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10 Important Stories From 04/11/17 Box Scores: Is Ozuna Breaking Out, Does Lynn Still Have Value & More

Wednesday, April 12, 2017 1:42
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(Before It's News)

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

While he settled for a no decision, Carlos Carrasco was dominant allowing 1 ER on 4 H and 0 BB, striking out 7, over 7.0 IP (his one mistake was a solo home run to Todd Frazier).  It was a monster day for Yoenis Cespedes, going 4-6 with 3 HR, 5 RBI and 3 R.  Drew Pomeranz came off the DL and impressed, allowing 1 ER on 4 H and 1 BB, striking out 6, over 6.0 IP in defeating the Orioles.  What else happened on the field that we need to know about?  Let’s take a look:

1) Matt Boyd dominates the Twins…
The southpaw went 6.0 shutout innings allowing 1 H and 2 BB, striking out 6.  Before we get too excited, there are a few warning signs to consider.  For one he gave up a significant number of fly balls (10) as compared to groundballs (2).  He also wasn’t missing many bats, with 11 swinging strikes and 23 foul balls.  With those types of numbers it shouldn’t be surprising that he’s struggled with home runs over his Major League career (2.01 HR/9) and also hasn’t shown an impressive strikeout rate (7.28 K/9 in the Majors).  The former is likely going to be the biggest issue facing him, though the latter doesn’t help.  Combined it makes him more of a streaming option as opposed to a pitcher to trust.

2) Another solid outing from James Shields…
Does that mean we are buying though?  He looked like the “old” James Shields, allowing 1 ER on 2 H and 2 BB, striking out 6, over 5.1 IP against a tough Cleveland Indian lineup.  That said he continues to allow a significant number of fly balls (7 vs. 3 groundballs) and the lone run did come via a home run.  He’s now walked 7 batters over his first 10.2 innings of work this season, and that paired with the potential home run issues are not a good sign.  Sure the ERA looks palatable, but don’t get excited.

3) Scooter Gennett pushing for playing time…
With Zack Cozart out of the lineup the Reds had Jose Peraza at SS and Gennett at 2B, and it’s possible we see the latter manning 2B a lot more for a bit.  Gennett went 3-4 with 1 HR, 3 RBI and 2 R, giving him 2 HR and 5 RBI over the past two days (and 3 HR on the season).  Obviously Gennett has never shown this type of power before (25+ HR threat type stuff) and isn’t an elite speed option, but he has just 2 K over his first 19 AB and has always offered 10/10 (or maybe 15/15) potential.  With Peraza (1-5, 1 R, 1 SB) off to a slow start, he could be the odd man out once Cozart returns to the lineup.  It’s something to keep in mind if you need a short-term answer at MI.

4) Lucas Duda showing signs of value…
Obviously we don’t want to take too much out of a game where the Mets slugged 7 HR and 20 H, but Duda was one of two Mets to finish a triple shy of the cycle (Asdrubal Cabrera was the other).  Duda went 4-6 with 2 HR, 2 RBI and 2 R, giving him 3 HR (as well as 2 doubles) and 6 RBI over his first 24 AB.  He does have 10 K, so it’s not that it’s all perfect, but he’s surprisingly crushed LHP thus far (4-7, with 2 HR and 2 doubles) and that could give him full-time AB as opposed to potentially falling into a platoon.  He always had power potential, so if he’s still available now would be a good time to try and scoop him up and see if he can keep this going.

5) Struggles across the board for Lance Lynn…
Taking on the Nationals he allowed 6 R (4 earned) on 5 H and 4 BB, striking out 4, over 5.0 IP.  Obviously his control was a problem, and he also gave up 3 HR (including one to Daniel Murphy, who went 4-5 with 1 HR, 5 RBI and 2 R).  He was a lot more successful in his first outing, which came against the Cubs, though even then it was clear that he struggled with his efficiency as he needed 98 pitches to get through 5.1 innings of work.  Having missed all of ’16 it shouldn’t be a surprise that there could be some early season bumps along the way.  For now he should be considered more of a bench stash, until he shows he can find consistency.

6) Keon Broxton flashes full skill set…
He finished 2-5 with 1 HR, 1 RBI, 2 R and 1 SB, showing off his blend of power and speed.  Of course he also struck out 3 times, giving him 8 K vs. 2 BB over his first 16 AB of the season.  That was always going to be the biggest question facing him, and the other skills aren’t going to matter if he can’t get the strikeout mark in check.  While his potential makes him well worth owning, it also wouldn’t be surprising if he ultimately lost his job.  Keep that in mind before becoming infatuated with the intrigue.

7) The hot stretch of Marcell Ozuna continues…
It was a big day, going 2-2 with 2 HR, 6 RBI and 2 R, putting him at .423 with 3 HR and 12 RBI in the early going.  Obviously he’s not going to maintain that type of pace, but we all know he has power potential and he’s also showing great plate discipline thus far (5 K over 26 AB).  The latter was one of the bigger questions facing him (last season he posted an 11.6% SwStr% and 32.9% O-Swing%), and if he has made such dramatic improvements it’s possible he’s in store for a career year.  We aren’t going to assume he’ll be able to maintain it, but keep a close eye on it.

8) Another strong start from Antonio Senzatela…
He hasn’t faced the best offenses in the league (Milwaukee and San Diego), but that doesn’t take away from his strong start.  Yesterday, taking on the Padres, he allowed 2 ER on 5 H and 1 B, striking out 5, over 7.0 IP to earn his first career W.  Obviously there are risks, especially pitching in Coors Field, as he has 4 BB over 12.0 IP as well as a 1.00 GO/AO (which could lead to some home run issues).  There’s upside, but there’s also risk, so he remains more of a deep league option/streamer as opposed to a pitcher to trust.

9) An unimpressive outing from Joe Musgrove…
Taking on the Mariners he allowed 3 ER on 7 H and 1 BB, striking out 2, over 5.1 IP.  He simply wasn’t fooling anyone, generating 8 swinging strikes.  Before we chalk that up to being the second time he faced the Mariners in less than a week, it is an identical number to what he had in his first outing and he’s managed just 4 K over 10.1 IP over his first two starts.  He needs to start getting more strikeouts if he wants to be successful, though he did show better control and groundball stuff (9 groundballs vs. 4 fly balls last night).  Don’t give up on him as the upside remains, but keep a close eye on him.

10) We get both the good and the bad from Robbie Ray…
Tossing 6.2 shutout innings against the Giants, he showed both strikeout stuff (8 K) and terrible control (5 BB).  With 8 BB over 12.1 IP over his first two starts, we all know he’s walking a fine line and could implode at any time.  He also brings the risk of allowing a lot of home runs, especially when pitching at home, though the strikeouts are going to remain.  He has as much upside as anyone, but just be prepared for some bumps along the way.

Sources – ESPN,, Fangraphs

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