10 Important Stories From 05/15/16 Box Scores: Selling Bogaerts, Buying Gausman & More

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

Trevor Bauer lost, but was solid again (6.2 IP, 3 ER, 5 H, 2 BB, 8 K) and appears to be a decent play in most formats (matchup permitting).  Jose Fernandez had a big day against the Nationals, striking out 11 en route to victory, as he allowed 1 ER on 4 H and 3 BB over 7.0 IP.  Gerritt Cole dominated the Cubs, tossing 8.0 shutout innings allowing 3 H and 0 BB, striking out 7.  What else happened on the field that we need to know about?  Let’s take a look:

1) Is it time to believe in Tyler Duffey…
He shut down the Indians, tossing 7.0 shutout innings allowing 6 H and 1 BB, striking out 6.  In four starts (24.1 IP) he now owns a 1.85 ERA and 1.11 WHIP to go along with 23 K vs. 5 BB.  The concern is going to be if he can continue keeping the ball in the ballpark (he entered the day with a 43.1% groundball rate and generated just 6 groundballs vs. 9 fly balls yesterday), especially after he allowed home runs in each of his first two starts this season.  He also will likely see a regression in his control and continues to depend primarily on two pitches, which could make him susceptible to blowups as teams see him more and more (from start to start or within a game).  For now he seems like a good play, but don’t become too infatuated with him.

2) Danny Valencia homers three times…
He took Matt Moore (5.0 IP, 4 ER, 7 H, 1 BB, 3 K) deep for two of them, finishing the day 3-5 with 3 HR, 5 RBI and 3 R.  He has 5 HR on the season, all of which have come in the past three games, and he’s hit safely in all six games he’s played since returning from the DL (10-22, 5 HR, 8 RBI, 6 R).  Obviously he’s not this good, but is there value in investing in him?  He’s routinely destroy left-handed pitching throughout his career:

  • vs. RHP – .241/.278/.390
  • vs. LHP – .322/.370/.495

Things have been a bit different this season, hitting .321 against righties entering the day, but it’s obviously in limited AB.  He’s a good play for those in daily formats or in weeks where the A’s face a slew of southpaws.  However, enter he proves he can continue to hit against righties he’s going to be tough to trust for most.

3) Kevin Gausman struggles against the Tigers, though stay the course…
He took one on the chin, allowing 4 ER on 10 H and 2 BB, striking out 1, over 5.0 IP.  It’s the third time in five starts where he’s struck out 4 batters or fewer, which would be a little bit of a concern though he actually had 12 swinging strikes yesterday (having entered the day with a 10.9% SwStr%).  While we may not want to believe in his .203 BABIP or 13.8% line drive rate (entering the game), the strikeouts should be there and he’s always shown solid control.  As long as he can limit the home runs he should produce solid numbers and be a viable option in all formats.  If someone in your league has grown frustrated, don’t be afraid to capitalize.

4) Is Xander Bogaerts really this good…
He went 1-4 with 1 HR, 3 RBI and 1 R yesterday, extending his hitting streak to 10 games (19-47 with 3 HR, 9 RBI, 9 R and 1 SB).  He’s now hitting .338 with 4 HR, 22 RBI, 31 R and 6 SB on the season, so it obviously would be hard not to get excited.   Of course he entered the day with a .398 BABIP, despite a 20.0% line drive rate, and he continues to bury the ball into the ground far too much (55.2%).  While he’s shown a propensity to produce an elevated BABIP (.372 in ’15), it’s still hard to imagine him continuing to produce at anything close to this pace.  That’s not to say that he isn’t going to be a productive option, but now may be the perfect time to cash in if someone in your league is ready to overpay for the name and early season success.

5) The Reds take it to Adam Morgan…
Coming off a stellar outing against the Braves there was reason for optimism surrounding Morgan, but he took a beating at the hands of Cincinnati instead.  Lasting just 3.2 innings he allowed 7 ER on 8 H and 3 BB, striking out 1.  In fact if you take out that one start he’s now allowed 13 ER on 19 H and 6 BB over 12.2 IP.  Granted his next outing comes against the Braves again, which brings with it reason for optimism, and while there is overall upside there is also reason to be pessimistic about his outlook.  Consider him hard to trust at this point.

6) Chris Carter breaks out in a very big way…
He went 3-4 with 1 HR, 2 RBI and 1 R, breaking an 0-22 stretch over his previous 7 games.  We all know the risk when it comes to investing in Carter, though there’s actually a potentially new level of risk.  He entered the day with a 29.5% strikeout rate, which isn’t a surprise.  However his groundballs were also up (39.8% vs. a career mark of 30.3%) and his fly balls were down (40.9% vs. a career mark of 48.8%), which makes us wonder if he’s going to be able to maintain the power (he entered with a 27.8% HR/FB).  Considering that extra level of risk, don’t consider him a must use.

