10 Stories From 05/27/14 Box Scores: Craig Heating Up, Myers Continues To Flounder & More

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

While Edwin Encarnacion continued his assault of the baseball, slugging his 14th home run in May, there were plenty of other stories fantasy owners need to know about.  Let’s take a look at 10 stories coming out of yesterday’s box scores that we should note:

 

1) When given an opportunity, Drew Stubbs thriving…
He went 2-5 with 1 RBI, 2 R and 1 SB while hitting atop the Rockies’ order.  He’s hitting .333 with 3 HR, 9 RBI, 19 R and 6 SB, but he’s simply not playing enough at this point.  Charlie Blackmon has been slowing down of late, but it’s hard to imagine the Rockies’ completely sitting him down in favor of Stubbs (who could simply be an option against LHP).  Stubbs also isn’t likely to continue at this pace, as he entered the day with a .424 BABIP, 54.4% groundball rate (18.8% HR/FB) and 25.7% strikeout rate (he whiffed twice yesterday as well).  Between the playing time and the significant regression risk, don’t go crazy to acquire him.

 

2) Jenrry Mejia records a 6 out save…
That gives a little hint about the state of the Mets bullpen (especially since Carlos Torres likely was the only pitcher unavailable, along with Daisuke Matsuzaka who was forced into a start on Sunday).  Mejia allowed 1 H and 2 BB, striking out 1, en route to earning his fourth save.  Since moving to the bullpen on 5/12 he’s allowed 0 ER over 9.1 innings, with 9 K and 3 BB in the process.  There was always talk about him being better suited for the bullpen, and it really showed early in the season as he thrived early but struggled as batters got two or three looks against him.  He’s entrenching himself into the role, and the Mets have no reason not to continue to see if he could be a long-term solution at the back of their bullpen.

 

3) Collin McHugh continues to get the job done…
It was against the Royals, but he improve to 3-3 with a 2.80 ERA and 0.98 WHIP as he tossed 7.0 shutout innings allowing 5 H and 0 BB, striking out 9.  There has been a bit of luck behind the numbers, entering the day with a .255 BABIP.  That said, he also entered with a 12.5% SwStr% (helping to back up over a strikeout per inning) and impressive control (2.84 BB/9).  Since 2011 in the minors he does own an 8.50 K/9 and 2.76 BB/9, so the numbers aren’t completely unbelievable (career Triple-A marks of 8.0 and 2.9).  There is room for a regression, but at this point he’s getting harder to ignore.  Don’t consider him a must own option, but a viable one depending on the matchup.

 

4) Oswaldo Arcia quickly finding his footing…
He went 2-4 with 1 HR, 1 RBI and 2 R while hitting in the cleanup spot yesterday, putting him at 3-8 in two games since returning from the DL.  He was just 2-18 in four games prior to getting hurt, though that was an extremely small sample size and is not indicative of his talent.  As long as he can keep the strikeouts in check (he had a 31.0% strikeout rate last season in the Majors), the power is there to be a productive fantasy option.  With a 21.2% mark in the minors since 2011, the potential is definitely there.  In deeper formats, buy now.

 

5) Allen Craig warming up, but is he worth a buy…
Both Matt Adams (3-4, 1 RBI, 1 R) and Matt Holliday (3-3, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 2 R) also had big days at the plate.  However, it’s Craig that deserves our focus.  He went 2-4 with 1 HR, 2 RBI and 1 R, giving him 5 multi-hit games in his past seven (12-29 with 1 HR, 8 RBI and 4 R).  There was no question that he was going to heat up, as he’s a proven .300+ hitter.  The home run is nice, but that hasn’t been the issue this season as we shouldn’t have expected a 20+ HR hitter.  While there is room for growth, he entered the day with a 22.1% fly ball rate (31.0% for his career) and a 58.4% groundball rate.  As long as you are buying for average and not power, he should be a good buy.

