Welcome to the SP Roundup, my daily fantasy baseball article reviewing every starting pitcher’s performance from every Wednesday 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.
Emmet Sheehan (LAD) @ COL (W) – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 0 BBs, 10 Ks – 20 Whiffs, 38% CSW, 84 pitches.
Oh snap, should we be considering Emmet Sheehan in 2024 among all the other rookie arms? After all, he just dominated for the second straight start via 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 0 BBs, 10 Ks – 20 Whiffs, 38% CSW, 84 pitches, here taking on the challenge of Coors and leaving with a shiny dub. Last time out we saw Sheehan flash a strong slider, this time the breaker went 8/25 whiffs and his changeup returned a whopping 53% CSW across 15 thrown. This is the good stuff.
I have to preach some caution here. I don’t believe Sheehan’s 95 mph heater is a whiff offering, relying mostly on location over stuff to skirt by. That forces his slider and changeup to return 15/40 whiffs between them to have a night like this one, which we can all understand is not sustainable in the slightest. I even want to highlight his slider’s 20% zone rate and 50% O-Swing, another pair of marks that are unlikely to be present throughout his next season.
Pitching for the Dodgers regularly every five days is a great situation to be in for Sheehan. However, those who see his recent surge in September may be disappointed out of the gate in April. H*ck, maybe the Dodgers get ultra-aggressive padding their rotational depth and Sheehan doesn’t even start the season in the rotation. I’ve seen wilder things happen.
At the very least, this was a wonderful surprise for those needing a night of production to seal a championship. Thanks Sheehan, let’s hope you have many more lovely melodies to sing in 2024.
Let’s see how every other SP did Wednesday:
Gerrit Cole (NYY) @ TOR (W) – 9.0 IP, 0 ER, 2 Hits, 0 BBs, 5 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 29% CSW, 105 pitches.
Aces gonna ace. I kinda think he’s SP #1 again next year, not Strider. I have a bad feeling about Strider for next year and I know how dumb that is but there isn’t a single pitcher with Cole’s track record. Floor matters.
Dane Dunning (TEX) @ LAA (W) – 7.0 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 1 BBs, 7 Ks – 14 Whiffs, 32% CSW, 87 pitches.
Atta boy Dunning. He had his slider cooking in this one, spotting it perfectly as he leaned on it 44% of the time, while the sinker held a 31% CSW with a 66% zone rate. Yep, that’s the ticket against a poor offense. I wonder if we’ll see some chase him and his 3.72 ERA in next season’s draft. I don’t think I will as I don’t believe this slider will be present often enough and even if it is, I don’t want to be chasing the next Brady Singer. He needs something else to produce consistently throughout the season.
Brandon Pfaadt (ARI) @ CWS (W) – 5.2 IP, 0 ER, 5 Hits, 0 BBs, 8 Ks – 14 Whiffs, 34% CSW, 87 pitches.
Yessssss. Pfaadt’s four-seamer and sweeper got the job done against the horrid White Sox offense and while I loved this as a stream, we need to see more from him to believe he can be a strong 12-teamer pick for next year. Why? Because his four-seamer isn’t a special pitch in my view. Just 3/35 whiffs here and the White Sox aren’t the kind of offense that could punish those he comfortably threw into the zone. Don’t overvalue his second-half run.
Tyler Glasnow (TB) @ BOS (W) – 5.0 IP, 0 ER, 2 Hits, 1 BBs, 9 Ks – 12 Whiffs, 44% CSW, 70 pitches.
Aces gonna ace. Phew. I’m so glad we got one more Glasnow start being dope before we put a book on this regular season. Oddly enough, the slider wasn’t the main point of excellence here – it was the four-seamer with his curveball kinda killing it with a 43% CSW but just 52% strikes. Hmmmm, well enjoy the King Cole and I can’t wait to be the low man on Glasnow next year. Yaaaaaay.
Tarik Skubal (DET) vs KC (ND) – 4.0 IP, 0 ER, 2 Hits, 0 BBs, 8 Ks – 14 Whiffs, 50% CSW, 52 pitches.
Aces gonna have their stud game suspended until the next day, preventing him for dominating for another four innings. 50% CSW y’all. FIFTY PERCENT. His changeup and heater were stupid good, then he’d flip a curve or slider right at the bottom of the zone like it was nothing. He had a 27% overall SwStr rate. Is it 2024 yet?
