10 Important Stories from 08/16/19 Box Scores: Waiver Wire Pitchers Make A Statement (Civale, Houser), Under-the-Radar Hitters To Own & More


Bryce Harper homered for the third straight game (4 HR and 10 RBI) going 3-5 with 1 HR, 3 RBI and 2 R. Justin Verlander settled for a no decision, though he pitched well against the A’s allowing 2 ER on 4 H and 0 BB, striking out 11, over 7.0 IP. Aristides Aquino did it again, going 1-4 with 1 HR, 2 RBI and 1 R (he now has 10 HR during his brief time in the Majors). What else happened on the field that we need to know about? Let’s take a look:

1)Despite the loss Aaron Civale continues to open some eyes…
Taking on the Yankees, on the road, Civale was up to the test allowing 3 R (2 earned) on 8 H and 2 BB, striking out 4, over 6.0 IP. That said there were definitely some questions in his underlying numbers as he generated just 9 swinging strikes and you can argue he was lucky not to allow a home run (5 groundballs vs. 8 fly balls). Home runs were always going to be a concern (38.8% groundball rate over 42.1 IP at Triple-A) and it’ll be interesting to see if he can learn how to generate more strikeouts. There’s upside and he shouldn’t be ignored, as he could follow in the footsteps of Shane Bieber, but there will likely be some bumps along the way (and the potential that he’s bumped from the rotation depending on the health and usage of the currently injured starters).

2) Adrian Houser out pitches Patrick Corbin in impressive outing…
While he settled for a no decision there is no argument that Houser was more impressive than Corbin (6.0 IP, 1 ER, 7 H, 4 BB, 8 K). Going 7.0 IP he allowed 1 ER on 2 H and 2 BB, striking out 4, as he was a groundball machine (11 groundballs vs. 4 fly balls). Including his time in the bullpen he entered the day with a 9.69 K/9, 3.10 BB/9 and 54.5% groundball rate, all numbers that should play well. While he didn’t miss many bats yesterday (9 swinging strikes) he had 18 swinging strikes in his previous start and since returning to the rotation has 25 K vs. 5 BB over 23.0 IP (four starts). In other words there’s every reason to believe that the breakout is for real and while there could be some bumps he’s a must grab off the waiver wire.

3) Is Chris Paddack’s value disappearing for the remainder of ’19…
He failed to go at least 5.0 innings for the second time in three starts, allowing 5 R (4 earned) on 9 H and 1 BB, striking out 6, over 4.2 IP. He’s now allowed 13 ER over 14.2 IP in his past three starts, allowing 5 HR in the process (he’s allowed 2 HR in three of his past five starts). Let’s not forget that he only threw 90.0 innings in ’18, after not pitching in ’17, and now has 115.0 IP this season. It’s possible he’s simply tiring and he’s rapidly approaching a potential shutdown. Figure he’ll get 1-2 more starts, maximum, and when coupled with the risk of home runs (he entered the day with a 41.4% groundball rate before 3 groundballs vs. 5 fly balls yesterday) he’s impossible to trust for the remainder of the season.

4) Has Luis Castillo hit a wall in 2019 or will there be a rebound…
He was torched for 3 HR, finishing allowing 8 ER on 9 H and 0 BB, striking out 3, over 4.1 IP against the Cardinals. It’s the third time in his past five starts that he’s allowed at least 2 HR, though overall the performances have been significantly better than this (he had allowed 6 ER over 20.2 IP over the past three starts). While there is no questioning the skills, let’s not forget that he entered the day with an 82.1% strand rate and .252 BABIP, and while a 36.0% Hard% isn’t a disastrous mark there should be concerns that his numbers will continue to regress at least a little bit. That doesn’t mean we’d run from the hills, far from it actually, as there should continue to be significantly more good than bad.

5) Has Nomar Mazara finally turned things back around…
He went 3-4 with 2 RBI yesterday, giving him a modest three game hitting streak (6-12, 1 HR, 3 RBI, 2 R). Obviously that’s not going to blow you away, but he’s raised his AVG 10 points in the past week and he’s now hitting .271 with 17 HR and 62 RBI on the season. He entered the day with a 45.7% Hard%, which would indicate that there’s more upside in his .309 BABIP, though he continues to show a generally poor approach (12.8% SwStr%, 38.3% O-Swing%) and hasn’t shown growth in his HR/FB (17.2% HR/FB). There’s still upside potential and the hope that he figures it out, but he needs to take significant steps across the board to believe long-term.

