10 Stories From 05/12/14 Box Scores: Reed’s Role In Jeopardy, Lincecum Shows Old Form & More

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

On the day we learned that Jose Fernandez could be heading towards Tommy John surgery, there were plenty of on-the-field stories fantasy owners need to know about.  Let’s take a look at the good and bad from yesterday’s action:

 

1) Rick Porcello wins again, though it doesn’t mean much…
He allowed 1 ER on 5 H and 0 BB, striking out 2, over 6.0 IP to improve to 6-1 with a 3.22 ERA and 1.03 WHIP.  They are impressive numbers, but outside of his overall control (1.21 BB/9) there are actually ample concerns.  The strikeouts, which spiked last season, are back down to 5. 84 K/9 (though with a similar 8.7% SwStr%).  The groundballs, which have also been his forte, are down to just 44.1% (52.5% for his career) and they have been offset by line drives (28.7%).  In other words, while he’s pitched well thus far, there’s a good chance that things go south before long.  One of our favorite sleepers entering the season he’s well worth owning, just be careful.

 

2) Eric Young Jr. showing why he needs to be in the Mets’ lineup…
The team hit four HR yesterday (Curtis Granderson, Travis d’Arnaud & Chris Young also homered), and while it’s not Eric Young’s game he had all of his skills on display yesterday.  He went 3-5 with 1 HR, 2 RBI, 2 R and 1 SB, putting him at .250 with 1 HR, 6 RBI, 25 R and 15 SB.  It’s become crystal clear that the Mets’ offense is different with him hitting atop it, even with the low average (his strikeouts are up to 22.9% this season, representing part of the problem), though it remains to be seen how the Mets are going to fit him into the lineup regularly.  With no one emerging at 1B, could Daniel Murphy shift there opening 2B up for Young?  At this point it wouldn’t be a surprise, as the team needs him in the lineup, so if you are a Young owner keep a close eye on that.

 

3) Brett Lawrie returns to the lineup…  And also gains 2B eligibility…
If you play in a league that requires 5 games played for eligibility you got a little bit of a bonus yesterday as Lawrie made his fifth appearance at 2B.  It’s a nice little boost to his value, adding a little flexibility to your team.  He also went 1-3 with 1 HR, 2 RBI and 1 R, putting him at .231 with 7 HR and 23 RBI on the season.  He continues to show his developing power, but can his average rise?  While he’s not striking out (18.3%), he’s also not hitting the ball hard (13.4% line drive rate) and he’s popping it up too much (16.2%).  It’s something to monitor, but we have to hope that he can right the ship.  While he’s not a .300 hitter, if he can get things up to .260 with power he’ll be an above average option (especially at 2B).

 

4) The Cubs can score runs after all…
Now, why can’t they do it with Jeff Samardzija on the mound?!?!  The pummeled Tyler Lyons (4.0 IP, 9 ER, 9 H, 1 BB, 2 K) and the Cardinals pitching staff for 17 R on 20 H.  Obviously there were plenty of contributors, but the two biggest were probably Emilio Bonifacio (4-5, 5 R) and Junior Lake (3-6, 1 HR, 6 RBI, 2 R).  Lake is now hitting .255 with 4 HR and 4 SB, but he’s benefited from a .404 BABIP and has posted a whopping 41.3% strikeout rate.  Throw in a likely unsustainable 22.2% HR/FB rate and does anyone really feel comfortable with him?  The luck is going to regress and, unless he gets the strikeouts in order, the numbers are going to plummet.

 

5) Rougned Odor delivers a big blow…
Surprisingly called up recently and likely not a long-term answer in 2014 (sooner or later Jurickson Profar will be back), Odor delivered his first big day at the plate going 2-4 with 1 HR, 2 RBI and 1 R.  Long-term he’s an extremely intriguing prospect, as he does have a little bit of pop (41 doubles, 6 triples and 11 HR in ’13) and also speed (32 SB last season).  As a short-term fill-in he definitely is an option, though don’t be surprised if he starts to appear overmatched at times.

