10 Important Stories from 07/17/19 Box Scores: Several Sell High Candidates (Santana, Paddack), Breakout Performances & More

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It was a dominant start for Mike Clevinger, albeit against the Tigers, as he allowed 1 ER on 6 H and 1 BB, striking out 12, over 6.0 IP to earn the W.  The Arizona Diamondbacks rocked the Rangers for 19 runs on 21 hits, being led by a big day from Eduardo Escobar (2-7, 2 HR, 5 RBI, 2 R).  Gerrit Cole dominated the Angels late last night, allowing 1 ER on 7 H and 1 BB, striking out 11, over 7.0 IP.  What else happened on the field that we need to know about?  Let’s take a look:

1) Has Amed Rosario rediscovered himself…
Well the Mets had a few offensive performers, notably Dominic Smith who came off the bench to go 2-3 with 1 HR, 4 RBI and 2 R, it’s Rosario who deserves the most attention.  Hitting eighth he went 4-4 with 1 HR, 3 RBI and 4 R, giving him a seven game hitting streak (12-22 with 1 HR, 3 RBI and 8 R).  Clearly the production hasn’t been there, despite the streak, though you can argue it was just a matter of time.  Dating back to June 29 he’s 18-40, though more notable is the 5 K during this stretch.  Of course he’s also only drawn 1 BB and entered the day with a 12.0% SwStr% and 41.1% O-Swing% over this stretch.  While he has 10 HR overall his speed is his best asset, and this type of approach is going to make it nearly impossible to fully tap into (since he won’t hit near the top of the lineup).  It’s been a nice stretch, but keep your expectations in check.

2) Is it time to buy into Chris Archer once again…
While his counterpart struggled (Daniel Ponce de Leon allowed 4 ER on 8 H and 2 BB, striking out 3, over 3.2 IP) Archer pitched fairly well, despite settling for a no decision.  Going 6.0 IP he allowed 3 ER on 5 H and 2 BB, striking out 8 and generating 14 swinging strikes.  He now has 18 K over his past 12.0 IP (26 K over his past 17.0 IP) and that’s at least enough to pique your interest.  At the same time he generated just 1 groundball vs. 10 fly balls yesterday, leading to 1 HR allowed.  That’s been a consistent issue, as he’s allowed 4 HR over his past three starts and 22 HR over 90.2 IP overall.  He owns a career 45.0% groundball rate, but he entered the day at just 36.8%.  Until he figures that out home runs are going to be far too big of an issue, limiting any potential upside he has.

3) Dallas Keuchel stumbles on the road…
Pitching in Milwaukee he allowed 5 R (4 earned) on 6 H and 2 BB, striking out 5, over 5.2 IP to take the L.  The biggest issue was the 2 HR he allowed (one to Christian Yelich) as he generated just 6 groundballs vs. 5 fly balls on the day.  He’s allowed 6 HR over 37.2 IP overall, which isn’t a bad number, and he entered with a 61.3% groundball rate so it isn’t a long-term concern.  The bigger issue is the lack of strikeouts (22 K) as he entered the day with an 8.0% SwStr% (he generated 10 swinging strikes on the day).  Without many strikeouts the other skills just aren’t going to matter, as he’ll be nothing more than a backend option as opposed to a Top 40 type option people may have been hoping for.

4) It would appear that Yu Darvish has figured it out…
While Sonny Gray was very good (6.0 IP, 2 R, 2 H, 0 BB, 8 K), Darvish was exceptional as he tossed 6.0 shutout innings allowing 2 H and 0 BB, striking out 7.  He generated 8 groundballs vs. 3 fly balls and has now tossed 12.0 shutout innings over his past two starts (4 H, 1 BB, 16 K).  The lack of walks is the biggest development, having entered the day with a 4.37 BB/9.  Continuing to show an improved groundball rate (45.8% entering the day) as well as carrying a 29.8% Hard% helps to support that his 1.75 HR/9 is also destined to improve.  While his .257 BABIP is likely going to regress, the other two improvements will help to offset it.  Consider him a solid option for the remainder of the season.

