Take 30 seconds and vote in our Week 4 survey (plus see survey results from Week 3)!
Bad hair isn’t the only thing that’s plaguing Buchholz (AP Photo, courtesy www.weei.com)
Clay Buchholz struggled with his command for most of his brief outing, but he did suffer from some bad luck as the majority of the hits were either ground balls or bloop hits. For the year he has a 7.71 ERA and a 1.93 WHIP, but I’m not too concerned because he has 16 strikeouts and only three walks. I don’t need to look at the advanced metrics to know he’s been unlucky and is pitching better than his ERA. Buy low on Buchholz.
Craig Kimbrel started the ninth inning by walking Jarrod Saltalamacchia, and then Adeiny Hechavarria was awarded second base after he was interfered with by Evan Gattis. Derek Dietrich hit a solid double to left field, driving in one run. Kimbrel proceeded to strike out the next three batters. Despite two rough outings in a row I’m not worried about Kimbrel because the quality of his stuff is still the same.
Curtis Granderson looked lost at the plate again, striking out three times against a minor league pitcher and fringe average reliever. For the year he has a .121 batting average with a 31% strikeout rate and it’s not going to get better. The image below shows his contact rate against pitches within the strike zone (source: FanGraphs). He currently has the lowest contact rate of his career and is trending downward, which indicates there will not be much room for improvement. If I owned him I would either trade or drop him; at the very least he wouldn’t be in my starting lineup.
After a solid outing against the Diamondbacks, Jenrry Mejia looked even better last night. For the first five innings he commanded all of his pitches and threw a higher percentage of non-fastballs. The slider had really good bite to it and he was able to throw the curveball to both righties and lefties. His command got a little loose in the fifth, but he was helped by a great defensive play by Daniel Murphy and Ruben Tejada. In the sixth inning he got two quick outs but looked gassed. He proceeded to walk the next two hitters before being pulled from the game. Since Mejia doesn’t hold his fastball velocity and his propensity to lose command later in games he’s only going to be 5-6 inning starter, which decreases the likelihood of earning wins, but he is someone I would stream in his next start against the Marlins in deeper leagues.
Last year Tyler Lyons posted a 19.3% strikeout rate, 47.5% ground ball rate, and a 1.23 WHIP in 12 appearances (eight starts), which on the surface looks promising for owners in deeper leagues. He features an 89-91 mph four-seam and two-seam fastballs with a sweepy 80-81 mph curve ball that can be used against righties and lefties. He’ll also feature a changeup to righties.
Like Mejia, Lyons lost his command in the sixth inning and should have been pulled during the inning, but he found a way to get through it. Last year Lyons only had a 17.6% strikeout rate as a starter so he doesn’t miss a lot of bats, but I love ground ball pitchers who pitch in the NL. His next start is at home against the Pirates, which is a matchup I’m avoiding. However, his following start is at the Cubs, which is a good stream option for deeper mixed leagues.
Deep League Pickup
Cameron Maybin could rejoin the Padres during their 10-game road trip. He started a rehab assignment in AAA back on April 11. In only 27 PA he’s batting .192, which isn’t too concerning considering the small sample size. When I evaluate minor league numbers I always look at the percentage of extra base hits; this is more important for power hitters. He’s still making a good percentage of hard contact. The stat I’m most concerned about is his .185 OBP because he is supposed to be leadoff hitter.
Maybin has been in the majors since 2007 and it’s easy to think he’s in his early 30s by now, but in fact he only turned 27 three weeks ago. He still has 40 steal and 10 home run upside, which makes him an enticing pickup. However, he does have an injury history and I don’t see a clear path to consistent playing time. Seth Smith and Will Venable should be platooned against lefties, but they’re going to play every day against righties and once Carlos Quentin finally comes off the DL he’s going to play every day. Even though he’ll most likely be a platoon bat, Maybin is worth a flier in a 14-team mixed leagues.