10 Important Stories From 09/28/17 Box Scores: Is Pham For Real, The Outlook For E. Rodriguez & More

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

It was a dominant performance from Carlos Carrasco, who tossed 8.1 shutout innings allowing 6 H and 1 BB while striking out 14 (and only needing 112 pitches to get there).  Carlos Correa filled the box score, going 4-4 with 1 HR, 3 RBI and 3 R (finishing a triple short of the cycle).  Giancarlo Stanton is making his push for 60 HR, going 3-4 with 2 HR, 3 RBI and 3 R.  What else happened on the field that we need to know about?  Let’s take a look:

 

1) Is Jason Kipnis rediscovering himself…
It’s basically been a lost season for Kipnis, who is hitting .232 with 12 HR and has missed significant time due to injury.  He did get the Indians going yesterday though, going 1-4 with 1 HR, 2 RBI and 1 R, and now has hits in five of his past six games (7-20 with 1 HR, 5 RBI and 2 R).  It’s promising, and there’s obviously reason to believe that he would improve upon his .258 BABIP if he had the time (.315 for his career).  He also has continued to show an ability to make more than enough contact, with a 19.6% strikeout rate.  Maybe he doesn’t bring the stolen base potential that he once did, but he appears primed to be a solid bounce back candidate heading into 2018.

 

2) Does Jacob Faria hold future appeal…
He clearly didn’t pitch much as he’s worked his way back, throwing a total of 8.0 innings in his three September appearances.  He didn’t end on a high note, allowing 3 R (2 earned) on 4 H and 2 BB, striking out 2, over 3.0 IP against the Yankees.  The problem was 2 HR allowed, and that’s the big red flag hanging over him.  He generated 2 groundballs vs. 4 fly balls last night, after entering the day with a 38.7% groundball rate.  He had a 1.07 HR/9 at Triple-A prior to his recall, and as his number in the Majors rises (as well as a regression in his .266 BABIP and 78.1% strand rate entering the day) the value will plummet.  He’s usable and a backend option entering ’18, but don’t make the mistake of valuing him more than that.

 

3) Tyler Glasnow walks the ballpark…
The Pirates split the game, with Ivan Nova taking the first 2.0 IP and then handing the ball off to Glasnow.  No one is going to question the upside of the once top prospect, but there are obviously significant issues.  He went 3.2 innings allowing 1 R on 2 H and 5 BB, striking out 2, and has now walked 15 batters over his past 7.2 IP.  In 62.0 innings in the Majors this season he owns a 6.39 BB/9, and while it looked like he turned a corner at Triple-A (3.09 BB/9) we can’t ignore his 5.04 BB/9 in 110.2 IP at Triple-A last season (and 5.01 in 23.1 IP in the Majors).  Until he can consistently throw strikes he’s simply not going to be a trusted option, and as we head into 2018 he’s a high upside flier and nothing more.

 

4) A disastrous finish for Eduardo Rodriguez…
Taking on the Astros he allowed 5 ER on 6 H and 2 BB, striking out 2, over 1.2 IP.  He had been stringing together a few good starts, but at the end of the day he ends the year allowing 5 ER in three of his final seven starts and the owner of a 4.19 ERA and 1.28 WHIP.  No one is going to question his ability to generate strikeouts and his control is solid, but home runs are an issue (1.25 HR/9, courtesy of a 34.9% groundball rate).  With nothing unbelievable about his luck metrics (.299 BABIP, 74.5% strand rate) it’s fair to say that this simply is what he is.  That has value, but don’t view him as anything different.

 

5) An appropriately poor finish for Julio Teheran…
Taking on the Marlins Teheran allowed 5 ER on 8 H and 3 BB, striking out 3, over 6.0 IP to finish the disappointing year with a 4.49 ERA and 1.35 WHIP.  We all know that the biggest issue this season has been home runs (1.48 HR/9), but that’s not the sole reason for his struggles.  He simply wasn’t getting as many swings and misses as usual (9.4% SwStr%) and his pinpoint control wasn’t there (3.44 BB/9).  There’s going to likely be reason to believe in a rebound in 2018, though it’s hardly a given.  He’ll be a pitcher we take an extremely close look at in the offseason before drawing any definitive conclusion.

