10 Important Stories From 08/11/17 Box Scores: Not Trusting Lopez, The Risk Of Faria & More

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

Carlos Carrasco flirted with a no-hitter against the Rays, settling for 8.0 shutout innings allowing 2 H and 2 BB, striking out 10, for the victory.  Cole Hamels shutdown the slumping Houston Astros, tossing 7.0 shutout innings allowing just 3 H and 2 BB, striking out 5, for a W.  Billy Hamilton showed his game changing speed, going 1-4 with 2 R and 3 SB.  What else happened on the field that we need to know about?  Let’s take a look:

 

1) The resurgence of Andrew Benintendi continues…
He went 2-4 with 1 HR, 2 RBI and 1 R, giving him a five-game hitting streak (10-18, 2 HR, 4 RBI, 6 R and 4 SB) and five multi-hit games over his past seven.  He entered the day continuing to show a strong eye at the plate (16.7% strikeout rate vs. 10.9% walk rate), though he’s been extremely streaky with his line drive rate.  Entering the day he was at 21.1% in August, which coincides with this recent hot stretch, but he’s traded good and bad months (16.4% in July) and was still at 17.2% since the All-Star Break.  The approach is there, and you would think the results would start to follow, if (and it’s a big if) he can find consistency.  He’s a strong buy, if you can get him relatively cheap, but we may be waiting until 2018 for the full on breakout.

 

2) The Mets young bats help lead the team to victory…
On the day that Dominic Smith made his much awaited MLB debut, going 1-3 in the process, it was fellow rookie Amed Rosario who played the hero.  Rosario finished 3-4 with 1 HR, 1 RBI and 3 R, with the home run coming off Hector Neris to give the Mets the lead in the ninth inning.  It was by far Rosario’s best game since his promotion, as it was his first multi-hit game and his second straight without a strikeout.  Strikeouts and command of the strike zone have been a significant issue, as he entered the day with a 22.1% SwStr% and 50.8% O-Swing% over his first nine games in the Majors.  He should significantly improve in that regard as he gets comfortable, and while he isn’t going to blow you away in any one category he should be productive across the board over the rest of the season.

 

3) Jameson Taillon puts up second straight strong start…
Taking on the Blue Jays in Toronto he earned the W by allowing 2 ER on 6 H and 1 BB, striking out 7, over 6.0 IP.  He made one true mistake, with Jose Bautista (1-4, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 1 R) taking him deep, but otherwise it appears to be a solid start.  After a disastrous few outings he’s now allowed 4 ER on 11 H and 3 BB, striking out 15, over 12.1 IP in his past two starts though there are a few warning signs to keep track of.  Even with the strikeouts he has just 19 swinging strikes and he has 10 groundballs vs. 12 fly balls as well.  Those are two things that need to be monitored, especially having entered the day with an 8.3% SwStr% and a 25.1% line drive rate.  We’d still expect the luck to improve (.364 BABIP, 70.6% strand rate), but there could be more inconsistency moving forward.

 

4) The frustrations of Jon Gray continue…
Pitching on the road, against Miami, he allowed 3 ER on 8 H and 2 BB, striking out 4, over 5.2 IP.  The big blow came courtesy of Giancarlo Stanton (2-4, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 1 R), and the performance came after a dominant outing at home against the Phillies (1 ER over 7.0 IP).  Shockingly he entered the day with the reverse split then we’d have expected:

  • Home – 3.00 ERA
  • Road – 6.67 ERA

Obviously we can’t recommend utilizing a Colorado pitcher only when pitching at home, and luck does play a role (.355 BABIP, 69.5% strand rate entering the day).  For now keep him stashed on your bench and wait for him to put things together.

 

5) Jacob Faria with a frustrating evening…
Going up against Carrasco he never truly had a chance, but it was one poor inning that sabotaged his night.  Going 6.0 innings he allowed 5 ER on 6 H and 3 BB, striking out 7.  He’s now allowed 3+ ER in four of his past five starts, and has also allowed a HR in three of his past four.  He hasn’t been much of a groundball pitcher in the Majors, entering the day with a 38.5% fly ball rate (5 groundballs vs. 6 fly balls yesterday), and that helps to explain the recent spike in home runs.  There has been strikeouts and control, but couple the home run risk with an 81.3% strand rate and the potential to tire down the stretch and there’s a lot of risk over the final few weeks.  While there is upside and he’s well worth stashing, be cautious entrusting him for the remainder of ’17.

