10 Important Stories From 08/14/17 Box Scores: Surging Sanchez, Quintana’s Lack Of Improvement & More

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

Due to some technical difficulties for Ray we are going to have to knock this out quick hit style.  So, without further ado let’s get right to the biggest stories coming out of yesterday’s action:

 

1) Chad Bettis steals the night in Colorado…
His return alone is a great story and he made it even better by twirling 7.0 shutout innings against the Braves, allowing 6 H and 0 BB while striking out 2.  He obviously did the job with groundballs (12 groundballs vs. 6 fly balls) and he has always brought some intrigue given his ability there (49.7% for his career) as well as some solid control (3.12 BB/9).  Of course he pitches in Coors Field and isn’t going to be a big strikeout pitcher, so consider him more of a streaming option on the road.

 

2) The young Red Sox starting to carry the load…
The future is now for Boston, with Rafael Devers (2-4, 2 HR, 2 RBI, 2 R) and Andrew Benintendi (1-5, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 1 R) stepping up and starting to carry the load.  Remember Boston shopped around for a third baseman before finally deciding to bring Devers to the Majors and he’s quickly rewarded them by hitting .339 with 6 HR and 12 RBI, while also settling into the fifth spot of the batting order.  As for Benintendi, who went through some struggles, he’s clearly heated back up and is now on an impressive 8-game hitting streak (14-32, 5 HR, 12 RBI, 9 R and 4 SB).

 

3) Are we seeing another late season surge for Gary Sanchez…
The story of baseball late in 2016, Sanchez has expectedly struggled to match that type of pace.  That said he went 2-3 with 1 HR, 2 RBI and 1 R yesterday, giving him a 6-game hitting streak (9-22, 3 HR, 5 RBI, 5 R).  At the end of the day the biggest difference between his overall numbers is a drop in his HR/FB (40.0% to 26.0%), though that shouldn’t be a major surprise.  He’s currently hitting .273 with 20 HR over 315 AB, so while it’s not quite ’16 numbers they still place him among the best offensive catchers in the game.  For now expect this to be the type of player that he is.

 

4) Should we believe in Jake Odorizzi…
He pitched well against the Blue Jays last night, though took a tough luck loss, as he allowed 2 ER on 3 H and 3 BB, striking out 4, over 6.0 IP.  While his 1.26 WHIP and 4.30 ERA appear to be serviceable, he’s benefitted from a .234 BABIP, lacks groundballs (30.2%) and has never been an elite strikeout artist (7.57 K/9 in ’17 compared to a career mark of 8.15).  Maybe he’s a streaming option, but there’s a good chance he struggles down the stretch.

 

5) Michael Fulmer’s return doesn’t go quite as planned…
Taking on the Rangers he allowed 5 ER on 7 H and 3 BB, striking out 2, over 5.0 IP in his first start since July 31.  He clearly wasn’t generating many swings and misses (6), and he’s shown a lack of strikeouts all season long (6.32 K/9).  Granted there has been good control (2.11 BB/9), enough groundballs (49.3%) and some bad luck (66.2% strand rate), so there’s still hope.  Throw in that, overall, his 9.8% SwStr% would indicate a little bit more strikeout potential and there’s still reason to believe he can contribute down the stretch.

 

6) An impressive victory for Jose Quintana…
The offense gave him a lot of room to work (Anthony Rizzo led the way, going 3-5 with 1 HR, 5 RBI and 1 R), so all Quintana had to do was manage the game against the Reds.  In that regard he was successful, allowing 2 R (1 earned) on 4 H and 4 BB, striking out 4, over 5.0 IP.  That said overall it was a mediocre performance, something that has been par for the course all season long.  He has improved his control overall since the trade (2.83 BB/9), but home runs have continued to be an issue (1.54 HR/9) and there’s reason to believe that his luck will turn (.256 BABIP).  In other words, continue to view him as an overvalued starter.

 

7) Collin McHugh holds his own against the Diamondbacks…
He drew a tough matchup against Zack Greinke (6.2 IP, 0 R, 5 H, 2 BB, 9 K, W), but he kept his team in the game.  Going 5.2 innings McHugh allowed 2 ER on 6 H and 1 BB, striking out 6, but got saddled with a tough luck loss.  His biggest issue over his first five starts has been a complete lack of groundballs (27.3%), something we’d expect to be corrected (41.9% for his career).  He’s showing strikeouts (9.11 K/9) and control (2.93 BB/9), so once the groundballs present themselves (he had 5 yesterday, vs. 6 fly balls) the results should be there.

 

8) A strong start from Jake Junis…
He appears primed to stick around, thanks to the injury to Trevor Cahill, and he made a strong case for it by allowing 2 ER on 4 H and 0 BB, striking out 2, over 6.0 IP against the A’s.  In 50.0 IP in the Majors he hasn’t shown tremendous strikeout stuff (7.02 K/9), and outside of a strong number at Triple-A this season (10.90 K/9) he has never shown much potential there.  Even bigger of an issue is the home run problems (1.62 HR/9, thanks to a 37.3% groundball rate).  In other words, while he’s strung together a few strong starts don’t expect it to continue.

 

9) Kevin Gausman continues his renaissance…
Taking on Seattle he allowed 2 ER on 6 H and 1 BB, striking out 6, over 7.0 IP.  The offense gave him ample room early, highlighted by a Manny Machado grand slam (2-5, 1 HR, 4 RBI, 1 R), but Gausman has now allowed 2 ER or fewer in five of his past six starts and is finally on the verge of getting his ERA back below 5.00 (it’s currently at 5.08).  Of course he did allow another HR, something that continues to be an issue and limits his overall appeal.

 

10) Rhys Hoskins finally gets things going…
It took a trip to San Diego to get his bat warmed up, as he delivered his first 2 HR of his career by going 2-4 with 2 HR, 2 RBI and 2 R.  While he’s gotten off to a slow start he clearly hasn’t been overmatched, with a 5.1% SwStr% and 31.3% O-Swing%.  We know the power is going to be there, so as long as he is staying patient and not pressing the results will come.  This should be only the start of big things to come.

Sources – ESPN, Fangraphs

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

4 comments

  1. Bennies Express says:

    Hey,

    Someone dropped Patrick Corbin right before his last start which went really well. I know he has a bad matchup coming up against Was but if you take away the one blowup he had against Chi he has looked really good imo. Even though I like how Woodruff has looked would you drop Woodruff for Corbin?

  2. Kevin says:

    Corey Spangenberg and Kolton Wong are both available in my league. 2B has been a black hole this year for me. Which is the better option?

    • Rotoprofessor says:

      I’d lean Spangenberg. I like Wong, but he’s main value is his speed and he isn’t going to get to use it much hitting towards the bottom of the order

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *