Rougned Bringing a Nice Odor to the Texas Air (and other notes from 6/15/15)

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With Delino DeShields landing on the DL with a hamstring injury, the Rangers had to recall someone to take his roster spot and the guy they called upon was 21-year old Rougned Odor.  If the name sounds familiar, then you may be confusing him with the 17-year old Rougned Odor that the Rangers signed to a contract this past off-season.  It sounds completely whacky only because it is.  These two individuals both of the same name, Rougned Odor, are actually brothers.  It is an extremely odd situation and even crazier that they are both within the same organization.  I really hope that some day they form a double play combination up the middle for the Rangers — that would be amusement at its finest (it doesn’t take much to amuse me).

Anyway, for real this time.  If the name Rougned Odor sounds familiar, it is because he came onto the scene last year and made a little noise as a 20-year old middle infielder with a .259 AVG, 9 HR, 48 RBI, 39 R, and 4 SB in 114 games with the Rangers.  And then he was expected to build on that performance this season in what was supposed to be his first full year in the Majors.  Odor began the season as the team’s starting second baseman, but with a triple slash of .144/.252/.233 after 29 games played, the Rangers got a huge whiff of Odor and it was not very pleasant on the olfactory senses.  So they sent him back to AAA to figure things out.

At AAA, Odor was a whole new hitter as he compiled a line of .352/.426/.639 with 5 HR, 19 RBI, 26 R, and 3 SB in 30 games.  And in addition, he even bumped up his walk rate to 9.7% and his strikeout rate was exceptional at 8.1%.  Though a small sample size, that type of strikeout rate was much better than his career 15.0% rate in the Minors, and light years ahead of the 24.3% rate that he had in his 29 game stint with the Rangers earlier this year.  So he clearly took being demoted seriously and really worked on improving upon some things that needed attention, which is now needing our attention.

Odor presumably will take over as the Rangers starting second baseman from this point forward, and it will be his job to lose once again, but with the adjustments he seemingly has made, I don’t think that he will be losing the job this time around.  Odor was slotted 6th in the order on Monday and he responded by going 3 for 3 with 2 RBI to keep his hot hitting going.  Odor is definitely a talented hitter with the capability to post a 15 HR/30 SB type of year over the course of a full season in the future.  And given that he is slotted at a shallow second base position, the type of production that he is capable of is a valuable commodity.  I definitely recommend him as a pickup in all formats.

Now let’s check out the rest of Monday’s games.

Anthony Gose – 1 for 4, 1 R, 2 SB, 1 BB.  We haven’t heard a whole lot from Gose lately, but I did mention a while ago that he was going to be in for some huge regression because he was sporting an unreal BABIP over .500.  So this dry spell from him is not unexpected.  He is now hitting just .143 in May as his AVG has fallen all the way to .283, but he still should see that come down even more as his BABIP is still high at .393.  He has picked up 3 SB over the last 2 games though and his speed is his main asset.  Keep looking for his AVG to go down, but he still makes a fine platoon mate with Rajai Davis.

J.D. Martinez – 2 for 4, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 1 R.  Another strikeout-less game for Martinez and another HR.  He’s got the AVG up to .270 with 13 HR and 34 RBI.  If he can keep putting the ball in play, his AVG will keep on going up as I mentioned yesterday.

Anibal Sanchez – 9 IP, 2 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 7 K with the W.  I just don’t understand Anibal.  Him and Jimmy Nelson have been the two most difficult guys to predict this season.  You never know when they are going to pitch shutout baseball or give up 7 runs.  He now is 5-7 with a 4.65 ERA, 1.18 WHIP, and 76 K/25 BB in 82 IP.  He’s certainly better than the 4.65 ERA would indicate and that should keep on coming down, that is until he has his next blow up.

Tony Cingrani – Cingrani has been converted to a relief pitcher this season, where his pitch repertoire is more suitable.  He was working his way up to be the heir apparent to the closer’s throne in Cincinnati, but he was placed on the DL with a strained shoulder.  Shoulder injuries are never good for pitchers and they can linger on for a long time.  Just ask Sean Doolittle.  So it looks like Cingrani won’t be of fantasy use for a pretty long time now.

