10 Stories From 08/01/14 Box Scores: Medica Breaks Out, Ranaudo Solid In Debut & More

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

The day after the Trade Deadline led to a lot of debuts, making it an extremely interesting day for fantasy owners, though that wasn’t all.  How about Adam Wainwright taking a beating at the hands of the Brewers (7 ER over 5.1 IP)?  Chris Sale also had a surprisingly poor start, allowing 4 ER over 6.0 IP.  What else happened on the field?  Let’s take a look:


1) Anthony Ranaudo wins in his Major League debut…
Taking on the Yankees he allowed 2 ER on 4 H and 4 BB, striking out 2, over 6.0 IP.  It was a solid performance and he definitely should continue to get an opportunity to prove himself in the new look Red Sox rotation (they did trade 60% of it over the past week).  Ranaudo owned a 2.45 ERA and 1.18 WHIP at Triple-A this season, though there was some luck (.252 BABIP) behind the number.  He also saw his strikeouts drop (7.42 K/9), something that we also saw when he made his Triple-A debut in 2013 (6.23 K/9 at Triple-A, but was at 8.70 at Double-A prior to his promotion).  Throw in just decent control (3.60 BB/9 in ’14, 3.56 in his minor league career) and a 38.7% minor league groundball rate and there isn’t too much to get excited about.  That’s not to say that there isn’t upside, but there are other young pitchers I’d prefer to target.


2) Mike Aviles gets start at SS…
And he looked good, hitting second and going 2-4 with 3 RBI and 2 R.  There’s the potential for him to get the bulk of the playing time after the trade of Asdrubal Cabrera, though Jose Ramirez will also be in the mix and Zach Walters/Francisco Lindor could always be recalled.  That said, in the short-term Aviles becomes an intriguing fantasy option.  He offers a little bit of power and a little bit of speed (think of him as a 10/10 type) who should also provide a decent average (.261 thus far, with a 13.5% strikeout rate, 19.9% line drive rate and .291 BABIP).  Throw in eligibility all across the diamond (depending on your league rules he could be eligible at 2B, 3B, SS and OF) and there’s ample reasons to give him a shot in deeper formats.


3) A dominant outing for Justin Verlander, but should we get excited…
It did come against the Rockies, who are without Troy Tulowitzki and saw Carlos Gonzalez leave due to injury once again.  Still, Verlander allowed 2 ER on 8 H and 0 BB, striking out 5, over 8.0 IP to improve to 10-9 with a 4.66 ERA and 1.42 WHIP on the season.  His issues this season have been discussed over and over, but in his three starts since the All-Star game he owns a 3.32 ERA and 1.20 WHIP.  Reason for optimism?  Not so quick, as his strikeouts are actually down (5.82 K/9), his line drive rate is up (20.6%) and he’s benefited from a bit of luck (.265 BABIP).  It’s been a nice stretch, but it’s hard to anticipate him being anything more than he has been all year long.


4) Ryan Vogelsong with a lights out performance…
Taking on the Mets, he made just one mistake to Lucas Duda (1-3, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 1 R) but was otherwise in complete command.  Vogelsong tossed a complete game en route to victory allowing 1 ER on 2 H and 1 BB, striking out 5, to lower his season numbers to a 3.74 ERA and 1.28 WHIP.  While those numbers aren’t overly impressive, the biggest issue has been an overall elevated line drive rate (24.1%) leading to a .314 BABIP.  That’s going to be something to watch, because his strikeouts are back up this season (7.47 K/9) and he’s showing solid control (2.40 BB/9).  Consider him a matchup play.


5) Jarred Cosart pitches well…  For most of his start anyways…
Making his Marlins’ debut, Cosart’s final line was unimpressive as he was charged with 4 ER on 4 H and 2 BB, striking out 3, over 5.1 IP.  However, a lot of that damage came in the sixth inning when he walked 2 and allowed a hit, leaving with the bases loaded (the bullpen allowed all three inherited runners to score).  As we said when the trade was made, long-term pitching in Miami should only benefit Cosart.  He moves to a favorable ballpark, is a groundball pitcher and his strikeouts should rise in the NL.  That doesn’t make him a pitcher to use right now by any stretch, just someone to keep an eye on.


