10 Stories From 06/28/14 Box Scores: Hughes’ Regression, Don’t Be Discouraged On Gray & More

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

Gerrit Cole made his return from the DL, though it was not an impressive one as he allowed 5 ER on 7 H and 3 BB, striking out 4, over 4.0 innings against the Mets.  Mookie Betts officially joined the Red Sox, though fantasy owners continue to wait for him to make his Major League debut.  Christian Bethancourt, on the other hand, debuted for the Braves (1-4), though doesn’t bring much offensive appeal to the table.  What else do we need to know about from yesterday’s games?  Let’s take a look:

 

1) Marcus Stroman dominant again…
He was ultimately charged with 2 ER, but it wasn’t entirely his fault as he allowed a two out double to Jose Abreu (1-4, 1 R) and walked Adam Dunn before being lifted with two outs in the seventh inning.  Dustin McGowan came on and promptly allowed a three-run home run to Dayan Viciedo on his first pitch, spoiling the outing.  Stroman allowed 2 ER on 2 H and 2 BB, striking out 6, over 6.2 IP in a no decision.  Over his last two starts he’s now allowed 3 ER on 5 H and 3 BB over 14.2 IP in his past two starts.  He entered the day with a 2.43 ERA, 1.15 WHIP, 7.89 K/9 and 1.82 BB/9 as a starting pitcher.  He has benefited from an 87.7% strand rate, but it’s not a major concern.  He’s showing just how good he can be and is well worth owning in most formats.  There could be some inconsistency, as there is with any young pitcher, but he’s worth the gamble.

 

2) Brandon Guyer hits third for the Rays…
Who, you ask?  Guyer was a fifth round pick of the Cubs back in 2007, who made his debut for the Rays back in 2011.  However this year is the first time he’s seen any extensive time in the Majors and he’s fared fairly well, hitting .278 with 1 HR, 10 RBI, 17 R and 1 SB over 97 AB.  Obviously there’s a reason he was buried in the minors, however.  He’s never hit more than 14 HR in a minor league season and while he does have some speed he’s never stolen more than 30 bases.  A career .298 hitter there really isn’t much to get excited about.  Joe Maddon has always been one to mix up his lineup to try and cash in on a hot hand, so don’t read much into where Guyer hit in the lineup.  There’s a good chance he’s back on the bench before we know it.

 

3) Brett Oberholtzer pitches well in return to the Majors…
Dallas Keuchel was scratched from his start with swelling in his wrist so Oberholtzer was summoned from Triple-A.  He pitched well against the Tigers, allowing 1 ER on 5 H and 2 BB, striking out 4, over 6.1 IP.  In his last three starts in the Majors he’s allowed 4 ER over 19.1 IP, though he has struggled with home runs at Triple-A (7 HR in 19.0 IP in his past three starts, though it is the PCL).  While he does have good control, the strikeout stuff is limited (7.7 K/9 in the minors).  While he could get a few starts if Keuchel needs to miss time, there’s not much to get excited about.

 

4) Has Phil Hughes lost his appeal…
He didn’t have the prettiest of starts, allowing 5 ER on 11 H and 1 BB, striking out 6, over 7.2 IP and has now allowed 10 ER on 19 H in his past 12.2 IP.  We all knew there was a risk of regression, given his ridiculous control numbers (0.85 BB/9 entering the day).  Of course, that wasn’t the problem yesterday, nor were the HR issues that have plagued him before.  Instead it was just a lot of hits, though it’s not like he’s in line for a major correction (.319 BABIP entering the day).  While it’s easy to get nervous given his history, there’s nothing to be concerned about.  While the control will likely regress, he should continue to be a viable option moving forward.

 

5) Kole Calhoun starting to heat up a bit…
He went 3-5 with 1 RBI and 2 R yesterday, putting him at .280 with 6 HR and 3 SB over 164 AB.  He’s now scored 2 R in four of his past six games, and also has hits in five of his past six (8-21 over that span).  Obviously the performance hasn’t quite been what we hope for, but the recent ability to score runs is definitely nice to see and also should continue.  The biggest issue is that he’s become more of a platoon player, with just 37 AB against LHP this season (.243/.256/.432).  That keeps him from being a must use option.

