Aaron Nola had a good start against Toronto allowing just two runs over six innings with six strikeouts. He posted a 33% CSW and a 21% whiff rate, and he continued his stretch of five or more strikeouts to three straight starts. It feels like Nola's having a bad season, and it's not up to normal Nola standards, but he now has quality starts in three of his last four games and the strikeouts are finally starting to pick up a bit. Last year he posted an 85th percentile strikeout rate and now he's plummeted to below 40th percentile. The ERA (4.44) is still tainted by 12 earned runs over his first four starts, but the ship is slowly starting to get back on track for Nola this year.
Juan Soto's having a terrific month of May, in case you thought he was just a bad hitter all of a sudden. He went 4-for-4 at the plate Tuesday, and his average is now up to .244 for the season and a .400 OBP. For the month he's hitting .393 with and a .500 OBP. The homeruns were still trailing behind a bit with only five for the season, but he's hitting the ball extremely hard and if he cuts down on the extra swing and miss that's popped up this season, we're going to see Juan Soto being back to Juan Soto extremely soon.
Alek Manoah's horrific 2023 continued Tuesday and now he's sitting with a 4.83 ERA over 41 innings. He's getting hit extremely hard, not getting any significant amount of whiffs, has one of the worst walk rates in the league, and just as a while has lost a lot of what made him great in prior years. You can't trot him out there at this point as there's no telling what outing is going to come, as there have been two seven shutout inning outings but they are surrounded by a bunch of duds.
Brandon Pfaadt struggled in his second start of his major league career, allowing sux runs over five innings while striking out three batters. Pfaadt was next on the list of top end starting pitching prospects to get the call, and it really couldn't be much of a worse start for the rookie. He's now allowed 13 runs over his first nine major league innings, surrendering 15 hits and striking out six batters. Batters are crushing him with a 63% hard-hit rate and a 17% barrel rate. I'm not worrying about starting him right now until we see a start or two of success before we can justify putting him back in lineups.
Luis Ortiz made his 2023 debut on Tuesday against Colorado and really danced around fire to finish with an okay stat line. He threw five innings and allowed five runs (two earned), walked one but allowed seven hits and struck out just one batter. He allowed a ton of hard contact in the game and earned just a 17% whiff rate and a 22% CSW. He worked many batters into two strike counts, but had trouble finishing off batters for strikeouts. The slider is his primary swing and miss offering and that pitch only had two swings and misses on 10 swings. I still like Ortiz's overall skillset but we need to see some growth in terms of swing and miss or limiting hard contact, because a better offense would have likely dropped 7+ on him tonight.
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