Welcome to the SP Roundup, my daily fantasy baseball article reviewing every starting pitcher’s performance from every Sunday 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.
Eduardo Rodriguez (DET) vs LAA (W) – 5.0 IP, 0 ER, 4 Hits, 3 BBs, 5 Ks – 4 Whiffs, 26% CSW, 78 pitches.
We hadn’t seen Eduardo Rodriguez take the mound since May 18th and it hadn’t been a fun season for the highly-anticipated “ace” of Detroit. To his credit, he had one of the roughest early schedules imaginable, enduring the White Sox, Red Sox, Yankees, Twins, Dodgers, and Astros straight out of the gate.
Today, in his first start back from injury + personal matters, he was tasked with facing a much easier lineup in the Angels and came through for managers willing to give him another chance via 5.0 IP, 0 ER, 4 Hits, 3 BBs, 5 Ks – 4 Whiffs, 26% CSW, 78 pitches and you have to wonder – is it finally time to get excited for Edu?
Ehhhhh, I’m pretty tepid at the moment. Peak Eduardo equates to overwhelming four-seamers with low changeups out of the zone for a plus SwStr%. And why not, some decent cutters/sliders for strikes. What we got here was a slower four-seamer (91 mph), a changeup that didn’t miss bats, and a mediocre cutter and slider. Now, it’s his first start back in three months, I’ll give him some benefit of the doubt here, but I was looking for a start that got me excited for a potential hot stretch in an attempt to redeem the season. This wasn’t it.
He gets the Rangers next and I’m not necessarily opposed to that one. It seems like a coin flip if he’ll have this same ability next or if he’ll take a step forward in his development, and clearly pitching like this isn’t so bad. Still, those expecting great things from Rodriguez, even at his current discount on some waiver wires, may be disappointed in what’s ahead.
Let’s see how every other SP did Sunday:
Kohei Arihara (TEX) @ MIN (W) – 6.0 IP, 0 ER, 4 Hits, 0 BBs, 3 Ks – 6 Whiffs, 25% CSW, 71 pitches.
Yeah this one makes very little sense to me. His sinker was his most thrown pitch with a 45% strike rate. His cutter earned two whiffs and was the most of any pitch he threw. What happened here were cutters + changeups getting knocked into play and finding gloves. Seriously, that’s it. This is not a recipe for success and that’s a Birthday Party to me…if he weren’t facing the Tigers next. FINE. Take a chance there, you can start anyone over 80 pitches against the Tigers, for the most part. Still a chance it doesn’t go well, though.
Justin Steele (CHC) vs MIL (ND) – 6.0 IP, 0 ER, 2 Hits, 1 BBs, 9 Ks – 15 Whiffs, 31% CSW, 89 pitches.
Steele has come through once again, fanning nine or more for the third time in four games. The four-seamer did the heavy lifting here, mostly middle or up in the zone as the slider continued to be hard to hit. Sure, the Giants, Marlins, Nationals x2, and the Brewers aren’t the mightiest of foes as he’s allowed just 2 ER across his last five games, but he’ll face the Brewers a second time next time out – so does it really matter?
Ryan Yarbrough (TB) vs KC (ND) – 4.1 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 33% CSW, 82 pitches.
Wait, you started?! Nooooooo, how are we supposed to get a cheap Win then? By the way, it’s pretty fun to see a starter toss just 21% fastballs (even if they come in sub 87 mph). Ugh, I don’t want to do this against the Red Sox unless it’s confirmed there’s an opener and even then it’s only if I were desperate for a Win.
Sean Manaea (SD) vs WSH (W) – 7.0 IP, 1 ER, 5 Hits, 0 BBs, 4 Ks – 5 Whiffs, 29% CSW, 69 pitches.
Save for an absolute tank off the bat of Nelson Cruz, Manaea ran into zero trouble in this one. Was it a product of Natty Lite? Yeah mostly, as the changeup and slider were nothing special and Manaea chucked sinkers well inside the zone. But at least he’s back to 91 mph instead of that horrific 89 mark we saw last time. I’m still using Listerine on that one.
Nestor Cortes (NYY) vs TOR (ND) – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks – 12 Whiffs, 28% CSW, 103 pitches.
Kinda wonky command here from Cortes, but he was able to grind it out for five strikouts. What a surprise he has been this year and I hope he can give us at least one more of those ridiculous strikeout outings before September ends.
Alek Manoah (TOR) @ NYY (ND) – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 8 Ks – 12 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 104 pitches.
