Welcome to the SP Roundup, my daily fantasy baseball article reviewing every starting pitcher’s performance from every Thursday 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.
Kyle Hendricks (CHC) vs PIT (L) – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 7 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 95 pitches.
We don’t get a whole lot new excitement down the stretch, which means I get to take a moment to appreciate some unsung heroes in these roundup leads. Who better than Kyle Hendricks, who gave us more of his “better than mediocre but not exciting” self via 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 7 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 95 pitches against the Pirates.
Entering this game, Hendricks sported a 3.77 ERA, 1.17 WHIP, and, um, 16% strikeout rate across just under 130 innings and if that doesn’t spell Spider-Man to you, I just don’t know what does. He’s had just four games all year above 3 ER and after sitting out for the eight weeks of the season, Hendricks settled in nicely as your standard Toby and forced us to accept you for what you are all year.
You may be wondering if it’s time to drop him with a date against Atlanta up next circled on the schedule. However, there is a chance the Cubs elect to push Hendricks to the Brewers after in an effort to give the man a chance – Atlanta crushes Hendricks and with every game carrying so much weight down the stretch for the Cubs, there’s a possibility Milwaukee is the final start of Hendricks’ 2023. Give it some time before making the drop, but if Atlanta is confirmed, we’re obviously sitting that one out.
Let’s see how every other SP did Thursday:
Tarik Skubal (DET) @ OAK (W) – 7.0 IP, 0 ER, 2 Hits, 1 BBs, 10 Ks – 14 Whiffs, 36% CSW, 87 pitches.
Aces gonna ace. He did what he was supposed to do against the Athletics, showcasing the same improvements we’ve seen on his changeup as he pounded the zone with fastballs and slowballs. He gets one more start against the Royals before we try to figure out where we’re supposed to draft him in 2024. It’s gonna be tough – there’s so much pitching depth next year. Seriously.
Johan Oviedo (PIT) @ CHC (W) – 6.0 IP, 0 ER, 4 Hits, 5 BBs, 5 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 29% CSW, 93 pitches.
Nick, you’re okay with Snell having a high walk rate and no runs, but you aren’t with Oviedo? Well, um, OKAY FAIR POINT. But seriously, Oviedo isn’t nearly as good at befuddling batters and was a bit fortunate here. That said, he had better slider and fastball command than we normally see, which is not the same thing as control. Monitor how the Pirates move forward – if it’s the same six-man, then he’ll get the Phillies. If there’s an interruption and he gets pushed back just one outing, the Marlins may make for a decent dart throw on your final weekend.
Wade Miley (MIL) @ STL (W) – 6.0 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 2 BBs, 7 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 26% CSW, 92 pitches.
Here I am talking about Hendricks as the Spider-Man while Miley has a near 3.30 ERA, a 1.13 WHIP, and a 16% strikeout rate. That said, he’s done so in roughly 20 fewer innings, but hot dang is that a wonderful Toby who has gone under the radar. Atta boy, Miley.
Hunter Gaddis (CLE) vs BAL (ND) – 3.0 IP, 0 ER, 1 Hits, 2 BBs, 1 Ks – 3 Whiffs, 23% CSW, 56 pitches.
Bullpen games. No matter how much you look over your shoulder, they always find a way to appear. Stupid camera tricks.
Gerrit Cole (NYY) vs TOR (W) – 8.0 IP, 1 ER, 2 Hits, 0 BBs, 9 Ks – 19 Whiffs, 33% CSW, 107 pitches.
Aces gonna ace. Yeah, I think he finally has that Cy Young he’s wanted for so long. It’s surprising to see his velocity drop 1-2 ticks in this one, but the slider was magnificent at 10/28 whiffs, even flirting with perfection through the first five. That’s our pre-season SP #1, alright. Wait, next year too? But Strider! I’m not sure if that’s the case or not yet. Probably is Strider, but you’ll have to wait until October 2nd for that.
Max Fried (ATL) @ WSH (W) – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 1 BBs, 7 Ks – 13 Whiffs, 38% CSW, 96 pitches.
And here I thought Atlanta would hold back Fried. That’s a King Cole with Fried carrying a fantasy fastball/curve/change mix. What about the slider? Ummmm, let’s ignore that for now. He has some work to do with that fella. All that matters here is that the “hot spot” on his finger seems to be just fine. He’ll get one more tune-up against the Cubs and we’re obviously in for that.
Emmet Sheehan (LAD) vs SF (ND) – 4.2 IP, 1 ER, 0 Hits, 4 BBs, 9 Ks – 18 Whiffs, 33% CSW, 93 pitches.
Just one more out, Dave. WHY COULDN’T YOU GIVE HIM ONE MORE OUT. Emmet’s slider and sweeper came through for about half of those strikeouts, while the heater was too much for the Giants to handle. That said, there were plenty of terrible pitches well out of the zone that Sheehan will have to fix over the off-season. I’m glad there’s more promise in the secondaries now than we saw earlier in his career, but I’m still waiting to see more to suggest a massive move up the ranks in 2024.
