10 Important Stories From 09/09/17 Box Scores: Wood Struggles Again, Haniger/Myers Delivering & More

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

Giancarlo Stanton did it again, as he blasted his 54th home run of the season.  Byron Buxton woke back up, after a few poor games, going 2-3 with 1 HR, 1 RBI and 1 R, as he continues his second half emergence.  Rhys Hoskins filled the box score (with the surprise being the SB) going 1-2 with 1 HR, 2 RBI and 1 R and also continuing to show tremendous discipline (3 BB).  What else happened on the field that we need to know about?  Let’s take a look:

 

1) Is Andrew Cashner “back”…
Back may not be the right word, as you could argue if he was ever truly a viable option for a start-to-start basis (he was always a much better option when pitching at home).  That said he matched Luis Severino (7.0 IP, 1 R, 1 H, 3 BB, 10 K) nearly pitch for pitch yesterday, as he allowed 1 R on 4 H and 1 BB, striking out 4, over 7.0 IP in what was a no decision.  He’s now allowed 2 ER or fewer in seven of his past eight starts and owns a 3.19 ERA overall.  Of course he’s also generated nearly no strikeouts (he entered with a 4.77 K/9) and doesn’t bring elite control (3.29 BB/9) or groundballs stuff (48.4%, 7 groundballs vs. 9 fly balls yesterday) to the table.  Sure he’s pitching well, but he’s also benefited from a bit of luck (.267 BABIP).  Don’t bother as the risk outweighs the reward.

 

2) Hernan Perez makes the most of his opportunity…
He was slotted in the leadoff spot and went 2-4 with 1 HR, 5 RBI and 2 R.  Unfortunately the opportunities have not been steady, as he has just 394 AB on the season.  However when he is on the field he continues to shine, hitting .264 with 14 HR and 12 SB (after hitting 13 HR with 34 SB in 404 AB a year ago).  Obviously the stolen base total isn’t where it was, though is anyone complaining?  He’s a good fit for those in daily formats, where you can utilize him when he’s in the lineup, but in weekly formats he’s impossible to trust until he’s given a regular role (or moved to a team that will give him one).

 

3) Jeimer Candelario starting to find his footing…
Hitting second in the order, ahead of Miguel Cabrera, will always be an enviable spot to hit (and hopefully Cabrera’s time off due to suspension has helped him get on track, going 2-4 with 1 HR, 2 RBI and 2 R yesterday).  Candelario, meanwhile, went 2-3 with 2 R and is now hitting .385 on the season.  Even more impressive has been his discipline, as he’s walked 4 times in the past three games and in September has hits in six of his seven games and has 4 K vs. 5 BB.  There is no questioning that ability and he has started to grow into his power (36 doubles, 4 triples and 15 HR at Triple-A this season).  He may not fully tap into that in the Majors, but if he continues to hit towards the top of the order he’s going to be able to hit for a strong average and score some runs.  Don’t underestimate his appeal.

 

4) The wheels fall off for Matt Andriese…
Taking on the Red Sox he allowed 8 R (6 earned) on 7 H and 2 BB, striking out 2, over 1.2 IP.  It’s his second straight poor showing (5 ER over 5.0 IP in his last start), as he’s seen his ERA rise from 3.54 when he hit the DL (and dropped to 3.38 after a short outing in his return) all the way to 4.46.  That said it shouldn’t be a complete surprise, as he owns a 1.39 WHIP and had benefitted from a 79.8% strand rate entering the day.  Home runs have been the biggest issue (1.57 HR/9 entering the day, before Dustin Pedroia took him deep yesterday), but it’s not like he’s shown significant strikeouts (7.83 K/9) or great control (3.00 BB/9).  Consider him more of a matchup play, if he even keeps his rotation spot.

 

5) Jeff Samardzija comes back to reality…
He had pitched great for three straight starts (2 ER over 22.0 IP), but things unraveled quickly against the White Sox.  Chicago would finish the day with 6 HR, with 4 of them coming against Samardzija.  He did last 5.2 IP but allowed 6 ER on 8 H and 1 BB, striking out 6, continuing what has been a significant issue when he’s pitching on the road.  Just look at the split of home runs allowed this season:

  • Home – 8 HR over 87.1 IP
  • Road – 20 HR over 102.0 IP

That’s obviously a significant difference, and unless he’s pitching in San Diego (or someplace similar) he’s more of a pitcher to stream when at home but avoid when he’s not.

