Fantasy Baseball SP Roundup: Yariel Communication

Nick Pollack reviews every starting pitcher performance from Friday.

Welcome to the SP Roundup, my daily fantasy baseball article reviewing every starting pitcher’s performance from every Friday 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.

Yariel Rodríguez (TOR) @ SDP (ND) – 4.0 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 1 BBs, 7 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 29% CSW, 83 pitches.

We had Yariel Rodríguez’s second start in the majors yesterday and after tossing just 68 pitches last week, he was pushed more and came through for trusting managers against the Padres: 4.0 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 1 BBs, 7 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 29% CSW, 83 pitches. Those are some fantastic numbers and now that he’s properly stretched out, he looks to be an auto-add, right? I won’t lead you on, yes, I’m cool adding him in 12-teamers with two starts against the Royals up next.

However, it’s important to grasp how he’s doing it, which should have us tempering expectations. Yariel sports a 94/95 mph heater that interweaves the zone with cut-action, hoping to steal called strikes and avoid punishment. We’re talking 1/36 whiffs but ten called strikes and a whole lot of foul balls. We see velocity and we often think whiffs, but here, consider this a blessing for a crafty pitcher who has a larger margin of error when their command isn’t perfect.

The belle of the ball is the slider. Its 7/26 whiffs yesterday led the way against RHB and comps closely to a Brady Singer routine of CS/SwStr via fastball/slider. The difference here is a better-spotted four-seamer and slightly worse slider, but more importantly, some decent supporting cast members. Rodríguez’s splitter and curve aren’t bad, they just aren’t incredibly reliable enough to give focus as a staple of Yariel’s approach.

It makes for a good-but-not-great arm who has struggles putting away batters. 83 pitches for just four frames came down to his slider (and once his splitter) being the strikeout pitch and when it couldn’t earn the punchout, his fastball would be tested to battle the edges and not find the middle of the plate. This isn’t a league-winner to me and don’t hold on too tight.


Let’s see how every other SP did Friday:


Spencer Turnbull (PHI) vs CHW (W) – 7.0 IP, 0 ER, 1 Hits, 2 BBs, 6 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 30% CSW, 92 pitches.

First, Blame it on the White Sox. Second, you still need to execute your pitches to take advantage of poor offenses and Turnbull did just that. His sweeper was lovely down and gloveside, while his fastballs gave few straws to grasp. And yes, he did flirt with a no-hitter in this one, which would have been his second. What, you don’t remember when he was my streaming pick of the day back in 2021? Anyway, it’s a tougher game in Cincy next time out and he’s not an auto-start moving forward. I’m likely doing it, but take a moment to determine if it’s worth the risk. Once again, This was the White Sox, one of the worst offenses we’ve seen this decade.

Brayan Bello (BOS) @ PIT (W) – 6.0 IP, 0 ER, 1 Hits, 2 BBs, 7 Ks – 12 Whiffs, 29% CSW, 96 pitches.

Atta boy Bello. His changeup got whiffs, the slider got strikes, and the sinker got outs. This. Works. Out? Sure, it’s Brolic. Which, by the way, makes me crack up constantly given its root in an anime character yet a ton of alpha males use it without knowing the origins are from Dragonball Z and what’s even more interes–NICK. PLEASE. Sorry. We’re obviously holding Bello and running him out there against the Guardians. Thank you.

Freddy Peralta (MIL) @ STL (ND) – 6.0 IP, 0 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 7 Ks – 13 Whiffs, 28% CSW, 100 pitches.

Aces gonna ace. The dude is at the top of his game and I want it to last forever.

Alec Marsh (KCR) vs BAL (W) – 5.2 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 2 BBs, 6 Ks – 12 Whiffs, 31% CSW, 86 pitches.

What is it about the Baltimore offense that Marsh can silence so well? It was his four-seamer upstairs. That’s true, he pinpointed the heater beautifully and at the right times, while landing curveballs down low, but ho’ boy did he throw a ton of sliders, heaters, and changeups right down the pipe. I wouldn’t bog myself down with Marsh.

