10 Important Stories From 07/06/17 Box Scores: Is Voit Emerging, D. Santana Breaking Out & More

by Ray Kuhn

This is it. Every team now has just three games left as we head into the last series prior to the All-Star break. The four days without any game action are a good time to take a deep look into your teams and set them up for the second half of action. But before we do that, there are still games to be played. Let’s take a look at some of the performances that stood out from Thursday’s action:

1) Do We Believe in Sanchez…

The easy answer, is no we do not. But given the state that pitching is around the league, and the fact that Anibal Sanchez has some name recognition, some people’s first thought is to take a closer look at the right-hander. Personally, my thinking is that I’m going to need a few starts like yesterday’s before I seriously consider him. However, by that point, it might be too late. In fact despite what Sanchez’s stats say, he is actually doing a pretty good job as a starting pitcher this season. After beginning the season making 11 appearances out of the bullpen before getting himself sent to the minors, Sanchez has bounced back since being promoted by necessity. While yesterday was his first win of the season, two runs allowed in six innings of work on five hits with no walks while striking out eight, Sanchez has been pretty good in each of his four starts. Overall, he has allowed five runs in 23.1 innings of work on 16 hits and four walks while striking out 22 batters. If you need help in your rotation, carefully take a look.

2) Voit Goes Deep Again…

I try not to repeat myself when talking about a specific player too close together, but Luke Voit didn’t give me much of a choice. The Cardinals keep putting Voit in the lineup, rightfully so, and the first baseball just keeps on hitting. Yesterday, he was responsible for three of St. Louis’ four runs as they defeated Miami. Batting sixth, Voit hit a solo home run in the second inning (his second of the season) and later added his fourth double to drive in two more runs (seven on the year). The sample size is small, but Voit is batting .333 with an OPS of 1.083. This is a streak to ride as long as possible to see what it truly turns into; my expectations are minimal long term but you never know.

3) Believe in Santana…

How long Domingo Santana bats second with the lineup protection of Ryan Braun is in doubt, but we can’t doubt the production we are getting from the young outfielder. On Thursday, Santana went 4 for 5 with two doubles and a walk while driving in two runs and scoring three times. Overall, Santana is batting .288 so far this season with 47 RBI as the right fielder continues to emerge. While his BABIP is on the higher side, .368, it was .359 last season when he it .256 so I would reserve full judgement. Even if his average does drop a little bit, it would become a liability and it’s hard not to like his power/speed combination as Santana, who picked up another stolen base yesterday, is up to nine on the season.

4) Duvall Continues to Slug…

A season after he emerged seemingly out of nowhere, Adam Duvall is continuing with his power exploits. Yesterday, he went deep for the 20th time this season, after hitting 33 last season, while driving in two runs. After striking out twice yesterday, Duvall is up to 85 in 82 games, but when you get consistent power production like you are from the outfielder, they are a necessary casualty. Also, after hitting .241 last season, Duvall has not been a liability this season as he is hitting .280 with 61 RBI.

5) A Solid Effort From Kuhl…

There are certainly worse offenses to face from a pitcher’s perspective than the Phillies, but you have to like Chad Kuhl’s start from last night. The right-hander turned in seven strong innings of work for the victory as he allowed three runs (two earned) on six hits and three walks. It wasn’t a dominating outing, but if you are chasing wins or quality starts, Kuhl is a solid streaming option. His seven innings last night was the deepest he has gotten into a game this season, but for a pitcher whose fastball averages 95 miles per hour, we are still waiting for more strikeouts; 65 in 82.1 innings after just three last night. Kuhl is being hurt by a .325 BABIP and a 67.3% strand rate, but he also needs to cut down on the walks (3.5 per nine innings). He is a pitcher to speculate on and stream, but he still needs to be watched before he can be trusted.

