10 Important Stories From 04/19/17 Box Scores: Keuchel’s Revival, Is Haniger For Real & More

by Ray Kuhn

Based on some of the pitchers who were taking the mound on Wednesday, some legitimate offensive outbursts were expected. Instead, the offense we saw, in some cases was lacking to put it mildly. If you expected the Red Sox, Reds, or Diamondbacks to be shut out, then more power to you. Let’s take a look at some of the performances that stood out from a busy Wednesday around baseball:

1) Is Dexter Fowler Busting Out…

Fowler is a known entity who has had consistent success in his career thus far. The Cardinals are sticking with their free agent addition at the top of the order, but before yesterday he really wasn’t giving them a reason for doing so. However, Fowler ruined an otherwise strong outing from Gerrit Cole (eight strikeouts in six innings on six hits and two walks) and was responsible for both of St. Louis’ runs. Fowler rewarded owners who either bought low or did not give up on him as he went deep twice for his first home runs and RBI of the season. The outfielder also added a single to raise his average to .183 on the season. On the other side of the field, Josh Bell went deep for the first time this season, and is another player fantasy owners might want to think twice about giving up on. The fact that he is batting second in the order does play a factor here as well.

2) All is Not Lost for the Cubs…

It is still early in the season, so there is no need to overreact about the fact that Chicago at 8-7 is just half a game better than the Brewers. But one thing that fantasy owners should begin to pay a little attention to, is the struggles of Kyle Hendricks. After allowing four runs, and two home runs (Travis Shaw and Jett Bandy), last season’s success story now sports a 6.19 ERA. However, everyone went home happy on the North Side as the Cubs rallied in the ninth inning and Addison Russell continued his run producing ways. The shortstop’s three run home run propelled the Cubs to victory in a wild ninth inning as Neftali Feliz blew his first save of the season. It was the second home run of the season for Russell, who also added an RBI single to bring his season total to 12.

3) There Was Some Offense in Oakland…

However, the game did not play out exactly as expected. It likely did not surprise many people to see the A’s offense take care of business against Martin Perez and company, but it was a one-sided effort. Jesse Hahn turning in a quality start, and lowering his ERA to 3.00, wasn’t something many people expected. The lone blemish against Hahn was Joey Gallo’s third home run of the season as the right-hander allowed just one other hit and four walks in his six innings of work. What also should not be surprising, is that Khris Davis went deep once again. It was the seventh home run of the season for Davis, a two run shot, who is up to 11 RBI on the season to go along with his .321 average as he shows that last year was not a fluke.

4) An Unlikely RBI Machine…

Good things were expected of Mitch Haniger this season, batting second in Seattle sure doesn’t hurt, but his success so far this season has to be somewhat surprising to even his most ardent backers. Haniger was busy on Wednesday as he went 3 for 4 with a walk, a double, and three runs scored. What truly stood out, was the the four runs that Haniger drove in as his RBI total now sits at 15 on the season to go along with his .323 average. Haniger is currently benefiting from a .390 BABIP, but he should continue to be a fantasy asset this season.

5) Has it Landed Yet…

If you haven’t seen the highlight of it yet, do yourself a favor and pull up Aaron Judge’s home run from last night. Words just cannot do the blast justice, as it certainly was a majestic shot that could easily allow your mind to wander while introducing all kinds of hyperbole. Whatever slow start Judge had in the first week of the season is now behind us, although there might be some other streaks we have to ride out (for better or worse) this season. But there is no denying how impressive the fifth home run of the season was for Judge. The solo shot was the fifth home run of the season, which brought his RBI total to 12. Judge also added a walk and a single as he raised his average to .277. To continue the good feelings for the Yankees, Masahiro Tanaka took care of business against the White Sox as he allowed one run in seven innings for his second victory of the season.

