For those of you that missed it, The Oracle spent three days in the hospital with a dastardly case of the flu. He’s still not even close to 100 percent, but he’s going to do his best to get back on it today. Let’s see how he does.
Tony Cingrani has shocked me with his success thus far (1.50 ERA, 0.89 WHIP, 14.00 K//9, 7.00 K/BB). I’m still not sold, which I know sounds crazy given his success. However, he cannot keep up the K-rate. He cannot keep up the walk rate (2.00 per nine). He cannot continue to hold batters to a .188 average. He cannot continue to have a BABIP of .278 with a 24 percent line drive rate. He’s also still throwing his fastball 81 percent of the time. Deal him at his apex before he pulls a Jose Fernandez (I dealt Cingrani for Chris Sale in one of my leagues – a steal if you ask me). By the way, Johnny Cueto will make his first minor league start Friday as he works his way back from a lat issue. He’s likely about two weeks away. As for Fernandez, I issued my warnings when he made the big league club. He’s 20 years old and entered the season without a single outing above High-A ball. What the heck were you expecting from him? Given those two facts, and those two alone, you should be really pleased with his five outings thus far that have led to a 8.63 K/9 mark and 1.29 WHIP. I know you aren’t but that’s your fault for having too high of expectations.
Carl Crawford will sit out Wednesday and Thursday (a day off) to nurse his tender hamstring. After a whopper of a start his production has slowed drastically, but his slash line is still elite. Seriously. Take a look: .308/.388/.516. He has a better average than Carlos Gonzalez. He has a better OBP than Paul Goldschmidt (.387). He has a better SLG than Buster Posey (.488). See what I mean?
Starling Marte has been killing it. Just look at his .327 average and .395 OBP. However, there is a real downside. The seven steals are fantastic, as is the batting average, but here comes the rug being pulled out. (1) He’s on pace for less than 15 homers. OK, you can live with that given the rest of his performance. (2) He’s on pace for about 60 RBIs. OK, you can also live with that given his overall work. (3) He’s taken seven walks in 26 games. While that is better than his pace last year of eight walks in 47 games, it’s still awful. (4) His strikeout rate has dipped from 27.5 percent last year to 22 percent this season, but neither number is great. When combined with his terribly low walk rate his 0.27 BB/K ratio this season is still dreadful (the big league average is about 0.45). The highest batting average last season by any player in baseball with a mark of 0.27 or less was .293 by Alcides Escobar. I doubt Marte will hit even that well given the stage of development he is currently at (also note that Escobar hit .254 in 2012, tis the nature of players who show no patience and strike zone judgement).
To see how others are evaluating players don’t forget to go to Fleaflicker.com where you can check out the owned percentages of all your favorite players.
Hyun-Jin Ryu had 12 punchouts Tuesday night giving him 10.99 K/9 this season. NO ONE, not a single person in baseball, thought he was going to do that. I’m going to agree with everyone and side with this being a random run of greatness. I’m still thinking that there will be a pullback in the K-department. Been impressed by his efforts this season no doubt, but over his head is he (that was Yoda speak for those of you who missed it).
Way too early to draw any conclusions, but Mike Trout is hitting .261 with a .766 OPS. He’s on pace for about 12 homers, 95 RBIs, 90 runs and 25 steals. Since September 1st of last season he’s hit .276 with a .368 OBP and .467 SLG over the course of 56 games. He’s also hit only seven homers while stealing 11 bases.
Chien-Ming Wang will stay with the Yankees organization. Does anyone care? Maybe the Yankees do, but the last time he pitched 100 innings in the big leagues was 2007.