10 Important Stories From 09/24/17 Box Scores: Devers Delivering, Anderson/Giolito Are Regression Risks & More

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

It was another big day for Aaron Judge, who went 2-4 with 2 HR, 3 RBI and 2 R.  Jose Quintana was stellar against the Brewers, tossing a complete game shutout allowing just 3 H and 1 BB, striking out 10.  Corey Kluber likely put the final stamp on a Cy Young season, allowing 2 R (0 earned) on 6 H and 0 BB, striking out 10, over 7.0 IP to defeat the Mariners.  What else happened on the field that we need to know about?  Let’s take a look:

 

1) Teoscar Hernandez homers for third straight day…
He was hitting atop the order and went 1-4 with 1 HR, 1 RBI and 2 R, putting him at 4-12 with 3 HR, 3 RBI and 5 R over the three games against the Yankees.  It’s certainly putting him on the map, as Toronto takes a look at him and try to determine if he’s primed to be a factor in ’18 and beyond.  The obvious red flag has been his strikeout rate, as he entered the day with a 33.3% strikeout rate (he struck out twice yesterday) courtesy of a 15.9% SwStr%.  If he can’t improve in that regard he’s going to struggle to stay atop the batting order and hit for a strong average.  No one is going to argue against his upside in both power and speed, but his value could be capped.

 

2) Another big day from Rafael Devers…
His problem has been his glove, not his bat, though his offensive prowess is going to lock him into the lineup (with hopes that he improves defensively).  He went 2-4 with 1 HR, 2 RBI and 1 R yesterday, before being lifted for a defensive replacement, and now owns a five-game hitting streak (9-20, 2 HR, 5 RBI and 3 R).  He’s now hitting .324 in September, and .303 overall, and is still maturing into his power (though no one would complain about 10 HR over 195 AB in the Majors).  He has the upside of a Top 10 option at third base as soon as 2018.

 

3) Brandon Nimmo produces out of the three-hole…
It says a lot about the state of the Mets lineup, but Nimmo was hitting third yesterday and went 1-3 with 1 HR, 1 RBI and 1 R.  Of course he doesn’t have much power quite yet (5 HR) and has now struck out 53 times in 149 AB.  Sure he’s proven capable of drawing a walk, but without the power and having benefited from a .366 BABIP it’s hard to get overly excited.  While he could be worth a flier if you need someone who is going to play over the final week, he profiles more as a fourth outfielder in the Majors and is a virtual fantasy non-factor.

 

4) Chance Sisco gets a chance to play…
It will be interesting to see if he gets a little bit of run over the final week of the season, as the Orioles give him a bit of exposure and see if he’s ready to assume the starting job in ’18.  Since being recalled he hasn’t gotten many opportunities in September, though he was in the lineup yesterday and went 1-4 with 1 HR, 2 RBI and 1 R.  He’s not known for his power, though he has 1 double and 2 HR over his 8 AB.  Of course e was hitting .267 at Triple-A prior to his recall, as he struggled a bit with strikeouts (25.5%).  That’s not a strong combination and makes you wonder what his actual upside in the Majors is going to be.  He has intriguing upside, but he’s not there yet.

 

5) Despite the L, Luiz Gohara impresses…
Taking on the Phillies he allowed just 1 ER on 5 H and 2 BB, striking out 9, over 7.0 IP as he made just one mistake to Maikel Franco (1-4, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 1 R).  Gohara set a career high in strikeouts and has now pitched well in two of his four starts, though his strikeout rate has regressed as he’s moved up in levels this season (he entered the day with a 34.0% groundball rate (he had 5 groundballs vs. 5 fly balls last night).  That is going to bring home run concerns, and while he’s thrown strikes in the Majors he did have a 4.08 BB/9 over seven starts at Triple-A prior to his recall.  The young southpaw has intriguing upside, but there’s going to be some bumps along the way.

 

6) Jameson Taillon trying to finish strong…
Taking on the Cardinals he got the W, allowing 1 ER on 4 H and 1 BB, striking out 6, over 5.0 IP.  It’s his second straight strong outing (3 ER over 10.0 IP) and three of his past four.  Obviously Taillon’s 4.62 ERA doesn’t look impressive, though we have to remember that he entered the day with an 8.43 K/9, 3.25 BB/9 and 48.6% groundball rate.  That’s the ideal skillset, and there’s good reason to believe that he’ll start working deeper into games again next season (he’s gone more than 5.0 innings just once in his past seven starts).  There’s obviously a lot to like, and 2018 could easily be the season that he puts things together (as he puts his health scare completely behind him).

 

7) Chase Anderson continued his breakout…
Sure he took the loss, but that shouldn’t take away from the strong outing against the Cubs.  Going 6.1 innings he allowed 3 ER on 7 H and 1 BB, striking out 8, and has now allowed 3 ER or less in 15 straight appearances.  Of course he also entered the day benefiting from a .266 BABIP and 80.2% strand rate, and it’s easy to argue that he can maintain his 17.4% line drive rate (career mark of 22.2%).  He also has had some luck with the long ball, with a 44.8% fly ball rate and just a 0.84 HR/9 despite pitching half his games in Milwaukee (for his career he owns a 1.22 HR/9).  He’s been a great story in 2017, but it’s easy to imagine him being significantly over-drafted heading into 2018.

 

8) Another impressive outing from Lucas Giolito…
Has the once elite prospect finally started to live up to the potential that has always been bestowed upon him?  He was lights out against the Royals yesterday, allowing just 1 ER on 5 H and 0 BB, striking out 5, over 7.0 IP to improve to 3-3 with a 2.38 ERA and 0.95 WHIP.  Of course the lone run came via the long ball, and he’s now allowed home runs in six of his seven starts (8 HR over 45.1 IP).  Couple that with the potential for control issues (4.13 BB/9 at Triple-A prior to his recall) and a lot of luck (.186 BABIP, 89.7% strand rate entering the day) and it’s easy to imagine an implosion coming at any moment.  With only one start left (if he’s not shutdown) that shouldn’t be a deterrent, but know that he’s not likely to come reasonably close to these numbers next season.

 

9) Matt Chapman produces out of the second spot…
He went 2-5 with 2 RBI and 1 R, with both hits being doubles.  He’s hitting just .230 on the season, though he owns a 472 SLG as he’s posted 21 doubles, 2 triples and 13 HR.  We all know there’s power potential, but it appears that he’s seeing the ball extremely well of late with 0 K over his past three games (10 AB) and 6 K over his past 31 AB (20 K over 74 AB in September).  If he can continue making regular contact there’s a good chance that he is a productive option over the final week of the season.  With seven games on the schedule, including three tentatively set against left-handed pitchers, and if you find yourself in need of some power he’s well worth the gamble (especially with four of the games coming in Texas, though he’s actually performed better at home).

 

10) Is Jason Kipnis figuring things out…
He’s getting an opportunity to settle into CF and he delivered with the bat yesterday, going 2-3 with 2 RBI.  He now has a modest three-game hitting streak, going 5-10 with 3 RBI, and while the Indians could take their foot off the gas a little bit and rest some of their regulars there’s a good chance Kipnis plays regularly.  For one they are going to want him to get the reps in CF, especially if the plan is for him to play there in the postseason.  They also are going to want him to find himself at the plate, especially after he’s struggled for much of the season.

Sources – ESPN, Fangraphs

Leave a Reply

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