Less than a week into a new MLB season, there just isn't very much to grab on to as a Fantasy analyst. The season is long and full of too many ups and downs to count, and most teams haven't even played five games yet. Bad games, bad weeks, even bad months happen and are subsequently forgotten by season's end, so we know not to take too much away from anything we're seeing right now.

Right now, all we're looking at are brief moments in time, snapshots that will hopefully, in time, bring something important into focus. Today, I'm focusing on some positive moments we've seen so far from the pitching side of things. Here are five promising signs we've seen from pitchers through their first turn through the rotation: 

Reid Detmers, Angels

His stuff looks excellent. The results weren't exactly what we were hoping for from one of the spring's biggest breakout candidates, as Detmers gave up three runs (two earned) and walked three in 4.2 innings against the Mariners Monday. But the stuff was electric, just like we hoped it would be. Detmers averaged 95.3 mph with his fastball, the first time he's ever been above 95 in a regular season start, while his slider was up to 90.0 mph, 1.5 mph higher than he's ever had. His velo was up across the board, and it created an even bigger gap between his slider and his curveball, which averaged 74.9 mph. 

He primarily used the curveball to garner called strikes (he got nine of them with the pitch), while slider was primarily used out of the zone for whiffs, and that could be a deadly combination if opposing hitters know they can't sit on any one pitch in any given count. Detmer was also releasing the ball closer to the plate than he did last season, as Lance Brozdowski noted on Twitter, which should help the velocity play up even more – per Brozdowski, Detmers' fastball jumped from an 87 to a 103 rating in Stuff+, going from below average to above. The downside is something we saw some signs of in spring, as he struggled just a bit with his command, a possible side effect of getting used to pitching in a new velocity band, with different movement profiles as a result. But if Detmers figures it out, it's not hard to see how he builds on his breakout second half. He could be a huge source of strikeouts this season. 

Pablo Lopez, Twins

Lopez flashes a higher ceiling – We saw Lopez pitch in front of the Statcast cameras a few times in the spring, and it showed a pretty significant spike in velocity from the 27-year-old, but there were some caveats. In one outing, he was pitching in the World Baseball Classic with a 65-pitch limit, while the next one came during a one-inning spring appearance. Maybe he was amped up, knowing he'd be able to air it out more than normal, leading to a velocity spike. So, I wanted to see what it would look like under more normal circumstances, and well … the velo spike was there on Opening Day. Lopez averaged 95.1 mph with his fastball last week against the Royals, up 1.5 mph from where his 2022 average, with a spike in spin rate and a bit more ride on the pitch, too. He also showed off a new pitch, a sweeper that sure looks like it might be his new out pitch against right-handed batters. He threw it in lieu of his cutter, and got eight of his whopping 17 whiffs with it – the changeup got four, primarily against lefties, while the fastball got an additional four. Lopez has been a solid pitcher in the past, but this new-look version might give him a path to more upside than we've typically associated with him. 

Logan Gilbert, Mariners

Gilbert's got a new splitter – I was skeptical of the breakout calls for Gilbert, mostly because I just wasn't sure he had a putaway pitch. He had a full four-pitch arsenal, but didn't have a pitch with a whiff rate over 31.6%, leading to a pretty middling 10.8% overall swinging strike rate. He was more a quantity over quality guy, in other words, leading to a 22.7% strikeout rate, and given that he had a tendency to get hit pretty hard, I thought there was some regression coming for him – his 4.11 expected ERA per Statcast data backed that up. However, he spent his offseason working to refine his pitches, and he came out in his first start with a very interesting new splitter. He threw it at 85.3 mph with an average spin rate of just 980 RPM, garnering four swings and misses and three weakly hit balls. And man, that thing just dies on the way to the plate. We're dealing with a small sample size, obviously, and it's not like his changeup was bad last season by any means – it was actually his best pitch in terms of both whiff rate and expected wOBA allowed. And Gilbert already had reverse splits, allowing a .773 OPS to righties compared to a .579 mark vs. lefties, so he'll need his curveball and slider to play up, too. On that end, he was throwing both hard in his first start than he did last year despite his fastball velocity actually being down a tick. Whether this all comes together to make Gilbert the ace many Fantasy players – not to mention the Mariners, who just lost Robbie Ray – are hoping for remains to be seen, but the big change looked like a good one so far. 

Freddy Peralta, Brewers

Peralta turned back the clock – Injuries and inconsistent performance have defined Peralta's career, and he took a big step last season after his massive 2021 breakout, throwing just 78 innings while dealing with a lat injury and then a shoulder issue. He made his season debut Monday and loos pretty excellent, striking out seven batters over six innings while allowing two hits, and generally looking like the best version of himself. That version consistently managed excellent results on balls in play and a bunch of whiffs despite a somewhat fastball-forward approach, and that's what we saw Monday. His velocity was back up to 2021 levels – actually, slightly higher, even, across all of his pitches. He garnered 12 whiffs on 85 pitches against a Mets lineup that tends to make a lot of contact and generated an 80.9 mph average exit velocity. He wasn't doing anything special or new like some of the other guys listed here; Peralta just looked like himself. Injury risk and innings limitations will always hang over Peralta's head, but after just one start, I'm kind of kicking myself for not taking more fliers on him with his price depressed. 

Brady Singer, Royals

He certainly looks more interesting now – Singer went five innings allowing one run with three strikeouts and three walks, which is a pretty typically boring Brady Singer start. But some interesting things were going on under the hood during the outing. Singer appears to have altered his mechanics, as noted by Brozdowski, leading to more extension (i.e. he is releasing the ball about six inches closer to the batter than he did last season, along with a lower release point. That's going to make his mid-90s fastball get on batters a little more, and he was getting more drop on the pitch, which should also help generate more ground balls. Singer is a two-pitch pitcher, and it's never been quite clear if there was a path to taking a step forward without adding a third pitch – he doesn't have the natural stuff of a Spencer Strider. But becoming a more extreme groundball pitcher could make his profile play up a bit. I'm not saying he will morph into the next Framber Valdez, but he did garner a 60% groundball rate in that first start, which would be an elite mark. Singer will probably never be an ace, but he clearly made some changes this offseason that could help him sustain and perhaps even build on last year's gains.