Don’t Mess With the Johan

Nick Pollack reviews every starting pitcher performance from Wednesday.

Johan Oviedo vs MIA (ND) – 7.0 IP, 0 ER, 6 Hits, 0 BBs, 4 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 32% CSW, 87 pitches.

It’s always fun when we see a young, developing arm have a moment where everything seems to click. Johan Oviedo had such a day as he feasted on the Marlins bats with a beautiful performance of 7.0 IP, 0 ER, 6 Hits, 0 BBs, 4 Ks, fueled by 94 mph heaters (97.5 mph max!) and breakers for strikes. Is this the moment we start picking him up?

Sadly, no. Don’t take the cookies out of the oven yet. Oviedo went just 2/30 whiffs on sliders and curveballs, tossed far too many heaters in the middle of the plate, and doesn’t have a changeup to trust yet. Sure, it worked today as he found enough of the plate to rely on the Miami offense’s lack of ability, but there’s still far too much left to work on. And besides, it’s Atlanta next. You wouldn’t want to start him for that, now would you? He’s a Young Gun and I don’t expect to heavily suggest Oviedo outside of rare streams.


Let’s see how every other SP did Wednesday:


Paolo Espino vs PIT (W) – 5.0 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 0 BBs, 2 Ks – 5 Whiffs, 26% CSW, 53 pitches.

The man threw strikes, and the Pirates got themselves out. Honestly, a lot of pitchers could have success against the Pirates if they elected to do just that.

Sandy Alcantara @ STL (L) – 8.1 IP, 0 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 7 Ks – 16 Whiffs, 29% CSW, 108 pitches.

Leave it to Sandy to earn an 8.1 inning complete game. Sigh. The man didn’t deserve this loss in the slightest, doing everything he could to put the team on his back. He even leaned more on sliders in this one as his changeup wasn’t as pristine as days past and the sweeper came through for 39% CSW. It’s legit with a capital L. That may be the most fitting line you’ve ever had. Thank you, thank you. I try. But seriously, get this man some runs, PLEASE.

Jacob deGrom vs CHC (ND) – 3.0 IP, 0 ER, 0 Hits, 0 BBs, 8 Ks – 12 Whiffs, 39% CSW, 51 pitches.

Speaking of lacking run support, this was the brief moment we had of deGrom today, fanning eight of the nine batters he faced because duh. Sadly, he left early with shoulder soreness and he’ll be gone until post-All-Star break he could miss his next start or two. Couldn’t help myself with that strikethrough line. Monitor the situation, though you imagine they’ll have to rest deGrom proper now. It’s terribly sad. All we want to see is him at his true peak and we know the man can do it if he just stayed healthy. Fun fact: deGrom’s spin rates actually went up in this game. The man doesn’t need help.

Bailey Ober @ SEA (ND) – 4.0 IP, 0 ER, 1 Hits, 0 BBs, 6 Ks – 4 Whiffs, 22% CSW, 63 pitches.

Hey, this worked! Well, for just four frames, but still! I wouldn’t call myself a fan of Ober’s stuff — 0/18 whiffs on secondary pitches — and his fastball was a little worse here as it sat 91 mph. In short, don’t touch this moving forward despite the line above. Blame it on the Mariners.

Zack Wheeler @ LAD (W) – 6.0 IP, 0 ER, 5 Hits, 4 BBs, 6 Ks – 12 Whiffs, 32% CSW, 98 pitches.

Aces gonna ace. What can’t this man do. Not walk four batters. Fine, that was a weird thing. Just ignore it and embrace how stupid good he is. With a 1.50 WHIP? YOU GET THE POINT.

Anthony DeSclafani vs ARI (W) – 5.0 IP, 1 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 32% CSW, 87 pitches.

Tony Disco flipped in more changeups this time around and they worked well inside the zone. The memo is still the same for him — start him against all but the Top 10 offenses — and that means he’s a safe play against the Phils next time out.

Chase De Jong @ WSH (L) – 4.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks – 12 Whiffs, 32% CSW, 71 pitches.

I guess this is something and something is something and not nothing so that’s something. Why have you wasted my time like this. I. Don’t. Know.

Tyler Mahle @ MIL (W) – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 2 BBs, 12 Ks – 19 Whiffs, 36% CSW, 107 pitches.

Well ain’t this pretty. That’s a Golden Goal (Four pitchers had a 36% CSW tonight, FWIW!) as Mahle crushed the hopes and dreams of Brewers players with a fantastic heater and solid slider. There isn’t much more to it and now we hope that it can continue against the stronger offenses of Minnesota and Atlanta. You got this kiddo.

Brady Singer vs DET (ND) – 3.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 2 Ks – 6 Whiffs, 24% CSW, 51 pitches.

Singer left this one early with a shoulder issue and you have to wonder if he’ll make his next start. And if he does? That’ll likely come with a strict pitch count like this one. It ain’t worth the squeeze, y’all.

