by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)
Ervin Santana pitched well against the Indians with 6.0 shutout innings and 7 K, though his 9 hits shows that he was a little bit lucky. The recent inconsistency of Michael Pineda continued, as he allowed 7 ER on 6 H and 1 BB over 4.0 IP to the Texas Rangers (including 3 HR). Cody Bellinger continued his assault on MLB pitching, going 3-5 with 2 HR, 4 RBI and 2 R to lead to the Dodgers to a victory. What else happened that we need to know about? Let’s take a look:
1) Has Eddie Rosario finally figured things out…
Obviously the numbers are a bit skewed by his 3 HR game, but that shouldn’t distract you from what has been a very good month. After going 3-4 with 1 HR, 1 RBI and 3 R yesterday, Rosario is hitting .308 with 5 HR, 9 RBI and 13 R thus far in June. While his plate discipline hasn’t been good (he entered the day with a 12.4% SwStr% and 38.0% O-Swing%), he’s shown significantly better signs this month as well (11.2% SwStr%, 31.2% O-Swing%). If he can keep that going, there’s a chance that he continues to produce at this type of rate (though figure closer to 2-4 HR per month). That will have value in five-outfielder formats, so don’t make the mistake of ignoring the breakout.
2) Mike Montgomery continues to try and claim rotation spot…
While he lost to the Marlins, it was his defense that cost him. Montgomery allowed 3 R (0 earned) on 4 H and 2 BB, striking out 6, over 6.0 IP to lower his ERA to 2.03 and his WHIP to 1.21. The lefty didn’t generate many swinging strikes in this one (7), and he hasn’t been this month (8.0% SwStr%). That’s something to keep an eye on, as he owns a 7.85 K/9 in June but may not be able to maintain it while pitching in the rotation. He is generating a lot of groundballs (69.2%) and has displayed solid control, which should allow him to maintain some value. However if the strikeouts do regress it is going to be capped. Keep that in mind before investing heavily in him.
3) Is there reason to believe in Jake Odorizzi…
He allowed 4 ER on 7 H and 1 BB, striking out 5, over 5.1 IP against the Orioles. Included in the damage was a pair of home runs (including one from the streaking Trey Mancini, who finished the day 1-4 with 1 HR, 1 RBI and 1 R). In his 14 starts he’s allowed at least 1 HR in 13 of them, and has yielded 8 HR over 25.2 IP thus far in June. He’s never been much of a groundball pitcher (34.4% for his career), so while the issues are a bit inflated they shouldn’t come as a surprise. While there would appear to be more strikeout upside (11.1% SwStr% entering the day), his 7.70 K/9 isn’t far off from his career mark (8.20) and his control is decent though not spectacular. In other words, unless he figures out how to keep the ball in the ballpark the results aren’t going to be there. He is a potential streamer in the right matchup, but in most cases it’s hard to trust him.
4) A disastrous day for Julio Teheran…
Taking on the Brewers he allowed 7 ER on 7 H and 2 BB, striking out 3, over 3.0 IP. The bulk of the damage came via home runs, as he yielded two on the day:
- Travis Shaw – 1-3, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 2 R
- Keon Broxton – 3-4, 1 HR, 3 RBI, 1 R, 1 SB
For Teheran it’s a major step backwards after it appeared he had started to turn a corner. Of course it shouldn’t be surprising that it was home runs that did him in, as even as he was pitching “better” they were an issue (19 HR over 90.0 IP). While he did get some swinging strikes yesterday (13), the opponent may have played a role as it’s been an issue all year (8.2% SwStr%). He also hasn’t been generating groundballs (38.7% entering the day) and hasn’t had impressive control (3.31 BB/9). While we wouldn’t completely give up on him, in most formats he’s a pitcher to stash on your bench and little else until he shows signs of turning it around.
