Eno Sarris

Baseball Daily Dose

print article archives RSS

Youth Reigns, Stanton Rains

Thursday, June 02, 2011


Youth reigned supreme Wednesday night.

Mike Stanton has only been of drinking age for six months, but he has grown man power. He's now slugging .568 after coming up a double short of the cycle Wednesday. Along with Logan Morrison, Gaby Sanchez and Hanley Ramirez, the offensive future in Florida is bright. He's still striking out too much to expect a batting average much past .260, but with power down around the league, his skill set will only become more valuable. Showing similar power is young Jay Bruce of the Reds, who hit his ninth home run in his past 14 games. Don't trade these guys away in keeper leagues.

Asdrubal Cabrera has added power to his game this year, but he's no Mike Stanton. A small change in approach at the plate - Cabrera has decided to swing harder at certain pitches and avoid choking up on the bat as much - and the 25-year-old Indians shortstop has broken out in a big way. With his speed, he can even handle a little less power and will likely finish the season with a strong batting average and 20/20 type statistics. He continued his assault with four hits (three doubles) and three RBI against the Blue Jays. To sum up how bad it's gotten for Billy Butler power-wise, even with some regression to his career norms, he probably won't have a higher slugging percentage than Cabrera by the end of the year. He did deliver a walk-off home run against the Angels, but it was not a no-doubter. In fact, it was originally ruled a double. It was his fourth home run of the season, and he needs to start hitting more fly balls in order to rack up more home runs.

Tommy Hanson is the pitching entrant in this young group of stars that shone Wednesday night. He gave up three hits and two runs in six innings (with four strikeouts and two walks) in order to pick up the win against the Padres. He's showing his best strikeout and ground-ball rates, and even with a little regression he'll be an elite pitcher this year. He's had some problems with fading late in the season, but a strenuous workout regimen this off-season might have handled that. Brian Matusz is another exciting young pitcher, if not with the same promise as Hanson. He struck out three and walked none while keeping the Mariners to one run in 5 2/3 innings, but there were a couple caveats. One, it was the Mariners, and two, he had ten fly balls to three ground balls. He needs to strike more out or he'll be in trouble in Camden Yards some days.

* On the other side of the spectrum was a little veteran resurgence. Javier Vazquez has been building a little steam, and he held Arizona to three runs in six innings. Most notably, he struck out five and didn't walk any and now has a 2.84 ERA in his last three starts. Velocity has been a big part of his problem, and he only pushed the gun to 89.5 on average with his fastball Wednesday night. He's not quite what he used to be, but he looks like a spot-starter in most leagues at least.

* Pitch pitchers on pitchability with the following mantra: it's good to miss bats. Michael Pineda does not need lecturing, as he struck out seven and walked one while keeping the Orioles to one run in seven innings. He's great, already. Dan Hudson only struck out three Marlins and he got hurt for ten hits and four runs in seven innings. He'll be fine and is still a buy-low because of his normally strong strikeout rate. Kyle Drabek hasn't been missing bats, and four runs in 2/3 of an inning have his ERA predictably bloated. A one-to-one K/BB ratio isn't cutting it. Shaun Marcum has gotten a strikeout boost by moving to the weaker league, and if his health holds up he'll be excellent all year. He struck out seven and walked none in a no-decision against the Reds. Scott Baker has the best strikeout rate of his career, meaning his current work is sustainable most likely. He gave up four runs to the Tigers, but struck out five in six innings. Felipe Paulino has always had the whiffs, but has struggled with the control and getting ground balls. He pitched five scoreless against the Angels in his first attempt at the AL. He could be a pickup in the very deepest leagues.

If you're going to be an exception to this rule, you have to do it with control and ground balls. Kevin Correia is the ML wins leader with eight with this approach. He got four in six innings and that counted as a big whiff game for him. Still, it's hard to depend on him as a staff leader without those strikeouts. Rick Porcello walked three and struck out four, but got more ground balls than fly balls in his win against the Twins. So far this year, his grounder rate has regressed, but he's added a few strikeouts. He's still a borderline fantasy play in most setups.

* Closer updates! Vicente Padilla will be activated Friday in Los Angeles, and Kenley Jansen threw without any pain in his shoulder and might be back after the minimum. Both pitchers are probably a little further down in the bullpen pecking order in the meantime. Javy Guerra's control might not hold, but Matt Guerrier is steady enough and Rubby De La Rosa is the exciting one. Oh, and late Wednesday night Don Mattingly indicated that Padilla might be the closer when he returns. What a mess. Mark Melancon struck out two and walked one while earning his fourth save and looks to have put a firm grip on that job in Houston - maybe even when Brandon Lyon returns. Lyon is pitching a simulated game Thursday. Neftali Feliz has been looking terrible since his return from the DL, but he did pitch a a scoreless ninth to pick up his 11th save. He did not notch a strikeout however. Ryan Franklin undid some recent good work by allowing two runs in two innings in the Cards' 11th-inning loss Wednesday.

* Some hurt dudes should be back shortly. Pedro Alvarez homered in his first rehab game and it looks like his quad is okay. Third base might get a big boost in the next few weeks as Pablo Sandoval will begin a rehab assignment this weekend as well. Aramis Ramirez took a bad hop in the face and looked like he might be out for a while, but it turns out that he just got stitches in his lip and is day-to-day. In San Diego, Kyle Phillips hit his second home run in three days but Nick Hundley is a week away from returning from his oblique injury after taking batting practice. He'll hit .250 with some power, just like Juan Uribe, who is due back sometime this weekend from his hip injury. Busty Vernon Wells is taking batting practice and should go on a rehab assignment shortly for his groin muscle. Derrek Lee was supposed to start rehab but the death of his grandfather has that plan on hold for a few days. Tsuyoshi Nishioka is playing in extended spring training, the first good news in a while. Aroldis Chapman was supposed to be back Friday, but the team will watch the rest of his rehab appearances before making a decision. Amazingly, Phil Hughes threw a simulated inning and could go out on a rehab assignment soon. Believe it when you see it.

Some are on the other way. The Marlins will make a decision on Hanley Ramirez by Friday. Daisuke Matsuzaka is now leaning towards undergoing Tommy John surgery, meaning he's droppable in all formats. Dan Haren will have his back examined Thursday after falling to the ground in pain during a bullpen session. Matt Holliday aggravated his old quad injury and had to go on the DL. He should only miss the minimum according to his GM, though. Fellow Card Kyle McClellan might also only miss the minimum with his hip, but there was a strain, which means there will be some rehab. Jim Thome (quad) or Jason Kubel (foot) will hit the DL for the Twins, says their manager, meaning Ben Revere is probably on his way back to the majors. Also on the way to the doctor is Clay Hensley after he left the game in obvious pain. Marlon Byrd will miss six weeks with his facial fractures. Good luck buddy. Tigers Phil Coke (ankle) and Magglio Ordonez (ankle) will both begin rehab assignments Friday.

National League Quick Hits: Chipper Jones is dealing with a sore groin but is trying to play through it … Roy Oswalt gave up two runs and six hits in five innings, but his three strikeouts in five innings is indicative of his reduced ability to get whiffs this year; He's a mild sell-high … Michael Bourn had two hits and two steals and loves playing the Cubs … Ryan Roberts hit his eighth home run and should stick at the position all year even when the power slows as it should … Wandy Rodriguez (elbow) threw a light bullpen Tuesday and says it feels better … Shane Victorino (hamstring) should be back by Friday … Allen Craig looks like a decent pickup in most leagues as soon as he adds second base eligibility, as the no-glover can hit - he pinch-hit a two-run home run off of Tim Lincecum Wednesday … Jason Bourgeois (oblique) should return by the end of the weekend … Justin Turner will similarly have an okay batting average at a tough position, even if he'll only hit home runs (like he did against the Pirates Wednesday) relatively rarely with his ground-ball rate … Lance Lynn will come up to replace McClellan in the Cards rotation and has some upside but is not an automatic add … Clayton Richard gave up three runs and eight hits in fewer than five innings against the Braves and is a must-sit on the road still … John Lannan is not striking anybody out, but with his groundball rate his current work is probably sustainable; He held the Phillies to an unearned run in 5 1/3 … Brett Myers held the Cubs to one run in six, but he's not much better than his current ERA or WHIP … Chris Capuano has been better at home, but two strikeouts in six innings against the Pirates was not a good game, even if Pedro Beato allowed three of his inherited runners to score … The Diamondbacks acquired catcher Lucas May from the Royals, but it's mostly a move for Triple-A depth.

American League Quick Hits: Colby Lewis struck out eight, walked two, and held the Rays scoreless in eight innings - he's been lucky on batted balls but unlucky on fly balls so far, so his future is very uncertain … Nelson Cruz had three hits and a steal and is back in strong form … Ryan Raburn was supposed to be the regular second baseman after the Scott Sizemore trade, but Ramon Santiago started against the righty Wednesday … Nick Markakis played first for the first time but not extremely well, so Luke Scott or Nolan Reimold might get the next shot … Adam Jones is really looking like Adam Jones, as three hits (one a home run) has him up to .296 … Matt Wieters was sort-of run over at the plate but avoided injury thankfully … A.J. Burnett is showing his good side; He struck out five and allowed two runs in seven against the punchless A's … Speaking of which, Daric Barton and Hideki Matsui were both healthy scratches Wednesday as they try to get things right … Brent Lillibridge hit a home run Wednesday but the power isn't real and he's best cast as a sub against lefties in real life and in the deepest of fantasy leagues … Jays prospect infielder Brett Lawrie, rumored to be on his way to the bigs soon, only has a bruised left wrist after being hit there recently … Tyler Chatwood held the Royals scoreless through 7 2/3 innings, and finally got some ground balls, but hasn't been showing a good strikeout, walk or ground-ball rate on the year and is mostly a pitcher to avoid … Drew Butera hit a home run off of Rick Porcello but Twins fans are hoping for Joe Mauer every day … Josh Tomlin struck out seven in six innings but gave up six runs and isn't as good as his ERA even after the blow-up … Rich Hill looks like he's headed to the DL after leaving Wednesday's game clutching his forearm … Michael Saunders and Carlos Peguero just can't make enough contact to hang with major league pitching right now, as they are a combined one for their last 30 … Jake Fox was designated for assignment by the Orioles, who are trying to trade him … Willy Aybar was arrested on domestic violence charges and might not see the major leagues again.


Eno Sarris is an editor and writer at FanGraphs.com. You can find his work gathered in one place at and enosarris.com. Follow his misadventures in writing on Twitter as well.
Email :Eno Sarris



Highest Searched Players over the last 7 days



Video Center

  •  
    Levitan: Gerhart vs. Morris?

    Levitan: Gerhart vs. Morris?
  •  
    Levitan: Romo vs. Brady?

    Levitan: Romo vs. Brady?
  •  
    Levitan: Murray or Foster?

    Levitan: Murray or Foster?
  •  
    Levitan: Stacy or Ellington?

    Levitan: Stacy or Ellington?
  •  
    Levitan: A.J. Green or Dez?

    Levitan: A.J. Green or Dez?
  •  
    Levitan: Draft Ball or Bell?

    Levitan: Draft Ball or Bell?
  •  
    Levitan: New system impact

    Levitan: New system impact
  •  
    Short: Buy, sell or hold?

    Short: Buy, sell or hold?