10 Stories From 06/10/14 Box Scores: Has Juan Francisco’s Value Disappeared, Mike Leake Struggling & More

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

On the day where Joey Votto came off the DL (1-3, hitting third) and Gregory Polanco made his long awaited debut (1-5, 1 R), there were plenty of other stories to discuss.  Let’s take a look at all the action from the field that fantasy owners need to know about:


1) Has the bubble burst on Juan Francisco…
He went 0-2 with 1 K yesterday and is now 0-12 with 7 K in his past five games, dropping his average to .244.  He’s always shown power, so it wouldn’t be surprising if he continues to chip in some long balls.  However he entered the day with a 34.0% strikeout rate (33.7% for his career) and appears to be swinging for the fences a bit more than normal (45.8% fly ball rate vs. 35.4% for his career).  If you don’t need average he is worth owning for the power, but consider him along the lines of an Adam Dunn at this point.  In other words, he’s not a fit for everyone.


2) Mike Leake takes a beating for the second straight outing…
Taking on Josh Beckett (6.0 IP, 0 ER, 2 H, 1 BB, 7 K) and the Dodgers, Leake allowed 5 ER on 9 H and 1 BB, striking out 7, over 5.1 IP and has now allowed 10 ER over his past 10.1 IP.  He’s never been a big source of strikeouts, but he entered the day with typical great control (1.76 BB/9) and new found elite groundball stuff (57.1%).  It remains to be seen if he can maintain the latter, but with a .271 BABIP and 75.5% strand rate entering the day there’s no reason to think a full regression is coming.  He owns a 3.61 ERA and 1.16 WHIP, though he’s more of a back end option due to the lack of strikeouts.


3) Could Marco Estrada be losing his grip on his rotation spot…
Taking on the Mets he allowed 6 ER on 4 H and 4 BB, striking out 5, over 6.0 IP as he made two major mistakes (including a grand slam to Taylor Teagarden).  He’s now allowed 4+ ER in four of his past five starts (and five of his past seven).  Home runs have been an issue, with a 2.22 HR/9, and with a 48.3% fly ball rate entering the day it could continue to plague him.  Throw in an 84.9% strand rate and .246 BABIP, the regression could easily continue.  Stash Jimmy Nelson now, because it may just be a matter of time before Estrada is removed from the rotation.


4) The Rays’ offense let’s down Jake Odorizzi…
When you can’t score you can’t win, and the Rays simply haven’t been scoring of late.  Yesterday it was Adam Wainwright (7.0 IP, 0 ER, 7 H, 2 BB, 2 K) who shut them down.  Odorizzi did all he could, allowing 1 ER on 3 H and 1 BB, striking out 5, over 7.1 IP but made one mistake to Matt Holliday (1-3, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 1 R).  Odorizzi is now 2-7 with a 4.85 ERA and 1.42 WHIP on the season.  There has been some poor luck at play (he entered with a .372 BABIP and 67.5% strand rate), though his strikeout rate is also going to come down (11.08 K/9 based on a 9.3% SwStr%).  Overall things should get better, but we just have to hope that the Rays will start hitting and helping their starters out moving forward.


5) Is Brad Snyder going to get his chance at 1B in Texas…
Mitch Moreland is out, just the latest in a long line of injuries.  Snyder was recalled and slotted at 1B yesterday, going 1-3 with 1 RBI and 1 R.  He’s hardly a prospect, as he last appeared in the Majors in 2011 (and spent all of 2012 and 2013 at Triple-A), but he was raking prior to being recalled hitting .284 with 18 HR.  Of course it was the PCL, he owned a 31.5% strikeout rate (27.2% since 2011) and 25.4% HR/OFB.  Maybe he gets hot and can provide a little bit of power initially, but he should only be a consideration in AL-Only formats.


