10 Stories From 08/27/2014 Box Scores: Is Corey Dickerson For Real, Gausman’s Struggles Continue & More

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

Jorge Soler made an immediate splash, going 2-4 with 1 HR, 2 RBI and 1 R (we’ll talk about him later this morning).  David Price had a devastatingly poor outing, allowing 8 ER on 12 H and 1 BB while getting just 6 outs.  Buster Posey did it again, going 3-3 with 1 HR, 3 RBI and 1 R, giving him 3 HR over the past two games.  What else happened on the field yesterday?  Let’s take a look:

 

1) Can Leonys Martin save his season…
He was hitting in the leadoff spot yesterday, going 3-5 with 1 HR, 3 RBI and 2 R.  It’s been a disappointing season overall, but is hitting .272 with 6 HR, 35 RBI, 52 R and 22 SB.  It’s not a terrible line, but it also is far from what was hoped for from him.  It’s not that it was a terrible season, but there was little (if any) growth across the board (and a step back in the stolen base department).  He’s shown little extra base power (23 total extra base hits), too many strikeouts for a player of his skillset (21.0% entering the day) and too many popups (12.2% entering the day).  There’s obviously still value, but he’s a player who is going to have to be reevaluated in the offseason.

 

2) Is it time to believe in Shane Greene…
He allowed 2 ER on 5 H and 1 BB, striking out 8, over 7.0 IP to improve to 4-1 with a 3.09 ERA and 1.27 WHIP over 55.1 IP.  Over his past three starts he’s suddenly become a strikeout machine, with 25 K over 18.0 IP, while allowing just 3 ER in the process.  The underlying numbers are impressive, with an 8.78 K/9, 2.77 BB/9 and 53.5% groundball rate.  The line drive rate is on the higher side, at 21.7%, but he also owns a .308 BABIP and 77.9% strand rate so there’s nothing unreasonable in the luck metrics.  Over his minor league career he owned an 8.1 K/9 and 3.6 BB/9 (7.7 and 3.5 at Triple-A), so right away there are reasons to be skeptical.  Throw in is 48.4% groundball rate in the minors since 2011 and there are ample reasons not to believe.  Maybe he’s figured something out and turned the corner, but for now consider him someone to use while they are going well.

 

3) Marcus Stroman bounces back strong…
He allowed 2 R (1 earned) on 5 H and 1 BB, striking out 6, over 7.2 IP to defeat the Red Sox.  He had allowed 5 ER in each of his past two starts (10 ER over 5.2 IP) and three of his previous four, so this was a welcome sight.  We all know what he’s capable of doing, and he also should be able to pitch deep into the season (135.1 IP in ’14, 123.1 IP in ’13) with at least 3 starts left.  He’s continued to fire strikes (2.26 BB/9) and generate groundballs (52.3%).  His strikeout rate looks pedestrian, with a 7.68 K/9, but the upside is there to ultimate generate at least a strikeout per inning.  He’s going to be a must own option in 2015.

 

4) Kevin Gausman struggles again…
Don’t read anything into his demotion after the start, because it’s a paper move and he’ll be back up come September 1 when rosters expand.  He struggled yesterday, lasting only 4.0 IP, as he was outpitched by Drew Smyly (1.0 IP, 1 ER, 2 H, 1 BB, 6 K).  Gausman allowed 3 R (2 earned) on 6 H and 0 BB, striking out 4, but it took him 80 pitches to get through four innings.  We all know about his upside, but as we’ve talked about before he’s failed to generate strikeouts (6.48 K/9) and has been hit too hard (24.2% line drive rate).  Long-term the outlook is good, but for 2014 he’s impossible to trust.

 

5) Can Wilmer Flores produce in the Majors…
He’s always been known for his bat, not his defense, yet he’s struggled in the Majors.  He went 1-2 with 1 HR, 1 RBI and 1 R yesterday, putting him at .224 with 2 HR and 15 RBI in 164 PA with the Mets.  He has hit the ball hard (23.5% line drive rate) and made good contact (14.6% strikeout rate), though there’s been a lot of bad luck behind his average (.254 BABIP).  The power was always going to be questionable, so that’s not a surprise, as he profiles more as a 15-18 HR hitter, and not anything more.  Still, there’s more upside than he’s shown and should get better moving forward.

