10 Important Stories From 07/08/17 Box Scores: Cloudy Outlooks For Quintana & Teheran, Polanco’s Resurgence & More

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

While Luis Severino got off to a rocky start, he ultimately posted an impressive line in a no decision (7.0 IP, 3 ER, 6 H, 2 BB, 10 K).  Jonathan Schoop appears to be settling into the third spot in the order (1-4, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 1 R), but maybe more importantly he drew the start at shortstop (instead of his customary 2B).  Cody Bellinger snapped his 11-game homerless stretch, going 2-3 with 1 HR, 2 RBI and 2 R.  What else happened on the field that we need to know about?  Let’s take a look:

 

1) Clint Frazier delivers for New York…
When the Yankees get healthy it will be interesting to see how Frazier fits, but he could be ticketed back to Triple-A (much like Miguel Andujar).  However Frazier is trying to make it difficult, especially after delivering a walk-off three run home run against Brewers’ closer Corey Knebel.  He finished the day going 3-4 with 1 HR, 4 RBI and 1 R (and also added a triple).  He’s now hitting .300 with 2 HR and 6 RBI over his brief time in the Majors, though despite the big day there is reason to be concerned.  He entered the day with a 10.1% SwStr%, after posting a 9.7% mark at Triple-A.  No one is questioning his upside potential, though strikeouts is something we’re going to have to watch closely.  He brings 20/20 potential, but he has to make consistent contact to fully tap into it.  Don’t be surprised if he’s ultimately returned to Triple-A, but ride the wave while he’s up.

 

2) Has Troy Tulowitzki turned back the clock…
Once one of the premier shortstops in the game, Tulowitzki now battles age and health.  However after going 2-4 with 1 HR, 3 RBI and 1 R, he’s now homered in back-to-back games and owns a five-game hitting streak (including four multi-hit games).  Sure hitting .254 with 7 HR over 193 AB isn’t going to open many eyes, his 7.4% SwStr% and 12.7% strikeout rate are reminiscent of what he was doing in his prime.  He’s also raised his line drive rate since a pathetic 7.7% in May, posting a 16.5% mark in June and entering the day with a respectable 20.0% in June.  He’s not going to be the same player that he once was, but he should remain a productive option moving forward.  Don’t ignore him if the rest of your league is.

 

3) Julio Teheran puts up a strong start against Washington…
Considering his first half there wasn’t much expected, but Teheran was fantastic against the Nationals as he tossed 7.0 shutout innings allowing 4 H and 2 BB, striking out 5.  The offense gave him plenty of support (13 R and 15 H), and Teheran did his part as he generated 10 groundballs vs. 6 fly balls.  Of course he also managed just 10 swinging strikes, helping to support the overall lack of strikeouts this season (6.54 K/9 entering the day).  Groundballs have also never been his strong suit, entering the day with a 37.2% mark in ’17 (37.4% for his career).  Throw in mediocre control (3.55 BB/9) and there’s reason for pessimism.  While it was a strong start, don’t get overly excited.

 

4) Paul DeJong Carries St. Louis to victory…
It was a big performance, hitting eighth in the lineup, as he went 4-4 with 1 HR, 2 RBI and 2 R.  If that wasn’t enough, his other three hits were all doubles and he raised his season line to .308 with 8 HR and 19 RBI.  Considering the positional flexibility you would think that would make him a must own option. However, we have to remember that he entered the day with a 30.4% strikeout rate, after posting a 24.2% mark at Triple-A prior to his recall, and his 15.9% SwStr% and 37.5% O-Swing% back up the risk involved.  There’s no questioning the power he possesses, but there’s a good chance he takes a significant step backwards due to his plate discipline.  Ride him while he’s hot, but be prepared to cut bait and move on.

 

5) Alex Cobb outduels Rick Porcello…
Both pitchers fared well, though it was Cobb who got the W:

  • Alex Cobb – 7.2 IP, 0 ER, 2 H, 1 BB, 3 K
  • Rick Porcello – 8.0 IP, 1 ER, 6 H, 0 BB, 7 K

Of course, while Cobb got the results he managed to generate just 7 swinging strikes and continued to lack the strikeout numbers that we look for.  With both his groundball rate (44.6%, 10 groundballs vs. 10 fly balls yesterday) and strikeout rate (6.10 K/9) down entering the day, it’s getting hard to believe in him.  Kick the tires and see what you can acquire for him, because it would appear that there are struggles ahead.

