Thoughts From The Spring: March 22, 2016: Mesoraco’s Big Day, D. Norris/Fiers Implode & More

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

While no one is going to draw a definitive conclusion off of a few innings of work, there were certainly some intriguing performances on the mound yesterday.  Did Andrew Bailey cough up his potential to close in Philadelphia?  What do we make of the performances from Daniel Norris and Mike Fiers?  Let’s take a look:

Andrew Bailey – He appeared to have the lead in the closing battle, thanks to the absence of David Hernandez, but it’s possible he coughed up any edge he had by giving up 3 ER on 4 H in his inning of work against the Twins. It is his first poor outing, so we don’t want to read too much into it, but at the least it should bring the two back to an even playing field. Both Bailey and Hernandez are worth owning at this point as we see how this situation, though it wouldn’t be surprising to see someone else entirely emerge before long. Check out our breakdown of the situation by clicking here.

Devin Mesoraco – He’s only had 6 AB, but after going 1-3 with 1 HR yesterday he’s hitting .500 with 2 HR.  Maybe more importantly was that he was behind the plate for this one.  If healthy Mesoraco has the potential to be a bounce back candidate, though that remains to be seen.

Dylan Bundy – It was nice to see him have a successful outing, allowing 0 H and 1 BB over 1.1 IP. He’s now allowed 0 ER over his past four outings (5.1 IP), though at this point it appears his future may lay in the bullpen (at least short-term).

Jose Fernandez – He certainly looked to be in mid-season form, tossing 5.0 no-hit innings (1 BB) while striking out 4 against the Red Sox. It’s also not like it was a group of castoffs, with Mookie Betts, Hanley Ramirez and others taking their AB against him. A potential innings limit looms, which is the only thing suppressing his value, but he’s clearly a top option and a Top 3 starter.

Daniel Norris – It was a disastrous outing for Norris, who allowed 3 ER on 3 H and 2 BB before departing after getting just one out. He was pulled due to “lower back tightness”, according to Jason Beck (via Twitter), and at this point could ultimately land on the DL for the start of the season. It was likely that he may have pitched his way out of the rotation anyways (6.00 ERA entering the day) and with the strong spring of Shane Greene (2.63 ERA, 14 K over 13.2 IP). At this point Norris is more of a deep league sleeper than anything.

Mike Fiers – After getting off to a solid start the wheels have fallen off for Fiers, who allowed 6 ER over 4.2 IP yesterday (8 ER over his last 7.2 IP).  The injury to Lance McCullers should keep Fiers in the rotation, though he’s going to have to turn things around if he is going to keep his spot.  His control has been the biggest problem (5 BB over the two starts), as he has yet to give up a home run and has 9 K over his past 10.2 IP.  Don’t push the panic button.

Corey Spangenberg – The 2B had a big day, going 2-3 with 2 RBI and 1 R.  That said it’s hard to get excited about a player who hit .271 with 4 HR and 9 SB in 345 PA for the Padres last season.  He did carry an elevated line drive rate (25.0%), but he doesn’t have much power (24.5% fly ball rate) and the speed is solid but unspectacular.  He’s a low-end option, at best.

Rubby De La Rosa – He showed strikeout stuff (9 K over 5.2 IP), but as has generally been the case he was burnt by the long ball (2 HR, with Denard Span & Hunter Pence doing the damage).  De La Rosa is going to continue to hold some breakout appeal, but he posted a 1.53 HR/9 overall last season and was even worse at home (1.57).  That’s not to say that he was good on the road (1.49), but he’s only worth considering as a streaming option until he learns to keep the ball in the ballpark.

Jimmy Rollins – He went 3-4 with 1 HR, 3 RBI and 3 R, continuing his strong spring (.324, 3 HR, 10 RBI).  There’s no question that he’s going to open the year as the starting shortstop, but how long can he hold off Tim Anderson?  We’d expect the top prospect to be up at some point, especially given Rollins’ age and recent production, and a strong spring doesn’t do much to change that.

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