6) A Pitcher’s Duel in Cincinnati…

Despite another strong outing, Amir Garrett was the hard luck loser last night. Garrett allowed just two runs on seven hits and a walk in seven innings of work while striking out an impressive 12 batters. The Orioles have some powerful right-handed bats that the rookie was able to keep at bay, but the Reds just cannot score. And the fact that they were shut down by Ubaldo Jimenez has to catch you by surprise. Jimenez limited Cincinnati to just two hits and four walks in 7.2 innings while keeping them off the scoreboard. Despite that success, I would still tread carefully with Jimenez. We have seen Baltimore be a little creative with their lead-off spot, but it was interested to see Trey Mancini batting first for the Orioles last night (he was 1 for 4).

7) Bruce Takes Care of Business…

It was the Jay Bruce show last night in New York. With the majority of the Mets’ offense taking some time to get going, Yoenis Cespedes is batting just .255, Bruce took matters into his own hands. He was responsible for all five of New York’s runs, a three run and a two run blast, and he also added a double to raise his average to .309 on the season. On the season, Bruce is now up to six home runs and 14 RBI as he appears to be taking to New York just fine this season.

8) Is an MVP Performance Brewing in Washington…

With the way Bryce Harper has begun this season, it’s hard to think otherwise. Harper reached base all five times last night, a double (his fifth), two home runs (six on the season), a single, and a walk as he raised his average to .404 on the season. With a solo shot and a grand slam, Harper is now up to 18 RBI on the season without any signs of slowing down. Ryan Zimmerman also continued his success this season as he added a grand slam of his own as one of his three hits on the night. The first baseman is now batting .380 on the season with four home runs and 11 RBI. It was also a positive development for Washington as Joe Ross picked up the victory in his season debut with seven strong innings of work. After beginning the season in the minor leagues due to Washington’s schedule, Ross is a pitcher who warrants some fantasy attention.

9) Unlikely Success in Kansas City and San Diego…

Neither starting pitcher entered the season on anyone’s fantasy radars, but that has now changed; to varying degrees. With seven shutout innings against the Giants, Jason Vargas is now 3-0 on the season with a minuscule 0.44 ERA. San Francisco managed just four hits against Vargas as he struck out nine batters. At this point, it is hard to ignore the success and Vargas should be on your radars in all formats. Jhoulys Chacin on the other hand has been a little more inconsistent, with a 2-2 record this season. Last night though, the Diamondbacks weren’t able to get on the board against Chacin as he allowed just two hits and a walk in eight shutout innings. However, to consider Chacin, the league needs to be a little deeper.

10) Dallas Keuchel Continues His Strong Start…

Another home start, and another victory for the southpaw. Keuchel appears to sufficiently recovered from his health issues last season as he picked up his third victory of the season. In seven innings of work, the southpaw held the Angels to just one run on eight hits and a walk, while striking out seven. The start brought Keuchel’s ERA down to 0.96 on the season as he appears to be working his way back to ace status.

Make sure to check out our Preseason 2017 Prospect Rankings:

Top 50 Prospects1-50
Catcher1-10
First Base1-10
Second Base1-10
Shortstop1-10
Third Base1-10
Outfielders:1-1011-20
Right Handed Pitchers:1-1011-20
Left Handed Pitchers:1-10

20 comments

  1. Carlito says:

    Drop Bird at this point?

  2. Bbboston says:

    One player that is lighting things up but not receiving credit for it is Aaron Hicks; yesterday he had a pinch hit HR. At this juncture, Gardner should be traded to make room for Hicks/Frazier. Hicks deserves more attention, because he’s made a batting change that has created improvement from the start of spring training

  3. Chris says:

    J. Abreu and N. Castellanos are both free agents. I need HR, RBI. Would you drop Bregman, Morales, or Rendon for either Abreu or Castellanos? Util Position. TIA

  4. TreeFrog says:

    Do you see Hahn as anything more than a streamer going forward?

  5. Nokwurst says:

    Another owner recently put CarGo on the block. Good buy low target? (assuming hand injury is minor)
    We use OBP and SLG instead of AVG and HRs.

    • Rotoprofessor says:

      Always depends on cost, but I’m not running out to get him. Still have the fear he gets traded away from Coors, then most of his potential “upside” disappears

      • Nokwurst says:

        Thanks, yeah that trade spectre hurts. Cost is JP Crawford (I’m ok with) and Ryan McMahon (would rather keep.)
        20 team dynasty.

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