10 Stories From 06/03/14 Box Scores: Has Wheeler Turned The Corner, Moss Looking For Real & More

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

Making his much awaited Major League debut, Jonathan Singleton was in the sixth spot of the order (though how long will it be until he moves up at least one spot and potentially into the cleanup role) going 1-3 with 1 HR, 2 RBI and 1 R.  You also had Josh Hamilton return from the DL in the same game, going 1-3 with 1 HR, 1 RBI and 1 R.  What else happened on the field?  Let’s take a look:


1) Brandon Moss just keeps slugging…
Taking on the Yankees he went 2-4 with 2 HR, 2 RBI and 2 R, giving him 15 HR and 48 RBI on the season.  He entered the day hitting .343 with 3 HR in 35 AB against LHP, one of the two major concerns entering the season.  The other was his strikeouts, but that two appears to be in check with a 19.7% mark (he struck out once yesterday).  Always a source of power, he’s suddenly no longer thought of as a potential platoon player or threat to sabotage your average.  Two months isn’t enough time to completely rule out the issues, but so far so good.


2) Ryan Zimmerman returns to the Nationals, and starts in LF…
We had all heard that the Nationals were trying him out in the outfield, but was anyone taking it seriously?  He was out there yesterday and it panned out, as he went 2-4 with 1 RBI (and Anthony Rendon, playing 3B, went 1-4 with 1 HR, 2 RBI and 2 R).  For now this appears to be the setup they are going with, though once Bryce Harper returns from the DL it’s likely Danny Espinosa who is in jeopardy of losing playing time (despite going 2-4 with 1 R yesterday, he struck out twice and is hitting just .210).  Zimmerman is always going to be a usable option, and once he gains OF eligibility the flexibility simply adds to his appeal.


3) Drew Hutchison enjoys one of his best outings of the season…
Taking on the Tigers he tossed 7.0 shutout innings allowing 3 H and 0 BB, striking out 7, but was matched pitch for pitch by Anibal Sanchez (7.0 IP, 0 ER, 2 H, 0 BB, 5 K) and had to settle for a no decision.  He was coming off a poor outing (5 ER over 5.0 IP against the Rays), but entered the day showing strikeouts (8.17 K/9) and control (3.05 BB/9).  With both of those numbers being for real, the biggest obstacle for him is going to be keeping the ball in the ballpark (43.0% fly ball rate).  He’s going to be a viable option, but be prepared for some rough outings from time-to-time.


4) Homer Bailey defeats Tim Lincecum…
These are two pitchers that fantasy owners have been keeping a close eye on, as they continue to frustrate at times.  With Lincecum, the rope may have finally run out.  While there’s promise in the numbers, he allowed 8 ER on 6 H and 3 BB, striking out 3, over 4.1 IP and now owns a 5.01 ERA.  It feels like we’ve been waiting for him to rediscover his form for years and you have to wonder if he’s going to end up back in the bullpen before long.  It all depends on the format, however, on whether you cut the cord or not.

As for Bailey, he allowed 3 ER on 5 H and 1 BB, striking out 7, over 6.0 IP to improve to 6-3 with a 4.99 ERA.  He’s now allowed 3 ER or fewer in three straight starts and six of his past seven.  He’s been showing strikeouts (7.83 K/9 entering the day), control (2.94 BB/9) and groundballs (53.2%).  It’s the ideal skillset and it’s been a .340 BABIP and 17.5% HR/FB that have been the issues.  He should continue to get better and better as the season goes on.


5) Henderson Alvarez outduels Chris Archer…
Archer was tremendous, allowing 1 ER on 5 H and 2 BB, striking out 8, over 7.0 IP, but Alvarez was even better as he needed on 88 pitches to twirl a complete game shutout.  He allowed just 8 H and 0 BB, striking out 5.  Is it indicative of his ability or is it more telling of how bad the Rays are at the moment?  He’s been great, with a 2.62 ERA and 1.28 WHIP, though with a 5.40 K/9 entering the day his value is going to be limited.  As long as you’re not expecting the Ks, he does bring control (2.16 BB/9) and groundballs (54.8%).  Consider him a backend option.


