10 Important Stories From 08/02/20 Box Scores: Pitchers To Avoid (or Bench), Waiver Wire Targets & More

3
1239

The biggest news of the day came courtesy of Yoenis Cespedes, who ultimately opted out of the 2020 season. Clayton Kershaw was impressive in his first start off the IL, shutting down the Diamondbacks for 6.0 innings (3 H, 0 BB, 6 K) to earn the W. Nick Castellanos had a big double header, going 3-8 with 2 HR, 3 RBI and 2 R. What else happened on the field? Let’s take a look:

1) Is it time to pay attention to Renato Nunez…

It’s easy to overlook anyone on the Orioles (even someone who hit 31 HR a year ago), but Nunez has now homered in back-to-back games after going 2-4 with 1 HR, 2 RBI and 2 R. He’s now hitting .281 with 2 HR and 6 RBI on the year. He did strikeout once, and entered the day with a 13.3% SwStr% and 38.1% O-Swing%. He also has been extremely pull happy, which will also likely limit his BABIP upside. In other words he’s a fit for those searching for power, but that’s about it.

2) Another solid outing from David Peterson has him on radars…

He certainly outpitched Kyle Wright (3.1 IP, 0 R, 5 H, 4 BB, 5 K), though he took the L. Peterson allowed 3 R on 5 H and 1 BB, striking out 8, over 5.0 IP as he also did a good job of generating groundballs (7 groundballs vs. 3 flyballs). It will be interesting to see if he can maintain the strikeout rate, but the groundballs were a strength in the minor leagues as well. While his stuff isn’t premium, the southpaw is good enough to at least be a plug and play option in all formats (and has the potential to be a low-end option in deeper formats. Consider him a solid waiver wire target.

3) Don’t get excited about Dylan Cease’s rebound performance…

Taking on the Royals he allowed 2 ER on 5 H and 1 BB, striking out 4, over 6.0 IP. Of course, before we get too excited with the outing we need to dive into the underlying numbers and they tell a different story:

  • Swinging Strikes – 7
  • Groundballs-to-Flyballs – 4-to-9

Those are both concerning marks, and with a more dangerous opponent will likely catch up with him. Considering his poor showing in his first start (6.3% SwStr%, 30.8% groundball rate) now may be a better time to try and sell as opposed to be targeting him.

4) Despite the loss, Aaron Civale delivers…

While he lost to the Twins, he was still impressive allowing 3 ER on 5 H and 0 BB, striking out 9, over 6.0 IP. He was doing a great job of confusing opposing hitters, with 24 called strikes and 15 swinging strikes. He clearly has figured out how to get strikeouts (18 K over 12.0 IP) and he’s only walked one batter, but we’ll have to see if he can keep the ball in the ballpark. Groundballs have never been his strong suit, so depending on the opponent and location we may have to be careful.

5) Has Antonio Senzatela figured things out…

After a strong start to open the season against the A’s, he followed that up by beating the Padres in Coors Field. Going 6.0 innings he allowed 1 ER on 4 H and 1 BB, striking out 6. He generated 16 swinging strikes in this one and generated as many groundballs as flyballs (6 each). The bigger questions facing him has always been his ability to get strikeouts (6.34 K/9 for his career) and control (4.11 BB/9 in ’19). He didn’t generated many swinging strikes in his first start (4.6% SwStr%), so we don’t want to get excited off of one start. Time will tell, but for now watch from afar.

6) Merrill Kelly takes a step backwards in start #2…

After a stellar 2020 debut Kelly wasn’t nearly as impressive in his second start. Taking on the Dodgers he allowed 3 ER on 9 H and 0 BB, striking out 4, over 6.0 IP as he was hurt by the long ball (he allowed a pair of HR). He’s already allowed 3 HR this season and yesterday he wasn’t fooling anyone (he generated only 5 swinging strikes). While he showed more strikeout stuff in his first start, his consistent trouble generating groundballs is going to continue to hurt him. In certain matchups he could be streamable, but that’s about it.

7) Has Chris Bassitt arrived as a strong fantasy option…

Taking on the Mariners yesterday he allowed 1 ER on 3 H and 0 BB, striking out 7, over 5.2 IP to earn the W. It’s his second solid outing this season, putting him at 12 K vs. 1 BB over his first 9.2 IP. The 31-year old Bassitt was solid last season, posting a 3.81 ERA courtesy of an 8.81 K/9, 2.94 BB/9 and 41.3% groundball rate. Of course the groundball rate is going to be a concern and he was actually hit incredibly hard in his first start of the season. He’s not any type of young breakout starter, so consider him more of a streaming starter than anything else.

8) Shohei Ohtani struggles once again with his control…

At least he got 5 outs this time around, right? Of course he walked 5 batters, giving up 2 R with 3 K. This comes after he allowed 5 ER on 3 H and 3 BB without recording an out in his first start of the season. Clearly there’s a lot of rust to shake off as he returns from Tommy John surgery and at this point it’s hard to imagine trusting him when he makes a start. That doesn’t make him a drop, since there’s a lot of value in his bat and it’s possible he starts to figure things out and turns it around on the mound by late in the season. For now, don’t utilize him as a starting pitcher however.

9) Trevor Bauer dominates in the double header…

Taking on the Tigers he gets credit for a complete game, throwing 111 pitches over 7.0 shutout innings. He allowed 2 H and 2 BB, striking out 7, to pickup his first victory of the season. This comes off an equally impressive debut, with 13 K vs. 1 BB allowing 1 R over 6.1 IP. There continues to be risk in regards to home runs, as he struggled with groundballs in both his first start (37.5% groundball rate) and yesterday (5 groundballs vs. 9 flyballs). He also has a history of only decent control, meaning there could be a regression there as well. That doesn’t mean that he won’t continue to be a very good option, but be prepared for a bump at some point.

10) What’s our takeaway from a lackluster James Paxton start…

Taking on the Red Sox he allowed 5 R (3 ER) on 7 H and 0 BB, striking out 4, over 3.0 IP. He’s now allowed 6 ER over 4.0 IP this season, allowing 12 H and 1 BB. That’s an awful lot of base runners, and home runs are also going to be an issue (HR/9 of 1.29 and 1.37 over the past two seasons). We have to remember that Paxton would’ve missed the start of the season, if it had started on time, after needing “microscopic lumbar discectomy” in February. It was expected that he would be 100% healthy at the start of the season, but it’s worth mentioning. At this point he’s a pitcher to stash on the bench until he either shows something or has a very tasty matchup.

Sources – ESPN, Fangraphs

3 COMMENTS

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here