 

6) It was not a very good day for Sonny Gray…
He allowed 5 ER on 7 H and 3 BB, striking out 4, over 5.0 IP against the Marlins (in a game that ultimately went 14 innings).  It was a disappointing outing and the second time in his past four starts where he has allowed 5 ER.  Of course, he entered the day with a 7.82 K/9 (8.7% SwStr%), 3.09 BB/9 and 55.0% groundball rate.  Throw in realistic luck metrics (.274 BABIP, 76.9% strand rate) and there is nothing to be discouraged about.  Continue to view him among the better options in the league.

 

7) Lance Lynn implodes against the Dodgers…
After throwing 8.0 shutout innings against the Rockies, at Coors Field, in his last outing there were high hopes that Lynn was primed for a major run.  Instead he got blown up by the Dodgers, allowing 7 R (6 earned) on 9 H and 2 BB, striking out 2, over just 2.0 IP.  There was nothing in the numbers entering the day that indicated a major regression, so he could easily get back on track for his next outing.  Of course, he also owns a career 3.95 ERA and 1.38 WHIP in the second half (3.62, 1.28 in the first half).  Until he proves that he can thrive late into the season, consider us skeptical.

 

8) Andrelton Simmons moved up to #2 spot of the lineup…
He was slotted there in both games of the double header, going 1-9 with 2 R and 1 SB (Tommy La Stella was dropped to the seventh spot, where he went 3-8 with 5 RBI and 1 R).  Owners have been waiting for Simmons to get an opportunity towards the top of the lineup, and now we wait to see if he will get an extended shot there.  Of course, he’s now hitting .248 with 5 HR, 22 RBI, 21 R and 2 SB on the season.  While he makes consistent contact (10.0% strikeout rate entering the day), he has struggled with a 16.0% line drive rate this season.  He also has seen his power fall, with both his fly ball rate (34.4%) and HR/FB (6.0% regressing from a year ago).  There’s a lot of upside and he certainly will have more value hitting in the second spot, but he’s hardly a guarantee to continue producing.

 

9) Josh Tomlin throws a gem against the Mariners…
In a two-start week it’s possible you took the gamble on Tomlin and, if you did, you were rewarded handsomely last night.  He tossed a complete game, one-hit shutout against the Mariners, walking none and striking out 11.  Of course, he had allowed 10 ER on 19 H and 2 BB over 9.1 in his previous two starts and was the owners of a career 4.85 ERA entering the day.  That said, his WHIP was 1.23 as he owned a 65.9% strand rate.  His strikeouts are also up this season, courtesy of a 9.1% SwStr%.  With extremely good control (1.67 BB/9 for his career), is there actually more here than meets the eye?  He is prone to home runs and I wouldn’t consider him a pitcher to set in your lineup, but as a streaming option there could be value depending on the matchup.  Who knew, right?

 

10) What to think of Jeff Samardzija…
His final line yesterday was not pretty, allowing 6 R (5 earned) on 7 H and 0 BB, striking out 6, over 5.0 IP, but a lot of the damage was done after a lengthy rain delay.  That said, he still owns a 2.83 ERA, 1.20 WHIP and 103 K on the season, so it is hard to complain.  He entered the day with a .302 BABIP and 74.4% strand rate, so luck isn’t an issue.  He also had an 8.48 K/9, 2.71 BB/9 and 52.4% groundball rate, meaning he’s shown the trio of skills we love.  While W have been his biggest issue, that could quickly be remedied should he be dealt to a contender.  The bottom line is that there is no reason to think he’s going to completely collapse and should remain one of the better pitchers in the league moving forward.

