10 Important Stories from 05/24/19 Box Scores: Sell High Starters (Canning & More), Making Sense Of The Sluggers (Olson/Sano) & More

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Shane Bieber had to settle for a no decision, though it was a relatively strong start against Tampa Bay as he allowed 1 ER on 4 H and 4 BB, striking out 10, over 5.0 IP.  It was a strong rebound for Miles Mikolas, though he took a loss, allowing 3 ER on 7 H and 0 BB, striking out 9, over 7.0 IP.  The slew of callups didn’t yield many results, with Cavan Biggio and Josh Naylor going hitless while Kevin Cron found himself on the bench.  What else happened on the field that we need to know about?  Let’s take a look:

1) Is this a breakout for the Marlins’ Harold Ramirez…
Miami and Washington combined for 22 runs and 29 hits, so there were obviously a lot of offensive contributors.  Ramirez’ day may have been the most notable, as he went 2-4 with 1 RBI and 2 R, extending his hitting streak to four games (and including three multi-hit games).  It’s only 31 AB but he’s hitting .323 with 1 HR, 2 RBI and 6 R, but before we get too excited he does have just 7 K vs. 1 BB as he hasn’t shown much plate discipline (42.4% O-Swing% entering the day) after posting a 14.1% SwStr% at Double-A last year.  He has been better in that regard generally (11.5% SwStr% at Triple-A prior to his recall, 9.5% in the Majors) and he’s shown power and speed before (11 HR/16 SB, as well as 37 doubles last season).  Time will tell if he can maintain this type of production, though there are certainly questions in Miami’s outfield and enough potential to roll the dice (especially if he can show even slightly better plate discipline).

2) While he settled for a no decision, Joey Lucchesi was still impressive…
Taking on the revamped Toronto lineup that included Lourdes Gurriel Jr. in LF (1-3, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 1 R) and Cavan Biggio (0-3), Lucchesi was dominant over 6.2 IP.  He finished allowing 3 ER on 3 H and 1 BB, striking out 11, though a pair of home runs was ultimately his undoing.  He yielded 2 groundballs vs. 7 fly balls, though a 0.93 HR/FB and 52.8% groundball rate entering the day shows it was more of an aberration.  Throw in a 68.5% strand rate to go along with swing and miss stuff (10.7% SwStr%, before 17 swinging strikes yesterday) and strong control (2.42 BB/9) and what’s not to like?  Throw in a modest Hard% (33.6%) and it all comes together.  Let others avoid him because of the relatively uninspiring 4.25 ERA, we are all in on him moving forward.

3) The inconsistent year for Noah Syndergaard continued…
It looked like he had turned things around, then he gets drilled by the Tigers to the tune of 6 ER on 10 H and 1 BB over 5.1 IP.  At least he struck out 9, right?  Still Detroit took him deep twice, the third time in his past six starts that he’s allowed 2 HR and he’s allowed at least 4+ ER in seven of his 11 starts overall.  In general he’s shown the skills we look for, entering the day with an 8.86 K/9 (his 11.1% SwStr% was down from previous years, though he had 16 swinging strikes yesterday), 1.97 BB/9 and 50.8% groundball rate.  He also hasn’t been hit hard (29.4% Hard%), yet the home runs are up significantly (1.13 HR/9, compared to a 0.73 career mark) and he’s struggled with poor luck (64.9% strand rate prior to yesterday).  Things should improve, so don’t hit the panic button.

4) Is it time to buy into Jordan Luplow…
He went 2-3 with 1 HR, 1 RBI and 1 R and is now hitting .260 with 6 HR and 11 RBI over 73 AB.  Of course he entered the day with an unsustainable 31.3% HR/FB, while also taking an extremely pull heavy approach (10.9% Oppo%) and struggling to make consistent contact (12.2% SwStr%, 32.5% strikeout rate).  He has gone three straight games without a strikeout (8 AB), while showing a stronger approach at Triple-A last season (9.8% SwStr%) and in 314 AB at Triple-A last season he showed some power potential (25 doubles, 3 triples, 8 HR).  He has the potential to emerge in a murky Cleveland outfield, and while the power will slow down he does at least warrant our attention.

5) Wade Miley shutdown the red hot Boston lineup…
Going 6.0 innings he allowed 1 ER on 4 H and 2 BB, striking out 8, over 6.0 IP.  He made one mistake (a home run to Xander Bogaerts) and now owns a 3.32 ERA and 1.16 WHIP over 11 starts (62.1 IP).  Of course before you get overly excited he’s continually struggled to generate strikeouts, with yesterday being the aberration, as he entered the day with a 5.91 K/9 (he did have 14 swinging strikes yesterday).  Couple that with a .259 BABIP, despite a 37.9% Hard%, and 78.9% strand rate and it’s east to envision a significant regression coming.  He’s the epitome of a sell high candidate, and coming off of this start may be the ideal time to cash in your chips and move on.

6) Miguel Sano joins into the Minnesota sluggers…
The Twins hit three more home runs, including Max Kepler (3-4, 1 HR, 4 RBI, 2 R) and Eddie Rosario (4-5, 1 HR, 3 RBI, 1 R), but it’s Sano’s that garners the most attention.  He finished the day 1-3 with 1 HR, 1 RBI and 3 R, and is hitting .250 with 5 HR and 9 RBI over 28 AB.  There has never been a question about his power, it’s the ability to hit for a solid average that’s an issue.  He has just 2 hits that haven’t been home runs since returning from the DL, as he continues to strikeout at a ridiculously high rate (11 K, with a massive 20.7% SwStr% entering the day).  Throw in a generally pull heavy approach and the possibility that he’s even more focused on the long ball (56.3% fly ball rate) and the red flags are there.  Obviously it’s far too small of a sample size to draw definitive conclusions from, but given his history it’s enough.  There’s potential value, but at the same time there’s little reason to believe.

7) Has Mike Foltynewicz finally turned the corner…
He earned his first W, allowing 1 R (0 earned) on 5 H and 0 BB, striking out 7, over 6.0 IP against the Cardinals.  While it’s his second straight strong start, the real key is that it was the first time he hasn’t allowed a home run (he had allowed 10 HR over his first 27.1 IP), though even yesterday he wasn’t generating many groundballs (3 groundballs vs. 8 fly balls).  He should improve upon his 20.8% HR/FB, he owns a meager 34.9% groundball rate so it’s easy to envision the home run issues continuing.  He also continues to get hit hard (44.1% Hard%, though still just a .238 BABIP) and could regress with his control (2.16 BB/9, compared to a 3.10 career mark).  Even with an improvement in his strikeout rate, though that’s not even a given (he had just 8 swinging strikes yesterday), it wouldn’t be enough.  The risk far outweighs the potential reward.

8) Matt Olson showing no ill effects from his injury…
He went 1-3 with 1 HR, 3 RBI and 1 R yesterday, putting him at .250 with 5 HR and 8 RBI over 62 AB.  Obviously it’s not much data to go one, but generally there’s a power outage for those who have undergone hamate bone surgery.  Maybe he’s gone a little too fly ball-centric (52.3%), but is that enough of an issue?  He has been hitting the ball extremely hard (60.9% Hard%) while showing the same plate discipline he did a year ago (11.0% SwStr%, 25.4% O-Swing%).  He is coming off a 29 HR season and had the potential to fully breakout this season, before the injury cast some doubt on that.  The way he’s performing now, that’s not a question.  If someone in your league lost hope, don’t hesitate to swoop in.

9) A strong start for Griffin Canning, though he settles for a no decision…
Taking on the Rangers he allowed 1 ER on 3 H and 2 BB, striking out 5, over 5.0 IP.  The one mistake was a leadoff home run to Shin Soo Choo (2-5, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 2 R), making the performance that much more impressive.  He now owns a 3.42 ERA and 1.06 WHIP over 26.1 IP, though there are some warning signs of a regression coming.  He has struggled with home runs in general, with a 39.1% groundball rate helping to a 1.71 HR/9 (he had a 41.5% groundball rate over 16.0 IP at Triple-A this year, after a 41.4% mark over 59.0 IP last year).  He also has benefited from a .219 BABIP and 86.4% strand rate, despite a 36.2% Hard%.  There’s upside, and no one will argue that, but things could turn quickly.  In redraft formats it definitely makes sense to cash in and see how high of a return you can get.

10) Ketel Marte leads the way for Arizona’s offensive eruption…
Taking on the Giants Arizona put up 18 runs on 21 hits, including 4 HR.  However it was Marte, who was in CF and leading off, that led the way going 3-7 with 1 HR, 4 RBI and 3 R.  It continues an impressive breakout, as he’s hitting .265 with 10 HR, 35 RBI, 29 R and 3 SB over 200 AB.  The fact that he was in centerfield could help clear a path for Kevin Cron, assuming the team wants to utilize him at 3B, though that’s irrelevant when it comes to Marte.  His bat is going to remain in the lineup regardless, as the power breakout is for real (16.7% HR/FB, a step up from last year’s 10.9%, and with 26 doubles and 11 triples there was always reason to buy in), he’s hitting the ball hard (40.7% Hard%) and continuing to make regular contact (8.3% SwStr%).  You put it all together and there’s every reason to believe.

Sources – ESPN, Fangraphs

3 COMMENTS

  1. Professor… I have to make a call on who to keep in my minors. Royce Lewis or Kieboom? I do need a second basemen long term and think Kieboom will replace Dozier this year or def next while Lewis seems at best two years away. No brainer to drop Lewis?

    • Depends if you are playing for the long or the short-term. Long-term Lewis is definitely the better prospect, but Kieboom will make the impact before long

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