10 Important Stories From 05/03/2018 Box Scores: Are We Actually Buying Teheran/Tanaka, Is It Time To Sell Price & More

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

It was another impressive day for Patrick Corbin, who allowed 1 R on 3 H and 2 BB, striking out 5, over 6.0 IP but settled for a no decision after the bullpen couldn’t hold the lead.  Francisco Lindor had a monster performance in the Indians’ double header, finishing 5-12 with 2 HR, 6 RBI and 3 R.  There were a few prominent returns from the DL:

  • Josh Donaldon – 4-11, 2 HR, 4 RBI and 4 R
  • Steven Souza – 0-4 (with 2 K)

What else happened on the field that we need to know about?  Let’s take a look:

 

1) Julio Teheran flirts with no-hitter…
He took it 6.2 innings against the Mets, but it was ultimately broken up by Asdrubal Cabrera (1-3).  Teheran finished allowing 0 R on 2 H and 2 BB, striking out 6, over 7.0 IP to improve to 2-1 with a 3.65 ERA.  After a slow start he’s now allowed 6 ER over 29.0 IP in his past five starts, though a lot of that has come against the Mets (14.0 shutout innings).  Pitching well against New York is nothing new, as he posted a 3.29 ERA over 30.1 IP against the last season (when he owned a 4.49 ERA overall).  While he shined in this one, he entered the day with a 4.80 BB/9 and 1.80 HR/9 (and his 6 groundballs vs. 9 fly balls yesterday doesn’t support keeping the ball in the ballpark).  While it was a great start, keep the opponent in mind before deciding he’s all fixed.  Let’s see him do it against other opponents, and at home (4.29 ERA) before we get too excited.

 

2) A fairly good start from Masahiro Tanaka…
Taking on the Astros, in Houston, he allowed 3 ER over 6.0 IP but he didn’t allow many baserunners (5 H and 0 BB), struck out 5 and kept the ball in the ballpark.  Considering the matchup it’s hard not to walk away happy, as he’s now allowed just 10 H & 4 BB over his past 18.2 IP (0.77 WHIP) with 19 K and he hasn’t allowed a home run in two of his past three performances.  The last statement may be the most important, with 5 HR over his first four starts.  It is interesting that he hasn’t thrown more than 93 pitches in any start this season, including being pulled after just 83 yesterday.  The Yankees have a very good bullpen, but it makes it difficult to get W if you aren’t working deep into games.  It’s just something else to watch, but at this point the needle is pointing up.

 

3) Has Jorge Soler finally figured it out…
He went 1-4 with 1 HR, 1 RBI and 3 R yesterday, extending his hitting streak to 9 games (14-35, 3 HR, 8 RBI, 7 R).  He’s now hitting .312 with 4 HR and 10 RBI overall, and while his SwStr% was down entering the day it was still an unimpressive 12.6%.  He also was carrying an unsustainable .417 BABIP (even with an impressive 42.9% Hard%), so with his strikeouts likely to rise and his luck likely to fall it’s not a good mix for his average outlook.  He’s shown good power, but it’s not like his 12.5% HR/FB entering the day will blow you away (though 9 doubles indicates that it’s there).  So what’s the bottom line?  There’s a good chance he delivers some power (20ish HR) but his average is going to fall off big time.  Now may be the perfect time to try and cash in if someone believes he’s truly arrived.

 

4) Is Alex Wood well worth buying if you can…
It was a good start, allowing 1 ER on 4 H and 2 BB, striking out 8, over 5.0 IP in a no decision against the Diamondbacks.  He generated 15 swinging strikes and had 5 groundballs vs. 2 fly balls in a strong bounce back performance.  Overall he now owns a 3.83 ERA and 0.93 WHIP, as his 38 K vs. 5 BB is highly impressive.  Considering he entered the day with a 46.1% strand rate it’s easy to point towards poor luck as the reason for his struggles this season.  We all knew he wasn’t going to match last year’s impressive marks, but he’s matched last year’s SwStr% (he entered the day with an 11.7%), is generating groundballs and showing elite control.  There’s little reason to think that he won’t continue to improve, and maybe you can use his early season inconsistency to cash in on a strong buy.

 

5) Yangervis Solarte shows why he deserves full-time AB…
With Josh Donaldson back everyone in Toronto’s infield could stand to lose a few AB, but Solarte made his case to be in the lineup every day.  In the two games of the double header he combined to go 8-10 with 2 HR, 7 RBI and 4 R, putting him at .287 with 9 HR, 22 RBI and 21 R.  He entered the day with a .222 BABIP (.238 average), so it’s easy to see why yesterday was a “correction”.  The bigger issue is his power, as he had never hit more than 18 HR, but is well ahead of that pace.  He entered the day with an 18.4% (9.7% for his career) HR/FB and only 4 doubles (he has 6 now) so it’s fair to be skeptical, though a move out of San Diego likely helped.  He should continue to be a productive option, though a regression will likely come.  Definitely use him while he’s hot, just don’t go assuming he’ll come close to this moving forward.