Tyler Alexander (TBR) @ NYY (ND) – 5.1 IP, 0 ER, 2 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 34% CSW, 79 pitches.

Wow, the Rays really have found their new Fratty PirateI wonder if we’ll be looking back in July and treating T-Lex as one of the better pickups given his ability to awkwardly navigate a lineup and put himself in line for a Win. It’s just sinkers, cutters, sweepers, and the occasional changeup or four-seamer as he darts around the zone and hoping his pitches down the pipe are sneaky enough to avoid bombardment. The Tigers are next, that’ll likely be your sneaky stream of the week.

Tyler Anderson (LAA) @ CIN (L) – 7.0 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 3 BBs, 2 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 24% CSW, 95 pitches.

Two strikeouts and seven frames? Feels like you’re making a Grave Mistake chasing this on the regular, especially with a sub 50% strike rate on changeups, but to be fair Anderson is controlling the zone beautifully as those changeups were mostly hugging the edges like vines, while his cutter and fastball did the same. ATTENTION EVERYONE! WE’VE GOT OURSELVES A VARGAS RULE OVER HERE! Wait, does that mean…Baltimore? Oh dang, up to you.

Nick Lodolo (CIN) vs LAA (W) – 6.1 IP, 1 ER, 7 Hits, 0 BBs, 6 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 35% CSW, 80 pitches.

Mmmmm, that’s some good Angels feasting. These aren’t the wings I ordered…I’m so sorry. ANYWAY, I wouldn’t call this one a perfect showcase of Lodolo’s four-seamer and curve, in fact, he tossed plenty of hittable offerings, though his change was well utilized in its rare appearances. What are you trying to say. I’m not convinced he’s removing his lamented Cherry Bomb label, especially with @PHI + SDP on the horizon. Maybe sit for the Phils hosting gig and possibly return him to the lineup when he heads to San Diego?

Jordan Montgomery (ARI) @ SFG (W) – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 0 BBs, 3 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 23% CSW, 78 pitches.

Ayyyy he’s back! I’m absolutely floored that he could go six full frames on just 78 pitches, but, you know, The Giants. He was nearly two ticks down here, but let’s consider The Bear about a month behind everyone else. Nothing to be afraid of here.

Kyle Gibson (STL) vs MIL (ND) – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 4 BBs, 3 Ks – 5 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 89 pitches.

If you try to guess when Gibson will do well, you’re gonna have a bad time. Unless you’re PL Bot, who correctly made this their streaming pick of the day. GAME’S OVER LOSERS! I HAVE ALL THE MONEY.

Clarke Schmidt (NYY) vs TBR (ND) – 5.1 IP, 1 ER, 7 Hits, 0 BBs, 7 Ks – 13 Whiffs, 36% CSW, 102 pitches.

Hey that’s pretty great. LHB saw solid cutters upstairs and…rough curves and sinkers, but this was mostly against RHB (phew) and Schmidty had his sweeper and curve working wonders down-and-gloveside. There’s is legitimate upside for Clarke as his whole approach neutralizes RHB well. It’ll always come back to LHB and if he can limit damage there.

Triston McKenzie (CLE) vs OAK (W) – 5.0 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 3 BBs, 6 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 37% CSW, 84 pitches.

He’s pitching with a damaged UCL and still got a Win with 1 ER against the Athletics. The slider woke up in a huge way at 42% usage and 57% CSW (WHAT?!) and given how middling his curve has been, it’s saving McKenzie at his most desperate hour. Given it’s questionable command (so many hung upstairs) we should consider this an anomaly against the Athletics and

Jameson Taillon (CHC) vs MIA (W) – 5.0 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 0 BBs, 4 Ks – 12 Whiffs, 33% CSW, 73 pitches.

Ayyyy welcome back Taillon! I was a little worried about this one given questionable command in his Triple-A rehab + Still ILL + a limited pitch count, and I’m glad he came through for daring managers. That said, this wasn’t a showcase of precision across his pitches and he’s not a pickup with the Astros up next. Let him do whatever there, then jump back in for the Mets after.

