10 Stories From 08/10/2014 Box Scores: What To Make Of Gio Gonzalez, A Look At Alcantara’s Struggles & More

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

For the second consecutive day we got a 19 inning game, this time between the Tigers and Blue Jays.  How would you like to be Nolan Reimold today, who went 0-7 with 5 K?  We also saw Jason Hammel (6.1 IP, 1 ER, 4 H, 2 BB, 5 K) show signs of turning things around and Alex Cobb put up the performance of the night (7.1 IP, 1 ER, 5 H, 3 BB, 12 K).  What else happened on the diamond that we need to know?  Let’s take a look:


1) Devin Mesoraco does it again…
It doesn’t look like we’re ever going to get the complete regression, does it?  Mesoraco went 2-4 with 2 HR, 6 RBI and 2 R yesterday, putting him at .293 with 20 HR and 61 RBI in 276 AB on the season.  The average is the more believable mark, as he entered the day with a .333 BABIP and 23.4% line drive rate (21.1% in ’13).  The power, however, is a slightly different story as it has come courtesy of a 21.4% HR/FB.  If he qualified that would’ve placed him for fourth in the Majors, so it’s easy to imagine that slowing down a bit.  That doesn’t mean the power is going to disappear, just be prepared for it to potentially regress.


2) Jimmy Nelson loses to the Dodgers…
He did face off with Clayton Kershaw (8.0 IP, 1 ER, 6 H, 2 BB, 6 K, W), so it was hard to expect a win going in.  Nelson wasn’t terrible, though, allowing 2 ER on 8 H and 1 BB, striking out 3, over 6.0 IP while generating 11 groundballs (vs. 4 fly balls).  He continues to pitch well since a poor outing in his first start returning to the Majors, as he’s allowed 10 ER over 26.0 IP to go along with control (5 BB) and groundballs (double-digits in four consecutive outings).  While we’d like to see a few more strikeouts (19 K), there’s more upside there as well.  He’s hardly a must use option, but he is definitely a usable one in all formats over the remainder of the season.


3) The Kansas City Royals run wild on Tim Lincecum and the Giants…
Lincecum had a poor outing, allowing 6 ER on 7 H and 3 BB, striking out 2, over 3.1 IP.  However it was on the base paths that they really did their damage with a total of 7 SB.  Norichika Aoki (2-2, 1 RBI, 2 R, 3 SB) and Jarrod Dyson (3-3, 3 SB) led the way, with Alcides Escobar (1-4, 1 R) chipping in as well.  Aoki has been an overall disappointment this season, hitting .267 with 1 HR, 25 RBI, 47 R and 13 SB on the season.  He has been picking things up in August, however, now hitting 10-31 with 8 RBI, 7 R and 4 SB.  Overall we’d expect better than a .291 BABIP, given his speed, and it wouldn’t be surprising if he continues to thrive over the remainder of the season.  If you are in need of speed, he’s worth gambling on.


4) Things have gotten rough for Arismendy Alcantara….
He went 0-5 with 2 K yesterday, dropping him to .228 with 3 HR, 11 RBI, 13 R and 4 SB over 114 AB.  Things have been even worse in August, going 7-39 with 1 HR, 4 RBI and 2 R (and only 1 double).  Strikeouts have clearly been an issue, with 32 K, which is going to make it nearly impossible for him to hit for a strong average.  He also simply hasn’t been making good contact, entering the day with a 15.2% line drive rate and 10.3% IFFB.  It’s not a major surprise that he’s going through some growing pains, especially since he’s also learning the outfield while adjusting to Major League pitching.  Things have the potential to get better, just stay patient.


5) Rubby De La Rosa dominates the Angels…
He made one mistake, a home run to Mike Trout (1-3, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 1 R) as the team tried to have him pitch into the eighth, though he’s hardly the only pitcher we’ve said that about.  De La Rosa finished allowing 1 ER on 5 H and 3 BB, striking out 8, over 7.0 IP.  Overall he owns a 3.21 ERA and 1.29 WHIP, though he has been struggling with his strikeout stuff since returning to the Majors (7 K in his previous four starts).  We all know that ability is there, it’s his control that’s always going to be a question (and he has 14 BB over his last 30.0 IP).  Long-term there’s a ton of potential, but expect continued growing pains down the stretch.  That’s going to make him difficult to trust in redraft formats.


