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10 Important Stories From 10/02/16 Box Scores: Teheran Thrives (12 K), Thornburg/Iglesias Create Questions & More

Monday, October 3, 2016 3:42
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(Before It's News)

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

There were some playoff positions up for grabs as we entered the final day of the season, so stepped up and influenced those?  Who raised their stock heading into the offseason?  Who created significant questions with a poor finish?  Let’s take a look at all of the action on the final day of the season:

1) Aaron Sanchez finishes on high note…
Taking on the Red Sox, in Boston, he tossed 7.0 strong innings allowing 1 ER on 2 H and 2 BB, striking out 6.  He made one big mistake, allowing a home run to Hanley Ramirez (who finished the year with 30 HR and 111 RBI).  Sanchez finishes the year going 15-2 with a 3.00 ERA and 1.17 WHIP.  Entering the day with a 55.1% groundball rate, he showed more than enough in both the strikeout (161 K) and control (63 BB) departments.  Throw in his believe luck metrics (.273 BABIP and 76.3% strand rate, entering the day) and there’s more than enough reason for optimism.  He definitely had a heavy workload, after making a significant number of appearances out of the bullpen in ’15, and he has more innings in his future with the Blue Jays heading towards the playoffs.  It’ll be something that we have to keep in mind heading into ’17.

2) A strong finish for Kevin Gausman…
Taking on the Yankees he allowed 2 ER on 8 H and 1 BB, striking out 3, over 7.1 IP for the W.  He generated a lot of groundballs (13 vs. 6 fly balls), though that’s not his general makeup and he did allow 5 HR over his final 3 starts.  He also saw his strikeout rate fall late in the season (7.71 K/9 in September), though his 10.1% SwStr% and 38.4% O-Swing% for the month tells us not to be concerned.  He entered the day with an 8.93 K/9 and 2.40 BB/9, so the biggest question hanging over him is keeping the ball in the ballpark.  He did struggle in that regard (1.41 HR/9 entering the day), and it could easily keep him outside the Top 30 SP.  Still, he should make for a solid pitcher to help fill out your rotation.

3) Matt Moore finishes the regular season with a flourish…
There was definitely some inconsistency after his trade to San Francisco, but over his final two starts he showed what was possible.  Yesterday he allowed 1 ER on 3 H and 2 BB, striking out 6, over 8.0 IP to defeat the Dodgers and pitch San Francisco into the Wild Card.  Over his final two starts he had 17 K vs. 2 BB over 15.2 IP.  Control has always been the biggest question hanging over Moore (aside from his health), and as he adjusted to his time in San Francisco it was once again a problem (32 BB over 68.1 IP).  That said he appeared to right the ship late and pitching in the NL there’s little doubt of is upside.  Consider him a great option to help fill out your rotation in ’17.

4) Another long ball from Byron Buxton…
Talk about a player who raised his stock from September 1 forward, Buxton was hitting atop the batting order yesterday and went 2-4 with 1 HR, 2 RBI and 2 R, giving him home runs in back-to-back games (and 9 HR and 22 RBI from September 1 forward).  Of course, as we noted yesterday he also continues to be plagued by the strikeout (36 K over 101 AB during this stretch), and for a player unlikely to maintain this type of home run total that’s going to be a crippling number.  We’ll dig deep into him in the coming weeks, but don’t be surprised if someone in your league his improperly buying into the hype.

5) Sean Manaea shows off just how good he can be…
Taking on the Mariners he allowed 2 ER on 6 H and 1 BB, striking out 5 (courtesy of 12 swinging strikes), over 6.0 IP.  He needed just 88 pitches to earn the W and certainly ended the year on a high note.  Since August 23 he has allowed 4 ER on 19 H and 9 BB over 34.1 IP.  That’s more than just a one or two start stretch, obviously, and he also posted a solid 3.86 ERA and 1.19 WHIP over 144.2 IP in the Majors.  He entered the day with an 11.8% SwStr% and 35.5% O-Swing%, plus calling Oakland home helps (especially with a mediocre 43.6% groundball rate).  It’ll be interesting to see how he’s valued heading into ’17, though there’s clear upside.

6) Julio Teheran steals the show on the final day of the season…
Taking on a Detroit team that needed a W, he twirled 7.0 shutout innings allowing 3 H and 1 BB striking out 12 in the process.  He showed some inconsistency down the stretch, including allowing 6 ER in his previous start (against the Phillies) and 5 ER against the Marlins a few starts earlier.  That said, overall he posted a 3.21 ERA and 1.05 WHIP, posting 167 K vs. 41 BB in the process.  It’s a great example of why W is not a category to buy into, and his 9.9% SwStr% (prior to his gaudy 24 swinging strike performance yesterday) indicates more strikeout potential.

7) An implosion to end the year for Raisel Iglesias…
Just when you think the Reds have found a solution for the ninth inning, Iglesias melts down on the final day of the year.  Taking on the Cubs he allowed 4 ER on 3 H and 1 BB, including a home run to Miguel Montero, to blow the save in spectacular fashion.  It was his second straight day working, something the team wasn’t willing to push him into many times since his transition to the bullpen, which makes this performance all the more concerning.  Obviously it’s not going to eliminate him from the closer candidacy heading into ’17, but it’s something we’d expect them to work on with him in the offseason and in Spring Training.  Until he proves he can handle it, he’s not going to be viewed as a very promising closing option.

8) Maybe Tyler Thornburg isn’t the man in Milwaukee…
It had looked like he was primed to emerge as one of the better closers in the league, but his final four outings have been filled with struggles.  After allowing 1 ER on 2 H and 0 BB, striking out 2, in 1.0 inning yesterday he finished the season with three straight blown saves (though he did get W over the final two days) and having allowed runs in four straight (5 ER over 3.1 IP).  It was a stark turn around for a pitcher who had been dominating opponents, but you do have to wonder how these consistent struggles will have an impact on his hold of the closers role heading into next season.  It shouldn’t have been fatigue, especially having worked as a starter at Triple-A last season and combining to throw 123.0 innings.  He still has the upside of one of the elite, so it’ll be interesting to see how Milwaukee approaches the spot moving forward.

9) Brandon Drury pushing for regular role in 2017…
He went 3-4 with 1 HR, 1 RBI and 2 R yesterday, hitting cleanup, putting him at .282 with 16 HR (as well as 31 doubles and 1 triple) over 461 AB with the Diamondbacks.  There was an obvious split in his production (the numbers below are entering the day):

  • Home – .314 with 11 HR
  • Road – .241 with 4 HR

It’s obviously worth noting, but doesn’t have a significant impact on his outlook.  Of course, entering the day with a 50.4% groundball rate (56.3% in ’15) makes you wonder how much power upside he truly has.  That, when coupled with little speed, obviously limits his potential appeal (barring a change and a growth in his power stroke).

10) Matt Carpenter proves that his power is for real…
He went 1-2 with 1 HR, 4 RBI and 1 R yesterday, finishing the year hitting .271 with 21 HR and 68 RBI in 129 games (after hitting 28 HR last season).  Hitting atop the order he brings the ability to score a significant number of runs, and he also continues to hit the ball extremely hard (26.4% line drive rate) yet fail to post a gaudy BABIP (.308).  Outside of stolen bases, what exactly is there not to love about that type of makeup?

Sources – ESPN, Fangraphs

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