Justin Verlander (HOU) @ WSN (W) – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 0 BBs, 4 Ks – 4 Whiffs, 18% CSW, 78 pitches.

It’s not sexy in the slightest, but it’s great having Verlander not only back, but worthwhile as I hand-waved Still ILL after he tossed over 75 pitches in his final rehab start + The Nationals. He doesn’t seem too far off from a command perspective, though just 1/17 whiffs on both his slider and curve is a bit jarring. You may want to be careful against the Cubs next time.

Jack Flaherty (DET) @ MIN (ND) – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 10 Ks – 19 Whiffs, 39% CSW, 97 pitches.

Hot dang, look at you! A Gallows Pole for Flaherty, bolstered by not just his slider’s 41% CSW and 6/34 whiffs, but his curveball getting into the fun. It was the best I’ve seen the pitch in a long time, going 9/24 whiffs and all the strikes, flirting with the bottom of the zone. That saucy minx. I still have concerns about the four-seamer being a bit hittable that lowers his floor, though it’s wonderful to see the full upside with his breakers in action. Strap in y’all, it could be a battle of Holly vs. Cherry Bomb. I’m here for it.

Sean Manaea (NYM) @ LAD (ND) – 5.0 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 3 BBs, 3 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 21% CSW, 85 pitches.

Hey, that’s great against the Dodgers. It looks like Manaea is now splitting up sinkers and four-seamers, with the former down in the zone and latter upstairs. I’m cool with that, as long as those sinkers find gloves like it did here. How can you bank on that. You can’t. Ohhhhh. You can bank on the Giants being a much easier time, though, and I’m fine starting Manaea there. He’s a Tobyafter all.

Chris Sale (ATL) vs TEX (W) – 7.0 IP, 3 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 7 Ks – 12 Whiffs, 34% CSW, 89 pitches.

Not the best commanded outing from Sale, but the stuff took over as he pounded the zone incessantly. I still wish his changeup could improve + a larger focus on jamming LHB with sinkers, but yeah. Sale is a solid SP 2/3 for your squads.

Yoshinobu Yamamoto (LAD) vs NYM (ND) – 6.0 IP, 3 ER, 7 Hits, 1 BBs, 9 Ks – 18 Whiffs, 42% CSW, 99 pitches.

Throw. Your. Fastball. Upstairs. But a King Cole and nearly a Golden Goal! I know, you can thank 12/38 whiffs for that, and I’ve seen arguments that Yamamoto can’t elevate because it ruins the tunneling on his splitter. It’s an interesting point, yet you can sneak in low four-seamers in the mix, too, then. Heater success > Splitter success. Figure out the whiff pitch after you nail down the most important part of your arsenal, you know? This is a lot of rambling for a guy who didn’t even pitch a VPQSVery true, but hot dang, HE COULD BE SO GOOD. Five of his nine hits were on four-seamers. That’s over 20% of all four-seamers he threw. We can fix this.

Dean Kremer (BAL) @ KCR (L) – 5.2 IP, 3 ER, 2 Hits, 3 BBs, 3 Ks – 6 Whiffs, 22% CSW, 91 pitches.

It’s a Philly without a Win and just three strikeouts. But wasn’t this good? For Kremer? Yes. Wait, so this is bad. Now you get it. The new splitter? 4/11 strikes without a whiff. Don’t chase this and I wonder if the Orioles will be aggressive to replace Kremer as the year progresses. They should be.

Andrew Heaney (TEX) @ ATL (ND) – 5.0 IP, 3 ER, 3 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 28% CSW, 90 pitches.

Honestly, better than expected against Atlanta. He was able to go BSB with four-seamers up & sliders down, which may have been even better if not for the whole Atlanta thing. Huh, maybe he’s worth it against the Mariners next week…

MacKenzie Gore (WSN) vs HOU (L) – 4.0 IP, 3 ER, 7 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 24% CSW, 92 pitches.