5) Jurickson Profar erupts at the plate…
On a day that the top three spots in the batting order went a combined 1-10 with 0 R and 0 RBI the A’s still scored 10 runs on 10 hits as they launched six home runs.  While Mark Canha (2-4, 2 HR, 2 RBI, 2 R) and Ramon Laureano (3-4, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 3 R) had notable days, it was Profar who deserves the most attention.  Profar, who had seemingly been replaced by Franklin Barreto, went 2-3 with 2 HR, 4 RBI and 3 R, giving him 3 HR in 8 AB since the All-Star Break.  Obviously one big day isn’t going to change the narrative, but it’s not like Barreto has run away with the job (.152 with 2 HR and 4 RBI over 33 AB).  It will be interesting to see how Oakland proceeds, but at the very least Profar has earned himself another short-term opportunity to see if he can finally find himself and deliver as expected.

6) A slump busting day for Trey Mancini…
He went 2-3 with 2 HR, 3 RBI and 3 R, also drawing a walk.  It was his first home run since June 23, and snaps a terrible run to open July (.111 with 0 HR and 0 RBI with 12 K over 36 AB).  His overall season line still looks strong, hitting .285 with 19 HR, and his approach has been similar to what he’s shown throughout his career (12.0% SwStr%, 34.9% O-Swing% entering the day).  Without that being a red flag, coupled with a 35.7% Hard%, .321 BABIP, 26.6% Oppo% and 20.2% HR/FB all being believable and consider this recent downturn as nothing more than a slump.  He should continue to be a solid option moving forward, hitting .260-.270 with some power in the middle of the Orioles’ lineup.

7) The resurgence of Eduardo Rodriguez continues…
He allowed 2 ER on 3 H and 3 BB, striking out 4, over 6.1 IP.  He did allow a pair of home runs, both coming from Teoscar Hernandez (2-2, 2 HR, 2 RBI, 3 R), but those were his only blemish.  The risk of home runs have always been a concern, though he entered the day with a 44.7% groundball rate (much improved from his 38.6% career mark) and generated 7 groundballs vs. 8 fly balls yesterday.  With that improvement, coupled with his strong Hard% (28.8% entering the day) as well as more than enough strikeouts (9.52 K/9) and control (2.79 BB/9) and everything was always pointing in the right direction.  His .321 BABIP should also improve, and assuming the home runs continue to improve (1.31 HR/9 entering the day) and he should be a strong option moving forward.  He’s now allowed 2 ER or fewer in four straight starts and the time to buy low has clearly come and gone.

8) Chris Paddack makes one mistake in a dominant outing…
He carried a no hitter into the eighth inning, ultimately allowing 1 R on 1 H (a solo home run to Starlin Castro) and 1 BB, striking out 8, over 7.2 IP.  He now owns a 2.70 ERA and 0.87 WHIP over 90.0 IP overall, though that doesn’t mean that there aren’t concerns for the remainder of the season.  His potential innings limit is well known, having missed all of ’17 and working just 90.0 innings last season.  Then you have the potential regression overall, as he entered the day with a .224 BABIP and 77.5% strand rate despite a 45.6% Hard%.  Throw in a pedestrian 42.9% groundball rate (before 7 groundballs vs. 8 fly balls against the Marlins yesterday) and his 1.31 HR/9 could also regress (or at least not improve).  Long-term there’s value, no one is going to deny that, but if your focus is solely on ’19 selling high makes an awful lot of sense.

9) Has the time come to fully buy into Danny Santana…
While the Diamondbacks were hitting 5 HR Santana slugged two of his own, both coming against Robbie Ray (6.0 IP, 4 ER, 6 H, 1 BB, 7 K), going 2-4 with 2 HR, 3 RBI and 2 R.  He’s now hitting .316 with 13 HR, 35 RBI, 45 R and 11 SB over 231 AB.  The real question is whether or not he can conceivably maintain this type of pace?  Let’s not forget that he entered the day benefiting from a .395 BABIP, and while he’s hitting the ball hard (44.2% Hard% entering the day) and does have some speed it seems like that’ll regress moving forward.  You also have to wonder if he can maintain the suddenly bloated HR/FB (19.6% HR/FB before yesterdays outburst).  Throw in an ugly approach, with a 14.5% SwStr% and 40.5% O-Swing%, and everything is pointing towards a serious step backwards.  Enjoy the production while you can, but sooner or later it will likely turn in the other direction.

