10 Important Stories From 09/22/17 Box Scores: Not Buying Reynaldo Lopez, Devers Developing & More

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

Aaron Judge did it again, slugging his 46th home run of the season.  Garrett Richards settled for a tough luck no decision, thanks to facing Justin Verlander (7.0 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 2 BB, 6 K), as he tossed 6.0 shutout innings allowing 1 H and 1 BB, striking out 6.  Rich Hill silenced the Giants, allowing 1 ER on 5 H and 1 BB, striking out 9, over 6.0 IP to earn the W.  What else happened on the field that we need to know about?  Let’s take a look:

 

1) Has Alex Cobb shown enough for 2018…
We continue to have questions, though obviously sights are being set more towards next season than the one start he has left this season.  Taking on the Orioles yesterday he allowed 3 ER on 9 H and 1 BB, striking out 4, over 6.0 IP and got the W.  The biggest issue continues to be a lack of swinging strikes, as he had just 4 yesterday and entered the day with a 6.7% SwStr% on the season.  His velocity is there (91.6 mph average on his fastball), so if he can’t figure out how to improve upon a 6.44 K/9 entering the day he’s simply going to be a back-end option.  He’s not one to completely avoid, but value him appropriately.  As for 2017, his final start will likely come on the road against the Yankees and that’s a risky proposition.

 

2) The home run issues have returned for Masahiro Tanaka…
It looked like he had solved his issues, but after allowing 3 HR yesterday he’s now allowed 6 HR over his past three starts (35 HR over 171.1 IP overall) and has allowed 7 ER in two of his past three starts.  Taking on the Blue Jays in Toronto yesterday he was tagged for 7 ER on 6 H and 3 BB, striking out 6, over 5.2 IP.  He entered the game with a 9.40 K/9 and 2.06 BB/9, so those aren’t the issues, and he has had more issues on the road with the long ball:

  • Home – 3.48 ERA
  • Road – 6.48 ERA

Of course he owns a 1.53 HR/9 at home and has benefited from an 81.3% strand rate there.  He has the upside and there will be value here in ’18, but exactly where he fits in the rankings is a bit of a mystery.

 

3) Another strong second half for Brian Dozier…
He filled the box score yesterday, going 2-5 with 1 HR, 1 RBI, 2 R and 1 SB, putting him at .259 with 32 HR and 16 SB on the season.  While his second half isn’t quite at last year’s epic levels, he’s again been highly productive hitting .280 with 19 HR, 45 RBI, 67 R and 6 SB.  At the end of the day he’s proving that last year’s breakout wasn’t unsustainable completely and he looks to be a solid .255-.265ish hitter with 30 HR and 15 SB.  Throw in 100 runs scored and 85+ RBI and he’s going to remain one of the elite 2B options in the league.  He may not be a 40 HR hitter, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing.

 

4) Rafael Devers trying to finish strong…
He went 2-4 with 1 HR, 3 RBI and 1 R yesterday, giving him three straight multi-hit games (6-13, 1 HR, 3 RBI, 2 R).  Since being promoted to the Majors he’s hitting .298 with 9 HR and 24 RBI, showing that he was ready to arrive in the Majors despite the skepticism some had.  There are going to be some concerns that his strikeout rate could rise (23.0% entering the day), considering he currently owns a 12.2% SwStr%.  The plate discipline has actually regressed in September, with a 13.2% SwStr% and 37.3% O-Swing% entering the day, and that’s something we’ll have to watch closely.  It doesn’t mean that he’s untrustworthy, just know that there is a bit of risk moving forward.

 

5) A power surge from Travis d’Arnaud…
Health has been one of the biggest issues for d’Arnaud throughout his career, though e’s generally failed to live up to the hype once bestowed upon him.  He had a big day yesterday against the Nationals, going 2-4 with 2 HR, 4 RBI and 2 R, and is now 5-10 with 3 HR and 7 RBI over his past three games.  He’s clearly trying to keep himself in the Mets’ plans for ’18, something that’s never been a given, as he’s hitting .326 with 5 HR and 14 RBI in September.  Even more impressive is just 4 K over 46 AB for the month, as he entered the day showing strong plate discipline (9.2% SwStr%, 28.6% O-Swing%).  He’s showing an improved home run rate (11.9% HR/FB entering the day) and with a 15.9% strikeout rate the upside is there.  If he could ever stay healthy he has Top 15 upside at his position and is worth using for the final week.

