10 Important Stories From 06/06/18 Box Scores: Valuing “Flashy” Names (Profar/Bundy), Must Buy Opportunity & More

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

It was a huge day for Anthony Rendon, going 4-5 with 3 RBI and 4 R.  Carlos Carrasco finally snapped his downward spiral (11 ER over 9.1 IP in his previous two starts), allowing 1 ER on 8 H and 1 BB, striking out 10, over 7.0 IP to defeat the Brewers.  Paul Goldschmidt went 4-5 with 2 RBI and 1 R, including 3 doubles (he now has 4 doubles in his past two games), potentially showing signs of finally turning things around.  What else happened on the field that we need to know about?  Let’s take a look:

 

1) Dylan Bundy earns the W in a great pitcher’s duel…
Do you want to chalk the numbers up to some impressive performances, or was it simply two terrible offenses matching up?  Either way, it shouldn’t take away from a pair of strong outings:

  • Zack Wheeler – 7.0 IP, 0 R, 3 H, 1 BB, 5 K
  • Dylan Bundy – 7.0 IP, 0 R, 3 H, 3 BB, 5 K

Both pitchers had 11 swinging strikes on the afternoon, with Bundy generating a few more groundballs (9 groundballs vs. 7 fly balls).  The latter is the key, as Bundy has struggled with keeping the ball in the ballpark (16 HR allowed).  Entering the day with a 34.1% groundball rate and pitching in the AL East, unless he continues to show the improved mark the long ball is going to continue to haunt him.  The strikeouts and control (he entered the day with a 2.62 BB/9) are nice, and at the least he’s a streaming option, but it’s hard to get overly optimistic overall.

 

2) Has Michael Taylor figured something out…
He had a big day yesterday, going 3-5 with 3 RBI, 2 R and 1 SB, but more importantly was that he didn’t strike out.  In fact he’s now gone 11 straight games without striking out more than once, with 5 K over 38 AB in this stretch.  He entered the day with a 29.9% strikeout rate overall, though his SwStr% of 14.3% would represent a career best (and he had it at 9.4% over his first 14 PA of June).  There’s no questioning his power potential and speed, so if he can maintain this improved mark there’s reason to believe.  All of a sudden he looks promising and if you can buy now before it’s too late.

 

3) Is it time to give up on Chase Anderson…
Taking on the Indians it was another poor outing for Anderson, who allowed 3 ER on 4 H and 3 BB, striking out 4, over 4.1 IP.  The “positive” was that he didn’t allow a home run, though the fact that he generated just 1 groundball vs. 8 fly balls doesn’t give much hope.  He also mustered just 8 swinging strikes, meaning he continues to lack showing any of the three skills we look for (entering the day):

  • Strikeouts – 5.79 K/9 (8.3% SwStr%)
  • Control – 3.41 BB/9
  • Groundballs – 34.7%

He was an obvious regression risk heading into the season, and while this is a bit extreme he’s also not giving us much reason to believe.

 

4) Should we believe Clay Buchholz is “back”…
He would appear to be solidifying a spot in the Diamondbacks rotation, after allowing 2 ER on 7 H and 1 BB, striking out 7, over 6.0 IP against the Giants.  It’s the fourth straight start where he’s allowed 2 ER or fewer, giving him a 1.88 ERA and 0.83 WHIP on the season.  However we have to consider the opponents as well: at New York Mets, at Oakland, vs. Miami and at San Francisco.  None of those matchups are going to scare you and his next start against the Pirates may be a bit more telling (though it to isn’t going to particularly worry you).  Of course he benefited from a 97.8% strand rate and .163 BABIP over his first three starts, while his control (3 BB over 24.0 IP) is a lock to regress and home runs should quickly become an issue (31.4% groundball rate entering the day, 5 groundballs vs. 6 fly balls yesterday).  He’s an implosion waiting to happen.

 

5) Matt Kemp just keeps on raking…
While Caleb Ferguson disappointed in his MLB debut (1.2 IP, 4 ER, 2 H, 3 BB, 3 K), the Dodgers offense did their best to overcome it.  They ultimately fell short, despite scoring 9 R, with Cody Bellinger (1-3, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 2 R) joining Kemp in leading the way.  After Kemp went 3-4 with 1 HR, 5 RBI and 3 R he’s now hitting .353 with 10 HR and 39 RBI over 187 AB on the year.  It’s a tremendous story, but can he maintain it?  He continues to show poor discipline (he entered the day with a 14.4% SwStr%, 34.5% O-Swing%) and will regress in both his Hard% (47.9%) and BABIP (.400).  The power is legitimate (he entered with a 16.4% HR/FB), but no one would’ve been surprised if he hit 25 HR on the season.  It’s the average that’s going to plummet (and with it will go some of his RBI/R production), so be prepared for that.  Now is likely the perfect time to try and sell him, in case someone in your league believes that Kemp can maintain this type of production.

