10 Important Stories From 08/02/15 Box Scores: Don’t Buy Daniel Norris, Bauer Figuring It Out & More

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

Jose Fernandez continued to prove that he’s the exception to the rule, tossing 6.0 shutout innings allowing 4 H and 2 BB, striking out 10, and now owns a 2.12 ERA as he returns from Tommy John surgery.  Mat Latos made his debut for the Dodgers, allowing 1 ER on 4 H and 1 BB, striking out 1, over 6.0 IP in a no decision.  Ryan Braun had a big day at the plate, going 3-4 with 1 R.  What else happened on the field that we need to know about?  Let’s take a look:

1) Daniel Norris impresses in his first start with the Tigers…
He went 7.1 innings allowing 1 R on 4 H and 1 BB, striking out 5, to defeat the Baltimore Orioles.  While it was a solid performance, there are a few concerns in the numbers.  First of all he had been struggling with his control at Triple-A, with a 4.07 BB/9 (including 14 BB over 35.0 IP in July).  In other words, the 1 BB is not a number that we should be expecting.  He also saw his strikeout rate drop at Triple-A, with a 7.74 K/9, and is not a significant groundball pitcher (0.99 GO/AO at Triple-A).  No one is going to argue that there isn’t upside and potential, but he’s not a pitcher that we should be looking to depend on down the stretch. Read more

Two-Start Pitchers 2015: August 3-9: Are There Any Gambles Worth Taking?

by Ray Kuhn

And now we are down to the final two months of the season… The calendar has turned to August and the non-waiver trade deadline is behind us. As the dust settles and the trade deadline in most fantasy leagues approaches, it is time to take a hard look at your squad and try to determine if it’s time to take some risks (and which risks are actually worth taking). So let’s begin by taking a look at the pitchers who are taking the mound twice this week to see who’s worth considering:

Tier One:

  1. Max Scherzer – Washington Nationals – vs. Arizona; vs. Colorado
  2. Jake Arrieta – Chicago Cubs – at Pittsburgh; vs. San Francisco
  3. David Price – Toronto Blue Jays – vs. Minnesota; at NY Yankees
  4. Corey Kluber – Cleveland Indians – at LA Angels; vs. Minnesota
  5. Jon Lester – Chicago Cubs – at Pittsburgh; vs. San Francisco
  6. Chris Archer – Tampa Bay Rays – at Chicago White Sox; vs. NY Mets
  7. Felix Hernandez – Seattle Mariners – at Colorado; vs. Texas

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Stash ‘Em or Trash ‘Em: Is There Still Hope For Cameron Maybin?

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

Overall Cameron Maybin is hitting .274 with 8 HR and 17 SB, but the numbers have come crashing down after the All-Star Break.  Over the first 14 games he’s hitting .235 with 0 HR and 2 SB, so it’s easy to wonder if he’s regressing back to the “bust” he had previously been considered.  Of course it is a small sample size, so you don’t want to draw any definitive conclusions.  That said, one of the biggest things is an elevated groundball rate (74.0%) and that’s something that’s not a new trend:

  • June – 62.5%
  • July – 69.4%

That has led to regressed line drive rates (18.2%, 15.3%) and while the production hadn’t gone with it (he hit .314 in June, thanks to a .356 BABIP) there was obvious risk of a regression. Read more

Bullpen Notes: August 1, 2015: Rodney Primed To Close Again, No Questions For Cubs & 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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10 Important Stories From 08/01/15 Box Scores: Carlos Correa Homers Twice, Carson Smith Blows A Save And More

by Will Overton It was odd to have a day of baseball where the focus was solely on the action on the field as the trading deadline has now passed. There was plenty on the field to talk about too, from good young pitchers to several guys going deep not once, but twice yesterday. Here is the full rundown of the 10 biggest stories of the day:

1)      Ben Zobrist With A Big Game As A Royal What an impression made on his new teammates and Royals fans by Ben Zobrist. In  this his third game as a member of the Royals Zobrist was 3 – 4 with 3 R, 2 HR and 2 RBI, including a homerun that put the Royals ahead for good in the eighth inning. There were a lot of concerns coming into this season that Zobrist’s power was on the decline after hitting only 12 HR’s in 2013 and 10 in 2014. Zobrist now has eight HR’s and there is still hope that he can surpass both of the last two seasons totals. Going to Kansas City should definitely give him a bump as he jumps into the middle of a playoff run. Last night Zobrist was hitting second in the order and that has the potential for a big boost in value. Read more

Hold ‘Em or Fold ‘Em: Is It Time To Give Up On Joc Pederson?

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

Big things were expected from Joc Pederson this season and, while he has hit 21 HR, for the most part it’s been a disappointing season.  He was dropped from the leadoff spot earlier this week, thanks to a .228 average and just 2 SB entering Thursday.  So much for the 30/30 performer many had envisioned, huh?

The average issue should not come as a surprise, as he posted a 26.9% strikeout rate while at Triple-A last season.  That number has ballooned to 29.3% in the Majors this season making it nearly impossible for him to hit for a strong average.

Making things worse has been his meager 16.4% line drive rate, leading to a .283 BABIP.  Since a strong April the number has also consistently been suppressed:

  • April – 22.2%
  • May – 15.9%
  • June – 15.6%
  • July – 14.3%

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