10 Important Stories From 08/09/20 Box Scores: Young, Impact Starters Emerging, Veterans To Give Up On (Bumgarner) & More


Jose Berrios struggled against the Royals, ultimately allowing 4 ER on 8 H and 3 BB, striking out 4, over 5.1 IP to fall to 1-2 with a 5.31 ERA. Dinelson Lamet (6.2 IP, 1 ER, 1 H, 0 BB, 11 K) and Manny Machado (2-4, 2 HR, 2 RBI, 2 R) helped to carry the Padres to victory. It was yet another strong start for Max Fried, who beat the Phillies by tossing 5.0 shutout innings allowing 4 H and 1 BB, striking out 6. What else happened on the field that we need to know about? Let’s take a look:

1) Has Andres Gimenez earned a full-time role…

The rookie has certainly been impressive, going 3-4 with 3 R and 1 SB yesterday against the Marlins. He’s now hitting .333 with 0 HR, 1 RBI, 5 R and 3 SB over his first 33 AB in the Majors. He’s also made consistent contact, with just 3 K. Of course he’s shown little pop or ability to draw a walk (1 BB), so that does make him a bit of a one-trick pony for fantasy purposes. Given his history (11.5% SwStr% at Double-A last season) and the jump in levels, there also is the risk that the strikeouts start to rise. He’s a nice source of SB, especially in the short-term, and long-term there’s value. If you are focusing solely on 2020, he’s the type of player to use while he’s going well but be prepared to move on.

2) At lease James Paxton turned things around, kind of…

Obviously when you strikeout 11 batters in a no decision it’s hard to get too upset. Ultimately he allowed 3 ER on 4 H and 1 BB over 6.1 IP, as he yielded a pair of home runs. Paxton has struggled generating groundballs in all three of his starts (he entered with a 36.8% groundball rate), and he’s now allowed 3 HR in just 10.1 IP on the season. He also had been hit extremely hard over his first two starts, while his velocity had fallen off a cliff. As we’ve seen with others, strikeouts are nice but it’s not the sole driving force of value. It’ll be interesting to see the rhetoric coming out of this start, but for now take a cautiously optimistic approach.

3) What to make of the impressive start from Nathan Eovaldi….

Taking on the Blue Jays Eovaldi settled for a no decision, allowing 3 ER on 6 H and 0 BB, striking out 10, over 6.0 IP. While he did allow a pair of home runs, the underlying metrics are all promising:

  • Swinging Strikes – 19
  • GB // FB – 5 // 3

Eovaldi has shown strikeouts and control over each of his first four starts, now up to 24 K vs. 3 BB over 22.0 IP on the season. While he’s not an elite groundball pitcher, there is enough and he’s been able to limit the hard contact (31.3% Hard% entering the day). Let’s not forget that he taunted us early last season, but there’s enough to at least consider him a streaming option.

4) Spencer Turnbull appears to have truly arrived…

Sure it was against the Pirates, but it was another spectacular start for Turnbull as he improved to 2-0 with a 2.00 ERA. Going 7.0 innings he allowed 1 ER on 5 H and 2 BB, striking out 4. While he wasn’t getting swings and misses (6), he was a groundball machine with 11 groundballs vs. 4 flyballs. He entered the day with a 12.6% SwStr% over his first two starts, so we don’t want to get too upset with his lack of strikeouts in this one. He also lacks elite control, but he’s solid enough to at least be a productive starter. Maybe he’s not a must start every time out, but he at least is usable.

5) How should we value Brady Singer…

The rookie was solid against the Twins, outpitching Jose Berrios to earn the W. He allowed 2 ER on 5 H and 2 BB, striking out 4, as he needed 95 pitches to get through 5.0 innings of work. Sure he got the win, but he wasn’t generating swings and misses (8 swinging strikes) nor was he generating groundballs (4 groundballs vs. 7 flyballs). That makes it hard to think there’s much success in his future, doesn’t it? He entered the day with a 43.2% groundball rate, though he had shown more swing and miss stuff (11.4% SwStr%) which was offset by a 40.5% Hard%. So what’s the bottom line? Making the jump from Double-A, it’s hard to get excited. Consider him more of a streaming option as opposed to a pitcher to trust.

