10 Important Stories From 07/22/17 Box Scores: Are We Buying Andrus’ Breakout, Selling Manaea & More

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

Jon Lester tossed a gem against the Cardinals, allowing 2 R (both courtesy of solo HR in the eighth inning) on 3 H and 0 BB, striking out 10, over 8.0 IP.  Ryan Braun returned to the lineup with a bang, going 3-3 with 1 HR, 4 RBI and 3 R (as he helped lead the Brewers to a victory, despite the bullpen’s efforts to blow the game).  Mike Moustakas led the Royals home run barrage, going 2-4 with 2 HR, 2 RBI and 2 R.  What else happened on the field that we need to know about?  Let’s take a look:

 

1) A meaningless decent outing from Matt Moore…
Taking on the Padres at home, you would’ve thought that if there was a time to start Moore this would be it.  It wasn’t a terrible performance by any stretch, but it also wasn’t a great one as he allowed 4 ER on 7 H and 0 BB, striking out 7, over 6.0 innings.  Coming off his previous outing against the Indians (2 ER over 7.0 IP) maybe things are looking up, but let’s remember that his season high is 8 K (he entered with an 8.6% SwStr%) and even pitching in San Francisco home runs have been a significant issue (1.37 HR/9 entering the day, before allowing a home run to Wil Myers yesterday).  He entered with a 37.5% groundball rate (4 groundballs vs. 7 fly balls yesterday), so there is little reason to believe that the latter will change.  While you may want to point towards poor luck (.338 BABIP, 65.8% strand rate), unless you are desperate he is completely untrustworthy at this point.

 

2) Alex Bregman continues to warm up…
He went 1-4 with 1 HR, 1 RBI and 1 R, extending his hitting streak to six-games (8-21, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 5 R and 1 SB).  Obviously the counting stats aren’t there, yet, but as long as he is hitting you would think that they will come in time.  The biggest issue he’s had is popups (16.7% IFFB), as he’s shown a tremendous command of the strike zone (6.7% SwStr%, 24.5% O-Swing%), has hit the ball hard (23.3% line drive rate, so there’s room for growth in his .297 BABIP) and should see his power grow (7.8% HR/FB).  The fact that he’s now seeing time at shortstop is just icing on the cake, as it will make his appeal that much greater.  The chance to buy low may have come and gone, but it’s worth kicking around and seeing if you can acquire him.

 

3) A stellar return for Danny Salazar…
A bitter disappointment early in the season, Salazar showed the upside is still there in his return to the Majors against Marcus Stroman (who was good himself, allowing 1 ER on 5 H and 5 BB, striking out 7, over 7.2 IP) and the Blue Jays.  Salazar tossed 7.0 innings allowing just 1 H and 0 BB, striking out 8, though he had to settle for a no decision.  He was getting swinging strikes (15) and also generating groundballs (8, compared to 5 fly balls).  Earlier in the season his groundballs were down (37.1%, compared to 47.8% in ’16) and the walks were up (4.58 BB/9), both things he clearly improved upon yesterday.  We’ll have to wait and see if he can continue it moving forward, and while he may not be quite this good he’s well worth “gambling” on moving forward.

 

4) J.T. Realmuto carries the Marlins to victory…
He went 3-4 with 2 HR, 4 RBI and 2 R, with both long balls coming against Robert Stephenson (5.1 IP, 5 ER, 8 H, 2 BB, 5 K).  More known as a catcher who can hit and actually run, Realmuto is now hitting .305 with 10 HR, 39 RBI, 41 R and 5 SB on the season.  There’s a good chance that he can continue hitting over .300, giving his strikeout rate (15.9% entering the day), having cut down significantly on his popups (5.1%) and the potential to improve upon his line drive rate (18.5%).  He’s never going to be a 30 HR threat, but he clearly has 15+ HR pop and also could potential steal 10 bases (which can’t be overlooked).  In other words, he’s a Top 10 option in all formats (and could be a Top 5 given the skills).

 

5) Sean Manaea stumbles in New York…
Taking on the Mets he allowed 4 ER on 10 H and 1 BB, striking out 2, over 5.2 IP.  While he’s been a good source of strikeouts throughout the season, he managed just 7 swinging strikes yesterday marking his fourth straight start with 10 or fewer (and the start before that he had just 11).  After posting a gaudy 13.5% SwStr% in the first half he entered the day at 8.7% after the All-Star Break (and that likely dropped further), raising a bit of a red flag.  He also struggled to generate groundballs (5, compared to 10 fly balls) and while he only allowed 1 HR it’s something that could catch up to him.  Obviously the upside remains, but there are signs for a regression so if you are looking towards just ’17 there’s reason for concern.

