David Shovein

Baseball Daily Dose

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Dose: The Goldschmidt Standard

Monday, June 11, 2018



The Goldschmidt Standard


Over his six full seasons in the big leagues heading into 2018, Paul Goldschmidt had been one of the best all-around five-category fantasy producers, regardless of position. During that six-year stretch, he averaged .301/.402/.534 with 98 runs scored, 28 home runs, 100 RBI and 19 stolen bases per season. That’s an absolutely absurd level of production.


He was known as a very safe commodity in fantasy drafts, the type of player with an extremely high floor that would appeal to risk-averse drafters in the middle of the first round. There was no reason at all to believe that the 30-year-old five-time All-Star would fall flat on his face in 2018.


Sure, they were installing a humidor in Arizona, and all Diamondbacks’ hitters were likely to experience a small drop off in offensive production. So take him from a consensus top-three pick, to a mid-to-late first rounder in standard mixed leagues.


What we got from Goldschmidt through the first 48 games of the 2018 season is production so poor that it couldn’t have even been imaginable prior to the start of the season. On May 23, Goldschmidt was hitting a disastrous .198/.320/.355 with five homers, 13 RBI and an atrocious 64/28 K/BB ratio in 203 plate appearances.


Let’s be clear. It’s not like he was hitting a bunch of rockets all over the diamond that just weren’t falling in for him. He looked completely lost at the plate, flailing at pitches that he would have never offered at in years past.


Thankfully, his bat has started to heat up over the last 14 games. Since May 23 he has looked like the Goldschmidt of old, slashing a ridiculous .411/.484/.929 with seven homers, 16 RBI and a 12/6 K/BB ratio.


Goldschmidt has always hit well at Coors Field, but what he did there over the weekend may have been his finest performance yet. In Friday’s victory, he went 3-for-5 with a pair of homers, a double and three RBI. He followed that up with another three-hit, two-homer game on Saturday, that time plating four runs and also drawing a walk. He finished the weekend off in style on Sunday, going 2-for-4 with a double, triple and two more RBI.


For the weekend, he finished 8-for-13 (.615) with four home runs, two doubles, a triple and nine RBI in a three-game sweep of the Diamondbacks. In doing so, he became the first hitter in the Divisional Era (since 1969) to have multiple extra-base hits and multiple RBI in four consecutive games. The last player to accomplish that feat was Frank Howard who did so with the Washington Senators in 1968.


He still isn’t running, as he has swiped just two bases in three attempts on the entire season, but as long as he keeps hitting like this, fantasy owners won’t mind.


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Captain Command


Corey Kluber is the reigning Cy Young Award winner in the American League and has taken home the award twice in the last four seasons. While Justin Verlander and Gerrit Cole are both having unbelievable seasons for the Astros, Kluber isn’t ready to step down off his throne as the league’s best hurler without a fight.


The 32-year-old right-hander earned his league-leading 10th victory on Sunday, limiting the Tigers to two runs on five hits over eight terrific innings. He punched out eight in the contest and didn’t walk a batter.


Astoundingly, this marked the sixth consecutive start in which Kluber hasn’t walked a single batter. The last base on balls that he gave up was to Brewers’ outfielder Domingo Santana in the fourth inning on May 8, a span of 168 batters. That’s the third-longest such streak in baseball over the past five years. Bartolo Colon had an unbelievable streak in 2015 where he went 204 batters without issuing a walk.


With the win on Sunday, Kluber became the first American League hurler to reach 10 wins on the season. He’s now tied with Max Scherzer for the MLB lead. He also sports the second lowest ERA in the American League at 1.99 and a minuscule 0.83 WHIP while registering a 103/10 K/BB ratio over 99 ⅔ innings on the season.


In addition to his consistency with his command, Kluber has also done a tremendous job at limiting runs. He has surrendered three earned runs or fewer in each of hist last 26 starts.


Kluber didn’t take any time to celebrate after Sunday’s victory, instead he got right back to work. The right-hander made sure to get in a workout in the weight room before catching the team flight to Chicago.

 


Passing The Man


Albert Pujols has already achieved many memorable milestones in his illustrious With his RBI single in the first inning on Sunday, Pujols surpassed Stan Musial for sole position of seventh place on MLB’s all-time RBI list.


Only Hank Aaron, Babe Ruth, Alex Rodriguez, Cap Anson, Barry Bonds and Lou Gehrig have driven in more runs than Pujols.


As soon as he plated Ian Kinsler with that single in the first inning, Pujols realized the importance of the event and called for the baseball. He plans to give the ball to the Musial family, with whom he formed a very special bond with during his 11 seasons with the Cardinals.


Pujols expanded on his admiration for Musial in a session with reporters after Sunday’s game, "In St. Louis, Stan was a hero for everybody… getting to St. Louis and getting drafted by the organization, I grew up and learned about the history and what kind of man he was. It was pretty special that the Lord allowed me to spend some time with him before he left this earth. He made a big impact in my life."


"Yesterday, when I tied him, I was pretty emotional," Pujols continued. "I tried not to show it too much because we still had to play a baseball game. And then today to be able to pass him, I don't have any words to describe it. Everything that I wore pretty much and both of the baseballs are going to go to his family, because I believe that they deserve that."


Pujols went on to drive in an additional two runs in the ninth inning of the Angels’ loss to the Twins, giving him 1,954 RBI for his career. The next man up on the list is Lou Gehrig at 1,995. Pujols has been on record stating how important reaching the 2,000 RBI milestone would be to him, an event which could conceivably happen before the end of the 2018 season.



American League Quick Hits: Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times expects the Rays to recall Willy Adames “very soon”... Edwin Encarnacion sat out Sunday’s game with a minor ankle injury… Carlos Correa sat out his fourth straight game on Sunday due to soreness in his right side… Blue Jays’ top prospect Vladimir Guerrero Jr. will be sidelined for the next four weeks after he was diagnosed with a strained patellar tendon in his left knee… Josh Donaldson (calf) needs to complete baserunning drills before being activated from the disabled list… Daniel Robertson was forced to leave Sunday’s game with left hamstring tightness… Jorge Soler (toe) is expected to rejoin the Royals’ lineup on Tuesday… Zach Britton (Achilles) will be activated from the disabled list on Monday… James Paxton whiffed 10 over seven innings of three-run baseball in a victory over the Rays… Edwin Diaz secured his 23rd save in that victory… C.J. Cron belted his 15th home run in a losing effort…  Curtis Granderson went 4-for-5 with a homer, two doubles and six RBI as the Blue Jays routed the Orioles… Marco Estrada fanned nine over six innings of two-run ball in a victory over the O’s… Jake Cave homered and drove in three runs on Sunday as the Twins beat the Angels… The Rays acquired Ji-Man Choi from the Rays in exchange for Brad Miller and cash considerations… Yulieski Gurriel went 4-for-5 with a home run as the Astros rallied to beat the Rangers… Matt Chapman belted a go-ahead homer in the eighth inning to beat the Royals…


National League Quick Hits: Joel Sherman of the New York Post reported that the Mets are considering demoting the slumping Michael Conforto to Triple-A Las Vegas… Sherman also noted that Mets’ manager Mickey Callaway told him that Brandon Nimmo will continue to play everyday upon Yoenis Cespedes’ return… Francisco Cervelli sat out Sunday’s game with a minor head injury, but is being monitored for concussion symptoms… Eric Thames (thumb) will be activated from the disabled list on Monday… Brandon Kintzler landed on the 10-day disabled list with a right flexor strain… Yu Darvish (triceps) is not expected to rejoin the Cubs before the All-Star break… Carlos Gonzalez (rib) expects to return to the Rockies’ lineup on Tuesday… The Nationals placed Stephen Strasburg on the 10-day disabled list with right shoulder inflammation… Daniel Murphy (knee) rejoined the Nationals on Sunday, but has not yet been activated from the disabled list… Justin Turner (wrist) is expected to return to the Dodgers’ lineup on Tuesday...Clayton Kershaw (back) played catch from a distance of 60 feet at “good intensity” on Sunday. He’s on track to return around July 1… Kenta Maeda will rejoin the Dodgers’ rotation on Wednesday against the Rangers… Julio Teheran (thumb) plans to rejoin the Braves’ rotation on Friday… Shelby Miller was crushed for  eight runs on nine hits over three innings in his latest minor league rehab start at Double-A Jackson… Yoenis Cespedes (hip, quad) will head back to the Mets' spring training complex in Florida to restart his treatment/rehab program… Asdrubal Cabrera was forced to leave Sunday’s game with a tight hamstring. He’s considered day-to-day… Clayton Richard struck out five over seven innings of one-run ball in a victory over the Marlins… Carlos Martinez issued seven walks in a disastrous start against the Reds… Jared Hughes nabbed his fourth save, working two scoreless innings to close out the Cardinals… Zach Eflin struck out nine batters over six innings in a victory over the Brewers… Tommy Hunter recorded his first save of the season, getting the final out in that win against the Brewers… Zack Godley struck out eight batters over 5 ⅔ innings of two-run ball against the Rockies, leading the Diamondbacks to a rare sweep at Coors Field… Brandon Crawford went 4-for-4 with two doubles and a home run, leading the Giants to victory over Max Scherzer and the Nationals… Scherzer punched out nine over seven innings of two-run baseball in the tough-luck loss… Ross Stripling fanned six while allowing two runs over 6 ⅔ innings in a victory over the Braves… Max Muncy homered for the third straight game and 12th time of the season as the Dodgers topped the Braves… Seth Lugo fired six shutout innings, striking out eight, in a dominant victory over the Yankees… Anthony Swarzak came on to work a scoreless ninth inning there to earn his first save.



Dave Shovein is a baseball writer for Rotoworld. You can follow him on Twitter @DaveShovein.
Email :David Shovein



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