 

6) Another unimpressive victory for Rafael Montero…
Taking on the Reds he allowed 1 ER on 4 H and 5 BB, striking out 5, over 5.0 IP as he needed 97 pitches to get that far (only 53 of his 97 pitches were strikes).  He’s been a bit of a hyped player of late, as he’s now won three straight starts and has generally been pitching well.  Of course he’s now walked 14 batters in his past three starts (18.2 IP) and after striking out 8 in his final August start he has a total of 8 K in his past two starts (10.1 IP).  Let’s not get caught up in any talk of him turning a corner, he’s a streaming option right now and little else.

 

7) Boog Powell steals the show in Oakland’s double header sweep…
Oakland not only beat Houston in both games of the double header, they blew them out (22-5).  Chad Pinder enjoyed a big second game (2-5, 2 HR, 4 RBI, 2 R), but it’s Powell who had the biggest day going 4-8 with 5 RBI and 4 R.  Normally more of a bottom of the order bat, with Marcus Semien getting the second game off he was atop the lineup in the second game and made the most of the opportunity.  He now has 106 AB in the Majors this season and has just 2 HR and 0 SB, so we need to also keep the day in perspective.  Not much of a power hitter, there’s a little bit of speed but there isn’t excessive upside (he had gone 11-for-16 in SB attempts at Triple-A prior to his recall).  In other words there just isn’t much appeal, especially since he’s normally hitting towards the bottom of the order.

 

8) Is Wil Myers finally starting to produce as expected…
We consistently say patience is a virtue, but staying the course with Myers this long would’ve been a difficult sell for most.  He did deliver a monster day yesterday, going 2-4 with 2 HR, 4 RBI and 2 R and suddenly has 27 HR and 70 RBI on the year.  Obviously, on pace to hit 30 HR, the power hasn’t been the biggest question and he’s also chipped in 18 SB.  Instead it’s the average, as he’s still hitting just .245 on the season.  After hitting .314 in April he hasn’t been above .247 in a month since, but he’s started off September scorching hot (14-34 with 3 HR).  He’s never going to be an elite average hitter, and you also could argue that he’s been selling out for some power (41.7% fly ball rate, after a 33.9% last season).  He entered the day with a 29.2% mark in September, showing that maybe he’s corrected the issue.  Time will tell, but obviously he’s a must use option right now.

 

9) Mitch Haniger continues making up for lost time…
He went 3-4 with 1 HR, 1 RBI and 3 R, giving him his third straight multi-hit game (7-12 with 1 HR, 3 RBI and 3 R).  Since August 30 he’s gone 18-37 with 3 HR, 9 RBI, 7 R and 1 SB, as the hyped preseason “sleeper” is making up for the time lost due to injury (as well as some struggles).  While he hasn’t hit for a great line drive rate (18.1%), there’s nothing unrealistic in his power (he entered with a 13.5% HR/FB) and he also should kick in a few stolen bases.  Keep rolling with him and reap the reward.

 

10) The regression of Alex Wood continues…
Taking on the Rockies the biggest blow came courtesy of Trevor Story (2-5, 1 HR, 3 RBI, 1 R), as Wood struggled as he allowed 5 ER on 8 H and 3 BB, striking out 2, over 5.0 IP.  He’s now allowed 9 ER on 15 H and 6 BB over 11.0 IP since returning from the DL (and has allowed 3 ER in his last start before being forced out).  Obviously his ERA is still a respectable 2.81, though he entered the day with an 80.0% strand rate and .266 BABIP.  That’s not to say that there isn’t appeal and value, as he’s showing all of the skills that we love to see from any pitcher (9.32 K/9, 2.30 BB/9, 54.5% groundball rate), but seeing him hit a rough patch shouldn’t be a surprise.  Hopefully he can turn it around before long.

 

Sources – ESPN, Fangraphs

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

2 comments

  1. Carlito says:

    What are your thoughts on Nelson next year? Prob will never be same. Was gonna keep.

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