10 Important Stories From 04/13/14 Box Scores: Have Tyson Ross and/or Ivan Nova Restored Their Value & More

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

What were the big stories from yesterday’s games?  Who thrived?  Who has emerged onto our radars?  Who should we be ready to cut bait on?  Let’s take a look at all the important stories:

 

1) Colby Rasmus continues hot streak…
Rasmus went 3-4 with 1 HR, 3 RBI and 2 R, taking Ubaldo Jimenez deep (Jimenez, meanwhile, got torched for 5 ER on 10 H and 2 BB over 5.1 innings, falling to 0-3 and continuing to prove that last season’s “resurgence” wasn’t real).  Rasmus has now homered in back-to-back games but was forced from the game with hamstring tightness (though reports are that the injury isn’t considered serious).  There’s no questioning the power potential, but he continues to strikeout a significant amount (he entered the day with a 32.6% strikeout rate after posting a 29.5% mark a year ago).  It’s impossible to hit for a strong average with that type of number, meaning he’s never going to be a must play option (consider him similar to Adam Dunn, though with less home run potential).

 

2) Alexei Ramirez’ hot streak continued, but can it last…
He went 2-4 with 1 HR, 2 RBI and 1 R yesterday, putting him at .420 with 3 HR, 12 RBI, 11 R and 3 SB despite hitting towards the bottom of the order.  Granted it’s working, but how long can the White Sox wait until they push him up towards the top?  His power had disappeared in recent seasons, and you could easily argue that what he’s done early on is a mirage more than anything.  All you need to know is that he entered the day with a 25.6% fly ball rate and an 18.2% HR/FB (career mark is 8.3%).  He’s also driving the ball into the ground repeatedly (55.8%) and has benefited from a .420 BABIP.  In other words, while he should be a viable middle infield option thanks to his stolen base potential, be prepared for his bubble to burst before long.

 

3) Martin Perez thrives against the Astros, but is he worth owning…
With the Rangers opting to push Colby Lewis’ season debut back, Perez got the call against the Astros and made the most of it.  He tossed 8.0 shutout innings allowing 5 H and 3 BB, striking out 2, to earn the victory.  He now owns a 2.70 ERA and 1.30 WHIP over his first three starts, though with just 12 K over 20.0 IP.  He has limited the walks, though, and also entered with a 58.8% groundball rate (and generated another 13 yesterday).  The potential is also there for the strikeouts to come (9.8% SwStr% last season) and when it does the whole thing will come together.  That alone makes him worth owning in most formats.

 

4) Raul Ibanez helps pummel Bartolo Colon and the Mets…
Colon got beaten up for 9 ER on 11 H in 5.0 IP, while he also allowed 4 HR.  The Angels ultimately hit five long balls, including one for Mike Trout (3-4, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 2 R) and Albert Pujols (1-4, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 1 R).  The most important HR for the Angels, though, was probably Raul Ibanez (1-3, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 1 R).  He’s now homered in back-to-back games and is going to be an extremely important part of the lineup with Josh Hamilton on the DL.  Before we get excited for the power, he also has an average of .205 and an OBP of .295.  Considering he slashed .203/.295/.345 in the second half of 2013, it’s a major concern.  C.J. Cron is certainly worth having on your radar, despite the recent power surge.

 

5) Justin Smoak was removed from the cleanup spot…
He was moved to the fifth spot, with Corey Hart moving up.  Neither looked good yesterday, with Smoak going 0-3 with 1 K and Hart going 0-4 with 2 K.  We mentioned yesterday how quickly Smoak’s hot streak had disappeared and the fact that the Mariners were willing to move him down in the lineup so quickly is quite telling.  Keep him stashed on your bench thanks to his potential, but right now it’s hard to count on him (as it is with the majority of the Mariners lineup outside of a select few).

 

6) Tyson Ross gets things on track…
He earned his first W of the season as he silenced the Tigers over 7.0 innings.  He allowed 1 ER on 6 H and 1 BB, striking out 7.  He still owns a 1.50 WHIP on the season, He had uncharacteristically struggled with his control over his first two starts (9 BB in 10.1 innings) and also had owned a 45.5% strand rate.  Hopefully you didn’t panic, though, and if someone in your league did don’t hesitate to snap him up.