 

6) Is it time to give up on David Price…
He took it on the chin in Texas, allowing 9 R (7 earned) on 6 H and 2 BB, striking out 4, over 3.2 IP and has now allowed 4+ ER in four of his past five starts.  After silencing Tampa Bay in his first two starts he now owns a 5.11 ERA and 1.41 WHIP, as he’s struggled to generate strikeouts (he hasn’t had more than 6 K in any start).  He entered the day with a 7.8% SwStr%, with 9 swinging strikes yesterday, which obviously is a big concern.  Couple that with the risk of home runs (43.8% groundball rate entering the day) and control problems (3.78 BB/9 entering the day, compared to a 2.32 career mark) and it’s easy to say he’s simply not the same pitcher that he once was.  Maybe the injuries/mileage on his arm has caught up to him, but time will tell.  At this point all you can do is keep him stashed on your bench and see if he can figure it out.

 

7) Nomar Mazara continues to crush the baseball…
When he started off slow people were ready to jump ship, but after going 2-5 with 1 HR, 5 RBI and 1 R he’s suddenly hitting .285 with 6 HR and 22 RBI.  He’s now homered in three straight games and has RBI in four straight (10 RBI).  The big change over the past four games has been cutting down on his strikeouts (2 K vs. 2 BB over 18 AB), though it’s fair to be concerned as he continues to pile up the groundballs (54.9% entering the day).  It will be interesting to see if he can continue his power spike considering that (he entered the day with a 21.7% HR/FB and last season posted a 46.5% groundball rate).  There’s concern, but at 23-years old it’s possible that he has developed additional power and will only see the HR totals rise as he also puts more balls in the air.  That would be a significant development and makes him an intriguing player to watch moving forward.

 

8) Reynaldo Lopez fails to record a strikeout…
Taking on the Twins he allowed 5 R (4 ER) on 6 H and 2 BB, striking out 0, over 6.2 IP.  He ultimately took a no decision, but obviously the line isn’t quite what anyone would’ve hoped for.  It’s the third straight start where he’s lacked strikeout stuff, with 4 K over 18 IP (and he had 4 swinging strikes or fewer in two of those three starts).  That alone makes him a tough sell right now, and when coupling with the risk of home runs (he entered with a 47.1% fly ball rate and generated just 6 groundballs vs. 14 fly balls) and lackluster control (4.45 BB/9) and it’s beginning to look like the risks far outweigh the rewards.  There’s still upside, but expecting him to thrive each time out would be a mistake.

 

9) A strong return for Jaime Barria…
Making his third start in the Majors, Barria returned and was impressive against the Orioles as he allowed 2 ER on 4 H and 2 BB, striking out 2, over 6.0 IP to earn the W.  It’s a strong outing, but he now has 6 K vs. 6 BB over 13.0 IP.  That hasn’t been indicative of his ability though, as he has 25 K vs. 7 BB over 27.0 IP in six Triple-A starts over the past two seasons.  Is that enough, though?  Control has always been his strongest asset, as he isn’t a groundball pitcher (despite 12 groundballs vs. 3 fly balls yesterday) and the strikeout stuff is limited.  It was a nice game, but don’t get excited.

 

10) Another big day for Dee Gordon atop Seattle’s lineup…
He went 3-4 with 2 R and 2 SB yesterday, giving him five straight multi-hit games (16-23, 1 RBI, 7 R and 5 SB).  He’s now hitting .355 with 20 R and 14 SB, as he’s paired with Jean Segura to form a dynamic one-two punch to help set the stage for the offense.  Of course he’s continuing to struggle to draw a walk (1.6% entering the day) and even with his speed a .404 BABIP is going to regress.  The fact that he’s only scored 20 R, which ties him for 29th in the league, when he is nearly guaranteed to see his OBP fall (.380 compared to a career mark of .330) is a little bit concerning.  That’s not to say that he won’t be productive, especially as one of the better stolen base threats in the game, but even with the strong numbers there’s a little bit of disappointment.

Sources – ESPN, Fangraphs, CBS Sports

Missed our Top 100 prospect rankings?  Make sure to check it out by clicking here.  

6 comments

  1. bbboston says:

    Thoughts on Gurriel so far?

    • bbboston says:

      Also, curious about your thoughts on Profar too? THANKS!!!

      BBBoston

    • MARK says:

      No room at the inn. Solarte is the best Toronto Hitter not named Josh Donaldson. He gets 2B. SS goes to A Diaz.

    • Rotoprofessor says:

      I don’t think Diaz gets 2B. If Gurriel is hitting, he’s going to be in the lineup and he seems to be figuring it out in the Majors. I do like him, but not sure he makes a significant difference.

      As for Profar, he’s never going to match the hype but he still has 10/10 or more potential.

  2. Barry says:

    I’ve plugged in Semien at SS the last 2 weeks. I have an offer for Torres for one of my pitchers. My pitching Is performing the best in the league so far with Verlander, Car-Mart, Godley, Manaea, Mikolas, J. Gray, Lucchesi, Gibson, and now this morning C. Smith. (Outbid for Buehler). Could you please advise me the one or combination of two pitchers you think would be fair value. Thanks in advance for your feedback.

    • Rotoprofessor says:

      I wouldn’t give up your top arms for Torres, because it’s not guaranteed he sticks in the lineup or produces all year. I could see giving up Gibson/Smith, and maybe I could be convinced about Lucchesi. Above that, though, I’m staying pat

Leave a Reply

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