10 Important Stories From 08/19/17 Box Scores: Happ Turning It Around?, Odor Showing Value? & More

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

Mitch Haniger made his return to the Mariners, and made an instant impact, going 2-4 with 1 HR, 4 RBI and 1 R.  Is there any hope Julio Teheran finally puts things together in ’17, after he allowed 5 R on 8 H and 3 BB over 6.0 IP against the Reds?  Stephen Strasburg was strong in his return from the DL, albeit in San Diego, allowing 2 ER on 4 H and 1 BB, striking out 8, over 6.0 IP in a losing effort.  What else happened on the field that we need to know about?  Let’s take a look:

 

1) Is Ian Happ picking things back up…
He went 2-3 with 1 HR, 2 RBI and 2 R yesterday, giving him 3 HR over his past three games (including a pair of multi-hit games).  Obviously he’s had his struggles this season, as he’s still hitting .249 (though he has added 18 HR and 7 SB over 265 AB).  Strikeouts have been his biggest issue, having entered the day with a 30.3% strikeout rate, and considering he posted a 4 K day on Friday it’s hard to say that he’s shown any type of improvement.  He also hasn’t added many additional extra base hits, with 13 doubles and 2 triples, so if his 24.6% HR/FB regresses the numbers could really get ugly.  While there’s ample upside, don’t get too excited off of a few solid day.

 

2) A strong rebound from Michael Fulmer…
Considering the matchup against the Dodgers, and having allowed 5 ER over 5.0 IP in his first start off the DL, it would’ve been easy to expect the worst.  However he delivered a stellar outing, albeit in a tough luck loss, as he allowed 1 R (0 earned) on 3 H and 2 BB, striking out 6, over 7.0 IP.  He didn’t have many swinging strikes (8), and with a limited strikeout rate this season that’s going to be something to watch (especially after he managed just 6 swinging strikes in his first start back from the DL).  If he isn’t generating strikeouts there is going to be a high risk for a blowup, so keep that in mind before simply entrenching him into your lineup.

 

3) Starling Marte continues to reward those who waited…
He went 3-5 with 1 HR, 2 RBI, 1 R and 2 SB yesterday, filling up the box score.  It was easy for many to dump him after he was suspended early in the year, but he’s certainly rewarding those who stashed him now.  Yesterday marked his fifth straight multi-hit game (11-22, 1 HR, 3 RBI, 6 R and 4 SB) and he’s hitting .271 with 3 HR and 12 SB on the season.  While he may never match the 19 HR he hit a few years back, he has the potential to perennially be a 12/40 player to go along with a solid average.  In other words, while there are new concerns hanging over him there remains an awful lot to like.

 

4) A disastrous start from Jake Odorizzi…
Taking on the Mariners he lasted just 3.2 IP, allowing 7 ER on 8 H and 5 BB, striking out 2.  He gave up a pair of home runs, and that’s been a consistent issue for him on the season (26 HR over 108.1 IP).  Having entered the day with a 30.2% groundball rate, and generating 1 groundball vs. 8 fly balls yesterday, it’s hard to expect much change coming.  Throw in pedestrian strikeout (7.57 K/9) and walk (3.44 BB/9), as well as pitching in the AL East, and he’s an easy pitcher to avoid at all costs for the remainder of the season.

 

5) Could Tyler Austin solidify the Yankees’ 1B job…
He took Chris Sale (7.0 IP, 4 ER, 7 H, 1 BB, 9 K) deep last night, finishing the day going 2-4 with 1 HR, 3 RBI and 1 R.  He’s now posted back-to-back two-hit days since returning to the Majors, going 4-8 with just 1 K.  That last point is the key thing to watch, as he showed a big strikeout rate in his brief time in the Majors last season (40.0% in 90 PA), and has consistently posted elevated marks at Triple-A:

  • 2015 (299 PA) – 27.1%
  • 2016 (234 PA) – 25.2%
  • 2017 (159 PA) – 27.7%

With that issue looming, as well as with Chase Headley/Todd Frazier present, he’s tough to trust.

