10 Important Stories from 07/13/19 Box Scores: Multiple Starters To Sell, Two Potential Under-the-Radar Bats To Buy & More

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Noah Syndergaard delivered an ace-like performance, albeit against the Marlins, allowing 2 ER on 5 H and 0 BB, striking out 9, over 7.0 IP to earn the W.  Brendan McKay dazzled in the first half of the Rays double header, but the offense stutters and he was left with a no decision despite tossing 5.0 shutout innings allowing 3 H and 0 BB, striking out 7.  Chris Sale struggled against the Dodgers, allowing 5 ER on 7 H and 1 BB, striking out 7, over 4.2 IP.  What else happened on the field that we need to know about?  Let’s take a look:

1) Is Starling Marte among the elite in the game…
While the Pirates lost 10-4 it wasn’t due to Marte, who went 2-4 with 2 HR, 2 RBI and 2 R.  Since the All-Star Break he’s gone 3-8 with 3 HR and 5 RBI, putting him at .281 with 15 HR, 50 RBI, 57 R and 13 SB over 338 AB.  We’d like to see him drawing a few more walks (4.2 % walk rate entering the day), his approach overall does bring some questions (13.1% SwStr%, 37.2% O-Swing%) and his power could be capped (28.7% flyball rate), but his Hard% is at a career high 37.1% and he continues to put the ball on the ground (50.0%) and using his speed.  Maybe he’s not truly elite, but he has the potential to contribute across the board and be a rare five-category producer. 

2) Is Zac Gallen a trustworthy option for 2019…
It was a relatively disappointing performance, as he allowed 2 ER on 4 H and 5 BB, striking out 5, over 5.0 IP.  He’s now thrown 17.0 innings in the Majors and owns a 4.24 ERA and 1.53 WHIP with his control (10 BB) being the biggest issue hanging over him.  Of course he also entered the day with an 18.8% groundball rate (before generating 4 groundballs vs. 5 fly balls), and that’s led to home runs in back-to-back games (yesterday’s came courtesy of Michael Conforto).  While he may improve on his luck (.355 BABIP), if he can’t rediscover his control (he had a 1.68 BB/9 at Triple-A prior to his recall) he may always have his issues.  Strikeouts can only take you so far, and with the risk of a demotion if you are playing for 2019 there are going to be better pitchers to trust.

3) Had John Means regression truly begun…
Pitching the second half of the double headers against the Rays he was torched for 6 ER on 8 H and 0 BB, striking out 4, over 6.0 IP.  He had allowed 3 of the Rays’ 6 HR (including one to Nate Lowe, who finished 2-4 with 2 HR, 4 RBI and 2 R).  Obviously a 2.94 ERA and 1.09 WHIP still give the appearance of a strong option, but let’s not forget that he entered the day with an 81.1% strand rate and .252 BABIP.  Even while he’s limited hard contact (30.3% Hard%), pitching in the AL East it’s nearly impossible to envision him maintaining these “luck” metrics.  Then you have the risk of his home run struggles continuing, having entered the day with a 37.2% groundball rate, as well as a lack of strikeouts (7.51 K/9) and what exactly were we buying anyways?

4) Is there reason to believe in Jake Odorizzi…
Taking on the Indians he allowed 1 ER on 3 H and 2 BB, striking out 2, over 5.1 IP to defeat Trevor Bauer (6.0 IP, 3 ER, 6 H, 3 BB, 11 K, but he was burned by 3 HR, including a pair from Max Kepler).  Odorizzi now stands at 11-4 with a 3.06 ERA and 1.11 WHIP over 94.0 IP, though he’s benefited from a .268 BABIP entering the day despite a 43.9% Hard%.  That alone raises a significant red flag, but how about his 30.9% groundball rate (which has helped lead to 5 HR over his past 13.2 IP).  Throw in 2 K in three of his past four starts, as well as generating just 7 swinging strikes yesterday, and there are too many red flags to trust.

5) Could Tyler O’Neill carve out a starting role in St. Louis…
He delivered a big day yesterday, going 2-4 with 1 HR, 4 RBI and 1 R, and in nine games since returning to the Majors he’s gone 9-32 with 1 HR, 4 RBI and 5 R (he’s added 2 doubles).  While he’s limited the strikeouts recently, overall he has 13 K vs. 3 BB since being recalled and entered the day having shown a horrific approach in the Majors (23.7% SwStr%, 39.2% O-Swing%).  Small sample size or not (70 PA), but considering his 14.1% SwStr% in the minors this season the results aren’t a complete surprise.  When everyone is healthy O’Neill will find AB hard to come by and with the strikeout risk it’s hard to argue he’d deserve them anyways.  It was a big day, but don’t get overly excited.