Aces gonna ace as the slider whiffs returned. YES! Seven whiffs + 40% CSW on the sweeper as the four-seamer did the rest. He’s still having trouble with his sinker, though, and hopefully that comes around in the near future.
Dean Kremer (BAL) vs BOS (ND) – 5.1 IP, 1 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 34% CSW, 80 pitches.
This was the Little League Classic game and…WHAT?! We have data??? WE HAVE DATA!!! I kid, I watched this one because why the h*ck not, though it’s still nice to see validation of Kremer not missing many bats with his changeup, but still tossing some effective changeups and curveballs. He also sat a tick harder on the heater as well and there’s a little bit of late 2020 magic in the air…but he gets the Astros next. Pity.
JP Sears (OAK) vs SEA (W) – 5.0 IP, 1 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 3 Ks – 6 Whiffs, 24% CSW, 79 pitches.
Another start, another low ERA and a Win, though that WHIP and trio of punchouts should tell you everything you need to know. This isn’t gonna last and don’t Double Bubble yourself.
José Urquidy (HOU) @ ATL (W) – 7.0 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 6 Ks – 15 Whiffs, 28% CSW, 98 pitches.
It’s still sub-50% four-seamers with the rest of the arsenal working and I absolutely adored his ability to go up-and-gloveside in this one. This is the Urquidy we idealized when we drafted him in March.
Joe Ryan (MIN) vs TEX (L) – 6.1 IP, 2 ER, 2 Hits, 3 BBs, 6 Ks – 14 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 88 pitches.
Ayyyy solid stuff Ryan. Sure, there was some “Careful Icarus” in the seventh, but that’s all fine with the pitch separation we saw today, executing the BSB super well. If only he had legit secondaries…He’s young, it could easily come with time.
Ryan Pepiot (LAD) vs MIA (W) – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 7 Ks – 13 Whiffs, 24% CSW, 97 pitches.
Eleven whiffs on four-seamers is an astonishing thing to see from Pepiot, but sadly I have to Blame it on the Marlins. This isn’t the start that warms me up to Pepiot, sorry. This isn’t the RPG – Ryan Pepiot Game.
Charlie Morton (ATL) vs HOU (ND) – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 11 Ks – 18 Whiffs, 34% CSW, 97 pitches.
Despite two difficult matchups back-to-back, Morton earned double-digit strikeouts in both, recording a Gallows Pole in the process today. It shouldn’t be much of a surprise to know his curveball usage was near 50% once again, and neither should its 48% CSW with 13 whiffs. AGA label coming soon, I can feel it.
Nick Pivetta (BOS) @ BAL (ND) – 5.2 IP, 2 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 9 Ks – 17 Whiffs, 29% CSW, 103 pitches.
I’m still thrilled we have Statcast data for this one…but it’s kinda messed up as it claimed he threw 45 sliders, when in fact, it was closer to about 25 (you can tell looking at the slider velocity chart and follow which go into the four-seamer band and which into the curveball). I’m sure that’ll get fixed tomorrow. Annnnyway, nine strikeouts and 17 whiffs is a wonderful thing, and it does seem Pivetta is doing a better job getting pitches over the plate these days. Is it enough to trust him against the Rays? …Maybe?
Brandon Woodruff (MIL) @ CHC (ND) – 5.2 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks – 15 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 105 pitches.
Aces gonna ace. His heaters didn’t miss as many bats per usual, but this works. Thanks for working, Woody.
Patrick Corbin (WSH) @ SD (L) – 5.1 IP, 2 ER, 9 Hits, 2 BBs, 3 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 26% CSW, 97 pitches.
Oh wow. The Padres really are struggling that much, huh?
Kyle Gibson (PHI) vs NYM (ND) – 4.1 IP, 2 ER, 8 Hits, 3 BBs, 3 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 24% CSW, 105 pitches.
Jeeeez, 105 pitches without surviving the fifth? That WHIP is a disaster as nothing was befuddling the Mets here – just 2/20 whiffs on sliders after earning nine last time out. Welp, this was a tough offense, and let’s all be thankful it’s the Pirates next. Phew.
Zack Greinke (KC) @ TB (ND) – 4.0 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 2 Ks – 6 Whiffs, 29% CSW, 68 pitches.
Greinke left with wrist discomfort, preventing what very well could have been a PQS or better. No need to hold onto this, he was a rare streamer and there are better arms on the wire.
José Quintana (STL) @ ARI (ND) – 2.2 IP, 2 ER, 7 Hits, 3 BBs, 0 Ks – 3 Whiffs, 15% CSW, 73 pitches.
