10 Important Stories From 05/28/15 Box Scores: Eduardo Rodriguez Impressive, Ian Kennedy Struggling & More

by Will Overton

If you live on the East Coast of America you probably didn’t catch much baseball last night. Well if that was the case we have you covered here as we recap the big stories of the night. This includes young pitchers finding their footing on the mound, veteran bats finding their swing at the plate again and more.

Here are the 10 most important stories of the night for fantasy owners:

1)      Adam LaRoche Is Heating Up For The White Sox
The White Sox and Orioles played a doubleheader yesterday and Adam LaRoche got the start in both games, making an impact in both games. LaRoche collected three hits in four at-bats in the first game, driving in one run. In the second game LaRoche homered, his fifth homerun of the season. LaRoche is now 8 – 15 in his last four games and has brought his average up to .241, fifty points up from where he was at the end of April. LaRoche is well known as a slow starter and strong finisher, so he’s likely just getting going right now. You may still be able to get in on LaRoche as a buy low right now, but that window is closing. Read more

Bullpen Notes: May 28, 2015: Allen Still Closing, Clippard On Way Out & More

Are you following @Rotoprofessor on Twitter? If not you should be, as we Tweet out all the important bullpen notes every morning from the previous day’s games. Who is in jeopardy of losing their job? Who is worth the speculative add? Here are this morning tweets (Please note we won’t be posting these on the website every day, so make sure you follow @Rotoprofessor to ensure you don’t miss a thing):

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Bullpen Banter: Is The Rangers’ Shawn Tolleson For Real?

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

While Neftali Feliz hitting the DL has helped expedite Shawn Tolleson’s assumption of the closers role, it’s easy to argue that the change was inevitable anyways. The bigger question is whether Tolleson will ever relinquish the job this season, even after Feliz returns to health.

Thus far he’s been dominant, with a 2.82 ERA, 1.03 WHIP, 12.09 K/9 and 1.61 BB/9. Obviously the number that jumps out at you is the strikeouts, so let’s start there.

Tolleson posted an 8.67 K/9 in the Majors last season and owned a 13.0 mark in the minors (including a 12.6 over 15.0 IP at Triple-A). Those numbers certainly help to support this year’s gaudy mark, as does the increased usage of his change up (11.7% to 20.4%). It’s led to him using three pitches effectively, all of which are generating strikeouts:

  • Fourseam – 17
  • Change up – 7
  • Slider – 6

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Buy ‘Em or Deny ‘Em: Why Now Is Not Necessarily The Time To Stash Javier Baez

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

When asking if Javier Baez’ return to the Majors is nearing the first question has to be where is he going to play? There are two scenarios that could clear room for him, though neither appear to be inevitable at this point:

  1. He replaces Addison Russell at 2B
  2. Kris Bryant shifts to LF, with Baez or Russell moving to 3

Of course the third option would be a trade, but that too doesn’t seem likely at the moment. While it makes it hard to imagine Baez returning soon, he is certainly trying to force the issue with his bat.

Over his first 90 AB he’s hitting .311 with 5 HR, 17 RBI, 12 R and 6 SB. We all know that the power is for real (despite a currently bloated HR/OFB) as he did hit a total of 32 HR in 2014, with 9 coming in the Majors. It’s the average that has always been the biggest question. Read more

MLB Prospect Power Rankings: Top 10 On The Cusp Of Reaching The Majors (May 28, 2015)

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

Which prospects are on the verge of making an impact in the Major Leagues? This weekly column will rank the ten who are closest (as well as other names that are being closely considered). Keep in mind that while talent is factored in opportunity plays a major role, so there may be some “lesser” prospects who rank fairly highly on the list (the number in parenthesis is their ranking from last week and all statistics are through Monday unless otherwise notes):

1) Carlos Correa – Shortstop – Houston Astros (1)
The Correa watch continues for the Astros and fantasy owners alike. Sure you can argue that he’s “struggled” at Triple-A, hitting .268, but that’s a stretch. In his 56 AB he’s shown a good eye at the plate (9 K vs. 7 BB) and overall this season is slashing .347/.421/.636 with 9 HR and 18 SB. The longer the Astros remain atop the AL West, though watching the Los Angeles Angels and others creep closer, the more likely it is that Correa is brought up to help the Major League squad. They simply can’t continue running the combination of Jonathan Villar and Marwin Gonzalez out there, especially when you have one of the elite prospects in the game marinating in the minors. Read more

10 Important Stories From 05/27/15 Box Scores: Syndergaard Shines, Chris Davis Erupts & More

by Ray Kuhn

Days like Wednesday, full of afternoon games, surely make the workday a lot more enjoyable. The good thing though, is there were also enough games taking place in the evening so it truly was a full day of baseball. Let’s take a look at some of the many things that took place.

1) Noah Syndergaard Has a Complete Game
In the normal sense, as far as pitchers go, Syndergaard didn’t have a traditional complete game. And unfortunately, from a fantasy perspective, a large part of his day did provide his owners with any value. Not only did Syndergaard excel on the mound, but he also went 3-3 with a home run at the plate. In what was his best start yet as a big leaguer, and what will also keep in the rotation even with the return of Dillon Gee, Syndergaard threw 7.1 shutout innings against the Phillies. The big right-hander scattered just six hits while also striking out six batters and not allowing a walk. If today was an indication of what we could expect from Syndergaard moving forward, then we certainly have a future ace on our hands. Read more