6) Adam Eaton continues to hit…
Truth be told everyone hit in the Twins-White Sox game, as the teams combined for 18 R and 31 H.  Eaton stands out, though, as he went 2-4 with 1 RBI and 2 R, his fourth consecutive multi-hit game.  It also extended his hitting streak to eight games (17-38 with 0 HR, 5 RBI, 9 R and 1 SB).  He’s not going to be a source of power (1 HR on the season) and hasn’t been a huge SB threat (11 SB in 395 PA).  There’s more upside in the latter, though, with 82 SB in the minors between 2012 and 2013.  That’s promising, but there’s also a good chance that his .299 average falls (.360 BABIP, 16.0% line drive rate).  It’s going to certainly limit his overall appeal, because if he starts getting on base less his runs scored will also decline.  Use him while he’s hot, but be prepared to sit him back down.


7) Kyle Hendricks wins again…
We’ve been talking about Hendricks a lot lately, and he continues to deliver.  Taking on the Dodgers on the road, he allowed 2 R (1 earned) on 4 H and 1 BB, striking out 3, over 7.0 IP to earn the W.  Even more impressive, he generated 11 groundballs and has now allowed just 2 ER over his past 20.1 IP.  There’s obviously been a little bit of luck (84.0% strand rate, .250 BABIP), but he’s showing control (2.39 BB/9) and groundballs (54.5%).  We’d love to see more strikeouts, though even if he doesn’t pick it up there the other metrics would indicate that he’s got the stuff to contribute.  Obviously a lot K rate and pitching for the Cubs limits his potential, but in dynasty formats he’s worth scooping up.


8) It was a monster day for Tommy Medica…
Playing first base and hitting cleanup, he went 5-5 with 2 HR, 4 RBI, 4 R and 1 SB as the Padres took it to Mike Minor (5.0 IP, 5 ER, 9 H, 2 BB, 1 K) and the Atlanta Braves.  Those who have followed Rotoprofessor know that we’ve always been big fans of Medica and his potential, so we can only hope that this is the beginning of a true opportunity for him to produce as he continues to fail to get regular playing time.  We all know what Yonder Alonso is at this point (.216 with 5 HR) and the Padres need more than that out of 1B.  Now is the time to find out if Medica can be your long-term solution there, so stashing him in deeper formats in hopes of the Padres giving him a shot makes sense.


9) Another victory for Wily Peralta…
Was he stellar?  No, as he struggled with his control against the Cardinals allowing 2 ER on 5 H and 4 BB, striking out 3, over 6.2 IP.  He limited the damage, however, and is now 13-6 with a 3.52 ERA and 1.28 WHIP on the season.  Control is not a real issue for him, considering his 2.61 BB/9 overall, so it’s easy to dub yesterday’s performance an aberration.  Couple that with a 54.1% groundball rate and a solid (though unspectacular) 6.46 K/9 and there’s enough to like as a backend fantasy option.


10) Jake Marisnick makes his Astros’ debut…
He was in centerfield and batting seventh, going 0-3 in the process.  There’s definitely playing time to be earned in Houston, especially with both George Springer and Dexter Fowler on the shelf (though even when both are healthy Marisnick should continue to get an opportunity).  He was hitting .277 with 10 HR and 24 SB at Triple-A this season.  Before we declare the power as simply being PCL inflated, remember he had 12 HR in 298 PA at Double-A in ’13.  Couple that, his obvious speed and a solid contact rate (17.0% strikeout rate at Triple-A) and there’s a lot to like.  In deeper formats he’s well worth the flier.


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

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  1. Paul says:

    Do you like Eaton more than Span?

  2. Bryan says:

    Is it time to drop G Cole for Peralta (ROS) HeadtoHead WeeklyPts? Or, hold G Cole?

  3. Rotoprofessor says:

    Paul – I’d go with Span, though it’s close. He just has more SB upside.

    Bryan – I’d stick with Cole. Anyone else you can drop?

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