10 Important Stories From 09/13/20 Box Scores: Alec Mills’ No-No, Which Bigger Names Are We Ignoring (Martinez, Montas) & More

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Max Scherzer tossed a dud, allowing 6 ER on 9 H and 2 BB over 5.1 IP against the Braves (though 10 K salvaged the outing, somewhat). Lance Lynn dominated the A’s, allowing 1 R on 3 H and 2 BB, striking out 10, over 7.0 IP to improve to 6-2 with a 2.40 ERA. It was an impressive outing for Mike Clevinger, who tossed a complete game (7.0 IP) shutout allowing 2 H and 1 BB while striking out 7. What else happened on the field that we need to know about? Let’s take a look:

1) Alec Mills delivers the second no-hitter of 2020…

Taking on the Brewers Mills needed 114 pitches for his no-hitter, with 5 K and 3 BB. He certainly wasn’t missing many bats, with just 5 swinging strikes on the day, nor was he generating many groundballs (10 groundballs vs. 11 flyballs). The lack of strikeouts has been an issue all season long, entering the day with a 6.60 K/9 courtesy of an 8.3% SwStr%. Home runs have also been an issue, with a 1.65 HR/9 entering the day. In other words it’s easy for a start like this to make you think that there’s something to buy, but don’t let it fool you. Mills is tough to trust.

2) Has Hunter Dozier proven his 2019 breakout was real…

Dozier went 3-3 with 1 HR, 1 RBI and 3 R yesterday, putting him at .261 with 6 HR and 12 RBI over 115 AB. He entered the day failing to hit the ball as hard as he did a year ago (36.7% Hard%, down from 45.3% in ’19) and he also was swinging and missing a little bit more (12.5% SwStr%). That said the power was right on par while there was room for improvement in his .297 BABIP. In other words while he may not be a star, there’s every reason to believe that the breakout was for real.

3) Is there any hope for Daz Cameron to produce…

The Tigers are giving Cameron an opportunity, but he’s failing to take advantage of it. After going 0-4 with 3 K yesterday, he’s started his MLB career by going 1-20 with 8 K. While he has shown power and speed coming up through the minors (13 HR, 17 SB over 528 PA at Triple-A in ’19), his ability to make contact has always been in question. At Triple-A last season he posted an 11.6% SwStr%, leading to a 28.8% strikeout rate. That’s obviously a concern, because if he’s not making contact can he tap into the power or speed? The Tigers may continue to get him AB, but at this point he’s easily ignored for 2020.

4) Ryan Jeffers continues to seize his opportunity…

Jeffers went 1-2 with 1 HR, 2 RBI and 1 R yesterday and is now hitting .300 with 3 HR and 6 RBI over 40 AB. The power isn’t a guarantee to continue, as he hasn’t added any other extra base hits and entered the day with a 25.0% HR/FB. He also is making a big jump in competition, going from Double-A to the Majors, and he’s seen his swings and misses increase significantly (11.4% SwStr%, 14 K vs. 4 BB to open his MLB career). He also had a .409 BABIP, so it’s hard to get overly excited. Ride him while he’s hot and playing, but don’t get infatuated.

5) Should we give up on Carlos Martinez…

It was another subpar showing for Martinez, who allowed 3 ER on 6 H and 2 BB, striking out 8, over 4.0 IP. He needed 90 pitches to get those 12 outs and now has a 10.32 ERA over 11.1 IP (3 starts). The biggest issue has been home runs, with 4 HR allowed (at least 1 HR per start), though he’s been extremely hittable with 20 H allowed. We all know the type of upside he has, but does anyone believe he’s going to be a trustworthy option for 2 or 3 starts the rest of the way? With the potential to also be shifted to the bullpen, he’s impossible to trust the rest of the way.