7) Jung Ho Kang continues to make most of his hits…
He has 7 hits in 24 AB since coming off the DL, but 6 of them have gone for extra bases (2 doubles and 4 HR) after he went 2-4 with 1 HR, 2 RBI and 1 R yesterday.  That said he continues to show good plate discipline (23.4% O-Swing% entering the day), which is a good sign.  However, while it’s an incredibly small sample size, he entered the day with a 64.7% fly ball rate.  We aren’t going to read anything into the number, yet, but if it continues it will mean a poor average as he isn’t going to maintain a 27.3% HR/FB.  There’s a lot to like, but we also don’t want to overlook the risk involved.

8) Is there reason to be concerned with Masahiro Tanaka…
He got beat up by the White Sox, allowing 4 ER on 8 H and 3 BB, striking out 7, over 5.0 IP.  That’s back-to-back poor outings, with 10 ER allowed over his past 12.0 IP (thanks to 4 HR allowed).  He entered the day showing tremendous control (1.36 BB/9) and an elevated groundball rate (57.6%), though his velocity was down (90.5 mph average fastball).  Of course he had a 13.1% SwStr% (14 swings and misses yesterday), so there is obvious reason to chalk up this cold spell as an aberration.  Given the injury risk it makes sense to grow concerned every time there’s a bump in the road, but for now there’s no reason to be pulling the plug.

9) What has happened to Aaran Sanchez’ control…
Sanchez allowed 6 ER on 7 H over 6.2 IP, striking out 6, against the Rangers.  However the real concern is his control, with 4 BB yesterday and 9 over his past two starts.  That was the biggest concern entering the season, and he continues to generate enough strikeouts and is one of the elite groundball pitchers in the league (59.2% entering the day).  That said, he also entered with an 80.3% strand rate and .260 BABIP, so if he can’t rediscover his control his struggles could easily continue.  That doesn’t mean to cut bait, but watch closely because there is a good bit of risk hanging over him right now.

10) Danny Duffy gets a start…
Having been working out of the bullpen he only went 3.0 innings (48 pitches), though he allowed 0 R on 1 H and 2 BB, striking out 5.  There’s always been upside potential in Duffy, though he’s never been able to put it together.  Obviously the early season numbers are skewed having been working out of the bullpen (like his 18.3% SwStr%), but he generated 11 swings and misses while also getting 3 groundballs vs. 1 fly ball in his limited work.  It will be interesting to see how he develops and produces as he stretches out, but if you are desperate for starting pitching there’s enough upside to stash him and see.

Sources – ESPN, Fangraphs

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

10 comments

  1. bbboston says:

    RP:

    Did Dyson just take the job from Tolleson?

    • Rotoprofessor says:

      Tolleson was considered unavailable, so there isn’t any clarity (which is why I left Dyson atop the Closer in Waiting power rankings at the top right). That said, I’d be surprised if Dyson didn’t get the next opportunity.

      I own both in one of my leagues and face the decision as to which one to start. As of this morning, I’m going Dyson.

  2. bbboston says:

    Given that the coach was happy to make changes at the end of last year, I’d guess it’s now Dyson’s job to lose..

    • Rotoprofessor says:

      Agreed. I also don’t think we’ll get any clarity until the next save opp, though, especially with all the attenton going to the brawl

  3. joey says:

    i need to start one of these three starters this week. would u go with Odorizzi, Gausman, or J.Gray?

  4. Tuco says:

    You were really high on Alex Wood last year. Has what he’s done over the last month made you reconsider your opinion on him? I have a chance to grab either Wood or Jon Gray. Who do I grab?

    • Rotoprofessor says:

      Gray has a much higher upside, so I’d go that way. That said, I still like Alex Wood and wouldn’t mind owning him anywhere

  5. schtickball says:

    great insight, great article. its really been fun watching segura in the box this season and i hope his success continues, looks like hes really spraying that ball all over the field and getting great contact.
    drurys been fun to watch too. although he rarely walks it seems like hes made adjustments to pitching pretty well since he first got called up. he has struck out 60% less over his last 60AB compared to his to his first 60AB. its a very limited sample size but you think this kid has star potential?

    • Rotoprofessor says:

      I’ve always been less enthusiastic about Drury than others. I’m not sure he maintains this power (27.5% fly ball rate) and doesn’t necessarily have the speed to maintain his average (.350 BABIP, nearly 50% groundball rate). That’s not to say that he isn’t a solid option, if he’s going to play regularly, but the team needs to continue to find AB for him,.

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