Josh Spice

Nick Pollack reviews every starting pitcher performance from Wednesday.

Josh Rogers vs MIA (ND) – 5.0 IP, 0 ER, 1 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks – 6 Whiffs, 30% CSW, 73 pitches.

You likely don’t know Josh Rogers. He made his third start of the season for the Nationals tonight and made the very most of a date with the Marlins – 5.0 IP, 0 ER, 1 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks – 6 Whiffs, 30% CSW, 73 pitches – and it got you thinking. Maybe this Josh guy ain’t so bad?

Maybe he isn’t. I wouldn’t say I expected Rogers to go 41% CSW on sliders in this one, but that’s what we got, coming in two ticks harder than its season average and helping support a mediocre 90/91 mph heater. He’s also gone at least five frames in all three games and guess what. He gets the Marlins next? He gets the Marlins next. It’s not a slam dunk (I do prefer Dillon Peters‘ start with his ridiculous changeup, for example) but I wouldn’t ignore it. And that’s why Josh is the lead today: he’s someone I’m willing to wager is available in your fantasy league and could help next week. Consider it.


Let’s see how every other SP did Wednesday:


Cal Quantrill @ MIN (W) – 6.2 IP, 0 ER, 2 Hits, 3 BBs, 4 Ks – 6 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 100 pitches.

The man is The Unquantrifiable for a reason and it’s in your best interest not to overthink it. Just start the man and his slider that somehow went 13/48 called strikes today. It doesn’t mean you need to roster him for months next season.

Trevor Rogers @ WSH (ND) – 4.0 IP, 1 ER, 7 Hits, 1 BBs, 3 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 32% CSW, 84 pitches.

Trevor did his best in the battle of the Neighborhoods and sadly, his slider + changeup aren’t what they were in the first half, leading to yet another start under six frames. The schedule is far too cushy to stop starting him, but it does make me wonder where we’re drafting him next season. Outside the Top 30 SP…right? Top 40? It’s going to be interesting.

Néstor Cortes Jr. @ BAL (ND) – 6.1 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 2 BBs, 11 Ks – 13 Whiffs, 34% CSW, 98 pitches.

Hot dang, look at you! Cortes Jr. commanded his arsenal well and the Orioles did the rest, propelling him to a King Cole. It’s a lovely Vargas Rule situation (sorry, I don’t buy it long term as the command is unlikely to stick for real) that should not stick around for 2022, but who cares! It’s Texas next and that’s great. Now the Sawx + Rays after…that’s on you.

Robbie Ray vs TB (W) – 7.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 0 BBs, 13 Ks – 21 Whiffs, 32% CSW, 101 pitches.

Aces gonna ace. That’s a Gallows Pole as Ray bolsters his Cy Young chances even more. What a stupid good run this has been.

José Urquidy @ TEX (W) – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 2 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 30% CSW, 81 pitches.

Ahhhh, there he is. We’ve missed you, Urquidy. He sat 93 mph (solid) with his changeup and hook working and the Rangers did the rest. He should be a safe play against the Angels next.

Janson Junk @ CWS (ND) – 4.1 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 0 BBs, 2 Ks – 5 Whiffs, 28% CSW, 61 pitches.

Oh hey, it’s Mr. Junk. I wish he were a baller, but he’s more of a bawler. Nick, those are good ratios. Yeah, that’s a good point and there’s legit no shame in bawling. Let those emotions out, we all have feelings and it’s important to express them. Anyway, his 92/93 mph heater performed well against the ChiSox, though his secondary stuff betrays his name. This ain’t it.

Matt Manning vs MIL (W) – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 2 Hits, 3 BBs, 6 Ks – 12 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 98 pitches.

Ayyyy, Manning was alright. He mixed in an effective slider to go with a decent hook and the fastballs weren’t crushed. Good on him. Don’t trust him, but I’m happy for Matty.

Antonio Senzatela @ ATL (ND) – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 7 Hits, 0 BBs, 7 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 30% CSW, 88 pitches.

Guys, I don’t know. Nick has left his desk and is now shouting from the other room. I DON’T KNOW.