Blegh. Quintana has made a season for himself with fantastic command and it wasn’t all there in this one, especially with the sinker and changeup. Look, we bought into Quintana only because of that ridiculous command and I don’t see a world where he’s still fantastic without it. That said, he’s done well for so long that we have to give him another chance to get back into that groove, especially now that he’s on the Cardinals and especially especially when he faces the…oh. Atlanta. Does a positive and a negative especially cancel each other out?
Jakob Junis (SF) @ COL (ND) – 6.2 IP, 3 ER, 5 Hits, 0 BBs, 6 Ks – 12 Whiffs, 41% CSW, 85 pitches.
It’s weird to see a guy go into Coors and have a fantastic game with his slider, but here we are with Junis earning a whopping 48% CSW on his slider, en route to a well-deserved King Cole. But then again, it’s Coors, so he allowed 3 ER on the way. I want to jump into this, but the Twins are on the horizon and it’s still too dang risky. So we wait. Womp womp.
Merrill Kelly (ARI) vs STL (ND) – 6.0 IP, 3 ER, 7 Hits, 3 BBs, 6 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 28% CSW, 97 pitches.
The heaters were fine, the changeup was okay, and you got yourself a VVPQS with ten baserunners. Meh. You keep starting him.
Zach Thompson (PIT) vs CIN (L) – 5.0 IP, 3 ER, 8 Hits, 3 BBs, 5 Ks – 12 Whiffs, 31% CSW, 78 pitches.
It’s as if Thompson and Minor were both awfully kind to the other, each refusing to take advantage of a terrible opposing offense. Oh no, please earn the Win, I insist. It’s an odd thing to see the pitcher with a Loss allow fewer runs than the pitcher with a Win with the same number starting their IP. That’s baseball, Suzyn.
Shohei Ohtani (LAA) @ DET (L) – 4.0 IP, 3 ER, 5 Hits, 4 BBs, 2 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 25% CSW, 85 pitches.
Ohhhh wow. Ohtani had a stomach bug causing him to be very clearly off his game in this one. Terrible timing as we anticipated a monster game and I hope he’s alright. Feel better, face of baseball.
Luis Castillo (SEA) @ OAK (L) – 5.0 IP, 4 ER, 8 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks – 13 Whiffs, 28% CSW, 86 pitches.
Aces gonna stumble against the Athletics. Well ain’t that a disappointment after taking down the Yankees twice. Chin up y’all, it’s just a One Night Bland.
Kyle Freeland (COL) vs SF (ND) – 6.1 IP, 5 ER, 7 Hits, 3 BBs, 5 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 26% CSW, 100 pitches.
Freeland has limited upside, pitches his home games at Coors Field, and doesn’t deserve a spot on your team. This should be the blurb for every Colorado starter.
Mike Minor (CIN) @ PIT (W) – 5.2 IP, 5 ER, 9 Hits, 0 BBs, 1 Ks – 6 Whiffs, 22% CSW, 93 pitches.
Not even the Pirates can save Minor these days. I mean one strikeout?! HAISTBMBWT?!
Sandy Alcantara (MIA) @ LAD (L) – 3.2 IP, 6 ER, 10 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 33% CSW, 89 pitches.
Ugggggh, this is just like 2021 where the Dodgers trounced Alcantara in one of his few poor starts of the year. I don’t think we saw a “bad” version of Alcantara here, but his mistakes were punished and he got Singled Out a bit. I know, this isn’t the only non-elite outing from Alcantara lately, but y’all really shouldn’t worry. 99 mph heaters. Great changeups. Sliders for strikes. It’s all still there.
Jose Butto (NYM) @ PHI (ND) – 4.0 IP, 7 ER, 9 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks – 13 Whiffs, 28% CSW, 98 pitches.
The Mets needed someone to pitch with Taijuan Walker out and it’s taking a lot out of me not to run with his name. But oh what a start this was for Philly fans, but of course the Phils let this nightmarish start go to waste with the Mets coming back by the ninth inning. As far as the stuff goes, 13 whiffs ain’t nothing, but the 95 mph heater + curve aren’t sharp enough to keep barrels off balls. Don’t look for him when he gets future chances.
Game of the Day
Jordan Montgomery vs. Drew Smyly – Both southpaws have been at the top of their games lately and we could see six frames of good ole pitchin’ here.
But Nick?! Where are the streaming picks? – I’ve moved them to the daily SP Matchups & Streamer Rankings article.
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Photo by Scott W. Grau/Icon Sportswire | Adapted by Justin Paradis (@JustParaDesigns on Twitter)