10 Important Stories from 04/10/19 Box Scores: Are We Buying The Breakouts (Boyd/Glasnow), Giving Up On The Slow Starts (Pivetta/Paxton) & More

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Both Austin Meadows (3-5, 1 HR, 3 RBI, 2 R) and Tommy Pham (2-5, 2 HR, 3 RBI, 2 R) enjoyed big days at the dish.  Khris Davis does what he does, going 3-5 with 2 HR, 4 RBI and 2 R (he’s up to 7 HR and 14 RBI on the season).  Starling Marte filled the box score showing off his overall skillset, going 2-5 with 1 HR, 2 RBI, 2 R and 1 SB against Yu Darvish (5 R over 5.1 IP) and company.  What else happened on the field that we need to know about?  Let’s take a look:

1) Are we buying the breakout of Matt Boyd…
Despite pitching well it was his first win of the season, outpitching Bauer (5.2 IP, 4 ER, 10 H, 1 BB, 7 K) en route to the victory.  Boyd allowed 1 ER on 4 H and 2 BB, striking out 6, over 6.0 IP.  He had struck out 23 over 11.1 IP to enter the year, though no one should’ve expected that to continue (10 swinging strikes yesterday, a believable regression from his 20.2% SwStr% entering the day after a 10.2% mark last year).  While he still got the job done here, a drop in his strikeouts will ultimately have a significant impact as the risk for home runs is high (25.0% groundball rate in his first two starts, 4 groundballs vs. 7 fly balls yesterday).  Couple that with solid, yet unspectacular, control and there appears to be a few blowups coming.  He’s worth owning, but don’t make the mistake of overvaluing him.

2) Has Tyler Glasnow truly unlocked his potential…
He was dominant against the White Sox, tossing 6.0 shutout innings allowing 2 H and 1 BB, striking out 11.  Over his first three starts (17.0 IP) he now owns a 0.53 ERA and 0.82 WHIP, as well as 21 K vs. 3 BB.  Interestingly his 85 pitches thrown yesterday are a season high, and if they continue to limit him in that regard it could hinder his opportunities for victories (he’s currently 3-0).  There’s no questioning his swing and miss stuff, and if he has truly unlocked his control and can hammer the strike zone like this the results should be there.  That remains to be seen, and there also could be the risk of home runs plaguing him (13 fly balls vs. 7 groundballs over his past two starts).  Pitching in the AL East adds a little bit more risk, as you have to wonder if the Red Sox and Yankees will be able to expose him at all.  Is there a chance that he truly has figured it out?  Absolutely, and that makes him worth owning.  That said if someone in your league is willing to pay a premium to find out we’d consider selling high (especially in redraft formats).

3) Nick Margevicius keeps on rolling…
Taking on the Giants he went 6.0 innings allowing 1 ER on 5 H and 0 BB, striking out 6.  He made one mistake, a solo home run to Kevin Pillar (1-4,1 HR, 1 RBI, 1 R), though he was generating ample groundballs in this one (8 groundballs vs. 4 fly balls).  He entered the day with a 48.1% groundball rate, though his best carrying tool is clearly his control (1 BB over 16.0 IP).  Those two things are going to yield some solid results, though whether or not he’ll generate enough strikeouts to make a true impact remains to be seen (he entered the day with a 4.8% SwStr% and generated 10 swinging strikes yesterday).  He had shown more in the minors, though we have to remember that he had never pitched above High-A prior to debuting in the Majors this year.  If he can even get the strikeouts into the 7.5-8.0 range the value could be significant, but at the very least he’s a plug and play option for now.

4) Trevor Richards shows off why he was among our favorite preseason sleepers…
Obviously it’s just one start, but after a shaky first few innings he found himself and posted a tremendous line.  He struggled with his control early, but ultimately tossed 6.0 shutout innings allowing 1 H and 5 BB, striking out 7.  He generated an impressive 21 swinging strikes and over 18.0 innings he owns a 2.00 ERA, 1.11 WHIP and 18 K.  That’s not to say that he is immediately a can’t miss, as he has struggled with his control overall (10 BB) and there is the risk of some home run issues (35.3% groundball rate entering the day, 35.8% last season).  The latter is the biggest concern and while he isn’t going to be a set him and forget him option, there’s enough potential there to produce.

5) Is it already time to give up on Nick Pivetta…
One of the more highly hyped pitchers heading into the season, he’s been abysmal thus far and for many things reached a tipping point last night.  Over 3.2 innings against the Nationals he was touched up for 7 ER on 7 H and 3 BB, striking out 6, bringing him to a 9.45 ERA and 2.18 WHIP over 13.1 IP.  A lot of his problems last season were attributed to poor luck, but how long can we use that argument?  Interestingly enough considering his .412 BABIP entering the day and starting to show a little bit more groundball stuff (and in turn not allowing a home run yesterday) it seems like that could once again be the issue.  Obviously the thought is going to be that it’s not going to happen, but he’s showing just enough (like his 14 K vs. 5 BB) to make you think that putting things together is still possible.  While he shouldn’t be in your starting lineup, keeping him stashed to see if the luck changes is the prudent decision in most formats (outside of the shallowest of leagues).

6) Should we be concerned with James Paxton…
Entering the season the only perceived “issue” was whether or not he’d finally be able to stay healthy for an entire season.  However he’s now tossed back-to-back stinkers after allowing 5 ER on 8 H and 3 BB, striking out 5, over 4.0 IP.  Jose Altuve led the charge (2-4, 2 HR, 2 RBI, 2 R) as Paxton has now allowed 9 ER over 9.1 IP in his past two starts (6.00 ERA, 1.73 WHIP overall).  Interestingly he had just 8 swinging strikes yesterday, though that hadn’t been an issue early on.  The bigger concern is that he simply wasn’t fooling anyone (22.6% O-Swing% over his first two starts), and that could lead to a continued rise in walks.  With home runs an issue last season as well (1.29 HR/9), that could become an even bigger issue.  It’s not something we’d move on yet, but it needs to be monitored closely.

7) Is Marcell Ozuna truly rebounding to being “elite”…
He went 3-4 with 1 HR, 2 RBI and 2 R yesterday, bringing him to .262 with 3 HR, 7 RBI and 2 SB over 42 AB this season.  We all know he was plagued by shoulder issues last season, which helped to drag down his production, and while it’s nice to see the power returning it’s not to say that he’s completely “back”.  He already has 13 K vs. 2 BB overall, having entered the day with a 30.0% SwStr%.  Obviously it’s early but that’s a significant red flag, especially for a player who has added just 2 doubles and continues to show a limited line drive rate (15.4% line drive rate entering the day, compared to 19.2% for his career).  That’s not to say he should be ignored or sold, but there is some risk that the power surge is more mirage and simply hiding the negatives early on.

8) Are we buying what Jason Heyward is selling…
He went 3-4 with 1 HR, 1 RBI and 1 R yesterday, simply continuing his impressive start as he’s hitting .371 with 4 HR, 9 RBI, 10 R and 2 SB over 35 AB.  Obviously he’s always appeared to have name value, but the results on the field have generally not been there.  Thus far he’s showing an incredibly strong approach, with 4 K vs. 6 BB, though you can argue that it’s been all or nothing to an extent (he has yet to add an additional extra base hit) and appears to be trying to swing for the fences (50.0% fly ball rate entering the day).  When the home runs dry up, and considering his career 10.8% HR/FB you would think they would, the overall results are going to plummet.  Ride him while he’s hot, but be ready to move on quickly.

9) Robbie Ray shows what’s possible when he has his control…
Taking on the Rangers he allowed 1 ER on 2 H and 1 BB, striking out 10, over 5.0 innings but ultimately settled for a no decision.  There’s never been a question about his strikeout stuff, but there’s never a guarantee that he’s going to be able to display any type of control from start-to-start (he had walked 5 batters in each of his first two outings).  Even in this start he managed to pile up the pitches (he threw 94) and has yet to go past 5.1 innings in a start this season.  If that’s going to be an issue how is he going to be able to get wins (especially with the control always hanging over him).  Strikeouts are nice, but you need to be able to do something with it.  At this point that’s getting harder to see happening.

10) Is Frankie Montas emerging as a trustworthy option…
He defeated the Orioles to improve to 2-1 with a 3.18 ERA as he allowed 3 ER on 3 H and 1 BB, striking out 3, over 6.0 IP.  While the results are there he hasn’t generated a significant number of strikeouts (14 K over 17.0 IP) and he’s allowed at least 1 HR in each of his three starts (4 HR overall).  He has been generating more groundballs (including 9 groundballs vs. 6 fly balls yesterday), and pitching half his games in Oakland you would think that the home runs are more aberration than anything (possibly thanks to the incorporation of a split-finger fastball this year).  There also could be a little bit more strikeout upside and the potential is there to put it all together.  There’s obviously some risk, but there’s enough to potential to grab him in most formats.

Sources – ESPN, Fangraphs

6 COMMENTS

    • Yea, I would. I know how frustrating Pivetta has been, but his upside is still higher than those guys. The only exception might be Richards (who I was extremely high on entering the season), but with those guys all sitting there moving on from Pivetta doesn’t need to be an immediate move. Sit tight

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