10 Important Stories From 04/14/17 Box Scores: Struggles For Greinke & Porcello & More

by Simon Jones

It was another interesting night in the majors, highlighted by the first game at Sun Trust Park, but also injury news with Josh Donaldson hitting the DL and Jon Gray being diagnosed with a stress fracture, but Matt Bush appearing to dodge a bullet and avoid the DL.

So let’s look at some of the bigger stories from Friday’s games.

1) Altuve has another perfect night…
Jose Altuve looks to have put his early season struggles behind him, after reaching base successfully in all 5 plate appearances, for the second night running. Last night he went 3-3, including two doubles and a steal for good measure. In the space of 48 hours, he’s seen his OBP skyrocket from under .300 to .420.

2) Greinke’s rebound doesn’t last long…
After two encouraging starts to begin 2017, Zack Greinke was roughed up last night by his former team. The Dodgers racked up 10 hits on him, which when added to the 3 walks that Greinke gave up, left the starter with a much uglier line than the five earned runs alone. It was much more reminiscent of 2016 that 2015 unfortunately.

3) Keuchel strong again…
In contrast to Greinke, Dallas Keuchel had another excellent outing, holding the Athletics to just one run and four hits across seven strong innings. As an extra bonus he struck out seven on the night. Keuchel has now conceded just two runs across 21 innings, and looks to be providing excellent value to owners who invested in a 2017 bounceback.

4) Villar breaks out on the bases…
After swiping just one bag in his first ten games, Jonathon Villar certainly got the green light against the Reds on Friday. The three stolen bases are exactly what Villar owners were hoping for, especially as his average sits at an ugly .174. Fortunately, the two HRs and four SBs make that a lot easier to swallow.

5) Cruz his first homer of the season…
Nelson Cruz finally notch his first home run of the season against the Rangers on Friday night. It was an ugly first week for Cruz, who started 2 for 25, but since the Mariners returned to Seattle, there are signs that he is finally heating up, with hits over the last four games. Owners will hope that this is the spark that Cruz has been looking for.

6) Porcello get hammered by the Rays…
Rick Porcello had a night to forget in Boston’s 10-5 loss to the Rays yesterday. The Rays teed off on Porcello with four home runs, including a Logan Morrison grand slam.  In the end, Porcello got pulled after just 4.1 IP, with an ugly eight earned runs on eight hits and two walks. After three starts, Porcello has a nasty 7.56 ERA, which certainly backs up the people who said he was a 2017 regression candidate.

7) Duffy living up to the hype…
Danny Duffy had another excellent outing on Friday, limiting the Angels to just one run across seven strong innings. After giving up an RBI in the first, Duffy stifled the Angels allowing just three hits and two walks. He now sports a 1.80 ERA and 1.05 WHIP, and is looking to be an upper tier AL starter going forward.

8) Moustakas slugs another home run…
Mike Moustakas flew under the radar in many drafts this year, after a lost 2016, but he’s doing plenty to jog our memories in 2017. Friday’s homer was his fourth in ten games and he sits with a .999 OPS. Moustakas hinted at a power increase last year before the injury, and had a decent 2015, so it’s worth it’s possible that he will vastly outperform his draft cost this year.

9) The struggles continue for Swanson…
Swanson went hitless again yesterday against the Padres. He’s now just got 6 hits and is sporting a disappointing .150 average with ten strikeouts against just two walks. It’s getting to the point where he’s likely to be dropped down the Braves’ order. Atlanta have him on a fairly long leash, but it’s not unthinkable that a continued slump may see him back in the minors.

10) Atlanta open their new ballpark with a win…
In a night of firsts, Ender Inciarte etched his name in the history of the Braves’ new home, with the first put-out, first hit, first run and then first home run in Sun Trust Park. Overall it was a good night for the Braves in a 5-2 win, with a quality start for Julio Teheran and two hits each for Inciarte, Freeman and Flowers.

 

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