10 Stories From 06/27/14 Box Scores: Are Cron & deGrom Sell Candidates, Altuve Impresses Again & More

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

Jose Abreu continues to show off his power, hitting a pair of home runs yesterday (he’s up to 25 HR on the season despite spending time on the DL).  However, we all know how good he is at this point.  What else happened on the field, though?  Let’s take a look:

 

1) Kevin Gausman struggles in his return to the Orioles rotation…
Gausman last started on June 18 for the Orioles, working 1.0 inning at Triple-A on June 23 in an effort to keep him sharp and ready for this start.  Unfortunately it didn’t work.  The Rays’ tagged him for 5 ER on 7 H and 4 BB, striking out 1, over 5.0 IP (only 50 of 95 pitches were strikes).  He had pitched well in the three starts prior to being emoted (2 ER over 19.0 IP) and you have to wonder if the length between starts got him a bit out of rhythm (it wouldn’t be the first time the Orioles put him in a position to fail).  He’s due to rejoin the rotation on normal rest, so hopefully he can get things back on track.  Don’t get too concerned over this one poor outing.

 

2) Josh Reddick enjoys a big day at the plate…
It’s been nearly two seasons of waiting for Reddick to get back to where he once was (32 HR in ’12), but that’s looking like it was more and more of the aberration.  He did enjoy a big day yesterday, going 3-5 with 2 RBI and is now 4-10 with 2 RBI and 2 R since returning from the DL.  Of course, overall he’s hitting just .225 with 4 HR in 178 AB.  He continues to show an inflated fly ball rate (44.8%), but the power just isn’t there (6.7% HR/FB, after an 8.9% mark in ’13).  Outside of the deepest of formats he’s shaping up to be a non-factor once again.

 

3) It was an impressive outing for Nick Tepesch…
Taking on the Twins Tepesch tossed 7.1 shutout innings allowing 3 H and 2 BB, striking out 5, to earn the W.  In eight starts this season he now owns a 3.65 ERA, though a 1.35 WHIP and underwhelming 5.89 K/9.  With a minor league career mark of 7.4 and a SwStr% of 6.2%, there’s not much upside in the latter.  As for the WHIP, his control is better than he’s shown (3.45 BB/9 vs. 2.2 mark in the minors) and he hasn’t had favorable luck (.277 BABIP) so there is a bit of hope there.  That said, it’s hardly enough to excite us.  Consider him a deep league option and nothing more.

 

4) Has the clock struck 12 on Matt Shoemaker’s success story…
It was a terrible outing yesterday, as he got tagged for 8 ER on 11 H and 1 BB, striking out 2, over just 4.0 innings against the Royals.  The biggest thing to note was that he simply wasn’t generating groundballs, with 3 on the game.  His groundball rate is suddenly 43.3% as a starter (after his last start it was 48.2%), while he owns a 1.33 HR/9.  It’s just one start, so we don’t want to jump off the bandwagon so quickly as he continues to show good control and strikeout upside.  We just need to temper expectations for now and see what happens his next time out (where he could be pitching for his rotation spot, as it wouldn’t be surprising to see the Angels trade for a starter at the deadline).

 

5) Just how good is Jose Altuve…
We cautioned owners not to sleep on Altuve prior to the season, but even we didn’t expect him to be this good.  After going 4-5 with 1 RBI, 2 R and 2 SB yesterday he’s now hitting .342 with 2 HR, 26 RBI, 40 R and 32 SB.  Outside of the lack of power, which we knew about, what exactly is there to complain about?  That said, there is definite room for regression in the average department given his 6.6% strikeout rate (between 11.7% and 12.6% over his first three seasons) and .360 BABIP.  That’s not to say that he’s not going to maintain value, considering his SB ability and potential to score runs in an improved Houston lineup.  Just be aware, but continue to view him as one of the better 2B options in the league.

