10 Stories From 05/18/14 Box Scores: Is It Time To Cut Bait On Masterson or Peavy, Cingrani Returns & More

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

We saw numerous starting pitchers return to the mound, including Tony Cingrani, Jaime Garcia and Anibal Sanchez (who we don’t discuss, but pitched well allowing 1 ER over 5.0 IP).  How did they fare?  Who else had performances worth noting?  Let’s take a look:

 

1) After taking a beating from the A’s, is there still hope for Justin Masterson…
It was a terrible performance from Masterson, who allowed 7 ER on 7 H and 5 BB, striking out 1, over 4.1 IP against the A’s.  Josh Donaldson (1-2, 1 RBI, 4 R), Brandon Moss (3-3, 3 RBI, 4 R) and Yoenis Cespedes (2-5, 5 RBI) led the charge, as Oakland ultimately hung up 13 runs without the benefit of a home run.  The bigger issue is Masterson, who has now allowed 5+ ER in five of his ten starts (including each of his past two).  What exactly has been the problem?  He entered the day with an 8.61 K/9 (10.2% SwStr%), though his velocity was down significantly (89.0 mph).  It’s an obvious control, but he had had control (3.81 BB/9) and an elite groundball rate (63.2%).  If the velocity had been there, we could chalk this up solely to poor luck (64.5% strand rate) despite yesterday’s terrible outing.  The velocity dip is a major concern, so caution needs to be taken.  However, the underlying metrics are still promising, so acquiring him for pennies on the dollar may not be the worst idea.

 

2) Ian Desmond homers for the second straight day…
He went 2-4 with 1 HR, 1 RBI and 1 R, putting him at 4-8 with 2 HR, 3 RBI and 2 R over the past two days.  It’s obviously not a lot, but it is at least a step in the right direction.  He still has a long ways to go, considering he entered the day with a 26.9% strikeout rate (he didn’t strikeout yesterday), 11.3% line drive rate and 17.1% Infield Fly Ball percentage.  He’s had enough of a track record to think that he’s going to get hot, so hopefully you haven’t pushed the panic button, but this could be just the start.

 

3) Tony Cingrani returns, but fails to impress…
In his first game off the DL Cingrani got knocked around a bit against the Phillies, allowing 4 ER on 7 H and 3 BB, striking out 7, over 6.0 IP.  It was the long ball that did him in, as he allowed 3 HR on the day, though that hadn’t been an issue prior to his injury.  Instead the bigger concern is his control, as he entered the day with a 4.73 BB/9.  We all know that he has the stuff, but if he can’t get the walks in order he is going to have his issues.  He’s worth owning, and we’ll have to monitor it closely.

 

4) There was a power surge from Alex Gordon…
Entering the day with 1 HR, he went 4-4 with 2 HR, 6 RBI and 3 R on the day.  A long hyped prospect, Gordon’s had a pair of 20+ HR campaigns and did have 13 doubles entering the day.  In other words it’s not a surprise that Gordon was going to see an uptick in power, the bigger concern was his 12.4% line drive rate entering the day.  It’s still early and he has shown these types of stretches before (like an 11.7% last July).  He may not be an elite option, as was once expected, he’s better than what he’s shown thus far.  The numbers should improve, as he makes better contact (though a 13.8% strikeout rate could help to offset it) and continues to show a little bit more power.  Don’t sell low.

 

5) Matt Dominguez continues to produce…
He did so in a big way yesterday, going 2-4 with 2 HR, 4 RBI and 2 R.  He’s now hitting .258 with 7 HR and 18 RBI on the season.  It’s his sixth 2-hit game in his past nine, though is it really enough?  While he’s shown power since last season, he also has consistently failed to produce a big line drive rate (18.7% in ’13, 17.4% entering the day).  That’s going to limit his average potential, and his overall fantasy appeal.  He had never been much of a HR hitter coming up through the minors, so it’s hard to imagine him exceeding last season’s 21 HR.  If that’s his upside, he’s going to be limited to a deep league option and nothing more.