 

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

7 comments

  1. bbboston says:

    Rotoprofessor:

    Would really enjoy/appreciate hearing your advice on the following. In a 12-team, AM only 5×5 league. Dumping season has begun. My dumpable assets based on pricing are Seager, Perez, Ortiz, Ventura, Duffy, Tanaka (based on strong “ace” leanings in league), Britton, Doolittle. I’m presently in third place with the following category rankings:

    R HR RBI SB AVG W SV ERA SO HW/9 TOTAL
    9.0 8.0 8.0 8.0 8.0 4.0 12.0 8.0 8.0 7.0 80.0

    Roster Note: McCallister can be activated and bump out Putnam any time (once a week). I expect that to happen within next 2-3 weeks, if Putnam isn’t named Belasario’s replacement..

    Hanging Curves
    Actives…
    1B EHosmer KC (P 20)
    2B DAckley Sea (A 15)
    SS AEscobar KC (A 19)
    3B KSeager Sea (P 7)
    OF BGardner NYY (A 23)
    OF JHamilton LAA (A 26)
    OF DViciedo CWS (FA 10)
    OF AGordon KC (P 25)
    C SPerez KC (P 8)
    C #JMontero Sea (FA 10)
    CI CGillaspie CWS (FA 10)
    MI ESuarez Det (FA 10)
    DH DOrtiz Bos (P 14)
    P ACobb TB (P 15)
    P YVentura KC (P 8)
    P MTanaka NYY (A 28)
    P ZBritton Bal (A 1)
    P SDoolittle Oak (A 2)
    P DDuffy KC (P 1)
    P RBelisario CWS (FA 8)
    P MBuehrle Tor (P 7)
    P HKuroda NYY (A 21)
    P ZPutnam CWS (FA 8)

    Reserves…
    C #JPinto Min (A 8)
    P #EJohnson CWS (A 3)
    P *JCrain Hou (A 5)
    P #ZMcAllister Cle (A 7)

    As you know, dumping is tricky business. In general, as you can see, I presently have pretty balanced stats. I just need to probably get to 90+ points. (I think I would be leading the league, if not for Hamilton (injury), Hosmer and Ackley terrible performances, as well as early season crashes of Nova, Salazar, Cobb (due to injury). I would love to hear in order of priority who you would want to replace, assuming you could reasonably replace as many as 3-4 hitters, two of which will be clearly the Pinto/Montero stack and Ackley. Same question for my pitchers, one of which will be Belasario.

    THANKS for all the great articles and insight!

    • Rotoprofessor says:

      I’d say the guys I’d be looking to replace were:

      Ackley
      Montero
      Gillaspie
      Viciedo (to an extent)

      On the pitching side:
      Duffy/Buehrle/Kuroda, depending what’s out there

      Obviously, if you can upgrade on any of the reserves I would too.

  2. bbboston says:

    On another note, are you surprised by the continued success at the plate by Suarez? While it’s easy to overlook, 3 hits last night after a month up seems to be a great indicator that he continues to not be overmatched. Also, do you see Detroit using him for steals as he settles in more…

    • Rotoprofessor says:

      I’ve been a fan of Suarez since he was recalled, so no reason to back down now. As for allowing him to run, it wouldn’t be a surprise though he isn’t going to be a 30 SB threat.

      And, thanks for the support as always!

  3. Tuco says:

    You had Jeff Samardzija ranked 26th on your pre-season dynasty rankings. Do you think he’s moved up into the top 20? I just traded away my best young player (Springer) for him in a keeper league. I’m making a run of the the championship and I was about 150 IP behind 1st place in my league. I regret the deal as soon as it was accepted. Any thoughts?

    • dman says:

      springer strikes out way too much…. pitchers are usually hard to come by in fantasy.. if you had alot of options in outfield id say it was still a good move.

    • Rotoprofessor says:

      Samardzija is prob. right there around the Top 20 and probably in it with the skill set he’s shown thus far. If you are making a run at the title, I have no issue with the deal at all (assuming you have a replacement for Springer). In that type of situation I always believe in doing what you have to do to win.

      Will and I made a run at a dynasty league title last season and traded everyone not nailed down in the process (Wheeler, Yelich, Soler, etc.). At the end of the day we won the title, so it was well worth it. Just remember, flags fly forever 🙂

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