Around the Majors: August 29: Dustin Ackley, Drew Stubbs, Wandy Rodriguez & More

It was another great day around the league, so let’s take a look at all the stories from yesterday’s games:

  • The A’s and Indians played a game that can only be described as well pitched.  In a losing effort Brandon McCarthy went the distance, allowing 2 ER on 5 H and 1 BB, striking out 10.  He made just one big mistake, a solo home run to Carlos Santana (2-3, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 1 R).  On the other side, David Huff tossed 6.0 shutout innings, allowing 3 H and 2 BB, striking out 4.  The bigger story is McCarthy, however, who is now 7-7 with a 3.64 ERA and 1.21 WHIP.  He entered the day with a .314 BABIP and 65.0% WHIP, so while his numbers are viable, he’s actually pitched significantly better.  He’s shown pinpoint control (1.50 BB/9 entering the day), though his career mark is 2.94, so that is a bit skewed.  Obviously that’s not enough to deter us, and while he may struggle to get a few wins he is going to be a viable option in deeper formats.
  • Nick Swisher continues to hit for power, showing why he’s a solid “low-end” addition in most formats.  He went 1-4 with 1 HR, 2 RBI and 1 R last night, giving him home runs in back-to-back games and 6 HR in his past 7 games.  Over that span he’s gone 8-25 with 6 HR, 10 RBI and 8 R.  He’s never going to be considered among the elite in the league, for obvious reasons (he always brings the threat to struggle in the average department), but there is no arguing his power or RBI potential in one of the deepest lineups in the league.
  • People who were expecting Drew Stubbs to improve on his 22 HR performance in 2010 have been a bit disappointed this season.  After going 0-4 with 1 SB yesterday he has now gone 19 games without a long ball (with just 3 RBI over that span).  That’s not to say that he’s been bad, with 15 HR and 35 SB, but his average is down to .250.  It’s not that he’s swinging for the fences (32.5% fly ball rate), he’s just striking out way too much.  In fact, he entered the day with a 30.1% strikeout rate (and struck out twice more yesterday), after whiffing 28.8% of the time in ’10.  That’s something that he has to improve upon if he is going to be a top flight fantasy option.  It’s great that he offers 20/30 appeal, which is going to keep him active in fantasy lineups, but if he’s going to hit .250 or worse, his value is going to remain capped.
  • Max Scherzer just didn’t have it last night, allowing 7 ER on 10 H and 1 BB, striking out 2, over 3.0 innings of work.  He got blasted for three home runs, coming from Salvador Perez (3-4, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 1 R), Alex Gordon (4-5, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 2 R) and Alcides Escobar (2-4, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 2 R).  We all know the potential Scherzer has, but he continues to be inconsistent.  This marks the third time in his past five starts that he has allowed at least 4 ER and eighth time this season that he has allowed at least 5 ER.  It’s tough to argue poor luck (.305 BABIP, 73.6% strand rate entering the day).  The fact is that he hasn’t lived up to the strikeout expectations (7.76 K/9 entering yesterday) and it has affected the numbers.  He’s going to always remain an intriguing option, but until he shows consistency he is value on draft day 2012 is going to be capped.
  • We all know that J.P. Arencibia carries some risk with him, given his poor average (he’s now hitting .218 on the season).  However, the offensive potential definitely makes him an intriguing option, especially in two-catcher formats.  He went 3-4 with 2 RBI, 1 R and 1 SB yesterday, finishing a home run shy of the cycle.  Outside of the average, exactly what is there not to like?  He has 20 HR and 64 RBI, both putting him among the league leaders for catchers.  Obviously the average suppresses his value, but that doesn’t make him unusable by any stretch.
  • In case you missed it in yesterday’s update, Dayan Viceido is up and the White Sox are finding ways to get him in the lineup.  Starting for the second straight day (this time at DH), he went 2-3 with 1 RBI, 1 R and 1 SB.  In two games since being recalled he has gone 4-6 with 1 HR, 4 RBI, 3 R and 1 SB.  With 3B eligibility, he should be grabbed in all formats.
