10 Stories From 05/06/14 Box Scores: Is Roenis Elias For Real, Should Owners Target Homer Bailey & More

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

On the day that Clayton Kershaw (7.0 IP, 0 ER, 9 H, 0 BB, 9 K, W) finally returned and Tommy Hunter continued to potentially pitch his way out of the ninth inning in Baltimore (1.0 IP, 0 ER, 1 H, 2 BB, 1 K, S) by making it exciting, there were plenty of other important stories to note.  Let’s take a look at what fantasy owners need to know:


1) Henderson Alvarez dynamite, but don’t get overly excited…
The Mets are certainly no offensive juggernaut, but that shouldn’t take away from what was a stellar performance from Alvarez.  He tossed a complete game shutout, allowing just 6 H and 0 BB while striking out 7.  Strikeouts have been the major question for Alvarez, entering the day with a 5.55 K/9 (and considering the Mets are among the most strikeout prone teams in the league, this performance shouldn’t get us excited) and 6.1% SwStr% (5.8% for his career).  He does bring control and groundballs, however, which was on full display again last night (13 groundballs).  The limited strikeout potential caps his value as a backend option and nothing more, but he’s usable just the same.


2) Josh Tomlin pitches well, further delaying Trevor Bauer…
The assumption was that when Carlos Carrasco was removed from the rotation, it would be top prospect Bauer who would be summoned to replace him.  Instead it was Tomlin, which appeared to have disaster written all over it (career 4.92 ERA), thrived in his first start allowing 1 ER (a solo home run to Chris Colobello, who went 1-4 with 1 HR, 1 RBI and 1 R) on 4 H and 1 BB, striking out 4, over 6.2 IP.  He had been pitching well at Triple-A (2.06 ERA in 5 starts), but does anyone really believe this?  His strikeout potential is still extremely limited (just 7.7 K/9 over his minor league career, 6.7 at Triple-A) and should be prone to the long ball.  His time is limited, so just continue to wait for Bauer to arrive.


3) Cody Asche warming up at the right time…
He needed to turn things around if he wanted to keep the surging Maikel Franco at Triple-A, and he appears to have answered the bell.  He went 4-4 with 1 HR, 4 RBI and 1 R yesterday, giving him 2 HR in his past three games (7-14 with 2 HR, 5 RBI and 2 R over his past four).  He’s now hitting .257 on the season with a 26.4% line drive rate and a 25.9% strikeout rate (though since April 12 he has just 10 K over 44 AB).  There’s still value, as Franco isn’t quite ready to emerge from the minors, and Asche could continue to see his average rise.  If someone in your league gave up on him, he’s worth scooping up for now.


4) Robbie Ray impresses in his Major League debut…
Of course, it was against the Astros and he was given plenty of run support to work with (including a 4-5 night from Miguel Cabrera, with 1 HR, 4 RBI and 2 R).  Still, that shouldn’t detract from the impressive outing as he allowed 1 ER on 5 H and 1 BB, striking out 5, over 5.1 innings of work.  He owned a 1.53 ERA and 1.13 WHIP at Triple-A prior to his recall, but had seen his strikeouts drop (6.4 K/9, vs. 8.9 for his minor league career) and generally has had questionable control (3.8 BB/9 over his minor league career).  Throw in limited groundball stuff (37.1% since 2011) and he’s going to be a risky option.


5) Gavin Floyd makes his season debut…
He also pitches well in the process, allowing 1 ER on 6 H and 2 BB, striking out 5, over 7.0 innings in a no decision against the Cardinals (of course, stymying St. Louis isn’t as impressive as it once was).  Floyd has long been an intriguing pitcher, though never seemed to be able to put things together with the White Sox.  Could the move back to the NL be just what he needed to excel, now that he’s healthy again?  It’s very possible, assuming he has his control back.  In deeper formats, grabbing him now isn’t a bad idea.


6) Gordon Beckham enjoys a strong day at the dish…
Maybe that’s an understatement, as he went 4-5 with 1 HR, 1 RBI and 2 R.  Of course he’s still hitting just .234 on the season to go along with limited power and no speed.  It was a nice day, but he’s still a major risk to lose his job completely (or potentially get traded) to allow Marcus Semien to play 2B and either Conor Gillaspie or Matt Davidson man the hot corner.


7) Should Drew Stubbs be garnering our attention…
While Charlie Blackmon continues to thrive (2-6, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 2 R yesterday), Stubbs has quietly produced with Michael Cuddyer on the DL.  He went 3-5 with 1 HR, 1 RBI, 3 R and 1 SB yesterday and now has back-to-back three-hit games and is hitting .311 with 2 HR and 1 SB on the season.  Of course, with the way Blackmon is playing, when everyone is healthy it’s hard to imagine where Stubbs could possibly fit into the lineup.  He’s only had 61 AB this season, but he does have his strikeouts down a little bit (24.6% vs. 29.2% for his career).  Of course, he’s also benefiting from a lot of luck (.386 BABIP) and also is simply driving the ball into the ground (52.2% groundball rate).  He’s always going to be alluring thanks to his power/speed potential, but he’s best left for the desperate in the deepest of formats.


8) Ernesto Frieri not closing after all…
There were reports yesterday that he wasn’t actually expected to return to the closers role, except Joe Smith was ill.  He was inserted into a tie game yesterday and promptly gave up a home run to Brian Roberts (2-4, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 1 R) to get saddled with the loss.  While it wouldn’t be surprising to see Frieri return to the closer’s role at some point, it does appear that Smith is going to get a bit more time with the job.  If someone in your league dropped him too quickly, don’t hesitate to snatch him up now.


9) Roenis Elias pitches well once again…
While it wasn’t the blow away performance he had against the Yankees, he still earned the W against the A’s by allowing 3 ER on 5 H and 3 BB, striking out 6, over 6.1 innings of work.  On the season he now owns an 8.06 K/9, 4.14 BB/9 and 50.5% groundball rate.  The strikeouts and groundballs are nice, and there is hope that he can improve the walk rate (3.1 BB/9 in the minors, though we have to remember he never pitched above Double-A).  While he’s not going to be an ace, there’s actually a lot to like from Elias and he’s proven to be a viable option in all formats at this point.


10) Just what should we make of Homer Bailey’s struggles…
He gave us hope in his last outing, but Bailey regressed yesterday against the Red Sox allowing 3 ER on 5 H and 5 BB, striking out 5, over 6.0 IP.  While he struggled with walks yesterday, it hasn’t been a major problem this season with a 3.12 BB/9.  He also has continued to generate strikeouts (8.48 K/9 with a 9.7% SwStr%) and groundballs (52.8%, including 11 yesterday).  So, what exactly is the problem?  It’s more of a luck thing, with a .369 BABIP despite a 19.7% line drive rate and a 20.0% HR/FB.  Both of those things should correct themselves, so I certainly wouldn’t panic.  Now may be the best time to try and acquire him, as his value may never get lower and he seems destined to turn it around.


Sources – ESPN, Fangraphs, MLB.com, Baseball Reference, Minor League Central


  1. Paul says:

    In a redraft league, who would you rather roster out of Elias, Floyd and Stroman? Or are they all better stream options?

  2. Milo says:

    You call on Hamels looking true…I still have him on dynasty team but is it time to let hiom go?

    • Rotoprofessor says:

      I actually just took a look at him this morning and I def. would sit tight. There should be better days ahead

  3. Doug DeLorean says:

    With Joe Smith feeling shoulder tightness, I do think Frieri has the job at the moment and should keep it if he performs in his next save opp.

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