Gerrit Cole @ TOR (W) – 8.0 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks – 15 Whiffs, 29% CSW, 104 pitches.

Aces gonna ace. Yeah yeah yeah, his spin rates are all dramatically down, and it didn’t help him in the strikeout department, but he still earned 15 whiffs and gave you excellent ratios + a Win. Doesn’t really look like an issue to me, the strikeouts aren’t going to be this low.

Clayton Kershaw vs PHI (L) – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 8 Hits, 1 BBs, 9 Ks – 15 Whiffs, 28% CSW, 110 pitches.

Aces gonna ace for TATIAGA. It’s also an annoying 1.50 WHIP like Wheeler, but nine strikeouts and a 3.00 ERA are certainly welcome.

Freddy Peralta vs CIN (L) – 7.0 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 0 BBs, 6 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 19% CSW, 96 pitches.

This was a stupid fun matchup and despite the horrifically low 19% CSW from Peralta, he still made his line look like a standard Freddy-P affair. Weird seeing him turn to curveballs over sliders, too, but the real challenge comes next as he heads to Coors. Good luck, Peralta, we’re all counting on you. Update: I’m dumb and he should get the Diamondbacks next. Sweet.

Ross Stripling vs NYY (L) – 6.2 IP, 2 ER, 3 Hits, 2 BBs, 9 Ks – 18 Whiffs, 36% CSW, 101 pitches.

It’s a share of the King Cole for Stripling as he did an excellent job against the Yankees. We finally saw secondary pitches get into the action, with 11 whiffs across 29 sliders + changeups & his curveball finding the plate effectively. I’m all for picking up Stripling now — his gauntlet is over and he gets the Marlins + Orioles next. Yes please!

Griffin Canning @ OAK (ND) – 5.0 IP, 2 ER, 3 Hits, 2 BBs, 2 Ks – 6 Whiffs, 23% CSW, 69 pitches.

It’s boring as h*ck, and Canning didn’t have his slider in the slightest, but he threw some decent curveballs and heaters to power through this one. It doesn’t make me confident in the slightest for his next start again the Giants and I’d let him go if he were on my rosters.

Zack Greinke vs TEX (W) – 5.2 IP, 3 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 20% CSW, 89 pitches.

Ehhhh, it’s a Philly with just four Whiffs, but at least you got yourself a Win. Get used to a lot of boring from Greinke, it’s what he does well these days.

Tarik Skubal @ KC (W) – 6.0 IP, 3 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 7 Ks – 16 Whiffs, 29% CSW, 91 pitches.

A pair of longballs soured this start into a PQS, but I watched this one and was incredibly impressed with his changeup as Skubal featured it 23% of the time for 48% CSW. That’s glorious, especially from a pitcher in the pre-season was considered a “four-seamer focused” pitcher without secondary stuff to trust. He turned to his slider just nine times, though, (6/9 CSW!) and I’m curious what would happen if Skubal leaned 40-45% of the time on sliders and changeups. The kid is developing quickly and y’all better be holding everywhere.

Lucas Giolito vs TB (ND) – 6.0 IP, 3 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 7 Ks – 16 Whiffs, 25% CSW, 102 pitches.

Aces gonna give you a Dusty Donut with a 1.00 WHIP and seven Ks, but a 4.50 ERA with that PQSMeh, I’ll take it. The changeup is so so good.

Cole Irvin vs LAA (ND) – 5.2 IP, 4 ER, 9 Hits, 2 BBs, 2 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 17% CSW, 81 pitches.

Womp womp. I hoped for better against a lineup without Rendon or Trout, but I clearly forgot about Ohtani. I’M A MONSTER. Irvin gets the Rangers next, though, and I think he’s good enough to handle that.

Ian Anderson vs BOS (ND) – 4.0 IP, 4 ER, 7 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks – 16 Whiffs, 36% CSW, 87 pitches.

Blegh. His changeup was a bit punished and he threw too many hittable fastballs. Welp, brush it off (easy to do when you’re thick as a…nope. I won’t do it) and start him against the Mets next time out.

Merrill Kelly @ SF (L) – 3.0 IP, 4 ER, 4 Hits, 3 BBs, 4 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 85 pitches.

Womp womp. The velocity was there (92.5 mph), but everything else wasn’t as it’s yet another streaming loss. Streaming Record: 42-33. It’s been a rough two weeks, and for those wondering if Kelly is worth it for the Brewers next, it’s worth only a deeeep stream. I’d avoid him in most cases.

Garrett Richards @ ATL (ND) – 4.0 IP, 4 ER, 7 Hits, 1 BBs, 3 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 24% CSW, 84 pitches.

You know, it wasn’t a bad attempt at the BSBbut that dang slider just isn’t what it used to be. I just don’t know when it’ll be a thing again and I’m not interested until it is.

