Fantasy Baseball SP Roundup – Sweet Child of Ryne

Nick Pollack reviews every starting pitcher performance from Thursday.

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.  

Ryne Nelson (ARI) @ CHC (W) – 5.2 IP, 1 ER, 2 Hits, 2 BBs, 3 Ks – 3 Whiffs, 29% CSW, 73 pitches.

There are times I chuckle and don’t expect anyone else to have the same reaction. Ryne Nelson returned to the jungle against the Cubs on Wednesday with a strong 5.2 IP, 1 ER, 2 Hits, 2 BBs, 3 Ks – 3 Whiffs, 29% CSW, 73 pitches line against the Cubs and the first thing I had to check was his secondaries. After all, Nelson’s four-seamer heavily lacked a strong supporting cast and his Triple-A games featured a new cutter with more break and looked promising.

Well, here’s the punchline: He threw his secondaries six times for 1/6 CSW. Wow, such growth. That said, it was 6/6 strikes and they helped, just not nearly the #2 pitch I was hoping we’d see. Instead, it was fastball-city once again, with the Cubs opening up valet parking for the pitch. Oh please sir, let me go ahead and take that into the zone without hassle. 12/50 called strikes propelled its 30% CSW across 68% usage, with all his other pitches going 0/23 whiffs. Yay.

Simply put, this wasn’t the new Ryne I was hoping to see. It’s not to say the slider and cutter were bad, just not the pitches we want them to be. It may be wise to have some patience and start him against the Mets, especially in NL-Only leagues, as Nelson could pick it up down the stretch to avoid the emotion rain of November – This fantasy baseball league is just a bad obsession! I just wish there was more than dreamin’ of paradise city for us to latch onto.


Let’s see how every other SP did Thursday:


Ryan Pepiot (LAD) @ MIA (W) – 7.0 IP, 0 ER, 1 Hits, 0 BBs, 3 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 30% CSW, 84 pitches.

Hot dang, look at you! I was all for this one as a solid Win chance, but seven frames?! THAT’S WHAT’S UP. His changeup did most of the work here, but the slider helped when it was needed and the four-seamer did its part to set up the pitch and found outs when needed. It makes his next start a tougher call than expected as he faces the Padres. Personally, I’m going to avoid it and hold for his final three starts against DET + SFG +@SFG (Bliss!), but if you want to throw the dice against the Padres (even if he may still be limited comfortably under 90 pitches and likely not have a ton of punchouts), by all Johns means.

Cal Quantrill (CLE) @ LAA (ND) – 6.0 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 2 BBs, 6 Ks – 13 Whiffs, 32% CSW, 82 pitches.

The thing I like about Quantrill is that the man often does what he’s supposed to do as a TobyHere’s a matinee King Cole on a light day of baseball, but don’t let that detract from The UnQuantrillfiable executing as he should. 44% O-Swing sinkers for liiiiiiife. And he gets the Giants next. Sign. Me. UP.

Luis Castillo (SEA) @ TB (W) – 6.0 IP, 0 ER, 4 Hits, 4 BBs, 8 Ks – 17 Whiffs, 30% CSW, 108 pitches.

Aces gonna ace. What a season it’s been for Castillo, who could be much more in the Cy Young conversation if he continues putting up goose eggs for his final 3/4 starts. I’m rooting for him, enjoy that Gallows Pole ya beautiful man.

Jhonathan Diaz (LAA) vs CLE (ND) – 1.2 IP, 0 ER, 2 Hits, 1 BBs, 0 Ks – 4 Whiffs, 33% CSW, 30 pitches.

Ah, so it was a bullpen game after all. Well alright then, hope you guys had fun. Yeah, we all had a great time. Well, except for Loup, who lost Daniel’s win and now he’s upset and Loup is going to get him a–Nah, didn’t need all that. Just trying to give some common courtesy. Oh. It was fun. Great! I’m so glad.

Zack Littell (TB) vs SEA (L) – 8.0 IP, 1 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 26% CSW, 86 pitches.

Eight frames of one earned run and despite earning a Gold Star for the effort, it’s still not enough for a Win. Too Littell too late. I heavily suggest moving on from this.

Braxton Garrett (MIA) vs LAD (L) – 3.2 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 3 BBs, 4 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 26% CSW, 91 pitches.

91 pitches for ten outs. And yet, it’s the Dodgers so DeadDove.jpeg. On the plus side, Braxton’s cutter was looking more in control than usual and the skills look good enough to take advantage of a start against the Brewers next. Likely near the top of the questionable start tier then.

Eduardo Rodriguez (DET) @ NYY (W) – 6.0 IP, 3 ER, 4 Hits, 4 BBs, 4 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 28% CSW, 89 pitches.

The Yankees are strong against LHP and while those ratios aren’t good for standard leagues, it’s a PQS with a Win and we can all take the latter home and celebrate with the family. Yes, we’re celebrating this. Enjoy the Reds up next.

Max Fried (ATL) vs STL (W) – 6.0 IP, 3 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 25% CSW, 103 pitches.

Ehhhhh, I want to give Fried the AGA label again, but starts like these that are awfully close to a VPQS with just four strikeouts don’t really do it for me. His changeup and slider haven’t been the pitches they once were, though his sinker and four-seamer command is top-notch. Surely he’ll get them back, right?

Javier Assad (CHC) vs ARI (L) – 5.1 IP, 3 ER, 7 Hits, 1 BBs, 0 Ks – 3 Whiffs, 23% CSW, 87 pitches.

Womp womp. The cutter was horrendous (8/21 strikes without a single whiff) and given that’s the pitch that has carried Assad across his fantastic run, it meant you got absolutely nothing of value from this one. Not even a single strikeout – HAISTBMBWT?! He’s a clear avoid now with Coors up next and it’s fine to drop him. Reconsider him for his start against the Pirates after, though. It’s not unreasonable to think Assad lost his cutter just for a single day.

Adam Wainwright (STL) @ ATL (L) – 5.2 IP, 6 ER, 8 Hits, 3 BBs, 4 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 24% CSW, 104 pitches.

Those two Wins are going to haunt Waino forever. Well, him and all Cardinals fan going to the park when he pitches. I’m so sorry, I feel bad for all involved.

Carlos Rodón (NYY) vs DET (L) – 3.2 IP, 7 ER, 8 Hits, 0 BBs, 4 Ks – 13 Whiffs, 30% CSW, 73 pitches.

I talk about the Ms. Frizzle method often – take chances, make mistakes, GET MESSY – but now it’s I took chances and made mistakes. This is Messy. CARLOOOOS! His fastball was down to just 94.4 mph in this one and despite generally good locations, he’s somehow more hittable than he used to be. I’m not sure what to say at this point. Yes, his heater isn’t the same heater when it’s 94/95 rather than 96/97, though he also shouldn’t be allowing 7 ER in a game. It’s all to say it doesn’t feel like this is going to get fixed anytime soon. What changes should he make? Sure, fastball velocity, but that’s trending the wrong way. Luck? Eh, I can only say that so long until it’s clearly something else at play. At this rate, he’ll be a late flier in 2024 leagues that I’ll be in as long as the velocity reports are strong in the spring. As for 2023, yeah, I think we move on. Sigh. 

Game of the Day 

Blake Snell vs. Hunter Brown – The Cy Young leader vs. the youngin’ of Houston. I just hope they both have fun.

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.

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