 

6) A stellar outing Mike Clevinger…
Taking on the Tigers he tossed 6.0 shutout innings allowing just 3 H and 2 BB, striking out 4.  While it hasn’t always been smooth sailing, he’s now allowed 2 ER or fewer in five straight appearances (27.0 IP) and owns a 3.00 ERA and 1.15 WHIP over 60.0 IP on the season.  While his SwStr% of 13.8% entering the day (he had only 9 swinging strikes yesterday) is impressive, the rest of the numbers do bring some risk (.237 BABIP, 81.9% strand rate, 38.7% groundball rate).  While he should stick in the rotation and be a productive option, he’s not this good and chances are his value is never higher.  Shopping him around over the break is something worth exploring.

 

7) The rebound of Gregory Polanco continues…
He went 1-3 with 1 HR, 2 RBI and 1 R, giving him home runs in two of his past three games and an eight-game hitting streak (13-31, 2 HR, 4 RBI, 5 R, 1 SB) that has raised his average from .237 to .259.  While he’s still been a disappointment, he now has 8 HR and 8 SB, putting him in line for a 15/15 type season.  If the average creeps up to .270, to go along with those counting stats, at the end of the day the season won’t be a complete loss.  Hopefully you didn’t give up hope on him while he was struggling, because you are now missing what should’ve been seen as the inevitable rebound.

 

8) Is there reason to believe in Tyson Ross…
He defeated the Angels last night, allowing 1 R on 4 H and 2 BB, striking out 3.  It was a solid start, but is it really enough to convince anyone that he’s “back”?  He generated a pathetic 4 swinging strikes and now has just 18 K vs. 13 BB over 25.1 innings (5 starts).  Throw in a lack of groundballs (38.9%). Something that was once his strong suit, and there’s far too much risk involved.  Maybe he posts a few somewhat decent starts, but unless the skills change the value simply isn’t going to be there.

 

9) Jose Quintana finishes the first half with a solid start…
He settled for a no decision, but pitching in Coors Field it’s hard to complain about allowing 3 ER on 5 H and 2 BB, striking out 10, over 5.1 IP.  Overall he now owns a 4.49 ERA and 1.32 WHIP, leaving us the question as to how much better he really could be?  His 9.40 K/9 would be a career best, though his 8.4% SwStr% and 29.6% O-Swing% doesn’t support it (and therefore it’s easy to envision a regression).  Maybe his luck improves (.301 BABIP, 70.6% strand rate), but if the strikeouts regress it’s not going to help much.  A pitcher we labeled as a potential overdraft heading into the season, it’s hard to expect much of a rebound in the second half.

 

10) A stellar performance from Luis Castillo…
Taking on Taijuan Walker (who allowed 2 HR, leading to 5 ER over 5.0 IP), Castillo showed just how good he can be as he tossed 6.2 shutout innings allowing 3 H and 1 BB, striking out 8.  He’s now struck out at least 8 batters in each of his past three starts while showing improved control (he’s walked 5 batters in 18.0 IP, after walking 5 in his first start).  That’s not to say that he’s going to continue being quite this good, considering his 6.9% line drive rate and 96.0% strand rate, but he is checking off all the boxes (56.9% groundball rate as well).  We’ll have to watch him closely, but he should continue producing like a solid SP4/5, though there will be some bumps along the way.

 

Sources – ESPN, Fangraphs

Rotoprofessor recently debuted our Reliever Reliability Quotient (RRQ), in an effort to determine whose skills translate best for late inning roles.  Make sure to check out our introduction of the stat by clicking here.

6 comments

  1. Jim hutchinson says:

    Who is a better pick up Voit or Delong?

  2. ANTIDODGERS says:

    Few comments:

    -while Ross is still working it out, I don’t see evidence that hitters can tee off on his slider or FB
    – Boston announcers EXTREMELY, complimentary on Cobb
    – Replay of Tulo HR shows confident, locked in batter actacking pitcH. Seeing swing was almost startling.

  3. Nate says:

    12 team roto, non keeper, and no dynasty. I’m top 3 in runs, hrs, and rbis. Bottom three in steals was offered Billy Hamilton for Avisaíl García. Is it fair?

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