10 Stories From 06/11/14 Box Scores: Y. Ventura’s Loss Of Strikeouts, Is There Hope For S. Marte & More

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

There were come impressive pitching performances from some familiar names, like Cole Hamels (11 K over 8.0 shutout innings), Johnny Cueto (12 K over 6.0 shutout innings) and Yu Darvish (complete game shutout with 10 K).  You also had Logan Morrison coming off the DL, promptly going 0-4 with 2 K (though, there’s still some upside so don’t completely write him off).  What else happened on the field that fantasy owners need to know about?  Let’s take a look:

 

1) Marcus Stroman decent, though unspectacular…
It’s not that he was bad, but he was clearly outpitched by Phil Hughes (7.0 IP, 0 ER, 7 H, 0 BB, 9 K, W).  Stroman allowed 3 ER on 9 H and 0 BB, striking out 4, over 6.0 IP.  It was the worst of his three starts, as he’s now allowed a total of 5 ER on 21 H over 18.0 IP.  However, with 13 K vs. 2 BB over that span as well as 29 groundballs, it’s really hard to complain.  Stroman has electric stuff and has proven that he can get the job done at the Major League level.  Consider him a must own at this point.

 

2) Yordano Ventura wins, but where were the strikeouts…
You can say the same thing about his opponent Trevor Bauer (5.1 IP, 3 ER, 7 H, 1 BB, 1 K), but Ventura allowed 1 ER on 6 H and 0 BB, striking out 3, over 7.0 IP to earn the W.  Ventura has pitched well overall since missing a start, but he does have just 4 K over 13.0 IP in his past two outings and has 3 K or fewer in four straight starts (though one was over 2.2 IP) and five of his past six.  It’s a bit of a red flag, especially since the strikeout is supposed to be his calling card.  We are going to have to keep a close eye on it moving forward, but if he’s not generating strikeouts he is going to be an even riskier option (though not an unusable one).

 

3) Is Wei-Yin Chen proving he’s a viable option…
When you tuned into the Orioles-Red Sox game, the pitcher you were probably interested in seeing was Rubby De La Rosa (5.2 IP, 4 ER, 7 H, 2 BB, 7 K).  Instead you were treated by an impressive performance from Chen, who tossed 7.0 shutout innings allowing 4 H and 0 BB, striking out 7.  In fact, had it not been for a rain delay he likely would’ve worked even deeper into the game (87 pitches).  He’s clearly turned his season back around, allowing 3 ER with 17 K and 1 BB over his last 18.2 IP.  He’s showing even better control than ever this season (1.42 BB/9 entering the day, 2.41 for his career) and has been plagued by a little bit of bad luck (.321 BABIP).  He’s hardly going to be an ace-like option, but depending on the matchup he’ll be worth considering at the least.

 

4) Should fantasy owners give up on Jean Segura…
After it appeared like he was settling back into the leadoff spot, Segura took a significant turn for the worse.  He went 1-4 yesterday, putting him at 3-29 with 0 HR, 4 RBI, 2 R and 1 SB over his past seven games.  It was expected that the power would look a lot like his second half numbers from 2013, and with a 62.8% groundball rate, the 2 HR thus far is believable.  We would expect better results in the average department, though he entered with an 18.1% line drive rate (similar to last season’s 18.0%).  That said, a player with his speed should maintain better than a .282 BABIP so there are better days ahead.  However, if he can’t get out of the eighth spot how many times is he going to be able to run?  That’s his calling card, and if he’s not stealing bases (and not scoring runs hitting lower in the lineup) his valuable is going to be minimal.

 

5) Is Jacob Turner primed to be replaced…
He got shelled for 5 ER on 6 H and 1 BB, striking out 4, over 4.0 IP and now owns a 6.38 ERA and 1.65 WHIP on the season.  He’s now allowed 4+ ER in three straight starts (14 ER over 14.1 IP), five of his past six and seven of his nine starts this season.  With the Marlins surprisingly in contention, how can they continue running him out there?  There has been a lot of poor luck (.351 BABIP, 65.0% strand rate entering the day), but that’s only going to go so far.  It’s very possible that Andrew Heaney could soon be arriving on the scene, and he has the potential to be a must own option once he arrives.

