10 Stories From 07/27/14 Box Scores: Danny Salazar & Jimmy Nelson Show Their Stuff & More

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

Carlos Santana continued his scorching hot stretch, going 3-3 with 2 HR, 4 RBI and 2 R (5 HR in his past three games).  Clearly there’s no one in the game who is going better than Santana right now, though there are plenty of other performances worth noting.  Let’s take a look at yesterday’s action:


1) Allen Webster wins 2014 debut…
That doesn’t mean that he pitched well, though.  Taking on the Rays he allowed 2 ER on 3 H and 5 BB, striking out 4, over 5.1 innings.  In fact he threw just 42 of his 86 pitches for strikes as he assumed the rotation spot vacated by Jake Peavy.  He owned a 2.95 ERA and 1.27 WHIP at Triple-A prior to his recall, to go along with a 7.38 K/9 and 3.25 BB/9.  However, in 30.1 innings in the Majors last season he owned a 5.34 BB/9 so struggling to find the strike zone shouldn’t be a surprise.  Whether Webster sticks in the rotation or not also remains to be seen, with Brandon Workman and Anthony Ranaudo waiting in the wings to grab the role.  At this point there’s nothing to get overly excited about.


2) Another strong start for Danny Salazar…
Wasn’t the question supposed to be his control?  He didn’t issue a walk against the Royals yesterday, allowing 3 ER on 7 H, striking out 7, over 7.0 IP.  He’s now 2-0 since returning from the minors, allowing 4 ER on 13 H and 3 BB, striking out 13, over 12.0 IP.  Of course, the matchups against the Twins and Royals so you could argue that we shouldn’t put too much stock in his performances.  Of course, things don’t get much more difficult as his next start is scheduled to come against the Rangers.  His strikeout stuff definitely is desirable and with a favorable matchup he is well worth using.  Is he a must start?  Of course not and we are going to want to see him continue to roll before fully trusting him.


3) Jimmy Nelson impressive in defeat…
He made one mistake and it cost him, as Jacob deGrom was lights out once again (6.1 IP, 0 ER, 4 H, 2 BB, 4 K, W).  Nelson allowed 2 ER on 5 H and 2 BB, striking out 6, over 7.0 IP and has now been solid in back-to-back outings despite not having a W to show for it (13.0 IP, 5 ER, 9 K, 3 BB, 11 K).  Even more impressive is that he also generated 12 groundballs, the second consecutive start that he posted that amount of groundballs.  Let’s not forget how impressive he was at Triple-A, with a 9.24 K/9, 2.59 BB/9 and 57.3% groundball rate, meaning these past two starts are hardly an aberration.  The Cardinals gave him a beating prior to the All-Star Break, but Nelson is going to get a chance to exact some revenge in his next outing.  While he’s not a must use option for that one, he could quickly emerge as one if he pitches well again.


4) One mistake plagues Kyle Hendricks…
He allowed a solo home run to Matt Holliday (2-4, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 1 R) and that was the difference as Adam Wainwright kept the Cubs off the board.  Hendricks allowed 1 ER on 7 H and 0 BB, striking out 2, over 6.1 IP and has now allowed 1 ER over his past 13.1 IP with 23 groundballs.  He owned an 8.50 K/9, 2.02 BB/9 and 52.0% groundball rate while at Triple-A this season and marks of 7.68, 1.61 and 52.5% over his minor league career (452.1 IP).  Obviously pitching for the Cubs is going to work against him a little bit (just see Jeff Samardzija as an example), but the makeup is definitely there for success.  While he’s not a recommended option for his next start against the Dodgers, there’s enough upside there to own him in deeper formats.


5) Mike Zunino goes deep again…
He actually had a big day overall, going 3-4 with 1 HR, 1 RBI and 1 R, but he’s really been an all or nothing hitter this season.  While he does have 15 HR and 37 RBI, he’s hitting just .209.  The biggest problem has been his 32.5% strikeout rate and meager 3.5% walk rate entering the day, but that’s not the only reason his average has been poor.  He owned a 46.9% fly ball rate entering the day, a number that doesn’t generally yield a good BABIP.  Considering his line drive rate was also 17.2%, was his .251 really “unlucky”?  Maybe there’s a bit of upside, but at this point he’s got to be considered nothing more than a source of power.


