10 Stories From 07/28/14 Box Scores: Travis d’Arnaud Finally Impressing, Should We Give Up On Jesse Chavez & More

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

Ervin Santana posted his second consecutive start with 10+ K, striking out 11 over 8.0 IP.  R.A. Dickey showed why he’s worth the gamble, allowing 1 ER with 10 K against the Red Sox.  What else happened that we need to know about?  Let’s take a look:

 

1) Jason Lane solid in first Major League start…
His story is definitely an interesting one, recently converting to the mound after making a career of it as an outfielder (41 HR as a member of the Astros between 2005 and 2006).  Now 37-years old, he’s converted back to the mound and pitched fairly well at Triple-A this season (4.67 ERA, 1.47 WHIP, 4.90 K/9, 1.71 BB/9, 37.9% groundball rate).  He went 6.0 innings yesterday against the Braves pitching even better than his minor league numbers, allowing 1 ER on 6 H and 0 BB, striking out 2.  It’s obvious that he has good control, but there is no strikeout stuff and there’s actually little to get excited about.  It’s a nice story, but from a fantasy perspective there’s nothing to it.

 

2) Is it time to give up on Clay Buchholz…
He got shelled by the Blue Jays, allowing 7 ER on 7 H and 4 BB, striking out 4, over 5.0 IP (and was followed up by Felix Doubront, who was even worse allowing 6 ER over 0.2 IP).  Buchholz has now allowed 4+ ER in three straight starts (15 ER over 17.0 IP) and five of his seven starts since returning from the DL.  We can talk about poor luck and underlying metrics all we want, but how long do we simply hold out hope for a pitcher who simply isn’t producing?  He’s going to show flashes, but at this point it’s impossible to have any faith in him getting the job done.  If you are in a deeper format and want to keep him on the bench we can buy it, but he should be nowhere near your starting lineup.  In most formats he’s better suited for the waiver wire.

 

3) Chase Anderson does the job again, but is he a must own…
He didn’t get a W, as Homer Bailey matched him nearly pitch for pitch (8.0 IP, 1 ER, 5 H, 1 BB, 3 K) and both pitchers settled for no decisions.  Anderson was even better, allowing 1 ER on 3 H and 2 BB, striking out 8, over 7.0 IP and made one mistake (a solo home run to Devin Mesoraco).  Anderson now owns a 3.34 ERA and 1.32 WHIP with an 8.02 K/9 and 3.21 BB/9 over his first 12 starts, but there’s a few red flags hanging over him.  He’s proven to be homer prone (1.34 HR/9) and could also see his luck turn quickly as he owns an 80.5% strand rate and .294 BABIP despite a 26.4% line drive rate.  The strikeouts do bring some appeal, but he’s not a pitcher that you want to set into your lineup and forget about.  There’s a good chance he hits a few bumps in the not too distant future.

 

4) Jake Odorizzi does it again…
Taking on a tough Brewers lineup he allowed 1 ER on 3 H and 0 BB, striking out 5, over 7.0 IP to earn the W.  He’s now allowed 3 ER or fewer in nine consecutive starts (and 2 ER or fewer in eight of those nine starts).  Overall he owns a 3.80 ERA and 1.28 WHIP, to go along with an impressive 10.21 K/9.  He owned a 9.1 K/9 coming up through the minors, and marks of 8.5 and 8.2 and Double and Triple-A, so we can argue that his current mark is slightly inflated (10.1% SwStr% does support a better mark).  It’s something to keep in mind, but don’t think a regression is a guarantee.  He’s proving to be a solid option and should continue to be so moving forward.