6) Does another subpar start for Frankie Montas mean time to move on…

Taking on the Rangers Montas allowed 4 ER on 7 H and 1 BB, striking out 7, over 5.1 IP. The damage was done by a pair of home runs, and he’s now allowed 7 HR over his past 5 starts. He’s also allowed 4+ ER in four of his past five starts, with his ERA ballooning to 5.86. It’s interesting because it’s not like he’s been hit hard (29.2% Hard% entering the day), but his control has wavered (4.54 BB/9) and there’s the obvious lack of groundballs (37.5%, before 5 groundballs vs. 3 flyballs yesterday). There has been a little bit of poor luck (.315 BABIP, 67.3% strand rate), but that’s not enough. Until he shows signs of turning things around he should be left on your bench (or potentially dropped, depending on the format).

7) Another solid start for Andrew Heaney puts him on fantasy maps…

Taking on the Rockies, in Coors Field, Heaney allowed 3 ER on 8 H and 0 BB, striking out 8, over 7.0 IP to improve to a 4.02 ERA and 1.16 WHIP. He’s now allowed 3 ER or fewer in four straight starts (7 ER over 26.2 IP), while he’s shown the skills we look for throughout the season (entering the day):

  • Strikeouts – 9.37 K/9
  • Control – 2.94 BB/9
  • Groundballs – 37.9%

Obviously there’s the risk of home runs, though that hasn’t been an issue yet (4 HR allowed this season). That could ultimately catch up with him, though for a start or two it’s not impossible that he keeps them suppressed. Time will tell, but tread carefully.

8) Sixto Sanchez continues to show off his upside…

While Braxton Garrett pitched well in the second game of the double header (5.0 IP, 1 ER, 3 H, 2 BB, 6 K) in his MLB debut, the day belonged to Sanchez. He twirled a complete game (7.0 IP) for the W, allowing 1 ER on 3 H and 3 BB, striking out 4. He needed just 90 pitches and he was generating an ample number of groundballs (10 groundballs vs. 5 flyballs). He’s been showing elite groundball stuff (59.1% entering the day), as well as strikeouts and control (29 K vs. 5 BB over 32.0 IP), though a 96.0% strand rate screams of a regression. That’s not to say that he can’t continue producing, but would it be surprising to see an implosion at some point over the final two weeks?

9) Luke Weaver continues to give us little reason to believe…

Sure it wasn’t an abysmal outing, allowing 2 ER on 4 H and 3 BB, striking out 3, over 5.0 IP, but that improves his ERA to a still ugly 6.70. He got lucky there wasn’t more damage, considering the base runners, and home runs have been a problem all year long (2.21 HR/9). While it would be easy to point towards poor luck as the reason for his struggles (.362 BABIP entering the day), a 48.3% Hard% tells a different story. He’s impossible to trust.

10) Has Will Smith re-emerged as a must use catcher…

While Chris Taylor had a noteworthy, and better, day (3-4, 1 HR, 3 RBI, 2 R), it’s Smith’s performance that needs to be discussed. Hitting fifth he went 2-4 with 1 R, giving him five multi-hit games in his past six (12-23, 2 HR, 3 RBI, 4 R) and suddenly a strong .303 AVG with 6 HR, 15 RBI and 15 R over 76 AB. He’s shown an elite approach at the plate (4.5% SwStr%, 13.1% O-Swing%) while hitting the ball extremely hard (44.3% Hard%). You can argue that he’s putting too many balls in the air (52.5% flyball rate) and is being too pull heavy (19.7% Oppo%), and that ultimately could drag down his average. There’s no questioning the power, however, and he’s on fire right now which should lead to significant playing time. Now is the time to use him in all formats.

Sources – ESPN, Fangraphs

4 COMMENTS

  1. Need to pickup hitter for the week
    Edmam, C. Taylor, Walsh, Aguilar or B. Anderson.

    Do you think Jeffries is a good pickup for a catcher

    Who to drop: Cano or Belt

    • I love Anderson, so go with him but hard not to ride the Walsh hot streak

      Jeffries works, while Garver is sidelined

      I’d drop Cano first

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