10 Important Stories from 05/31/19 Box Scores: Under-the-Radar Waiver Targets, Bounce Back Candidates (Archer/Seager) & More

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It was a miserable evening for Patrick Corbin, who allowed 8 R (6 earned) on 11 H while lasting just 2.2 innings against the Reds.  Trevor Story had himself a day, going 3-4 with 2 HR, 7 RBI and 4 R (he’s now hitting .294 with 15 HR, 42 RBI, 52 R and 10 SB on the season).  Joey Gallo delivered the big blow for the Rangers, slugging a go ahead grand slam (1-4, 1 HR, 4 RBI, 1 R) to lead them to victory.  What else happened on the field that we need to know about?  Let’s take a look:

1) Is there reason to buy the Giants’ Mike Yastrzemski…
He was hitting third yesterday and went 2-4 with 1 HR, 2 RBI and 2 R.  He’s hitting .273 over his six games in the Majors, though 7 K vs. 2 BB in 22 AB isn’t all that promising.  That said he was hitting .316 with 12 HR over 163 PA at Triple-A prior to his recall, all while showing a much better command of the strike zone (22.1% strikeout rate, 13.5% walk rate).  With a 9.8% SwStr% at Triple-A this season, after an 8.1% mark in 374 PA last season, there’s reason to believe this bump is more about getting acclimated than it is telling of things to come.  The upside may be limited, as he’s 28-years old and just getting a shot at the Majors, but he has a solid approach, has seen a recent bump in power and is hitting in the middle of the lineup.  Under that set of circumstances he’s worth the flier in deeper formats.

2) What to make of another mixed bag from Chris Archer…
Sure he got the W, but he allowed 4 ER on 5 H and 2 BB, striking out 7, over 7.0 IP as he was tagged for a pair of home runs (including one for Keston Hiura, who went 3-4 with 1 HR, 3 RBI and 1 R).  He was showing significant strikeout stuff (18 swinging strikes) and generating groundballs (10 groundballs vs. 4 fly balls), so it would appear that the home runs were a bit of an aberration.  Of course he’s also allowed 10 HR over 47.2 IP overall and at least 1 HR in six straight starts.  His control has actually been the biggest issue this season (26 BB), and while there have been groundball issues overall he’s been better in that regard over his past two starts (17 groundballs vs. 9 fly balls) and he’s shown the ability to get about a strikeout per inning (47 K over 47.2 IP).  It will be easy for things for people to write him off based on the ugly numbers, but now is the time to buy.

3) It was a monster day for Niko Goodrum…
He’s struggled for much of the season, but the Tigers continue to give him an opportunity and he delivered in a big way yesterday.  Hitting atop the order he went 5-5 with 2 HR, 3 RBI and 4 R, with one of the home runs being among the three that were allowed by Mike Foltynewicz (5 ER on 7 H over 5.0 IP).  For Goodrum he’s hitting .230 with 6 HR, 17 RBI, 28 R and 4 SB over 180 AB, and there’s optimism for more as he entered the day with a .268 BABIP despite a 38.6% Hard% (as well as a willingness to use the entire field, with a 27.6% Oppo%).  He’s also shown an improvement in his plate discipline (11.8% SwStr%, 28.5% O-Swing%), meaning his strikeout rate could fall (26.0%), and with his ability to play all across the diamond the AB will remain.  Consider him well worth owning in all formats.

4) An impressive start for Ariel Jurado, but do we care…
Taking on the Royals he allowed 2 ER on 5 H and 3 BB, striking out 6, over 6.0 IP to earn the W.  Over his past two outings, after moving from the bullpen, he’s allowed 4 ER on 11 H and 5 BB, striking out 9, over 12.2 IP.  Obviously we’d like to see more in terms of strikeouts, but the rest of the numbers show promise.  His strikeout rate has been limited since being promoted to Double-A a few years ago (5.6 K/9 over 302.1 IP), and that could continue to limit his upside.  He does have the ability to throw strikes and generate groundballs (55.8% in the Majors this season, prior to yesterday), and that could at least keep him as a streaming option.  However the lack of strikeout upside is going to keep him from being a truly viable asset that you want to have in your lineup for every start.

5) Is there still hope for Miles Mikolas…
He settled for a no decision against the Cubs last night, though the results were solid as he allowed 1 ER on 6 H and 2 BB, striking out 3, over 7.0 IP.  While he had one nightmare outing mixed in, he’s allowed 3 ER or fewer in five of his past six starts and despite the overall struggles still owns a 1.17 WHIP.  The strikeout rate remains limited, which is backed up by his 8.8% SwStr% entering the day.  At the same time the overall results should be better, as he continues to display elite control and enough groundballs to expect an improvement in his home run rate (47.2% groundball rate, before 10 groundballs vs. 6 fly balls yesterday, though a 1.73 HR/9 courtesy of a 20.0% HR/FB).  There are obviously going to be some limitations, but there’s enough upside to see the potential value moving forward.  He may be more of a plug and play, but if there were even a few more strikeouts he’d be a must use.

6) It was a nice rebound from German Marquez…
Taking on the Blue Jays he was solid, allowing 2 ER on 6 H and 3 BB, striking out 7, over 7.0 IP with his lone mistake being a home run to Randal Grichuk (1-4, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 1 R).  Considering the Rockies had run up 10 R by the time the third inning had come to a close certainly helped, as Marquez was able to put it on cruise control.  Unfortunately things have been rather inconsistent for Marquez, who has allowed at least 4 ER in four of his past seven starts.  That said he still entered the day with an 8.73 K/9, 1.61 BB/9 and 53.6% groundball rate, all skills that should continue to play even in Coors Field.  The lone “concern” is his 38.0% Hard%, though there was no red flags in his .299 BABIP and 75.2% strand rate, and there should be even more upside in his strikeout rate (13.5% SwStr%).  He has the stuff to be elite, and if someone is down on him based on the up-and-down nature of his outings it’s well worth exploring.

7) Jon Duplantier has a solid, yet unimpressive, showing in his first start…
It wasn’t his debut, as he’s worked as a reliever, but it was his first start.  Taking on the Mets he allowed 3 ER on 6 H and 2 BB, striking out 4, over 5.0 IP.  He’s shown strikeout stuff as he’s worked his way through the minors, as well as the ability to generate groundballs, though the control has generally been spotty (at best).  Obviously the 17.0 innings at Triple-A this season isn’t enough to draw conclusions on, but over 67.0 innings at Double-A last season he posted a 9.13 K/9, 3.76 BB/9 and 53.3% groundball rate.  That would appear to make him promising, though is it enough to consider buying into him?  He was showing the groundballs yesterday (6 groundballs vs. 3 fly balls), as well as enough swing and miss stuff (8 swinging strikes).  The question is going to be if he can find the strike zone consistently or not in order to excel.  While that seems unlikely, there’s enough here to roll the dice in deeper formats.

8) A strong start from Joey Lucchesi brings promise…
Sure it was against the Marlins, but he had to outpitch Caleb Smith (5.0 IP, 2 ER, 3 H, 2 BB, 8 K) in order to get the W.  He made one mistake, a solo home run to Rossell Herrera, but was otherwise impressive as Lucchesi allowed 1 ER on 2 H and 1 BB, striking out 5, over 6.1 IP.  Overall he’s 4-3 with a 3.96 ERA and 1.11 WHIP, and the southpaw has 62 K vs. 15 BB over his 61.1 innings of work.  Couple that with a 50.0% groundball rate (after generating 8 groundballs vs. 7 fly balls yesterday) and with the potential for his luck to continue to improve (he entered the day with a 68.8% strand rate), all signs point towards the continuation of his resurgence.  We’ve been hyping him as a potential buy low candidate, though that opportunity could have already passed you buy.  Regardless he looks like a strong option moving forward.

9) Is Corey Seager finally starting to turn things around…
He went 1-4 with 1 HR, 2 RBI and 1 R yesterday, hitting one of the four home runs the Dodgers slugged against the Phillies.  While it’s been a relatively disappointing season thus far for Seager, he has raised his average from .231 to .249 since May 24, including 3 HR and 9 RBI over 28 AB.  You can argue that he’s taken a bit too much of a groundball approach this season (43.8% entering the day), which helps to support a rather pedestrian .286 BABIP, but he also has been hitting the ball hard (39.2% Hard%) and using the entire field (29.4% Oppo%).  Of course there also is the risk of more strikeouts (12.1% SwStr%, though just an 18.8% strikeout rate) and those two negatives help to limit the upside that the other two numbers bring with them.  That’s not to say that he isn’t going to be able to produce, but thinking that there’s significantly more upside may be misguided.

10) JA Happ delivers a strong showing against the Red Sox…
He got the W, allowing 1 ER on 3 H and 2 BB, striking out 5, over 5.0 IP and outpitched Chris Sale in the process (6.0 IP, 4 ER, 7 H, 1 BB, 10 K).  It has been a disappointing season for Happ, who allowed another home run yesterday.  He’s now allowed 15 HR over 63.1 IP, and entering the day with a 38.9% groundball rate (though he did have 7 groundballs vs. 2 fly balls yesterday) after posting a 40.1% mark last season the risk of it continuing is high.  Couple that with a 39.2% Hard%, though just a .278 BABIP, and it would seem that the downside far outweighs the upside potential.  While the name is going to bring intrigue, the value is limited at best.

Sources – ESPN, Fangraphs, Brooks Baseball

4 COMMENTS

  1. Just moved Gio Gonzalez to an IL slot. Can you help me replace him by ranking the following available SPs?:

    Smeltzer, Quantrill, Chase Anderson, Lauer, Mengden, Sampson, Mahle, Duplantier, Fedde, LeBlanc

    Thanks in advance,
    T

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