No one expected much from Rangers’ top prospect Jurickson Profar, so of course he debuted with a bang. Then there were the struggles from Phil Hughes, James McDonald and Ricky Romero. How about the hot streak of Delmon Young and the continued stellar performance from Brett Anderson? Needless to say there is a lot to get to from yesterday’s games so let’s take a look:
- Jurickson Profar – Texas Rangers – Shortstop – Profar got his first Major League start, playing 2B and batting ninth for the Rangers. He certainly made a statement, going 2-4 with 1 HR, 1 RBI and 1 R. Considered as one of the top hitting prospects in the game, it will be interesting to see how much playing time the Rangers give him in September. At just 19-years old it is hard to expect too much (he was hitting .281 with 14 HR and 16 SB in 480 AB at Double-A), but he has a ton of potential and is worth rolling the dice on if you have the room on your squad (though I wouldn’t go too far out of my way given the risks involved). If he’s not playing every day, he obviously won’t hold too much value.
- Phil Hughes – New York Yankees – Starting Pitcher – Just when you think Hughes is turning things around he gets roughed up for 5 ER on 8 H and 1 BB, striking out 6, over 5.0 innings of work. His problem, as it has been all year long, has been the long ball. He allowed 2 HR yesterday and has now allowed 32 on the season. It hasn’t been exclusive to being at home, either, as he has allowed 11 HR in 12 road starts. Unfortunately it is hard to think he’s going to suddenly correct that at this stage of the season. He’s still a viable option, considering he should win games and entered with a 1.26 WHIP. If he could limit the HR, however, he’d be a potential ace.
More Quick Thoughts:
- Mark Reynolds went 3-5 with 2 HR, 4 RBI and 3 R yesterday to lead the Orioles to a victory over the Yankees. It was his second two home run game in the past three days, both coming at Yankee Stadium. It’s a great little hot streak, but we all know it’s hard to trust him due to his low batting average (.228) and high strikeouts. He has the potential to be a source of power, but if you also need average he’s going to be a tough play.
- Does anyone actually have faith in Ricky Romero at this point? I was skeptical prior to the season, but no one could’ve seen him struggling this badly coming. He allowed 7 ER on 8 H and 1 BB, striking out 0, in just an inning of work. He’s now 8-13 with a 5.85 ERA on the season. There’s no reason to dig into the numbers, there is no way you can trust him at this point.
- Jason Bay?!?! He went 2-4 with 1 HR, 4 RBI and 1 R yesterday marking his biggest contribution since… Well, it’s probably his biggest contribution of 2012. Obviously I wouldn’t get too excited over this performance, but it’s nice to see. However, he’s going to have to do a whole lot more before we have any faith in him.
- Considering we don’t know for sure how many more starts we are going to get out of Stephen Strasburg, we need to savor things while we can. He was fantastic in a no decision yesterday, tossing 6.0 shutout innings allowing 2 H and 1 BB, striking out 9. It’s going to be impossible to replace his production over the final few weeks, though we already knew that.
- Bud Norris did his job, tossing 6.0 shutout innings against the Reds allowing 3 H and 1 BB, striking out 6. Unfortunately the bullpen couldn’t get the final 9 outs, as he ended up with a no decision. Norris’ splits are extremely telling, as he has a 1.90 ERA in 10 starts at home and a 7.27 ERA in 15 starts on the road. For whatever the reason it is crystal clear that he is usable when starting at home, but can’t be anywhere near your lineup for road starts.
- Chris Parmelee went 2-4 with 1 HR, 1 RBI and 1 R for the Twins, giving him home runs in back-to-back games and a 5 game hitting streak. Over the streak he’s gone 7-20 with 2 HR, 4 RBI and 4 R. He has been playing every day since returning to the Twins on August 29. He did show off power at Triple-A this season, with 17 HR in 228 AB (in the International League). He’s never shown that type of power potential before, but at 24-years old it is not impossible that he has been adding power. With Denard Span on the DL he does have the potential to play regularly and show his upside so, for those desperate in five-outfielder formats, he’s someone worth considering.
