. The other root of my adoration was Ragans’ command around the zone and he expressed that tenfold with a BSB that would make Snell himself jealous. Look at the glorious precision of his four-seamer while the curve, cutter, and changeup fell low. THAT’S HOW IT’S DONE. I don’t care that he’s getting the Red Sox next, I’m picking him up and starting him. He’s locked in and that heater could come in closer to 97.5 mph next time out.
Kutter Crawford (BOS) @ SEA (ND) – 5.0 IP, 0 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks – 6 Whiffs, 21% CSW, 81 pitches.
Atta boy Crawford, I appreciate you. He leaned into his name – What, Crawford?! – to throw 38% kutters in this one (Ohhhhhh), and I’m still a little shocked he’s embracing the pitch as much as he has. At the same time, the sweeper went 10% CSW and none of his pitches flirted with a 30% CSW. So hey, thank you kutter for getting Crawford through this.
Nick Martinez (SD) @ COL (ND) – 3.0 IP, 0 ER, 1 Hits, 0 BBs, 3 Ks – 6 Whiffs, 32% CSW, 38 pitches.
Oh hey Padres, look what happens when you actually let Martinez start. And it was in Coors. Sadly, this was a product of Joe Musgrove getting scratched for a week with a sore shoulder and Martinez appeared in relief just two days ago. But look at him go, flexing a five-pitch mix and earning nine outs in just 38 pitches. He’s made to start. H*ck, he pulled off the BSB perfectly and I’m still mad. LET HIM START.
Dane Dunning (TEX) vs CWS (W) – 7.2 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 1 BBs, 11 Ks – 15 Whiffs, 36% CSW, 102 pitches.
I’m sorry WHAT. Okay OKAY, here’s your Gold Star. Yeeeeesh Dunning, did you have to embarrass the White Sox that much? Dunning did his best peak Brady Singer impression with 13 called strikes on the sinker and a good amount of slider + cutter whiffs, returning a 23% SwStr rate between them. That’s a path I can imagine being somewhat sustainable for Dunning, but it would require both consistent command of those breakers down-and-armside + this 45-50% usage. Oh, and the sinkers returning a 41% CSW. And the slider earning a ton of outs in the field. And getting so many chases out of the zone against teams not in Chicago. But hey, it’s Oakland next and if there’s a squad to see if this is in any way legit, it’s them.
Yusei Kikuchi (TOR) vs BAL (W) – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 3 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 91 pitches.
He allowed so many hard-hit balls and the fastball was a bit all over the place, but once again, he got a ton of strikes with his breakers and Kikuchi found a way. It’s getting hard to deny the new approach is obviously working, especially with the extra inches of break on both the curve and slider. Keep holding on.
Tony Gonsolin (LAD) vs OAK (W) – 5.0 IP, 1 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 3 Ks – 5 Whiffs, 25% CSW, 84 pitches.
Yep, that’s how a Toby is supposed to pitch against the Athletics. Nothing special, just some good ole’ decency. The world needs a little more of that once again.
Wade Miley (MIL) @ WSH (ND) – 4.0 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 30% CSW, 60 pitches.
Welcome back from the IL, I’m glad the changeup returned as well, but please get that cutter more gloveside moving forward. Now that he’s at 60 pitches, it may mean we need one more start before Miley can even wink at the sixth inning, which is a bit annoying given Rockie Road up next. Maybe that’s a five-and-dive for a Win?
Gerrit Cole (NYY) vs TB (W) – 7.0 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 8 Ks – 12 Whiffs, 31% CSW, 91 pitches.
Aces gonna ace. That cutter is a fantastic addition, and even without a single pitch earning over four whiffs in this one, you have to be falling for Cole in the second half. He’s been as sturdy as it gets.
Logan Webb (SF) vs ARI (W) – 7.0 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 30% CSW, 105 pitches.
Atta boy Webb, way to be as solid as ever, even if the slider went 43% strikes. What is it with you and that pitch this year? Can you imagine how fantastic he would be if the breaker were cruising like 2021? Maybe he’d pitch like he did in 2021. Listen here, wise guy…
Eduardo Rodriguez (DET) @ PIT (W) – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 7 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 30% CSW, 93 pitches.
Eduardo stuck around past the deadline and came through for managers as he retained this lovely matchup against the Pirates. Sure, it’s a poor WHIP, but at least the changeup and cutter are looking good. I’d start him against the Twins next time out, too.