 

6) Chris Carter delivers, with a bang…
Obviously guys like George Springer (2-3, 1 RBI, 1 R) and Jon Singleton (0-3, 1 RBI) are going to garner the attention in Houston, but it was Carter who shined last night behind Dallas Keuchel (8.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 H, 1 BB, 5 K).  He went 2-4 with 2 HR, 2 RBI and 2 R, putting him at .199 with 12 HR and 29 RBI on the season.  There is no questioning the power, but he’s one of the biggest strikeout hitters in the league (he entered the day with a 31.3% strikeout rate, and is at 34.1% for his career).  He’s also clearly swinging for the fences, with a 52.1% fly ball rate and 19.0% IFFB.  Those two things are going to make him a low average guy, no matter what happens.  Consider him like Adam Dunn, though without quite as many walks (10.3% in ’14), so don’t think of him as someone that needs to be owned.

 

7) Tyler Matzek impresses in his Major League debut…
While the Rockies were taking it to Julio Teheran (6.1 IP, 7 ER, 10 H, 0 BB, 5 K), Matzek was shutting down the Braves.  Over 7.0 IP he allowed 2 ER on 5 H and 0 BB, striking out 7.  He allowed 10 fly balls vs. 4 groundballs, though while he’s hardly a groundball pitcher (39.6% since 2011 in the minors) the numbers are a little bit skewed.  More surprising was his ability to avoid walking batters yesterday, considering his 4.19 mark at Triple-A in ’14 and 5.98 since 2011.  Given that type of number, would you be buying?  He’s not a young pitcher that I’d trust, and his time in the rotation may not be very long.

 

8) Tanner Roark continues to get the job done…
Taking on the Giants, he allowed 2 ER on 7 H and 0 BB, striking out 4, over 6.0 IP to improve to 5-4 with a 2.92 ERA and 1.06 WHIP on the season.  While he does have very good control (2.09 BB/9 entering the day), as well as a solid groundball rate (48.6%), he’s not a massive strikeout pitcher (7.10 K/9, courtesy of a 7.7% SwStr%) and has also benefited from a .255 BABIP and 14.9% line drive rate.  Both of those numbers could regress, so he’s certainly a risk to regress a bit moving forward.  While the numbers are impressive, he easily could fade.

 

9) Just what should we think of Starling Marte…
He went 2-4 with 1 RBI yesterday, but also struck out twice.  He does have three consecutive multi-hit games, though, going 7-12 with 3 RBI and 1 SB over that span.  Is it enough?  He’s hitting .249 with 4 HR, 21 RBI, 28 R and 15 SB on the season, so outside of the speed he’s hardly been a viable option.  Unfortunately there’s little upside in the power department (21.8% fly ball rate, 12.5% HR/FB) and with a 27.8% strikeout rate (and .336 BABIP) how much room is there for his average to rise?  Hitting lower in the order, he’s a one-trick pony and that’s all he should be considered for now.

 

10) Declining veteran starters….

  • Justin Verlander – He got shelled by the White Sox to the tune of 7 ER on 8 H and 4 BB, striking out 6, over 5.2 IP.  We talked about him after his last start, which you can read here, so make sure you check that out.  The bottom line?  His control is a major concern, but it’s not the only one.
  • Jered Weaver – Those who have regularly read Rotoprofessor know that I’ve never been his biggest fan.  He allowed 4 ER on 6 H and 2 BB, striking out 5, over 5.1 IP, but does still own a 3.51 ERA and 1.17 WHIP on the season.  He’s not a big strikeout pitcher, and also entered the day with a 79.2% strand rate and .250 BABIP.  It’s not impossible that he maintains those numbers, but there also is a risk of regression.  We’ll have to take a closer look at him in the coming days, but don’t completely give up.

 

Sources – ESPN, Fangraphs, Minor League Central

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