6) Andrew Heaney takes a huge step backwards…

After three solid starts (4 ER over 15.1 IP), he imploded against the Rangers. Lasting just 3.2 IP, Heaney allowed 5 ER on 8 H, striking out 4. It’s easy to say that this type of start was eventually to be expected, considering he entered the day with a .243 BABIP and 80.9% strand rate. Even during his struggles he continued to miss bats (8 swinging strikes), and he has solid control. The big question has always been whether or not he can keep the ball in the ballpark, and while that wasn’t an issue yesterday it’s something we’ll have to continue to watch. That said, this type of start doesn’t impact his outlook moving forward.

7) Does Justus Sheffield’s gem put him on radars…

Taking on the Rockies he twirled 6.0 shutout innings allowing 4 H and 0 BB, striking out 7, to earn his first victory of the season. Of course, even with this performance he still owns a 5.27 ERA as he’s generally struggled with his control (he entered the day with a 5.24 BB/9 over his first 46.1 IP in the Majors). He does bring swing and miss stuff, as well as the ability to generate groundballs, so if he can continually show this type of improved control there will be appeal in all formats. We aren’t there after one strong start, but it at least puts him on our radars.

8) Is it time to give up on Madison Bumgarner…

We had our concerns entering the year, and the reasons were on full display yesterday. Lasting just 2.0 innings he allowed 6 ER on 5 H and 1 BB, striking out 2, as he was tagged for 4 HR. His groundball rate has been on the decline in recent years, and he’s already given up 7 HR over 17.1 IP in his first four starts. His velocity is down significantly (he entered the day averaging 88.0 mph on his fastball), which helps explain his 8.0% SwStr% entering the day (he got just 4 swinging strikes yesterday). If you drafted him it’s impossible to just cut bait at this point, and while things should get better the risk far outweighs the reward.

9) Has the clock struck 12 on Cristian Javier…

After allowing 2 ER over 12.2 IP to enter the season, Javier had an extremely rough outing against the A’s. Lasting just 3.0 innings Javier was tagged for 3 HR, allowing 5 ER on 3 H and 2 BB, striking out 5. Sure he continued missing bats, but he’s always had lackluster control and has never been much of a groundball pitcher. In other words this type of performance was always a risk, so it really shouldn’t come as any type of surprise. There could be some better starts, if he sticks in the rotation, but there also could be a lot of bad. There’s simply too much risk to trust him in his rookie season.

10) Spencer Howard underwhelms in his MLB debut…

There’s been a lot of talk about his debut, but we finally got to see it in the second game of a double header against the Braves. Among the elite pitching prospects in the game, Howard allowed 4 ER on 7 H and 1 BB, striking out 4, over 4.2 IP. He wasn’t generating many groundballs (3 groundballs vs. 7 flyballs), and that led to him yielding 2 HR. At Double-A last season he had a 42.3% groundball rate, so this is a risk that should’ve been seen. Hopefully he can figure that out and learn to keep the ball in the ballpark, because he brings big time strikeout stuff and very good control. If he limits the HR, he’s going to be a must use option.

Sources – ESPN, Fangraphs


  1. In 10-team 6×6 category league with 7 keepers that is usually H2H, but full roto this year due to short season, so this trade is more about setting up for 2021.
    I was offered Nolan Arenado and Blake Snell for my Alex Bregman and Michael Conforto. What do you think of Arenado vs Bregman and what Snell’s usage may indicate about his health?
    Thanks, Prof, as always!

  2. Two questions for you today

    1. Hampson or McMahon? This is assuming Hampson is playing now every day. They did face three lefties over weekend.

    2. Turnbull or Chatwood? ROS

  3. NL only 5 Tier Roto League Counts Avg. , RBI , HR , SB . Can a player drop only if on IL. I can drop DeJong, 4 best candidates are, Yastrzemski , AJ Pollock, Dansby Swanson and Trent Grissom. I’m leaning between Yas and Swanson. Unless they go on IL , I will have this player the rest of the season. What do you think? Thanks.

    • Smith is probably going to lose playing time with the emergence of Gimenez and Croneworth may be more of a super utility. Therefore Votto, by default


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here