by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)
Was there any signs of improvement for struggling players like Prince Fielder, Marcell Ozuna or Elvis Andrus? Did Jeff Locke continue his impressive campaign? Has the time come for a permanent change in the Detroit bullpen? Let’s answer these questions and all the rest from yesterday’s games:
- It was another big day for Chris Davis, going 3-5 with 2 HR, 5 RBI and 2 R, putting him at .337 with 26 HR and 66 RBI on the season. He entered the day with a .385 BABIP and 30.0% HR/FB, so we have to continue to think that another slump is going to come before long. Still, he’s proven that he has much HR potential as anyone in the league.
- What is going on with Prince Fielder? He went 0-4 yesterday and has now gone 14 consecutive games without a HR (only 6 RBI over that span). After hitting 7 HR in April, he has hit just 5 in his past 170 AB. Sooner or later we obviously have to expect him to catch fire, we’ll just have to sit tight and wait for it. With a loaded offense, he has had 27 RBI and 20 R over the past two months, so it’s obviously not a complete loss. Just stay patient, obviously.
- Marcell Ozuna went 0-4 as his struggles continued. In his past eight games he’s gone 2-31 with 0 RBI and 2 R. While he has ample power potential, he still has yet to show it (1 HR) and the luck is starting to regress (.366 BABIP), and could continue to do so. It’s hard to imagine, but you have to start to wonder if he could be ticketed for a return to the minor leagues before long.
- Cody Ross delivered a pinch hit home run, going 1-1 with 1 HR, 3 RBI and 1 R. It’s been a highly disappointing season (.257, 3 HR), but hopefully this is the start of something for him.
- Interesting to see Joaquin Arias hitting fifth for the Giants, playing shortstop and going 1-4. He has been playing regularly since Pablo Sandoval hit the DL and now owns a 10 game hitting streak (14-38, 0 HR, 5 RBI, 3 R and 0 SB). He doesn’t offer much in the power and speed departments, but does hold value in the deepest of formats if he’s going to stick in the middle of the lineup.
- It was a huge day for Hanley Ramirez, going 6-8 with 1 HR, 4 RBI and 3 R. Good things come to those who wait, don’t they? It’s been a year filled with injuries, but when healthy Ramirez offers tremendous potential at both SS and 3B. If you stuck with him, it’s days like this that prove it was worth it.
- Is there any slowing down Yasiel Puig, as he made his New York debut going 4-9 with 1 HR, 1 RBI, 4 R and 1 SB. He has been amazing since his debut, hitting .474 with 5 HR and 2 SB, but does anyone really expect this to continue? He entered the day with a .543 BABIP and 44.4% HR/FB. Obviously those numbers aren’t going to continue, but it’s been one heck of a start.
- Lonnie Chisenhall went 0-4 yesterday and is now 0-7 since being recalled from Triple-A. We are going to hear the hype, as always, but could he be productive this time around? We’ll take a closer look soon.
- Michael Brantley went 2-3 with 2 HR, 3 RBI and 2 R, putting him at .277 with 4 HR and 33 RBI on the season. He’s not known for his power, never hitting more than 7 HR in a Major League season (18 HR in 1,658 AB entering the day). It was a big day, but don’t get too caught up by it.
- It was a dominating performance from Gio Gonzalez, allowing 2 ER on 2 H and 2 BB, striking out 11, over 7.0 IP. Remember when his ERA at the end of April was 5.34? It’s now 3.34 as he has allowed more than 2 ER just once in his past nine outings. He has had his control issues (3+ BB four times over this stretch) and he has benefited from a .234 BABIP (despite a 20.9% line drive rate). In other words, don’t be surprised if he hits another rough patch before long.
- Adam Lind continues to rake against RHP, going 1-4 with 1 HR, 3 RBI and 1 R. He now owns a .321/.400/.541 slash against righties and is a nice fit for those in daily formats where you can plug and play him (he rarely plays against southpaws).
- Desmond Jennings went 2-4 with 1 HR, 1 RBI and 2 R hitting out of the second spot in the lineup. It’s hard not to call him a disappointment, with just 8 SB on the season, but he has hit 9 HR and seeing time back towards the top should allow him more opportunities to run. Don’t be surprised to see him catch fire before long, so don’t lose hope.