Masahiro Tanaka – 7 IP, 9 H, 2 ER, 0 BB, 6 K with the L.  Tanaka had a very nice matchup on his hands here, but he didn’t take complete advantage of it as he scattered 9 hits and allowed a couple runs.  He’ll get the Tigers in his next game, a team that he dominated in his last start against them.  But that start was during a stretch where the Tigers offense had gone super cold, so Tanaka can expect a tougher matchup this time around.

Tom Koehler – 7 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 5 K with the W.  Koehler kept the Yankees in check on Monday and improved to 5-4 with a 3.87 ERA, 1.29 WHIP, and 57 K/30 BB in 79 IP.  He’s capable of these solid outings, but I will repeat that he’s nearly the textbook definition of an average Major League pitcher.

Jose Fernandez – Fernandez is slated to make his season debut on July 2 as he comes back from Tommy John surgery.  If you own him then you’re obviously going to want to fire him up right away, but just beware that pitchers typically struggle with their command upon returning mid-season from Tommy John surgery.

Matt Wieters – 1 for 3, 1 HR, 3 RBI, 1 R.  Wieters is now hitting .333 with 2 HR and 8 RBI in 9 games since returning from the DL.  Contrary to my belief of what would happen, Wieters really is showing no ill effects of the Tommy John surgery that he made his return from.  In the small sample size, his power seems to be just fine.  Darn, I hate it when I’m wrong!  We’ll see how he progresses though.

Wei-Yin Chen – 8 IP, 4 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 9 K with the W.  A masterful outing from Chen versus a weak Phillies offense.  I’ll keep saying it, Chen is a pretty useful and underrated pitcher.  He isn’t flashy but he gets the job done a lot of the time and is now 3-4 with a 2.89 ERA, 1.12 WHIP, and 71 K/19 BB in 81 IP.

Carlos Rodon – 3.2 IP, 9 H, 7 ER, 1 BB, 3 K with the L.  Rodon took an absolute whooping by the hands of the Pirates offense on Monday.  In my DFS strategy post for Monday, I initially recommended Rodon.  But once the Pirates lineup came out, I asterisked him as a downgraded play due to the all righty lineup that he was set to face (minus the pitcher).  However, I didn’t expect him to get lit up this badly.  The growing pains of a rookie pitcher.

Josh Harrison – 4 for 4, 1 RBI, 3 R, 2 SB, 1 BB, 1 K.  Harrison had a monster game on Monday and now has his AVG up to .284 to go with 4 HR, 21 RBI, 33 R, and 7 SB in 57 games.  He had an awful start to the season, but right now it would appear that he is on his way to being the player that I projected him to be.

Francisco Liriano – 8 IP, 2 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 12 K with the W.  In the DFS strategy post for Monday, I described this as a “dream matchup” for Liriano.  I think it is fair to say that assessment was quite accurate.

Jose Bautista – 2 for 4, 2 HR, 2 RBI, 2 R, 1 BB.  Two big flies for Joey Bats to bring his season total up to 13.  I don’t think that shoulder is really bothering him anymore, huh?

Brett Cecil – 0.2 IP, 1 H, 2 ER, 1 BB with the BS and L.  Cecil couldn’t hold the lead in extra innings for the Jays, so their 11-game winning streak came to a halt.  Cecil may not be longed for the closer’s role as I have mentioned previously, so any misstep that he has is surely going to be magnified.  20-year old Roberto Osuna could be given a look as an internal option if Cecil struggles more, but the Jays also are most likely seeking outside help.

Aaron Sanchez – Sanchez was placed on the DL with a mild lat strain.  Too bad for the young righty on the Jays because his last start went really well and was possibly something that he could’ve built on.  However, he should return soon after he is eligible.  He still walks a lot of batters, but he’s got potential for the future.

Noah Syndergaard – 6 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 11 K.  What a superb bounce back outing from Thor, and he did it against a formidable Blue Jays offense.  His 3.76 ERA and 1.25 WHIP are decent, but 45 K/8 BB in 40.2 IP is to die for.  He’s got a heck of a future ahead of him.

