by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)
Rougned Odor put his power on display, going 3-4 with 2 HR, 2 RBI and 2 R (he now has 3 HR in his past two games). Hisashi Iwakuma got torched by the Cubs, allowing 5 ER on 8 H and 1 BB over just 3.0 innings. Carlos Gonzalez paced the Rockies, going 2-5 with 1 HR, 4 RBI and 1 R. What else took place on the field that we need to know about? Let’s take a look:
1) Home runs help Kevin Gausman to a miserable start…
He allowed a trio of home runs in the first inning, finishing the night allowing 6 ER on 6 H and 3 BB, striking out 4, over 3.0 IP against the Blue Jays. Granted it was a difficult matchup, but it also helps to highlight a split that we certainly can’t ignore:
- Home – 2.36 ERA
- Road – 4.94 ERA
It’s not like he has a favorable home ballpark, yet he entered with a 0.99 HR/9 there as compared to a 1.81 on the road. It’ll be interesting to see if he can figure out how to do a better job of keeping the ball in the ballpark, because the other numbers appear to be really promising. If we talked about a pitcher who went into the start with an 8.52 K/9 (courtesy of a 10.9% SwStr% and fastball averaging 94.8 mph) and a 2.06 BB/9, we’d all be flocking to grab him. The upside remains high, so don’t give up hope, though he may remain more of a streaming option until 2017.
2) It all unravels for Colin McHugh…
He entered the day having allowed 3 ER or fewer in seven straight starts, lowering his ERA from 5.22 (on June 9) all the way to 4.18. However that good stretch vanished in a heartbeat, as the Tigers shredded him for 8 ER on 10 H and 0 BB, striking out 1, over 1.2 IP. He entered the day with some significant poor luck (18.7% line drive rate yet a .347 BABIP), which certainly helps to explain a lot of his issues. The strikeouts have been back this season, as he had an 11.0% SwStr% (matching his mark from his breakout ’14) and a solid 2.68 BB/9. It would be easy to grow frustrated and cut bait after this debacle, but for now stay the course. Things should get better in short order.
3) Has David Dahl proven he deserves to stick in the Majors…
It’s going to be interesting to see how the Rockies handle him over the remainder of the season, especially once Gerardo Parra is ready to return (which could come shortly). Barring a trade that could leave Dahl as the odd man out, despite racking up hits in each of his first five starts in the Majors (7-19 with 1 HR). Of course he’s also struck out at least once in each game as well, with 7 K vs. 1 BB, a troubling number that will start to catch up with him sooner rather than later. Remember he owned a 25.6% strikeout rate over 332 PA at Double-A this season, as he’s still developing his approach. In other words, don’t be surprised to see him back at Triple-A to continue honing his craft. Even if he does stay up in Colorado, there’s a good chance that he struggles.
4) Is Marcell Ozuna primed for another hot stretch…
After going 2-4 with 1 HR, 1 RBI and 2 R yesterday, he’s now gone 6-13 (including 2 doubles and the HR) over his past three games. The home runs was hit first since July 1, though the overall power is right where we’d expect him to be. The problem is in his batting average and, even with a .250 mark in July, there’s a good chance he continues to scuffle there a little bit:
- Strikeouts – 19.9%, despite a 12.1% SwStr%
- Luck – .338 BABIP, despite a 20.3% line drive rate
Those numbers together tell us that there’s a good chance of a further regression, so trying to sell him now still isn’t the worst idea. It all depends on the return that you can get.
5) Jake Odorizzi tosses a gem with the spotlight on…
His name has been a popular one in advance of the Trade Deadline, and Odorizzi stepped up and delivered against the Yankees last night. Over 6.2 shutout innings he allowed just 6 H and 0 BB, striking out 5. It was his second consecutive scoreless outing, and he’s allowed 2 ER over his last 20.2 IP to bring his ERA back down to 3.88. Of course, if he were to be traded his landing spot would be one to watch extremely closely. Yesterday he had just 4 groundballs vs. 11 fly balls, a ratio that has been fairly standard for him (36.9% groundball rate on the season). It’s certainly easy to imagine home runs become a significant issue, regardless of where he calls home, though the strikeouts (8.26 K/9) and control (2.51 BB/9) would keep him relevant regardless.
6) Tyrell Jenkins outpitched Vincent Velasquez…
Velasquez was very good (6.0 IP, 2 ER, 7 H, 2 BB, 5 K), but Jenkins was better. He allowed just 1 unearned run on 4 H and 4 BB, striking out 4, over 6.0 IP to earn the W. It’s easy to overlook the debacle in his last outing (7 ER allowed in Coors Field), but in his four starts he has failed to show much strikeout stuff (4.05 K/9) and also displayed pitiful control (6.30 BB/9). Considering marks in the minor leagues of 6.6 and 3.5, respectively, it’s hard to get exceptionally excited. While there could be upside, there are far better streaming options or gambles to take.
7) Joey Gallo showing why he’s tough to trust…
He’s started three games since returning from the Majors, and while he does have 1 HR he is 1-10 (1-11 overall) during this stretch. More concerning is the fact that he’s struck out 2 times in each of his starts, as compared to just 1 BB. It’s obviously a miniscule sample size, but it goes along with everything he has shown throughout his career. The epitome of an all or nothing hitter, there’s a very good chance that the strikeouts continue to render him relatively useless. It wouldn’t be surprising if he Rangers ultimately acquire a bat, though pitching has been discussed as their focus, but regardless of their plans fantasy owners shouldn’t be banking on Gallo making a significant impact (outside of home runs).
8) It was a stellar start for Junior Guerra…
Taking on the Pirates he carried a shutout into the ninth inning, ultimately allowing 1 ER on 4 H and 1 BB, striking out 5, over 8.2 IP to earn the victory. He’s been solid all year long, now with a 2.70 ERA and 1.05 WHIP. Of course while the metrics are solid, they also are unspectacular:
- Strikeouts – 7.40 K/9 (though there may be more upside, with an 11.0% SwStr%)
- Control – 2.96 BB/9
- Groundballs – 46.3%
He’s also benefited from significant luck, with a .233 BABIP and 79.1% strand rate. While the overall numbers are impressive, there’s an extremely good chance that he stumbles down the stretch making him an ideal sell high candidate (if possible).
9) Rick Porcello steps up for the Red Sox…
Boston needed a W and Porcello delivered against the Angels, tossing a complete game while allowing 2 R on 5 H and 0 BB, striking out 3. While the results were there, he wasn’t generating many swings and misses (8, to be exact) and he also wasn’t a groundball machine (13 vs. 11 fly balls). The latter was once his calling card, but his 45.8% mark this season is on par with last year’s 45.7% mark. He also doesn’t generate many swings and misses, with a 7.5% rate, giving him limited strikeout potential. Sure he’s got great control, but is that enough to turn him into anything more than an average starting pitcher? Sure he’s 14-2, with is nice, but we all know we can’t bank on the wins to continue.
10) Eugenio Suarez carries the Reds to victory…
He went 2-4 with 4 RBI to lead the charge and it’s easy to look at his 17 HR and get excited about his prospects. Of course he has just 8 doubles on the season and it would be fair to wonder if he can maintain his 17.3% HR/FB. He also owns a 26.1% strikeout rate, which is going to make it difficult for him to hit for a strong average (as it is he’s hitting .236 on the season). Sure the power is nice, but you also have to wonder if the Reds might be better served to take a look at Jose Peraza and see what he could do.
Sources – ESPN, Fangraphs, Baseball Reference
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