10 Stories From 07/29/14 Box Scores: Is Kemp’s Resurgence For Real, Arencibia Steals The Show & More

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

Marcus Stroman again showed his stuff (7.0 IP, 1 ER, 6 H, 2 BB, 8 K, W) and while we still have to think that there will be a few bumps along the way how can we not love his overall potential?  Alex Cobb arguably stole the show yesterday against the Brewers, with 12 K over 8.0 spectacular innings.  He had competition from Francisco Liriano, who whiffed 11 over 7.0 IP to defeat the Giants.  What else happened yesterday?  Let’s take a look:

 

1) Has Anthony Gose finally figured it out…
We’ve long heard about his speed and potential, though he’s never been able to put it together in the Major Leagues.  After going 2-4 with 2 RBI and 1 R yesterday he now owns a modest three-game hitting streak (4-9 with 2 RBI, 2 R and 1 SB).  Of course the overall .245 average isn’t going to impress us as he’s striking out too much for someone with his speed (21.8%).  He is putting the ball on the ground (60.8% groundball rate) and trying to use his speed, but he needs to consistently put the ball in play.  Unless he figures out how to do that, he’s never going to be able to fully take advantage of his assets.

 

2) It was a poor outing for Trevor Bauer…
He had been better at home throughout the season, but yesterday Bauer simply didn’t have it against the Mariners.  Lasting just 4.1 innings he allowed 5 ER on 8 H and 1 BB, striking out 3, to get saddled with the loss.  Overall he owns a 4.25 ERA and 1.43 WHIP, though he owns an 8.60 K/9 and 3.13 BB/9 (which has always been his biggest issue).  The biggest concern right now is a 24.4% line drive rate, which has led to a .331 BABIP.  That number has been consistent all season long (best month is 21.4%), but in 16.1 innings since the All-Star Break (including yesterday) he is at 13.7% so there’s hope that he is getting the number in order.  Consider yesterday a small bump in the road, but don’t use it as an excuse to move on.

 

3) Another rough outing for Dillon Gee…
He never stood a chance to earn a W, as Cole Hamels was tremendous (8.0 IP, 0 ER, 6 H, 0 BB, 8 K, W).  That said, Gee allowed 5 ER on 5 H and 3 BB, striking out 2, over 6.2 IP.  Over his past three starts he’s now allowed 15 ER over 16.2 IP as he’s suddenly become extremely homer prone (5 HR allowed, including two yesterday).  Overall he still owns a 3.77 ERA and 1.10 WHIP though that doesn’t mean we should get overly excited.  He still lacks strikeout upside (6.25 K/9) and could easily see his luck regress (.235 BABIP, 16.8% line drive rate).  He’s usable, but hardly a must use option.

 

4) Ben Zobrist is finally heating up…
He went 2-4 with 1 HR, 2 RBI and 2 R yesterday and is now on a five-game hitting streak (9-16 with 2 HR, 4 RBI, 5 R and 2 SB).  He is now hitting .271 on the season to go along with 9 HR, 31 RBI, 51 R and 7 SB, so the power is the only real question facing him.  He has his HR/FB up to 8.4% and there is still room for improvement.  It’s no guarantee, however, as he was hitting his non-groundballs just over 263 feet in July entering the day (hardly a number that screams big-time power).  Still, with that line and his versatility all across the diamond there’s a lot to like.

 

5) J.P. Arencibia explodes in shootout with 7 RBI…
The Yankees and Rangers combined for 23 runs and 27 hits, but there is no argument that Arencibia was the star of the show as he went 4-5 with 2 HR, 7 RBI and 2 R.  We all know the power potential and, as a catcher playing regularly elsewhere, he’s going to have value to those in two-catcher formats.  He has 5 HR in 44 AB since returning, but he’s still hitting just .250 as he’s striking out a ton (32.6%) and not making very good contact (10.3% line drive rate).  In other words, while the power is alluring just be prepared to be saddled with a pathetic average.  Things could get even worse, as he owns a 33.3% HR/FB for the month.

 

6) Emilio Bonifacio continues producing…
It will be interesting to see if he’s dealt or not, but he certainly made a statement yesterday in the Cubs/Rockies 16 inning affair as he went 4-7 with 1 HR, 2 RBI and 2 R.  He’s obviously not a power source, but he’s hitting .279 with 14 SB in 276 AB this season and can play all across the diamond.  He’s been doing the best job of his career in making contact (16.4%) and also has been hitting the ball hard (22.9% line drive rate).  Given his speed and those numbers you could argue that there’s room for growth, given his .333 BABIP.  The biggest question is going to be if he’s going to continue playing every day, something he may not have the opportunity to do if traded.

 

7) Kyle Gibson thrives in return to the mound…
He completely shut down the Royals, tossing 7.0 shutout innings allowing 2 H and 2 BB while striking out 7.  Overall he now owns a 3.98 ERA and 1.23 WHIP as he’s shown good control (2.52 BB/9) and an ability to generate groundballs (55.5%).  The issue has been a non-existent strikeout rate, at 4.80.  He showed more than that in the minors, with an 8.0 K/9 (8.1 at Triple-A), so is there upside?  Overall he owns a SwStr% of 8.1% so there is definitely room for more strikeouts.  Continue to view him as someone worth owning as a backend option.

 

8) Enrique Hernandez is producing for the Astros…
While he hasn’t been talked about much Hernandez is now hitting .289 with 1 HR, 8 RBI, 9 R and 0 SB over 76 AB after going 2-3 with 2 RBI and 1 R yesterday (including a double and triple against Jeff Samardzija).  He’s making consistent contact (13.1% strikeout rate) and is hitting the ball extremely hard (21.5% line drive rate), which has definitely helped him produce.  Throw in 4 doubles and 2 triples and what’s not to like?  He was hitting .337 at Triple-A prior to his recall this season, owning an 11.7% strikeout rate since 2011.  While he doesn’t bring potentially big power or speed, he’s playing well and regularly.  That makes him worth using in the MI while he’s hot.

 

9) Maybe the Dodgers don’t want to trade Matt Kemp…
Or maybe Kemp just proved to other teams that he still has the potential to be a superstar.  He had a big game last night against the Braves, going 3-4 with 2 HR, 4 RBI and 2 R, putting him at .282 with 10 HR, 44 RBI, 40 R and 5 SB on the season.  He’s also hit in seven of his past eight games, going 14-31 with 2 HR, 9 RBI and 2 R.  Obviously he’s no longer the 40/40 threat that he once was, but he hit .317 in June and is currently at .311 in July with 5 HR and 29 RBI over 175 AB.  Is it sustainable?  BABIP of .392 and .404 of course tell us that it’s not.  That’s not to say that he’s not going to produce, but don’t expect this type of production to continue.

 

10) Tyson Ross wins again at home…
That’s not to say that he was stellar, though, as he allowed 1 ER on 4 H and 5 BB, striking out 7, over 6.0 IP.  He owns an overall 2.60 ERA and 1.18 WHIP, so it’s hard to nitpick, especially since control has not been a consistent issue (3.15 BB/9).  Even though he’s been especially good at home (1.86 ERA), is anyone complaining about his 3.53 ERA on the road?  What’s interesting is that he’s had a lot of luck at home (.254 BABIP lading to a 0.98 WHIP) as opposed to on the road (.323 BABIP leading to a 1.42 WHIP), so it is something we’ll have to watch moving forward.

 

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

 

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