10 Stories From 04/17/14 Box Scores: Should Fantasy Owners Give Up On Danny Salazar & More

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

It was another exciting day around the Majors, with some of the biggest star pitchers posting impressive performances (like James Shields striking out 12 against the Astros).  While those are nice, what are the things that fantasy owners need to know?  Let’s dive into the biggest stories from yesterday’s games:

 

1) Danny Salazar with another poor showing…
He lasted just 4.2 innings allowing 5 ER over 6 H and 3 BB, striking out 3, against the Tigers.  Things looked good through the first four innings, but he imploded in the fifth.  In his past two starts he’s now allowed 10 ER over 8.1 innings (though he did have 10 K in his last outing).  He now owns a 7.71 ERA and 1.93 WHIP, and home runs have been a significant issue (4 HR over 14.0 IP).  He entered the day with a 50% fly ball rate, and also had been hit relatively hard (25.0% line drive rate) when opponents do make contact.  Throw in the questions regarding his ability to work deep into games (something he still hasn’t shown) and things are heading in the wrong direction.  Obviously no one is about to give up on him, but don’t be surprised if he is relatively inconsistent all season long.

 

2) Corey Hart not only hits HR, but also plays RF…
It’s notable, because depending on your league rules he currently may only be eligible at 1B.  Obviously, gaining outfield eligibility would add flexibility and appeal (though he needs to prove that he can physically handle it).  At the plate he went 2-3 with 1 HR, 1 RBI and 1 R, giving him 4 HR and 6 RBI on the season.  For now he’s slotted in the cleanup spot, so the RBI opportunities certainly will continue to be there.

 

3) Matt Kemp struggling at the plate, but will he get back to elite levels…
He went 0-4 with 1 K yesterday and is now 0-7 with 3 K over his past two games.  He made a splash early, with 2 HR in his third game, but he’s hitting just .171 with 14 K over 35 AB.  Kemp also entered the day with a mediocre 16.7% line drive rate (though we would still expect better than a .200 BABIP).  Obviously it’s an incredibly small sample size, but Kemp is still rounding into shape and it could take some time for him to get back to his elite levels (if it’s even possible for him to get there).

 

4) Taylor Jordan pitching his way out of the rotation…
While Tanner Roark hasn’t been overly impressive (5.29 ERA, 1.41 WHIP), Jordan has been a bit worse.  Yesterday he allowed 7 R (5 earned) on 7 H and 2 BB, striking out 4, over 5.1 innings in a loss to the Cardinals.  He owns a 5.94 ERA and 1.74 WHIP, though he has posted a 50.0% groundball rate and 3.24 BB/9 (with the potential for more).  His upside is still arguably greater than Roark’s and should have a few more opportunities before Doug Fister returns from the DL.  In deeper formats, continue to keep him stashed if you have the room.

 

5) Is Edinson Volquez resurgence for real…
He allowed 2 ER on 8 H and 1 BB, striking out 3, over 7.0 IP to defeat the Brewers and currently owns a 1.71 ERA and 0.95 WHIP.  Of course he’s benefited from a .234 BABIP, so right off the bat there are concerns.  Given a career 4.68 BB/9, does anyone really buy into his current 1.71 mark?  The strikeouts are also down significantly (5.57 K/9), though there is some hope in that regard (9.3% SwStr%).  If you buy into the improved control than he’s going to be well worth holding onto.  Personally?  Selling high may be the best bet given his history.

 

6) CC Sabathia finally posts an impressive outing…
It was much needed, especially with David Price (5.0 IP, 6 ER, 10 H, 1 BB, 6 K) squaring off against him.  Sabathia allowed just 2 R (1 earned) on 7 H and 2 BB, striking out 6, over 7.0 innings of work.  Does this give us hope that he can thrive moving forward, despite averaging just 89.1 mph on his fastball?  He is still generating swings and misses (9.5% SwStr%)…  He does still have control (1.73 BB/9)…  He is generating groundballs (54.5%)…  Let’s call it cautious optimism right now, but we obviously still have reservations about him maintaining the strikeouts (and maybe the improved groundball rate as well).