 

6) Could Addison Reed be pitching his way out of the closers role…
He fell to 1-3, along with 2 blown saves, after allowing 2 ER on 3 H and 0 BB, striking out 1, in his inning of work.  It wasn’t just one mistake either, as he allowed a pair of solo home runs.  He’s now allowed runs in three straight outings, four of his past five and six of his past nine.  How can they possibly continue to run him out there?  Brad Ziegler, who pitched the eighth inning and owns a 0.86 ERA, would figure to get the first crack at closing duties should (or should we say when) a move is made.

 

7) Jim Johnson stumbles in the ninth inning again…
He wasn’t the only one, as Fernando Abad walked the only batter he faced before turning the ball over to Johnson.  Unfortunately he didn’t fare much better, allowing hits to both batters he faced (as well as being charged with 1 ER), before Sean Doolittle was called upon to clean up the mess.  Doolittle ultimately earned his second save, striking out 2, in a perfect inning.  Will there finally be clarity brought to the A’s closing situation, given Johnson’s struggles?  Of course not, as the A’s also have Luke Gregerson and Ryan Cook in the mix.  This is likely going to remain a frustrating situation for fantasy owners moving forward.

 

8) Cesar Ramos takes a beating at the hands of the Mariners…
Over 6.2 IP he allowed 9 R (5 earned) on 11 H and 2 BB, striking out 6.  As a starting pitcher he now owns a 4.03 ERA and 1.48 WHIP as he’s struggled with both his strikeouts (6.21 K/9) and control (4.97 BB/9).  Considering that he owned a 5.6 K/9 and 3.0 BB/9 (3.5 at Triple-A) throughout his minor league career, neither number should come as a huge surprise.  While he’s shown more upside in the bullpen, he’s simply not a player to consider in the rotation.

 

9) Tim Lincecum shows signs of life against the Braves…
Actually, he looked like his old self allowing 1 ER on 2 H and 4 BB, striking out 11, over 7.2 innings of work.  It was an impressive outing, but how much do we really take from it?  In two starts against the Braves (13.2 IP) he is now 2-0 with a 1.32 ERA against Atlanta.  Against the rest of the league?  He owns a 6.47 ERA.  It was an impressive outing, and maybe gives him a little bit of a longer leash for fantasy owners, but don’t let it sway you too much.  Let’s wait and see how he follows this up before getting too excited.

 

10) Brad Peacock strikes out 11 in a loss…
Over 6.0 IP he allowed 4 ER on 8 H and 2 BB, striking out the 11, against the Texas Rangers.  He is a pitcher who has long had upside, and he’s definitely showing more swing and miss stuff thus far in 2014 (9.5% SwStr%).  However, he owns a 6.10 BB/9 (4.65 in the Majors) and has been too homer prone (14.0% HR/FB, 1.41 HR/9).  Unless he can get those two things in order, he’s never going to be a viable option.

 

Sources – ESPN, Fangraphs, Baseball Reference, CBS Sports

4 comments

  1. Bbboston says:

    I suspect you are underestimating the fact that the Athletics just put Doolittle under a longer term contract, so have every economic reason to utilize his skills, as opposed to Cook. If not Johnson, gotta be Doolittle over cook and gregorson. With yesterday, Doolittle certainly deserves the opportunity and Johnson just took a step back.

    • Rotoprofessor says:

      He may deserve the opportunity, but I’m just not sure the A’s are going to give it to him yet. They seem committed to the idea of a committee, though hopefully that changes soon.

  2. S says:

    I recently traded Dee Gordon/Greg Holland for Wainwright. I had 5 closers although none were as good as Holland (Farnsworth, Balfour, Smith, Lindstrom) and I have a speedy lineup without Gordon. Just making sure I didn’t give up too much for Wainwright or is that a fair price for a Top 5 pitcher?

    • Rotoprofessor says:

      If you have the speed, it’s not an unreasonable price at all. Wouldn’t be surprising to see Gordon hit a wall before long.

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