Around The Majors: July 7: David Price Is Back, Michael Brantley Is Undervalued and More

by Will Overton

Yesterday was a busy day and it seemed as though there was an especially high amount of big performances, or at least significant ones. We had a lot of solid pitching performances from the established stars to the young guys are on their way up. There was also plenty of  big hitting to even things out as well.

Here’s the breakdown of all the important stat standouts:

 

  • One had to think Hiroki Kuroda was going to see a rough patch eventually, his last two games he gave up five HR’s combined, if that was his rough patch I think that’s alright. Last night he got back on track with no runs surrendered in seven innings and struck out four. This was also a good sign as he was struggling with a hip flexor going into this.
  • Things are heating up for Trevor Plouffe and the chance to snatch him up off of waivers is going to disappear soon. Plouffe went deep yesterday and now has four homeruns in his last nine games. At the beginning of the season it looked like his power burst last year might have been a fluke, but we’re seeing it come back together now and with his being available in 80% of leagues he could be a nice addition.
  • He’s almost at this point now, but while Melky Cabrera is on the DL Rajaj Davis should be owned in all leagues. Davis went 2 – 4 yesterday with 3 R, 1 HR, 3 RBI and 1 SB. Don’t expect more power from him, but he does have 8 R and 8 SB in his last ten games and that’s where his value lies right now.
  • A nice outing from Joe Saunders yesterday, shutting down the dangerous Reds lineup in Cincinnati. Saunders only allowed one run in seven innings on six hits and no walks. This is the fourth time in six games and sixth time in eight games that Saunders has allowed one earned run in a start and he has a 2.70 ERA in those last eight starts. Saunders has good control, doesn’t strike many out, he is what he is. Right now the most fantasy relevance here is that he’s holding up the Mariners young more intriguing pitching prospects.
  • After finding success in his first two major league starts this season Robbie Erlin has gotten a little bit beat up the last two times out. Erlin was roughed up by the Nationals yesterday allowing nine runs in four innings. We’ll see if the Padres decide to roll him back out again or if he goes back to Triple-A for fine tuning. Still a lot of upside here, but it’ll be hard to use him if they throw him again.
  • One of the guys beating up on Erlin was fellow rookie and highly touted prospect Anthony Rendon. I honestly had my reservations about whether he could stick when he came up, but he has excelled in the big leagues including going 2 – 5 yesterday with a HR. Rendon is now hitting .303 and while he only had 1 HR in his first 124 AB’s, he now has two of them in his last five games.
  • The Phillies continue to get impressive performances from surprising starter Jonathan Pettibone. He allowed one run in 5.1 IP yesterday with 6 K, his second straight game with 6 K’s. Pettibone has a 2.35 ERA his last four starts, if he can start bringing a few more K’s like this to the table he’s got real fantasy value.
  • There doesn’t seem to be any slowing down Domonic Brown this season. Brown went 2 – 4 yesterday and hit his 23rd HR of the season and scored a pair of runs. Brown has now raised his batting average up to .281 for the season he keeps on driving in runs with 62 now. The power hasn’t slowed either with 3 HR’s in his last ten games.
  • It sucked to lose David Price for the better part of two months in fantasy, but it seems to have done him some good. Price pitched a complete game yesterday allowing one run and striking out five. He’s allowed just the one run in 16 IP since coming back with 15 K and 0 BB. This is the David Price who had established himself as a top ten pitcher.
  • What a disappointment Josh Reddick has been so far. I think he may have done more in his last three games than the rest of the season. Reddick was 2 – 5 yesterday with a HR and is 5 – 12 with 5 R, 1 HR and 7 RBI. It’s only three games, but something has to kick start a revival if one is going to come.
  • I think it might be time to start taking Jeremy Hefner seriously and see his ownership rise from 20%. Hefner only gave up one run in seven innings yesterday on two this and he struck out eight. Hefer has a 1.64 ERA his last seven games and he has a 37/8 K:BB ratio in 44 IP. He won’t keep this up, but he’s proving to be a good pitcher.
  • Opposing Hefner yesterday was Tom Gorzelanny getting a spot start with Wily Peralta banged up. Gorzelanny held his own allowing two runs in six innings, neither of them earned. He also struck out eight. Gorzelanny has been great out of the pen so far so I don’t see a permanent move, but he could get another start if Peralta doesn’t rebound quickly.
  • Right off the DL Jose Tabata has strung together a nice few games. Tabata was 2 – 3 yesterday with 1 R and 1 RBI and is now 7 – 17 in five games since coming back off of the DL. Tabata is playing every day which is nice for fantasy owners. We need to see him start racking up some steals though to have significant value as he doesn’t have power.
  • The ERA dropped a little further for Chad Gaudin who now has a 2.44 ERA after surrendering only one run in seven innings yesterday. He now has a 2.86 ERA in five starts for the Giants. Gaudin also struck out nine batters in the game, while his K’s are inconsistent, he can rack them up at times.  I don’t know how this is going to last, but the Giants have pulled this kind of thing out at times before.
  • Things have been up and down a little more lately for Patrick Corbin than earlier, but he was incredible yesterday and his amazing season continues on. Corbin struck out ten in eight innings yesterday allowing only one run. The strikeouts had been a little down the last several starts, so it was good to see him pick that back up yesterday.
  • After posting a 6.16 ERA his last five starts Lance Lynn bounced back nicely yesterday to collect his 11th win of the season. Lynn went 7 IP with 7 H, 2 R, 1 BB and 7 K. Now we just need to see Lynn do this on the road a bit more often as that has been his downfall so far this season. Lynn has a 5.03 ERA on the road compared to 2.45 at home.
  • It’s surprising to see Michael Brantley as owned in just 50% of leagues on ESPN. Brantley was 3 – 4 yesterday with 3 R, 2 HR and 5 RBI. Brantley is now 12 for his last 31 with 7 R. Brantley doesn’t necessarily do anything exceptionally well, but he does everything pretty well and there is a place for a guy like that. Nick Markakis has been making a fantasy living off of that being owned in every league for several years.
  • Seeing as how he allowed ten runs in his last ten innings over his previous two starts Corey Kluber needed a bounce back. He got one yesterday by striking out ten Tigers hitters in 6.1 IP and allowing just two runs. Despite some recent struggles I do still like Kluber and this is a good example of the potential he has.
  • Despite taking the loss it was another fantastic start for John Lackey who is having an incredible career resurgence. Lackey allowed two runs in seven innings and struck out nine batters. Lackey now has a quality start in nine of his last ten outings and has allowed two runs or less in eight of his last ten. There aren’t many leagues left in which Lackey is available, but he’s earned this, it’s been an amazing run.
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