Look, nobody has been more in on Tyler Naquin this year than me. I was high on him early, owned a few shares, jumped again when he was recalled, truly believing there were 20 home runs and a decent average in this bat. He was one of my “flag” players, to steal a phrase. So I’m happy when he succeeds, but sir, kindly miss me with these types of plays against the Blue Jays.
On the agenda:
1. Player home-road splits
2. Various News and Notes
3. Streaming Pitcher Options
I think I’d do pretty well on the road. I was thinking about it this morning as I was doing some work, well, on the road. Not that I’m traveling great distances or working out of hotels constantly, but I spent a lot of time working remotely (particularly at the Air Canada Centre or at coffee shops), and this summer I’ve kind of been bouncing all over the place. Now, I strongly prefer working on my multi-screen desktop setup in my apartment, and my best work is almost surely done there, but I’ve grown comfortable enough playing outside of my own friendly confines that I’m comfortable hitting on the road. We’re talking, like, a 10-point drop in wRC+, maybe. Reasonable, I think.
Anyway, here are the hitters with the biggest wRC+ differences from home and the road.
|Player||Team||Home wRC+||Away wRC+||Difference|
|Kevin Pillar||Blue Jays||115||41||74|
|David Ortiz||Red Sox||194||129||65|
|Player||Team||Home wRC+||Away wRC+||Difference|
Various News and Notes
The Mets scratched Steven Matz from his Friday start due to shoulder discomfort,, which, yeah, the Mets have to be a little concerned. Matz was reportedly fine after tossing 7.1 on Sunday, but his shoulder flared up in the time since, and Matz said it’s “definitely frustrating.” His elbow feeling better is important, and his performance has been strong when he’s been able to take the bump, it’s just that leading the league in “Roto Riteup updates” isn’t exactly something for your trophy case. (It’s probably fine. It’s hopefully fine.)
Speaking of recent leaders in RR updates, Clayton Kershaw update klaxon! The league’s most dominant arm will throw off a mound on Saturday, the first time he’ll have done so since June 26. The Dodgers are hoping, in the best-case scenario, that they can get Kershaw out for a rehab assignment ahead of a September return to the rotation. Giddy up. (As for the other five starters on the DL, well, their timelines vary.)
Unable to find someone to take on Carlos Gomez’s salary during the 10-day DFA period, the Astros have released him outright. Expect him to catch on somewhere next week, with the Marlins standing out as the most likely option given the price tag and the injury to Giancarlo Stanton.
Jayson Werth’s on-base streak ended at 46 games, because nobody knocks Rusty Staub out of the recordbooks, even if it’s a strange Expos-Nationals collaborative recordbook. Werth’s streak tied Staub’s franchise record, set in 1970. Unthinkably, Ted Williams once reached base in 84 consecutive games.
The Orioles got to mashing yesterday, hitting four home runs in one inning a day after scoring 13 runs in the series opener. They’ve been tough to figure out beyond accepting that they’re always dangerous, and if they’re heating up as a lineup, look out: They’ve posted month-by-month wRC+ of 110, 91, 134, 75, and now 109.
Jeff Hoffman is getting the call. The primary prospect return in last year’s Troy Tulowitzki trade, Hoffman ranks as the No. 3 prospect in the Rockies’ system and the No. 41 prospect overall (by MLB.com). The 2014 first-round pick doesn’t have elite numbers in his first season at Triple-A – a 4.02 ERA and a 24.2-percent strikeout rate – but that’s also in the PCL, and the reports on his stuff have grown no less impressive (he’s 6-foot-5 and can touch into the high 90s). He’ll draw the Cubs today.
A few of you have asked where the Bullpen Report has been of late. I’m not sure, but I can’t imagine it’s gone for too long. I’ll touch base, and if it’s going to be less regular down the stretch, I’ll start incorporating bullpen notes in my Roto Riteups, at least for more actionable news items. Speaking of which, the Cubs placed Hector Rondon on the DL (alongside John Lackey), which means Carl Edwards Jr. is probably now the appropriate Aroldis Chapman handcuff/hold play. Carls Jr. owns a 3.68 ERA but has also struck out 33.7 percent of batters he’s faced (with an 18.1-percent swinging-strike rate), posting a 2.42 FIP, 2.74 xFIP, and a 4.93 RE24, which would rank in the top 70 among relievers if he qualified.
Streaming Pitcher Options
If you enjoy streaming pitchers or play DFS, tune into the Roto Riteup for recommendations each and every day.
A pitcher for today: Robbie Ray @ SD (Clayton Richard)
Were it not for the Berrios recommendation above, I’d probably throw a Hector Santiago your way in this slot. Instead, we’ll roll with Robbie Ray, who not only draws one of the worst offenses in baseball at their offense-surpressing home park, but who has also been piling up strikeouts. Yes, Ray’s ERA and WHIP are a little unsightly, but at 22-percent ownership, it’s tough to find this kind of strikeout upside.
A pitcher for tomorrow: Chad Green @ LAA (Jhoulys Chacin)
Some of this may be due to him really impressing me in his last outing against the Blue Jays, but Chad Green has me very curious as to what his next start will look like. His slider missing bats was an unusual development, and an important one if he can sustain it. He’s been terrific at Triple-A this year and middling in the majors, and that extra pitch, if it wasn’t just a one game anomaly, could be a big factor in his succeeding at the next level. The Angels have hit well over the last month (101 wRC+) and have struck out a remarkably low amount, so they’ll be a nice test. At 13-percent ownership on a day with a strange (albeit deep) mix of mediocre streaming options, my curiosity is leading me.
Blake Murphy is a freelance sportswriter based out of Toronto. Formerly of the Score, he's the managing editor at Raptors Republic and frequently pops up at Sportsnet, Vice, and around here. Follow him on Twitter @BlakeMurphyODC.