10 Important Stories from 06/22/19 Box Scores: Are We Buying (Archer/Verdugo), Starters To Give Up On (Quintana/Foltynewicz) & More

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Chris Paddack pitched well in his return from the minors, allowing 2 ER on 5 H and 3 BB over 5.0 IP, though he managed just 1 K in the process.  A day after his 505 foot bomb, Nomar Mazara followed it uo but going 2-4 with 2 HR, 3 RBI and 2 R.  It was another big day for Yordan Alvarez, who went 2-4 with 1 HR, 3 RBI and 2 R (he’s now hitting .326 with 6 HR since his promotion).  What else happened on the field that you need to know about?  Let’s take a look:

1) Another impressive outing from Dakota Hudson, so is it time to believe…
Taking on the Angels he allowed 1 ER on 5 H and 1 BB, striking out 6, over 7.0 IP with his lone mistake being a home run to Albert Pujols (1-4, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 1 R).  On April 15 his ERA was an ugly 6.08, but he has it all the way down to 3.36 after allowing 3 ER or fewer in 12 straight outings.  Of course he also owns a rather ugly 1.47 WHIP and has managed just 60 K over 85.2 IP.  He is one of the elite groundball pitchers in the league, entering the day with a 61.4% groundball rate (11 groundballs vs. 4 fly balls yesterday).  Obviously we’d like to see more swing and miss stuff (9.3% SwStr% entering the day, 9 swinging strikes yesterday) and his control could use some improvement (he entered with a 4.12 BB/9), so is an elite groundball rate enough for him to excel?  It’s hard to trust him considering that, but at the very least he’s a matchup play.

2) Is Jose Quintana no longer a trustworthy option…
It was a miserable start against the Mets, including allowing 3 HR, as he allowed 9 R (8 earned) on 9 H and 2 BB, striking out 2, over 4.1 IP.  He’s now struggled to go 5.0 innings in three of his past five starts and carries a 1.40 WHIP on the season.  While he’s never going to be a significant strikeout pitcher, he entered the day with a solid 7.75 K/9 and was pairing it with a 2.90 BB/9 and 47.6% groundball rate.  While nothing there is spectacular, it is at least solid and should play better results…  That is until you see his 39.5% Hard% and you realize that something isn’t quite working right.  If he’s going to continue to be hit this hard, without elite strikeout stuff, the results simply aren’t going to be there.  Maybe he bounces back, but it’s getting harder and harder to believe.

3) A solid start from Vincent Velasquez…
Of course it came against the Marlins, so we have to take it with a little bit of a grain of salt, but he still allowed just 1 R on 1 H and 0 BB, striking out 5, over 5.0 IP.  Obviously the most important number is the walks, as he needed just 57 pitches to get the job done (it was the most pitches he’s thrown in the Majors since May 6, which is why he was limited).  Of course is anyone really willing to bet on his control being there after just one outing?  How about the risk of home run issues (and he did allow a home run yesterday), as he entered the day with a 35.4% groundball rate and generated just 2 groundballs vs. 8 fly balls yesterday.  He’s always been a pitcher who tried to allure with “stuff” and strikeout potential, but the risks outweigh the potential rewards (and that’s even before we factor in a 47.0% Hard%).

4) Has Chris Archer turned a corner…
Taking on the Padres he allowed 1 ER on 2 H and 3 BB, striking out 5, over 5.0 IP against the Padres.  Of course the run came courtesy of a solo home run, the tenth straight start where he’s allowed at least 1 HR (18 HR over 69.2 IP overall).  While he did generate a lot of groundballs yesterday (9 groundballs vs. 1 fly ball), he had entered the day with a meager 36.3% groundball rate and it’ll take more than one outing to get us to believe.  Pair that with continued questionable control (4.59 BB/9 entering the day) and a 45.7% Hard% (his third straight season of at least 39%) and no amount of strikeouts can overcome it.  We can hope that this is a sign of things to come, but we need to see more than one start before we believe (especially considering the control and home run allowed).  For now he’s a player to stash only.

5) Matt Chapman delivers the heroics once again…
A day after providing a walkoff home run Chapman was again leading Oakland to a W.  This time he went 2-4 with 1 HR, 2 RBI and 2 R, bringing his season numbers to .268 with 18 HR and 43 RBI on the season.  Interestingly there’s even more upside in the numbers, as he entered the day continuing to show an impressive approach (8.4% SwStr%, 24.0% O-Swing%) while also hitting the ball extremely hard (45.5% Hard%, though just a .280 BABIP).  Throw in a growing HR/FB (18.7%, which is a believable mark) and what’s not to like?  You could argue that he’s not quite willing enough to use the entire field (22.9% Oppo%), but all of the other metrics are far too promising to ignore.  He has elite upside and could really post some impressive numbers moving forward.