 

7) Could Trevor Cahill be ticketed for the bullpen…
He got rocked by the Dodgers yesterday, allowing 7 R (6 earned) on 5 H and 5 BB, with 8 K, over 4.0 innings of work.  He’s now 0-4 with a 9.17 ERA and 2.17 WHIP on the season.  While he’s not this bad, it shouldn’t be a surprise that he’s struggling this season and he was never going to be a very good option.  The question is, how long of a leash are the Diamondbacks going to have with him?  With Archie Bradley ready in the minors, it may not be a long one (they also have Randall Delgado, who also lost his rotation spot recently).

 

8) Ben Zobrist explodes for a pair of home runs…
It was an ugly day for the Rays (they lost 12-4, but Zobrist enjoyed a big day as he went 2-4 with 2 HR, 4 RBI and 2 R hitting atop the order.  It had been a slow start (he entered with 1 HR, 2 RBI and 6 R), though his positional flexibility alone should keep him on your radar.  Throw in borderline 20/20 potential and he’s never a player to give up on.

 

9) Ivan Nova rights the ship…
He had a difficult matchup against the Red Sox, but pitched well.  He went 7.1 innings allowing 2 ER on 8 H and 0 BB, striking out 4, generating 9 groundball outs as well.  He’s still not generating enough strikeouts (4.32 K/9) or groundballs (49.2%) overall, but this was an important step in the right direction.  Don’t give up hope on him.

 

10) Closer news and notes…

  • Alexi Ogando earns the save for Texas…  Don’t read too much into it, as Joakim Soria had pitched the previous two days.  The takeaway should be that Ogando is next in line for saves, should Soria falter, but at this point Soria’s job is not in jeopardy.
  • Sean Doolittle picks up the save in Oakland…  This came after Luke Gregerson (who pitched the eighth inning yesterday) earned the first save after Jim Johnson was removed from the closer’s role.  The moral of this story?  This appears to be a true committee situation and makes it nearly impossible to trust anyone.  If you are desperate for saves?  Both Doolittle and Gregerson are worth owning right now, but don’t count on it.
  • Matt Lindstrom blows another save…  He allowed 2 R (0 earned) on 2 H and 1 BB in an inning to blow his second save, but ultimately was rewarded with a victory.  With Nate Jones on the DL he could have a bit more rope, but another blown save and the White Sox could easily make a move.

Sources – ESPN, Fangraphs

7 comments

  1. Paul says:

    Hey Prof,

    Great stuff! I am really enjoying reading your work. Going with Dozier over B. Miller is paying off already!

    I have one P spot where I am struggling to find stability. I have Mujica there right now but I would drop him if Koji’s test came back clean today.

    I was wondering if one of these FA jumped off the page as someone I should have there longer term or whether I should just keep steaming and play match ups

    Niese, Nova, Eovaldi, M. Perez, Morrow

    Thanks!

    Paul

    • Rotoprofessor says:

      I actually like all of them, depending on matchups, so if they are all FA I’d just stream them in and out until someone truly breaks away from the pack.

      I personally like Niese most, but he’s hardly a lock to put it all together this season (though I think he will if he stays healthy)

  2. BoB says:

    I also was looking at Eovaldi, Nova, and M. Perez. Of the three, which ones would you choose to keep as my FB League charges for add/drops. Looking to keeo one vs stream.

  3. Tuco says:

    Niese or T. Ross?

  4. Rotoprofessor says:

    BoB – It really could go any of the three, but I’d lean Nove with the highest upside (though with a slight negative trying to maneuver through the AL East).

    Tuco – Niese for me

  5. Paul says:

    How about this week specifically?

    Niese @ home vs Harang and ATL

    Eovaldi @ home vs. Chris Young and SEA

    M. Perez @ home vs. Felipe Paulino and CHI

    • Rotoprofessor says:

      Seattle has been struggling offensively of late, so I’d lean:

      – Eovaldi
      – Niese (Atlanta has struggled on the road)
      – Perez

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