 

7) Sergio Santos implodes, nearly ensuring his removal from the closer’s role…
Anything positive Santos had done over the first two and a half weeks of the season was undone in one fell swoop.  After Steve Delabar started the eighth inning, walking 2 of the 3 batters he faced, Santos entered the game to face three batters…  And walked them all (only 4 of 16 pitches thrown for strikes).  If that wasn’t bad enough, he also threw 3 wild pitches in the inning.  Casey Janssen has been shut down, for now, but you have to wonder if Santos will even see the next save opportunity after this ugly outing.  He owns an 8.44 ERA and 2.06 WHIP.  While there has been a little bit of bad luck (.500 BABIP), he’s now walked 6 batters in 5.1 innings.  Chances are he gets another shot, so don’t cut bait quite yet, especially with Delabar also struggling in this one.  However, unless he quickly proves this was an aberration, Janssen is looking like a good bet to reclaim the role upon his return.

 

8) Koji Uehara returns to the mound…
He earned the save against the White Sox, in what was a tremendous pitching duel between Jon Lester (8.0 IP, 1 ER, 7 H, 0 BB, 9 K, W) and Chris Sale (7.0 IP, 1 ER, 1 H, 3 BB, 10 K).  Uehara hadn’t pitched since April 9, but clearly there is nothing to worry about at this point.  Continue to view him as one of the elite closers in the game.

 

9) Billy Butler demoted to the sixth spot in the order…
Obviously it’s a knock on his value, as he was flipped with Salvador Perez (1-4, 1 RBI).  Butler went 1-3 with 1 R yesterday and needs to pick things up if he is going to regain his spot in the cleanup role.  We will take a closer look at Butler in the coming days, but we all know that his power surge from a few years ago appears to be an aberration.  At the same time, does anyone buy into his current 71.4% groundball rate?  He will right the ship, so don’t panic.

 

10) Kyle Gibson dominates Toronto to improve to 3-0…
He tossed 8.0 shutout innings allowing 4 H and 1 BB, striking out 4, to reduce his ERA to 0.93 and WHIP to 1.09.  While he’s obviously not this good (90.5% strand rate, .211 BABIP), his 57.9% groundball rate gives him hope to continue to thrive.  Overall he’s struggled with his control (4.19 BB/9), though that’s not indicative of his talent (2.5 BB/9 in the minors).  He’s also struggled to generate strikeouts (4.66 K/9), and hasn’t generated enough swings and misses (5.6% SwStr%) to make us think it’s going to change.  He was better in the minors (8.1 K/9 at Triple-A), but he needs to show us more in the Majors for us to believe it.  Does he have the potential to put together the perfect skill set?  Absolutely, but right now he is a near lock to regress significantly barring a change.

 

Sources – ESPN, Fangraphs, Minor League Central, Baseball Reference

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7 comments

  1. Ross says:

    Just made a deal for matt carpenter giving up jose Abreu and brad miller…I have goldy at 1st and brandon moss backing up and DHing. Also have Billy hamilton and george springer waiting in the wings to plug in if they get it rolling…good deal or bad deal?

    • Rotoprofessor says:

      Honestly, I think you overpaid a bit though I’m admittedly not as high on Carpenter as many are. I just think you could’ve gotten a little bit more for Abreu right now.

      • Ross says:

        Yeah that’s kind’ve how I felt…its a h2h league with Ks hurting you (-.5) and between gyorko and miller’s high swing and miss rates right now I may have gotten a little impatient. I guess it really depends how Abreu trends, if he continues to ascend to elite status, bad deal, if he settles in a little below that, good

  2. Jmax says:

    I’ve seen that Taylor Jordan’s velocity is down from last year. I think until that rebounds we’ll see more outings like this.

    • Rotoprofessor says:

      It is, as Fangraphs had him at 92.0 mph last season and 90.2 this year. Definitely something to monitor, but there is still upside if he can figure it out.

  3. Muddy Cleats says:

    Rest of season pts league – Hosmer or Adams? Sandavol or Frazier? thanks

    • Rotoprofessor says:

      As of right now I’d say Hosmer/Sandoval. I don’t believe my opinion on Sandoval will change.

      Hosmer, though? That’s extremely close. He continues to lack the power upside and while Adams hasn’t shown it yet, we all know it’s there. I would call that one razor thin, but part of me is starting to lean in the Adams direction.

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