 

6) Matt Shoemaker impressive in second consecutive start…
Taking on the Rays Shoemaker allowed 1 ER on 2 H and 3 BB, striking out 6, over 6.0 IP to earn the W.  He’s now allowed 3 ER on 5 H and 4 BB over 11.0 IP in his two starts (2-0).  He’s spent 423.0 innings at Triple-A, posting a 5.38 ERA in the process (though it was the PCL).  He’s not a strikeout pitcher (7.0 K/9) or an elite groundball pitcher (40.1% in the minors since 2011), though does bring control (2.0 BB/9).  That’s not enough and, while he’s had a pair of strong starts, there’s no reason to get excited or make a move.

 

7) Latroy Hawkins blows his first save of the season…
It’s a surprise that it has taken this long, isn’t it?  He allowed 2 ER on 2 H, as Everth Cabrera (2-5, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 1 R, 1 SB) took him deep.  Hawkins now owns a 4.11 ERA and has allowed runs in back-to-back outings and 4 ER over his past 4.0 IP (five appearances).  While Rex Brothers would’ve appeared to be the likely replacement, he’s had significant control issues and may not get the opportunity.  Instead, it would likely be Adam Ottavino, who pitched the eighth inning yesterday (Brothers tossed the seventh) who could step in and assume the role.  Ottavino has always shown good strikeout stuff, but has found tremendous control this season (he entered the day with a 1.04 BB/9).  We’ll talk about him more later today, but he’s definitely a reliever to stash if you are desperate for saves.

 

8) Jaime Garcia makes his first start of 2014…
In fact, it was his first start since May 17, 2013.  Considering he was decent, allowing 4 ER on 5 H and 0 BB, striking out 5, over 7.0 IP as he was burnt by 2 HR.  Still, he was in position to win but Trevor Rosenthal imploded (2 ER on 2 H and 2 BB, striking out 1, over 0.2 IP) as he was working for the fourth consecutive day.  Garcia has always brought solid control (2.73 BB/9), some strikeouts (7.14 K/9) and an above average groundball rate (55.5%).  He had that all on display yesterday (including 10 groundballs) and as long as he’s healthy should prove to be a solid option in all deeper formats.  Given the injuries across the game, he’s someone well worth owning.

 

9) Ryan Vogelsong shuts down the Marlins…
Granted Miami did not have Giancarlo Stanton in their starting lineup, but Vogelsong still went 7.0 shutout innings allowing 5 H and 1 BB, striking out 6.  He’s now allowed 1 ER or fewer in four of his past five starts and has reduced his ERA to 3.62 and WHIP to 1.33.  While things are trending in the right direction, there actually was nothing unbelievable in his luck metrics entering the day (.304 BABIP, 76.8% strand rate) and has never been a big time strikeout pitcher.  While he could have some appeal in deeper formats, he’s hardly a most own target.

 

10) A second consecutive beating for Jake Peavy…
This time it was against the Tigers (last time it was the Twins), but he allowed 5 ER on 11 H and 0 BB, striking out 2, over 6.0 IP.  Over his past two starts he’s allowed 11 ER on 20 H over 10.1 IP.  While he didn’t walk a batter yesterday, he’s actually struggled with his control (4.50 BB/9 on the season, with 4+ BB in five of his nine starts).  Couple that with favorable luck (80.4% strand rate), despite a 4.33 ERA, and Peavy is becoming a tough player to trust.

 

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

2 comments

  1. JT says:

    Do you believe Masterson will become the next Tommy John victim since his velocity is significantly down? He has been one of the most bipolar and frustrating pitchers to own this year. In regards to Rosenthal, do you believe Motte has any chance claiming his role as closer again or is it too much of a stretch? Thanks again!

    • Rotoprofessor says:

      Regarding Masterson, I don’t want to jump to that but you never know. It’s impossible to predict injuries, but it’s not impossible he’s hidding something.

      For Motte, when it comes to clsoers you almost have to have the mantra that anything can happen. That said, I find it unlikely.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *