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Sweet Bundy

Nick Pollack reviews every starting pitcher performance from Saturday.

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 Twitch weekday mornings from 9 am-11 am ET.  

Dylan Bundy vs CWS (W) – 5.0 IP, 0 ER, 4 Hits, 0 BBs, 4 Ks – 5 Whiffs, 33% CSW, 79 pitches.

I’m not going to spend very long talking about Dylan Bundybut I felt we needed to have a chat after yesterday’s 5.0 IP, 0 ER, 4 Hits, 0 BBs, 4 Ks – 5 Whiffs, 33% CSW, 79 pitches that now has his season marks at 0.59 ERA and a 0.72 WHIP. Wait, seriously?! Yeah. I know.

And it’s not completely undeserved. He raised his slider usage to 30% yesterday (finally!) and it performed as it should at 38% CSW. His curveball and changeup both got in on the action as well. And his four-seamer? Just a 12.5% hard contact allowed this season is phenomenal, especially when he’s still sitting just 89 mph. Bundy has also elected to throw more sliders in two-strike counts while the heater takes a backseat. Phew.

Do I think these changes and recent performance outline a legit rebound for Bundy? Not really, no. I don’t expect the heater to perform at this level and until I see Bundy sit 35%+ usage with his slider consistently, I’m going to anticipate some legit blowups due to that heater — he’s not locating it any better — and his changeup/curve aren’t enough to complement the slider. That said, if you want to Vargas Rule this as Bundy could improve from here (more sliders, increased velocity, consistency on changeup/curve, etc.) go for it. This very well isn’t going to last, though.

 

Let’s see how every other SP did Saturday:

 

Kyle Hendricks vs PIT (W) – 7.0 IP, 0 ER, 2 Hits, 0 BBs, 2 Ks – 5 Whiffs, 22% CSW, 76 pitches.

Ayyyy that’s cool with me Hendricks. I mean, 19/21 outs in the field with just two hits is more questionable than hearing me make a fantasy football reference, but hey, we’ll take it.

Austin Gomber @ DET (W) – 6.0 IP, 0 ER, 4 Hits, 0 BBs, 8 Ks – 13 Whiffs, 25% CSW, 88 pitches.

Hot dang, look at you! His velocity is still a bit down from last year, but his secondaries came alive in this one, with his curveball leading the way as the slider earning a ton of strikes. I don’t think it’s enough for me to take a chance against the lowly Reds inside Coors next time out, but it’s certainly tempting. At the very least, good matchups on the road should give you some curiosity moving forward.

Tarik Skubal vs COL (W) – 6.0 IP, 0 ER, 5 Hits, 0 BBs, 6 Ks – 13 Whiffs, 32% CSW, 91 pitches.

We saw Tarik lean in on the slider last time out and while it was his primary secondary pitch in this one, it wasn’t quite as successful as last time out. Fortunately, his heaters did the work here instead and Skubal made easy work of Rockie Road in a blowout. If he truly gets locked in with his secondaries, Skubal could soar this year with his fastball foundation.

Yu Darvish vs LAD (ND) – 6.0 IP, 0 ER, 1 Hits, 3 BBs, 7 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 34% CSW, 90 pitches.

The premium Cherry Bomb has been a whole more sweet than sour, showcasing how the opponent doesn’t matter for him with a King Cole against the Dodgers. Lock him in your lineup and forget about it.

Martín Pérez @ OAK (ND) – 6.0 IP, 0 ER, 2 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 31% CSW, 87 pitches.

His sinker performed exceptionally well in this and in no way should we anticipate that sticking around. At least he has deep streamer upside now given the ability to go six frames, but this screams Birthday Party to me like a five-year-old entering the home with balloons.

Garrett Whitlock @ TB (ND) – 4.0 IP, 0 ER, 1 Hits, 0 BBs, 7 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 44% CSW, 48 pitches.

The Whitlock experiment officially started with a BANG: That sinker overwhelmed at 95/96 mph while his slider went 5/8 strikes. The changeup was a bit disappointing at 50% strikes, but that heater is too dang good. I didn’t expect Whitlock to even get a chance to fan seven batters as he tossed fewer than fifty pitches, and I wouldn’t expect him to last five against the Jays next. It means if you’re picking him up, it’s a stash play for a week or two. If you have the spot, go for it. I’m still not sure how this ends up — will we see the secondaries come alive across a full outing?

J.P. Feyereisen vs BOS (ND) – 2.0 IP, 0 ER, 0 Hits, 0 BBs, 2 Ks – 6 Whiffs, 33% CSW, 24 pitches.

This was a bullpen game for the Rays because the year is 2022 and that happens all the time. Blegh.

Dakota Hudson @ CIN (W) – 6.2 IP, 0 ER, 2 Hits, 4 BBs, 4 Ks – 6 Whiffs, 25% CSW, 92 pitches.

Ahhhh there’s the Hudson I’ve been waiting for. Good ole grounders into that fantastic defense that minimize the damage from his walk habits. Consider him as a streamer for the Sneks next.

Spenser Watkins @ LAA (ND) – 5.0 IP, 2 ER, 3 Hits, 3 BBs, 3 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 25% CSW, 76 pitches.

Man, the Orioles pitching staff is making it work somehow, aren’t they? No, you don’t want to go after Watkins on your wire, but I have to hand it to the Orioles. It’s somehow working.

Tyler Mahle vs STL (L) – 4.1 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 3 BBs, 3 Ks – 13 Whiffs, 31% CSW, 88 pitches.

Ehhhhh you’re starting to worry, aren’t you? Well, I’m going to tell you his stuff looked good and he faced the Dodgers last time. It’s interesting to see his splitter take a larger role instead of the slider across the year, but the slider was the prominent pitch here and it mitigated the damage well. Keep starting Mahle, he’ll be solid through the full year.

Tyler Anderson @ SD (ND) – 4.2 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 3 BBs, 4 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 28% CSW, 80 pitches.

I saw the transaction trends; y’all really went after Anderson for this weekend stream and it went…kinda how we expected? I mean, he wasn’t going to go six frames being on the Dodgers and all and he’s not this stud. He was a Toby last year and he faced the Padres as he’s trying to get back to that same place. This is what happens. It could be better against the Tigers next time out, but I wouldn’t chase it in standard situations.

Humberto Castellanos vs NYM (W) – 5.0 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 33% CSW, 69 pitches.

Just 23% fastballs from Humberto here as his curveball went 55% CSW across 29 thrown. He earned strikes with sliders that were…okay, and his changeup was a bit underwhelming as well. He’s not someone to consider in 12-teamers.

Ian Anderson vs MIA (ND) – 5.0 IP, 2 ER, 6 Hits, 3 BBs, 4 Ks – 13 Whiffs, 26% CSW, 93 pitches.

Blegh. I was holding my breath for the changeup to perform like the previous game, and while it actually was pretty dang good here (40% CSW!), it wasn’t with the same precision. Meanwhile, the curve and fastball were not what we wanted and that’s the outing. Y’all understand the potential if he gains consistency, but who knows when that’ll arrive. He gets the Rangers next and I understand the difficulty of that decision. Up to you — at least the changeup is doing great things for two straight starts now.

Alex Wood @ WSH (W) – 5.0 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 32% CSW, 77 pitches.

Another start, another solid performance from Wood as he’s back to sitting 93 mph. Ahhh, life is good.

José Urquidy vs TOR (ND) – 5.2 IP, 2 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 3 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 86 pitches.

Yes, I’ll take this as a proper rebound from Urquidy. His changeup was great, though I didn’t see a whole lot from the other offerings. We’re in a weird place with Urquidy still as he’s looking like a slightly better Toby instead of a potential definitive staple of your rotation. The Rangers + Mariners follow and if I have him, I’m starting him for both, and I hope we feel great after it.