 

6) A significant step backwards for Kevin Gausman…
He was torched for four home runs, with Mike Trout (2-5, 2 HR, 2 RBI, 2 R) and Luis Valubena (2-3, 2 HR, 3 RBI, 2 R) doing all of the damage.  Gausman’s finally line was 4.0 IP allowing 5 ER on 6 H and 4 BB, striking out 3.  Home runs have consistently been an issue (1.41 HR/9 entering the day, after posting a 1.40 mark last season), and it’s been an even bigger issue at home (1.57 HR/9 before yesterday’s debacle).  Yes there remains upside and ability, but especially when he starts at home he’s impossible to trust at this late stage of the season

 

7) Jose Berrios gives a brilliant performance…
He outpitched Zack Greinke (4.0 IP, 5 R, 7 H, 4 BB, 4 K), as he tossed 7.0 shutout innings against the Diamondbacks allowing 2 H and 1 BB, striking out 7.  Of course you can argue that he was lucky to keep the ball in the park (4 groundballs vs. 10 fly balls), and he continues to be a stellar home option (2.87 ERA) but struggles on the road (5.13 ERA).  The stuff is definitely there, but as we’ve said before seeing some struggles down the stretch wouldn’t be surprising as he tires and also potentially sees his home run rate rise (39.4% groundball rate) and strikeout rate regress (9.3% SwStr% entering the day, just 8 swinging strikes yesterday).  In redraft formats he’s tough to trust at this point.

 

8) Collin McHugh earns his first W of the season…
Taking on the A’s he tossed 6.0 shutout innings, allowing 6 H and 1 BB while striking out 3.  While he did have one debacle recently, he’s allowed 2 ER or fewer in four of his past five starts and has 31 K vs. 10 BB over 33.2 IP on the season.  The one red flag has been a complete lack of groundballs, with a 32.6% mark on the season.  That’s obviously a concern, as it could indicate significant home run issues are on the horizon (especially pitching half his games in Houston).  Thus far it hasn’t been a problem, and he has a track record of more groundballs (42.0% for his career), but if he doesn’t correct the issue there will be more stumbles in his future.

 

9) We got the good Trevor Bauer in Kansas City…
It’s a bit of a surprise, as he’s been a better pitcher at home (3.83 ERA) than on the road (5.50 ERA) this season, but Bauer tossed 6.1 shutout innings allowing 7 H and 2 BB, striking out 4.  Of course you can also argue that a lot of his issues have been luck based, considering his .343 BABIP and 1.34 HR/9 (despite a 46.0% groundball rate).  At the same time it’s easy to envision his strikeout rate falling (10.22 K/9 entering the day, despite a pedestrian 8.9% SwStr%) and that will be something to watch closely.  It’s not to say that there isn’t value, especially as he’s posted strong numbers since the All-Star Break (2.83 ERA).  A blowup could easily be coming though, so be cautious in entrusting him.

 

10) Rougned Odor helps to pace the Rangers explosion…
He’s been one of the more frustrating players of 2017, hitting .223 despite a lot being expected of him.  After going 2-4 with 2 HR, 5 RBI and 2 R yesterday (with Mike Napoli also posting a big day, going 2-5 with 1 HR, 5 RBI and 2 R) he does have 26 HR, 58 RBI and 12 SB, so it’s hard to be completely down on him.  It’s easy to pinpoint the problem, as he’s shown a poor approach once again (12.9% SwStr%, 39.9% O-Swing%), right along the lines of his ’16 marks, but also a spike in popups (18.1% IFFB) and a significant regression in luck (.240 BABIP).  It’s possible this is closer to the player that he is, though with a little bit of a better batting average (think closer to .250).  That’s still a valuable option, just know what you are buying.

Sources – ESPN, Fangraphs

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

2 comments

  1. Roger says:

    What’s going on with Michael Brantley? I can’t find any information on his recovery which makes putting him in weekly lineups this week difficult.

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