6) Yasmani Grandal, leadoff hitter…
The Brewers had an interesting lineup yesterday, with Grandal hitting atop the batting order and Lorenzo Cain slotted in the cleanup spot.  Grandal certainly seemed to take to the new spot well, going 2-3 with 1 HR (as well as a double), 2 RBI and 2 R (while also drawing a walk).  He’s now slashing .274/.383/.549 on the season, so you can see why the Brewers experimented with this alignment.  Playing half his games in Milwaukee it’s no surprise that he’s seen an increased HR/FB (he entered the day with a 22.5% HR/FB) and he also continues to show an ability to routinely draw a walk (14.1% in ’19, compared to a career mark of 13.2%).  Even more encouraging is his .283 BABIP, despite a 47.8% Hard% and 26.9% Oppo% (indicating that, despite his lack of speed, there’s room for even more).  Even at the status quo things are tremendous, but they could get even better than this.

7) Making his MLB debut, Aaron Civale shines…
The Indians continue to battle injury after injury to their rotation, and Civale was just the latest to get plugged into the mix.  He thrived in the opportunity, tossing 6.0 shutout innings allowing 2 H and 3 BB, striking out 6, against the Tigers.  Of course he wasn’t generating many swings and misses (4) or groundballs (5 groundballs vs. 7 fly balls), so that leaves the question if this was nothing more than an aberration.  Making seven starts split between Double-A (30.1 IP) and Triple-A (10.2 IP) he owned a 2.85 ERA and 1.17 WHIP while showing all three skills we look for from a pitcher (40 K, 10 BB and 1.28 GO/AO).  That leads you to believe that there’s at least a little bit more potential, though he’s never showed this type of strikeout stuff in the past (287 K over 349.2 career IP).  He’s likely more of a streaming option when the starts come, but he at least deserves our attention.

8) Another implosion from Mike Foltynewicz…
He put Washington into a big hole early, allowing 8 ER on 8 H and 2 BB, striking out 2, over 4.0 IP.  While the offense bailed him out and he avoided the L, he still owns a 6.37 ERA and 1.42 WHIP over 59.1 IP on the season and has allowed 4+ ER in three of his past five starts.  The problems have been consistent, as he’s struggled both at home (6.27 ERA) and on the road (6.55 ERA).  The biggest issue has been a huge spike in his home run rate (16 HR over 59.1 IP) and there also has been a little bit of poor luck (he entered the day with a 67.3% strand rate).  At the same time his groundball rate has plummeted (37.0% entering the day, 2 groundballs vs. 7 fly balls yesterday), and that tells us the home run issues may never disappear, while he’s als routinely getting hit hard (43.9% Hard%).  He should be at least a little bit better than this, but that doesn’t mean that he’s going to be a “good” option.

9) What to make of the monster day from Alex Verdugo…
Playing CF he went 4-6 with 2 HR, 2 RBI and 3 R, giving him a modest five-game hitting streak (9-23 with 2 HR, 3 RBI and 5 R).  Even more impressive is his 1 K during this streak and overall he’s hitting .303 with 7 HR, 32 RBI and 26 R over 221 AB.  One of the biggest questions entering the season was if he would be more than a platoon player, though with a .348 AVG against left-handed pitchers  has answered those questions to some extent.  Before we get overly excited, while he has thrown a strong approach (he entered the day with a 5.6% SwStr% and 29.0% O-Swing%) and he has hit the ball hard (42.3%), will he be anything more than a potentially high average player?  He generally hasn’t shown much power (he entered the day with an 8.3% HR/FB) nor has he shown much speed, making him a bit of a tougher sell.  While yesterday’s outburst was nice to see, it’s not enough to convince us that he’s a must add type option for the remainder of the season.

10) Lance Lynn struggles against the White Sox…
Ultimately he did get the W, but does that offset the relatively ugly line overall?  He finished allowing 5 ER on 6 H and 1 BB, striking out 6, over 6.0 IP, but after allowing four runs in the first inning he settled down and kept the Rangers in the game.  He now owns a 4.32 ERA and 1.27 WHIP over 100.0 IP, so the numbers aren’t overly impressive, though it comes with 108 K vs. 25 BB and that shows that there’s at least a little bit of promise.  Part of his issue has been an inflated BABIP (.345 entering the day), though that’s not a guarantee to improve (38.8% Hard%).  If he can get that number down the results should be solid, especially as he showed impressive swing and miss stuff (17 swinging strikes) and more than enough groundballs (10 groundballs vs. 5 fly balls yesterday) gives promise.  He’s not going to be an elite option, but there’s enough to at least pique your interest.

Sources – ESPN, Fangraphs, MILB.com

6 COMMENTS

  1. In a 14tm H2H league, just traded Luis Castillo & Jack Flaherty for Jacob Degrom. I am getting sick of all the BBs w/ Castillo & I fear an implosion is coming. His FIP indicates it. Flaherty hasn’t lived up to the hype this year. They’re both more along the lines of low 4 pitchers, not the mid 2 ERA Castillo is carrying around. I know I gave u some Ks but what are your thoughts?

    • deGrom is a true ace, so I’m all for it. I do still see the upside in the guys you gave up, but it’s hard not to want that guy you can fully trust nearly every time he takes the ball

  2. Hi Professor, in a 15-team dynasty league, who would you drop between Harrison Bader, Jake Bauers and Bobby Bradley?

    • Not Bauers. The other two I could debate, but I’d lean Bradley (who likely is going to struggle outside of some power)

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