Dallas Keuchel vs LAA (ND) – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 6 Hits, 5 BBs, 3 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 23% CSW, 98 pitches.

Talk about a Dusty Donutthat’s a rare solid ERA from Keuchel as of late…with a horrific WHIP. Stay far away, y’all.

Jon Lester @ NYM (W) – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 6 Hits, 0 BBs, 7 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 21% CSW, 94 pitches.

Wow. Lester is on one h*ck of a roll, isn’t he. That’s five starts of 2 ER or fewer, tallying just 7 ER across them. So what’s working for him? Ummmm BABIP? And his changeup finding the corner a bit more than usual. Nothing to really buy into…but maybe for those last two starts against the Cubs. Maybe…

John Means vs NYY (ND) – 5.2 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks – 13 Whiffs, 28% CSW, 103 pitches.

It’s not the best, but I’ll take it from Means against the Yankees. His heater did legit work, sitting at 93.7 mph (a full tick higher than the last outing), helping him earn 10 whiffs with the pitch, but his changeup and curveball weren’t at the same level, preventing him from legit dominance. There’s always something with Means, you know? The Phils + Rangers are ahead and with that velocity, he should be fine.

Ranger Suárez vs CHC (ND) – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 8 Ks – 14 Whiffs, 34% CSW, 94 pitches.

It’s a lovely schedule for Suárez and you simply have to keep starting him. He earned a share of the King Cole with his changeup earning whiffs + sinker earning called strikes and while I don’t love the ability, he’s still a Toby with a glorious schedule. Don’t think twice.

Mitch Keller vs CIN (ND) – 5.0 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 3 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 26% CSW, 92 pitches.

Sure, the slider got whiffs, but does it really matter? Does any of this matter? They don’t call it reality baseball, you know. Anyway, if you want to win fantasy, you have to be real about Keller. Don’t buy into this.

Huascar Ynoa vs COL (ND) – 4.2 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 8 Ks – 17 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 92 pitches.

This doesn’t look so bad until you realize he didn’t go five frames despite tossing 92 pitches. The slider is still stupid good, he just didn’t get the outcomes we’re used to on the heater. So it goes, keep starting him.

Julio Urías vs ARI (W) – 5.0 IP, 2 ER, 3 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks – 5 Whiffs, 26% CSW, 76 pitches.

It wasn’t the greatest and I’m still waiting for him to sport a legit changeup, but Urías did his job against the Sneks and that’s fine with us.

Joe Musgrove @ SF (W) – 6.0 IP, 3 ER, 5 Hits, 3 BBs, 4 Ks – 6 Whiffs, 29% CSW, 98 pitches.

Blegh. That’s a PQS without much to cheer for as the curveball went just 1/26 whiffs. It wasn’t Musgrove’s best effort but at least he survived the Giants without his best stuff. He’ll get them twice more and I’m here if you need to exhaust some of your anxiety.

Dominic Leone vs SD (L) – 0.1 IP, 2 ER, 2 Hits, 0 BBs, 1 Ks – 4 Whiffs, 24% CSW, 21 pitches.

Welcome who’s opening for this bullpen game, where the pitchers are made up and their stats don’t matter.

Griffin Jax vs CLE (L) – 4.2 IP, 3 ER, 7 Hits, 1 BBs, 3 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 23% CSW, 82 pitches.

I was contemplating Jax as a streamer as well for Wednesday and this…wasn’t what I expected against a poor Cleveland offense. The slider still earned whiffs, but the fastball was belted a bit and the sweeper wasn’t enough. He does get the Cubs next, though, and at the risk of getting Schwindled, that could work despite this outcome.

Brandon Woodruff @ DET (L) – 6.0 IP, 3 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 7 Ks – 16 Whiffs, 31% CSW, 90 pitches.

Aces gonna PQS and disappoint us a little. Sure, the WHIP and strikeouts are great, but that’s like two earned runs too many. Even Manning went six frames with just 1 ER. Get it together, Woody.

Tanner Houck @ SEA (ND) – 4.1 IP, 3 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 7 Ks – 12 Whiffs, 32% CSW, 71 pitches.