Steven Matz – The Mets next hot pitching prospect is reportedly going to be called up around the beginning of July.  Matz is a lefty that has strikeout potential and good control, much in the same vein of Eduardo Rodriguez who was recently called up by the Red Sox.  Matz currently has a 2.30 ERA, 1.15 WHIP, and 81 K/30 BB in 78.1 IP.  I liked him a lot before the season as a deep sleeper to make an impact at some point this season, and with the Mets surprising the baseball world by being atop the NL East, they are trying to put out the best team that they can.  I like it.  To make room for Matz, the Mets have already designated Dillon Gee for assignment and Jon Niese could be bumped from the rotation.  I would pick up Matz anywhere where he is available.  Matt HarveyJacob deGromNoah Syndegaard, Steven Matz, and Zack Wheeler (when he’s fully recovered from Tommy John surgery next year) presents as one of the most dynamic and young projected pitching rotations of recent memory.

Williams Perez – 6 IP, 5 H, 0 ER, 2 BB, 2 K with the W.  Going into the hostile environment and hitter friendly Fenway Park, Perez put on another show.  His 2.29 ERA doesn’t quite match up with his 1.40 WHIP, so he’s bound to see his ERA rise soon, but I will repeat that he has heavy ground ball tendencies and decent strikeout potential.  He’s not a must grab guy, but stream him in the right spots for now.

Gio Gonzalez – 3.1 IP, 8 H, 5 ER, 3 BB, 1 K with the L.  Very tough game for Nat-Gio against a Rays offense that does surprisingly well versus lefties.  His SIERA and xFIP are still over a run lower than his actual 4.82 ERA.  Gio is just walking too many guys and then letting a lot of those walks come around to score.  He apparently has flip flopped usage of his four-seam and two-seam fastballs, now favoring his two-seamer more.  It’s not a huge change, but perhaps that has something to do with his overall ineffectiveness so far.

Logan Forsythe – 3 for 5, 2 RBI, 1 SB.  Forsythe has typically been known as a reserve player who does well versus left-handed pitching, but being thrust into a full-time role by necessity this season, he has been a rather productive player for the Rays batting in the top half of their order.  With a nice game on Monday, he is now batting .271 with 7 HR, 30 RBI, 26 R, and 5 SB in 64 games this season.  Forsythe also has multi-position eligibility to give him additional value.

Erasmo Ramirez – 6 IP, 5 H, 0 ER, 3 BB, 4 K with the W.  Ramirez has now held his opponents scoreless in 3 of his last 7 outings.  I may regret this later, but I am going to cautiously recommend Ramirez as a pickup, or streaming pitcher at the very least, because I believe that his improvements that he is showing stems from scrapping the slider from his pitch arsenal.  The slider for him was a horrible pitch that provided negative value, so since he scrapped it he has gone 6-1 with a 2.52 ERA, 1.07 WHIP, and 32 K/14 BB in 39.1 IP.  He’ll square off against Corey Kluber in his next scheduled start.

Yovani Gallardo – 7 IP, 4 H, 0 ER, 3 BB, 4 K with the W.  Gallardo continues to defy my beliefs of him as he evened out his record to 6-6 to go with a 3.16 ERA and 1.21 WHIP.  Oddly, Gallardo has taken a liking to his new home park that is supposed to be much more friendly to hitters.

Delino DeShields – DeShields was placed on the DL with a hamstring injury and is slated to miss about three weeks.  Like I’ve said, a hamstring injury for a player whose primary asset is his speed is a bit of an ominous thought.  However, hopefully the three weeks off will be ample time for him to recover.

George Springer – 3 for 4, 2 HR, 2 RBI, 3 R.  Springer has really turned things up a notch over the last several weeks.  Since May 20, Springer is hitting .371 to bring his season AVG all the way up from .185 to .269.  He also has 10 HR and 13 SB on the year and is truly developing into a fantasy beast.

Domingo Santana – The Astros are now set to call up another one of their top prospects, outfielder Domingo Santana.  Santana is a power hitting right-handed bat, but he has a huge strikeout tendency.  At AAA this season he has hit .320 with 11 HR and 38 RBI but has struck out 28.6% of the time.  The Astros have a crowded outfield situation so it’s hard to imagine that Santana receives anywhere near full-time at-bats.  The most likely scenario is that he gets regular at-bats whenever there’s a left-handed starter on the hill for the opposing team.  He’s not a player to rush to the waiver wire for in redraft leagues, but in dynasty leagues he is well worth a pickup.  The Astros are definitely going for it all this season by calling up Lance McCullersPreston TuckerCarlos CorreaVincent Velasquez, and now Domingo Santana.  It’s not every year that you see a contending 1st place team call up 5 of its top 10 prospects.  I am thoroughly impressed.

