10 Stories From 08/13/2014 Box Scores: Pineda Solid In Return, Archer Dominates With 12 K & More

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

Jake Peavy earned his first win as a member of the Giants, allowing 1 ER on 4 H and 3 BB, striking out 3, over 7.0 IP.  Rymer Liriano slugged his first career home run, going 1-4 with 1 HR, 2 RBI and 1 R.  Jaview Baez went deep for the fourth time, going 2-4 with 1 HR, 1 RBI and 2 R.  What else happened that we need to know about?  Let’s take a look:


1) Trevor Bauer dominates, but settles for no decision…
He didn’t allow a hit until the sixth inning, ultimately giving up 2 ER on 4 H and 2 BB, striking out 9, over 8.0 IP.  He now owns a 4.35 ERA and 1.42 WHIP, with 101 K, over 107.2 IP.  He continues to be a significantly better pitcher at home (3.51 ERA entering the day) than on the road (5.82 ERA), though a lot of that has to do with better luck (79.1% strand rate vs. a 66.1% mark).  He did enter the day with a 22.8% line drive rate and 1.40 WHIP at home, so we don’t want to make too much of the split.  That said, it’s hard to argue with his potential and he’s worth owning in all formats.  He’s not a must use, but if the matchup is right he can be plugged in.  For instance, next week he draws starts against the Twins and Astros.  There’s definitely a lot to like there.


2) Anthony Ranaudo earns W, but was hardly impressive…
Recalled to make his second start, Ranaudo defeated the Reds despite allowing 4 ER on 8 H and 1 BB, striking out 1, over 6.0 IP.  He also didn’t generate many groundballs, with 6 compared to 11 fly balls (which helped to contribute to his 2 HR allowed).  In his two starts he’s managed just 3 K while walking 5 over 12.0 IP.  While the strikeouts are lower than we’d expect (7.40 at Triple-A), we’ve mentioned the control (3.49 BB/9 in ’14, 3.53 since ’11) and lack of groundballs (36.3% in ’14, 38.7% since ’11) as concerns before his recall.  There’s a little bit of promise, but he’s hardly a player to depend on.


3) Michael Pineda solid in return…
He only threw 67 pitches, allowing 1 ER on 2 H and 0 BB, striking out 4, over 5.0 IP. He ultimately was saddled with a no decision, as the bullpen allowed 4 ER in the eighth inning (including 1 ER from Delin Betances, who was asked to go 2+ IP).  We all know what he’s capable of doing, but there are also a long line of questions hanging over him including his ability to stay healthy and the whole pine tar incident from earlier this season.  The thing to watch is going to be his fly ball rate, as he owns a 57.1% mark in his five starts this season though only 1 HR over 24.2 IP.  He also owns an 82.5% strand rate, though it’s such a small sample size.  There’s obvious risk, but also obvious reward.


4) Nick Castellanos smacks a triple and home run…
He went 2-4 with 1 HR, 2 RBI and 1 R, after sitting both Monday and Tuesday as the team played in the NL without a DH.  He has been showing signs of late, going 6-10 with just 1 K.  We’ve seen him capable of getting hot for an extended period of time, though overall it’s hard to label him as anything but a disappointment as he owns a .262/.312/.419 slash with 9 HR and 46 RBI.  We knew the power could take time to come around, so that shouldn’t be a surprise, and he does have 25 doubles and 3 triples.  There’s significantly more upside in the average department as he’s been hitting the ball hard all season (27.1% line drive rate) and also doesn’t pop the ball up (2.7% IFFB).  When the power arrives it’s going to be that much better.  Strikeouts have become an issue, with a 28.0% mark in the second half, but if he can keep that in check he could be in line for a strong final few weeks.


5) Finally, Justin Masterson shows ability for St. Louis…
Taking on the Marlins in Miami, Masterson tossed 7.0 shutout innings allowing 3 H and 0 BB, striking out 3, to earn the W.  He also generated 13 groundballs.  It comes after allowing 10 ER on 14 H and 6 BB over 8.0 IP in his first two starts, so it’s certainly hard to argue that he’s “figured it out”.  That said, we all know that there’s been a lot of bad luck this season (.344 BABIP, 65.3% strand rate).  He’s also continued to show strikeouts (8.12 K/9) and groundballs (59.9%), the former of which should be able to be maintained with the move to the NL.  His control?  That’s been the issue, with a 4.94 BB/9, though he owns a career 3.71 mark and could easily turn that around.  Considering the upside there’s enough to take the flier if you are desperate for help at the backend of your pitching staff.