6) Mike Moustakas extends his hitting streak…
Sure, it’s at 3 games but at least it’s something, right?  He went 1-3 with 1 HR, 2 RBI and 2 R yesterday and is now 3-10 over the streak.  He also has just 1 K over that span and has 4 K over 30 AB in June.  That is promising, and he also entered the day with an 18.2% line drive rate and .174 BABIP.  Are we about to deem him primed for a major breakout?  Of course not, but there is upside here still.  Don’t write him off in the deepest of formats, because you could catch him at the right time and get a major boost.


7) Evan Gattis stars in Braves/Rockies slugfest…
The two teams combined for 23 runs and 29 hits, but it was Gattis who arguably had the biggest day at the plate.  He went 3-4 with 1 HR, 2 RBI and 4 R, putting him at .280 with 13 HR and 31 RBI on the season.  We all know that he has power, but it seems unlikely that he continues to hit for a usable average.  He entered yesterday with a 12.8% line drive rate, after posting a 14.5% mark in 2013, and a 48.0% fly ball rate.  For a player without speed, those numbers are not conducive to maintaining his current .283 BABIP.  Look for the average to drop, so only invest in him if you want the power.


8) It was an impressive return to the rotation for Hector Santiago…
While he took a no decision, he tossed 6.0 shutout innings allowing 3 H and 1 BB, striking out 8, in his first start since May 2.  His control was always going to be the biggest question, with a career 4.50 BB/9 (including a 4.34 mark in ’14 prior to yesterday).  He also had been burned by the long ball (1.45 HR/9), but neither were an issue yesterday.  It’s just one start, so we don’t want to say that his problems are behind him.  He’s someone to keep a close eye on, just in case, but I wouldn’t make a move on him.


9) Has Brad Peacock figured it out…
There was a time that a lot was expected from Peacock, though that seems like a lifetime ago (in reality, it was in 2011 while he was still with the Nationals).  He had an impressive outing yesterday, allowing 1 ER on 3 H and 3 BB, striking out 4, over 6.0 IP (his lone mistake was a home run to Paul Goldschmidt).  He’s allowed 7 ER over his past 23.2 IP, lowering his ERA from 5.63 to 4.50.  He has shown some strikeout stuff, which is believable given his 8.5 K/9 in the minors.  The bigger question has been his control (4.98 BB/9 entering the day) and some poor luck (.317 BABIP).  He’s definitely not a pitcher to completely ignore, especially with the Astros playing well.  At the least he’s a streaming option when the matchup is right.


10) Brandon Workman solid despite rain delays…
The Red Sox and Orioles were delayed to start the game, then had a lengthy wait in the second inning, but Workman stuck in there and ultimately tossed 6.2 shutout innings allowing 1 H and 1 BB, striking out 4 (and only needing 67 pitches to do it).  He has shown strikeouts (8.5 K/9) and control (2.2 BB/9) in the minors and could prove to be a sneaky play depending on the matchup.  Remember, he does face a potential suspension, though for a starting pitcher that isn’t the biggest of deals.  He did enter the day with a .254 BABIP despite a 22.2% line drive rate (small sample), so don’t be surprised if he has a little hiccup before long.  That makes us a little weary of streaming him, at least for now.


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


  1. Paul Nelson says:

    In a standard (+ OPS) 12 team league, which three (at least one OF) do you like the most going forward?

    K. Morales
    C. Dickerson

    • bored says:

      I disagree with Rotoprofessor.
      The 3 I like would have to be Dickerson, Morales and Morneau.

      Dick and Morn play in too good of a park to get rid of. Morales will likely hit atleast 15hr, with a 270-280 avg enough RBI’s to be worth owning.

  2. Bbboston says:

    How often do you see a player like Saurez jump from double-A to the major leagues successfully? Put another way how often do you see a player make a quantum leap in skills?

  3. Rotoprofessor says:

    Bbboston – I don’t think there’s a hard and fast rule, but the jump from Double-A to the Majors has become more common of late

    Paul Nelson – I’d probably go Crisp, Markakis & LaRoche. The big concern with LaRoche is going to be playing time once everyone is healthy (could Zimmerman move to 1B once Harper is healthy?), so Morneau would be my next choice.

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