10 Stories From 05/10/14 Box Scores: Samardzija Thrives Again, Is M. Perez Worth Dropping & More

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

With a full slate of games, there definitely were a lot of stories coming out of yesterday’s games.  What are the most important things for fantasy owners to know?  Let’s take a look:

 

1) Is it Marcus Stroman time in Toronto…
The thought process has been that it’s Drew Hutchison’s rotation spot that will eventually be given to Marcus Stroman.  However, it’s far more likely that he assumes the spot of J.A. Happ.  In fact, don’t be surprised to hear news of the change as soon as today or tomorrow (totally conjecture on my part, though).  Happ was terrible against the Angels yesterday, allowing 4 ER on 7 H and 1 BB, striking out 4, over 2.1 IP.  Among the hits were a pair of HR, including the first in the career of C.J. Cron (2-4, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 2 R).  The fact is, Happ just isn’t very good and in the highly competitive AL East you just can’t afford to give away games.  Maybe it’s not this turn through the rotation, but by the end of May it would be shocking if Stroman hasn’t been moved into a starting role.  If you are in a deeper format and he’s still available, don’t hesitate at this point.

 

2) “Closers” struggle in Baltimore, but are any changes coming…
OK, maybe we shouldn’t use the plural since it’s really anybody’s guess as to who the closer actually is in Houston (Jesse Crain can’t return soon enough).  It was Anthony Bass who got the opportunity yesterday, allowing 1 ER on 3 H and 1 BB in his inning of work.  There’s no value there.  On the other side it was Tommy Hunter who blew his second save, allowing 2 ER on 3 H over 0.2 IP.  He’s now allowed runs in three consecutive outings and owns a 1.67 WHIP, so you have to wonder if the Orioles could soon consider giving Zach Britton (who worked the eighth inning) an opportunity to close.  If you are desperate for saves, as we’ve said recently, he’s a recommended grab before it’s too late.

 

3) Jeff Samardzija dominant once again, so is it time to sell…
There shouldn’t be any concerns from fantasy owners (he threw only 69 pitches), as it was because of a rain delay and recent workload that he was limited.  He certainly made the most of his pitches, tossing 6.0 shutout innings allowing 2 H and 1 BB, striking out 7, but remains winless as the Cubs couldn’t solve Ervin Santana (7.0 IP, 0 ER, 5 H, 1 BB, 7 K).  On the season Samardzija now owns a 1.45 ERA, 1.05 WHIP and 45 K over 56.0 innings of work.  He has benefited from an 84.2% strand rate this season, but he’s showing control (2.57 BB/9), groundballs (51.6%) and also has even more upside in the strikeout department (8.3% SwStr% compared to marks of 12.1% and 10.5% the past two seasons).  While not winning games is frustrating and there will likely be bumps along the road, as of right now he looks like a tremendous option in all formats.  Fantasy owners can only run him out there and wait for him to be sent to a better team via trade.

 

4) Corey Dickerson stars for the Rockies attack…
He certainly wasn’t the only one, as the team ripped five HR (including 3 off of Alfredo Simon, who allowed 5 ER over 3.0 IP).  Dickerson was the star, however, going 4-5 with 2 HR, 4 RBI and 3 R.  He’s now hitting .385 with 4 HR and 2 SB in 52 AB.  The real problem is, however, where he could fit into the lineup?  As it is he is sharing playing time with Drew Stubbs and, once Michael Cuddyer returns, there is no opening in the outfield with Charlie Blackmon (3-5, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 3 R) currently entrenched in one spot.  It was a great day, but there’s no real appeal at this point.

 

5) Erik Bedard stymies the Indians offense, but has no appeal…
It was a tremendous start, tossing 6.0 shutout innings allowing 1 H and 3 BB, striking out 4, to earn the victory.  Over 26.2 IP this season he now owns a 3.38 ERA, 1.43 WHIP and 5.74 K/9.  The control hasn’t been good (4.73 BB/9), he’s not generating groundballs (28.6%) and he’s not getting swings and misses (5.3% SwStr%).  In other words, while he’s coming off an impressive outing, he has absolutely no fantasy appeal.  Pitching in the AL East, it’s only a matter of time before the hits start coming.

 

6) Martin Perez struggles again, but is it time to give up…
Perez got pounded by the Red Sox, allowing 6 ER on 9 H and 4 BB, striking out 4, over 3.2 IP.  Over his past three starts he’s now allowed 19 ER on 24 H and 10 BB over 13.1 IP.  It’s been pathetic, to say the least, as he’s started struggling to generate groundballs, continues to allow walks and has been burnt by home runs (3 HR over his past two starts).  While we knew a regression was coming, this is a bit extreme and he should right the ship once again.  He now owns below average marks in both his BABIP (.315) and strand rate (68.4%) and also could increase his strikeouts (7.2% SwStr% vs. 9.8% in ’13).  Don’t give up on him, but also don’t consider him a must start.

 

7) Chase Headley returns from the DL…
He was slotted into the fifth spot of the lineup, going 1-3 with 1 HR, 3 RBI and 2 R.  He is now hitting .192 on the season with 3 HR and 10 RBI.  Considering he owns a .220 BABIP (22.6% line drive rate), there’s no question that the average is going to recover.  While he may not be the source of power he was in 2012, there’s significantly more value than he’s shown thus far.  Stay the course and, if possible, he’s worth acquiring if you can on the cheap.

 

8) Tanner Roark bounces back strong…
After getting pummeled in his last outing (7 ER over 4.0 IP), he completely shut down the A’s allowing 1 ER on 2 H and 0 BB, striking out 5, over 7.0 IP.  He was cost a W, however, when Rafael Soriano blew the save (2 ER on 3 H over 1.0 IP).  He owns a 3.65 ERA and 1.08 WHIP, as he continues to display tremendous control (2.03 BB/9).  He’s no All-Star, but he’s a viable option in all deeper formats.

 

9) Chris Young pitches well once again for the Mariners…
Did anyone really expect this?!  He allowed 1 ER on 3 H and 0 BB, striking out 3, over 8.0 innings yesterday to defeat the Royals.  Yes, the matchup was favorable, but he’s now 3-0 with a 2.63 ERA and 1.06 WHIP on the season.  Of course, he’s also failing to strike people out (4.30 K/9) and has benefited from a .179 BABIP.  He easily could become extremely homer prone (58.6% fly ball rate) and is too big of a risk to invest in.

 

10) Seth Smith falls a single short of the cycle…
He went 3-4 with 1 HR, 4 RBI and 2 R, putting him at .327 with 3 HR and 13 RBI on the season.  We have to remember, though, that he rarely gets an opportunity to play against LHP (12 plate appearances), so he’s more of an option in daily formats or in weeks where he has a lot of righties on the schedule and little more.

 

Sources – ESPN, Fangraphs

4 comments

  1. Arnie says:

    Thanks for the update … especially for the situation in Baltimore. For the save desperate, who would you pick from among Britton, O’Day, Shaw, JSmith, and Broxton from this point out??

    (I mention Britton and o”Day in case Hunter is deposed, Smith & Shaw in case there’s a committee and Broxton on the chance that Chapman, now back, might get rest days or might under-perform).

    Thanks!

  2. asdfasdf says:

    Hey, by the way I think you meant Dustin McGowan instead of Drew Hutchison. I doubt Hutchison is going anywhere.

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