 

6) A solid performance from Drew Pomeranz in his return…
He settled for a no decision, but Pomeranz allowed 1 R (0 earned) on 3 H and 1 BB, striking out 7, over 5.1 IP.  Yes, the outing came against the Astros so we have to keep that in perspective though he’s been solid whenever he’s gotten an opportunity in the Majors.  As a starter (47.1 IP) he owns a 2.85 ERA and 1.18 WHIP courtesy of an 8.37 K/9, 3.42 BB/9 and 48.5% groundball rate.  With some of the problems the team has had, most notable with Jason Hammel, don’t be surprised if Pomeranz gets more starts in September.  If you are desperate he’s worth keeping tabs on.

 

7) Corey Dickerson goes deep again, but is he for real…
He went 1-3 with 1 HR, 1 RBI and 1 R, putting him at .318 with 20 HR and 63 RBI on the season.  He’s definitely taken the title of “hot” Rockies’ outfielder from Charlie Blackmon (0-4, .243 with 1 HR in the second half).  So will Dickerson collapse in a similar matter?  It’s hard to buy into him maintaining a 27.3% line drive rate, and he has seen a drop in the second half.  Of course he’s still at a solid 22.7% mark, while keeping his 20.0% HR/FB consistent.  Those underling marks have helped lead to a .306 average with 9 HR in 134 AB, and he’s shown power both at home (11 HR) and on the road (9 HR) all season long.  While the numbers are bloated, there’s reason to believe in him not only for 2014, but for the future at this point.

 

8) Adeiny Hechavarria goes deep…
He went 3-3 with 1 HR, 1 RBI and 1 R, though the home run was his first of the season.  Overall he is hitting .277 with 1 HR, 28 RBI, 42 R and 7 SB.  The average is very much for real, and he has the makeup to be able to hit for a strong average given a 14.8% strikeout rate, 22.1% line drive rate and .322 BABIP.  That’s definitely promising, though it would look a lot better if he brought any true power (24.3% fly ball rate) or speed (20 SB in the minors is his career high) upside.  It’s possible he ultimately profiles as the Marlins #2 hitter, but from a fantasy perspective he’s simply not going to bring much more than short-term fill-in appeal.

 

9) Jacob Turner struggles in his first start with the Cubs…
He lasted just 3.2 IP allowing 6 R (3 earned) on 7 H and 2 BB, striking out 1.  Long considered one of the better pitching prospects in the league, he’s rarely been able to figure it out in the Majors.  This season there’s been a lot of poor luck, with a .364 BABIP and 61.9% strand rate, so we shouldn’t get too worked up about his 5.84 ERA and 1.63 WHIP.  While the Marlins moved him to the bullpen earlier this season, it’s possible the Cubs keep him in the rotation to see if they can fix him (much like they’ve done with Jake Arrieta, who was acquired in similar circumstances).  We’ll keep a close eye on him, but there’s no fantasy appeal for 2014.

 

10) Another solid outing from Jeff Locke…
He allowed 1 ER on 6 H and 2 BB, striking out 3, over 7.1 IP and has now allowed 3 ER over his past three starts (19.0 IP).  Of course, before we get too excited, he entered the day with a 5.81 K/9.  Of course it came courtesy of a 9.4% SwStr% so there’s significantly more upside.  Couple that with a 2.30 BB/9 and 49.5% groundball rate and there’s actually a lot to like.  With minor league marks of an 8.2 K/9 and 2.5 BB/9, the upside is definitely there.  Don’t be so quick to declare him a significant regression risk or someone to avoid.  There’s a good chance that he’s a productive option moving forward.

 

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

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2 comments

  1. Adam says:

    How would you rank the following pitchers for next week, 16-team league H2H:
    1.) Jimmy Nelson – @ChC and vs. StL
    2.) Yordano Ventura – vs. TEX and @NYY
    3.) Jason Hammel – vs. SEA and vs. HOU
    4.) Jeff Locke – @StL
    5.) Marcus Stroman – @TB

    This is how I would rank them. 2 and 3 are a coin flip for me based on Ventura’s back stiffness and Hammel’s struggles. I could also see the argument for Locke above both Ventura and Hammel.

    Lastly, is Nelson 2 starts a better play than Alex Wood who only has one start next week? Both are RP eligible.

    • Rotoprofessor says:

      That looks about right, though like you said Ventura is a major concern. As far as Nelson vs. Wood, in head-mot-head I’d go with Nelson due to the two starts. That said, I think both are must okay options and it shouldn’t be hard to fit both into your lineup.

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