10 Important Stories From 07/26/17 Box Scores: Zimmer Thrives Atop Order, Severino’s An Ace & More

by Ray Kuhn

Just because there weren’t any trades completed yesterday with fantasy impact, it doesn’t mean that the rumor mill has slowed down. In fact, just the opposite is true. Colorado has proved that they are seriously about gearing up for the playoffs as they acquired Pat Neshek to help improve their bullpen. We also had a full slate of action that started at noon on the east coast, so let’s not waste any time as we jump right into some of the most intriguing performances of the day:

1) Longoria Continues His Solid Season…

Just because some of the focus in Tampa Bay has shifted to other players this season, we can’t discount the anchor of their lineup. You can’t understate the impact that Logan Morrison, Corey Dickerson, and Steven Souza have had this season, but you also can’t overlook Evan Longoria. On Wednesday, the third baseman went 3 for 4 with two runs scored and two RBI. The RBI, which brought his season total to 61, both came on his 15th home run of the season as Longoria raised his average to .273 on the season.

2) At Least the Yankees Have One Starting Pitcher…

This is not to take anything away from the solid innings CC Sabathia and Jordan Montgomery have given New York over the bulk of their starts, but Luis Severino’s success has helped to save the rotation. The right-hander continues to pitch at an All-Star level, and he continues to improve. In a getaway day matinee yesterday, Severino picked up his seventh victory of the season against the Reds. While Severino did allow two runs in his seven innings of work, both were unearned as he held the Reds to just three hits and two walks while striking out nine. That brought his ERA down to 3.03 for the season to go along with his 2.95 FIP and 10.22 strikeouts per nine innings. At 127.2 innings so far this season, he still has about 20 innings to go before he reaches his combined workload from Triple-A and the majors last season, but we will have to watch his performance as we get deeper into the second half of the season.

3) Martinez Makes Arizona Home…

We know how nice of place Arizona is to hit, and J.D. Martinez showed that he agrees on Wednesday. In just his fifth game overall as a Diamondback, Martinez truly made his presence felt for the first time. The outfielder went 2 for 4 on the day with both of his hits being two run homers. That gives Martinez three home runs and seven RBI and a .250 batting average with Arizona, but overall he has slugged 19 home runs and driven in 46 runs so far this season. That is even more impressive considering he has appeared in just 62 games due to injury.

4) Let’s Go Sale-ing…

With the success that Chris Sale is having so far this season, we really are going to run out of puns related to his last name. However, that is implying that they one I just used is actually any good. But before we get to the dominant southpaw, we can’t ignore one of the prospects Boston actually held onto. Rafael Devers picked up the first two hits of his career yesterday, with his first hit being a solo home run. Now, back to Sale who at this point is getting pretty close to boring us with his dominance. Once again he reached double digits in strikeouts; this time it was 11 in seven innings of work. Sale didn’t allow a run, and Seattle only managed three hits and a walk against him as he lowered his ERA to 2.37. It is safe to say that the trade to Boston has worked out for the Red Sox and Sale.

5) Nola Tames the Beast…

To say that Houston’s offense has been on a role so far this season would be an understatement. Even with Carlos Correa, George Springer, and Alex Bregman out of the lineup last night, they still put forth a dangerous lineup. However, Aaron Nola appeared to be unaffected by that as he cruised through six shutout innings. Nola scattered four hits and a walk as he struck out 10, picked up his eighth victory of the season and lowered his ERA to 3.17. Nola pitched confidently all night as was never truly in trouble as he closed out July with a 1.32 ERA overall in the month after putting up a 3.24 ERA in June. On the season, Nola has a 3.25 FIP and 3.48 xFIP as he looks like a keeper.

6) Blackburn Loses a Victory…

As we got set for the night in baseball on Wednesday, Paul Blackburn kept on coming up as a pitcher to target. No, it wasn’t because I expected him to do well, but it was because I expected Toronto to be able to handle him with ease. While Toronto ultimately won the game, Blackburn’s only fault was that he left the game to his bullpen after seven innings. The right-hander allowed just two hits and three walks, although he he only struck out three batters as he lowered his ERA to 2.25. After putting up a solid 3.05 ERA and 1.19 WHIP in 15 games, 14 starts, at Triple-A, Blackburn has made five starts with Oakland. Aside from the fact that he is not a strikeout pitcher, just 3.38 per nine innings with the A’s after 6.33 per nine innings in Triple-A, Blackburn has benefited from a .214 BABIP as evidenced by his 4.66 FIP and 5.00 xFIP. I would exercise extreme caution here.

7) Hosmer Leads the Charge…

Kansas City erupted last night for 16 runs, and Eric Hosmer was a big part of that. Hosmer was responsible for 10 of those runs as he drove in six and scored five times (one came on his 16th home run of the season). The first baseman was 5 for 6 on the day as he brought his average up to .319 on the season while continuing to anchor a resurgence in Kansas City that has turned them into buyers instead of sellers at the trading deadline. All of Hosmer’s other four hits were singles, but they did the job and he has now driven in 54 runs so far this season.

8) Zimmer Sets the Table…

Although the move has come with limited success, the Indians (for now) appear to be committed to Bradley Zimmer being their lead-off hitter. After last night’s two hit effort, he is now hitting .229 in 12 games atop the order with 10 of his 35 RBI on the season. Overall, Zimmer is hitting a respectable .281 in his first taste of major league, and it does appear that he is here to stay. Of course strikeouts are going to be an issue, 56 in 192 at bats, but that is generally the case with most young hitters. On Wednesday, Zimmer started the game off with his seventh home run of the season and later added his 11th double while also drawing a walk and scoring twice along with his two RBI.

9) A Little Offense in Texas…

That might be an understatement, as you are forgiven if after looking at the score, you thought the Dolphins were in town to play the Cowboys. Instead, the Marlins put up 22 runs on the Rangers while giving up 10. Both Marcell Ozuna (77) and Derek Dietrich (27) drove in five runs for Miami while they hit four home runs. Dee Gordon went deep for the first time this season, and Giancarlo Stanton continued his success with his 33rd home run of the season. If this was the last start for Yu Darvish in a Rangers’ uniform, it certainly was not a happy ending as he allowed 10 runs in 3.2 innings of work. One bright spot for Texas, before he was ejected for moving the on base circle, is that Adrian Beltre is now even closer to 3,000 hits. Beltre went 3 for 3 with a walk as he raised his average to .307 on the season while hitting his 9th home run in 176 at bats.

10) Grichuk Continues to Hit…

With the Cardinals scoring 10 runs, it is safe to say that Randall Grichuk had an odd night. The outfielder went 4 for 5 to raise his average to .239, but he only scored one run and didn’t pick up an RBI out of the sixth spot in the order. The 25-year old was expected to be an everyday player for St. Louis this season, but early season struggles sent him back to the minor leagues, and since his return, Grichuk has been a solid contributor. So far in July, he is batting .283 with six home runs and nine RBI as he looks to find his footing. With 13 home runs on the season, Grichuk does bring power to the table, and as long as he continues to hit, he will be in the lineup everyday.

4 comments

  1. Carlito says:

    Jimmy Nelson? Keeper? Or are we at top of mountain?

  2. Timmy says:

    Hey Prof – whats the deal with JA Happ. Are we going to get anything out of him this season? I’m reluctant to give up on a 20 game winner from last year…thoughts?

    • Rotoprofessor says:

      I was never a believer (wins can be a deceiving stat). It all depends on what you are moving on to, but I don’t think giving up on him is unreasonable

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