10 Important Stories From 08/28/16 Box Scores: Is There Hope For Giolito, Buying Gausman/Rodon & More

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

It was a monster day for Josh Donaldson, finishing 3-4 with 3 HR, 4 RBI and 3 R.  Chris Archer was impressive as he continues to turn his season around, allowing 3 ER on 4 H and 2 BB, striking out 10, over 7.0 IP en route to a W over the Astros.  A.J. Pollock showed that he could be a difference maker down the stretch, going 3-5 with 2 R and 2 SB.  What else happened on the field that we need to know about?  Let’s take a look:

1) A gem from Kevin Gausman against New York…
The Orioles desperately needed a strong performance and Gausman delivered, tossing 7.0 shutout innings allowing just 7 H and 0 BB while striking out 9.  He’s now tossed 13.0 shutout innings over his past two starts and has allowed 2 ER or fewer in five of his past six outings.  Obviously his 3.73 ERA and 1.31 WHIP isn’t going to blow anyone away, but as it is he entered the day with impressive strikeout and walk rates:

  • Strikeout Rate – 8.86 K/9 (10.4% SwStr%)
  • Walk Rate -2.57 BB/9

He improved upon both of those yesterday, including getting an impressive 20 swinging strikes, though the biggest key was keeping the ball in the ballpark (1.56 HR/9 entering the day).  As long as he continues doing that he’s going to be an above average option.  It’s a big if, but he’s worth the gamble.

2) Tyler Skaggs delivers a surprisingly strong start…
Taking on the Tigers, in Detroit, he twirled 6.0 shutout innings allowing 2 H and 2 BB, striking out 6.  Considering he entered the day allowing 4+ ER in four straight starts (19 ER over 17.2 IP), it was impossible to predict this type of performance.  He entered the day yielding a 25.8% line drive rate, something he’s going to have to continue improving upon if he’s going to yield better results.  He also had struggled with his control (4.20 BB/9) and failed to generate swings and misses (7.1% SwStr%), both of which he obviously did better with yesterday (11 swinging strikes).  Is there upside, especially based on a matchup?  Absolutely, but it’s impossible to trust him over the final month of the season after he missed all of 2015.

3) Another impressive start from Luis Perdomo…
Where did this come from?  Taking on the Marlins he tossed a complete game, allowing 1 ER on 6 H and 3 BB, striking out 3.  He’s now allowed 1 ER over his past two starts (16.0 IP), using groundballs to get the job done.  He entered the day with a 58.6% groundball rate and induced 19 groundballs as compared to 4 fly balls yesterday.  Any time you put up that type of rate you are bound to have success.  He entered the day with a .366 BABIP (despite a 19.0% line drive rate) and 66.1% strand rate, so there certainly was a correction due (and one that could continue).  He’s not going to generate a lot of strikeouts, which does hurt his appeal, but there’s enough to at least consider him a streaming option.

4) Lucas Giolito fails to deliver once again…
Taking on the Rockies at home, he took the loss allowing 4 ER on 6 H and 2 BB, striking out 2, over 5.0 IP.  He’s managed just 7 K over 16.0 IP in the Majors this season, a far cry from what he’s done in the minors (9.13 K/9 at Double-A, 10.74 K/9 at Triple-A), and he’s also struggled with his control (11 BB).  Home run issues were an added bonus yesterday (2 HR), though a 27.0% line drive rate entering the day certainly doesn’t instill much confidence.  Obviously there’s still a ton of potential and ultimately he should figure it out, but is anyone banking on him getting there this season?  You shouldn’t be, as there isn’t even a guarantee he continues to get starts.  Those in redraft formats should be looking elsewhere.

5) Carlos Rodon continues to impress…
He won his third straight decision and has now allowed 2 ER or fewer in five straight starts, as he stymied the Phillies yesterday (6.0 IP, 1 ER, 5 H, 1 BB, 6 K).  It’s been a stark turnaround, considering his 4.67 ERA entering this stretch.  He entered the day with an 8.63 K/9 and 2.93 BB/9 (which had been the biggest concern entering the day).  The biggest difference is his improvement in home runs allowed (though he did allow one yesterday):

  • First Half – 1.47 HR/9
  • Second Half – 0.58 HR/9

If he continue doing that, his success should continue.  The strikeouts have been down in the second half (7.84 K/9), but it’s hardly a concern.  We’ve always talked about the upside, and he’s well worth using while he’s going well.

6) Corey Dickerson hits atop Tampa Bay’s order…
He entered the day with 2 AB in the leadoff spot on the season, though yesterday’s performance could earn him more time up there.  He went 2-4 with 1 HR, 3 RBI and 2 R, though you have to wonder if his skillset really deserves to be up there.  It’s not like he was drawing a lot of walks (6.7% walk rate) and he strikes out way too much (24.1%, courtesy of a 14.8% SwStr%).  Is that really the type of player you want to be hitting atop your batting order?  In fact hitting there would actually hurt his chances at RBI, despite but he did yesterday.  In other words, don’t look towards this as any sort of value boost.

7) Another strong start for Andrew Triggs…
Taking on the Cardinals he allowed 3 ER on 4 H and 0 BB, striking out 8, over 6.0 IP.  How real these numbers are remain to be seen, despite his 9.0 K/9 and 2.0 BB/9 in the minor leagues, as he has generally worked as a reliever until now.  Of course the fact that he also owned a 1.92 GO/AO, and entered the day with a 51.7% groundball rate in the Majors, significantly helps his cause.  The probably could be his workload and if he can continue to carry it deep into games, but thus far it’s hard not to be impressed with what he’s shown.  In deeper formats it’s at the point that he’s worth considering, at least as a streamer, and the potential is there to be a difference maker down the stretch.

8) Joe Panik powers up against the Braves…
He went 3-4 with 2 HR, 4 RBI and 2 R.  It’s been an overall disappointing season, though he’s turned it up of late with 3 HR and 8 RBI over his past four games.  While he was never expected to be a great source of power or speed, it’s his .251 average that he should be able to improve upon.  He has been showing his typical strong eye at the plate (10.4% walk rate, 9.2% strikeout rate), the problem has been his .254 BABIP courtesy of a 19.0% line drive rate.  There’s a good chance he improves the latter (21.5% for his career), which in turn would improve the former.  In other words, don’t lose hope now (unless you are only looking for help in either HR or SB).

9) Brock Stewart shuts down the Cubs…
While he had to settle for a no decision, it doesn’t take away from the impressive performance.  While he went just 5.0 innings he didn’t allow a run, giving up 2 H and 2 BB while striking out 8.  The most impressive number may have been his 18 swinging strikes, showing that the strikeouts were very much deserved.  He hasn’t shown much in the Majors this season (thanks to home runs), across three levels in the minors (118.0 IP) he has 126 K vs. 18 BB.  The Dodgers rotation remains banged up, so the strong showing should certainly lead to another start.  Depending on the matchup there’s enough upside to consider utilizing him, and it’s not impossible that he holds value the rest of the way.

10) Raul Mondesi delivers a rare big blow…
He went 1-3 with 3 RBI and 1 R, raising his average to .189 to go along with 1 HR and 6 SB over 90 AB.  He’s shown plenty of speed, with 3 triples, but that’s about the only positive thing we can say.  For a non-power hitter his 29.7% strikeout rate is simply unacceptable, though it also shouldn’t be a significant surprise either (22.9% at Double-A this season).  He doesn’t have much power and hasn’t hit the ball hard (15.4% line drive rate), so outside of potentially chipping in a few stolen bases there’s little reason to get excited for 2016.  Long-term there likely is value, but if you are looking just at 2016 you should be looking elsewhere.

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


  1. Carlito says:

    ROS Pence or J Upton?

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