10 Important Stories From 07/24/16 Box Scores: Are We Buying Deshields or H. Perez, Selling Snell & More

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

The biggest news probably came off the field (potential Aroldis Chapman trade and the callus of Alex Bregman & David Dahl), but there were plenty of stories on it as well.  Ryan Schimpf continued his torrid July, going 3-5 with 1 HR, 2 RBI and 2 R.  Jose Altuve led the Astros’ attack, going 3-5 with 2 HR, 6 RBI and 2 R.  Jon Lester stumbled against the Brewers, allowing 4 ER on 4 H and 5 BB, striking out 7, over 4.0 IP.  What else happened that we need to know about?  Let’s take a look:

1) Are we buying what Nathan Eovaldi is selling…
Unlike his previous start which looked good on paper (but not when you started diving a bit deeper), Eovaldi thrived against the Giants yesterday.  Over 6.2 IP he allowed 2 ER on 7 H and 2 BB, striking out 6.  More important were the underlying numbers:

  • Swinging Strikes – 16
  • Groundballs – 11 (compared to 3 fly balls)

There’s always been a lot of allure surrounding Eovaldi, thanks to a big fastball (he entered the day averaging 97.1 mph), though he’s never generating many swings and misses.  Time will tell if this is a one-time thing or the start of a true emergence, but with his control (2.94 BB/9) and groundballs (50.6%) there’s reason to be paying attention.

2) Billy Hamilton showing off what he’s capable of…
Hitting atop the order once again he went 2-5 with 1 R and 1 SB, putting him at .254 with 32 SB on the season.  He’s now on a 7-game hitting streak, going 12-31 with 8 R and 9 SB.  While we’d like to see a few less popups (12.7% IFFB), he entered the day with a 23.1% line drive rate, .310 BABIP and 7.5% SwStr%, so there certainly is upside in his profile.  As long as he’s getting on base he’s a potential difference maker, and right now the underlying numbers are promising.  While we’d still like to see a few more walks, there’s too much to like.

3) A gem from Steven Matz…
Taking on the Marlins he twirled 6.0 shutout innings, allowing 4 H and 2 BB while striking out 6.  While his health is definitely a concern, he entered the day with an impressive skillset:

  • Strikeouts – 8.47 K/9
  • Walks – 2.14 BB/9
  • Groundballs – 51.6%

His elbow is going to need to be monitored closely, as the risk is there that he’s shut down at any moment (and there was certainly a lot talk that it was an issue given his recent performance, allowing 7 ER on 14 H and 5 BB over 12.0 IP).  However, as long as he’s pitching he’s going to be a must use option given the upside.

4) Lucas Giolito struggles before being demoted to Triple-A…
Taking on the Padres he allowed 4 R (2 earned) on 4 H and 3 BB, striking out 0, over 3.1 IP.  He simply wasn’t fooling anyone in this one, generating just 1 swinging strike against a less than stellar offense.  While we all know the upside Giolito possesses, he has looked fairly ordinary in his three starts in the Majors.  In fact he’s failed to go longer than 4.0 innings in any of his starts, with his control being a serious issue (9 BB over 11.0 IP).  That was his biggest issue in the minors as well, including a 4.31 BB/9 at Double-A.  Until he figures out his control it’s going to be hard to depend on him.  He should be back up at some point in ’16, though it’s far more likely that he makes an impact in ’17.

5) Does Hernan Perez warrant our attention…
He was in RF yesterday, hitting second, and went 0-2 with 1 RBI, 1 R and 2 SB.  He’s now hitting .280 with 5 HR, 27 RBI, 16 R and 14 SB over 164 AB.  The 0-for did snap a seven game hitting streak, but it’s important to note that he’s become a fixture in the Brewers lineup (whether in the OF or at 3B).  While he should chip in a few stolen bases, he’s hardly a slugger and the underlying numbers (13.2% SwStr%, 43.4% O-Swing%, .353 BABIP) doesn’t give him the look of a player who is going to continue to thrive.  He’s had a nice performance of late, so use him while he’s going well, but don’t anticipate him becoming a fixture in your lineup.

6) Preston Tucker swinging a good bat since returning…
He went 2-3 with 1 HR, 1 RBI and 2 R yesterday, putting him at 3-8 with a double, triple and home run in his three games since returning from the minors.  Where he fits going forward is going to be interesting, with top prospect Alex Bregman set to join the MLB team tomorrow.  However it shouldn’t be a surprise that he’s producing, as he had gone 54-163 (.331) with 7 HR at Triple-A since June 1.  There’s a good chance he continues to see time in the outfield, with Bregman taking AB from Marwin Gonzalez, Luis Valbuena, Evan Gattis and Jason Castro (1B/3B/DH), though time will tell.  Those in five-outfielder formats should be monitoring Tucker, in case he has taken control of the LF job.  The upside is certainly there for him to make an impact.