 

6) Will Elvis Andrus ever slow down…
He went 3-4 with 1 HR, 1 RBI and 2 R, putting him at .291 with 13 HR and 53 RBI on the season and is 6-9 with 2 HR over his past two games.  He’s also chipping in his typical speed (20 SB), so obviously he’s emerged as a star right?  It’s definitely fair to wonder if he can maintain his 12.4% HR/FB entering the day, considering a career 4.7% mark, and his plate discipline has actually regressed compared to past seasons:

  • SwStr% – 9.1% compared to 5.4% for his career
  • O-Swing% – 32.8% compared to 24.1% for his career

It’s clear that he may be swinging for the fences more than in the past, and there’s a good chance that it ultimately catches up with him.  That’s not to say that he won’t continue to be a productive option, but don’t assume he’s an elite option either.

 

7) German Marquez stymies the Pittsburgh offense…
He made one mistake, allowing a home run to Josh Bell (1-4, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 1 R), but overall it’s hard to find fault in what was a terrific outing.  Pitching at Coors Field Marquez allowed 2 ER on 3 H and 2 BB, striking out 9, over 7.0 innings to earn the W.  Sure he owns a 4.20 ERA and 1.36 WHIP, and the key is going to be his ability to limit the long ball (10 HR over 90.0 IP)…  At least on the surface.  He entered the day with an 8.24 K/9 and 3.24 BB/9, though his 8.6% SwStr% doesn’t give much hope for him maintaining the strikeout mark (though he did have 16 swinging strikes yesterday).  There’s going to be value and upside, but don’t consider him a lock to produce.

 

8) Has Tanner Roark suddenly turned things around…
He was tremendous against the Diamondbacks, allowing 2 ER on 3 H and 1 BB, striking out 11, over 7.0 IP.  He’s now allowed 2 ER on 7 H and 4 BB over his past 13.0 IP, winning both outings and watching his ERA “drop” to 4.83.  Of course we all know he’s not this type of strikeout pitcher, despite the impressive 20 swinging strikes yesterday, as he entered the day with a modest 9.6% SwStr%.  He is better than the numbers indicate (he entered with a .310 BABIP and 63.4% strand rate), so there’s value if you are looking to bolster the back of your rotation.  That said, just keep in mind that he’s nothing more than that.

 

9) David Price takes a significant step backwards…
People were finally getting excited about Price, who was coming off 8.0 shutout innings against the Yankees, but he took a major step backwards against the Angels last night.  Lasting 5.0 innings he allowed 6 R (5 earned) on 7 H and 3 BB, striking out 5.  We obviously don’t want to panic, as he had allowed 2 ER or fewer in three straight starts (and 3 ER or fewer in seven straight), but it’s a discouraging outing just the same.  The thing to monitor will be his ability to keep the ball in the ballpark, as well as the potential for a luck regression (.279 BABIP, 78.9% strand rate entering the day).  The strikeouts will be there, but don’t consider him a locked in ace (like many wanted to only days ago).

 

10) Is it officially time to give up on Julio Teheran…
He took another beating by way of the long ball, allowing 4 ER on 9 H and 1 BB, striking out 6, over 6.1 IP against the Dodgers.  The obvious problem was the 3 HR allowed, giving him 23 HR over 115.2 IP on the season.  He hadn’t allowed a HR in his previous two starts (against the Nationals and Cubs), but this was an unfriendly reminder about an issue that just doesn’t seem to be disappearing.  Couple that with a 3.50 BB/9 and he’s a pitcher that’s impossible to trust.  There’s still too much upside to simply cut bait, but keep him stashed for now.

 

Sources – ESPN, Fangraphs

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5 comments

  1. Trevor says:

    I lost Castro to the DL. Was offered Jose Ramirez for stroman and Quintana. Is that too much to give up?

  2. Hank says:

    I need a fourth SP after a closer binge (SP is Yu, Lester Duffy and Chase Anderson on the DL). Would you take Salazar or Castillo ROS, or should I stream for wins? 5×5, 12 team league. With W as the most competitive category.

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