 

6) It was an underwhelming start for Carlos Martinez…
Taking on the Dodgers, Martinez allowed 1 ER on 6 H and 3 BB, striking out 4, over 4.1 IP.  He’s now made three starts, failing to go more than 5.0 innings (though he is still being stretched out).  The more concerning mark is his walks, with 8 over 13.1 innings.  Of course, he does have 12 K and has generated a 58.3% groundball rate.  There’s no questioning the upside and we have to remember that he spent the bulk of the season working out of the bullpen.  We need to give him time to get re-acclimated to starting games, as he did own a 3.2 BB/9 in the minors.  In deeper formats, stay patient.

 

7) C.J. Cron shows off his power…
He went 2-4 with 2 HR, 3 RBI and 2 R, putting him at .301 with 8 HR and 22 RBI since being recalled.  He’s been hitting the ball hard (26.8%) and making solid contact (20.3% strikeout rate), though a 3.1% walk rate, 18.2% IFFB and 41.2% O-Swing% (league average is 29.4%) indicate that his average could regress quickly.  He also had 6 HR in 113 AB in the PCL prior to his recall, so maybe his 18.2% HR/FB is a little bit inflated.  He’s been impressive thus far, but there’s a good chance his value is at its peak.  Consider selling high while you can.

 

8) Jacob deGrom enjoys another strong start…
After he got beat up by the Cardinals it was justified to be concerned, but deGrom has bounced back strong.  He allowed 2 ER on 5 H and 3 BB, striking out 4, over 6.2 IP and has now allowed 2 ER over 13.2 IP in his past two starts.  That said, he still owns a 25.8% line drive rate and has struggled with his control overall (3.95 BB/9).  The latter wasn’t an issue in the minors (2.3 BB/9, including a 2.7 in 21 Triple-A starts), so there is reason to believe in that regard.  Still, he owned a 1.28 WHIP overall including marks of 1.48 at Double-A and 1.40 at Triple-A.  His value may never get higher than it is, and even when he was first recalled there was talk he would be better suited for the bullpen.  Don’t grow too attached.

 

9) Brandon Workman underwhelms in first start since suspension…
He allowed 4 ER on 7 H and 2 BB, striking out 5, over 7.0 IP against the Yankees.  The big problem were home runs, as he gave up blasts to Kelly Johnson (1-2, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 1 R) and Brett Gardner (1-3, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 1 R).  It’s the first time home runs have been an issue and it did come in Yankee Stadium, so we have to keep that in mind.  At the same time, the Red Sox have already moved Felix Doubront to the bullpen and are still trying to fit six starters into five spots.  Workman needs to be on, or he is going to lose his spot to Rubby De La Rosa.  Was last night enough to give De La Rosa the edge?  Time will tell, but it needs to be monitored.

 

10) Should we finally give up on R.A. Dickey…
He allowed 5 ER on 5 H and 1 BB, striking out 9, over 6.0 IP against the White Sox.  Of course, 4 of the 5 hits left the yard and he’s now allowed HR in eight consecutive starts (13 HR).  It’s the second consecutive season that home runs have been an issue, with a 1.40 mark in ’13 and a 1.38 mark thus far in ’14.  This year he’s also struggled with his control, with a 3.72 BB/9 and he simply may not be better than a low-4 ERA pitcher at this point.  In other words, he’s a low-end matchup play, at best.

 

Sources – ESPN, Fangraphs, Baseball Reference

5 comments

  1. Paul says:

    In a standard head-to-head 12 team league which two closers do you like best of Chad Qualls, Joe Smith and Jake Petricka?

    • Rotoprofessor says:

      Qualls is the only one I’d say I like. I’d go Smith, for now, but I’m thinking Grilli takes that job before long. As for Petricka, just because he got the save yesterday doesn’t mean much. Remember, both Putnam and Guerra had already worked in setup role. My money is on Putnam getting first shot.

  2. Kelly says:

    Eric,

    I watched 2 of Guasman’s previous starts that you referred to. While he did not allow many runs, he clearly did not have control of the strike zone and went deep in counts with the majority of hitters.

    As much as I like his mechanics, I was not impressed with his inability to locate pitches especially to left handed hitters.

    • Rotoprofessor says:

      Makes sense and thanks for sharing! Hopefully he can work through the issues, because the upside is definitely there.

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