 

6) Does the Blue Jays’ Sam Gaviglio warrant our attention…
He’s had back-to-back tough matchups, but he’s answered the bell and then some.  After allowing 3 ER to the Red Sox last time out, Gaviglio matched Sonny Gray (8.0 IP, 0 R, 2 H, 2 BB, 8 K) pitch-for-pitch as he tossed 7.0 shutout innings allowing 3 H and 3 BB while striking out 4.  He did a tremendous job generating groundballs (12 vs. 5 fly balls), something he’s shown while working his way up the ladder (minor league career 1.62 GO/AO), and control has always been a strong suit (minor league career 2.3 BB/9).  The problem is going to be a lack of strikeouts (only 8 swinging strikes yesterday), and that’s going to limit his upside potential.  That’ll keep him as more of a low-end/streaming option, just because his value is going to be capped.

 

7) An unimpressive victory for Jon Gray…
Sure he got the W, but that’s really where the positives end coming out of his performance.  He needed 101 pitches to get through 5.0 innings against the Reds, allowing 3 ER on 7 H and 3 BB, striking out 5 (this wasn’t bad either, as he did have 15 swinging strikes).  He now owns a 5.66 ERA and 1.51 WHIP, allowing 3+ ER and failing to go past 6.0 innings in each of his past five starts (including 9 BB over 14.1 IP in his past three outings).  At least part of his struggles can be “luck” based (63.5% strand rate, .376 BABIP), and he has been better overall in both his groundball rate (47.9% entering the day) and control (2.63 BB/9).  That does give a sense of optimism, even pitching in Coors Field, and he’s worth stashing on the bench until he can start to get the results.

 

8) Jurrickson Profar finally erupts for the Rangers…
He’s gotten an extended look, and while the overall numbers continue to be unimpressive he has finally started to wake up at the dish.  He led yesterday’s assault on Daniel Mengden (who allowed 6 ER over 4.0 IP, courtesy of 4 HR), going 3-4 with 2 HR, 5 RBI and 3 R.  He now has 3 HR over his past two games, and with 33 K over 202 AB along with ample extra base hits (18 doubles, 4 triples and 6 HR) there would appear to be a lot of upside.  Part of the problem as been weak contact (24.0% Hard% entering the day) and too many popups (12.5%), and if he can’t improve on the former the rest of the production may never be there.  Time will tell, but for now he’s going to remain in the lineup and is heating up so capitalize while you can.

 

9) Another poor showing for Jack Flaherty…
While Lewis Brinson’s production is going to get a lot of the attention coming out of this game (he went 3-5 with 2 HR, 2 RBI and 2 R, though one of the home runs came against Jedd Gyorko), it’s Flaherty that deserves to be discussed.  He allowed 6 R (4 earned) on 8 H and 1 BB, striking out 6, over 5.0 IP and has now allowed 7 ER on 15 H and 1 BB over his last 10.0 IP (2 starts).  The slide isn’t a complete surprise (he entered the day with an 83.3% strand rate), but more important is that he continues to show strong control and more than enough strikeouts (he had 12 swinging strikes yesterday, after entering with a 10.9% SwStr%).  As long as he keeps the ball in the ballpark (42.0% groundball rate) the results will be there, and while this one is frustrating given the matchup it shouldn’t change his outlook.

 

10) Jose Quintana turns in another strong start…
Taking on the Phillies he allowed 2 ER on 3 H and 2 BB, striking out 10, over 5.2 IP, giving him three strong showings in his past four (2 ER or fewer).  He’s suddenly sitting with a respectable 4.20 ERA, though his control continues to be lackluster (4.45 BB/9 entering the day), he doesn’t generate many swinging strikes (8.1% SwStr% entering the day, though he did have 14 swinging strikes yesterday) and home runs will continue to be a question (1.23 HR/9 entering the day, courtesy of a 45.1% groundball rate) as the weather warms in Wrigley.  It’s been an ice turnaround, and his name is going to bring appeal, but the questions could simply outweigh the upside (regardless of the numbers he’s posted in the past).

 

Sources – ESPN, Fangraphs, Baseball Reference, MILB.com

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

11 comments

  1. Trevor says:

    Hey prof, I was offered kela and McCullers for Upton. Need wins but not sure if its worth giving up upton.

    • Rotoprofessor says:

      It’s not crazy if you hve OF depth. McCullers has the value, and Kela is locked in barring a trade. It really comes down to need though

  2. Randy says:

    Do you think Taylor with stay in the starting lineup when Eaton returns? It would seem to me that it’s more likely that Soto stays as a starter at this point.

    • Rotoprofessor says:

      It’s going to be interesting to see how they play it, but I’d guess they’ll rotate them all (with Harper actually being in the lineup). Eaton is likely to be eased back in and these situations tend to work themselves out

  3. Marcus Storm says:

    Prof.,
    Apologize in advance for longish list to follow, but I am apoplectic about this…
    In H2H points and considering start opportunities and run support, which three would you prefer to own ROS?
    Jalen Beeks, Jordan Lyles, Caleb Smith, Caleb Ferguson, Fernando Romero, Tony DeSclafani, Dennis Santana, Rey Lopez, Paul Blackburn, Andrew Suarez, Zach Wheeler.

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