 

5) Travis d’Arnaud continues to impress, but is he a viable option…
He went 3-4 with 1 HR, 3 RBI and 2 R (also smashing a pair of doubles) leading the charge against the Phillies and A.J. Burnett (5.0 IP, 7 ER, 8 H, 2 BB, 4 K).  He’s now hitting .232 with 7 HR on the season but has been significantly better in July as he’s hitting .288 with 3 HR and 12 RBI over 73 AB.  It certainly appears like his stint at Triple-A paid dividends as he’s consistently hitting the ball hard (24.6% line drive rate), is making contact (19.5% strikeout rate) and the luck hasn’t been anything to be concerned about (.327 BABIP).  We’ve long heard about his potential so it’s nice to finally be seeing it in the Major Leagues.  Is it enough to make him a must start option in single catcher formats?  It’s not unthinkable, depending on who you are currently using, but he definitely has the potential to get there before long.

 

6) Tsuyoshi Wada bounces back strong to earn first MLB W…
Taking on the Rockies he allowed 1 ER on 5 H and 1 BB, striking out 6, over 7.0 IP.  It was a great bounce back performance, after allowing 5 ER over 4.0 IP against the Padres in his previous outing.  He was pitching great at Triple-A prior to his recall, with a 2.77 ERA and 1.18 WHIP to go along with 9.50 K/9 and 2.22 BB/9.  That’s the type of upside that he has, though it’s not to say that he’s a guarantee to thrive start in and start out.  In deeper formats he could be worth rolling the dice on, but if I was going to gamble on a Cubs starter I’d probably prefer to gamble on Kyle Hendricks (though it’s close).

 

7) A pair of home runs for Brett Gardner…  Really?!?…
He went 3-5 with 2 HR, 2 RBI and 2 R, showing a bit of an unexpected power surge (especially considering it came against Yu Darvish).  It’s not like Gardner offers no power, as he’s now hitting .276 with 12 HR, 45 RBI, 64 R and 17 SB on the season.  You could argue that his 13.3% HR/FB is a little bit inflated (6.4% for his career) and that’s fair.  That said he had 33 doubles and 10 triples last season, so a little bump in power isn’t a complete shock though it’s not something we want to consider a given for him to maintain.  Even if the power were to completely disappear, he brings speed and the potential to score a lot of runs at the top of the Yankees lineup.  If you get someone who truly believes in the power you may be able to sell high, though he’s hardly a must sell.

 

8) Jesse Chavez gets pummeled by the long ball…
He allowed three home runs (Chris Carter, Jason Castro and Matt Dominguez) ultimately allowing 6 ER on 5 H and 3 BB, striking out 5, over 5.1 IP.  It was the second consecutive matchup with the Astros and home runs have not been a big issue this season (13 HR over 125.2 IP).  He’s had some bumps along the way, though they have come significantly more on the road (4.41) than at home (2.24).  Don’t give up on him as he still brings the same makeup we liked early in the year.  That said, consider him a must start pitcher at home and more of a matchup play on the road.

 

9) Vance Worley dominates the Giants…
He tossed a complete game shutout, allowing 4 H and 1 BB, striking out 3.  In 49.2 IP he now owns a 2.54 ERA and 1.07 WHIP, though it’s hard to buy into the numbers.  It’s easy to expect a regression in the walk rate (1.45 BB/9), he’s benefited from some luck (.266 BABIP, 20.6% line drive rate) and the strikeouts haven’t been there (5.44 K/9 courtesy of a 4.6% SwStr%).  In other words, while he’s been a nice story there’s no reason to buy into his hot streak.

 

10) Melky Cabrera leads the charge against the Red Sox…
He went 2-4 with 2 HR, 5 RBI and 3 R, putting him at .313 with 14 HR and 58 RBI on the season.  He’s showing a career best home run rate, something we’ve come to expect from players landing in Toronto, though with a 50.3% groundball rate is it really something we want to buy into?  Maybe the power slows down, but the average is very much for real (11.4% strikeout rate, 21.1% line drive rate) and that’s going to allow him to produce RBI and R out of the second spot of Toronto’s lineup.

 

Sources – MLB.com, Fangraphs, Minor League Central, Baseball Reference

2 comments

  1. Meats says:

    Would you trade Gardner for Ellsbury given the opportunity? Gardner is keeper eligible, Ellsbury is not. I could use a few more SBs.

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