- As expected Eric Young Jr. was inserted immediately into center field and the leadoff spot for the Mets, where he went 1-4. We’ll take a much closer look at him later today, but if you are in need of SB he’s worth grabbing immediately. While he’s struggled overall (.243 average), he brings the potential to fill the two glaring needs for the Mets.
- Kris Medlen allowed 3 R (1 earned) on 6 H and 0 BB, striking out 7, over 7.0 IP to lower his ERA to 2.96. As we’ve said before, he has been hit hard this season (22.3% line drive rate) and he could eventually be removed from the rotation. Time will tell, but you may want to cash in before his value dries up completely.
- Another start, another impressive outing for the Pirates’ Jeff Locke. Taking on the Reds in Cincinnati he tossed 7.0 shutout innings allowing 4 H and 3 BB, striking out 3, in a no decision. While the numbers are impressive (2.01 ERA, 1.13 WHIP), as we have said he has benefitted from a lot of luck (.231 BABIP, 85.6% strand rate) and needs to improve both his strikeout (6.35 K/9) and walk (3.93 BB/9) rates, to go with the groundballs (53.5%) to continue to thrive. He has the potential to do it, but at this point he hasn’t shown any sign of it. That makes him a sell high candidate while you can.
- Elvis Andrus went 0-4 and is now 1-22 over his past five games and is without a SB in his past eight. He’s hitting .238 overall this season and, with Jurickson Profar sticking in the Majors for now, you have to begin to wonder if the Rangers could start putting Andrus on the bench a little bit more?
- Wasn’t the Twins supposed to be an easy matchup for Chris Sale? He allowed 4 ER on 8 H and 2 BB, striking out 5, over 5.0 IP and has now lost 4 straight starts. Of course, he allowed 1 ER or less in two of those starts and is still the owners of a 2.69 ERA and 0.96 WHIP. It’s just another prime example of why we don’t chase W.
- Rickie Weeks back in the leadoff spot? He went 2-4 with 1 HR, 2 RBI and 1 R, but he continues to share time despite hitting better of late. Keep him stashed if you have the room.
- It was a brilliant pitching matchup between C.J. Wilson (7.0 IP, 0 ER, 2 H, 2 BB, 3 K) and Joe Saunders (8.0 IP, 1 ER, 6 H, 2 BB, 3 K), but the bigger story was Josh Hamilton being dropped to seventh in the order. He went 0-3 with 2 K as he continues to struggle. He has to heat up sooner or later, though, doesn’t he?
- It was a non-save situation, but the beating that Jose Valverde took has got to get our attention. In his inning of work he allowed 4 ER on 5 H, striking out 1. On May 27 Valverde’s ERA sat at 0.75, but it’s now at 5.59. The Tigers have already proven to be skeptical of him (Joaquin Benoit recorded a 4 out save in his previous outing and has 2 saves in his past four appearances), so make sure to stash Benoit if he’s available.
- Heath Bell locked down a save, but he allowed 1 ER on 2 H and 1 BB, striking out 1. He allowed a HR, his fourth consecutive outing having allowed a HR. J.J. Putz can’t get back soon enough.
- It was an awful outing for Luke Gregerson, allowing hits to all 4 batters that he faced allowing 2 ER. You have to say that there was a bit of bad luck involved there, considering he through just 6 pitches in the appearance. Don’t read too much into it.
- With trade rumors has come a poor stretch for Jonathan Papelbon, who blew his second save in his past three outing (1.0 IP, 1 ER, 2 H, 1 BB, 2 K). Obviously there is no reason to be overly concerned at this point.
- Jason Grilli blew his first save of the season, allowing a solo home run to Jay Bruce. It was bound to happen sooner or later.
- Interesting to see the Brewers use John Axford in the seventh, Jim Henderson in the eighth and Francisco Rodriguez in the ninth. Henderson did nothing to lose his closers role, except for getting hurt, and it wouldn’t be surprising to see him back in the role before long.