6) Is it time to give up on Matthew Boyd…
The strikeouts continued to pile up, as he had 10 K (his third straight start with double digits), but that can only take you so far.  He allowed 4 ER on 6 H and 4 BB over 7.0 IP, his fifth straight start giving up at least 4 ER (and he’s allowed at least 3 ER in seven straight).  His ERA has gone from 2.85 on May 28 to it’s current 3.95.  While he didn’t allow a home run yesterday, he had allowed 8 HR over his previous three starts and entered the day with a 1.60 HR/9 (36.5% groundball rate).  Assuming his walk rate also continues to regress (1.68 BB/9 entering the day, compared to 2.75 for his career) and strikeouts won’t be enough (though his 13.9% SwStr%, before 19 swinging strikes yesterday).  He’s got value for the remainder of the season, but know the risks moving forward.

7) Ross Stripling shows why he belongs on our radars…
While the Dodgers bats were out, as they hit 4 HR including one from A.J. Pollock (2-4, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 1 R), Stripling is the one who deserves our attention.  He allowed 1 ER on 4 H and 0 BB, striking out 7, over 5.0 IP to shutdown the Red Sox.  He threw just 68 pitches, despite having thrown as many as 81 since returning to the rotation, and that’s something we’ll have to watch.  It’s easy to chalk up his recent struggles (8 ER over 9.0 IP) to getting stretched back out, though 4 HR over his past 14.0 IP is a little bit of a red flag.  Of course he also entered the day with a 50.0% groundball rate, 9.05 K/9 and 2.77 BB/9, showing enough of all three to forecast success.  Yesterday wasn’t the best underlying metrics (4 groundballs vs. 3 fly balls, 7 swinging strikes), but there’s enough to buy in.

8) Mike Minor stumbles against the Astros…
It was a difficult matchup, but is that enough of a reason to overlook having allowed 4 ER on 7 H and 3 BB, striking out 7, over 5.0 IP?  He’s now allowed 7 ER over 9.1 IP in his past two starts and overall he’s benefited from an 85.4% Hard%.  He’s posted a career best 11.9% SwStr%, which helps to justify the 8.93 K/9, but a 3.25 BB/9 and 43.8% groundball rate do not help to support him maintaining his 2.73 ERA and 1.16 WHIP.  It’s easy to get excited and buy in, especially with trade rumors swirling (which would hopefully place him in a more favorable locale), but don’t make that mistake.  Sell high if you can.

9) Phillip Ervin erupts in Colorado…
There were obviously many strong performances, as well as an ugly pitching line (Tanner Roark allowed 7 ER on 13 H and 1 BB over 4.2 IP), as the Reds and Rockies erupted for 26 runs in Coord Field.  Ervin’s performance may have been the best, going 6-6 with 3 RBI, 1 R and 1 SB (he fell a home run short of the cycle).  In 56 AB in the Majors he’s hitting .357 with 1 HR and 1 SB, adding 3 doubles and 3 triples in the process.  In 172 PA at Triple-A he had 6 HR and 6 SB and has stolen as many as 36 bases in a season coming up through the minors.  If he can keep the strikeouts in check (34.4%, though a 13.8% SwStr% in the Majors and 9.8% at Triple-A doesn’t support it) he could bring both power and speed.  He also needs to find regular AB, as opposed to platooning, but if that happens he’ll quickly become a hot commodity.

10) Could Matt Harvey be a second half star…
Returning from the IL he pitched well against the Mariners, allowing 1 ER on 4 H and 3 BB, striking out 3, over 5.2 IP.  Obviously only 8 swinging strikes is going to be a bit of a concern, especially considering his 6.37 K/9 and 9.7% SwStr% overall.  He also needs to dramatically improve upon his 41.6% Hard% and 1.84 HR/9 if he wants to excel, and while it would be easy to point towards a 60.7% strand rate it’s hardly enough.  Maybe this was enough to garner your attention, but it’s hardly enough.  Harvey’s days as a trustworthy starter have come and gone.

Sources – ESPN, Fangraphs

2 COMMENTS

  1. Currently have Gallen as my last SP. Peacock is available on the wire. Who is the best to roster for the rest of this year?
    Thanks.

    • Depends if you want to take the risk. Gallen has a significantly higher upside, but he also has a significantly lower floor for this season because there are numerous things that could go wrong like 1) Demotion to Triple-A, 2) Shutdown or 3) General Regression. If it’s redraft, I’d go the “safer” route

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