Jordan Lyles @ HOU (L) – 4.1 IP, 5 ER, 7 Hits, 2 BBs, 3 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 77 pitches.

He faced the Astros, and we had zero expectations. His slider was decent at getting whiffs and his curveball got called strikes, so at least that’s cool. Not cool enough for the A’s, though.

Kyle Freeland vs SD (ND) – 3.2 IP, 5 ER, 9 Hits, 2 BBs, 3 Ks – 4 Whiffs, 22% CSW, 83 pitches.

This was Freeland. In Coors. Against the Padres. Checks the line. Yup, that’s about right. Move it along, sir.

Robert Stock @ NYM (L) – 4.0 IP, 5 ER, 4 Hits, 6 BBs, 3 Ks – 5 Whiffs, 24% CSW, 79 pitches.

Despite the name, this was unfortunately not SuperStonk at all.

Aaron Civale vs BAL (W) – 5.0 IP, 5 ER, 9 Hits, 2 BBs, 2 Ks – 6 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 96 pitches.

Nooooo. A start after earning eleven strikeouts, Civale tallied just two as he failed to take down the Orioles. His curveball failed to earn a whiff and sadly we’re back to hoping the kitchen works on a given night. Ugh. I think he’ll bounce back against the Cubs next week.

Ryan Yarbrough @ CWS (ND) – 6.1 IP, 5 ER, 10 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 30% CSW, 96 pitches.

Well, it wasn’t Friday. But seriously, the White Sox are a strong club and The Fratty Pirate just isn’t the kind of pitcher you blindly toss against any ole team. He gets the Red Sox next and that’s not a start I’d go after.

Blake Snell @ COL (ND) – 3.1 IP, 7 ER, 9 Hits, 2 BBs, 1 Ks – 5 Whiffs, 20% CSW, 75 pitches.

Yikes. Snell has struggled lately and mixing that with Coors just doesn’t make for a fun evening. He sat middle-middle on too many fastballs while his secondary stuff struggled to find the plate. And now he has to face the Dodgers as I let out a massive Ugggggggggh, watching Snell just sit on my bench. He’ll be there for another week or two and if you’re hurting for help, I can see a drop. I’d personally hold, though, and I’m not even ruling out the chance Snell gets it together for the Dodgers. It’s unlikely, but hey, it could happen.

Keegan Akin @ CLE (L) – 5.2 IP, 8 ER, 8 Hits, 3 BBs, 7 Ks – 16 Whiffs, 36% CSW, 96 pitches.

Despite the ghastly ratios, Akin still whipped up seven strikeouts, 16 whiffs, and a share of the King ColeWild. Four-seamers earned 9/54 whiffs, changeups landed for 47% CSW, and his slider…was a bit hung but was better than I’ve seen. Huh. Welp, he gets the Astros + Jays next, so let’s just ignore it all. The man did allow 11 baserunners + 8 ER, after all.

Justus Sheffield vs MIN (L) – 5.0 IP, 7 ER, 10 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 21% CSW, 95 pitches.

The rough season just gets rougher. Maybe he’s a Young Gunmaybe that slider isn’t enough to carry this whole repertoire. I hope he can figure it out over time. Is that the new equation for velocity? [Figure It Out] / [Time] ? Wow. No, it’s not. I think it’s time I head to bed.


Game of the Day


Matt Manning vs Shohei OhtaniManning is making his debut (GIF Breakdown from Ben Palmer incoming!) and it’s Ohtani on the other side.


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


Photo by Keith Gillett/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.

6 responses to “Don’t Mess With the Johan”

  1. J says:

    I don’t think Freddy P is gonna get Coors, unless they pitch him on short rest. Would likely up against the Dbacks in Arizona, which is not GREAT, but not Coors.

  2. bossmanjunior says:

    Yarbs next start is against BOS. He won’t pitch in the upcoming series.

  3. Nate Handy says:

    Interesting Johan’s best start earned so few whiffs. Doesn’t seem like the Oviedo I dug around on a month ago or whatever it was. Hmmm…these cookies gonna come out right or burnt hockey pucks?

  4. Rand says:

    Oviedo would only get the Braves on short rest. He should face Detroit and Pittsburgh next. Does that change your view on adding him in a 12-team league for those two starts next week?

  5. Jayson says:

    I think at this point of the season it’s pretty safe to say that Snell should be dropped anywhere and only rostered by managers who have a free spot to use to hold him without ever starting him. I mean just be a bit serious! Snell has the ace potential but that’s it. No control, no winner mental, and nothing to rely on until he can fix all his issues. This guy shouldn’t be rostered anywhere at this point of the season. Maybe he will turn things around but so far he has killed pretty much any week a manager dared to start him. Even though he would turn things around later it would never counterbalance what he used to cost.
    It’s also highly possible Snell will pitch like this until the end of the season and why not being demoted from the starting rotation if the Padres will need to secure win. A Play-offs spot versus starting Snell? We all know what will be the final decision on this lol.

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