Ehhhhh, we’re so close. The slider was finally dope again – 54% CSW with 9/28 whiffs – but the heater allowed for some damage and he was pulled in the fifth with just 71 pitches. The Mets are next and I’m conflicted. On one hand, he hasn’t gone deep into games at all. On the other, he finally had a start with his slider and hopefully that sticks. If you need strikeouts, it’s likely worth it.

Marco Gonzales vs BOS (ND) – 6.0 IP, 3 ER, 3 Hits, 2 BBs, 7 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 29% CSW, 110 pitches.

PQS with seven strikeouts is fantastic for Marco against the Sawx and let’s hope he can survive the Athletics next. That’s a tough call, even with this success.

Merrill Kelly @ LAD (L) – 4.2 IP, 4 ER, 10 Hits, 2 BBs, 1 Ks – 4 Whiffs, 23% CSW, 82 pitches.

Kelly returned from the COVID-IL and was immediately thrown into the fire against the Dodgers. He wasn’t his best self and a near 3.00 WHIP expresses just fine. He may be of use against Rockie Road the final weekend of the year, but let’s ignore him until then.

Alec Mills @ PHI (ND) – 4.2 IP, 4 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 28% CSW, 68 pitches.

And here I was thinking I’d stream Mills. He gets the Twins + Cardinals x2 and the crowd goes tepid. It’s really not fun.

Vladimir Gutiérrez @ PIT (ND) – 3.2 IP, 4 ER, 5 Hits, 3 BBs, 0 Ks – 5 Whiffs, 23% CSW, 71 pitches.

Oh no. Yep. That dang fastball command is still out of whack, so much that Vladdy can’t capitalize against poor lineups. Sigh. Y’all know you can’t trust it.

Sean Manaea @ KC (W) – 5.0 IP, 5 ER, 9 Hits, 1 BBs, 3 Ks – 15 Whiffs, 24% CSW, 101 pitches.

Noooooo. The velocity was as high as ever at 93.7 mph, but he threw too many in the heart of the plate and the changeup + curveball did the same. Ugh. Get that command in order, Manaea. Your stuff has never been filthier! Yes, start him against Seattle next.

Kohei Arihara vs HOU (L) – 4.0 IP, 6 ER, 8 Hits, 0 BBs, 1 Ks – 6 Whiffs, 25% CSW, 73 pitches.

Arihara got the Astros and served us an unsurprising HAISTBMBWT?! while going just four frames with terrible ratios. Yep, Arihara isn’t good for your fantasy teams. More at eleven.

Tylor Megill vs STL (L) – 3.0 IP, 6 ER, 9 Hits, 2 BBs, 3 Ks – 5 Whiffs, 23% CSW, 74 pitches.

Annnnnnd he still needs his changeup to excel. Streaming Record: 86-69. Blegh. The heater that was so good against the Yankees returned just a 14% CSW, while the slow ball didn’t do a whole lot to help. He does get one start against Miami that I think I’d still do in two starts, but you really don’t need to hold him for two weeks for that.

Michael Wacha @ TOR (L) – 6.0 IP, 6 ER, 7 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks – 15 Whiffs, 25% CSW, 95 pitches.

Awwwww. Wacha did his best with a strong changeup and 94/95 mph heater, but it’s the Jays – the baseball team embodiment of Freddy Krueger. Nightmares are made here.

Carlos Hernández vs OAK (L) – 4.0 IP, 7 ER, 9 Hits, 4 BBs, 3 Ks – 6 Whiffs, 17% CSW, 87 pitches.

Oh jeez. Simply put, the command was atrocious and the Athletics destroyed him for it. We know the stuff is intriguing – 96+ mph with a pair of whiffable breakers – but that command has been the question mark. But there is good news: he gets the future Guardians twice in a row now. I think you can bank on this being a blip and still start him in both. One horrific start does not define him.


Game of the Day 


Germán Márquez vs. Ian Anderson – I just want to see if Anderson has that sweet sweet curveball again. And hey, waiting for Anderson while watching Márquez should be cool.

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 EST Monday through Friday.

Photo by Randy Litzinger/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.

One response to “Josh Spice”

  1. The dude says:

    “Quantrill” autocorrects to “Aqua troll”, just putting it out there

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