10 Stories From 09/04/2014 Box Scores: Outlook On Wacha’s Return, Is It Time To Give Up On Uehara & More

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

David Ortiz enjoyed a big day, going 2-4 with 2 HR, 3 RBI and 2 R, but it wasn’t enough.  Who else impressed?  Who struggled?  Let’s take a look at all of yesterday’s action:

 

1) More mixed results for Trevor Bauer…
It was a rough start, allowing 4 ER in the first inning, but he shut the door after that.  Still, his final line of 4 ER on 6 H and 4 BB, striking out 4, over 5.2 IP is hardly impressive.  His control has really started to waver of late, with 12 BB over his past 17.1 IP (though he hadn’t allowed a R in his previous two outings).  Overall he owns a 4.10 ERA and 1.42 WHIP, and his BB/9 in the second half is 4.42.  The strikeouts are going to keep him as an option to consider, but if he doesn’t cut back down on the walks (3.34 in the first half) he’s going to turn into someone that can’t even be trusted.  The skill is there to develop, still, but he’s going to be high risk, high reward over the final few weeks.

 

2) Has Koji Uehara reached the end of the line…
We generally leave closer discussions for our Twitter, but this has gotten to the point that it needs to be addressed here as well.  Uehara blew his fifth save of the season, allowing 2 ER on 2 H (home runs to Mark Teixeira and Chase Headley) over 0.1 IP.  He’s now allowed runs in five of his past six outings, dating back to August 16, with 10 ER on 14 H and 1 BB, striking out 5, over 4.2 IP.  Needless to say it’s been a complete disaster, seeing him blow three saves and be saddled with three losses.  You can argue that his luck metrics needed correcting (he still entered the day with an 89.5% strand rate) and his overall 2.64 ERA and 0.95 WHIP are still impressive.  The fall has come fast and swift, but we’ll have to wait and see if he can right the ship over the final few weeks of the season.  Boston will likely stick with him, and at this point fantasy owners likely should too.  It’s been a horrible stretch, but we all know he’s better than this.

 

3) Jake Odorizzi dominates once again…
Taking on the Blue Jays he went 7.1 shutout innings, allowing just 3 H and 0 BB while striking out 3.  He’s now allowed 0 ER on 4 H and 3 BB over his last 14.1 IP, coming on the heels of his blowup in Baltimore (8 ER over 4.0 IP).  On the year he owns a 3.84 ERA and 1.23 WHIP, showing impressive strikeout stuff (9.66 K/9) and solid control (3.03 BB/9).  He doesn’t generate many groundballs, so the potential is there to give up a few home runs (48.6% fly ball rate) though it hasn’t been an issue.  It’s something we need to continue monitoring, as well as the potential for his strikeout rate to fall (9.8% SwStr%).  He’s obviously usable, but he remains more of a backend option the rest of the way.

 

4) Rougned Odor continues his improved production…
He is one of the many Rangers who have been forced into action this season, thanks to the significant injuries they sustained.  He went 2-4 with 1 HR, 1 RBI and 1 R yesterday, giving him 3 HR over his past nine games.  Overall he’s hitting .257 with 8 HR and 2 SB, so the numbers have been hardly impressive considering he has 315 AB.  That said, he’s just 20-years old and owns a 17.2% strikeout rate.  He does need to do a better job of avoiding popping the ball up, with a 19.4% IFFB% this season.  In a perfect world he’d be back in the minors next season, getting more time to develop, but time will tell.

 

5) Michael Wacha returns, but was limited…
He tossed just 3.0 IP, throwing 50 pitches, against the Milwaukee Brewers allowing 1 ER on 3 H and 1 BB, striking out 3.  There’s only a few weeks left and it’s going to take him a few more starts to get up to 100+ pitches, so he’s going to be limited for the time being.  Until it’s going to be ready to work deep into games, W are going to be nearly impossible to come by and limit his value.  He’s worth stashing for the final two weeks, but that’s about it.

 

6) Is Wily Peralta pitching himself out of viability…
It wasn’t the worst start, allowing 3 ER on 7 H and 2 BB, striking out 7, over 6.0 IP, but it also wasn’t a particularly good outing.  He’s now allowed 16 ER on 23 H and 7 BB over 14.0 IP in his past three starts, and now has his season numbers up to a 3.84 ERA and 1.35 WHIP.  The makeup is obviously there for success overall, with a 2.79 BB/9, 54.6% groundball rate and solid, though unspectacular 6.79 K/9.  While he’s hit a bit of a rough patch, there’s no reason to flee from him either.  There’s enough to like to consider him a viable option, depending on the matchup.

 

7) Ender Inciarte continues to entrench himself atop the Diamondbacks lineup…
He went 2-5 with 1 RBI yesterday and is now hitting .268 on the season.  Not a source of power, he has at least contributed 3 HR in 328 AB.  More importantly, he’s scored 44 runs with 14 SB, both numbers that he can significantly improve upon both this season and beyond.  Remember, the Diamondbacks lineup has been decimated by injuries, clearly impacting his ability to score runs.  It also took him a long time to start running, but he had 7 SB in in August and has attempted 2 in four games in September (he was caught yesterday).  Obviously he’s no Billy Hamilton, but he has the potential to be a solid under-the-radar option in all formats.

 

8) Mike Leake struggles in a no decision…
He got tagged for three home runs by the Orioles, allowing 7 ER on 7 H and 1 BB over just 4.0 IP.  Of course he does own a 3.59 ERA and 1.22 WHIP on the season, courtesy of realistic luck metrics (.297 BABIP, 77.0% strand rate), great control (2.03 BB/9) and a career best groundball rate (54.2%).  His strikeouts are nothing special, but the makeup is there for a solid backend option.  Don’t get too worked up over the poor outing.

 

9) Is Eduardo Nunez playing his way into fantasy viability…
He went 1-4 with 1 HR, 3 RBI and 1 R yesterday, giving him a four game hitting streak (7-19, 1 HR, 6 RBI, 4 R) while also adding two doubles and a triple.  Of course, he also doesn’t play every day and doesn’t bring a significant amount of power or speed to the table.  Sure he’s going well right now and does bring positional flexibility, but there is hardly enough to consider him.

 

10) Jonathan Schoop goes deep again…
He finished 1-4 with 1 HR, 1 RBI and 1 R, his third consecutive game with a home run (4-10, 3 HR, 5 RBI, 3 R).  On the season he’s hitting .222 with 15 HR over 397 AB, so it’s hard to get too excited about this little stretch.  He’s struggled with his plate discipline (23.9% strikeout rate, 2.7% walk rate entering the day) and also hasn’t hit the ball hard (13.0% line drive rate).  His line drive rate is up to 16.1% in the second half, though that’s hardly enough.  While he does have a little bit of pop, the average will likely continue to be a drag so don’t go too crazy here.  He’s nothing more than a play in the deepest of formats.

 

Sources – ESPN, Fangraphs, Baseball Reference

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