Alek Manoah @ HOU (W) – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 7 Hits, 0 BBs, 5 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 95 pitches.

Against the Astros? Sure, I’ll definitely take another quality start from Manoah. He’s getting close to Aces Gonna Ace status as well and if he survives the Sawx + Yankees up next, I don’t think you’d disagree.

Nestor Cortes Jr. vs CLE (ND) – 6.1 IP, 2 ER, 1 Hits, 2 BBs, 8 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 33% CSW, 91 pitches.

The man can’t be stopped. 42% CSW on four-seamers, 35% on cutters. Keep starting him until further notice, you should have picked him up Nestorday. Yes, I was late too.

Frankie Montas vs TEX (L) – 7.1 IP, 2 ER, 3 Hits, 1 BBs, 8 Ks – 16 Whiffs, 31% CSW, 96 pitches.

It’s really starting to feel like an Aces Gonna Ace situation for Montas as he earned the Gallows Pole on the back of his four-seamer and slider — yep, the splitter went just 2/24 whiffs as it earned outs instead. One more start and you’ve got it, Montas.

Noah Syndergaard vs BAL (ND) – 5.2 IP, 2 ER, 3 Hits, 2 BBs, 6 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 30% CSW, 88 pitches.

His velocity is just at 94 mph and I don’t trust the heaters to be overwhelming offerings this year, but the story for me here was the 23% slider usage at 35% CSW. Few whiffs (2/20), but an effective slider from Thor is something I didn’t expect to see this year given all the quotes about how it hurts his elbow. I guess we keep starting him and see how this unfolds.

Beau Brieske vs COL (L) – 5.0 IP, 3 ER, 3 Hits, 2 BBs, 3 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 25% CSW, 73 pitches.

Brieske made his MLB debut to slot in for the doubleheader and I didn’t hate what I saw. He came out firing 96 mph before slowing down in the later innings, but that four-seamer is the dependable offering for his approach and he did a decent job locating around the edges. The slider got a rude awakening as the first one he threw was sent over the left-field wall, and overall the secondaries weren’t impressive enough for me to get excited when Briekse gets another chance on the bump.

Matt Brash vs KC (ND) – 4.1 IP, 3 ER, 5 Hits, 4 BBs, 2 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 29% CSW, 87 pitches.

After his amazing debut, Brash hasn’t impressed quite the same way, showcasing the other side of an extreme breaker/fastball arm: inconsistency inside the zone. To his credit, he struggled in the first but still managed to go nearly five frames against a team that resists striking out, and his curve is still a plus plus offering. Look, his command isn’t going to suddenly click in. But if you had Lance McCullers in previous seasons, you want to still roster Brash. It’s that simple — he’s a bit of a Cherry Bomb because of the struggles to throw strikes when he needs to, but the risk is worth the reward in 12-teamers. What’s the alternative, a Toby like Chris FlexenYou can find that on the wire next month, I guarantee it. Chase the clear ceiling now, once the dust settles, we adjust. This is the way. Keep starting Brash.

Adrian Houser @ PHI (W) – 6.0 IP, 3 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 3 Ks – 6 Whiffs, 28% CSW, 85 pitches.

That’s a PQS from Houser with just six whiffs to his name. I know, I read the line too. FINE. This wasn’t enough from Houser to demand your attention and he’s a decent streamer against the Cubs next. I’m leaning away from it personally, but it could work.

Cal Quantrill @ NYY (ND) – 6.1 IP, 3 ER, 6 Hits, 3 BBs, 2 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 26% CSW, 90 pitches.

He returned from the COVID-IL, had a smooth 2 ER through six frames, and had a bit of a Careful, Icarus here as he tried to keep it going in the seventh. It’s essentially a VPQS with just two strikeouts and once again, I am asking you to consider not rostering a Toby at this time. Chase the ceiling for now, then adjust in May.

Zack Wheeler vs MIL (L) – 5.0 IP, 4 ER, 7 Hits, 0 BBs, 5 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 24% CSW, 84 pitches.

