by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)
Gregory Polanco showed signs of finally turning things around, going 2-3 with 1 HR (as well as a double), 2 RBI and 1 R. Despite having the strikeout pitch working (10 K), Masahiro Tanaka allowed 5 ER on 8 H (including 3 HR) and 1 BB over 4.0 IP to lose to the Oakland A’s. It was a big day for Yasiel Puig, going 2-4 with 2 HR, 3 RBI and 2 R, as he awaits word on his appeal of his suspension.
1) Raimel Tapia making the most of his opportunities…
Getting a chance to hit atop the batting order, with Charlie Blackmon getting the night off, Tapia went 2-5 with 1 RBI. It’s his fourth straight multi-hit game, going 10-18 with 2 RBI and 5 R over the stretch. There’s little question about his potential, though barring a trade or injury it’s hard to envision him getting regular playing time in the already deep Colorado outfield. Of course fantasy owners need to remember that there isn’t significant power potential (1 HR in 156 AB at Triple-A in ’17, though he has added 15 doubles and 4 triples), with speed being his biggest asset (despite not really using it as of yet). It remains to be seen if he’s going to pick up the running, but if he’s not his value will be minimal. Stash him if you need help in SB in deeper formats, but that’s about it.
2) Another beating for Adam Wainwright…
He couldn’t make it through the second inning against the Orioles, allowing 9 ER on 7 H and 1 BB, striking out 1, over 1.2 IP. It’s the second time in his past three starts that he’s yielded 9 ER, leading to his ERA to balloon to 5.75. Of course his 1.64 WHIP has been an issue all season, as he’s continued to be hit hard (23.3% line drive rate) and seen his control disappear (3.58 BB/9 entering the day, compared to a career mark of 2.33). Never a big strikeout pitcher, those two numbers make it hard to envision him excelling in ’17. In most formats feel free to cut bait and move on.
3) Ryon Healy paces the A’s victory…
He did the bulk of his damage against Tanaka, finishing 3-4 with 2 HR, 2 RBI and 2 R, putting him at .288 with 17 HR and 42 RBI on the season. It seems odd that people were disappointed with his performance at one point, doesn’t it? He has had some issues with strikeouts, entering the day with a 25.8% strikeout rate (courtesy of an 11.5% SwStr%), and you can also argue that he’s swinging for the fences a little bit (43.0% fly ball rate). Sure it helps to support the power, but it isn’t conducive to maintaining his .331 BABIP. Considering an 18.8% line drive rate the average will likely fall, potentially into the .255-.265 range, though the power will help to offset that. Know the risks, but not that he’s well worth buying.
4) Where have Michael Fulmer’s strikeouts gone…
It’s not to say that he had a bad game yesterday, though it wasn’t good as he allowed 3 ER on 6 H and 4 BB, striking out 3, over 6.2 IP in a loss against Tampa Bay. He now has 4 K over his past two starts (11.0 IP) and has gone six straight with 5 K or fewer. It’s not to say that he was a significant strikeout machine last season (7.47 K/9), but it was definitely better. While he didn’t have the control yesterday, he entered with a 1.82 BB/9 and he also was generating groundballs (12 groundballs vs. 4 fly balls) and he also was getting more than enough swinging strikes (15). In other words, while it would be easy to push the panic button that would be a mistake. There’s more upside than he showed yesterday, so stay the course.
5) Dinelson Lamet reminds us that he deserves our attention…
While most will note Yangervis Solarte’s big day (2-4, 2 HR, 3 RBI, 2 R), don’t let it distract you from Lament’s bounce back day. Taking on the Brewers he allowed 3 ER on 4 H and 0 BB, striking out 12, over 6.0 IP. His problem was home runs, with Oswaldo Arcia and Eric Thames taking him deep. Remember Lamet actually entered the day with an 11.5% SwStr% and had the Brewers off balance all night, leading to a gaudy 23 swinging strikes on the day. Home runs will likely continue to be an issue and he also doesn’t have great control (4.62 BB/9 prior to his recall, 4.50 in the Majors) so the upside isn’t that high unfortunately.
6) Matt Adams making it difficult on Atlanta…
You already have to start wondering how the Braves will find AB for Adams once Freddie Freeman returns, because he deserves to be in the lineup every day. After going 3-4 with 1 HR (as well as 2 doubles), 4 RBI and 1 R, he’s up to 9 HR and 25 RBI over 104 AB as a member of the Braves. You can argue that he’s due to regress, especially in his strikeout rate (13.2% SwStr%, .340 BABIP, 17.4% line drive rate), and that’s definitely fair. However the power is very much for real, and that should be more than enough. He’s going to hold value as long as he’s getting AB, just be prepared for a bit of a slow down.
7) Another home run for Joc Pederson…
He finished going 1-4 with 1 HR, 1 RBI and 1 R, his second straight game with a home run and extending his hitting streak to four games (5-14 with 2 HR, 3 RBI, 4 R and 1 SB, while also adding 2 doubles). There were high hopes heading into the season, though he’s disappointed to a .211 average to go along with 4 HR (remember he did miss some time due to injury). That said, in his past five games he has just 1 K vs. 3 BB and you can certainly argue that his .262 BABIP is going to rise in time. While it’s easy to give up on him, now simply isn’t the time to do so.
8) Jose Ramirez enjoys a big double-header…
He wasn’t the only Cleveland hitter, with others producing big days including:
- Lonnie Chisenhall – 2-5, 1 HR, 4 RBI, 2 R
- Bradley Zimmer – 2-4, 4 RBI
It was Ramirez who had the biggest, though, combining to go 5-10 with 2 HR, 4 RBI and 2 R. He’s now hitting .306 with 11 HR and 6 SB, as he quickly emerges as one of the better players in the league. The power matches his total from ’16, though remember that he added 46 doubles and 3 triples, and with maturity and experience it shouldn’t come as a surprise that some more of those are finding their way over the fence. Entering the day with a realistic 11.7% HR/FB and 38.1% fly ball rate, there’s little reason to think he can’t maintain the breakout. There’s no reason to view him as a potential sell high canidate.
9) Has Alex Meyer started figuring it out…
It appeared to be the case yesterday, tossing 6.0 shutout innings allowing just 2 H and 1 BB while striking out 10. He now owns a 3.52 ERA, though despite the impressive outing he still has a 1.41 WHIP. No one is going to question the strikeout stuff (and he had 22 swinging strikes yesterday) and he has generated enough groundballs (6 groundballs vs. 3 fly balls yesterday, 45.1% entering the day), the problem has been his control (4+ BB in five of his nine starts in ’17). Considering the Royals have walked the fewest of any MLB team, we need to keep this performance in perspective. It doesn’t mean that he can’t figure it out and deliver on the promise, but don’t assume he’s going to take this performance and run with it.
10) The struggles of Rick Porcello continued…
Taking on the Astros he got beat up again, allowing 7 ER on 10 H and 1 BB, striking out 3, over 6.0 IP. It’s the third straight start where he has allowed 5+ ER, watching his ERA rise to 5.05 on the season. He gave up 2 HR, something that has been a problem all year long (1.45 HR/9). While he had limited the long ball last season, this year has the feel for ’15 (1.31 HR/9) as the groundballs have regressed (37.4%). Once thought of as a groundball machine, that’s simply no longer the case. It doesn’t matter if he’s producing strikeouts or avoiding walks, which he generally has this season, without the groundballs he’s going to continue to struggle. Keep that in mind, as it’s not safe to consider him a buy low candidate.
Sources – ESPN, Fangraphs, MLB.com
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|First Base||June 3|
|Second Base||June 5|