- James McDonald looked to have righted the ship, then of course he gets shellacked by the Brewers, allowing 8 runs (7 earned) on 6 H and 1 BB, striking out 6, over 2.2 innings of work. The damage came courtesy of the long ball, as he allowed 4 HR. It’s the fifth time he’s allowed at least 5 ER in his past nine starts. We’ll have to wait and see how long the Pirates stick with him in the rotation, but they certainly can’t afford to stick with him at this point. If Jeff Locke pitches well today, he would be a candidate to stick in the rotation even once Jeff Karstens returns. It’s hard to depend on him at this point and fantasy owners will want to plan on not having him, just in case.
- Is Xavier Nady staking his claim on the Giants LF job? He went 2-2 with 2 R yesterday and is now 3-5 with 3 RBI and 2 R in his first two games with the team. With no other clear option, you would think he has a very good chance to see regular playing time. While he’s not the player that he once was, you could catch lightning in a bottle. He’s at least worth monitoring for the desperate, but he’s more of an NL-only option.
- The Padres and Rockies combined for 21 runs and 31 hits, so there obviously were some hitting stars. Chase Headley was probably the biggest of them all, going 4-5 with 1 HR, 6 RBI, 1 R and 1 SB. Would anyone have predicted him to hit 23 HR this season?! For the Rockies Tyler Colvin may have been the most notable, going 1-3 with 1 HR, 2 RBI and 1 R. He’s now homered in back-to-back games, and has 11 RBI in his past six games.
- Casey Kelly’s second start in the Majors certainly wasn’t as good as his first, allowing 7 R (5 earned) on 8 H and 2 BB, striking out 5, over 5.2 innings of work. He was always going to be a risky option, despite his upside, and easily could have numerous ups and downs. I would proceed with caution and, if you want to use him, pick your spots.
- The Red Sox and A’s game was the tale of two pitchers. Brett Anderson continued to dominate since returning from the DL, improving to 3-0 with a 0.90 ERA after allowing 1 ER on 5 H and 1 BB, striking out 4, over 6.0 innings. Obviously he’s been a great story, but he of course has had a lot of luck on his side (he entered the day with an 87.5% strand rate and .176 BABIP). Sooner or later things will return so be prepared. As for Daisuke Matsuzaka, he allowed 6 ER on 7 H and 4 BB, striking out 4, over 3.2 IP. Haven’t we learned by now not to depend on him?
- Carlos Peguero went 2-3 with 1 HR, 1 RBI and 1 R, but it’s a long shot that he gets guaranteed playing time. The Mariners have a slew of outfielders including Franklin Gutierrez, Tryavon Robinson, Eric Thames and Michael Saunders (when healthy). They are probably just going to rotate everyone and try to get them AB, so it is hard to depend on any of them for the remainder of the season. No one is guaranteed playing time.
- While Adrian Gonzalez has struggled since going to LA he delivered yesterday, going 2-5 with 2 RBI. The big hit came in the ninth inning, sending J.J. Putz (0.1 IP, 2 ER, 2 H, 1 BB, 1 K) to his fourth blown save of the season. Considering he hadn’t allowed an earned run since June 19, there is little reason to be concerned. It was bound to happen sooner or later.
- The Phillies entered the ninth with a 7-3 lead, but they saw it slip away in spectacular fashion. Jonathan Papelbon allowed 3 ER on 2 H and 1 BB, striking out 1, over 0.1 innings to blow the save. The big blow came courtesy of Chipper Jones, who hit a 3 R walkoff HR. Obviously there is nothing to worry about with Papelbon, it’s just a big blow.
- Delmon Young continued his strong stretch last night, going 1-3 with 1 HR, 3 RBI and 1 R giving him home runs in back-to-back games and an 8 game hitting streak. Over the streak he’s gone 13-30 with 4 HR, 11 RBI and 6 R. It’s about he’s producing, isn’t it?