Boxscore Bits: June 15th, 2022

Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

A few thoughts on the pitchers from Tuesday’s games:

Tuesday’s Starters
# Name Team IP H R ER HR BB SO TBF ERA WHIP W vFA (pi) vSI (pi) SwStr%
1 Tyler Mahle CIN 9 3 0 0 0 0 12 30 0.00 0.33 0 94.1 15%
2 Miles Mikolas STL 8.2 1 1 0 0 1 6 29 0.00 0.23 1 93.5 93.3 9%
3 Chris Bassitt NYM 8 3 0 0 0 1 7 26 0.00 0.50 1 94.1 93.6 11%
4 Logan Webb SFG 7 5 0 0 0 3 9 26 0.00 1.14 1 92.8 91.8 14%
5 Zach Davies ARI 7 6 0 0 0 0 7 26 0.00 0.86 0 89.6 10%
6 Tony Gonsolin LAD 6.1 1 0 0 0 2 6 22 0.00 0.47 1 93.3 16%
7 Gerrit Cole NYY 6 5 0 0 0 1 7 23 0.00 1.00 1 97.9 11%
8 Logan Gilbert SEA 6 4 0 0 0 1 6 22 0.00 0.83 1 96 7%
9 Dane Dunning TEX 6 2 0 0 0 4 4 24 0.00 1.00 0 88.3 5%
10 Corey Kluber TBR 6 4 2 0 0 1 3 25 0.00 0.83 0 87.9 89.2 7%
11 Dylan Cease CHW 5 7 1 0 0 1 8 23 0.00 1.60 1 96.4 13%
12 Matthew Liberatore STL 5 3 0 0 0 2 5 19 0.00 1.00 1 92.7 92.4 10%
13 Nick Pivetta BOS 8 3 1 1 1 2 3 28 1.13 0.63 1 94.2 9%
14 Kyle Hendricks CHC 5 4 1 1 0 0 6 20 1.80 0.80 0 87.1 86.8 15%
15 Noah Syndergaard LAA 4.2 2 1 1 0 3 5 19 1.93 1.07 0 95.4 94.5 9%
16 JT Brubaker PIT 5.1 7 3 2 1 2 5 27 3.38 1.69 0 93 11%
17 Shane Bieber CLE 6.2 9 3 3 1 1 7 29 4.05 1.50 0 90.6 11%
18 José Urquidy HOU 6 5 3 3 1 0 4 23 4.50 0.83 0 93.2 16%
19 Antonio Senzatela COL 6 8 3 3 0 1 4 26 4.50 1.50 0 94.5 4%
20 Drew Hutchison DET 4 5 2 2 0 2 1 19 4.50 1.75 0 92.9 93.3 10%
21 Kris Bubic KCR 5.1 5 3 3 0 2 6 22 5.06 1.31 0 92.7 7%
22 Zach Eflin PHI 6 5 4 4 2 0 4 23 6.00 0.83 0 91.2 91.6 11%
23 Max Fried ATL 5.2 6 4 4 0 1 6 24 6.35 1.24 1 94.6 93.6 11%
24 Jordan Lyles BAL 5.1 5 4 4 1 2 7 24 6.75 1.31 1 92 91 14%
25 Joe Ryan MIN 4.2 5 4 4 2 1 3 20 7.71 1.29 0 91.2 10%
26 Adrian Houser MIL 4.2 8 4 4 0 1 3 22 7.71 1.93 0 94.6 94 6%
27 Yusei Kikuchi TOR 4 5 4 4 2 4 4 20 9.00 2.25 0 94.2 15%
28 Trevor Rogers MIA 3.2 5 4 4 1 6 2 21 9.82 3.00 0 95 7%
29 Sean Manaea SDP 4 8 5 5 2 1 5 21 11.25 2.25 0 90.7 13%
30 Bryse Wilson PIT 5 10 7 7 3 1 3 26 12.60 2.20 0 93.5 93 9%
Sorted by ERA

