Around the Majors: May 6, 2013: Cashner Cruises, Simmons Slugs, Rodney Roughed Up & More

Is a closer controversy on the horizon in Tampa Bay?  Which pitchers thrived and which struggled?  Is Andrelton Simmons a future stud shortstop?  Let’s answer these questions and all the rest from yesterday’s games:

  • The Royals and White Sox had a great pitching matchup, both on paper and in reality.  Both Chris Sale (7.1 IP, 1 ER, 6 H, 0 BB, 5 K) and James Shields (8.0 IP, 0 ER, 2 H, 2 BB, 9 K) were great, though neither ultimately factored in the decision.  For Sale, since getting beaten up on April 13 he has gone at least 7.0 innings in four straight starts (28.1 IP, 7 ER, 20 H, 7 BB, 25 K) and is proving that 2012 was no fluke.
  • Andrelton Simmons had a big day, going 3-4 with 2 HR, 4 RBI and 2 R.  He surprisingly now has 15 RBI on the season, to go along with a .252 average, 4 HR, 17 R and 1 SB.  He was not a big HR hitter coming up, but he is just 23-years old and still developing.  It’s easy to imagine him being a 10/10 (and ultimately 15/15 and maybe even 20/20 option).  As for the average, he is making contact (10.2% strikeout rate) and hitting the ball well (20.4% line drive rate), he’s just not getting results (.247 BABIP).  Consider him a good option moving forward.
  • Brian McCann returned to the lineup, going 0-4.  However the Braves found a way to also keep Evan Gattis in the lineup, sticking him in LF.  He went 1-4 with 1 RBI and it’s likely the Braves continue to find ways to keep his bat in the lineup until Jason Heyward comes off the DL.  Figure he will play 4-5 games a week.
  • It was another poor outing for Jarrod Parker, who allowed 4 ER on 7 H and 2 BB, striking out 7, over 5.0 IP.  Of the hits, 4 left the ballpark.  He actually has improved his line drive rate from last season (25.6% to 17.4%), but he has struggled with poor luck (.365 BABIP), to keep the ball in the ballpark (2.10 HR/9) and with his control (4.72 BB/9).  All three of the issues should be corrected, but it’s a lot of things to fix all at once.  He’s worth stashing on your bench until he starts to turn things around.
  • Ubaldo Jimenez allowed 2 ER on 4 H and 3 BB, striking out 8, over 5.2 IP to win his second consecutive start (2 ER on 7 H and 5 BB, striking out 12, over 12.2 IP).  Can we say he’s “back”?  It’s a little too soon, though it is promising.  Of course, his next start comes against the Tigers in Detroit.  If he pitches well there we may be convinced.  However, he’s too big of a risk to trust for that start.
  • Is it a coincidence that Clay Buchholz had his worst start of the season after the allegations that he was throwing a spit ball?  You can argue that he was due for a poor start anyways, as he allowed 4 ER on 7 H and 2 BB, striking out 9, over 6.0 IP. 
  • Stephen Drew had a huge day, going 4-5 with 1 HR, 3 RBI and 1 R.  He has hit just .225 since coming off the DL, but does have 2 HR and 12 RBI and should continue to see regular AB.  Considering how shallow shortstop is, those in deeper formats should hold onto him given his upside.
  • Is it worth talking about Mark Buehrle anymore?  He got bombed again, allowing 7 ER on 9 H and 2 BB, striking out 5, over 6.0 IP to raise his ERA to 7.02.  Until he shows something he is useless to fantasy owners.
  • Colby Rasmus went 1-4 with 1 HR, 2 RBI and 1 R, his first home run since April 16 and his first multi-RBI day since April 6.  Fantasy owners can only hope that it’s the start of things to come.
  • Anthony Rizzo has been hitting for power all year long, but now the average is coming as well.  He went 3-4 with 1 HR, 4 RBI and 1 R yesterday, putting him at .262 with 9 HR and 25 RBI on the season.  He is now on a 7 game hitting streak going 13-28 with 1 HR, 6 RBI, 6 R and 2 SB. 
  • It was another impressive start for Scott Feldman, tossing 7.0 shutout innings against the Rangers, allowing 2 H and 1 BB, striking out 3.  The strikeouts predictably dropped (he had 12 K in his last outing) and it’s hard to imagine much from Feldman going forward.  He does not have strikeout upside and he’s a pitcher to ride while he’s hot, but be prepared to quickly move on.
  • We all know that the Dodgers are desperate for starting pitchers at this point.  Chris Capuano was beat up again, allowing 6 R (5 earned) on 8 H and 2 BB, striking out 2, over 4.0 IP.  He’s now 0-2 with a 10.38 ERA, but how many alternatives does LA have? 
  • Paul Goldschmidt went 4-5 with 1 HR, 3 RBI and 1 R, putting him at .316 with 6 HR, 24 RBI, 19 R and 4 SB.  He has big-time power potential, as we all know.
  • After struggling in his previous outing it was nice to see Andrew Cashner come out and shutdown the suddenly hot Miami Marlins.  He tossed 7.1 shutout innings allowing 4 H and 3 BB, striking out 4, to even his record at 2-2 on the season.  He still needs to do a better job of getting ahead of hitters (first pitch strikes to 14 of 28 batters faced) and we’d love to see more strikeouts, but now we’re nitpicking.  He has tremendous upside and is worth owning in all formats.
  • Madison Bumgarner had a poor start against the Phillies, allowing 5 ER on 8 H and 2 BB, striking out 7, over 6.0 IP.  The biggest blow was a HR to Domonic Brown (1-4, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 1 R).  We had previously tabbed Bumgarner as a potential sell high candidate, but that’s not to say that he’s unusable.  It’s just one start and he should continue to be a good option.
  • Were you an owner who took the risk on Hunter Pence?  You are certainly happy right now, as he is hitting .297 with 6 HR and 20 RBI after going 3-3 with 1 HR, 1 RBI and 2 R.  He may not be the SB threat he once was, but right now he’s looking like the same player he had always been and is a good play in all formats.

Bullpen Notes:

  • To say that it was a difficult outing for Greg Holland would be an understatement.  While he allowed just 1 ER, he was lucky that was all it was.  He gave up 4 H and 1 BB over his inning of work, blowing his second save of the season.  While he got off to a rough start, he hadn’t allowed an earned run since April 7 (and had only allowed hits in two of his previous eight appearances) so there is no reason to be concerned with this one poor outing.
  • Joel Hanrahan blew a save, allowing 1 ER on 1 H and 1 BB, striking out 1, over 0.2 IP.  It was a poor outing, but with Andrew Bailey on the DL it will likely take more than one poor outing to cost Hanrahan the closers role.
  • Fernando Rodney blew his second save of the season, allowing 2 ER on 1 H and 2 BB, striking out 1, over 1.1 IP.  He is now the owner of a 5.06 ERA and 1.78 WHIP, as his walk rate has regressed back to his previous seasons (7.59 in ’13, compared to 4.49 for his career and 1.81 in ’12).  He also has been hit incredibly hard (30.0% line drive rate) and been prone to the long ball (1.69 HR/9).  He likely isn’t in jeopardy quite yet, but the leash is quickly getting shorter.  If he doesn’t start to show improvement Joel Peralta could begin seeing save chances and is worth stashing in deeper formats.

One comment

  1. jr ewing says:

    For Holland, I think all his hits were singles and the BB was intentional. So not nearly as bad an outting as it looks on paper.

    Also I agree that with Bailey hurt Hanrahan would have some leeway but I think Hanrahan has an arm issue now too.

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