Can we really expect Yasmani Grandal to continue producing like he has been? Does Matt Harvey’s less than stellar start change our outlook? How good has Zach Britton been lately? Let’s answer those questions and all the rest from yesterday’s games:
- Yasmani Grandal – San Diego Padres – Catcher – He went 2-5 with 1 HR, 2 RBI and 1 R last night, improving to .276 with 7 HR and 24 RBI in 123 AB for the Padres this season. Considering he had hit just 6 HR in 194 AB in the Pacific Coast League prior to his recall (and 20 HR in 603 AB in the minor leagues in general), seeing the power surge in San Diego is a little bit of a surprise. Granted, he has hit 5 of his HR on the road, but I still wouldn’t expect him to maintain this production as he is sporting a 20.6% HR/FB (and a 52.9% groundball rate). That doesn’t mean he isn’t going to remain a viable catching option, I would just expect him to be a player to provide a better average and a little less power.
More Quick Thoughts:
- It’s easy when you are given 12 runs to work with, but Zach Britton had another impressive outing yesterday against the Blue Jays. He tossed 7.0 shutout innings allowing 4 H and 2 BB, striking out 8. He also did a great job of generating groundballs, with 8 groundball outs vs. 2 fly ball outs. Over his last four starts he has now allowed 3 ER over 28.2 innings while adding 29 strikeouts vs. 7 walks. While he has always been better than he’s shown in the minor leagues, it is hard to imagine him continuing to be this good for too long. Enjoy it while you can, but I would be skeptical (especially given his 4.91 ERA and 1.34 WHIP in 51.1 innings at Triple-A).
- Does anyone know what to expect from Justin Masterson from start-to-start at this point? He stymied the Tigers yesterday, allowing 2 ER on 4 H and 1 BB, striking out 4, over 6.0 innings. He was a groundball machine, recording 9 groundball outs and only 1 fly ball out. If he could pitch like this every start he would be a must use option, but does anyone believe that he can? It’s impossible to trust him at this point, though I would definitely keep a close eye on him with thoughts of 2013.
- Norichika Aoki went 2-5 with 1 HR, 3 RBI and 2 R. He’s now hitting .288 with 7 HR and 35 RBI on the season. I wouldn’t expect much power from him, but where his value comes is his 22 SB. If he can routinely hit around 10 HR to go along with 25+ SB, then he is going to be an incredibly valuable player. Considering he does a great job making contact (43 K in 405 AB entering the day), he should easily pair that combination with a .290+ average (with his speed you would expect a better BABIP then the .306 he entered with). Thought to be a fourth outfielder in the offseason, his potential value looks impressive now.
- B.J. Upton went 2-4 with 1 HR, 2 RBI and 1 R, giving him HR in back-to-back games. He also is on a five game hitting streak going 8-18 with 2 HR, 3 RBI, 5 R and 2 SB. We all know he’s a great all-around player, it’s just a matter of hitting for a good average. He’s always a good play, we just need to take the good with the bad.
- The Yankees are banged up, but don’t let that take away from Alex Cobb’s performance. Cobb allowed 2 ER on 4 H and 1 BB, striking out 5, over 7.0 innings of work. He’s not a top option, especially pitching in the AL East, but he could have value in spot start duty.
- Mat Latos has frustrated owners at times this season, but it is hard to argue with the overall numbers. He allowed 1 ER on 4 H and 2 BB, striking out 6, over 7.0 innings to improve to 12-4 with a 3.69 ERA and 158 K over 175.2 innings of work. With good control and a WHIP south of 1.20, how can we really complain? Yes, he’ll have a poor start now and then but he is a must use option in all formats.
- The Washington Nationals slugged six home runs against the Cubs, led by Adam LaRoche who went 4-4 with 2 HR, 2 RBI and 2 R. He now has 4 HR in his past four games and 9 RBI in his past six. He entered the day with believable metrics (43.6% fly ball rate, 15.9% HR/FB) as he simply is performing the player we all knew was possible if he could put it together for the majority of the season. With 27 HR and 87 RBI on the season, he should remain a good play the rest of the year.
- Hitting atop the Pirates (and in place of Neil Walker), Brock Holt went 4-5 with 2 R last night and is hitting .462 with 1 RBI and 3 R since being called up on September 1. In 477 AB between Double and Triple-A this season he had just 3 HR and 16 SB (he was caught 13 times), so it’s hard to imagine him being a big contributor down the stretch. The desperate can consider for the short-term, but there are likely higher upside players available.
- Did anyone expect Jordan Pacheco to be a viable option this season? After going 2-4 with 1 HR, 2 RBI and 1 R yesterday he is hitting .313 with 4 HR, 41 RBI, 40 R and 5 SB in 374 AB. OK, so outside of the average he really isn’t much of an option outside of being a short-term fill-in at a few different positions. Considering his .344 BABIP (courtesy of a 29.0% line drive rate, something that you wouldn’t think he could maintain), the average could fall as well. The fact is that while he’s a nice story, there isn’t much value.
- The White Sox scored 9 runs, but the Twins doubled them up with 18. Needless to say, it wasn’t a good day to be a pitcher in this one. It was nice to see Trevor Plouffe break out of his slump, going 2-4 with 2 RBI and 2 R. He had been 1-16 recently and has just 1 HR since returning from the DL on August 13 (with 9 RBI). As it was his power had already started to fade, going homerless in 13 games prior to going out. In other words, while it was fun while it lasted, it shouldn’t have been surprising to see him slow up. It’s possible that he catches fire again, but I wouldn’t plan on counting on him.
- Jose Quintana allowed 7 ER on 5 H and 2 BB, striking out 2, over 1.1 innings against the Twins. While it’s hard to write him off (even with this start his ERA is just 3.68), but if he doesn’t start striking out more batters (he entered play with a 4.99 K/9 and 21.8% line drive rate), he’s going to have more struggles. While this was extreme, it may not be the last poor outing down the stretch.
- Hopefully you didn’t give up on Alex Gordon, huh? He went 2-4 with 1 HR, 2 RBI and 1 R yesterday and is now hitting .336 with 6 HR, 35 RBI, 27 R and 5 SB in 211 AB since the All-Star Break (had 5 HR, 27 RBI and 3 SB in 332 AB in the first half). This is much more like what we expected from Gordon and is proving that his 2011 line was not a complete aberration.
- Matt Harvey simply didn’t have it yesterday, but the fact that he continued to fight through shows us a lot about his makeup. He allowed 3 ER on 6 H and 3 BB, striking out 4, over 5.0 innings of work yesterday against the Cardinals. Obviously it was a lot of base runners, but it is just one start and was bound to happen sooner or later. He entered play with a 1.11 WHIP and while that may have been unsustainable, with his strikeout stuff he should continue to be a viable option as long as he’s on the mound (the Mets are going to shut him down after another start or two). He has the potential to be a great selection in 2013 as well, but that’s something we’ll get to soon enough.
- Is anyone surprised to see Zack Greinke get things turned back around? He allowed 1 ER on 4 H and 2 BB, striking out 4, over 7.0 innings against the A’s last night. In his past three starts he’s allowed 4 ER on 14 H and 6 BB over 21.2 innings of work. After a rough start, he clearly is a must use option in all formats.
- Andrew Bailey allowed 1 H in an otherwise clean inning to earn his second save of the season. He has pitched well since coming off the DL, with a 1.35 ERA, 1.05 WHIP and 5 K in 6.2 innings. It’s not a surprise that he’s claimed the closers role, where you would expect him to be in 2013. As long as he’s closing he is a viable option, no matter how bad the Red Sox are.
- It was another big day for Aaron Hill, going 5-5 with 1 HR, 2 RBI and 3 R. On the season he is hitting .302 with 21 HR and 65 RBI. Getting out of Toronto clearly did him well, huh? He has believable metrics, with a .320 BABIP and 10.8% HR/FB, so as long as he really doesn’t try to get homer happy (like he did in 2010), there is no reason to think that he can’t remain a very good option. Keep him active in all formats.