Business As Usual: Nothing actionable

Notable Gems: The standouts who merit some extra attention

  • Miles Mikolas – If it wasn’t a near no-no, he would’ve been in Biz as Usual because he’s been excellent this season, but I’d have felt weird not giving a write-up to the guy who went 8.7 no-hit innings. No shade to Harrison Bader, either, by the way. Some weirdoes were trying to give him hell on that, but the OF was playing in to avoid any doink shots breaking up the no-no and trusting that they could get back on most things hit really hard. Bader is one of like 5-6 CFs who even would’ve had a play on it. It was a 101 mph Exit Velo with a .550 expected AVG, too, so it wasn’t some cheapie. Anyway, Mikolas looks like the 2018 iteration right now and I love that he did this the day I posted my new SP rankings which anointed him as a Must Start arm.
  • Tyler Mahle – Mahle now has a 3.12 ERA/0.98 WHIP over his last eight starts and that includes an 8 ER dud v. the Cubs. He has allowed 9 ER across the other seven combined. After three straight gems at home (yes, the park where he has a career 5.08 ERA!), he dropped a pseudo-shutout at ARI. He posted nine scoreless with 12 punchies, but the game went 12 so it’s not a true shutout. In the four starts since the Cubs meltdown, he has a 1.30 ERA and 36 Ks in 27.7 IP.
  • Shane Bieber – This is excellent for a Coors start! They could’ve taken him out with 6 IP/1 ER, but he was at just 89 pitches so I totally understand why they gave him the seventh. Unfortunately, Charlie Blackmon got him for a 2-R shot. It didn’t spoil things, though, no one is upset about 6.7 IP/3 ER/7 Ks in Coors. This was a devastating 2-step to take on, but I wouldn’t have benched Biebs for at COL/at LAD. Since I don’t have him on any teams, I decided to put my money where my mouth is by using him in a DraftKings lineup for both games.
  • Chris Bassitt – Great rebound for Bassitt after a lull that saw him post a 7.62 ERA and 1.62 WHIP in five starts. A 2.4 HR/9 was a big problem during that run. Eight scoreless with 4 base runners and 7 Ks now gives him three quality starts in his last four.
  • Zach Davies – After a 5.40 ERA in April, Davies has put together a 3.20 ERA since May 1st with a 1.11 WHIP and 15% K-BB in 50.7 IP. He gets a 2-step next at SD and v. DET. I certainly wasn’t considering Davies coming into the year, but this is a start for me. SD is 23rd in wRC+ at 90 and of course, we’re clamoring to start literally anyone against DET.
  • Nick Pivetta – So Lucy is finally letting us kick the football here? I jumped on the Pivetta multiple times over the last few years but wasn’t falling for it again this year. With an 8.27 ERA through April, I was definitely feeling a bit self-satisfied with my mental victory lap. Good thing I didn’t open my fat mouth about it since he has posted a 2.16 ERA/0.84 WHIP in 58.3 IP with 56 Ks and 6 Ws. I slotted him as a Team Streamer in yesterday’s SP update, but maybe he more in the Usually Start tier instead. The differences between those two tiers is really just the decisions where you are sitting them. I’d still bench Pivetta against NYY and HOU for sure and then interleague matches v. NYM, LAD, and of course at COL. Otherwise, he is a go right now even if it is a little scary trusting him.
  • Matthew Liberatore – This was just a doubleheader spot start, but it went well. Unsurprisingly, his fastball was good again. The two times his fastball has been effective have been far and away his best starts. In the other two, the fastball allowed 4 H including 2 HR and a double, netting just 1 K (3 fastball Ks in the good starts). Let’s not parse already small samples too much. He will be their key fill-in this year, likely needing an injury for a long-term opportunity, and he will go as far as his fastball takes him. I suspect sharp volatility will be on tap until the fastball is more reliable inning-to-inning, start-to-start.

Decent Enough: Mostly biz as usual but with some commentary

  • Zach Eflin – We certainly wanted better at MIA than 6 IP/4 ER, but considering he allowed the 4 ER in the first inning on two 2-R HRs and then reeled off five scoreless was pretty impressive.
  • Noah Syndergaard – Only made it 4.7 IP, but 1 ER and 5 Ks made it decent enough given the opponent (at LAD).

Duds: The worst of the day from fantasy relevant arms

  • Trevor Rogers – The changeup was a disaster again, leading to another brutal start. It’s one step forward, three steps back as the flameout starts hurt way more than his good ones are helping. It is time to strongly consider deeper league cuts for Rogers if you haven’t moved on already. He doesn’t have any sort of major track record to fallback on so while last year’s success was believable based on the underlying skills, those skills weren’t guaranteed and haven’t been present at all in 2021. I’d be willing to dive back in once we see 2-3 strong starts strung together, but until then, he’s a cut right now.
  • Sean Manaea – The changeup wasn’t there and led to a run of the mill dud start. He still had an 18% SwStr rate and 5 Ks. Willson Contreras got him twice and while the wind was a blowing out a good bit, it certainly wasn’t needed on the second homer and probably wasn’t the cause of the first, either.
  • Joe Ryan – I figured he was due for some HR regression with a 5% HR/FB and 0.6 HR/9 through 43.3 IP. This 2-homer outing puts him at 7% and 0.9, respectively. I think he can live in a 0.8-1.1 HR/9 range and that will be just fine with his hit and walk suppression turning more of them into solo shots. These were both 2-run shots, coming shortly after hits. There will be a couple more of these, but I still see him as an easy start who will have a sub-4.00 ERA and great WHIP with plenty of Ks.
  • Yusei Kikuchi – Kikuchi Believers, sell me. I know it’s unfair putting y’all on the spot after three straight duds following that brilliant May, but I feel like the bad always cancels out the good and it’s hard to even pare down the down when he gives away starts to KC and BAL (8 BB, 7 ER, 6 K in 4.7 IP over his last two). This was supposed to be the easy one that softened the blow v. NYY later this week. In fairness, he absolutely cuffed them up in back-to-back starts to open May (14 Ks, 5 H, 4 BB in 11.3 IP), but there’s no way that those who started him this week aren’t terrified now after a dud v. BAL.
  • Adrian Houser – Part of the Adrian Houser experience when you allow this much contact. I know it’s a 2-step, but I hope very few even started him for at NYM/at CIN. A high contact pitcher against one of the best offenses in the league and the other in one of the best hitter’s parks in the league is a pass for me. He was started in 83% of Main Event leagues (15 tm lgs) and 44% of Rotowire Online Championship leagues (12 tm lgs).

