Faux Contreras

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 Twitch weekday mornings from 9 am-11 am ET.  

Roansy Contreras (PIT) vs MIL (L) – 1.2 IP, 7 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 1 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 23% CSW, 52 pitches.

I feel as if we’ve been in purgatory with Roansy Contreras across the last month since his promotion to the Pirates rotation. He’s failed to go a full six frames, he hasn’t fanned more than four in four starts, and we haven’t felt excited since his eight-strikeout effort with 0 ER back on June 4th against the Diamondbacks.

All of our concerns were amplified last night against the Brewers via 1.2 IP, 7 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 1 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 23% CSW, 52 pitches. His heater was tattered as he left it constantly in the middle of the zone and he couldn’t rely on his slider to steal strikes over the plate. Where do we go from here?

On one hand, I don’t expect the world to come crashing down like this in the near future with two road starts in Cincinnati and Miami up next. That said, his command hasn’t been what we’ve wanted for four weeks now and I wonder if it’s truly worth it to hold onto Contreras. Look around the wire to see what else is there and if there are some solid streams ahead, it’s okay to let Contreras loose for them — there’s still a possibility Roansy figures it out and soars in the second half, but that low chance isn’t worth sacrificing short term benefits.


Let’s see how every other SP did Friday:


Brad Keller (KC) @ DET (W) – 6.0 IP, 0 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks – 5 Whiffs, 20% CSW, 89 pitches.

Look at the fella go. It’s frustrating how much of a Cherry Bomb Keller is, making him more of a desperate play than one you actually want to trust in a given week. Don’t apply rationale to this, you’ll just make yourself hurt.

Lance Lynn (CWS) @ SF (ND) – 6.0 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 22% CSW, 104 pitches.

Yessssssss. The four-seamer is still down, sadly, at 92.3 mph (not 94 mph) and it wasn’t the dominance we’re looking for, but sometimes it’s nice to be on the side of good luck, you know? It may be a time to sell Lynn if this is what we’re going to get from him — he gets the Twins next and that may be a little shaky. I wish I had better things to report here.

Alex Cobb (SF) vs CWS (ND) – 5.0 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 1 BBs, 3 Ks – 3 Whiffs, 25% CSW, 67 pitches.

94/95 mph? Check. A good splitter and called strikes on the curve? Che–wait. No. None of that. Just 2/25 splitter whiffs and 1/12 called strikes on the curve. But hey, Cobb got fortunate (for once) and that’s fun for a change, just like Lynn on the other side of the field. Now he gets the Diamondbacks twice and that’s all fine with me.

Tony Gonsolin (LAD) vs SD (W) – 7.2 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 0 BBs, 8 Ks – 18 Whiffs, 42% CSW, 92 pitches.

You really don’t stop, do you? His command was pretty dang good, even if the splitter floated into the zone a little more than you’d usually want, but the Padres couldn’t handle it so who cares. And now it’s Rockie RoadYeah, this isn’t gonna stop next week, is it? Wild.

Max Fried (ATL) @ CIN (W) – 7.0 IP, 1 ER, 5 Hits, 0 BBs, 4 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 94 pitches.

Aces gonna ace. He could be flirting with the Top 5 if he ever nails down consistent slider whiffs and games like the 1/19 here prevent that. So it goes, it’s not like I’m sad — he’s dope — just, you know, I always want the best for these guys.

Joe Ryan (MIN) vs BAL (ND) – 7.0 IP, 1 ER, 2 Hits, 1 BBs, 7 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 89 pitches.

Phew. See y’all, he’s fine. Ish. The heater was much better as he located high instead of middle, though the slider/curve/change have a bit of work left to do. Thankfully the Orioles are the Orioles. The heater is enough to start him with confidence now.

Cristian Javier (HOU) vs LAA (W) – 7.0 IP, 1 ER, 1 Hits, 0 BBs, 14 Ks – 23 Whiffs, 43% CSW, 99 pitches.

Jeeeeeeeez, save some for the rest of us Javier! That’s a Golden Goal after his already amazing outing against the Yankees, spotting his four-seamer insanely well at the top of the zone while he featured his breakers for — get this — 68% strikes. Having those breakers every so often makes it all that much harder to deal with Javier’s elite fastballs and you have to love it. I’m not going to anticipate Javier having this kind of command for a long time, but oh boy is it fun to see. I’m crossing my fingers as he faces the Royals next (and I guess it makes him a sell-high if someone is buying a legit Top 25 SP breakout?).

