Yesterday’s game felt like they were all about the pitching, both good and bad. You had some real clunkers, like Josh Beckett and Ubaldo Jimenez. You also had some gems, like Hiroki Kuroda, Madison Bumgarner and Mat Latos. Let’s take a look at everything we need to know from yesterday’s games:
- Jarrod Parker – Oakland Athletics – Starting Pitcher – Remember when he had a 2.46 ERA back on July 2 and everyone believed he was virtually can’t miss? Well, things have spiraled since then and hopefully you sold (as we here at Rotoprofessor recommended). He got beat up again yesterday, allowing 5 runs (4 earned) on 5 H and 2 BB, striking out 3, over 4.2 innings. It’s the fifth time in his past seven starts that he has allowed at least 4 ER, as his ERA has risen to 3.71. He has actually been hit hard all season, with his line drive rate still sitting at 27.6% (29.8% in August), so don’t think that he’s a lock to get things rectified. He has ability, but he needs to get that number down if he wants to excel again.
- Josh Beckett – Boston Red Sox – Starting Pitcher – It was another lousy outing for Beckett, allowing 6 ER on 6 H and 2 BB, striking out 2, over 5.1 innings. He also allowed a pair of home runs, including one to Mark Reynolds (2-4, 2 HR, 4 RBI, 2 R). Beckett’s poor season is really hard to figure out, though a 65.4% strand rate entering the day hasn’t helped. He also has seen his strikeout rate fall off a cliff, with a 6.67 K/9 as his velocity has dropped (93.1 mph in ’11 vs. 91.7 mph in ’12). At this point, it is impossible to recommend using him.
More Quick Thoughts:
- Remember when people questioned if Hiroki Kuroda could not pitch well in the AL East, but simply survive? He has definitely proven the doubters wrong, with last night’s complete game shutout against the Texas Rangers as the icing on the cake. He allowed 2 H and 2 BB, striking out 5, and he carried a no-hitter into the seventh inning (Elvis Andrus broke it up with a leadoff single). He is now 11-8 with a 3.06 ERA on the year and has allowed 3 ER or less in each of his past six starts. He entered play with a believable .289 BABIP and 78.1% strand rate and, if he can continue his elite control (2.16 BB/9) he should continue to excel.
- The injury to Jose Bautista, along with the trade of Travis Snider, helped to open up regular playing time for Rajai Davis and he has certainly made the most of it. He went 3-4 with 1 R and 2 SB yesterday, giving him three multi-hit games in his past four (7-18 with 5 RBI, 4 R and 4 SB). He has 7 SB in his past 10. He has a chance to cement his role for 2013, when you would think the Blue Jays would pack a potent offense. Keep a close eye on him, but if he continues hitting at the top of the order and getting a chance to run (now 35 SB) he is going to hold value.
- Jimmy Rollins went 1-3 with 1 HR, 1 RBI and 1 R, hitting a leadoff HR off of Josh Johnson (8.0 IP, 1 ER, 3 H, 1 BB, 7 K), but that was more than enough for Kyle Kendrick. Kendrick tossed 7.0 shutout innings allowing 5 H and 0 BB, striking out 6, to earn the W and beat the Marlins 1-0. It was an impressive outing, but one I wouldn’t count on being repeated. He offers little in the strikeout department and has little upside. Leave him for those in the deepest of formats.
- Remember all that potential we heard about for Cameron Maybin? Where is it? He went 0-4 with 2 K yesterday and is now hitting .212 with 85 K over 363 AB on the year. Sure, he has stolen 20 bases, but we can find people with significantly better averages to do that. Don’t write him off, but considering he hasn’t stolen a base since July 22 or had a multi-hit game since July 17, he should be on your bench until he shows he can produce something.
- The Dodgers posted 11 runs, giving Chad Billingsley all the support he needed. Billingsley went 8.0 shutout innings allowing 5 H and 1 BB, striking out 5. He has now won five straight starts allowing 6 ER over 34.2 innings of work. On the season he suddenly has a 3.62 ERA, 1.29 WHIP and 123 K over 139.1 innings, looking like the type of pitcher we all knew was possible. In fact, with a .315 BABIP and 71.4% strand rate there is still room for improvement.
