10 Important Stories From 04/08/16 Box Scores: Is Segura For Real, Young Starters Struggle (Archer, Stroman) & More

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

There is no sign of slowing down for Trevor Story, who went 3-5 with 2 HR, 4 RBI and 2 R (putting him at .368 with 6 HR and 11 RBI to open his MLB career).  Josh Donaldson quickly made people forget about his “injury”, going 1-5 with 1 HR, 4 RBI and 1 R.  Tyler White continues to make everyone forget about the potential call-up of A.J. Reed, going 3-4 with 1 HR, 3 RBI and 1 R (he is now hitting .692 with 2 HR).  Byung Ho Park connected for his first home run, taking Joakim Soria deep.

Needless to say there are a lot of storylines stemming from yesterday’s games, so let’s take a look at all the rest we need to know:

1) Jordan Zimmermann shines in Tigers’ debut…
Taking on the Yankees he outpitched Luis Severino (5.0 IP, 3 ER, 10 H, 0 BB, 5 K), tossing 7.0 shutout innings allowing 2 H and 3 BB, striking out 3.  While he had the results yesterday, the performance did little to ease any concerns fantasy owners had with his move to the AL.  Most notable was his lack of swings and misses (5), but he also allowed 10 fly balls (as compared to 7 groundballs).  He’s coming off a season where he posted a 7.32 K/9 and 1.07 HR/9, both of which could regress moving to the AL.  Don’t get overly excited from this one performance.

2) Matt Kemp helps to lead an outburst from the Padres…
The Padres erupted for 13 R and 18 H, with Kemp leading the way (4-6, 1 HR, 4 RBI, 2 R).  They are the first RBI on the season for Kemp, who needs to get off to a strong start after needing big second halves each of the past two seasons in order to post a respectable line.  Before we get too excited, he has struck out at least once in all four of the team’s games (5 K) while drawing just 1 BB.  It’s nice to see a strong game, but we are going to need to see more before we are buying.

3) The long ball plagues Chris Archer…
The Orioles took him deep four teams, as Archer finished allowing 6 ER on 10 H and 2 BB, striking out 5, over 5.0 IP.  In two starts this season he’s now allowed 15 H and 5 BB over 10.0 innings of work, so while he’s generated a lot of strikeouts (17) there is obviously a lot to be disappointed about.  We do have to remember that there was a falloff in the second half, as his control (3.59 BB/9), luck (.309 BABIP) and ERA (3.89) all ballooned.  While we thought those numbers would help to explain a bit of a regression, these early struggles are extreme and the home runs were an aberration.  Don’t push the panic button and if someone in your league is ready to, don’t be afraid to make a play for him.

4) Marcus Stroman not sharp in second start…
Taking on the Red Sox he lasted 5.1 innings allowing 5 ER on 6 H and 3 BB, striking out 4, ultimately settling for a no decision (thanks to the bullpen giving up the lead).  He did continue to generate groundballs (8 vs. 3 fly outs), which is going to help him continue to be a viable option, though more swings and misses (8 yesterday) would be nice to see.  That was one of the bigger questions facing him entering the year, as the poor control is atypical.  He’s a must use option, just be prepared for a few outings like this unless he is getting a few more Ks.

5) Starling Marte fills the box score…
He went 3-4 with 1 HR, 4 RBI, 1 R and 1 SB, with his grand slam in the eighth inning sending the Pirates to victory.  We all know the upside that he has this season, though more important may have been him being slotted into the cleanup spot yesterday.  It was an interesting lineup construction, with Andrew McCutchen hitting second (0-4, 2 R), David Freese third (1-3, 1 R) and Francisco Cervelli fifth (0-4, 1 RBI).  It’ll be interesting to see if they continue with that setup, but if Marte is hitting fourth his upside is going to be that much higher.

6) The poor start for Randal Grichuk continued…
While St. Louis’ offense racked up 7 R, courtesy of 4 HR, Grichuk’s awful start continued.  He went 0-4 with 2 K yesterday and is now 1-14 with 8 K (and 0 BB) over the team’s first four games.  Strikeouts were always going to be a concern and while this start is a bit extreme, it highlights our concerns for him entering the year.  Remember, even in his breakout ’15 he posted a 31.4% strikeout rate courtesy of a 15.5% SwStr%.  While there’s power, if he isn’t going to make contact he isn’t going to hold value.  There should be better days ahead, but let this start show you just what is possible.  Selling him, once he hits a few HR to get your leaguemates excited, may be prudent.