 

6) The value of Tommy Pham continues to grow…
He went 2-4 with 1 R and 2 SB yesterday, putting him at .311 with 23 HR, 73 RBI, 93 R and 25 SB in what can only be described as a highly impressive performance.  Can we expect him to even reasonably come close to those numbers again, though?  The two red flags are his .373 BABIP and 26.7% HR/FB, both of which can easily regress.  That said he’s shown the potential to be a 20/20 player and also has impressive plate discipline (7.5% SwStr%, 19.1% O-Swing%).  Maybe he does take a step back, but he’s proven that he’s going to hold value moving forward.

 

7) A strong finish from Sean Manaea…
It came against the Rangers, which at this point is a favorable matchup for any pitcher, but he still allowed just 1 R (0 earned) on 3 H and 3 BB, striking out 6, over 6.2 IP to finish the year at 12-10 with a 4.37 ERA and 1.40 WHIP.  Obviously the overall numbers aren’t impressive, though part of his issues were tied to poor luck (.318 BABIP, 69.6% strand rate).  He offers more upside in the strikeout department, given his 11.3% SwStr%, and things really went off the track in the second half (.350 BABIP, 67.7% strand rate, 6.47 K/9).  Pitching in Oakland with the skills he brings, he’ll once again carry breakout potential heading into 2018 and could be an ideal post-hype sleeper.

 

8) Things going south for Yoan Moncada…
He was impressing for a while, but things have unsurprisingly taken a bit of a turn in recent days.  Last night he went 0-3 with 2 K, and over his past seven games he’s gone 5-30 with 13 K.  Overall in September he’s struck out 29 times in 87 AB and owns a 33.3% strikeout rate over 219 PA in the Majors.  He brings power and speed, but until he figures out how to make consistent contact (12.7% SwStr%) the total value just isn’t going to be there.  It doesn’t mean that he should be written off, but with high expectations you are going to have to proceed with caution next season.

 

9) Nick Castellanos continues to finish strong…
He went 2-4 with 3 RBI yesterday, putting him at .377 with 6 HR and 23 RBI in September alone.  Overall he’s hitting an impressive .274 with 25 HR (as well as 6 doubles and 10 triples) with 99 RBI as he appears to be figuring things out.  He’s maintained his ability to hit the ball hard (24.7% line drive rate) and he’s proven that last year’s power breakout is for real (13.7% and 14.0% HR/FB the past two seasons).  He could still use some improvement in his plate discipline, with a 13.3% SwStr% and 34.9% O-Swing%, but at 26-years old next season he could have another career year ahead of him.

 

10) Danny Duffy goes out with a whisper…
Taking on the Tigers he allowed 4 ER on 6 H and 3 BB, striking out 4, over 4.1 IP to finish the year with a 3.81 ERA and 1.26 WHIP.  Over his final two outings he managed just 6 K vs. 5 BB over 10.1 IP, though that shouldn’t take away from his overall strong showing in ’17 (8.00 K/9, 2.52 BB/9).  The obvious red flag is his 39.5% groundball rate and 0.80 HR/9, but improvements in his .309 BABIP and 71.3% strand rate would help to offset any home run regression.  He may not be an ace, but he does have that upside and should be a Top 40 starter heading into ’18.

 

Sources – Fangraphs, ESPN

One comment

  1. Ryan says:

    Note thst Eduardo Rodriguez is playing through a bum knee cap that easily dislocates …. he is likely to have surgery in the off season. His coach has made comments about struggling with release points. It must be hard to have good form when your one knee is in pain… so I suspect the knee and release point are related….

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