Byron Buxton – 1 for 3, 1 R.  Buxton’s first Major League hit came in the form of a triple.  Down in AA this season before his promotion, Buxton incredibly had almost as many triples as he did doubles and home runs combined.  He had 12 triples versus 7 doubles and 6 HR.  The guy has blazing speed so it is no surprise that his first ever hit was a triple.

Trevor May – 5 IP, 5 H, 3 ER, 1 BB, 3 K with the L.  May had been pitching pretty well as of late and he has shown great improvement in his walk rate this year.  However, he wasn’t quite as sharp on Monday, but his improvements this season do have to be noted and he can emerge as a mixed league option.  He will try again in his next start versus the Cubs.

Greg Holland – 0 IP, 4 H, 3 ER, 1 BB.  Holland came into the 9th inning to get some work in with a 6-run lead, but he ended up getting blasted and didn’t record an out.  Wade Davis and his 0.32 ERA came in and cleaned up the mess for his 8th save of the season.  In this outing, Holland threw 8 fastballs for an average of 93.4 MPH, which is still the same diminished velocity that he’s shown all season with the heater.  I’ve been saying it for over a month now that Holland’s days are numbered as closer because of this velocity issue, and this is just further proof of it.

Hunter Pence – Pence is on the DL again with a wrist injury that is believed to have stemmed from the forearm fracture that had him on the DL earlier this season.  Pence had been a model of health and consistency throughout his career, so to have two DL stints in one season is certainly a new experience for him.  The Giants hope to have him back as soon as they can because Pence really gives that offense a huge boost.

Ender Inciarte – 0 for 1.  Inciarte suffered a hamstring injury and is probably looking at a DL stint.  For the Diamondbacks, they have the depth to withstand this injury, but it is a tough break for Inciarte who had been producing well out of the leadoff spot.

Robbie Ray – 7 IP, 2 H, 0 ER, 2 BB, 3 K with the W.  Ray is a hard-throwing lefty on the Diamondbacks and after 4 starts he is now 2-1 with a 1.09 ERA, 0.97 WHIP, and 16 K/7 BB in 24.2 IP.  It is a nice little run for the 23-year old, but he’s not this good.  He was striking out a ton of guys in AAA before his call up (12.31 K/9), but he was also walking a bunch as well (5.83 BB/9).  That about sums up what he has been all about in his professional career, but oddly enough both his strikeouts and walks are way down since he came to the Majors.  He may not be a gas can, but he’s no Chris Sale either.

Taijuan Walker – 7 IP, 7 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 6 K with the W.  Walker has been a completely different pitcher over the last 4 starts after he had a 7.33 ERA after his first 9 starts.  He has 27 K/3 BB in his last 29 IP and could finally be figuring out how to pitch at the Major League level.  I still remain a little skeptical that he is passed all the blow ups, but he’s definitely showing some grit and talent that can be successful.  He’ll get the Astros in his next start and if he can get through that one with a replica of his last 4 starts, then I will be ready to forgive him for his humiliating start to the season.  Kudos to the Mariners for sticking with him and not demoting him to the Minors.

Tyson Ross – 5 IP, 7 H, 4 ER, 5 BB, 6 K with the L.  Another typical Tyson Ross outing.  What was atypical though was he only allowed 1 SB.  I outlined it well over a month ago in “Are Tyson’s Punch Outs Enough?”  Ross just isn’t a pitcher that we in the fantasy community want to be dealing with right now.  Hopefully you were able to ditch him back then when I brought all his flaws to attention.

Stephen Vogt – 3 for 5, 1 HR, 5 RBI, 1 R.  Vogt’s batting average had taken a tumble down to .273 because he was hitting just .079 in June entering play Monday.  However, I still had faith in the guy and he came through with a grand slam versus the Padres.  He’s still one of my favorite catchers this year and he mashes against righties.  He is now hitting .281 with 12 HR and 45 RBI.

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5 thoughts on “Rougned Bringing a Nice Odor to the Texas Air (and other notes from 6/15/15)

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