SP Roundup Spring Training Edition: 3-7-24 Games

Nick reviews all starting pitcher performances from yesterday's games.

Spring Training has arrived and as I’ve been writing daily notes for myself to recap all spring training starting pitchers, I realized I should publish them on the site for quick access.

I’ll be livestreaming every morning 10am-12pm ET at playback.tv/pitcherlist as I watch all of the starts with y’all and answer all your fantasy baseball questions.


Major SP News To Know


The Pirates have signed Eric Lauer to a minor league deal. This adds even more haze to the situation of Jared Jones, who was left off the MLB Spring Breakout roster list and provided more helium that he’d enter the rotation out of camp. The minor league deal for Lauer does not guarantee a rotation spot, so it is a situation to watch closely over the next few weeks.

Kevin Gausman is expected to be ready for Opening Day. Great news, especially if you were able to grab him in drafts at any sort of discount based on the red injury tag across the last week.

The Blue Jays have given Joey Votto a non-roster invite to spring training. This isn’t SP news but I don’t care. It’s fantastic news.

The White Sox have given Brad Keller a minor-league contract that includes an invitation to their spring camp. He’ll make a push for the SP #5 against Chris Flexen.


Expected Rotations By Team


Expected MLB rotations



Statcast Games – TV





Jack Flaherty (DET) – 1.2 IP, 4 ER, 3 Hits, 3 BBs, 3 Ks. He had an incredibly rough first inning and was pulled with just two outs only to strike out the side in the second frame. He fired one 97 mph heater but it was a bit all over the place and I’m still in the “wait and see” camp. I’d rather focus on Manning, Mize, and Olson for now.

Luke Weaver (NYY) – 1.1 IP, 3 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 2 Ks. He’s four-seamer/cutter these days with his great changeup of old dissolved into the sands of time. He’s not fantasy-relevant, sadly.

Bowden Francis (TOR) – 3.2 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks. It sure seems like Francis has the SP #5 spot with Alek Manoah not looking right/healthy and Kevin Gausman possibly needing a few weeks. I’m not sure if we should care yet, though. He was four-seamer/curve in this one, with the new splitter and slider both taking a backseat for just 1/3 strikes each, while his four-seamer’s great shape (solid VAA, extension, and great vert) isn’t being thrown upstairs enough to truly take over. Sitting just 94 mph isn’t helping, either, and the last piece of the puzzle is either sitting 95/96 (he did blow a 95.8 mph heater past Parker Meadows) or increasing his hiLoc% from sub 50% closer to 55-60%. It’s not quite enough right now and I’m looking forward to watching more.

Kenta Maeda (DET) – 3.0 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 1 Ks. He’s still down 1/2 ticks in velocity, from 91 mph last year to just 89.5 mph here. Only 3/31 whiffs on sliders + splitters are also a bit concerning and I’ve been pushing Maeda further down the ranks. If he resurges later in the spring, we’ll chat.

Jake Irvin (WSH) – 4.0 IP, 0 ER, 2 Hits, 0 BBs, 5 Ks. That’s one gorgeous line, with Irvin throwing effective curves and cutters to match his 95 mph heater. Sadly, it’s not a good heater and the secondaries aren’t filthy enough. He has the benefit of opportunity that’ll award him successful starts here and there but not at a frequency that’s worth it for you to put yourself in harm’s way.

José Quintana (NYM) – 3.0 IP, 0 ER, 4 Hits, 0 BBs, 6 Ks. That’s a whole lot better for the Mets’ “ace”. This wasn’t the precision across his arsenal that we need from him to trust as a Vargas Rule out of the gate and be on the lookout if he finds it.


Statcast Games – No TV



Cristian Javier (HOU) – 3.0 IP, 2 ER, 3 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks. The slider was good…? 8/14 strikes is just under 60% strikes, but they seemed more competitive than last year’s debacle + he’s working on a changeup that seemingly helped as well. Brick by brick, this seems better and I want one more start to feel like I can lean into him properly this year.

Kyle Gibson (STL) – 3.0 IP, 4 ER, 5 Hits, 0 BBs, 3 Ks. 3/51 whiffs. Ho’ boy.

Matthew Liberatore (STL) – 3.0 IP, 0 ER, 5 Hits, 0 BBs, 2 Ks. He’s holding the 95 mph velocity and returned 46% CSW on his slider. I’m starting to think Liberatore could be the replacement for Sonny Gray and there may be some sneaky value in that. He needs to locate better than this, though. Monitor Liberatore in your NL-Only leagues.


No Statcast – TV







Aaron Nola (PHI) – 3.2 IP, 3 ER, 6 Hits, 0 BBs, 5 Ks. I’m not worried about that first frame from Nola, though I’m not seeing the one thing I wanted from Nola that would turn him into a more consistent arm – elevating his super flat four-seamer. Seriously, he has elite VAA + elite extension and he decides to throw it thigh-high, relying more on its horizontal ride for called strikes instead. It’s maddening and I want him to blow everyone out of the water with the sinker inside and out, four-seamers upstairs, curveballs whenever, and changeups + cutters to keep batters honest. IT’S ALL THERE NOLA YOU GOT THIS.

Bryce Elder (ATL) – 3.1 IP, 1 ER, 2 Hits, 2 BBs, 6 Ks. If Elder keeps returning lines like these, he has the #5 spot. Can’t say that will happen, but it’s still his to lose.