5) The struggles of Tanner Roark continue…
He took it on the chin at the hands of Cincinnati, allowing 6 ER on 9 H and 2 BB, striking out 7, over 6.0 IP. He’s now allowed 7+ ER in three straight starts (19 ER over 13.2 IP) and 4+ R in five straight. While we weren’t the highest on him entering the season, he’s also not this bad as he entered the day plagued by a .313 BABIP and more notably a 65.1% strand rate. While none of his skills are stand out, you’d expect better results from a pitcher who entered the day with a 7.17 K/9, 3.01 BB/9 and 47.0% groundball rate. While we wouldn’t give up a lot to acquire him, if you can buy him low it’s worth exploring.
6) Could Kevin Pillar finally be warming back up…
While he was hitting eighth yesterday, he finished going 3-4 with 2 R, putting him at 5-8 with 1 HR, 1 RBI and 3 R. It’s his third multi-hit game in his past four, and he has 1 K vs. 2 BB over this span as well. It’s a promising sign, after he had struggled enough to be demoted out of the leadoff spot. Things should definitely improve, as he entered the day with a 14.8% strikeout rate, as well as plenty of poor luck (.274 BABIP despite a 22.4% line drive rate). An intriguing mix of power and speed, now is the time to try and buy low before it’s too late and he fully starts raking again.
7) Curtis Granderson continues to put his horrific start behind him…
It’s easy to overlook Granderson, considering he’s still hitting just .235, but keep in mind that he was hitting .128 at the end of April and .168 nearly a month ago (April 24). He’s been red hot since the calendar turned to June, forcing his way back into the lineup after it appeared that he had lost his starting role. In 60 AB all he’s done is hit .333 with 6 HR, 10 RBI, 13 R and 2 SB. He’s also started to walk more than he’s struck out, with 14 K vs. 16 BB in the month. We all know what Granderson is, and it’s possible his average doesn’t rise much more than where it currently is. That said he’s going to hit for power and should remain a catalyst atop the Mets’ lineup. Don’t make the mistake of overlooking him.
8) Francis Martes stumbles in poor showing…
The biggest question facing Martes prior to his promotion was with his control, and that was on full display against the Mariners as he allowed 2 ER on 2 H and 4 BB, striking out 3, over 2.0 IP. Of course he also had an eye-popping 8 swinging strikes, so it’s obvious that he has the stuff he just needs to learn how to harness it. Perhaps he ultimately ends up in the bullpen, where he’d become a lights out closer (though we aren’t there yet), and with 11 BB over 16.1 IP in the Majors he’s clearly not ready to start at the highest level. He likely will soon return to Triple-A, and hopefully he learns from this experience and begins to take steps needed.
9) Tyler Anderson’s return to the rotation doesn’t go as planned…
Taking on the Dodgers he failed to make it through three innings, allowing 4 ER on 5 H and 2 BB, striking out 1, over 2.1 IP. We generally don’t panic off one poor outing, but the Rockies are set for a rotation crunch with Jon Gray nearing a return and an already excess of starting pitching. With a 6.11 ERA and a poor start in his last start before hitting the DL, you have to wonder if he’s going to be the odd man out in the short-term (whether that means a return to Triple-A or a move to the bullpen). There’s still plenty of upside and the potential for him to develop, but he needs to figure out a way to keep the ball in the ballpark. Time will tell, but don’t plan on utilizing him for the short-term.
10) Welcome back Randal Grichuk…
Not only did Grichuk return to the Majors, thanks to Dexter Fowler hitting the DL, but he was slotted right into the cleanup spot for St. Louis. He responded well, going 2-5 with 1 HR, 1 RBI and 2 R, but that doesn’t mean that we should get too excited with the production. He still struck out twice, and over his 67 PA at Triple-A he posted a 29.9% strikeout rate and 4.5% walk rate. St. Louis’ hope that the time spent in the minors would help him refine his approach appears to have failed, and there’s little reason to think that he’s going to be anything different than he was earlier this season. There’s power, but the average is likely to be poor so keep that in mind.
Sources – ESPN, Fangraphs
Make sure to check out all of our updated rankings:
|First Base||June 3|
|Second Base||June 5|