Shane Bieber (CLE) vs CIN (W) – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 5 Hits, 0 BBs, 7 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 33% CSW, 82 pitches.
I asked for one start where Bieber had his breakers cooking before the end of the year and we got it. Kinda. He went 45% fastballs with just 32% breakers, though they returned 7/26 whiffs while the four-seamer stole strikes in the zone with an alarming 32% called strike rate. Look, if he can do that all the time, I’m all for it. I feel like we all need to see a Bieber that flirts with double-digit curve or slider whiffs, you know? This was a bit of Blame it on the Reds and I’m likely avoiding him next year. Okay fine, let me see if he falls far enough – he’s worth a pick, just not one near the Top 100 is all.
Grayson Rodriguez (BAL) vs WSH (W) – 5.2 IP, 1 ER, 6 Hits, 0 BBs, 5 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 23% CSW, 87 pitches.
Aces gonna ace. I think Grayson has the best foundation out of the young arms, the question is whether I believe his changeup and breakers will improve in 2024 or if his fastball will get worse before they do. Old skills vs. new skills…Nah, I think he gets better. Can’t wait.
Zack Thompson (STL) @ MIL (ND) – 5.1 IP, 1 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 33% CSW, 91 pitches.
Hot dang, look at you! I felt weird putting Thompson inside the Questionable Start tier after doing little to justify it lately, but here he is, killing it against the Brewers with an 18% SwStr rate on his four-seamer and plenty of cutter + curveball strikes. So he was able to execute the BSB and avoid the heart of the plate? Well…no. His four-seamer did get upstairs a decent amount, but he’s still hurling pitches down Broadway and let’s cross our fingers he can improve that command next season.
Wade Miley (MIL) vs STL (ND) – 5.0 IP, 1 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 2 Ks – 4 Whiffs, 22% CSW, 89 pitches.
Oh look, it’s the most Toby start you can imagine. Oh Wade, never change. But I throw it 24% of the time. JUST BE YOURSELF, YEEEEEESH.
Jonathan Bowlan (KC) @ DET (ND) – 2.0 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 0 BBs, 2 Ks – 6 Whiffs, 24% CSW, 29 pitches.
This was supposed to be an extended look at Angel Zerpa, but it was already a trio of runs on 36 pitches before the game was suspended until Thursday. I guess he’s spared, then? Just 2/36 whiffs overall ain’t the sneaky play you wanted it to be.
Darius Vines (ATL) vs CHC (ND) – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 90 pitches.
It really is incredible how Atlanta keeps finding arms to produce despite their massive number of injuries. I like Vines’ changeup, while the slider and cutter are fine, and his heater can use a bit of work. He’s not on the radar to be a massive impact play next season for fantasy, but if he’s given the chance, maybe the breakers improve enough to create a stable arm.
Jameson Taillon (CHC) @ ATL (ND) – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 3 Hits, 1 BBs, 3 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 26% CSW, 82 pitches.
ATTA BOY. That’s a Gold Star for Taillon as he found a way to take down the mighty Atlanta offense. Was it his best stuff? No. His four-seamer was a tick down and he sat more middle-middle than I may have seen from him all season long. Did he make great pitches when he needed to? Absolutely. Huge props to him and it’s too bad the rest of the squad couldn’t lock down the Win for him and the crew. I consider him a late Toby play, though Rockie Road may not be so easy to face when it’s the first series of the year. They need to be acclimated to Coors field first before suffering the symptoms of Rockie Road.
Joey Lucchesi (NYM) vs MIA (W) – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 7 Hits, 2 BBs, 3 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 30% CSW, 91 pitches.
He didn’t hang around the edges with his sinker nearly as much as last time, but he was able to hold off the Marlins enough to get through six. Massive props to Lucchesi for his last three outings and I think we can all agree this won’t continue into April.
Sean Manaea (SF) vs SD (ND) – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 7 Hits, 0 BBs, 8 Ks – 19 Whiffs, 31% CSW, 100 pitches.
