by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)
Chris Sale was his typical dominant self, striking out 11 over 7.0 shutout innings against the Blue Jays. Clint Frazier was the latest Yankee rookie to make an impact in his debut, going 2-4 with 1 HR, 1 RBI and 2 R. Zack Greinke continued to pitch like an ace, allowing 2 ER on 3 H and 0 BB, striking out 8, over 7.0 IP to defeat the Rockies. What else happened on the field that we need to know about? Let’s take a look:
1) Has Rougned Odor started to find his footing…
He went 2-4 with 1 HR, 1 RBI and 2 R yesterday, his second straight game with a HR. It also extended his hitting streak to a modest four games, going 5-16 with 2 HR, 4 RBI, 3 R and 2 SB. Granted it isn’t much, but at least it’s a sign of a turnaround. He has continued to show poor plate discipline (12.7% SwStr%, 40.3% O-Swing% entering the day), and that makes his 22.1% popup rate seem real (and his 8.2% mark last season, despite similar plate discipline, like an aberration). He did show improvement in June (16.0%), and after a miserable April his line drive rate has been on the rise:
- April – 10.5%
- May – 21.1%
- June – 21.6%
While he may not be quite as good as expected, he’s better than he’s shown and this hot stretch may just be the start.
2) Matt Moore’s start was anything but good…
Sure if you look at his 1 ER allowed against the Pirates you could be deceived, but he allowed 4 H and 6 BB over 5.2 IP so there was a lot of luck involved. He now owns a 5.78 ERA and 1.62 WHIP over 95.0 innings this season, and his strikeout rate has hardly been what we had expected (81 K). He entered the day with a pedestrian 8.8% SwStr%, and had just 9 swinging strikes yesterday. He also doesn’t generate many groundballs (37.1%) and despite pitching in a favorable home ballpark has had home run issues (1.41 HR/9 entering the day). At this point it’s impossible to trust him.
3) It was a surprisingly strong debut for Jackson Stephens…
He defeated Eddie Butler (3.2 IP, 4 ER, 5 H, 3 BB, 2 K) and the Cubs, allowing 3 ER on 6 H and 1 BB over 5.0 IP. He made a few mistakes (HR allowed to Jon Jay and Willson Contreras), but he also generated 16 swings and misses which led to 8 K. Of course you have to wonder if unfamiliarity played a role in his success, considering his 7.11 K/9 in 76.0 innings at Triple-A. Home runs could also continue to be an issue, with a 1.07 HR/9 at Triple-A and only 1 groundball vs. 5 fly balls yesterday. In other words, while it’s an eye opening start it’s one that can be safely ignored.
4) T.J. Rivera continues to push for playing time…
While he only went 1-4 yesterday the one hit was a big one, as he delivered a home run to inch the Mets closer (and Asdrubal Cabrera would ultimately put them ahead, finishing the day 2-4 with 1 HR, 2 RBI and 2 R). He’s now hitting .282 with 3 HR and 18 RBI over 156 AB, adding 10 doubles and 1 triple while also showing an ability to make consistent contact (27 K). Of course he doesn’t draw many walks and entered the day with mediocre plate discipline (10.1% SwStr%, 35.9% O-Swing%). There’s a chance he’s exposed with regular playing time, so the Mets may be best off leaving him in a utility role.
5) Dylan Bundy again plagued by the long ball…
He lasted just 4.0 IP allowing 5 ER on 7 H and 0 BB, striking out 7, as the Rays took him deep three times (led by Logan Morrison, who went 2-3 with 2 HR, 3 RBI and 2 R). Bundy entered the day with a 1.36 HR/9, after posting a 1.48 mark in 109.2 IP a year ago. Considering the lack of groundballs (32.3% entering the day) and his home ballpark, it really shouldn’t come as a big surprise. Of course, with 8 HR over 49.1 IP on the road it’s not like he’s been immune there as well. While there was once much hype, it’s hard to get overly excited.
6) Has Didi Gregorius emerged as a top shortstop option…
He filled the box score yesterday, hitting cleanup, as he went 2-4 with 1 HR, 4 RBI, 1 R and 1 SB. He’s now hitting .314 with 10 HR and 36 RBI on the season, though that doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t have concerns. He entered the day showing terrible plate discipline (12.9% O-Swing%, 42.4% O-Swing%) and struggling to hit the ball hard (16.1% line drive rate), yet he wasn’t striking out (13.3%) and his BABIP (.326) was solid. If he doesn’t adjust there’s a good chance the numbers tumble, and right now his value may be at its peak. Looking to trade him before a slump comes makes sense.
7) Michael Wacha dominates the Nationals…
It was a stellar 6.0 innings of work, as he allowed 0 R on 4 H and 1 BB, striking out 9, to earn the W. While he still holds underwhelming overall statistics, there’s a distinct split in the results:
- Home – 2.91 ERA over 55.2 IP
- Road – 7.03 ERA over 24.1 IP
He entered the day with an overall .343 BABIP and 68.8% strand rate, showing that there was definitely room for improvement. While he may never be a tremendous strikeout pitcher (9.4% SwStr%, 29.5% O-Swing%), he showed that he can flash impressive numbers as well. While he’s hardly a lock to produce, don’t shy away due to the ugly numbers as well.
8) Is Jose Berrios starting to hit a wall…
The Twins and Royals combined to score 32 runs over the course of their double-header, so obviously there were plenty of stories among the bats. That said the most notable for fantasy owners could be the rather rough performance for Berrios, who allowed 5 ER on 9 H and 2 BB, striking out 5, over 5.0 IP. The biggest issue was that he allowed 3 HR, though that hasn’t been the story of his season (he’s actually only allowed HR in four of his 10 starts in the Majors). It’s not that he’s a groundball machine (44.4% entering the day), but he’s generally avoided hard contact (15.0% line drive rate) while showing both strikeouts (8.95 K/9) and control (2.54 BB/9). You can argue that these past two starts have been a bit of an adjustment (he entered with a .247 BABIP), but there should be a rebound coming. Don’t push the panic button.
9) Another dominant outing from Rich Hill…
Sure the performance came against the Padres, but it was impressive none the less as he tossed 7.0 shutout innings allowing 4 H and 1 BB while striking out 11. Since getting blown up by the Indians he’s now allowed 4 ER with 26 K over his past 19.0 IP as he continues to turn things around. His potential has never been in question, though he always seems to be battling injury. His skills also have regressed this season, as he entered the day with issues in both his walk rate (5.36 BB/9) and groundball rate (37.3%). A healthy Hill should continue to turn things around and be a viable option, so he’s worth stashing to find out.
10) Danny Santana runs wild for Atlanta…
He went 2-4 with 1 RBI, 2 R and 3 SB, hitting eighth and manning LF against the A’s. While it would be easy to get excited about the stolen bases, and it’s something that he’s shown the potential for in the past, but the hits were his first since June 22 and where exactly will the AB come from? Even if the team decided to trade Matt Kemp or Nick Markakis at the deadline, there’s no guarantee that he would take the job (and 2B will go to Ozzie Albies, should Brandon Phillips be jettisoned). It was a nice day, but don’t get overly excited.
Sources – ESPN, Fangraphs
Make sure to check out all of our updated rankings:
|First Base||June 3|
|Second Base||June 5|