7) Yordano Ventura’s control eludes him…
Ventura actually had a strong start, allowing 2 ER on 2 H with 6 K over 5.0 IP.  However it took him 98 pitches to get to that point, walking 6 batters in the process.  Obviously that type of poor control is atypical for him, having posted BB/9 of 3.39 and 3.20 the previous two seasons.  Don’t let the number concern you, as we’d expect significantly better results his next time out.  Ventura carries significant bounce back appeal and should be considered a must start option.

8) Is Jean Segura’s hot start for real…
He went 3-4 with 2 R and 1 SB, putting him at .500 with 3 HR, 5 RBI, 6 R and 2 SB.  Given the unbelievable starts of some others (i.e. Trevor Story), it’s easy to overlook just how good Segura has been.  While the numbers are great, what’s more important is that Segura hasn’t been chasing outside the strike zone thus far (25.0% O-Swing%, despite not yet drawing a walk).  It’s obviously an extremely small sample, but if he can maintain that type of mark the results should continue while hitting atop the Arizona lineup.  Don’t call us believers yet, and we all know the power is a bit of an aberration (one of the home runs was an inside the park home run), but there is hope.

9) Taijuan Walker strong in no decision…
Taking on Oakland he allowed 2 ER on 7 H and 0 BB, striking out 4, over 6.0 IP.  One of our big questions was whether or not Walker’s strong control from ’15 (2.12 BB/9) was for real, so this is a good sign (though just one start).  If he can continue throwing strikes the upside is there, assuming he can keep the ball in the ballpark (1.33 HR/9 in ’15, but 9 groundballs vs. 5 fly balls yesterday).  We aren’t going to dub him a great play at this point, but this was a strong start to his season.

10) Ross Stripling leaves with a no hitter…
He actually threw 7.1 no hit innings against the Giants, walking 4 and striking out 4.  He was pulled after 100 pitches, though, and the bullpen coughed up the lead (Stripling was charged with 1 ER.  Considering the injuries/questions at the back of the Dodgers’ rotation it’s an incredible start, especially he missed ’14 and part of ’15 due to Tommy John surgery.  He owns a minor league career 2.83 ERA, 1.11 WHIP, 8.1 K/9 and 2.2 BB/9, though he never pitched above Double-A.  He also showed significant groundball stuff, with a 1.86 GO/AO, just adding to the potential appeal.  While he hasn’t gotten much attention, it’s possible that he entrenches himself and becomes relevant.  He’s not there yet, but certainly don’t ignore him.

Sources – ESPN, Fangraphs, Baseball Reference, MILB.com

Make sure to check out all of Rotoprofessor’s Preseason Top 10 Prospect Lists:

AL East
AL Central
AL West
Baltimore OriolesChicago White SoxHouston Astros
Boston Red SoxCleveland IndiansLos Angeles Angels
New York YankeesDetroit TigersOakland A's
Tampa Bay RaysKansas City RoyalsSeattle Mariners
Toronto Blue JaysMinnesota TwinsTexas Rangers
NL EastNL CentralNL West
Atlanta BravesChicago CubsArizona Diamondbacks
Miami MarlinsCincinnati RedsColorado Rockies
New York MetsMilwaukee BrewersLos Angeles Dodgers
Philadelphia PhilliesPittsburgh PiratesSan Diego Padres
Washington NationalsSt. Louis CardinalsSan Francisco Giants

7 comments

  1. bbboston says:

    Rotoprofessor;

    How do you interpret Severino’s start. Sounds like he gave up some legit and some seeing eye gb singles that added up, but that he wasn’t getting hit hard.

    • Rotoprofessor says:

      Obviously not going to draw a conclusion off one April start in cold conditions. That said, a 36.8% line drive rate tells me he was hit relatively hard and I do have my concerns regarding him this season.

  2. Carlito says:

    Who do you like going forward Eaton or Fowler?

  3. LanceCT says:

    Do you like Forsythe or Suarez for mi?Thank you

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