6) Freeman Doubles His Fun…

So I guess there really won’t be any adjustment period for Freddie Freeman. The Braves’ first baseman, well now third baseman, has picked up right where he left off. After singling once in his first game back and twice in his second, Freeman showed off his extra base power as he picked up two doubles last night. He also drove in two runs as he brought his RBI total for the season up to 27 to go along with .345 batting average. This is production fantasy owners certainly have missed.

7) Martin Goes Deep…

We don’t exactly count of Russell Martin for his batting average, but even after three hits last night, the catcher is still batting just .228 on the season. It has been a rough season all around for Toronto, but with a .266 BABIP, compared to .291 last season, it possible that Martin turns it around in the second half of the season. His home run last night was the ninth of the season, but what is troubling, is that he has just 19 RBI overall. In a situation like this, coupled with the batting average, you are better off with a part time catcher. However, based on his track record, Martin does bear watching to see if he goes into the All-Star game strong.

8) No Reason to Worry About Encarnacion…

Wait, was that us being concerned about Edwin Encarnacion? All he did last night, was hit his 18th home run of the season as part of a four hit night. It was a solo shot as Encarnacion added his 10th double of the season and another RBI (47 overall) while scoring four runs. The first baseman is now hitting a respectable .266 on the season while his counting stats continue to rise.

9) A Quality Start for Berrios…

We are now at the point where Jose Berrios doesn’t need his best stuff to pick up a victory. It was also a quality start for Berrios who was able to navigate through a tough, although struggling lineup in the Orioles, while limiting the damage. The right-hander got through six innings of work while allowing four runs, three earned, on seven hits. What stood out to me, on a night where Berrios struck out just four batters, is that he didn’t walk anyone. It seems that after the past two seasons, he is finally taking the steps needed to live up to his prospect billing.

10) Please, No More Blisters…

Once again, last night, we saw what Rich Hill is capable if in fact he can stay on the mound. Now, we know that is a big question mark given his injury history, but despite the no decision on Thursday, he did not disappoint. In seven innings of work, Hill held the Diamondbacks to just two hits (one of which a solo home run) as he didn’t walk a batter while striking out nine. Overall, his ERA is 3.69 on the season and he has 70 strikeouts in 61 innings of work. Don’t overpay for him in a trade, but continue to ride for as long as he is healthy.

14 comments

  1. Alex says:

    I’m glad you wrote about Domingo Santana, as I feel that he doesn’t get mentioned much at all at various outlets in terms of 2017 breakouts. With 14 homers and 9 stolen bases, he is definitely within reach of a 25/20 season in a solid Brewers lineup. At 24 years old, one could be looking at some pretty good upcoming power/speed seasons if he keeps it going.

    • Rotoprofessor says:

      It’s possible, though he’s among the players I really plan on digging into over the break next week!

  2. Bbboston says:

    Rotor professor

    Do you believe in Justin smoke and Luis Severino as next year keepers?

  3. Rob says:

    I echo the reserved optimism on Voit but am intrigued. In a deep NL-only roto, who contributes the most the rest of the season – Voit, G Garcia, W Difo, or Danny Santana?

    • Rotoprofessor says:

      In the short-term I’m leaning Difo, who could get an extended run. The others I’m not sure earn enough PT, though Voit would be right there

  4. Ryan says:

    Is it time to give up on Kipnis?

    • Ryan says:

      and do you think it’s worth stashing Danny Salazar as he was dropped in my league?

    • Rotoprofessor says:

      I’m actually talking about Kipnis tomorrow! (article is all set and scheduled to go)

      As for Salazar, maybe I’m a glutton for punishment but consider me a believer

  5. MA says:

    Becoming very annoyed with Adam Jones. He is not hitting at all. Would you drop him for Domingo Santana, Chris Taylor, or Matt Holliday?

    • Rotoprofessor says:

      I can’t just drop him (though I was never a fan). I’d try to shop him, maybe packing him with someone else, to get an upgrade and free up a roster spot

  6. MA says:

    Ok thanks

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