6) Alejandro De Aza gets a look in the leadoff spot…
Leury Garcia was there in the first game since Adam Eaton hit the DL, with De Aza hitting second.  Yesterday Garcia was on the bench with De Aza bumping up to the top spot where he went 1-3.  He’s been a bitter disappointment overall, hitting .243 with 5 HR and 14 SB on the season.  While he owns a 25.6% line drive rate entering the day, he also has been popping the ball up a lot (12.7%) which is going to limit his upside.  There’s opportunity, especially if he sticks at the top of the lineup, but he’s still only an option in deeper formats for the moment.


7) Jake Lamb enjoys his first multi-hit game…
He went 2-5 with 1 R yesterday and is now 3-14 with 4 K to open his MLB career (and all three hits have been singles).  Lamb has plenty of potential, hitting .322 over his minor league career, though he consistently benefited from luck (.387 BABIP) and isn’t going to reach that type of level in the Majors.  He also isn’t the owner of significant power quite yet, with 15 HR in 460 PA this season, so you get a player who is going to bring questionable value for the remainder of 2014.  In keeper leagues is he worth owning?  Absolutely, but in redraft formats he’s hardly a must own option.  That doesn’t mean he won’t put up some numbers, it’s just that he’s a risky option.


8) Carlos Carrasco pitches well in his return to the rotation…
It was his first start since April 25 and he presented well, tossing 5.0 shutout innings allowing 2 H and 0 BB, striking out 4, against the New York Yankees.  Overall this season you can look at his numbers and get excited, as he entered the day with an 8.58 K/9, 2.49 BB/9 and 56.4% groundball rate.  Obviously he’s never shown that type of strikeout stuff before and he certainly benefited from pitching out of the bullpen, though he did have a 9.41 K/9 in his four starts earlier in the season.  He’s hardly going to be a must use option, but there is upside in his makeup if he can take the peripherals he has shown and continue to show them in the rotation (for example, he only generated 4 groundballs yesterday).  For now just watch him from a distance, unless you are in the deepest of formats.


9) Travis d’Arnaud continues to hit…
He almost feels like a consistent in these columns these days, as he continues to show what he’s truly capable of.  He went 2-4 with 1 HR, 1 RBI and 2 R yesterday, putting him at .226 with 9 HR and 29 RBI on the season.  He’s now homered in two of his past three games, though it’s not to say that he’s been as good as we want to believe.  He’s now just 6-29 in August with 3 RBI and entered the day with a 15.5% line drive rate in the second half.  Throw in that his HR/FB of 9.5% is right along the lines his 9.4% in the first half and his “improvement” may be more perception than reality.


10) Has the time come to give up on Gio Gonzalez…
He struggled once again yesterday, though early on it looked like it would be a dominant outing.  Going 4.2 IP he allowed 2 ER on 6 H and 4 BB, striking out 8.  He’s now failed to complete five innings in three of his past five starts and since the All-Star Break owns a 5.47 ERA and 1.62 WHIP as his control has regressed (4.38 BB/9) and he’s been hit hard (23.5% line drive rate, leading to a .386 BABIP).  Obviously the latter still represents a bit of poor luck and we also have to take his strikeout rate into account (9.50 K/9 overall).  Hopefully he rights the ship, but we just need to stay patient.


Sources – ESPN, Fangraphs, Minor League Central

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  1. Paul says:

    I think you meant to say Wood, not Cobb, in the first paragraph

  2. AJ says:

    I play in a 12-team H2H with 4 OF and need runs and steals. Currently have Alcantara slotted in OF while Craig and Cuddyer are on the mend. Drop for any of the following on the waiver wire? Cain, De Aza, Aoki, *Bourn

  3. Rotoprofessor says:

    Paul – Thanks!

    AJ – I’d probably stand pat, with Alcantara having the most upside. If there’s someone else you could drop, I may grab Aoki because he does have a lot of promise over the final few weeks of the season.

    • AJ says:

      Thanks! I’ll hang on to him.

      I have Hosmer, Alvarez, Cuddyer, and Craig clogging bench/DL spots (HanRam is on the DL too). Are any of these guys going to provide significant value down the stretch?

      • Rotoprofessor says:

        If healthy I’d say Cuddyer definitely will. Craig is questionable, but he’s going to get a shot.

        I want to say Alvarez will, but at this point the playing time is a major question. Mr here has been talk that he’s working out at first base, which will be interesting.

        As for as upside:
        1) Cuddyer
        2) Alvarez
        3) Craig

        However, I’d probably drop Alvarez before Craig right now

  4. Adam says:

    What can we expect from Rymer Liriano the rest of the way?

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