 

6) Reynaldo Lopez as expected in his 2017 debut…
We’ve long awaited his return to the Majors and he gave us basically what we expected against the Royals last night.  Going 6.0 innings he allowed just 2 ER on 4 H while striking out 6.  However his control was mediocre (3 BB) and he got burnt by a pair of home runs to Mike Moustakas (2-4, 2 HR, 2 RBI, 2 R).  He generated just 2 groundballs compared to 10 fly balls, and that’s right along the lines of what he had done at Triple-A this season (36.3% groundball rate).  When coupled with his 3.64 BB/9 and his home ballpark, don’t expect things to change much.  The strikeouts should be there and he’ll have a few dazzling moments, but if you are focused on winning in 2017 he’ll be a tough one to trust.

 

7) A disastrous performance from Jimmy Nelson…
In what turned into a wild game, with the teams combining for 21 runs and 31 hits, the biggest takeaway may have been Nelson’s horrible performance.  Lasting just 3.2 innings he allowed 10 R (9 earned) on 11 H and 3 BB, striking out 4.  There was only one home run allowed (to Zack Cozart, when went 3-5 with 1 HR, 2 RBI and 3 R), though he clearly wasn’t fooling anyone.  Nelson had been on an extremely good roll of late (5 ER over 21.0 IP in his past three starts) and entered the day with a 10.03 K/9, 2.29 BB/9 and 50.5% groundball rate.  It’s an incredibly disappointing “performance”, but don’t get too down on him as he should still be able to produce down the stretch.

 

8) Mike Foltynewicz is worth using, at least at home…
He took one on the chin at the hands of the Cardinals yesterday, allowing 6 R on 7 H and 4 BB over 2.2 IP.  The notable part is that it came on the road, where he has been significantly worse this year:

  • Home – 3.48 ERA
  • Road – 4.88 ERA

Home runs have been a particular issue while on the road, allowing 14 (only 5 allowed at home).  Of course considering the ballpark and his 38.5% groundball rate entering the day it’s far more likely that he regresses at home as opposed to significantly improving on the road.  There’s still upside but the risk outweighs the potential reward.

 

9) Does Ubaldo Jimenez belong on our radars…
Where did this come from?  Lasting just 5.1 innings he allowed 3 ER n 6 H and 1 BB.  That sounds like some pedestrian numbers, but he struck out 11 batters with a tremendous 17 swinging strikes against the A’s.  This comes after he had allowed 4 ER over 18.2 IP in his previous three starts, suddenly looking like he could be a viable option once again.  Of course he has allowed 25 HR over 116.2 IP (including 3 HR over this four start stretch) and his control is always a concern.  It’s a nice run, but we’d have a hard time buying.

 

10) Manual Margot carries the Padres to victory…
He went 2-4 with 2 HR, 2 RBI and 2 R, putting him at .272 with 12 HR, 30 RBI, 34 R and 11 SB on the season.  He’s only played in 81 games, so over the course of a full season he’d be on pace for an impressive 20/20 campaign.  That said he has struggled a bit with his strike zone command, with 71 K vs. 18 BB, though a 9.3% SwStr% and 30.8% O-Swing% entering the day do not raise any red flags.  Throw in his speed, coupled with a 22.4% line drive rate and .312 BABIP and there is reason to believe in him maintaining his average as well.  In other words, Margot is growing into the player we all envisioned.

Sources – ESPN, Fangraphs

Make sure to check out our Mid-Season Top 50 Prospects by clicking here!

11 comments

  1. bbb says:

    RP: Two questions:

    Straight up – Ryon Healey or Benentiendi

    Thoughts on Aaron Hicks?

  2. Randy says:

    Need the best in order for rest of year. Tim Anderson. K marte Wong N walker in 5×5 Thanks

  3. Carlito says:

    Meija or Rodgers if you can stash one in minors?

  4. Bbboston says:

    Thought s on Hicks ROSS?

    Who do you like better? Healey or benintendi

  5. Mitch says:

    Is Jimmy Nelson top 20 starting pitcher for 2018 and beyond?

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