10 Important Stories From 05/31/15 Box Scores: Time To Give Up On Teheran, Buying Martinez & More

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

Yordano Ventura tossed a gem, allowing 1 ER on 4 H and 1 BB, striking out 6, over 7.0 IP though it’s going to take more than one start to call it a turn around. Martin Maldonado played the hero for the Brewers, capping off a big day (4-6, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 3 R) with a walk-off home run in the 17th inning. Chris Iannetta continues to rebuild his value by going 2-3 with 1 R (ending May hitting .283 with 3 HR and 12 RBI over 53 AB). What else happened on the field that we need to know about? Let’s take a look:

1) Don’t ignore the concerns regarding Tanner Roark…
It was a solid outing against the Reds, allowing 2 ER on 4 H and 2 BB over 6.0 IP, but that doesn’t mean that we should ignore the obvious issues. First off all he managed just 1 K, giving him 4 K over 11.0 IP in his two starts this season. As it is he posted just a 6.25 K/9 over 198.2 IP last season, so his value was going to be capped regardless. The other is the long ball, allowing 2 HR yesterday and 4 HR over his last 14.0 IP. It wasn’t a problem last season (0.72 HR/9), but with a groundball rate that’s going to regress (he entered with a 52.9% groundball rate, but had 10 fly ball outs yesterday) and it’s a reasonable concern. Don’t overvalue him, his appeal is limited to being more of a backend option.

2) Has DJ LeMahieu developed into a must use option…
After going 3-4 with 1 HR, 2 RBI and 2 R yesterday he’s now hitting .335 in 161 AB this season. Of course he also has just 3 HR, 4 SB and 19 R, while his 25 RBI seems like an aberration. As it is he entered the day with a .383 BABIP and it’s easy to imagine that (and his 27.9% line drive rate) plummeting. There’s limited power as it is and he’s never stolen more than 26 bases in a season. In other words ride him while he’s going well, but don’t get attached. There’s a good chance that he’s going to struggle significantly in time.

3) Carlos Martinez stars against the Dodgers…
He outpitched Brett Anderson (6.0 IP, 2 ER, 5 H, 3 BB, 5 K), stymying Los Angeles over 7.0 shutout innings. He allowed just 1 H and 3 BB, striking out 8 and generating 9 groundball outs, to improve to 5-2 with a 3.13 ERA. His control has been the biggest question, entering the day with a 4.05 BB/9, as he’s shown strikeouts (9.45 K/9) and groundballs (53.8%). A lot of his success may be attributed to the increased usage of his changeup (18.6%) and, while there has been a bit of luck (82.6% strand rate entering the day), there’s been an awful lot to like. At this point it’s hard not to get excited about what he’s shown.

4) Don’t overlook Delmon Young…
A lot of people will focus on Manny Machado’s big day yesterday (3-5, 2 HR, 3 RBI, 2 R), but don’t overlook Young and what he did. He went 3-4 with 2 HR, 2 RBI and 2 R, his first two home runs of the season. He is hitting .303, including going 8-18 over his past five games, and has been making contact (14.3% strikeout rate) and hitting the ball hard (25.5% line drive rate) all season long. The real question is going to be if we believe that Young will be able to hit for any more power. His 259.665 average distance on non-groundballs entering the day doesn’t give much hope, though there should be a little bit more thunder in his bat. Don’t look for him as a major source of power, but in the deepest of formats he should provide a strong average and the potential for RBI/R.

5) Is Tsuyoshi Wada worth fantasy attention…
He was forced to settle for a no decision but his performance against the Royals shouldn’t be overlooked as he tossed 5.2 IP allowing 1 ER on 2 H and 2 BB, striking out 4. In three starts for the Cubs (15.2 IP) he’s posted 19 K and 5 BB, while opponents are hitting just .182 against him. The strikeouts are a bit of an aberration and he entered the day having enjoyed a lot of luck over his first two starts (97.8% strand rate), so there are definitely reasons to be skeptical. He proved he could be a solid option last season, though this is a bit much and a regression will be in his future. Don’t get too excited.