 

6) Brandon Woodruff unimpressive against the Cubs…
He allowed 4 ER on 5 H and 3 BB, striking out 4, over 5.0 IP and has now allowed 13 ER over 17.0 IP over his past three starts.  That doesn’t mean that he doesn’t have appeal, especially long-term, after he posted an 8.36 K/9, 2.99 BB/9 and 48.0% groundball rate over 16 starts at Triple-A this season.  Even with the poor showing last night he had the underlying marks there, with 13 swinging strikes and 8 groundballs vs. 3 fly balls.  Maybe he’s untrustworthy for his final start of the season, but he should enter ’18 as a viable late round flier with plenty of upside.

 

7) What to make of Reynaldo Lopez…
Obviously his defense was a big issue yesterday, allowing 6 R (2 earned) on 10 H over 6.1 IP.  While we love the 0 BB, he also had 0 K (with just 3 swinging strikes) and also generated 6 groundballs vs. 12 fly balls.  Without strikeouts and with the risk of home runs, he’s lucky that the numbers weren’t even worse.  The fly ball rate wasn’t there at Triple-A (36.3% in 22 starts), and pitching in Chicago that’s a significant red flag.  He obviously has shown more strikeout potential, and his 9.3% SwStr% entering the day does give a little bit of hope.  However if he’s prone to the long ball and only posting a strikeout rate in the 7.5 range, is that really enough?  It’s hard to buy into…

 

8) Chris Iannetta erupts for Arizona…
Obviously there were a lot of big offensive performances in a game that totaled 24 runs and 32 hits, but Iannetta had the biggest night.  Taking on the Marlins he finished going 3-4 with 2 HR, 8 RBI and 2 R.  Obviously it’s hard to get excited about it, as he had 11 total RBI since June 28 prior to this performance.  Sure he has 16 HR and 42 RBI on the season, so in two-catcher formats they are usable numbers, but expecting any type of consistent production would be a mistake (especially as he shares time behind the plate).

 

9) Another strong performance from Erasmo Ramirez…
Taking on the Indians he allowed 1 ER on 3 H and 0 BB, striking out 10, over 8.0 IP as he made just one mistake (Giovanny Urshela took him deep).  He’s now made 10 starts for the Mariners, posting a 3.79 ERA and 1.09 WHIP with 52 K vs. 13 BB over 57.0 IP.  Overall he owns a 1.14 WHIP, though he has had home run issues regardless of who he’s pitched for (1.57 HR/9, 44.5% groundball rate).  That’s been consistent throughout his career (1.27 HR/9) and despite the strong strikeout performance yesterday he still owns just a 7.62 K/9.  There’s value, especially as a streamer, but it’s hard to view him as more than that.

 

10) Jon Gray finally achieving ace status…
It’s been a disappointing season overall, as early season injuries helped to sabotage him.  He’s finishing strong, though, after defeating the Padres yesterday as he allowed 1 ER on 5 H and 1 BB, striking out 8, over 6.0 IP.  It’s interesting that he wasn’t getting any swings and misses (5) or groundballs (1 groundball vs. 8 fly balls), and those are things we’ll have to watch closely.  Of course he still has a respectable 46.4% groundball rate and 8.8% SwStr% in the second half, with there being upside in both marks.  Coors Field is going to scare many off, but he has Top 25 stuff and is a solid option in all formats.

 

Sources – ESPN, Fangraphs

3 comments

  1. Carlito says:

    How do you feel about Wilson Ramos next year?

  2. BillBoy says:

    Iannetta has been on fire for weeks and is batting 2nd or 5th in the AZ lineup. Also, is the starting catcher there. He’s definitely worth the pick up

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