Merrill Kelly (ARI) @ COL (W) – 7.0 IP, 1 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 3 Ks – 6 Whiffs, 25% CSW, 101 pitches.

Kelly doesn’t care about your concerns about Coors. The changeup went just 1/13 CSW, but earned 10/13 strikes while the cutter and fastball were able to find gloves. That’s baseball, Suzyn. He’s a Tobyalright, but I’m still uneasy starting him each time.

James Kaprielian (OAK) @ SEA (W) – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 26% CSW, 84 pitches.

Ayyyy there’s more of the Kap we want to see. Not the super-slider heavy one, but plodding through the innings like a proper Toby is cool with us, too. I wouldn’t trust him yet, though, especially not against the Jays, unless you’re desperate for someone who has a chance for six frames.

Spenser Watkins (BAL) @ MIN (ND) – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 28% CSW, 79 pitches.

Wow, despite all the successes and failures today, this may be the most surprising outing. I can’t say I buy Watkins’ cutter as a 45% CSW pitch forever and something is afoot here. At the very least, I dig its 37% usage — throw your best offering more often — and it may have earned Spenser another start against the Rangers. We’ll see, that’s a desperate play despite this success.

Corbin Burnes (MIL) @ PIT (W) – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 1 Hits, 4 BBs, 5 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 29% CSW, 100 pitches.

Aces gonna ace. I know I’m not alone when I say I’m disappointed it wasn’t better. Four walks?! Against the Pirates?! Step it up, Burnes. Cole wouldn’t have done that.

Blake Snell (SD) @ LAD (ND) – 5.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 4 BBs, 12 Ks – 22 Whiffs, 33% CSW, 107 pitches.

Jeeeeeeez, what a wild outing. There’s so much here to remark. He only tossed two changeups, his fastball held a decent-but-not-great 63% strike rate, his slider was insane at 11/34 whiffs, his curve messed up batters, and this all happened against the Dodgers. He was much better at taking over the zone in this one, save for a few at-bats that got away from him. It’s obviously encouraging for what’s ahead, but we still have a few little tweaks before I’m totally sold — the heater isn’t quite as “hey, I’m dope and in the zone DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT” as I’d like as he nibbled just a touch more than we want. We’re not out of the woods yet, but those who kept the faith and endured all the hardships, I’m glad you got this one…even with the 1.60 WHIP.

Trevor Rogers (MIA) @ WSH (W) – 5.0 IP, 1 ER, 2 Hits, 3 BBs, 4 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 25% CSW, 76 pitches.

Hey, this isn’t bad! Well, the 4/40 whiffs on sliders + changeups isn’t good, but he did feature solid locations on those secondaries, consistently keep them down as he elevated four-seamers (BSB!) and there’s hope he can keep working on that. Hmmmm, it is the Angels + Pirates coming up…man that’s a desperate play. And so tempting….ahhhhhhhhh

Marco Gonzales (SEA) vs OAK (L) – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 8 Hits, 1 BBs, 2 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 24% CSW, 90 pitches.

Is it stellar? Nah, but it rarely is with Gonzo. Enjoy your 3.00 ERA and don’t take the chance against Toronto next.

Mike Minor (CIN) vs ATL (L) – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 6 Hits, 0 BBs, 3 Ks – 3 Whiffs, 18% CSW, 94 pitches.

Hey, there’s some good news for Minor, finally. Well, kinda. Sure, the ratios are good but his stuff is highly questionable as he mooched on BABIP like that one friend in high school. You know the one. At least this time you can give him a firm “no” and grow that spine you always wanted.

Miles Mikolas (STL) @ PHI (L) – 5.1 IP, 2 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 1 Ks – 3 Whiffs, 23% CSW, 95 pitches.

After finally lifting his strikeout rate above the 20% clip, he shows up with a HAISTBMBWT?! against the Phils. Let’s all be happy the ERA is preserved but ho boy this isn’t great. Three whiffs. Total. Unreal. You gotta keep going, though, it’s not wise to suddenly believe his first-half success is donezo.

José Berríos (TOR) vs TB (W) – 5.0 IP, 2 ER, 8 Hits, 2 BBs, 3 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 98 pitches.

The Great Undulator gave us a Dusty Donut with a 2.00 WHIP. Huh. At least it’s not the 14 ER of the previous two starts, right? And now it’s the Athletics, so we just gotta keep pressing forward.