6) A dominant outing from Chris Archer…
It came against the Rangers so we should take that into account, though Alex Rios (0-4) finally returned to the lineup.  Archer allowed 1 ER on 4 H and 2 BB, striking out 12, over 7.0 IP to improve to 8-6 with a 3.24 ERA and 1.28 WHIP.  He now has 27 K over his last 19.0 IP and has allowed 3 ER or fewer in each of his past five starts.  Overall he owns an 8.40 K/9, 3.36 BB/9 and 47.7% groundball rate, so there is a lot to like.  The big concern is that he’s going to regress in the home runs allowed department, with a 0.37 HR/9 and 5.0% HR/FB (career marks of 0.71 and 8.8%, respectively).  Is that enough to avoid him?  Of course not.  The other thing to watch is his 23.2% line drive rate, though again it’s not enough.  Consider him a must use option at this point.


7) Tsuyoshi Wada impresses again…
He allowed 2 ER on 5 H and 1 BB, striking out 5, over 6.2 IP as his only mistakes were a pair of solo home runs.  Over his past four starts he’s allowed 7 ER on 20 H and 5 BB, striking out 23, over 25.1 IP.  As it is the luck metrics are believable (.274 BABIP, 79.1% strand rate), though that doesn’t mean that there isn’t a bit of underlying risk.  He currently owns a 24.7% line drive rate, so it’s easy to see the BABIP increase.  That said he was at 16.9% at Triple-A prior to his recall, while also showing strikeouts (9.50 K/9) and control (2.22 BB/9).  He was highly thought of when he first signed with the Orioles before injuries derailed things, so it’s nice to see him finally getting his chance.  While there’s risk, there’s also a ton of reward.  In deeper formats he’s worth the gamble.


8) Is Kendrys Morales finally getting going…
He went 2-3 with 1 HR, 2 RBI and 1 R, his second straight game with a HR.  It’s not a lot, but he also has 2 doubles and 2 HR over his past three games (5-12, 2 HR, 3 RBI, 3 R).  It’s certainly been tough sledding for Morales overall this season, after missing the beginning of the season after waiting to sign a contract.  While he may not be the same player that he once was, he’s better than a .257 BABIP, has more power than he’s shown (4.8% HR/FB) and also has struggled with popups for the first time (14.3% IFFB compared to a 7.1% career mark).  It’s very possible that he’s just now fully shaking off the rust, so it’s a good time to try and capitalize.


9) Ender Inciarte has upside at the top of Arizona’s lineup…
Over the double header he went 3-10 with 1 SB though his overall .259 average with 2 HR, 13 RBI, 38 R and 7 SB may not be impressive.  He is now on a 12 game hitting streak (17-55, 1 HR, 4 RBI, 9 R and 1 SB) and there is definitely more upside.  He makes consistent contact (12.2% strikeout rate) and with a 19.8% line drive rate and speed you’d expect more than his current .291 BABIP.  While he doesn’t have power, he stole 44 bases in the minors in 2012 and 42 in ’13.  He hasn’t been running much this season, but you would think it’s just a matter of time.  If you need stolen bases he’s an under-the-radar option to consider.


10) Jason Vargas twirls a complete game shutout…
Taking on the A’s he allowed 3 H and 0 BB, striking out 4, and now owns a 3.27 ERA and 1.20 WHIP on the season.  Now the question is if he is for real or not?  He owns a .290 BABIP and 77.0% strand rate, both of which are reasonable numbers, though a 21.0% line drive rate could indicate a regression.  He also offers little in the strikeout department and likely can’t maintain his current 1.82 BB/9 (2.64 career mark).  Is he a viable option?  Absolutely, just do so with your eyes open.


Sources – ESPN, Fangraphs, Minor League Central

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  1. Adam says:

    I lost my 1B in a 16-yeah H2H league, so the talent on the waiver wire is slim. However, both Kendrys Morales and Ryan Howard are available. Who do you think is going to be better down the stretch? I’m leaning more towards Morales as I believe we’ve already seen the best we are going to get from Howard this year.

  2. Bryan says:

    rotopro, next week: Bauer or Volgelsong (2 starts) head to head total weekly pts? Thx.

  3. Brian says:

    I realize there few certainties in fantasy baseball – or anything else for that matter – but it seems like each daily player description in this 10 Stories segment ends with a CYA “he could be good or he could be bad” statement. Be bold! 🙂 Having said that, I read this segment everyday and enjoy doing so – not to get your recommendations (none are provided as noted above) but just to see which players you elect to cover. Thanks.

  4. Todd says:

    Looks like Brian is looking for someone to manage his team for him. Obviously there are recommendations and suggestions based on a plethora of useful stats, not sure at all what Brian is talking about.

  5. Rotoprofessor says:

    Adam – I’d probably say Morales, but it really is a bit of a coin flip

    Bryan – I’d probably lean Bauer, I know he has two favorable matchups and the higher upside.

    Brian & Todd – Everyone is allowed their opinion and I truly appreciate getting feedback from everyone as well as their support. Sometimes it’s not quite as easy as saying “Add this guy”, though! because every situation is different and it’s not cut and dry.

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