  • The Mets swept a double header from the Marlins, though no one bat had a particularly impressive day.  Instead it was the starting pitchers that were noteworthy.  In the opener it was R.A. Dickey, who tossed 7.0 shutout innings allowing 7 H and 1 BB, striking out 6.  In the night cap it was Dillon Gee, who allowed 1 ER on 6 H and 2 BB, striking out 6, over 6.0 innings of work.  If you look at Dickey’s record (6-11) you would think he’s regressed, but he’s sporting a 3.57 ERA and 1.26 WHIP.  It’s clear that his 2010 success was no aberration and he’s a solid backend option in all formats.
  • Wandy Rodriguez dominated the Pirates, allowing 3 R on 4 H and 4 BB, striking out 13, over 7.0 innings.  It was a career high in strikeouts and just the second time this season he’s reached double-digits (he struck out 11 earlier in the year).  Right now he’s sporting a 3.43 ERA, the fourth consecutive year that he’s under 3.60.  You can say that there’s a little bit of luck involve this time around, as his WHIP is up a little (1.30), in part due to an overall decline in K’s (7.88 in ’11, though hadn’t been below 8.22 the prior few years).  However, last night showed us that he can still pile them on.  There’s no reason to downgrade him now.
  • Maybe it’s that he’s struggling to find his legs coming back from the injury.  Maybe the change of leagues is affecting him.  Maybe he’s just not that good.  While I don’t believe the latter, Alex White has not looked good in his first two starts as a member of the Rockies.  Yesterday he allowed 5 ER on 7 H and 6 BB, striking out 3, over 6.0 innings.  In his two starts he’s allowed 10 ER on 14 H and 7 BB, striking out 7, over 11.0 innings.  Clearly, while there’s plenty of potential, you don’t want to be trusting him for the time being.
  • Dustin Ackley had another big day, going 3-3 with 2 RBI and 1 R (he was a home run shy of the cycle).  It’s not a huge surprise that he’s had a bit of a power outage (he’s gone 27 games without a home run), because we never should’ve really expected that to be his game.  Instead, he’s hitting .291 with 5 HR, 30 RBI, 30 R and 2 SB over 230 AB.  He’s a nice option, though he’s not a big source of power or speed, which is going to cap his potential value, at least for the remainder of this season.  That’s not to say that he shouldn’t be used, just be aware of what you have.
  • While Mat Latos (6.0 IP, 4 ER, 5 H, 4 BB, 5 K) was poor, falling to 6-13, Clayton Kershaw was stellar once again.  He tossed a complete game allowing 1 ER on 6 H and 2 BB, striking out 5 to improve to 17-5 with a 2.45 ERA and 1.02 WHIP.  Oh, he also leads the NL in strikeouts with 207 (and trails only Justin Verlander).  Cy Young anyone?  As for Latos, he has struggled with a little bit of poor luck (69.0% strand rate) and has also faded with his control (3.25 BB/9).  However, there is reason to believe that the latter will return and he is still posting usable numbers with a 3.82 ERA and 1.25 WHIP.  While it’s not the year people hoped for, don’t forget about Latos.
  • Randy Wells vs. Tim Lincecum, who would you be putting your money on?  Wells?!  Really?!?!  Well, turns out you’d have been right.  Lincecum did not have his best outing, allowing 5 R (4 earned) on 6 H and 4 BB, striking out 4, over 6.0 innings.  Wells, meanwhile, may have thrown his best start of the season.  He threw a complete game shutout, allowing just 2 H and 1 BB, striking out 7.  Is this a good sign for Wells or is it more indicative of how bad the Giants offense is?  Your first intuition is to go with not putting much stock into it, but Wells actually finishes August with a 3.32 ERA to go along with a 4-0 record.  Is he actually a viable option down the stretch?  I wouldn’t consider him a must use option, but with the Pirates next on the schedule he is worth considering as a streamer, at the least.

5 comments

  1. Tuco says:

    I don’t know anything about Dayan Viceido. Which stats can he help me out in for the remainder of the season?

    • Shaun says:

      He wont hurt your average, he will help in home runs, and toss 1 or 2 stolen bases.
      Runs and RBI will depend on his lineup spot. He is currently sixth in the order.
      I just added him. I expect a solid performance in all stats, with 5+ home runs the rest of the way.

    • Rotoprofessor says:

      Shaun beat me to it, but that’s about dead on. He should hit for a good enough average (think .270, at least) with some pop and RBI potential. Well worth the speculative add at a weak position.

  2. Lhr says:

    Whp brings more power the rest of the way, ackley or viciedo ??

    • Rotoprofessor says:

      I would expect Viciedo, though it could be close. I’d figure something like 5-6 to 1-3, something like that.

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