10 Stories From 07/21/14 Box Scores: Wily Peralta Impresses, Ian Desmond Enjoys Big Day & More

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

Cliff Lee made his much anticipated return from the DL, but fell completely flat (5.2 IP, 6 ER, 12 H, 1 BB, 3 K).  It’s a great example of why we are generally skeptical of pitchers in their first start off the DL.  He wasn’t the only pitcher returning pitcher, with Bud Norris (who was recalled from Triple-A and we’ll talk about in a bit) and Jonathan Niese (6.0 IP, 4 ER, 11 H, 2 BB, 6 K) also taking the mound.  What else do we need to know from yesterday’s games?  Let’s take a look:

 

1) Shane Greene has first unimpressive outing…  Kind of…
He wasn’t awful, allowing 4 ER on 5 H and 1 BB, striking out 5, over 5.2 IP, though you can blame five errors as part of the problem (of course, he committed three of them himself).  Greene still owns an impressive 2.79 ERA and 0.98 WHIP over 19.1 IP, though you have to wonder if this could be the beginning of his demise.  We have to remember that he owned a 4.61 ERA and 1.58 WHIP in 66.1 innings at Triple-A prior to his recall.  Also, while he was a decent groundball pitcher in the minors (48.4% since 2011), there’s little chance he maintains his current 63.6% mark.  Throw in potentially questionable control (3.58 BB/9 in the minors since ’11, 2.79 in the Majors) and you see the potential struggles.  Don’t move mountains if he’s still on your waiver wire, especially since the Yankees figure to be active on the trade market.

 

2) Should fantasy owners trust Edinson Volquez…
He had been pitching well, though struggled yesterday in his first start out of the All-Star Break against the Dodgers.  Lasting 5.2 innings he allowed 5 ER on 10 H and 3 BB, striking out 3.  He had been on a roll heading into the break, allowing 3 ER over 30.0 IP in his final four starts.  Even yesterday, though, he did a good job of generating groundballs (9), and owns a 49.6% mark to go along with a 3.09 BB/9.  The real problem has been his inability to generate strikeouts, with a 5.86 K/9 (compared to an 8.11 career mark).  It’s also not that he’s generating swings and misses, with a 7.5% SwStr% (a year posting an 8.6% mark).  Without the strikeouts he’s going to be nothing more than a matchup play.

 

3) Drew Hutchison takes a beating…
Hutchison allowed 6 ER on 9 H and 0 BB, striking out 2, over 2.2 IP in what was just the beginnings of a blowout (Boston racked up 14 R on 18 H) led by David Ortiz (2-5, 2 HR, 4 RBI, 2 R), Mike Napoli (3-5, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 3 R) and Stephen Drew (2-4, 1 HR, 4 RBI, 2 R).  As for Hutchison, he was a preseason darling but the bloom is certainly off the rose at this point.  He’s now allowed 12 ER over 8.0 IP in his past two starts and has allowed 24 ER over 31.0 IP in his past six starts.  Don’t be surprised if the Blue Jays acquire a veteran to assume the role, but regardless of what they do it appears Hutchison’s time is coming to an end for now.

 

4) Tom Koehler thrives in no decision…
Obviously Julio Teheran’s performance is going to gain more attention (7.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 H, 1 BB, 11 K), but we just spoke about him yesterday and we all know he’s among the better options in the league.  Koehler, though, is an under-the-radar option who really thrived in Atlanta yesterday as he allowed 1 ER on 5 H and 2 BB, striking out 7, over 6.2 IP.  He now owns a 3.85 ERA and 1.22 WHIP as he’s shown solid though unspectacular marks across the board (7.16 K/9, 3.54 BB/9, 44.0% groundball rate).  We can wonder if he’s going to be able to maintain a 17.7% line drive rate, and subsequently a .260 BABIP, which obviously would lead to a regression.  Regardless, he’s nothing more than a backend option who could easily struggle moving forward.

 

5) Another impressive outing from Wily Peralta…
Taking on a depleted Reds’ lineup, Peralta struggled with his control early on but ultimately posted an impressive line as he allowed 1 ER (a solo home run from Billy Hamilton) on 3 H and 2 BB, striking out 5, over 7.0 IP to earn the W.  After a rough stretch he’s looked great in his past two outings, allowing 1 ER on 6 H and 2 BB over 14.0 IP.  While he hasn’t shown significant strikeout stuff (6.73 K/9), he has displayed impressive control (2.36 BB/9) and groundball stuff (54.5% groundball rate).  That’s more than enough, and it’s also extremely possible he improves his strikeout rate given a fastball that’s averaged 95.6 mph (he needs to improve his O-Swing%, with a below average 29.0%).  Regardless, he’s a player worth owning in all formats.

 

6) A monster day for Ian Desmond…
He went 5-5 with 1 HR, 2 RBI and 3 R.  He has shown the power we expected this season, with 17 HR and 62 RBI, but is still hitting just .253.  Overall his strikeout rate is up (28.6%) and the line drive rate is down (16.0%).  Both numbers are improved in July (24.1% and 29.3%, respectively), which does give us hope for his average moving forward.  Couple that with the power and continued ability to steal some bases (10 thus far in ’14, 20+ each of the past three seasons) and there’s obviously going to be a lot to like.

 

7) Is it time to part ways with Eugenio Suarez…
He went 0-4 yesterday and is now 0-10 in his past three games and 2-20 over his past six.  He’s now hitting .250 and you have to wonder if his power surge upon being recalled (as well as his 8 HR in the minors prior to joining Detroit) has gotten into his head a bit.  He’s never been a power hitter (10 HR was his career high), but he currently owns a 50.0% fly ball rate while with the Tigers.  That’s simply not going to work and there’s little chance that he thrives with that type of mark, especially when coupled with a 24.6% strikeout rate.  Unless he changes his approach, he’s going to struggle in the average department moving forward.

 

8) A returning Bud Norris leads the way in Baltimore…
Maybe Adam Jones (2-4, 2 HR, 4 RBI, 2 R) really led the way, but Norris was impressive allowing 2 R (1 earned) on 8 H and 2 BB, striking out 8, to defeat the Angels in LA.  He owns a 3.78 ERA and 1.21 WHIP, but the biggest issue has been his sudden lack of strikeouts (6.45 K/9).  He is showing better control, with a 2.86 BB/9, so has he sacrificed strikeouts for that?  Perhaps, as he’s not generating swings and misses (6.7% SwStr%) and he’s using his fastball at a career high 61.3%.  Unless he can get the strikeouts going, he’s not going to be more than a matchup play.

 

9) Roenis Elias strong while in there…
Ryan Divish, via Twitter, has reported that Elias left due to “cramping in his forearm” but while he was on the mound he was stellar.  Taking on a relatively punchless Mets’ offense he allowed 1 ER on 5 H and 2 BB, striking out 8, over 5.1 IP.  He had allowed 5 ER or more in three straight starts (16 ER over 14.1 IP), so you have to wonder if he was simply wearing down and needed a rest.  Time will tell, but overall he owns a 7.91 K/9, 3.19 BB/9 and 1.27 WHIP.  His 4.41 ERA is mostly due to a below average 68.4% strand rate, so there is still a lot to like.  Don’t get discouraged based on the poor stretch, but also don’t consider him a must start.  It wouldn’t be shocking if he wears down again as the season progresses.

 

10) Matt Shoemaker impresses in defeat…
If it wasn’t for Adam Jones, the results would’ve been far different for Shoemaker who allowed 4 ER on 5 H and 0 BB, striking out 10, over 5.2 IP.  While he owns a 4.37 ERA as a starter, it has come courtesy of a 9.68 K/9 and 1.87 BB/9.  While we’d like to see a slightly better line drive rate (21.0%), it simply doesn’t justify a .350 BABIP or a 67.1% strand rate.  He’s hardly a guarantee to produce, but there’s more than enough there to make him ownable and a matchup play (at worst).

 

Sources – ESPN, Fangraphs, Minor League Central

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6 comments

  1. bbboston says:

    Rotoprofessor:

    What do you think of this AL only league trade? Unfortunately, dumping has already resulted in better pitchers being controlled for the remainder of the season, so I had to make some leaps of faith:

    Bucholz/House => Redmond/Tanaka
    Dickey=> Alberquerque
    Young=> Duffy

    House and Tanaka are presently reserved.

    • bbboston says:

      PS: I would be getting Bucholz, Dickey and Young.

    • Rotoprofessor says:

      I mean, you’re not giving up much for this season outside of maybe Duffy so there’s no harm in the deal. It is taking some leaps of faith, though, and if it’s a keeper league I would be shooting for more for Tanaka if it’s out there.

      • bbboston says:

        It is a keeper league, but there really isn’t presently anything better out there, until other teams decide to dump = could be weeks. It really is about hoping Bucholz and Dickey pitch well for the remainder of the year. I need whip, era, wins and Ks, but especially wins. This gives me starters, so as long as its era/whip neutral, I’m in a better place.

      • bbboston says:

        PS: what are you’re thoughts on Dickey… I’ve read over the last few years that as the season wears on he get’s stronger…..

        • Rotoprofessor says:

          If it’s the best you can get and, with Tanaka likely needing Tommy John surgery, sometimes you have to do what you have to do.

          As for Dickey, he’s never going to be the Cy Young pitcher he was in New York. He’ll have his good days and his bad, but probably isn’t anything more than a back end option.

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