10 Important Stories From 04/15/17 Box Scores: Selling High On Puig, Struggles For Glasnow & Manaea & More

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

The biggest stories from yesterday center around injuries, with names like Jake Odorizzi, Marcus Semien, Logan Forsyth and Gregory Polanco all been forced to be scratched or pulled yesterday (and Odorizzi has already landed on the DL).  Of course the news didn’t stop there.  Ervin Santana silenced the White Sox by throwing a complete game 1 H shutout, walking 1 and striking out 8.  Justin Verlander struggled, allowing 9 ER on 11 H over 4.0 IP against the Indians.  Jacob deGrom continues to look like his old self, allowing 2 ER on 4 H and 1 BB, striking out 13, against the Marlins though he had to settle for a no decision.  What else happened that we need to know about?  Let’s take a look:

 

1) An ineffectively wild day for Carlos Martinez…
The final line shouldn’t have been quite as bad as it was, as the Cardinals inexplicably brought a wild Carlos Martinez back out for the sixth.  He did strikeout 11, though he ultimately allowed 3 R (2 earned) on 4 H and 8 BB over 5.1 IP against the Yankees.  While he had walked just 1 batter in his first two starts, he was coming off a game where he hit 2 batters and allowed 5 ER over 5.0 IP.  His control has generally not been pinpoint (3.23 BB/9 last season), but this is obviously extreme.  At least he was still generating strikeouts and managed to limit the runs allowed.  This isn’t a red flag, at least not yet, and we’d expect a rebound in his next outing.

 

2) Eric Thames living up to the hype…
There was a lot of hype surrounding Thames as he made the jump back to the Majors this season after spending a few years starring in Korea.  Yesterday he posted a big day, going 2-4 with 2 HR, 2 RBI and 3 R, continuing what has been an impressive first two weeks.  He’s now hitting .382 with 5 HR and 10 RBI, giving him home runs in three straight games (4 HR and 7 RBI over this stretch).  Obviously he’s not quite this good, but as long as he continues to make consistent contact (9 K over his first 34 AB) the production should be there (think 25-30 HR with the potential to also add close to 10 SB).  The window to buy has closed for now, but when he hits a slump be prepared to try and exploit it.

 

3) Another struggle from Jose Quintana…
Taking on the Twins he got beat up early before settling down, but the damage was done.  Quintana ended up lasting 5.2 IP allowing 5 ER on 9 H and 5 BB, striking out 5 to fall to 0-3 with a 6.75 ERA.  At least he didn’t allow a home run, which has been the biggest issue, but he didn’t have good control (he now has 9 BB over 17.1 IP) and he hasn’t posted big strikeout numbers (14 K).  The control is a big surprise, as that’s his true calling card, as he’s never posted big swing and miss numbers (only 9 swings and misses yesterday).  He should improve, but don’t be surprised if he falls far short of preseason expectations.

 

4) Is it time to give up on Tyler Glasnow…
It’s just his second start this season, but it was another poor showing as he allowed 6 R (4 earned) on 6 H and 2 BB, striking out 7, over 5.0 IP against the Cubs.  He’s now allowed 9 ER over 6.2 IP over his first two starts courtesy of 10 H and 7 BB (2.55 WHIP).  We have to remember that he was struggling with his control at Triple-A last season (5.04 BB/9), so we can’t be surprised that the issue has continued.  He’s also primarily thrown his fastball (63.8%) and curveball (32.4%) in the Majors, so it’s possible that opposing hitters simply aren’t being fooled by his stuff.  There’s significant strikeout upside, but more time at Triple-A may be needed.  Outside of deeper formats, moving on from him may make sense.

 

5) The control issues continue for Sean Manaea…
He actually didn’t allow a hit over 5.0 IP, but he did allow 2 R (1 earned) as he walked 5 and hit a batter.  He’s now hit at least one batter in all three of his starts, with 4 HBP and 9 BB over 16.1 IP to open the season.  He has been striking out people (20 K) and he has been generating groundballs (6 groundouts vs. 3 fly outs), both of which are good signs.  While he isn’t a control artist, his 3.6 BB/9 in the minors does show that he’s better than this.  While he’s had some issues, the struggles may actually create a buying opportunity for savvy owners.

 

6) Mitch Moreland continues to quietly produce…
He started the season 0-9 over the first two games, but since has hit in 8 out of 9 games (14-33).  While he went 3-4 with his first home run of the season yesterday, it would seem like it could be just the beginning of the power/run production (he has only 2 RBI on the season).  Among his 14 hits, 9 have gone for doubles and how long will it be before even more start to find their way over the fence?  Having never shown this type of upside before we’ll have to see if he can maintain it, though if he’s on the waiver wire he’s worth grabbing to find out.

 

7) Jose Ramirez breaks out in a big way…
One of the biggest surprises of 2016, Ramirez was off to a decent (though unnoteworthy) start to 2017.  He changed that in a big way yesterday, going 4-4 with 2 HR, 6 RBI and 3 R to lead the charge against the Tigers (they finished with 13 R on 19 H).  While he hit only 11 HR last season he added 46 doubles and 3 triples, so it wouldn’t be surprising to see a jump in production (think the 15-20 range).  Couple that with his ability to hit and don’t expect him to fall off fantasy maps.  There should be more big days ahead.

 

8) A better outing for Matt Shoemaker, though still not great…
Taking on the Royals he allowed 2 R on 5 H and 2 BB, striking out 7, over 5.1 IP.  It wasn’t a bad outing, but there are quite a few issues hanging over him:

  1. Length – 5.1 IP represents his longest outing of the season
  2. Control – He’s walked 7 batters in 14.2 IP over his first three starts (and also hit two batters)
  3. Home Runs – He allowed 1 HR yesterday and has yielded at least 1 HR in all three of his starts (4 HR total)

We all know the upside, so don’t do anything drastic, but it’s certainly been a frustrating start.  If you want to stash him on the bench and wait for him to turn it around it makes sense, but continue viewing him as a must hold.

 

9) Yasiel Puig continues his hot start, so sell now…
He went 3-3 with 1 HR, 4 RBI and 1 R yesterday, putting him at .333 with 4 HR and 10 RBI to open the season.  Even more impressive is that he’s walked (9) more than he’s struck out (7).  It’s a great start, but he entered the day swinging and missing too much (12.1% SwStr%), not hitting the ball exceptionally hard (16.7% line drive rate) and with an unsustainable HR/FB (30.0%).  In other words the chances of him keeping this up is almost nil.  Selling high on him now makes sense, though we’ll dive even deeper into that thought later on this week.

 

10) James Paxton shines again…
Taking on Andrew Cashner (5.1 IP, 3 ER, 5 H, 3 BB, 2 K) and the Texas Rangers, Paxton was stellar once again.  He tossed 8.0 shutout innings allowing 2 H and 1 BB, striking out 9.  One of the most hyped pitchers entering the season all he has done is toss 21.0 shutout innings in his first three starts, with 22 K vs. 4 BB.  The control is the biggest story, and is showing what he did in the second half of ’16 could be for real (8.92 K/9, 1.24 BB/9).  There’s the chance that he truly has evolved into something special and your chance to buy him at a reasonable price has likely come and gone.

 

Sources – MLB.com, ESPN, Fangraphs, Baseball Reference

2 comments

  1. Joel says:

    Maneae or shoemaker?

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