Nick, you said the schedule was terrible and we should ignore Manaea. IT MADE SENSE. He didn’t care about Coors + Dodgers + Padres on the docket, Manaea took the opportunity finally granted to him by the Padres and seized the dang day. His pitch separation has been magnificent and all I can wonder is whether Manaea will turn down his player option to snag a deal somewhere else next year to be properly slotted into the rotation. He’s clearly a different arm than he was at this point last year and if the right opportunity comes along, Manaea may be a sneaky option next season. Wait, are you talking about the 2024 matchups?! ALREADY?! Gotta start sometime.
Matt Waldron (SD) @ SF (ND) – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 2 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 82 pitches.
We don’t trust knuckleballer, but they were fewer than a fourth of his total pitches and were shockingly great with a 74% strike rate. Throw in a cutter, slider, and sinker around the zone against a poor offense, and you have yourself a lovely stew going. I’m glad it worked, but y’all know this isn’t a suggestion for a 2024 breakout season.
Griffin Canning (LAA) vs TEX (L) – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks – 15 Whiffs, 24% CSW, 111 pitches.
We’ll absolutely take this from Canning against the Rangers. His biggest issue is allowing far too many hits with his fastball and it’s nights like these where he allowed just one ball in play off heaters that can create production against strong offenses. I really hope we see Canning look this good if not better in the spring, ideally sitting 95/96 mph with just 30-35% fastballs. That would be the dream.
Kodai Senga (NYM) vs MIA (ND) – 5.0 IP, 2 ER, 3 Hits, 3 BBs, 8 Ks – 17 Whiffs, 31% CSW, 96 pitches.
Aces gonna ace. Senga has been a marvel since his initial stumbles and I’m shocked he was able to suddenly return 10/47 whiffs on his four-seamer. Maybe he listened to U2 as the pitch finally got some El-eh-va-shuuuun. I’m so sorry everyone. I have to take a longer look at how much I believe the cutter and four-seamer’s success before suggesting a repeat in 2024, but hot dang, this was a fun four-month run. The man just kept making it happen.
Johnny Cueto (MIA) @ NYM (ND) – 4.1 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks – 6 Whiffs, 22% CSW, 73 pitches.
Looks like we saw Cueto after all and we got one last sprinkle of JC magic across almost five frames. You got one hearty thumbs up from me, Johnny. I bet you can see my aggressive elbow now.
Joey Estes (OAK) @ MIN (ND) – 5.1 IP, 3 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks – 13 Whiffs, 32% CSW, 75 pitches.
I wasn’t a fan of this matchup and Estes came oh-so close proving me wrong here, boasting far better command with his pitches than we saw in his debut. It’s not as alluring of an arsenal as the likes of Boyle or Miller, though Estes spotted heaters upstairs and kept his slider, sweeper, and changeup all in the lower third and below. There could be something here next season if he gets the job. That’s going to be one h*ck of a spring camp.
Pablo López (MIN) vs OAK (ND) – 4.1 IP, 3 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 34% CSW, 77 pitches.
Aces gonna get pulled early to rest up for the playoffs and finish the season with 234 strikeouts. I know, you wanted more in September, but let’s be honest – PabLó was likely the best pick you made in your draft this year. Let’s celebrate a phenomenal season and hopefully a fantastic display on the national stage in October.
Framber Valdez (HOU) @ SEA (ND) – 4.0 IP, 3 ER, 5 Hits, 5 BBs, 7 Ks – 12 Whiffs, 31% CSW, 83 pitches.
We’re going to look back at 2023 and say “oh! Framber is so legit now, look at his sub 3.50 ERA and WHIP just above 1.10!” and yet, here we sit, filled with anxiety after watching Valdez stumble to the finish line, lifting his bobsled onto his shoulders for the final 50 feet. Valdez held a 4.50 ERA and 1.15 WHIP across his final 13 starts including this one and please don’t forget that entering next season. I suspect many will favor Valdez more than me entering next year as I simply don’t like dealing with his sinker and odd aversion to throwing his best weapons (no, he didn’t throw his cutter a ton here, please stop asking). It’s frustrating and I hate drafting “frustrating”.
Luis Patiño (CWS) vs ARI (L) – 2.1 IP, 3 ER, 3 Hits, 2 BBs, 3 Ks – 6 Whiffs, 28% CSW, 54 pitches.
It’s cool to see Patiño in a starting spot again, even if it were for just 54 pitches. That said, it’s nothing like the guy who made us intrigued in San Diego and Tampa Bay. This ain’t it.