Sooooooo we’re not there yet, but the good news here is the heater jumping back to 96.0 mph. That’s not the 94.4 we saw last time, but it’s also not the 97.2 mph from last year. That’s three starts of diminished velocity, but seeing it ramp up this time has to make us more confident he can get back to 97+ again…or at least hint at it. Yes, I emitted a large sigh watching this — I know we’ve talked about “this is his spring training, Nick!” but the massive drop in velocity (that was getting worse, not better!) had me terrified. This is good. We’re on the right path now and we could be one start away from our fears quelled in full. Man, do I love getting more information.

Aaron Sanchez vs SF (L) – 4.1 IP, 4 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 1 Ks – 4 Whiffs, 22% CSW, 64 pitches.

Welcome back Aaron! It’s nice to see you start again, though you’re back to the old ways of earning just one strikeout across nearly five frames. HAISTBMBWT?! No thanks.

Zach Thompson @ CHC (L) – 2.0 IP, 4 ER, 9 Hits, 2 BBs, 1 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 26% CSW, 57 pitches.

Sadly Thompson isn’t expressing the same ability we saw mid-season of 2021. He’s a Frozen Banana until then.

Trevor Williams @ ARI (L) – 2.0 IP, 4 ER, 7 Hits, 0 BBs, 0 Ks – 5 Whiffs, 24% CSW, 62 pitches.

Sorry Trevor, your 2018 magic is a thing of the past.

Antonio Senzatela @ DET (L) – 5.0 IP, 5 ER, 10 Hits, 0 BBs, 3 Ks – 6 Whiffs, 19% CSW, 80 pitches.

There’s little rhyme or reason to Senz-A. It’s the zen he preaches.

Elieser Hernandez @ ATL (ND) – 4.2 IP, 5 ER, 7 Hits, 0 BBs, 4 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 23% CSW, 88 pitches.

He was our questionable streamer against Atlanta and it didn’t go our way. The slider wasn’t as overwhelming as usual (11 foul balls as guys weren’t as fooled), while the changeup was essentially non-existent. It put too heavy of a reliance on the four-seamer and voila, there’s your destruction. The Mariners could be a better time, though, and at 88 pitches, Elieser has the ability to go six frames if it clicks on a given night. He’ll be a questionable start again.

Vince Velasquez @ MIN (L) – 3.1 IP, 5 ER, 8 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 22% CSW, 87 pitches.

I won’t convince you Velasquez is worth a look on any of your teams. I don’t even know how we convinced the White Sox to let him start in the first place. Huh, I guess he’s the ultimate ConVincer. Uggggggggh even I’m groaning at that.

Kris Bubic @ SEA (ND) – 2.0 IP, 5 ER, 7 Hits, 1 BBs, 1 Ks – 5 Whiffs, 28% CSW, 64 pitches.

Yiiiikes. How long have we been waiting for Bubic to become something legitimate? Too long. He’s still a Frozen Banana so maybe one day it’ll come around.

 

Game of the Day 

Clayton Kershaw vs. Sean Manaea – Dodgers vs. Padres is always fun + two stellar lefties go toe-to-toe.

But Nick?! Where are the streaming picks? – I’ve moved them to the daily SP Matchups & Streamer Rankings article.

Have Questions? – Join my morning Twitch livestream! I answer all questions there for free: 9:00 am – 11:00 am ET Monday through Friday.

Photo by Bailey Hillesheim/Icon Sportswire | Adapted by Justin Paradis (@JustParaDesigns on Twitter)

Nick Pollack

Founder of Pitcher List. Creator of CSW, The List, and SP Roundup. Worked with MSG, FanGraphs, CBS Sports, and Washington Post. Former college pitcher, travel coach, pitching coach, and Brandeis alum. Wants every pitcher to be dope.

  • KMAC says:

    Who’s going to be higher on the list Hudson or Blackburn?

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