Awww dangit. He didn’t execute across the board as well as he can, though if this weren’t the Astros, I think he would have gotten away with it. So we’re good moving forward? Well…it’s the Dodgers next. OH COME ON. It happens, it’s okay to drop and move on as there is no guarantee Gore isn’t volatile even against non-top tier offenses, though I still believe in Gore for the long haul this year.

Joe Ryan (MIN) vs DET (ND) – 5.1 IP, 4 ER, 7 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks – 12 Whiffs, 28% CSW, 93 pitches.

Aces gonna..Awwww. Ryan’s slider and four-seamer got too much of the plate at times and the Cardinals got to him. We’re still in love with all of this and it’s a One Night Bland.

Quinn Priester (PIT) vs BOS (L) – 4.1 IP, 4 ER, 7 Hits, 1 BBs, 2 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 21% CSW, 86 pitches.

I don’t even think Priester thought the Pirates would start him here. Uhhh, are you sure you want me and not Paul Skenes?

Matt Waldron (SDP) vs TOR (L) – 4.2 IP, 5 ER, 7 Hits, 1 BBs, 2 Ks – 5 Whiffs, 21% CSW, 96 pitches.

Remember kids, Don’t Trust A Knuckleballer.

Blake Snell (SFG) vs ARI (L) – 4.2 IP, 5 ER, 9 Hits, 1 BBs, 3 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 24% CSW, 85 pitches.

Soooooo. Not great. At least his slider is earning more strikes? When is he going to be good again? I honestly don’t know. We go through this dance every season and last year it arguably took him until May 25th to become the Cy Young. Good luck, we’re all counting on you.

Joe Boyle (OAK) @ CLE (L) – 6.0 IP, 7 ER, 5 Hits, 4 BBs, 3 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 26% CSW, 87 pitches.

I’m not sure how he made it through six frames here but does that matter? He can’t hold a 51% strike rate on four-seamers and think it’s going to go well.

Garrett Crochet (CHW) @ PHI (L) – 3.0 IP, 7 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 3 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 21% CSW, 75 pitches.

So he is mortal. The slider was the biggest culprit as it was all over the place for a sub 50% strike rate and 0/13 whiffs. That forced Crochet to go four-seamer/cutter and while the latter was better spotted than in previous games, Crochet needs that extra velocity gap. Does this mean it was all a dream? Nah, I actually am impressed Crochet stuck to the edges well here and the slider should return. That said, it’s a proper showcase of the Shag Rug and a clear weakness for Crochet – when he doesn’t have the precarious slider working, he’s vulnerable. Hopefully one more offering appears to lessen the damage in these situations in the future.

A.J. Puk (MIA) @ CHC (L) – 3.0 IP, 7 ER, 7 Hits, 3 BBs, 4 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 29% CSW, 70 pitches.

I sincerely hope y’all jumped ship with me after the second start, if not the first after we identified his worse heater. Now he’s on the IL with a shoulder injury and I wouldn’t be shocked he never starts again. Welp, it’s been real.


Game of the Day


Corbin Burnes vs. Cole Ragans – UMMMM DUH.

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

Have Questions? – Join my morning Playback.tv livestream! I answer all questions there for free: 10:00 am – 12:00 pm ET Monday through Friday.

Featured image 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.

2 responses to “Fantasy Baseball SP Roundup: Yariel Communication”

  1. Mike says:

    Jays fan here, even with Yariel stretched out he likely won’t be pushed to go deep into games. They’re fine with him going 4 and using Francis for 2-3 innings after that. He didn’t pitch at all after the WBC last year and they gave him a pretty sizable deal. If/when Manoah is back he’s likely going to the pen.

  2. Captain Awesome says:

    Nick – just getting to this write up … you left me hanging on the T McKenzie write up – “Given it’s questionable command (so many hung upstairs) we should consider this an anomaly against the Athletics and” … and … and ?????? I’m assuming it is and “stay away”?? I have McKenzie as an SP5 in an NFBC Draft Champions – so most weeks so far he’s been in the lineup (Manning/Crochet/Vines). Thanks for all the great work, love your stuff.

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