Reynaldo López (ATL) – 3.0 IP, 0 ER, 0 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks. ReyLo just won’t quit. I sincerely hope he steals the job and at the very least, he’ll be the long-man for Atlanta out of the gate, ready to jump in once needed. A worthy late-round flier, López features a great VAA four-seamer with 96+ mph velocity and a good enough extension/iVB to make it sing upstairs. The real question is if the slider and curve are good enough to earn strikes and support the heater – so far so good.

Nick Pivetta (BOS) – 3.0 IP, 2 ER, 3 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks. Looked very much in command and composed. There’s still a little tweaking to be done with the cutter and the two-run blast was almost a pitch prior with a poor breaker hooked foul, with the actual blast coming on the following 3-2 fastball that wasn’t up enough. I’m a fan, though I’m hesitant to fully invest as I’m concerned that the steep-release four-seamer can’t consistently bully batters enough to set up the secondaries. I’m still leaning in favor of drafting Pivetta frequently, even with Fenway as his home park.

Tanner Houck (BOS) – 3.0 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks. Still looking for that true weapon against LHB, with the sole run allowed coming on a sweeper to LHB Michael Harris who demolished it over the wall. He did showcase some splitters for whiffs, but he needs that reliable strike pitch. Still very intrigued with Houck and given his apparent increased velocity (STILL NO STATCAST), I’m in at the end of drafts.

Aaron Ashby (MIL) – 2.2 IP, 2 ER, 2 Hits, 3 BBs, 2 Ks. Velocity was down from 2021/2022 and we need to be patient here. Clearly the precision isn’t there (it wasn’t truly before, either) and let’s monitor Ashby and hope he starts in the minors to make it as an easy path to redemption instead of throwing him into the fire of a rotation spot right away.

Dylan Cease (CHW) – 3.0 IP, 1 ER, 2 Hits, 0 BBs, 5 Ks. I would LOVE if Cease were able to add a cutter to his mix, but as of now, it’s the same old Cease with a heater that doesn’t land upstairs enough and a dope slider that will get strikeouts. He doesn’t have the extension or VAA to make his heater return the 12-14% SwStr rates we need for this to be more than the best Huascar Rule breaker out there. He’s a Cherry Bomb until the four-seamer command improves or he finds a third pitch to feature at least 20% of the time for effective strikes, like Kodai Senga’s cutter, for example.

Griffin Canning (LAA) – 2.2 IP, 1 ER, 2 Hits, 4 BBs, 4 Ks. His four-seamer is too hittable, and as someone already on the fence, four walks are enough to completely ignore him in draft season. I don’t trust the Angels’ development system and there’s too much risk here.

Bryan Woo (SEA) – 2.2 IP, 0 ER, 0 Hits, 1 BBs, 3 Ks. Yeah, I’m in. I really dig his feel right now and with literally the flattest four-seamer among all starting pitchers his four-seamer is destined to dominate. It’s kinda funny – I was in on Woo in October, kinda forgot about it a little, found myself not being as sold the past month as I hadn’t taken the time to watch and study him again, and now I’m remembering how he is the perfect example of high-floor + high-ceiling that you want in your drafts. Get Woo everywhere. He’ll figure out the cutter and slider, he’s above the command threshold we want to see (not like Bryce Miller, Taj Bradley, Joe Boyleetc), and his four-seamer is elite. Oh, AND he’s locked it to start every five days for what should be a winning club. Yup.

Hayden Wesneski (CHC) – 3.0 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 0 BBs, 4 Ks. Hey, that’s pretty good! I’m glad his sweeper was working, but there’s still more work to be done on the rest of the arsenal for Wesneski to be a proper starter. the way I see it now, Wicks has the #5 with Assad and Wesneski filling in when needed, then Cade Horton will sweep in later this season when there’s an opening. You’ll want Cade.

Hunter Greene (CIN) – 3.0 IP, 2 ER, 2 Hits, 3 BBs, 5 Ks. Blegh. I was a bit frustrated to see Greene use most of the ole four-seamer/slider here instead of working on the splitter or curve or even a cutter as he faces weak hitters. Yes, we know your upper 90s heater will get strikeouts against worse spring hitters, and even that wasn’t great as his heater was poorly spotted, leading to a two-run shot on an 1-0 heater down the pipe to Michael BuschHe’s going to rack up strikeouts, but the overall consistency is just not there with his heater only scoring high marks in velocity. Extension, iVB, and VAA are all average-to-below-average. I don’t like it.


No Statcast – No TV



Zac Gallen (ARI) – 2.0 IP, 2 ER, 2 Hits, 2 BBs, 2 Ks. It was Derek Jeter appreciation day. Nothing to report here.

José Ureña (TEX) – 4.0 IP, 1 ER, 2 Hits, 2 BBs, 3 Ks.  Ummmmm, the Rangers may look at this and another start or two and say “alright, let’s roll with this until it stops working.” Yes, over Cody Bradfordbut let’s be honest, neither of them should be in consideration for your teams. I just don’t buy into what Bradford does and y’all know the phrase for Ureña.


What To Watch on TV Today


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 “SP Roundup Spring Training Edition: 3-7-24 Games”

  1. Kyle harrison says:

    Why are we just ignoring Harrison and Paxton..

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