It was an interesting getaway day on Thursday as a little more than half the league had the day off. And with that, the majority of the games took place in the afternoon. While it gave us some entertainment value during the day, it left us a little lacking in the evening. Let’s jump right into some of the performances that left an impression on us:
1) We Have a Kinsler Sighting
Despite the presence of Luis Urias lurking in the minor leagues, the Padres committed to Ian Kinsler for two years this winter. San Diego did entertain the idea of Urias, but the prospect failed to hit at the major league level and has now found himself back in Triple-A. Kinsler though, has failed to really do much of anything to this point in 2019. The Padres exploded for 11 runs yesterday, and Kinsler was a part of that. He went 3 for 6 and raised his average to just .174. If you didn’t need anymore evidence as to how bad Kinsler has been, after yesterday, his OPS still sits at just .566. And this is after his third home run of the season. Kinsler also doubled twice on Thursday while also doubling his RBI total to bring it all the way up to four. I wouldn’t run out to my waiver wire to add Kinsler on the legs of yesterday’s performance, but it is a situation to monitor if it turns into a hot streak.
2) Hosmer Cleans Things Up
When it comes to first baseman, Eric Hosmer is generally someone I don’t hold in high record. We know all about his extreme ground ball tilt and lack of true power, but with the exception of last season, Hosmer had managed to put solid numbers throughout his career. After a slow start this season, it’s possible that Hosmer has found himself on some waiver wires, but over the past week, it appears that things have turned around for him. San Diego’s lineup is better than it was last season, and as their clean-up hitter, Hosmer does benefit. On Thursday, we went 3 for 4 with a run scored and two RBI to bring his batting average to .261. Despite the fact that Hosmer has 20 RBI on the year, his OPS is still just .747. And that limits his value.
3) Thor Strikes
April has not been kind to Noah Syndergaard as it appears the cold has impacted him and the right-hander has struggled to find his touch and control. He is throwing hard, so the velocity being there is half the battle, but Syndergaard previously didn’t show much feel as he was throwing more than pitching. Things turned around for Syndergaard on Thursday though as he took care of business, all the business in fact. With a solo home run, Syndergaard was the sole source of offense for both teams yesterday as he threw a complete game shutout. The right-hander scattered four hits and one walk while striking out 10. To give an indication as to how bad things have been for Syndergaard to this point, his ERA is still 5.02. Your window to buy low on him might be closing fast, but remember, even though the track record is there, it’s just one start.
4) Dahl Drives in Three
We know that the talent is there, but the health has always been a question, so if you are little surprised, pleasantly in fact, that David Dahl is up to 87 at bats. And the outfielder, again not shocking though, is producing. Out of the third spot in the order, Dahl had a 3 for 5 day to bring his batting average up to .333. Dahl went deep for the third time this season, a two run shot, drove in three runs overall (11 on the season), while scoring twice. The fact that he is performing to this level, is the exact reason why fantasy owners were so insistent on him receiving regular playing time.
5) Berrios Cruises to Victory
Whether it was the Astros bats going cold on their own, the weather on getaway day didn’t help, or strictly due to the pitching performance, Jose Berrios cruised on Thursday. In fact, it was yet another strong outing from the right-hander this season as he improved to 5-1 on the season. The Astros did have some chances, as Berrios scattered seven hits while allowing two runs. It did work in his favor though, that he didn’t walk a batter and struck out five. Berrios’ ERA now sits at 2.91 on the season. In fact, with just 1.55 walks per nine innings, Berrios’ control has been on point this season, but as the weather warms up and the ball carries, his 33.3% ground ball rate might become a problem. Before investing too heavily, keep in mind that Berrios’ FIP is 3.74 along with an xFIP of 4.22.
6) Castro Drives in Four
Given how desolate the catcher position is, it’s a little crazy to see that the Twins have three viable options there. Jason Castro got the start on Thursday, and we went deep for the third time this season. After going 2 for 4, he is still hitting just .229 on the year, but for the most part when it comes to catchers, you are punting batting average. It’s really the power you are after, and Castro doubled his RBI total on the season yesterday which brought it to eight. Of the three catching options in Minnesota, Castro is the least desirable. but you have to like his performance from yesterday.
7) Morton Gets Nothing for His Effort
The move to Tampa Bay hasn’t done anything to slow down Charlie Morton, and despite the fact that he didn’t pick up the victory on Thursday, it was due to no fault of his own. Morton threw 6.2 innings of one run ball against the Royals while scattering five hits and one walk to go along with nine strikeouts. On the season, his ERA now sits at 2.52 with a FIP of 2.94. Morton is striking out 11 batters per nine innings, but through seven starts, he is averaging just under six innings per start. There may be more exciting or dominate options, but Morton continues to be a solid starting pitcher.
8) Strasburg Makes History
We know that Stephen Strasburg is a talented pitcher, but injuries have put a limit on his true value. However, yesterday, Strasburg was the fastest pitcher in history to reach the 1,500 strikeout mark. Strasburg picked up his third victory of the season with 6.2 innings of one run ball against the Cardinals. He limited St. Louis to six hits and two walks while striking out nine. So far so good for Strasburg this season as his ERA currently sits at 3.45. In fact, with a 3.12 FIP and 2.82 xFIP, it’s looking like this might be the best season yet for the right-hander as he is striking out 11.57 batters per inning. He just needs to stay healthy.
9) Garcia Picks up Another Two Hits
Whether it is left field or right field, Leury Garcia appears to have a set role at the top of Chicago’s batting order. The White Sox outfielder went 2 for 4, including his eighth double of the season, on Thursday while scoring his 25th run of the season. We don’t want to get ahead of ourselves, but that is certainly a nice pace to be on just about a month into the season. Garcia, who also has four stolen bases on the season, is batting .279 so far in 2019, and he could down as a valuable waiver wire addition.
10) Goodwin Adds Another Three Hits
While we are on the subject of waiver wire adds in the outfield, Brian Goodwin also warrants a discussion. With Justin Upton still a long ways from returning, likely two more months, Goodwin’s starting spot in left field appears to be safe. The fact that Goodwin is batting third shows what the Angels think of him, and hitting .341 has a way of securing your role. Goodwin went 3 for 4 on Thursday with his 20th run scored of the season. He also stole his first base of the season, and with four home runs and 11 RBI on the year, Goodwin isn’t holding you back in the power department either. Prior to his stint with the Angels, Goodwin had a hard time finding both consistent playing time and success, so don’t go crazy with your investment.