Around the Majors: May 9, 2013: Scott Kazmir Shines, Oswaldo Arcia Showing Skills & More

Last year David Price vs. R.A. Dickey would’ve been must see TV.  This year?  Not so much.  Cole Hamels an ace?  It hasn’t seemed that way in 2013.  In fact, given the three aces we already know took the hill, what would you say if we told you Scott Kazmir had the best start of the night?

Let’s check out how they all fared, as well as all of the other stories from yesterday’s games:

  • It was an extremely impressive outing for Scott Kazmir, who allowed 1 ER on 5 H and 0 BB, striking out 10, over 6.0 IP to defeat the A’s yesterday.  He threw first pitch strikes to 19 of 23 batters, which is generally a recipe for success.  He had struggled over his first 14.1 innings this season, though a lot of that was based on poor luck (.350 BABIP despite an 18.2% line drive) and a significant number of home runs (4 HR allowed).  It’s been a long time since Kazmir was a productive option, though he is still just 29-years old.  Should we trust him?  Of course not.  However, he’s definitely worth monitoring as seeing him thrive is not impossible.
  • Bartolo Colon got lit up by the Indians, allowing 6 ER on 8 H and 0 BB, striking out 4, over 4.0 IP.  He does own a 1.14 WHIP, but has allowed 14 ER over his past 15.1 IP and entered the day with an unrealistic 0.24 BB/9 (as well as a 21.3% line drive rate).  In other words, don’t look at the WHIP and think that he’s a viable option.
  • A rain delay chased both CC Sabathia (4.0 IP, 1 ER, 1 H, 1 BB, 2 K) and Jeff Francis (4.0 IP, 2 ER, 4 H, 2 BB, 3 K) from their starts prematurely.  Most don’t have much interest in Francis, but for Sabathia owners it clearly cost him a chance at a victory.
  • Having not played since May 5, outside of appearing as a pinch hitter on Wednesday and being hit with the only pitch he saw, it was nice to see Troy Tulowitzki back in the starting lineup.  He went 1-3 and drew a walk.
  • Vernon Wells went 2-4 with 1 RBI and is now hitting .294 with 7 HR and 16 RBI on the season.  While he had struggled to hit for a good average the previous few seasons, he also had suffered from poor BABIP (.214 and .226), so seeing an improvement isn’t a surprise.  The power may not be sustainable, given an inflated HR/FB and since it hasn’t been aided by Yankee Stadium (4 of his HR have come on the road).  Enjoy this while you can, but don’t expect it to continue.
  • It was a poor outing from Doug Fister, who allowed 5 R (4 earned) on 8 H and 1 BB, striking out 4, over 3.0 IP.  He had done a great job generating groundballs (10+ groundballs in each of his previous 6 starts) and hadn’t allowed more than 3 ER heading into the game.  He should get things back on track quickly.
  • Andy Dirks was slotted into the fifth spot in the order yesterday, though it was only because Victor Martinez was out of the lineup due to the loss of the DH.  He went 0-4, squandering his opportunity (though he has been hitting better of late).
  •  Interesting to see the Royals shake up their lineup, setting the top three as Alcides Escobar (0-5), Lorenzo Cain (1-4, 1 R) and Alex Gordon (2-4, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 2 R).  It’ll be interesting to see if the order sticks, as it would benefit Gordon in the RBI department and should continue to allow him to score.  He has now homered in three straight games and owns a five game hitting streak (8-23 with 3 HR, 7 RBI and 5 R).
  • Eric Hosmer went 2-4 with 1 HR, 2 RBI and 1 R, his first home run of the season.  Fantasy owners can only hope that it’s the start of things to come at this point.
  • John Lackey was betrayed by his defense, as he allowed 5 runs but only 1 earned run.  He went 7.0 innings and allowed 6 H and 1 BB, striking out 8.  While he owns an impressive 2.82 ERA this season, does anyone really expect him to continue being a viable option?
  • It was a big day for Oswaldo Arcia, going 2-4 with 1 HR, 2 RBI and 2 R (his other hit was a triple).  He now owns a seven game hitting streak, going 12-27 with 1 HR, 4 RBI and 4 R.  On April 25 he was hitting .150, but he’s now at .313 with 3 HR and 11 RBI.  He should continue to hold value in five-outfielder formats.
  • Ike Davis didn’t start the game, thanks to a LHP on the hill, but he entered as a pinch hitter and went 1-1 with 1 RBI.  Could it be the start of things to come?  Keep your fingers crossed, but the schedule in the next week could be beneficial.
  • Jeff Locke took a no decision, allowing 1 ER on 3 H and 3 BB, striking out 3, over 6.0 IP.  While the numbers are impressive, he continues to struggle with both K and BB, which is necessary for his long-term success.
  • It was another mediocre start for R.A. Dickey, allowing 3 runs (2 earned) on 5 H and 5 BB, striking out 5, over 6.0 IP.  It’s the third time this season where he has walked 4 batters or more and he has struck out more than 5 just once in eight starts.  Last season he walked 4+ twice all year and struck out 5 or fewer 12 times.  There has been some poor luck (65.7% strand rate), but it’s not enough to explain the issues.  While he should improve, unless he figures out his control/strikeouts he isn’t going to come close to last season’s numbers.
  • David Price allowed 4 R (2 earned) on 7 H and 1 BB, striking out 8, over 8.0 innings of work.  It was a nice outing and hopefully the sign of things to come.
  • Don’t look now, but Josh Hamilton went 2-4 with 1 HR, 1 RBI and 1 R, giving him home runs in back-to-back games.  Of course, of his four home runs all of them have come courtesy of the Astros (.304 with 6 RBI and 4 R in 23 AB).  Now, if he can only start producing against other teams, huh?
  • Jose Altuve went 3-5 with 1 R and 1 SB, his sixth multi-hit game in his past nine.  He also is on a modest five-game hitting streak, going 10-21 with 1 HR, 3 RBI, 4 R and 2 SB.  Sliding into the third spot in the order only is going to add to his potential fantasy appeal.
  • For the second time in three starts Cole Hamels walked 5+ batters (6.0 IP, 2 ER, 6 H, 5 BB, 3 K).  While he has been able to keep his ERA down, unless he corrects the issue the problems are going to come.  He’s an ace, so don’t panic, but we need to keep tabs on him.
  • Patrick Corbin allowed 1 ER on 4 H and 2 BB, striking out 4, over 6.1 IP to improve to 5-0 with a 1.75 ERA and 1.06 WHIP.  He does have a good makeup and should continue to pitch well, but an 87.4% strand rate tells us something is going to give.  Be prepared for a regression in his future.
  • The struggles of Ryan Vogelsong continued, allowing 6 ER on 7 H and 3 BB, striking out 7, over 4.1 IP.  Home runs continue to be a problem, as he allowed 1 yesterday and owns a 2.06 HR/9 on the season.  He also hasn’t been bad enough to justify his .367 BABIP and 59.2% strand rate.  While we should expect an improvement, until we see it he should be stashed safely on your bench.

