10 Stories From 07/20/14 Box Scores: Struggling Youngsters (Ventura, Martinez), Seager Slugs & More

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

On a day where Casey McGehee actually homered (2-4, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 1 R) and Gio Gonzalez struggled (3.1 IP, 3 ER, 4 H, 3 BB, 5 K), there were ample stories on the field that we need to keep track of.  Let’s take a look:

 

1) Drew Smyly solid against the Indians…
Over 7.0 strong innings he allowed 1 ER on 4 H and 2 BB, striking out 6.  It was a strong bounce back performance, after allowing 13 ER over his previous three starts (14.1 IP).  The Tigers have been inconsistent with their usage of Smyly, at times, this season though that wasn’t the issue during his poor stretch of games.  Overall the numbers are still solid, with a 3.80 ERA and 1.30 WHIP, as home runs (1.33 HR/9 entering the day) have been his biggest issue.  Even yesterday the lone run against came via the long ball so it’s going to be something we have to continue monitoring.  Consider him a low-end option, though one worth owning.

 

2) Has the time come to give up on Yordano Ventura…
It was a poor outing against the Red Sox, allowing 6 ER on 9 H and 4 BB over 4.1 IP.  Even worse, he failed to generate a single strikeout.  Obviously “giving up” is a bit extreme, though there’s no doubt that he’s been a frustrating starter at time this season (3.59 ERA, 1.33 WHIP).  He did own a 7.66 K/9, 2.70 BB/9 and 48.9% groundball rate entering the day, and he has significantly more upside in the strikeout department (10.6% SwStr%).  The skillset is definitely there, he just needs to find some consistency (a typical trend for any young pitcher).  Stay the course, just be prepared to take the good with the bad.

 

3) When will the Phillies pull the plug on Cody Asche…
He wasn’t the only Philadelphia hitter who stood no chance against Alex Wood (6.0 IP, 1 ER, 3 H, 0 BB, 8 K, W), but he certainly looked the worst by going 0-4 with 4 K on the day.  He’s now hitting .247 and has suddenly been having some strikeout issues (this is the second time in his past five games where he has registered 4 K) with 21 K in 58 AB in July.  Obviously Maikel Franco hasn’t lived up to expectations thus far, but coincidentally he has started to hit since the calendar turned to July.  If Asche continues struggling, could the team look to make a change?  It’s definitely something to keep an eye on, though for now he’ll likely stick in the lineup and be given an opportunity to figure it out.

 

4) Matt Dominguez helps to carry the Astros…
Hitting in the cleanup spot, Dominguez went 3-5 with 1 HR, 4 RBI and 2 R.  He now has 12 HR and 43 RBI on the season, though he’s also hitting just .239.  His strikeouts aren’t terrible, at 20.6% entering the day, but he simply hasn’t hit the ball very hard (17.8% line drive rate).  Unfortunately for Dominguez and fantasy owners, that has been a consistent trend given his 18.7% mark from a year ago.  It is becoming more and more likely that he simply isn’t going to be a source of a very good average, and it’s not like the power is overly impressive.  Does he hold value?  Yes, but as nothing more than a desperation play as a corner infielder.  You should be able to find a better option.

 

5) Chris Archer solid in victory…
He allowed 3 R (1 earned) on 6 H and 2 BB, striking out 4, over 6.1 IP to defeat the Twins.  After giving up 5 ER over 5.0 IP in his last start before the All-Star Break, it definitely was a much needed outing for fantasy owners.  He owns a 3.31 ERA and 1.31 WHIP, though it’s unfortunately easy to imagine him regressing a bit more moving forward.  His control has been unimpressive, with a 3.57 BB/9 (4.3 in 191.0 IP at Triple-A, 5.0 overall in the minors), and is not guaranteed to improve.  He also entered the day with a 0.40 HR/9, after owning a 1.05 in 2013, so it’s easy to imagine him giving up a few more home runs moving forward.  That’s not to say that he’s not going to be a productive option, it just means that you have to be cautious moving forward.

 

6) Kyle Seager continues his breakout…
The Mariners ended up taking the loss, but Seager continued to impress going 2-4 with 1 HR, 1 RBI and 1 R.  He’s now hitting .277 with 16 HR and 64 RBI, and there’s nothing unrealistic in the underlying numbers either.  Would anyone second guess a 19.6% strikeout rate?  How about a .313 BABIP, given a 23.9% line drive rate (you can actually argue that the BABIP is unlucky)?  A 13.3% HR/FB?  That is a career high, but at 26-years old seeing a power increase is not surprising.  Of course, we have to remember that he owned a 12.3% mark in the first half last season, only to see it fall to 6.9% in the second half.  Can he maintain the power throughout the season this time around?  It’s definitely worth gambling on.

 

7) Another beating for Kevin Gausman…
It was a top matchup, taking on the A’s in Oakland, and Gausman certainly struggled as he allowed 5 ER on 9 H and 2 BB, striking out 6, over just 4.0 IP.  He had pitched well in his previous two outings, and in general has been good more than he’s been bad.  In fact, he’s allowed 1 ER or fewer in five of his eight starts this season.  It’s those other three (where he’s allowed 5 ER in each) have been the problem.  The Orioles have also been inconsistent with their usage, as opposed to simply slotting him into the rotation and letting him do his thing (like what the Blue Jays have done with Marcus Stroman, for instance).  If that has been a problem, at times, is pure speculation but that wasn’t the case this time around.  We have to hope that the team continues to give him his opportunity to start, though that remains to be seen.  He is worth owning, just don’t consider him a must use option.

 

8) Odrisamer Despaigne flirts with no-hitter…
He ultimately fell short and was even hung with a no decision, allowing 1 ER on 2 H and 3 BB, striking out 5, over 7.2 IP against the Mets.  He has been spectacular since joining the Padres, with a 1.31 ERA and 0.90 WHIP.  Of course, he also entered the day with a .213 BABIP, 89.4% strand rate and miniscule 4.05 K/9.  Does anyone really expect him to maintain those types of marks?  We aren’t going to try and draw any conclusions off his minor league numbers, given the small sample size (31.1 IP), but there’s a good chance he regresses significantly.  Don’t get too obsessed with his current production.

 

9) Carlos Martinez can’t handle the Dodgers…
He allowed 3 ER on 6 H and 2 BB, striking out 5, over 4.0 IP.  While he is generating strikeouts, 9.46 K/9 as a starter, that’s where the positive numbers end.  There has been some poor luck, like a .376 BABIP, but he still owns a 4.45 and 1.64 WHIP as a starting pitcher.  He has also failed to go deep into games, never going more than 6.0 IP and has gone less than five innings in four of his seven starts.  The Cardinals have been rumored to be in the market for a starting pitcher and you have to wonder if the continued struggles of Martinez could accelerate their pursuit.  Don’t be surprised if Martinez is returned to the bullpen by this time next week.

 

10) Could Dan Robertson take over leadoff duties in Texas…
With Shin-Soo Choo getting the day off Robertson was slotted atop the lineup yesterday and went 2-5 with 4 RBI.  He’s now recording three straight two hit games, going 6-12 with 4 RBI, 2 R and 1 SB over that span.  Even more impressive, he has just 1 K (and 16 K in 75 AB on the season).  He’s not a source of power, but did steal 24 bases at Triple-A last season and owns a 10.6% strikeout rate since 2011 in the minors.  When coupled with his 10.1% walk rate, there is the potential for him to thrive atop the order.  There’s a lot of risk, but in deeper formats he’s worth rolling the dice on.

 

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

Make sure to check out all of our Rest of Season Rankings:

*** Make sure to pre-order Rotoprofessor’s 2014 Fantasy Football Draft Guide!! The guide comes complete with projections of over 350 players, expended rankings, sleepers, and so much more (including constant updates up until opening day). For just $6 you will get everything you need to dominate your fantasy league and one lucky subscriber will win a free autographed Brett Favre 8×10! For more information and to place your order, click here. ***

One comment

  1. e says:

    was that yordano’s 1st start in boston? wouldn’t be the 1st guy to give up some runs his first time in fenway. but I didn’t watch the game, hittable can be hittable anywhere sometimes.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *