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10 Important Stories From 04/06/17 Box Scores: Is Matt Harvey “Back”, Sano Slugging & More

Friday, April 7, 2017 5:17
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(Before It's News)

by Ray Kuhn

Quick show of hands, who saw the match-up of Antonio Senzatela against Chase Anderson and expected a pitching duel? What about James Shields allowing just one run in 5.1 innings for the victory; although he did walk five, but allowed just two hits? Perhaps Yasiel Puig’s two home run outburst was a little more expected, but not by much. Things like that are what keeps us coming back day after day.

Let’s take a look at some of the highlights from Thursday’s action:

1) Do the Rockies Have Some Pitching…

We know Colorado can hit, even if we didn’t see it against Anderson on Thursday. Granted it was in Milwaukee, but it’s not often we see the Rockies win a game by the score of 2-1, but it happened yesterday. Virtually unknown until he began receiving some buzz near the end of Spring Training, when he was locking down his rotation spot, Senzatela pitched five strong innings earning just a no decision for his efforts. He allowed just two hits and three walks in five innings of work while striking out six. Last season, Senzatela started just seven games for Double-A (his highest minor league level) and recorded a 1.82 ERA. The same size is small, and he is young, but the right-hander has had success in the minor leagues, 2.41 career ERA, and should be monitored; carefully considering he also has to deal with Coors Field.

2) Chicago is the Land of Opportunity…

For good reason, the better a real is in reality, the more we target their players from a fantasy perspective. But that doesn’t mean we should ignore those teams who are rebuilding; especially in deeper leagues. At 26, Matt Davidson is becoming too old to be considered a prospect any more. Yesterday, he received his first start of the season at DH for the White Sox, and Davidson made the most of it. With Cody Asche currently his main competition, Davidson shouldn’t have any issues keeping the job if he produces. And that is what he did against the Tigers hitting a three run homer, tripling, drawing a walk, and scoring three runs. Davidson has shown power in the minor leagues, so all he needs is to find consistency and playing time. While I’m not running to my waiver wire just yet, there is a little more value here than in Daniel Nava who went deep twice for the Phillies on Thursday.

3) Not All Young Players Are Struggling in Minnesota…

While Byron Buxton is having a rough time getting going this season, batting just .071 through three games, Miguel Sano is taking things in the opposite direction. The Twins’ third baseman is batting .444 so far this season with an OPS of 1.583. On Thursday, he went 2 for 3 against Kansas City while drawing a walk and scoring twice. He already has five RBI in 2017 and, more importantly, Sano has struck out just one in in nine at bats. We know all about the potential in his bat, it’s just a matter of him truly adjusting to major league pitching. Through one series against the Royals, we have seen what that looks like, but don’t go all in just yet.

4) Can We Expect Anything from Jason Heyward…

At this point, I would still lean towards “no”, but it is early in the season. Sometimes, it’s hard to forget that he is just 27 years old, but from a fantasy standpoint, Heyward has been a disappointment. Batting sixth in a lineup as good as the Cubs’ should be a boon to his value, but so far that hasn’t been the case. Heyward did pick up two singles yesterday, which gives him four hits on the season and a .333 average after his first series. This is not enough of a sample size to draw any conclusions from, but it is worth keeping an eye on after all of the talk this winter and spring about his revamped swing.

5) There is no Sophmore Slump in LA, Just Yet…

So far this season, Corey Seager looks like he hasn’t missed a beat batting second for the Dodgers. The shortstop continued his solid start to the season on Wednesday with a 2 for 3 effort. Seager, who also walked twice, doubled and singled while driving in two runs to bring his season total for RBI to five and raise his batting average to .313. When you have Yasiel Puig and company blasting home runs, it is possible for Seager’s steady production to fall under the radar, but in the early stages of 2017, the shortstop continues to look locked in.

6) The Early Power is There from Ryon Healy…

If you have power, it plays regardless of your home park. The A’s appear committed to Healy this season, he has started all four games (one each at the corner infield spots and two at DH), but he is going to have to do more than just hit home runs. Healy went deep on Thursday, a two run shot, which was his second home run of the season. Aside from that, Healy just has one single to his name through the first four games of the season, but it is also important to note that he has yet to strikeout. Healy will receive plenty of playing time with the A’s this season, and the potential for 25 home runs is real, but we have to make sure the batting average doesn’t become a liability.

7) It Doesn’t Matter Where He Bats…

After starting the season off batting second, J.T Realmuto was moved down to the sixth spot in the order yesterday, and all he did was continue to hit. Realmuto was 3 for 4 with a walk as he raised his batting average on the young season to .583. In the eighth inning, Realmuto went deep for the second time this season to tie the game with a two run homer off Shawn Kelley (interesting to note as we continue to monitor Washington’s bullpen). The catching position is often a waste land when it comes to fantasy production, so there is a little more emphasis on production here, but Realmuto appears to be up to the task three games into the season.

8) The Dark Knight is Back…

The funny though, is that the Matt Harvey we saw on Thursday wasn’t exactly the same pitcher we had become accustomed to seeing. For the most part, the velocity was there (per Stat Cast he averaged 94.3 miles per hour), but not to the extent it previously was. Harvey is working his way back from injury, and it was his first start of the season, but he appeared to be more in control on the mound. While the velocity was there when he needed it to be, Harvey wasn’t concerned with it and had a very efficient outing while pitching to contact. The right-hander needed just 77 pitches, 55 strikes, to get through 6.2 innings. Harvey, who struck out four batters, allowed just three hits, and two of those were solo home runs from Matt Kemp. In time, more strikeouts will come, but this is an outing fantasy owners would take from Harvey all season.

9) Marcus Stroman Keeps up the Momentum…

It will be hard for Stroman to duplicate his last outing from the WBC, especially in April, but he did carry over that success to the beginning of the regular season. Making his debut on Thursday against Tampa Bay, Stroman wasted no time getting back in the victory column. The right-hander scattered six hits, to go along with two walks, across 6.1 innings while allowing just one run and striking out five. Joe Biagini entered in the seventh inning to get of a jam after Stroman exited with 88 pitches and two runners on base. For those of you with questions about Toronto’s bullpen until Roberto Osuna returns, Joe Smith took the torch for the eighth inning, and then Jason Grilli closed things out for the victory.

10) David Peralta Makes His Presence Felt…

There are many spots in baseball, especially as left-handed hitter, better than the one inhabited by David Peralta. The Arizona right-fielder gets to bat between A.J Pollock and Paul Goldschmidt on a nightly basis, so seeing pitches to hit shouldn’t be an issue. After a slow start tot he season, Peralta got things going on Thursday with a home run and an RBI double after being hitless to start the season. While there are certainly other outfielders that are more exciting, Peralta should not be ignored as he appears to be healthy after just 171 at bats last season.


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