Andrew Abbott (CIN) @ CLE (L) – 2.1 IP, 3 ER, 8 Hits, 0 BBs, 1 Ks – 2 Whiffs, 11% CSW, 45 pitches.
Oh wow. What a descent this has been since his unreal July, no? He isn’t executing with his heater nearly as well and when you watch a pitcher while feeling anxious with every pitch, you know this isn’t the life you want to live. It is a bit wild how their confidence (or lack thereof) exudes even through the monitor. He’s not nearly as bad as his final two months have been and I wonder if he’ll be forgotten in draft season. That said, it is Cincinnati, do you want a likely Cherry Bomb on your roster in 12-teamers?
José Berríos (TOR) vs NYY (L) – 6.0 IP, 4 ER, 5 Hits, 3 BBs, 10 Ks – 12 Whiffs, 28% CSW, 89 pitches.
You wanted a better ratio performance, but yes, I’ll take ten strikeouts out of nowhere, thank you Berríos. The Great Undulator returned this year, landing on a 3.65 ERA, just like he should. But if you remove his first two starts, it’s a 3.23 ERA! BUT YOU CAN’T, CAN YOU. Ugh. You’re no fundulator. Ayyyyyy. No I am not.
Patrick Corbin (WSH) @ BAL (L) – 4.2 IP, 4 ER, 6 Hits, 4 BBs, 2 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 24% CSW, 90 pitches.
Womp womp. Maybe next year, Corbin.
Noah Davis (COL) vs LAD (L) – 4.1 IP, 4 ER, 7 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 21% CSW, 86 pitches.
Well yeah, it’s the Dodgers. In Coors. Didn’t you write the same thing the other night. Well yeah, it’s the Dodg–OKAY I GET IT.
Braxton Garrett (MIA) @ NYM (L) – 4.0 IP, 4 ER, 3 Hits, 2 BBs, 2 Ks – 4 Whiffs, 21% CSW, 77 pitches.
Ah dangit. Four runs on five baserunners is far from a disaster start, just one of those where it didn’t go his way. That’s how it goes when you’re not dominating across your arsenal. I’m sure there will be a time next year when Garrett gets back into a rhythm and dazzles, just wait for it off the wire instead of jumping at the idea in draft season.
Bryce Miller (SEA) vs HOU (L) – 4.0 IP, 4 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 31% CSW, 68 pitches.
Womp womp. His four-seamer was a ridiculous 48% CSW, but a poor heater down the pipe + a hung sweeper were both swatted over the fence and ruined his day. I honestly don’t know how to group Bryce with other 2023 rookies and it’s going to be an interesting winter sifting through them all.
Brayan Bello (BOS) vs TB (L) – 6.0 IP, 5 ER, 9 Hits, 2 BBs, 3 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 22% CSW, 100 pitches.
Ouch. There is a silver lining, though: Bello’s slider still earned whiffs and returned a 41% CSW. Let’s hope that pitch goes through more development through the off-season and we see a proper three-pitch mix of destruction out of camp. That would be lovely.
Johan Oviedo (PIT) @ PHI (ND) – 5.0 IP, 6 ER, 7 Hits, 2 BBs, 6 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 91 pitches.
He was great through three, then it all fell apart, even if his slider held a lovely 36% CSW. The Huascar Rule is a rule for a reason. Well that and the Phillies are a legit offense. Yes, that too. I really hope Oviedo comes into 2024 with something new to properly pair with his slider. And, of course, not the two tick velocity drop we saw today on his four-seamer. Please not that.
Ranger Suárez (PHI) vs PIT (ND) – 4.2 IP, 6 ER, 9 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks – 6 Whiffs, 19% CSW, 90 pitches.
Well that’s all kinds of frustrating. Suárez’s command had been far better across the last few weeks and when you needed it most, his velocity dropped once again and he couldn’t find the edges. Welp, whatareyagonnado.
Game of the Day
Cole Ragans vs. Sawyer Gipson-Long – We’re going to be livestreaming it on Playback…whenever it starts. Today’s game was suspended and will resume at 1:10 tomorrow, which means maybe 3:30 pm ET? 4:00? Monitor Twitter and the Discord and I’ll be live once it begins.
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.
Photo by Mahyar Mirghasemi | Featured Image by Ethan Kaplan (@DJFreddie10 on Twitter and @EthanMKaplanImages on Instagram)