6) A strong start from Mike Montgomery against the Mets…
He surprisingly beat Noah Syndergaard (6.0 IP, 2 ER, 5 H, 2 BB, 6 K), allowing 1 R (0 earned) on 5 H and 2 BB, striking out 3, over 6.0 IP. Of course there are questions regarding the underlying metrics, as he generated 8 swinging strikes as well 6 groundballs vs. 7 fly balls in yesterday’s outing. While he’s spent a lot of time out of the bullpen this season, both of those numbers overall haven’t been very impressive (7.19 K/9, 45.8% groundball rate). While he’s shown more groundballs before, strikeouts have never really been a part of his game (6.95 career K/9). Would that be enough? Possibly, but he’s never going to be more than a streaming option.

7) Jon Gray thrives at home once again…
Sure it came against the Marlins, but he still tossed 8.0 shutout innings allowing 5 H and 0 BB, striking out 7, pitching at Coors Field. He was a groundball machine (12 groundballs vs. 4 fly balls) and he was also missing bats (16 swinging strikes). Overall he owns a 3.84 ERA, but he’s been better at home (3.46 ERA) where he’s surprisingly allowed fewer home runs (8 HR allowed at home vs. 11 on the road). You would think that would be reversed, and that only further supports an overall improvement as he’s shown all of the skills we look for from a pitcher (9.00 K/9, 3.36 BB/9, 50.0% groundball rate). Obviously pitching half his games in Coors Field brings a little bit of risk, but at this point it’s one we’d be willing to take.

8) Mike Yastrzemsky erupts in the dessert…
The Giants and Diamondbacks combined to hit 12 HR, but it was Yastrzemsky’s performance that obviously stood out. He finished the day going 3-6 with 3 HR, 4 RBI and 3 R and now has 5 HR in his past four games and is hitting .272 with 16 HR and 46 RBI on the season. The left-handed hitter had 12 HR over 163 PA at Triple-A this season and with a total of 25 doubles, 3 triples and 28 HR it’s fair to wonder if he truly has emerged in a muddled outfield picture. He’s hitting the ball hard (42.1% Hard%), isn’t benefiting from luck (.302 BABIP) and is carrying a believable 21.3% HR/FB. Throw in that his approach isn’t bad (11.0% SwStr%, 29.3% O-Swing%) and is willing to use the entire field (27.0% Oppo%) and it’s a strong picture. Consider him a prime waiver wire grab in all formats.

9) Lucas Giolito’s brings the strikeout stuff in Los Angeles…
He brought significant swing and miss stuff against the Angels, with 23 swings and misses leading to 11 K. Overall he earned his 13th win, allowing 2 ER on 6 H and 3 BB over 6.0 innings of work. The biggest development in his breakout has been finding his control (3.22 BB/9), though an 11.48 K/9 courtesy of a 14.6% SwStr% doesn’t hurt. He now has 24 K over his past two starts and at least 7 K in each of his past six (9+ in four of them). There is the risk of home run issues (36.5% groundball rate) but you have to make contact in order for that to be a concern. Even when opponents do hit the ball they aren’t doing it with authority (32.1% Hard%) and he’s clearly emerged.

10) Marcus Semien fills the box score…
He’s easy to overlook but after going 2-5 with 1 HR, 1 RBI, 1 R and 1 SB yesterday he continues to show that he’s a valuable asset for fantasy owners. He now owns a slash of .271/.357/.474 to go along with 20 HR (as well as 31 doubles and 5 triples) and 7 SB. There’s even a little bit more upside in his speed while his skills have allowed him to score ample runs from atop the A’s lineup (88 runs scored). He may not be an elite option at shortstop, but he’s one that can definitely make a difference.

Sources – ESPN, Fangraphs


  1. My current pitching staff is buehler, German, boyd, McKay, teheran, Samardzija and Junis (streamer). Would you drop Teheran and Samardzija for houser and Civale?

    Also what are your thoughts on Luzardo and Manea? Thanks!

  2. Should I stick it out with Diaz or replace him with Leclerc or Jimenez. My other closer is Colume. Also, is it worth continuing to stash Glasnow on the IL or should I look to add Keller? Thanks.

    • I’d like to stash Diaz on your bench and use one of the alternatives for now.

      I’d lean Keller for the rest of this season


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