10) Felix Pena implodes in epic fashion…
He had become a suddenly hot addition but his start against the Astros last night should end that in short order.  Lasting just 4.2 innings he was tattooed for 8 ER on 9 H and 1 BB, striking out 5, as he wasn’t generating many swings and misses (7 swinging strikes) nor was he getting a lot of groundballs (3 groundballs vs. 6 fly balls).  He entered the day with a 9.52 K/9 and 2.99 BB/9 over 81.1 IP, and his 13.5% SwStr% would back that up.  That said he’s consistently struggled with groundballs (1.66 HR/9 courtesy of a 41.6% groundball rate), and that’s a problem that isn’t going to disappear, and his .243 BABIP despite a 41.2% Hard% only further adds to the risk.  While he could have some strong performances the risk far outweighs the potential reward.  Consider him nothing more than a streaming option.

Sources – ESPN, Fangraphs

11 COMMENTS

  1. I don’t think anyone should have expected good strike outs from Keuchel. I would expect better than his current 5.26 K/9 and closer to the 6.73 K/9 that he had last season. Keuchel has a good GB% and I think his ERA/WHIP are going to depend on the Atlanta infield defense.

  2. Laureano, is this guy in the top 25-30 outfielders yet?

    And Lux do you think he’s coming up soon? I mean his numbers are ridiculous.

    • Laureano is certainly right there, though he may be just outside (I’d have to look closer)

      As for Lux he may be deserving, but where does he play? Unless there’s AB for him he isn’t going to be called up

    • It’s possible, but until they show they are willing to I can’t buy into the idea. If they didn’t force the issue when Seager was down, it’s just hard to see them doing it when everyone is healthy

      • True but Lux wasn’t hitting 500. In AAA. It’s prob unlikely but if someone goes in a slump or injured… I have no doubt he’s gonna be playing by Sept. Kinda snuck up on a lot of radars

  3. He’s a CI, but David Freese is hitting really well this year, too. I liked having him as a spot starter, but had to drop him w/everyone healthy now. If Turner to hits the DL at some point (I own him so knock on wood), snatch him back up. Dodgers are just so stacked, it’s sick.

  4. Hey Roto P. Tyler Naquin might be someone to keep an eye on. He has been doing well this year (when healthy). He has the pedigree, and I think he may have turned a corner this year according to advanced metrics. He’s getting the starts in RF w/ Allen and Luplow platooning in LF looks like. I dropped K. Calhoun for him cuz I got a good cushion in the power stats. I need BA and SB. I’m just hoping he stays on the field cuz he seems injury prone. Do you have an opinion on him.

    • I actually touched on him in the 07/16/19 morning column. Here’s the paragraph:

      2) Does Tyler Naquin belong on our radars…
      He delivered his fourth straight two-hit game, going 2-3 with 1 HR, 1 RBI and 2 R. Over this stretch he’s gone 8-15 with 2 HR (as well as 2 doubles), 6 RBI, 4 R and 1 SB (he’s 13-29 with 2 HR and 8 RBI in July) while he’s been making consistent contact (4 K vs. 2 BB). His approach has been a question, entering the day with a 13.2% SwStr% and 40.5% O-Swing%, while he’s also struggled with popups (17.0%). That said he’s been hitting the ball hard (42.5% Hard%), has been willing to use the entire field (25.4% Oppo%) and owns a believable 14.9% HR/FB. He needs to refine the approach (even in July he entered with a 14.0% SwStr% and 42.2% O-Swing%) if he’s truly going to breakout, and he also may be a platoon player, so for now let’s proceed with caution.

  5. Oh nice. I missed that one. I may have jumped the gun on him a bit then haha. But I also like that he hits against L and R.

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