Zack Wheeler (PHI) @ MIA (ND) – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks – 13 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 98 pitches.
Aces gonna ace as Wheeler has held a 3.00 ERA, 1.00 WHIP, and just under a 30% strikeout rate across his last ten starts including this one. Can you please tell the bullpen not to blow your leads in the future? K, thx.
MacKenzie Gore (WSH) vs MIL (ND) – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 3 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 89 pitches.
I’ll absolutely take this from Gore given the ups and downs we’ve endured all year. Sadly, I don’t think we can extract anything from these tea leaves to suggest more success will follow. I’d still avoid this Cherry Bomb.
Tanner Bibee (CLE) @ HOU (ND) – 5.0 IP, 2 ER, 7 Hits, 4 BBs, 4 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 26% CSW, 90 pitches.
Oh my, this was some rough Bibee command. Seriously, let’s just ignore this start and hope he gets it together for the Jays next. It’s a bit disheartening after two great starts from Bibee, so let’s hope it’s a One Night Bland.
Slade Cecconi (ARI) @ SF (ND) – 4.2 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 2 Ks – 4 Whiffs, 19% CSW, 59 pitches.
We had ourselves an MLB debut here and after doing some Savant Triple-A scouting on stream earlier today and yesterday, I’m not too shocked to see Cecconi feature a middling heater without breaking ball command. He isn’t an arm to chase at the moment, even I don’t believe what we saw today will be what we’d see moving forward. Those debut jitters are rascals, aren’t they?
Ronel Blanco (HOU) vs CLE (ND) – 4.0 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 4 BBs, 3 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 26% CSW, 77 pitches.
Womp womp. It’s nice to see Blanco again, but the slider wasn’t as good, and without that pitch razing the lineup like Lizzie treats buildings, then this Rampage looks more like the start of a ramp-up as he ages, you know? That was a stretch. YOU’RE A STRETCH. That’ll likely be it for Blanco, possibly for the year, as the Astros have more than enough starters with the addition of Verlander at the deadline and Urquidy later this week.
Dakota Hudson (STL) vs MIN (W) – 7.0 IP, 3 ER, 2 Hits, 3 BBs, 7 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 23% CSW, 94 pitches.
Hudson is known as a desperate Quality Start play, but certainly not a strikeout option, too. You can thank the slider for waking up years after I hoped it would and yet, I don’t think it’ll stay. I really hope it does, but it’s likely just a flash in the pan and with the Rays up next, we’ll likely see a start without slider excellence and exhale in unison as we block him from our minds once again. Dakota is like a stream – he curves this way and that and has surprising depth at times, but at the end of the day, you know where it leads. That’s the Hudson River. Yes. Yes it is.
Logan Gilbert (SEA) vs BOS (ND) – 6.0 IP, 3 ER, 5 Hits, 3 BBs, 5 Ks – 17 Whiffs, 29% CSW, 104 pitches.
Ohhhhhh snap, that Gallows Pole was BROUGHT TO YOU BY SLIDERS, IT’LL KNOCK YOUR SOCKS OFF. Seriously, it went 9/38 whiffs as Gilbert leaned heavily on the pitch and spotted them well at the bottom of the zone. There’s something to this if he can in any way replicate it. Meanwhile, the four-seamer is still lacking at 4/40 whiffs and just a 14% O-Swing. Boy does he need that slider to stick around.
Kodai Senga (NYM) @ KC (L) – 5.2 IP, 3 ER, 11 Hits, 2 BBs, 6 Ks – 12 Whiffs, 25% CSW, 99 pitches.
Blegh. That’s a whole lot of hits on fastballs and forkballs (get that dang thing down Senga!) and not a whole lot you can do about it. At least be happy he only let three of his thirteen baserunners score?
Grayson Rodriguez (BAL) @ TOR (L) – 5.2 IP, 3 ER, 2 Hits, 2 BBs, 6 Ks – 14 Whiffs, 29% CSW, 96 pitches.
A bit of Careful, Icarus here for GrayRod as the Jays scored two of his runs in the sixth (and one more against the O’s in relief) and once again, we saw increased velocity (98.5 mph!) but sadly the secondaries weren’t as sharp downstairs as I wanted to see. He did have more success with the slider than in previous outings and the four-seamer did a ton of work in the upper half of the zone (I dig it), my biggest worry about Grayson has been the change and breaker getting low enough. It’s adjustable and the fastball excellence is a step forward from the spring, this is the last piece for legit sustainability.