David Peterson (NYM) vs TEX (W) – 6.0 IP, 3 ER, 5 Hits, 0 BBs, 10 Ks – 14 Whiffs, 33% CSW, 90 pitches.

Well this isn’t fair. Peterson was to be our streaming pick today against the Rangers, but the Mets surprised us a day early, preventing me from cashing this in. NOT FAIR. His slider was legit yet again and he’ll get the Marlins a third time in four starts because life. Sure, let it ride.

Michael Pineda (DET) vs KC (L) – 5.0 IP, 3 ER, 7 Hits, 0 BBs, 3 Ks – 6 Whiffs, 23% CSW, 65 pitches.

This was a Still ILL as I had no idea how long he’d go + is he even that good? Well he was able to go five frames in the end…at just 65 pitches and poor ratios. The matchups against Cleveland and Kansas City up next are a bit enticing, but I think I’m still out. There’s just not enough here.

Rich Hill (BOS) @ CHC (ND) – 4.2 IP, 3 ER, 3 Hits, 4 BBs, 3 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 29% CSW, 75 pitches.

Womp womp. He left this one with a knee injury as we can’t catch a break with streams. Sigh. Move on from Hill.

Bailey Falter (PHI) vs STL (ND) – 4.0 IP, 3 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks – 6 Whiffs, 30% CSW, 66 pitches.

If you started Bailey, it’s nobody’s Falter but yours.

Antonio Senzatela (COL) vs ARI (L) – 2.0 IP, 3 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 1 Ks – 3 Whiffs, 30% CSW, 37 pitches.

He left this one early with right shoulder tightness. Looks like Ryan Feltner is back on the menu, only between 1:00-2:00pm every other Tuesday that features a blue moon.

Adrian Sampson (CHC) vs BOS (ND) – 5.1 IP, 4 ER, 8 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks – 13 Whiffs, 23% CSW, 103 pitches.

I often wonder if there was a Samp who existed and had a son. I’d be proud if I were Mr. Samp, watching my child Adrian pitching in the majors and earning 13 whiffs. Is he not relevant for fantasy purposes? Sure, but the man is living the dream. It’s about the bigger picture.

Glenn Otto (TEX) @ NYM (L) – 4.0 IP, 4 ER, 4 Hits, 3 BBs, 1 Ks – 2 Whiffs, 23% CSW, 66 pitches.

Oh Otto. I miss that ridiculous slider. Without it, we get these HAISTBMBWT?! days and we all want our bread buttered. Please butter our bread with that slider at some point in the future again.

Corey Kluber (TB) @ TOR (L) – 3.0 IP, 5 ER, 7 Hits, 2 BBs, 1 Ks – 6 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 49 pitches.

Kluber faced the Jays and, well, this happened. HAISTBMBWT?! Don’t judge him for it, Kluber isn’t the kind of arm to survive all the tough offenses. But he gets the Red Sox next! Oh. Well that’s no fun.

Josiah Gray (WSH) vs MIA (L) – 5.2 IP, 6 ER, 10 Hits, 2 BBs, 6 Ks – 12 Whiffs, 28% CSW, 95 pitches.

Nooooooooooooooo. I was really hoping Josiah was at a turning point for the year, but he featured far too many breakers in the heart of the plate and his four-seamer got slapped around a bit as well. He’s still close to where we want him, but not quite yet. Maybe post all-star break?

Michael Lorenzen (LAA) @ HOU (L) – 3.0 IP, 7 ER, 8 Hits, 2 BBs, 3 Ks – 13 Whiffs, 29% CSW, 69 pitches.

Yiiiikes. At least it was easy to pass on this one given the whole “We’re the Astros” thing, yet they didn’t have some of their bigger bats in the lineup. At least his slider was good? Maybe that’ll propel him against the Orioles next and honestly, I think I’m cool starting him there. It’s not like Lorenzen is suddenly terrible, y’all.


Game of the Day 

Spencer Strider vs. Tyler Mahle – I want both of these guys to succeed so badly.

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 Larry Radloff/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 “Faux Contreras”

  1. David says:

    I follow your list quite regularly. Great job!
    So hard to keep up!

    This is what my rotation looks like;

    T Rogers (drafted high)

    Snell & Ashby are sitting there.

    Would you add the 2 and who would you drop?

    I feel bad dropping Rogers. I drafted before Shane Mc. I hate myself! Lol

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