Bullpen Notes:

  • Jason Grilli was called upon in a non-save situation, but he failed allowing 1 ER on 2 H over 0.1 IP to take the loss.  It happens and he has been fantastic this season.  While Mark Melancon is clearly waiting in the wings, it’s going to take a series of implosions for Grilli to be removed.
  • Fernando Rodney finally got on the mound since Monday’s implosion (2 ER over 1.1 IP) and he was sharp, allowing 1 H with 2 K over his inning of work.  However, it was a non-save situation and we’ll have to see how he does with the game on the line (though it was tied when he was called upon).
  • In the first game since J.J. Putz went down the Diamondbacks bullpen went Matt Reynolds in the seventh (0.2 IP, 0 ER, 1 H, 0 BB, 0 K), David Hernandez in the eighth (1.0 IP, 0 ER, 0 H, 0 BB, 1 K) and Heath Bell in the ninth (1.0 IP, 0 ER, 1 H, 0 BB, 0 K).  Bell is the closer, for now, but given his recent history it is tough to trust him.  Stashing Hernandez, if you need saves, makes a lot of sense.
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2 comments

  1. Joey Gladstone says:

    Hey there! Great job as usual…

    I have a quick question I was hoping you could help me out with? Who do you like better for the rest of the season?

    Freddie Freeman or Allen Craig?
    Shin Shoo Choo or Alex Gordon?

    Thanks in advance!

    • Rotoprofessor says:

      As I said in the other post, I would go Freeman.

      As for the other, need is a factor. Does your team need anything in particular?

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