10 Stories From 05/31/14 Box Scores: Young SP On Display (Stroman, De La Rosa, Bauer) & More

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

There were young arms on display around the game yesterday, and for the most part they impressed whether it was Marcus Stroman, Trevor Bauer, Rubby De La Rosa or Jacob deGrom.  Which could continue the performance?  Who should we be buying?  Let’s take a look at those performances and all the rest from yesterday’s games:

 

1) Marcus Stroman impresses in his first Major League start…
Yes it was against the Royals and he was given a big lead early, but that shouldn’t take away from his performance.  He went 6.0 innings allowing 1 ER on 5 H and 0 BB, striking out 6, to earn his second victory.  It was a little surprising to see Stroman getting the opportunity now, considering the issues he had in his last few relief appearances in the Majors as well as a pair of subpar starts after returning to Triple-A (7 ER over 9.0 IP).  There is no questioning the upside, with a minor league career 10.6 K/9 and 2.4 BB/9 to go along with a solid groundball rate (45.5% since ’11).  With the AL East not quite as daunting right now, if you are in need of strikeouts he is a gamble worth taking in deeper formats.  That said, all rookie pitchers carry risk of struggles so don’t consider him a must start option.

 

2) Oscar Taveras finally arrives…
With Matt Adams hitting the DL the Cardinals finally found their excuse to promote Taveras from Triple-A.  Considered one of the premier prospects in the game, he was hitting seventh and playing RF in his Major League debut.  While he only collected one hit, he certainly made the most of it by delivering his first career home run.  If he is available, he shouldn’t be.  Consider him a must own in all formats.

 

3) It’s still too early to give up on Trevor Bauer…
After struggling in his first two starts since returning to the Majors Bauer came up with a solid performance yesterday against the Rockies.  Over 6.0 IP he allowed 2 ER on 4 H and 1 BB, striking out 8, in a no decision.  The key for Bauer is going to be to continue throwing strikes, as he threw 70 of his 100 pitches for strikes last night.  As long as he can continue doing that he should be able to find some success.  We obviously aren’t going to declare him as having “figured it out” off of one start, but it certainly is promising.  After tantalizing fantasy owners with his promise, let’s hope that this is the beginning of a strong stretch.

 

4) Anthony Rizzo takes aim at Wily Peralta…
It was a big day for Rizzo, who went 2-4 with 2 HR, 4 RBI and 2 R.  Both of the blasts came against Peralta, who finished allowing 6 ER on 5 H and 2 BB, striking out 5, over 5.2 IP.  He entered the day with an 84.1% strand rate, so it was clear a regression could be in order.  At the same time, he continues to offer the trio of stats we generally look for in a pitcher (entering the day he owned a 6.93 K/9, 2.26 BB/9 and 53.4% groundball rate).  The control is going to be the big question moving forward (4.0 BB/9 in his minor league career), though he had been consistently good thus far (1.99 in April, 2.53 in May entering the day).  While it was a poor outing, there’s still an awful lot to like.

 

5) It was a much needed strong start for Chris Tillman…
After getting pounded over his past two starts (14 ER over 6.2 IP), Tillman had a strong start against the Astros.  Going 6.2 IP he allowed 1 ER on 4 H and 2 BB, striking out 3.  There’s not a whole lot to get excited about in his underlying metrics, unless you want to point to a potential improvement in his 3.84 BB/9 or his 69.7% strand rate.  Of course, he also has limited strikeout stuff (7.4% SwStr% helping lead ot a 7.25 K/9 entering the day) and has always been homer prone (1.28 HR/9, 1.39 for his career).  It was a good start, but there’s nothing to get too excited about.

 

6) Jacob deGrom impresses, despite no decision, but should we be buying…
He had tossed 6.0 shutout innings, but tired in the seventh and finished allowing 3 ER on 3 H and 2 BB, striking out 11, over 6.1 innings of work.  While he remains winless, he owns a 2.42 ERA, 1.08 WHIP and 25 K over 26.0 innings of work.  The strikeout total is a bit of an aberration, given his minor league career mark of 7.4 (7.3 in 21 starts at Triple-A).  He also entered the day with a 100.0% strand rate and .200 BABIP, despite a 26.9% line drive rate.  While there certainly is upside and he appears primed to stay in the rotation for bit, the bubble is going to burst before long.

 

7) Rubby De La Rosa Dominates In Return To The Majors…
Taking on the Rays De La Rosa tossed 7.0 shutout innings, allowing 4 H and 0 BB, striking out 8, to earn the victory in his first MLB start since 2011.  There is no questioning the potential upside of De La Rosa, as long as he can continue finding the strike zone.  As we discussed on Friday (click here for the article http://www.rotoprofessor.com/baseball/?p=22873), De La Rosa has shown flashes at Triple-A and has proven to be inconsistent (BB/9 of 2.28 in April, 5.61 in May).  That said, in deeper formats he is going to be worth rolling the dice on depending on your situation and need.  In shallower leagues, though, I would remain patient as there should be more trustworthy alternatives available.

 

8) Tyler Skaggs struggles in loss…
Skaggs has been good all season, but he was not good yesterday allowing 4 ER on 5 H and 5 BB, striking out 7, over 6.0 IP.  Even with the poor outing, though, his BB/9 sits at 2.64 so it’s clear that he has been finding the strike zone consistently (and Oakland’s offense definitely has the ability to draw walk after walk after walk).  Skaggs also owns a 62.3% strand rate, so there is room for improvement.  However, as expected, the strikeouts have dropped moving to the AL and it remains to be seen if he can maintain his current 51.6% groundball rate.  He’s worth owning as a backend option, but that’s about it for now.

 

9) Another poor outing for Drew Smyly….
Taking on the Mariners it took him 105 pitches to throw four innings, allowing 3 ER on 7 H and 1 BB, striking out 5.  Over his last two starts he’s allowed 9 ER on 15 H and 3 BB over 9.0 IP, so it’s been a bit of a mess.  Could the skipped starts and occasional bullpen appearances be the problem?  He had been pitching well prior to these past two starts, so he should get a chance to work this out, and there definitely is still plenty of upside potential.  However, the Tigers’ usage of him is something that we are going to have to continue to monitor and makes him tough to trust at times.

 

10) Is it time to give up on Brandon McCarthy…
We have loved his underlying metrics all season, but sooner or later he needs to produce.  He got beat up by the Reds yesterday, allowing 5 ER on 9 H and 1 BB, striking out 4, over 4.1 IP to leave him with a 5.20 ERA and 1.32 WHIP.  It’s a major disappointment, but as we look at the numbers there is still a ton of upside.  He continues to generate strikeouts (7.80 K/9) at an improved rate, to go along with control (1.61 BB/9) and groundballs (54.8%).  There is some poor luck, with a .327 BABIP and 62.5%, so there is enough there to continue holding out hope in deeper formats.  Is he a must use option?  Absolutely not, but don’t give up hope.

 

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

One comment

  1. MJ says:

    Not to nit-pick, but Taveras batted 6th.

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