What a surprise, Sunday saw more players head to the Injured List, but we also had a busy day of action around the league. Nothing we saw really should surprise us anymore, as it has become the norm to expect the unexpected. While he took the loss to drop to 0-5 on Sunday, Chris Sale did take another step towards potentially living up to his draft value. We do have a bit to go, but allowing two runs over seven innings of work while striking out eight to bring his ERA down 6.30 is a good sign. Let’s take a look at some of the other performances that stuck out from a busy Sunday:
1) Glasnow Cruises
With each start, Tyler Glasnow is doing more and more to prove what a caper the Chris Archer trade was. The young right-hander really just needed a little more time and space to develop and grow, and that appears to be happening in full force so far this season in Tampa Bay. Glasnow picked up his fifth victory of the season yesterday in Boston with 6.2 innings of two run ball. It wasn’t the smoothest of outings as Glasnow did scatter six hits, but he only walked one batter while striking out nine. In fact, Glasnow’s ERA actually increased from 1.53 to 1.75 to go along with his 0.94 WHIP. The main thing for Glasnow this season is the improved control as he is walking just 1.75 batters per nine innings. That will enable him to continue his success.
2) Eflin Cruises to Victory
We saw something on Sunday that has become pretty rare these days. Zach Eflin threw a complete game for his third victory of the season. It did come against the Marlins, but it still counts just the same as the left-hander limited Miami to just one run while scattering seven hits. Eflin did a good job of pitching to contact and throwing strikes, but he struck out just three batters as we saw his ERA drop to 3.34. Overall, Eflin is striking out just 6.69 batters per nine innings, and that is in line with his career norms. That clearly limits Eflin’s upside, and I wouldn’t be completely fond of his 42.2% ground ball rate. With a 4.30 FIP, Eflin is going to be a solid starter, but I’m not sure how high his upside truly is.
3) Where Did This Come From?
While the focus was on a certain, maybe big named rookie in Toronto that had a little buzz surrounding their promotion, Brandon Drury is flying under the radar. Well at least he is this weekend. The infielder is now getting regular playing time at second base, and while he is hitting just .219 on the season after a two hit effort on Sunday, anybody with regular playing should at least be on your radar. Drury end things on Friday with a home run, and went deep again on Sunday for his fourth long ball of the season. He followed up a 3 for 3 effort on Saturday with two hits and three RBI yesterday to bring his total for the season to eight. It’s just one good weekend of action, but it is a situation to monitor.
4) Matz Cruises to Victory
Two runs in seven innings is pretty good, and that is especially the case given the state of pitching these days. We now are two starts removed from Steven Matz’s meltdown in Philadelphia where he didn’t record an out, and in fact, the left-hander’s ERA now sits at a very respectable 3.68. Matz scattered five hits while striking out four, and the big thing, is that he was efficient enough to get through seven innings. However, with a .237 BABIP and 4.74 FIP, I would tread carefully with the southpaw.
5) Albies Clears the Table
Forget about just setting the table, Ozzie Albies took care of that and clearing the table all by himself. The lead-off man went deep twice on Sunday with two solo homers which brought his total for the season to five. Albies, who is now batting .292 on the season, came around to score on each of his three hits, and he is up to 10 RBI on the season. What truly stands out for me though, and when it comes to Albies’ value, is the fact that he is up to 23 runs scored on the season.
6) Adams Goes Deep
He came to plate six times on Sunday, and it was just his last at bat of the game that mattered. After going 0 for 5, Matt Adams sent everyone home happy with a solo homer. It was Adams’ third home run of the season, to go along with 13 RBI and a respectable .267 batting average in 45 at bats. This is of note specifically because Ryan Zimmerman is currently headed to the Injured List for his annual trip. And that means regular playing time for Adams who always seems to produce when given the chance to do so.
7) Santana Should Stay in the Lineup
It’s all about opportunity, and then taking advantage of that opportunity, when it comes to injuries, and so far Danny Santana is putting himself in good position. With both Roughned Odor and Ronald Guzman sidelined, there is plenty of playing time available in Texas’ infield, but with the way Santana has been hitting, he shouldn’t have any issues once Texas is back at full strength. And, the better thing, is that Santana has eligibility at multiple positions. Santana went 3 for 4 on Sunday with his ninth RBI of the season while scoring three runs and raising his batting average to .345. At this point, Santana is a hot hand worth riding.
8) Hill Returns
It would be pretty boring to talk about Cody Bellinger as he went deep for the 14th time this season on Sunday, and we know he is one of the best players in baseball so far this season. However, we shouldn’t let that over shadow the return of Rich Hill. While we don’t know how long that will last, the southpaw is likely good for another Injured List stint at some point in 2019. But when he is on the mound, Hill is certainly worth your attention. The left-hander picked up a no decision in his 2019 debut against Pittsburgh but it wasn’t the smoothest of outings as he allowed five runs; just one earned though. Hill scattered five hits while walking one and striking out six. It’s also worth noting that, in his new role, Julio Urias picked up the victory with two innings of one run ball to go along with three strikeouts.
9) Harvey Takes a Step in the Right Direction
While Matt Harvey is still not necessarily a pitcher you can blindly count on, he did remind us that not all value is lost. The right-hander picked up his first victory of the season with seven quality innings against the Royals. Harvey limited Kansas City to one run on just two hits and three walks while striking out five. His ERA now sits at 6.54 for the season, and while his 4.97 xFIP is substantially lower, it’s not nearly enough for me to feel comfortable using Harvey unless the match-up is quite favorable and your ratios are in the position, for better or worse, to absorb the risk.
10) Voit Drives in Two
When it comes to run producers in the Yankees’ lineup, Luke Voit is really all they have left. Yes, Gary Sanchez is back and he did hit his eighth home run of the season and drive in three runs, 18 on the season, he is hitting just .232. After a three hit effort yesterday, Voit is now hitting .282, and his two RBI brought his season total up to 25. Batting second, the first baseman is in prime position in New York’s lineup, and while we are just a month into the season, it does look like last year’s success is sustainable.