SB NOTES

Instead of just listing the SBs of the day, I want to start giving some useful tidbits related to the thievery from the night before

  • Jorge Mateo was running wild and went 2-for-3 Tuesday, boosting his season total to 16 in 19 tries (84%). He is still a bit fringy in 10 teamers, sitting 52nd at OF on Razzball’s Player Rater, but in 12s and deeper, he has been gold.
  • Dylan Moore swiped a couple bases yesterday, too, pushing his total to 8 in 10 tries. He is Mateo with patience – his .215 AVG is 1 pt. higher than Mateo’s, but his walk rate is 12 pts higher at 16%, driving a .378 OBP.
  • Ezequiel Duran is quickly becoming a thing, notching his 2nd SB on Tuesday to go with his 2 HRs in just 10 games in the majors (41 PA). He had 7 HR and 7 SB in 200 PA at Double-A, too. He’s been caught once, too, so he has actually run three times already with the Rangers. He averaged 18 HR and 19 SB per 500 PA in the minors.

RELIEVER IN FOCUS WEDNESDAY

Stay in tune with all the closer news with the Bullpen Report and once a week I will highlight someone I’m keeping a close eye.

Eli Morgan| CLE | 36% K, 14% SwStr, 1.82 ERA, 0.57 WHIP in 29.7 IP

Morgan showed glimpses as a starter last year, particularly in his first time through the lineup with a .690 OPS. It jumped 249 pts to .939 in his second time through the lineup and then down to .812 in his limited third time through, which is still worse than average. With his shift to the bullpen, he has been able to air it out with great results. His velo is up 1.4 mph to 92 mph, amplifying him across the board.

All three pitches are clicking with the fastball as the standout star. His 42% K rate with the heater is 2nd best in the league and the .145 AVG is 3rd-best (min. 60 PA). All told, the .527 OPS is 9th-best. The changeup hasn’t had the same kind of swing-and-miss with a 26% K rate (24% league avg), but hitters can’t square it up with a tiny .086/.158/.143 line and the .301 OPS slotting 5th-best (min. 35 PA).

He hasn’t needed the slider as much, dropping the usage 8 pts and funneling it all into the fastball, but it has been successful on the 8 PA it has ended (.250 OPS, 38% K)… but it’s 8 PA so let’s not overrate the strength of the pitch. Emmanuel Clase is the locked in closer so Morgan would need an injury to find some saves, but he seems to be in more leveraged spots of late. He reeled off 5 straight Holds from May 30th-June 7th followed by a win on June 8th and then a Blown Save/Loss on June 11th.

In standard 5×5 leagues, his value is narrow as I’m not sure he’s on the radar in anything shallower than 15-team mixers and even there he is a here-and-there fill-in for some good ratios and Ks with the chance at a win. In the 18+ team mixers, he can be quite useful often matching the IP totals of a low-tier SP option that would be on the wire with better ratios and more Ks along with that dub-stealing potential. If anything happened to Clase, Morgan is where I’d turn first, especially with Trevor Stephan in a lull right now (8 ER, 14 H in his last 7 IP, allowing runs in 5 of the 9 outings).





Paul is the Editor of Rotographs and contributes to ESPN's Daily Notes. Follow Paul on Twitter @sporer and on Twitch at sporer.

11 Comments
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skillflukedmember
17 days ago

Some of Kikuchi’s best starts last year were @HOU, @TOR, @NYY. He is not a pitcher of logic as each start is a guess on if he has playable command/control or not. The only logical thing to do for fantasy is to let someone else ride the Yusei roller coaster.

Sincerely,
Every Mariners fan

nittanylion0
17 days ago
Reply to  skillfluked

I got off the coaster earlier this year and can confirm… it’s much better this way.