Kyle Harrison (SF) @ LAD (ND) – 5.1 IP, 2 ER, 3 Hits, 1 BBs, 2 Ks – 4 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 75 pitches.
This was a desperate play and I’m shocked he was able to skirt on by for five frames. I don’t recommend trying one more time against the Padres – they crush LHP.
Grayson Rodriguez (BAL) @ CLE (ND) – 5.0 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 3 BBs, 7 Ks – 15 Whiffs, 24% CSW, 99 pitches.
That WHIP is a little too high for my liking and I’m glad we’re at the point where not having a stud performance across the board is disappointing. The strikeouts are afloat thanks to the changeup and heater, the latter holding a 44% foul ball rate that ballooned his pitch count. Yes, nearly half of his 51 fastballs result in foul balls and I’m aware of how dumb that is. Please stop calling. Is it wrong to suggest that Grayson is a Top 20 SP for next year? Top 15?!
Zach Eflin (TB) vs LAA (ND) – 5.0 IP, 2 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 10 Ks – 14 Whiffs, 37% CSW, 92 pitches.
Absolute gold. It’s absurd not just how fantastic Eflin has been, but how he’s done so across 172 innings. What a year and even in Fenway for his final outing, we have all the expectations of success.
Griffin Canning (LAA) @ TB (ND) – 5.0 IP, 2 ER, 3 Hits, 3 BBs, 7 Ks – 12 Whiffs, 26% CSW, 109 pitches.
Our streaming pick of the day came through with Canning throwing a whole lot of pitches over the plate, except for his slider which elected to take the day off with just nine thrown. Weird, but he simply didn’t have it working and adapted to feature plenty more changeups instead. Regardless of all this, he gets the Rangers next and I’m not chasing that. It’s too risky with Canning not at his peak.
Ranger Suárez (PHI) vs NYM (W) – 6.2 IP, 4 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 6 Ks – 6 Whiffs, 30% CSW, 97 pitches.
So close. He was atick down on everything + three on his changeup, which earned all the strikes as the sinkers landed on the edges, curves stayed down, and cutters attempted the Canibal McSanchez. He’s still locked in and I’d start him against the Pirates in his final outing of the year.
José Berríos (TOR) @ NYY (L) – 5.2 IP, 4 ER, 7 Hits, 0 BBs, 6 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 30% CSW, 99 pitches.
A three-run shot in the first ruined this from the start, but props to Berríos for hanging on through five more innings. He’ll get a chance at redemption for his final regular-season start and he’s a start there once again. Like Zep, bring it on home, José.
Luis Medina (OAK) vs DET (L) – 5.0 IP, 4 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks – 15 Whiffs, 35% CSW, 80 pitches.
The good news: His slider is legit again. We’re talking 43% CSW with a 23% SwStr rate across 38% usage and that’s lovely to see, especially when he’s allowed to go five frames and 80 pitches. Now for the bad: Medina was still hit around a bit by the Tigers. The ugly: My face reacting to this line against the Tigers. He’ll get the Twins next (if the Athletics stick to this six-man, though he could get the Angels if they push him back one day) and I’d consider Medina as a Hail Mary play now that he’s stretched out and has the legit slider back.
David Peterson (NYM) @ PHI (ND) – 4.0 IP, 4 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 7 Ks – 12 Whiffs, 28% CSW, 94 pitches.
The strikeouts still found a way back despite fanning two on four-seamers and just one on a slider (up-and-away). He keeps finding a new way to put away batters and despite the allure that brings, y’all know it ultimately means he can’t keep getting away with it. Annnyway, he certainly didn’t get away with a start against the Phils with those ratios. I’m on the fence about his next start against the Marlins, but I did like his pitch separation here with high four-seamers, low sinkers, and his secondaries constantly staying down. Let’s do it.
Miles Mikolas (STL) vs MIL (L) – 5.0 IP, 5 ER, 9 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 31% CSW, 97 pitches.
Mikolas hasn’t allowed fewer than 3 ER since August 8th. That’s eight straight starts. Yikes. That was also the last time he fanned more than four batters. What, with like a pamphlet? Honestly, that would make more sense.
Jake Irvin (WSH) vs ATL (L) – 2.2 IP, 5 ER, 7 Hits, 3 BBs, 1 Ks – 4 Whiffs, 18% CSW, 80 pitches.
Against Atlanta. ATLANTA. You really don’t need me, y’all.
Game of the Day
But Nick?! Where are the streaming picks? – I’ve moved them to the daily SP Matchups & Streamer Rankings article.
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Photos by Icon Sportswire | Adapted by Justin Paradis (@JustParaDesigns on Twitter)