Braxton Garrett (MIA) vs PHI (ND) – 5.0 IP, 3 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 34% CSW, 95 pitches.
The cutter is taking a backseat as he lost its feel and the sinker was massively over the plate. That concerns me – Garrett’s worst offering is that sinker and opens the door for starts far worse than this one – and I’m not seeing enough here to convince me to return to the Braxton train. What about the 1.5 mph velocity jump and 38% CSW between sinkers and four-seamers? Nah, he’s not spotting them well enough to make this a real difference. I need that cutter or better sinker locations.
Yonny Chirinos (ATL) vs LAA (W) – 5.0 IP, 3 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 20% CSW, 75 pitches.
Ah, a classic Careful, Icarus as Yonny had tossed five strong with 1 ER before allowing the two first baserunners on in the sixth and getting the hook. His splitter was plenty better this time around at 7/31 whiffs and a 32% CSW, and I guess he’s in the rotation for now…? I don’t like the sinker or slider, leaving him ultra reliant on that splitter’s success and that’s not a wager I want to make, even if he has a solid Win chance…when he makes it through five – don’t overlook the fact that he tossed just 75 pitches here.
Kyle Freeland (COL) vs SD (L) – 6.0 IP, 4 ER, 7 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 26% CSW, 98 pitches.
Freeland returned from the IL chucking harder than usual…which is just under 90mph, apparently. Y’all know this ain’t it.
Osvaldo Bido (PIT) vs DET (L) – 3.0 IP, 4 ER, 3 Hits, 1 BBs, 3 Ks – 3 Whiffs, 32% CSW, 59 pitches.
Blegh. We didn’t expect many innings in the first place, but 4 ER in three against the Tigers? Yikes.
Drew Smyly (CHC) vs CIN (ND) – 4.2 IP, 5 ER, 6 Hits, 0 BBs, 7 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 30% CSW, 88 pitches.
We saw Smyly take the pearl from the first pitch this time, and despite sitting a tick harder on the curve with 30%+ CSW on both the hook and sinker, his command wasn’t nearly what it was in his “follower” outing. Back to the drawing board, even with the seven strikeouts.
Brandon Williamson (CIN) @ CHC (ND) – 4.1 IP, 5 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 7 Ks – 4 Whiffs, 30% CSW, 77 pitches.
Womp womp. I feel like The Weeknd searching for a good #3 pitch for Williamson. No, it’s not the sweeper, changeup, or curveball. Don’t let those strikeouts fool you into thinking there’s an underlying skill leaking out. Even against the Marlins next, I’d avoid him.
Shane McClanahan (TB) @ NYY (L) – 4.0 IP, 5 ER, 5 Hits, 0 BBs, 3 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 35% CSW, 82 pitches.
Shane left this one with elbow pain on the outside of his arm. That distinction is why Kevin Cash is optimistic there isn’t a serious injury at play (in addition to hitting 99.8 mph in this game), but we all hold our breath as McClanahan will get an MRI. Hooooo boy. Why must you scare us so much, McShane? Fun fact to help dissipate some nervous energy: Both his slider and changeup hovered a 50% CSW in this one across 41 pitches between them. Bonkers.
Dylan Cease (CWS) @ TEX (L) – 1.2 IP, 7 ER, 7 Hits, 3 BBs, 1 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 23% CSW, 79 pitches.
Oh dear. I lowered Cease dramatically on The List on Monday as I think he’s more detrimental than we want him to be and this outing certainly doesn’t help things. He’ll bounce back, but boy does this one hurt, even if it was Texas and he was a contentious play in the first place.
Hogan Harris (OAK) @ LAD (L) – 3.0 IP, 8 ER, 9 Hits, 3 BBs, 2 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 29% CSW, 78 pitches.
Yeaaaaah, this was the Dodgers, and Harris hasn’t been reliable in some time. Let’s move on.
Lucas Giolito (LAA) @ ATL (L) – 3.2 IP, 9 ER, 8 Hits, 3 BBs, 2 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 21% CSW, 87 pitches.
Ohhhh dear. Don’t mess with Atlanta. I get it, please stop licking your bowling ball now. You could also argue it’s the curse of early games for Giolito, and I’d even push further to tell you that he was better than usual at locating heaters, sliders, and changeups in tandem. Just sayin’, the skills weren’t nearly as bad as the line suggests. Stupid sexy Atlanta.
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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