by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)
The regular season has come to a close (outside of the on game play-in set for tonight, though that doesn’t count in all leagues). What takeaways should we have? Besides the no hitter that stole the show that is… Let’s take a look:
- On the final day of the season Henderson Alvarez completely stole the show by outpitching Justin Verlander (6.0 IP, 0 ER, 3 H, 1 BB, 10 K) and throwing a no hitter against the Tigers. He allowed just 1 BB and 4 K, finishing at 5-6 with a 3.59 ERA and 1.14 WHIP. If he could only discover more of a strikeout rate (5.09 K/9 entering the day), he could be a tremendous option as he already has control (2.50 BB/9) and groundball stuff (53.1%). He definitely left a lasting impression, but don’t let it completely skew your thinking.
- Eric Young Jr. secured the stolen base title, going 1-4 with 1 RBI, 1 R and 2 SB, despite not being an everyday player until he arrived in New York. Despite stealing 38 bases in 91 games in NY, he is far from guaranteed a regular spot in the Mets lineup in 2014. He entered the day hitting .251 with the Mets with a .319 OBP. Sure he gave the team a boost, but what the team does in the offseason will dictate his role.
- Matt Moore finishes the season at 17-4 with a 3.29 ERA, but his control continues to be a major concern. He allowed 3 ER on 6 H and 3 BB, striking out 4, over 5.1 IP yesterday against the Blue Jays. He has walked 3+ batters in five of his six September starts and he entered the day with a 4.53 BB/9 overall. If he can’t get that in order, he’s never going to be more than a mid-level option. Does he have the potential to be an ace? Absolutely, but it’s going to take an evolution to get there.
- The Braves piled on 12 R and 17 H, with Evan Gattis helping to lead the way. He went 3-5 with 1 HR, 2 RBI and 1 R, finishing at .243 with 21 HR and 65 RBI. There’s no questioning that he has power, but a .251 BABIP based on a 14.8% line drive rate (entering the day) is concerning. As long as you are only looking for power, he’s going to have value as a catcher (assuming Brian McCann leaves via free agency).
- Ubaldo Jimenez completed his second renaissance in style, allowing 1 ER on 5 H and 1 BB, striking out 13, over 6.2 IP. Before we get to excited, keep in mind he entered the day with a second half strand rate of 80.9% and a walk rate of 3.03 (well below his career norm). If he can’t maintain that control into 2014 he is going to regress. Keep that in mind before planning on depending on him.
- The disappointing season of Starlin Castro finally came to a quiet close, going 0-4 with 1 K. He finished hitting .245 with 10 HR, 44 RBI, 59 R and 9 SB. The question is now how far he is going to fall on 2014 draft day? The line drive rate was still there (20.0% entering the day),and he did rip 34 doubles. Don’t be surprised if he comes back incredibly strong next season.
- Craig Gentry went 2-3 with 2 RBI, 1 R and 2 SB, giving him 10 SB over his final 10 games of the season. If you took the flier on him two weeks ago in search of some speed, you were handsomely rewarded.
- Sonny Gray finished on a high note, tossing 5.0 shutout innings allowing 3 H and 3 BB, striking out 8, against the Seattle Mariners. He finishes at 5-3 with a 2.67 ERA, 1.11 WHIP and 67 K. He entered the day showing strikeouts (9.00 K/9), control (2.59 BB/9) and groundball stuff (51.8%). In other words, he’s a player that has to be on your radar in 2014.
- Jim Johnson allowed 1 ER on 3 H and 0 BB, striking out 1, over his inning to lock down save 50 of the season. That gives him back-to-back 50 save seasons. Is he an elite closer? Not really, but it’s hard to disregard him at this point.
- Greg Holland wrapped up an impressive season, allowing 2 H and 1 BB, with 2 K, in his inning to earn save 47. Pair that with a 1.21 ERA, 0.87 WHIP and 103 K and how can you go wrong? It obviously will be nearly impossible for him to replicate that success, though there’s no questioning his overall upside. As one of the elite strikeout artists in the closers role, he should likely be a Top 5 option heading into 2014.
- Was this Huston Street’s final appearance as a closer for the Padres? If it was, he finished on a sour note. He allowed 2 ER on 3 H and 2 BB, failing to record an out, to blow just his second save of the season. His name will definitely be bandied about in trade rumors, so time will tell.
Sources – ESPN, Fangraphs