7) Delino Deshields fills the box score…
He went 2-3 with 1 HR, 1 RBI, 1 R and 1 SB, giving him hits in two of the three games since returning from the minors.  While he was hitting ninth yesterday, that’s not going to impact his ability to steal bases (he had 21 stolen bases at Triple-A).  He also carries more power than your typical speedster, giving him the potential to consistently fill the stat line like he did yesterday.  Given the injuries that the team has been plagued with he’s going to get an opportunity, it’s just a matter of him taking advantage of it.  Thus far he certainly is, making him a must own in all five-outfielder formats.

8) Another strong performance from Blake Snell…
While it wasn’t quite as impressive as his start at Coors Field (6.0 innings allowing 1 H with 9 K), it was still a strong outing against the A’s.  He went 6.2 innings allowing 2 ER on 7 H and 2 BB, striking out 4.  Surprisingly he has not yet shown the swing and miss stuff we would’ve anticipated (8.3% SwStr% entering the day, just 9 swinging strikes yesterday), while he’s struggled with his control (4.78 BB/9 entering the day after a 4.00 at Triple-A) and there’s a good chance that he starts to give up a few HR (1 HR over 44.1 IP, despite a 44.3% groundball rate).  The potential is there to be among the better starters in the league, but he’s going to be a hard starter to depend on for the remainder of ’16.

9) Rick Porcello wins again…
He’s now 13-2 with a 3.57 ERA and 1.15 WHIP, though it wasn’t necessarily a spectacular performance.  Taking on the Twins he allowed 5 R (4 earned) on 6 H and 1 BB, striking out 8, over 6.1 IP.  His key has definitely been his pinpoint control (1.73 BB/9), because his strikeout rate is hardly elite (7.54 K/9) and he’s not the elite groundball pitcher he once appeared to be (he entered with a 45.5% groundball rate, though he did have 9 groundballs vs. 3 fly balls yesterday).  That’s not to say that he’s destined to regress and struggle down the stretch.  It simply means that we are going to have to be extremely careful moving forward.

10) Howie Kendrick continues his hitting streak…
He went 2-5 with 1 HR, 2 RBI and 2 R, extending his hitting streak to 16 games (26-66 with 3 HR, 9 RBI and 11 R).  This stretch has raised his average up to .274 (he was at .237 on June 30), but with it has come little power and little speed.  That’s always been the biggest issue with him, as he hasn’t reached double digit home runs since 2013 (13) or double digit stolen bases since 2014 (14).  Sure he posted three consecutive 10/10 seasons, but that came from 2009-2011.  Maybe as a short-term fill-in while things are going well, but in most cases you can find a player with more upside potential to utilize.

Sources – ESPN, Fangraphs, MILB.com

7 comments

  1. Jmmh73 says:

    Interesting stuff as always..

    De Shields or David Dahl for rest of this season (or the next few weeks at any rate!). Would be to replace any of Grichuk, Heyward, Pagan. 14 team obp roto.

    Would you swap any of those in or out…?

    • Jmmh73 says:

      Conforto also available in the mix

    • Rotoprofessor says:

      It all depends on need. Dahl could really struggle with strikeouts initially, so I’d be concerned about his transition. If you need SB I’d lean Deshields over Pagan.

      That said, all are worth owning w/o a doubt, especially in a 14-teamer. Anyone else you an drop to stash both?

      • Jmmh73 says:

        Thanks! Not really anyone else:
        Grandal Rizzo, Schoop, Donaldson, Correa, Bregman, Reyes is IF
        Harper, j-Up, Heyward, pagan, Grichuk is OF

        2 man bench currently has Sp as I’m low on innings pitched so far.

        I’ve traded a lot to get to that line up (which I love on paper) but it’s never really clicked and I remain marooned in mid table, but balanced across all categories…

        So I could swap OF. Or lose a pitcher. If you could only pick one of Conforto or De Shields?Any thoughts appreciated!

        • Rotoprofessor says:

          Conforto has a higher upside, but I actually prefer both to Frichuck and Pagan, so I’d consider swapping out both

  2. Rob says:

    Hi Eric – in NL-only league, what percent of your FAAB are you spending on Chapman? I have about half of my season budget left and opportunity to move up many spots in saves. Should I blow over half of my remaining budget on Chapman? What kind of bidding are you expecting in NL-Only leagues? Thanks!

    • Rotoprofessor says:

      I’d expect huge bids on him. Bidding 25% of what you have left makes sense, but it may not even be enough

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