6) Adam Warren is doing his best to claim a spot in the Yankees rotation…
He made one mistake yesterday, allowing a two-run to Stephen Vogt (1-3, 1 HR, 3 RBI, 1 R), and it cost him the game. Warren finished allowing 2 ER on 6 H and 1 BB, striking out 4, over 7.0 IP and has now allowed 5 ER over his past 19.2 IP. Overall he owns a solid 3.75 ERA and 1.21 WHIP, though that doesn’t mean that it’s enough. His strikeouts are down as a starter (5.68 K/9 entering the day), home runs have been an issue (1.07 HR/9 entering the day) and there was some luck behind the numbers (.258 BABIP). His spot in the rotation isn’t secure, nor should it be, and there’s a good chance he regresses. At this point he wouldn’t be a good investment.

7) Is it time to give up on Julio Teheran…
He was hardly impressive against the Giants, including allowing home runs to Brandon Belt (2-3, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 1 R) and Brandon Crawford (1-4, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 1 R). Teheran finished allowing 3 ER on 4 H and 4 BB, striking out 1, over 6.0 IP. Control has always been his biggest asset, but he entered the day with a 3.60 BB/9 and has now walked 7 over his last 10.1 IP. Just to make matters worse he has just 2 K over the same span. Considering that the line drives continue to be elevated (28.7%) and home runs have been a real issue (12 HR allowed), the concerns are legitimate. At this point it’s impossible to trust him, instead stash him on your bench until he shows signs of turning things around.

8) Chase Anderson had a stumble…
It shouldn’t have necessarily come as a surprise, though Anderson allowed 6 ER on 10 H and 0 BB, striking out 3, over 5.0 IP against the Brewers. That broke a streak of 5 consecutive 2 ER or less (and has allowed 3 ER or fewer in eight of his ten starts this season). He’s actually now allowed 10 H in back-to-back starts and has surprisingly not had an issue with home runs quite yet (2 HR over 60.2 IP) despite not being much of a groundball pitcher (43.8% entering the day). Throw in a limited strikeout upside and he’s not a starting pitcher we’d be investing in.

9) Has the league readjusted to Danny Salazar…
It’s possible, as he posted another less than stellar line yesterday against the Mariners. Over 5.1 IP he allowed 3 ER on 4 H and 4 BB, striking out 5, in a no decision. His control has clearly abandoned him over his past three starts (10 BB over 17.0 IP), which likely has played a role. Of course he’s allowed 3+ ER in five of his past seven starts, so it’s not like these “struggles” are a new phenomenon. Home runs have been an issue all year long (8 HR over 54.2 IP) and he’s struck out 6 or fewer in three of his past four outings. There’s obviously still upside, but he’s not looking like the pitcher who set the league on fire when he was first recalled.

10) Will Middlebrooks continues to hit…
He went 1-4 with 1 HR, 3 RBI and 1 R yesterday, putting him at .238 with 7 HR and 21 RBI on the season. That isn’t an impressive line, but he’s really performed well over his past eight games (11-32 with 3 HR, 8 RBI and 6 R). While his overall average has been poor, his strikeouts (21.2%) and popups (7.8% IFFB) are down this season while his line drive rate is solid (20.6%). In other words we’d expect his average and .261 BABIP to continue to rise. He’s never going to be a tremendous option, but he’s better than he’s shown thus far and is worth considering in all formats.

Sources – ESPN, Fangraphs, Baseball Heat Maps

8 comments

  1. carlito says:

    rest of season, head to head, cozart or walker at Middle Infield?

  2. carlito says:

    Drop 1 of these pitchers, Hutchinson or Hammel?

  3. Jack says:

    Hey Professor,

    I was offered Posey for Bryant. I have d’Arnaud on the DL, and am decently stocked at 3b. What do you think?

  4. LK says:

    Prof–

    I was offered Jonathan Lucroy and a 2nd round pick in 2016 (keeper league) for Carlos Martinez. I have Bumgarner, Jose Fernandez and Tanaka in my rotation. Would you do this deal?

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