 

6) It was a big day for Tommy Medica…
He went 3-4 with 1 HR, 2 RBI and 1 R, filling in for Yonder Alonso.  While Alonso did homer on Monday (and has 2 HR in his past four games), he’s been an utter disappointment this season.  Medica was in the lineup with a southpaw on the mound (Wade Miley allowed 3 ER on 8 H and 1 BB, striking out 11, over 7.0 IP), but with a .474 SLG in 38 AB he could start to force his way into the lineup against RHP as well.  He’s been a player we’ve highlighted for some time and, in deeper formats, is definitely someone to keep a close eye on.  The Padres need help producing runs, so if Medica is going to hit they are going to have to find a spot in the lineup for him.

 

7) Alfredo Simon gets shelled by the Dodgers…
He allowed 5 ER on 5 H and 4 BB, striking out 2, over 3.2 IP.  He allowed a home run to Andre Ethier (2-4, 1 HR, 4 RBI, 2 R) and should continue to see regular playing time with Carl Crawford potentially heading to the DL.  Simon has been consistently good this season, but yesterday could easily prove to be the beginning of his demise.  As it is he’s limited no strikeout potential (5.55 K/9 entering the day) while he has benefited from a .216 BABIP and 90.7% strand rate.  The only place for him to go is down.

 

8) Should fantasy owners still be buying Roenis Elias…
He allowed 5 ER on 8 H and 1 BB, striking out 5, over 6.1 IP against the Angels yesterday.  He owns a 4.02 ERA and 1.34 WHIP, and has allowed 3 ER or more in four of his past five starts (4+ ER in two of his past three).  He entered the day with a 7.98 K/9 (based on a 9.0% SwStr%), 3.84 BB/9 and 48.8% groundball rate, so there is something to like in his underlying metrics.  He owns minor league career marks of 8.00, 3.00 and 40.7%, so it’s the groundball rate that we have to question.  It has regressed as the season has gone on (50.6% in April to 45.8% entering yesterday), so there is some concern.  Throw in having skipped Triple-A and only throwing 130.0 IP in ’13 and there is some risk.  Now could be the right time to try and cash in on him.

 

9) Can Wil Myers get on track…
He went 0-3 with 2 RBI yesterday, dropping his average to .227 with 4 HR.  His strikeout rate isn’t outrageous, at 23.6%, so that’s not the major issue.  He entered with a 17.7% line drive rate, down from last year’s 20.2% mark, and he’s also popping the ball up more (10.4%).  That said, his .362 BABIP from ’13 was always unrepeatable (.292 this season).  My concerns regarding Myers have been here since last season, including this article that was posted in September of ’13 (click here for the article) and the major concerns have been an elevated strikeout rate in the upper minors, batting averages based on inflated BABIP and power that could’ve been buoyed by the PCL.  Thus far, all three appear possible.  We’ll dive into Myers in much more detail soon, but while a hot streak is likely it wouldn’t be surprising if he was a major disappointment in 2014.

 

10) More closer notes…

  • Zach Britton blows a save – He allowed 1 R on 2 H in his inning to get saddled with his first blown save of the season.  It was hardly an “implosion”, with the run scoring on an infield single with two outs.  There’s nothing to be concerned about.
  • Joakim Soria saddled with his first blown save – Much of his struggles early in the season came in non-save situations.  He had a rough outing yesterday, though, allowing 2 R (1 earned) on 2 H and 1 BB, striking out 1, over 0.2 IP to get saddled with the loss.  It was bound to happen sooner or later, and with a 2.60 ERA his job is hardly at any risk.
  • White Sox sticking with Ronald Bellisario – Despite his struggles when assuming the closers role, it appears Bellisario will remain in the ninth inning for now.  He tossed a perfect inning, striking out 1, in his inning to earn his third save.  For now, he’s a must own option in all formats.

 

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

2 comments

  1. jeff says:

    Regarding Soria…. The umpire made a questionable call at 3rd when it seemed clear a runner was out of the baseline and the winning “hit” was a dribbler that Soria could not handle. It was not a great outing, but he was hardly lit up.

    • Rotoprofessor says:

      Fair enough, but he was probably due for a poor outing anyways. Not that it’s anything to be concerned about

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