6) Josh Harrison just continues to produce…
Slotted in the leadoff spot Harrison had a field day in Coors Field, going 4-6 with 1 HR, 2 RBI, 2 R and 2 SB yesterday, putting him at .294 with 6 HR and 13 SB on the season.  His production has slowed down, as he entered the day hitting .229 in July, but the Pirates continue to get him into the lineup all around the diamond and the numbers are believable (14.2% strikeout rate, 21.9% line drive rate, .320 BABIP entering the day).  With his eligibility all around the diamond, he remains an option that’s worth owning and plugging in where you need him.


7) Yangervis Solarte v2.0…
Here we go again?!  Maybe Solarte is just a player who gets hot when he first starts with a team before slowing down as he’s gotten off to a quick start with the Padres.  He went 2-5 with 1 HR, 1 RBI and 1 R yesterday and is now hitting .333 with 1 HR, 5 RBI and 5 R in five games in San Diego.  Does anyone really believe that he can keep up this type of production however?  We learned from his time in New York that he could provide a spark and maybe even sustain a little success, but at the end of the day he’s nothing more than a low-end option.  Ride him while he’s hot, but be prepared to move on quickly.


8) The regression of Shane Greene continues…
He allowed 3 ER on 8 H and 2 BB, striking out 2, over 5.1 IP and has now allowed 7 ER over his past 11.0 IP.  Considering he owned a 4.61 ERA and 1.58 WHIP is anyone really surprised that he’s taken a step backwards?  Sure you could argue bad luck (.360 BABIP, 65.5% strand rate), but that’s hardly enough.  In his minor league career he owns a 4.39 ERA and 1.48 WHIP, including a 3.6 BB/9, and is hardly an option to roll the dice on in anything but the deepest of formats.


9) Is Josh Reddick starting to warm up…
He went 3-5 with 1 RBI and is 4-9 with 1 HR and 2 RBI over his past two games.  He’s hitting .245 on the season, which isn’t unreasonable given is 20.5% strikeout rate and 44.5% fly ball rate (14.5% IFFB).  The real question is if he can hit for more power than he’s shown thus far, with 5 HR and a 7.2% HR/FB.  While he showed a lot more than that back in 2012 (14.0%), his career mark is 10.4% so it’s hardly a given.  Maybe he gets scorching hot and is worth using, but generally he’s not worth utilizing outside of the deepest of five-outfielder formats.


10) Jake Peavy doesn’t fare extremely well in Giants debut…
He allowed 4 R (3 earned) on 6 H and 2 BB, striking out 5, over 6.0 IP against the Dodgers to take the loss.  As we said at the time of the trade Peavy should benefit from the move to the NL West, has been plagued by a bit of bad luck this season (.301 BABIP despite an 18.9% line drive rate) and should see his home run rate improve (1.38 HR/9).  Does that make him an overwhelming option to use?  No, but it does make him more intriguing moving forward depending on the matchup.


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

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  1. Joey says:

    Someone just bailed on jay Bruce… Drop cole kalhoun or springer for him?? Thanks!

  2. Scott says:

    Degrom, Quintana, stroman, and liriano are all free agents.. Which one would you pick up?

    • Rotoprofessor says:

      Love them all and all should be owned in most formats. As for which to grab, is it a keeper league?

      • Scott says:

        Just an 8 man league is why..nope this is a standard re draft league

        • Rotoprofessor says:

          Right now it’s real close, so if they are all available I’d probably stream based on matchup. If you are banking on just one, I’d say Liriano probably has the highest upside but can’t go wrong with any of them (it’s just Stroman/deGrom could be streaky and have their bumps, as young pitchers tend to do)

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