Yesterday was the 18th anniversary of Blink-182’s Dammit (warning: language) being released. If that doesn’t make you feel old, I don’t know what will. Now get off my lawn while I listen to my vinyl and then go to bed at 9:30.
Delino DeShields Jr. continues to hit
After a knee injury caused him to sit out a handful of games, DeShields has returned to the lineup and to consistently reaching base. The 23-year-old owns an efficient .342 on-base percentage, setting the table for the rest of the Rangers offense to drive him in. DeShields posted a 3-for-5 game on Thursday, coming around to score twice and stealing his 24th bag of the year too boot. Make to sure to grab him before it’s too late in next year’s draft as according to ESPN’s Player Rater, he’s been rated as the 47th best outfielder despite accruing a mere 452 plate appearances.
That’s a wrap for Hanley Ramirez
On Thursday the Red Sox officially shut Hanley down for the remainder of the season. He’ll enter spring training next year lined up as the club’s starting first baseman after the left field experiment…well, it didn’t go as hoped. I’m hopeful the shoulder injury that’s kept him out of the lineup since late August won’t be an issue next season as despite hitting more home runs this season than in 2014, his average fly ball distance dropped a bit from 279 feet to 277 feet according to Baseball Heatmaps. Add in his plummeting walk rate — it collapsed from a 9.2 percent last season to 4.9 percent this year — and you have yourself an OF/1B option I’ll be steering clear of on draft day.
Looking at Asdrubal Cabrera’s strong second half
After a brutal April and May, Cabrera has hit .292/.335/.475, good for a 124 wRC+, in 332 plate appearances since the calendar flipped to June. That triple slash doesn’t include 2-for-4 game yesterday, so feel free to nudge those numbers up a figure or two. His .328 BABIP is about 20 points higher over that time frame than his career average rate, and his numbers are being buoyed by a massive August where he posted a 167 wRC+, despite not having a Hard% rate that rated as league average. To his credit, Cabrera did a good job of not hitting weak contact, yet I’m still not buying into his big post All-Star break numbers just yet. A 6.2 percent walk rate and 18.1 percent strikeout rate since June are both slightly worse than his career averages as well, further indication he hasn’t really undergone a significant change in his approach. If anything, career worsts in both his 11 percent swinging strike rate and 37.7 percent O-swing% over the course of the season indicates he’s pressing at bit more at the plate. The offensive bars for shortstops is awfully low — they’ve hit for a collective .257/.307/.376, equaling an 86 wRC+ — so Cabrera could get a multi-year deal somewhere. Come next year I won’t be biting on a shortstop playing his age-30 season, not with plenty of younger and higher upside talent available.
Streaming Pitching Options
If you enjoy streaming pitchers or play DFS, tune into the Roto Riteup for recommendations each and every day.
A pitcher for today: Rich Hill vs BAL (Kevin Gausman)
The O’s struggle against southpaws, though I admit this is a risky start. Still, the O’s 23.2 percent strikeout rate against left-handers is tied for third highest in baseball, so Hill should at least get some K’s today. He’s free to stream in over 80 percent of ESPN or Yahoo! formats and over 90 percent of CBS leagues.
A pitcher for tomorrow: Jeremy Hellickson at SD (Robbie Erlin)
I’m rolling with Hellboy as the Padres don’t intimidate me, especially given how right-handers have held them to a .301 wOBA and 91 wRC+ thus far. Look to pick up Hellikson in about 80 percent of ESPN and CBS leagues as well as over 95 percent of Yahoo! settings.
You can catch David spouting off about baseball, soccer, esports and other things by following him on twitter, @davidwiers.