- Jordany Valdespin looked like he was a must own if he ever got regular playing time, as he was launching home runs as a pinch hitter. Too much may have exposed him, however. In his past 10 games he is hitting .231 with 1 HR, 3 RBI, 3 R and 1 SB over 26 AB. That’s not to say that he doesn’t have value, but he needs to adjust. With the Mets season lost, he should continue to play and get opportunities. With power and speed he is worth stashing in deeper formats.
- Who says the Astros can’t score? They put up a 10 spot this season behind home runs from Brett Wallace (1-5, 1 HR, 3 RBI, 1 R), Scott Moore (3-5, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 2 R) and Fernando Martinez (1-4, 1 HR, 3 RBI, 1 R). After a strong start, Wallace had been struggling, going 7-30 with 0 HR, 1 RBI and 1 R in his previous 10 games (along with 11 K). However, no matter what struggles he goes through, he should get an opportunity to play as the Astros finally need to find out exactly what they have. He could be a good source of power moving forward.
- We all know the Tigers offense has no issues with Miguel Cabrera and Prince Fielder hitting 3-4. The problem is, they can’t seem to find someone to settle into the fifth spot. Yesterday it was Jhonny Peralta, who went 1-5 with 2 RBI. Given other struggles that may be enough to give him a second chance, but chances are he won’t stick there long-term. Could Nick Castellanos get an opportunity in the Majors before September? It’s definitely not impossible, though he only has 9 HR on the year so if you are looking for power he’s not your answer. He could provide a strong average and RBI potential, though, so those in deeper formats may want to stash him.
- David Freese is hitting .298 with 15 HR and 64 RBI over 383 AB this season. So, should we actually be complaining about him? Well, he is sporting a .359 BABIP and a 19.0% HR/FB, both numbers that he may not be able to maintain (especially when you realize that he has a 50.9% groundball rate, the second consecutive season he has a mark over 50%). I wouldn’t just give him away, but if you can get good value in a trade I wouldn’t hesitate.
- Josh Rutledge missed one game with a sore quad, so it was good to see him back in the lineup. He went 0-4 with 1 R, but that’s minor at this point. Get him back active in all formats as he brings power and speed from your middle infield.
- Does Eric Young Jr. have an everyday spot for the Rockies moving forward? We will have to wait and see, but he is doing everything he can to entrench himself. He went 3-5 with 1 HR, 2 RBI and 2 R yesterday giving him four straight multi-hit games, seven out of eight and eight of ten. He’s not going to be a source of power, but he does have speed and should score plenty of runs atop the Rockies order. Those in deeper formats should grab him if he is still available, though don’t expect these types of numbers.
- Ubaldo Jimenez was hammered by the Angels, allowing 8 ER on 8 H and 2 BB, striking out 4, over 4.0 innings of work. It’s the third time in his past four starts that he has allowed at least 5 ER and the fifth time in his past seven. It’s going to take an awful lot to get us to trust him for the remainder of 2012 and obviously, at this point he is not a recommended option.
- Jason Kipnis was back in the starting lineup, going 1-5 with 1 RBI. He was DH’ing, but that’s of little concern. Get him active in all formats.
- It was unearned runs that did him in, but Fernando Rodney blew his second save of the season last night. He went 0.2 innings allowing 2 unearned runs on 2 H and 0 BB, striking out 1, costing Matt Moore a victory (Moore was tremendous, allowing 1 ER on 6 H and 1 BB, striking out 9). Rodney is still sporting a 0.81 ERA, though can we really expect that to continue? I know it’s possible for a relief pitcher to have lock all year long, but I wouldn’t be too hopeful. It wouldn’t be surprising to see him hit some bumps in the road.
- Brandon Belt had a big night, going 3-4 with 3 RBI and 1 R. He has really picked things up of late, going 15-30 with 0 HR, 4 RBI, 4 R and 2 SB in his past 9 games. We all know he has potential, though it would be nice to see him delivering more in the HR/RBI department. Still, stick with him because those things should come in time with the hits.
- It was nice to see Pablo Sandoval back in the starting lineup, going 0-2 with 1 RBI and 1 R. He’s had a disappointing season so far, but he still has the potential to get extremely hot. Get him back active in all formats.