by Ray Kuhn
Wednesday afternoon began with such promise. How could it not when aces like Noah Syndergaard and Jake Arrieta were taking the court? Well, Syndergaard merely managed a quality start (six innings and three earned runs) and Arrieta struggled to get through five innings while only allowing one run, but he needed 106 pitches to do it. We later found out that Syndergaard had left due to elbow discomfort, but it appears he will be able to avoid the disabled list. Let’s take a look at some of the other performances that stood out from the day in baseball.
1) Adam Conley Takes Care of Business
Again, it was the Braves, but the results count just the same. Conley was able to suppress what little offense Atlanta has as he limited them to just four hits and no walks in eight scoreless innings. While he only struck out four batters, Conley was in control all day as he lowered his ERA to 3.56. The one issue to be aware of, is that on the season Conley has walked 3.79 batters per nine innings, but with a FIP of 3.75, he is a solid option the rest of the way.
2) Chase Headley Has a Grand Day
While Headley had just one hit yesterday afternoon, and while it came early in the day, it was a big one. Headley hit a Grand Slam to give the Yankees an early lead, which was promptly blown. It was just Headley’s fourth home run of the season and he only has 18 RBI, but he is hitting .251 and the third baseman has been much better as of late. The fact that Headley has hit .308 over his past 30 games just shows how bad he was in April. As far as his past few seasons have gone, Headley’s stats are actually right in line with those performances, but he can at least be a solid corner infield option for the rest of the season in deeper leagues.
3) Marwin Gonzalez Comes up Big
Again, we are highlighting a player who had just one hit on the day, but it was a big one for Gonzalez. The Astros appear committed to playing Gonzalez on a daily basis and having him bat second in the order; at least until A.J. Reed gets promoted. There are not many places to bat than between George Springer and Jose Altuve, and Gonzalez is taking advantage of that. He is eligible all across the infield which helps your versatility, and he is a solid option. After yesterday’s game tying triple, Gonzalez is hitting .259 on the season with 17 RBI in 197 at bats. Gonzalez has also added five home runs so far this season and is hitting .357 in his last 15 games.
4) Aledmys Diaz Produces Out of the Second Hole
At this point, it is given Diaz will remain in the lineup for the rest of the season, and the fact that he is batting second is a nice touch for his fantasy value. Diaz came up big for the Cardinals on Wednesday as he went 3 for 4 with his ninth home run of the season. The shortstop drove in two runs, which brought his season total up to 35, and he is currently hitting .310 on the season. After his scorching start, Diaz had cooled some; he is hitting just .239 in his last 30 games. However, he is hitting .259 in his last 15 games, and .269 in his last seven games, so Diaz is picking the pace back up a little bit. Regardless though, he is still a solid performer who has a place in your middle infield.
5) Scooter Gennett Goes Deep
Let’s stick with the theme of middle infielders batting second, and take a look at Gennett. Your spot in the batting order does matter, and it is something that deserves your attention. Gennett who missed a little time earlier this season, went 3 for 5 on Wednesday which included his seventh home run of the season, a two run shot. Gennett is hitting a solid .275 on the season, and over his last 15 games he is hitting .383. We can obviously not expect that to continue, but it is a hot streak that you should ride.
6) Mark Trumbo is Tied for the League Lead in Home Runs
We all knew about Trumbo’s power, but did we really expect him to produce at this pace so far in 2016? Trumbo went deep for the 21st time this season on Wednesday, and also had two other hits on the night. Thanks in part to his long ball explosion, Trumbo has already driven in 62 runs on the season, and he is hitting .283. While it’s difficult to expect him to continue at this pace in general, the batting average is the one stat that truly stands out. However, his BABIP of .326 this season isn’t much different from last year’s .313. Trumbo has certainly benefited from his new home park, but the power is real.
7) Steven Moya Has an Impresive Day
Moya brings a ton of power to the table. We saw it on display last night as he went deep twice, one to left field and the other to right field. The outfielder also added a single, and in 53 at bats this season, he is hitting .321. Moya’s power shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone, but the one question we have, is can he limit the strikeouts? So far this season, he has struck out 15 times, or 28% of the time. If Moya can manage that, then the Tigers will be in good shape in the outfield.
8) Gregory Polanco’s Multi Hit Day
Back in the second spot of the order with the struggling Andrew McCutchen moved down to third, Polanco continues to have a very good season. Polanco went 3 for 5 on Wednesday, and hit a three run shot for his 10th home run of the season. The outfielder, who is hitting .301 on the season, has also driven in 42 runs and is emerging as a top outfielder. With nine stolen bases on the season as well, Polanco is showing a nice power/speed combo.
9) Melky Cabrera Cleans Things Up
Cabrera is never going to stand out in your outfield, but he can be counted on as a solid producer. Batting cleanup last night, Cabrera had a big day as he went 4 for 5 while driving in four runs and scoring twice. While he isn’t an exciting option, it’s hard to argue with Cabrera’s production. He is hitting .291 on the season, and on Wednesday he hit his seventh home run of the year, his 16th double, and brought his RBI total up to 37.
10) Trevor Bauer Takes Care of Business
It was a rocky start to the season for Bauer as he found himself in the bullpen, but now that he is in the rotation, it doesn’t appear he is leaving. Bauer is part of a very good staff in Cleveland, and he is fitting right in. Granted Tampa Bay is marred with injuries, but Bauer never gave them much of a chance last night. The Rays managed just one run on three hits and one walk against Bauer who threw a complete game while striking out 10 for his fifth victory of the season. Bauer lowered his ERA to 3.20 with the start, and in his last seven starts the right-hander has a 2.72 ERA and 1.11 WHIP.
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