6) Zack Wheeler enjoys a strong start…
Over 6.2 IP against the Cubs he allowed 0 ER on 2 H and 2 BB, striking out 7.  He’s now allowed 3 ER over his last 19.2 IP, striking out 23 and walking 3.  The control is the biggest question facing Wheeler, though he’s also been plagued by a bit of poor luck (.328 BABIP despite an 18.8% line drive rate).  Of course, there are other potential issues at hand.  While he has strikeout potential, he entered the day with an 8.6% SwStr% so his current rate (8.90 entering the day) may not be maintainable.  He also is showing an uncharacteristically good groundball rate (53.4%).  He has a lot to prove, and there are potential red flags in the underlying numbers.  That’s not to say that he isn’t worth owning, but be careful moving forward.


7) Jesse Hahn struggles in his Major League debut for the Padres…
He was at home, taking on the Pirates, but took one on the chin allowing 4 ER on 6 H and 2 BB, striking out 5, over 3.2 IP.  Pittsburgh tagged him for a pair of home runs (Neil Walker & Pedro Alvarez) as well.  Before we simply write him off, at Double-A this season he had a 2.20 ERA and 1.26 WHIP.  While he wasn’t a strikeout machine, with a 7.71 K/9, he showed decent control (3.03 BB/9) and groundball stuff (58.5%).  Is that really enough, though?  It’s a major jump from Double-A to the Majors and, without the strikeouts, there certainly will be a learning curve.  He can be ignored in all formats.


8) After a slow start, T.J. House posts second consecutive strong start…
Taking on the Red Sox he allowed 2 ER on 6 H and 2 BB, striking out 4, over 5.2 IP (3 ER with 12 K over his past 12.0 IP).  Is there any reason to get excited, though?  In the minor leagues since 2011 he owns a 6.98 K/9 and 3.42 BB/9, hardly impressive numbers (7.40 and 2.40 at Triple-A prior to getting recalled).  Sure, there’s groundball potential (52.8% in ’13 and 60.7% at Triple-A in ’14), but that’s hardly enough.  Leave him for AL-Only formats, as his time in the rotation likely isn’t going to be very long.


9) Should owners still believe in Yovani Gallardo…
He allowed 6 ER on 8 H and 1 BB, striking out 6, over 5.0 IP against the Twins and was tagged for a pair of home runs (Josh Willingham & Brian Dozier).  While he has shown good enough control (3.18 BB/9) and a career best groundball rate (53.2%), it has come at the expensive of his strikeouts.  He currently owns a 6.62 K/9, a number that looks more believable when you consider last season’s 7.17 mark.  His SwStr%, which was down last season at 6.9%, is down even further to 5.7%.  There’s obviously still potential, but I wouldn’t be going out of my way to acquire him either.


10) Has the leash run out on Joe Nathan…
Not yet, at least you wouldn’t think, but it’s getting close.  He didn’t get a few close calls, but that’s no excuse as he was charged with 4 ER on 2 H and 2 BB over 0.1 IP.  He’s now allowed 8 ER over his past 1.1 innings of work and you have to start to wonder what’s going on with him.  You know the Tigers are going to want to fix his issues, and he should get at least another shot, but things are starting to get scary.  Joba Chamberlain is worth owning in all formats right now, just in case.


Sources – ESPN, Fangraphs, Minor League Central


  1. Bbboston says:

    What are your thoughts on Mcallister as AL only pitcher?

  2. Tuco says:

    What’s your take on Moss ROS? Is he a legit OF2?

  3. Rotoprofessor says:

    Bbboston – In AL-Only, definitely. There’s been a lot of bad luck there.

    Tuco – At worst he’s an OF3, due to the power, if the strikeouts start to mount. However, right now there’s a lot to like and he’s a must start option in all formats.

  4. Sam says:

    Would you move Vmart and Addison reed to get Scherzer? 12 team keeper

    • Rotoprofessor says:

      It depends on need, though I don’t think V-Mart will keep up his power barrage. You are getting the best player, so if you have viable alternatives I would do it.

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