Giancarlo Needs a Hand (and other notes from 6/27/15)

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Previously reported was how Giancarlo Stanton hurt his hand at some point during Friday’s game against the Dodgers, and he was visibly bothered by it as he was seen wincing after striking out in the 9th inning of the game (see picture above). It was learned on Saturday morning that Stanton has a broken hamate bone in his hand and will need to undergo surgery to repair it.  Stanton really can’t catch a break in these last couple of seasons when it comes to injuries.  Last year, his season was cut short when Mike Fiers let a fastball get away from him that ended up hitting Stanton in the face to break some bones, and now this mysterious and all of a sudden broken bone in his hand.

Stanton is currently batting .267/.346/.606 with 27 HR, 67 RBI, 47 R, and 4 SB in 74 games, leading the Majors in HR and RBI.  So for the Marlins and fantasy teams alike, Stanton’s production is virtually impossible to replace.  The Marlins offense had already been struggling to score runs as of late, and they have had a very difficult time winning ball games in a season where they have already endured a managerial change.  The Marlins will most likely try and replace Stanton with Mike Morse soon, who has been on the DL but reportedly doing well in a rehab assignment.  Morse is surely no Stanton though, so the Marlins should find runs hard to come by and they make a great team to use starting pitchers against in DFS.  For season long fantasy players who own Stanton, hopefully you have someone on your bench that can at least tide you over for the next 4-6 weeks.  However, when Stanton does return, he may not the be the same beastly hitter that he has been as hand injuries like this tend to sap a hitter’s power and/or overall hitting ability.

Now let’s see what else happened on a Saturday slate of baseball that saw three games washed out and one suspended by the rain.

Rougned Odor – 2 for 3, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 1 R, 1 SB.  I gave a rundown on Odor a couple weeks ago in “Rougned Bringing a Nice Odor to the Texas Air” and he is getting regular playing time at second base for the Rangers and doing very well.  Since his recall, Odor is batting .364 with 2 HR, 9 RBI, 2 R, and 3 SB in 12 games.  Don’t let his overall stat line fool you because he was just awful to start the year before being sent down to the Minors.  He needs to be owned everywhere with his 15 HR/30 SB upside over the course of a full season at a shallow second base position.

Yovani Gallardo – 8.1 IP, 3 H, 0 ER, 2 BB, 4 K with the W.  After the Blue Jays destroyed Nick Martinez on Friday, Gallardo nearly hurled a complete game shutout versus the powerhouse team on Saturday.  I still believe that Gallardo is performing way over his head right now and that he will be the next Rangers pitcher to blow up.  His strikeout rate has pretty much declined every season since 2009 when it was at 9.83 K/9 to this year’s extremely mediocre rate of 6.56 K/9. Despite having a ground ball rate this season that would be a career high, Gallardo’s BABIP is sitting at a career low of .264 — more ground balls should normally equal a higher BABIP, so there’s something strange going on here.  He is getting a little less line drives hit off him and a lower hard hit rate, so that has to account for something.  But I believe as the summer heats up, Gallardo will start feeling the effects of the warm Texas air and that is when we will see his numbers shoot up toward a 4.00 ERA and 1.30 WHIP.  For now, Gallardo is 7-6 with a 2.72 ERA, 1.15 WHIP, and 70 K/28 BB in 96 IP.

Torii Hunter – 3 for 4, 2 HR, 2 RBI, 3 R.  Big game for the veteran as he keeps on producing and being a leader for this team.  He’s now hitting .266 with 10 HR and 41 RBI.

D.J. LeMahieu – I talked about LeMahieu in “D.J. LeMahieu Spins the Hits” a few weeks ago and I mentioned how he was capable of much more stolen bases (he only had 5 SB through the first two months of the season).  Well, he has really been turning it up a notch on the base paths lately with 5 SB in the last 14 games after stealing another one on Saturday. His batting average has dropped down to .306 after being .330 or higher for most of the season, but he still will have a chance to hit .300 playing his home games at Coors Field.

Matt Duffy – 3 for 4, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 3 R.  I mentioned Duffy a little while ago as a great role player for the Giants who is producing pretty nicely.  Hitting third on Saturday, Duffy hit his 7th HR of the season and he also has a nice .294 AVG to go with it.  He only has 2 SB on the season, but he has shown 20 SB capability in the Minors.  He’s not a bad guy to take a chance on for an infield spot if you need the help.  While Nori Aoki and Hunter Pence are on the DL, Duffy will be relied on more in higher spots in the lineup, especially against left-handed pitching.

Chris Young – 6 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 4 K with the W.  Young rebounded from his last start where he gave up 3 HR and a total of 7 runs against the Red Sox.  But in that game, the weather was very unfavorable for Young and his pitching tendencies.  The weather and stadium in Oakland on Saturday was much more conducive to Young’s fly ball inducing ways, so he was able to hold the A’s down pretty well.  I don’t mind Young in the right situations, and this certainly was one of the better ones.  But overall, he’s due for some regression.  His next start will come at home versus the Twins, which is another right situation as long as the weather cooperates.

Evan Longoria – 2 for 4, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 1 R, 2 K.  Longoria’s name value has exceeded his actual value for fantasy purposes over the last few years, but the two things are slowly meeting together to see eye to eye.  The Rays third baseman has been having a decent, yet unspectacular, season with a .280 AVG, 8 HR, 34 RBI, 34 R, and 1 SB — and this is the type of production that we can expect from him the rest of the season.

Matt Andriese – 6 IP, 1 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 5 K with the W.  The Red Sox offense does not look all that imposing without Dustin Pedroia and Hanley Ramirez.  Just ask Matt Andriese of the Rays who surprisingly shut the Sox out for 6 innings allowing only 1 hit.  This type of performance should not become a habitual thing for the 25-year old rookie righty.  He possesses good control, but not overpowering stuff so his strikeout upside is limited.  Also, there’s a possibility that he may have injured himself somehow since he was removed from the game after only 70 pitches.  He’s scheduled to take on the Indians next if he can make that start.

Matt Harvey – 6 IP, 5 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 3 K.  Harvey made it through 6 innings before a rain delay came in on Saturday, but he curiously has not been striking out man batters lately.  Over his last 4 starts, he only has 16 K in 25.2 IP — after having 80 K in 73.2 IP over his first 11 starts.  His average velocity on his fastball has been slightly down over the last few starts, so there could be some concern here.  With it being his first year back from Tommy John surgery, he just may be experiencing a “dead arm” phase, or it could be nothing at all.  His next start will be in LA against the Dodgers where he could have a bad game if this velocity thing is a real issue.

Justin Turner – 2 for 4, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 1 R, 1 K.  Turner keeps on hitting as he now has a .320 AVG with 11 HR.  I wish I owned him everywhere.  He should be owned everywhere.

Clayton Kershaw – 7 IP, 7 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 9 K.  Kershaw got the fortune of facing a struggling Marlins offense that is now without Giancarlo Stanton for a while, but Kershaw wasn’t all that sharp early on.  However, a couple of defensive errors by his outfield also did him in to prolong innings and let two unearned runs cross.  He’s definitely not showing the same type of dominance and swagger that he did last season, but his xFIP and SIERA are nearly right in line with his marks from last season.

Andrew McCutchen – 0 for 0, HBP.  McCutchen had to leave the game in the 1st inning after being plunked on his left elbow by a fastball.  X-rays have come back negative, which is obviously good news, but he figures to at least miss a game or two.

Starling Marte – 3 for 4, 1 RBI, 3 R, 1 SB, 1 K.  Marte is already turning into a fantasy beast with a .279 AVG, 12 HR, 46 RBI, 41 R, and 15 SB, but if he ever can trim that strikeout rate down to under 20% (currently at 22.9%), then he could be a .300 hitter as well.

Charlie Morton – 6 IP, 10 H, 4 ER, 0 BB, 6 K with the W.  Morton came into the day with a 5-24 career record with an ERA close to 6.00 in day games.  So it was not a shocker to see him give up a bunch of hits and a handful of runs, but luckily his offense scored early and often to stake him to a big lead allowing him to record a win.

Julio Teheran – 6 IP, 9 H, 6 ER, 1 BB, 5 K with the L.  Teheran had a great start in his last time out, but I issued a warning saying that it was against a Mets offense that was in the midst of a big slump.  So it should come as no surprise that he went right back to getting shelled.  I didn’t like Teheran for this season, but the way things are going for him is much worse than I expected.  He has a 4.94 ERA and 1.40 WHIP.

Carlos Correa – 3 for 5, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 1 R, 1 K.  Correa is now up to a .305 AVG, 5 HR, 15 RBI, 11 R, and 4 SB in 19 games since being promoted to the Majors, and he’s been hitting 2nd in the Astros lineup.  He’s quite the stud.

Jose Altuve – 1 for 3, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 1 R, 1 BB, 1 K.  Altuve went yard on Saturday for his 6th HR of the season and he is now just 1 HR shy of tying his career high and we aren’t even halfway through the season yet.  He hit as many as 15 HR in a single season in the Minors, so despite his tiny frame, he does have some pop.

Chris Young – 1 for 3, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 3 R, 1 BB, 1 K.  Young went yard once more playing in front of his hometown crowd in Houston.  If he keeps this up then he’s going to find himself in the lineup in more than just a platoon situation once Jacoby Ellsbury returns.

Brian McCann – 2 for 4, 1 HR, 4 RBI, 1 R, 1 BB, 1 K.  McCann keeps on bopping as he hit a grand slam on Saturday.  .274 AVG, 12 HR, 49 RBI, and 30 R.  Very solid numbers for a catcher.

Masahiro Tanaka – 5 IP, 7 H, 6 ER, 2 BB, 5 K.  That’s back to back poor starts from Tanaka, though in his defense, they were against some tough offenses in the Tigers and Astros.  He’ll likely improve on his 3.88 ERA and 1.10 WHIP in his next start versus the Rays, but if he doesn’t then there may be something to worry about.

Andrew Cashner – 7 IP, 8 H, 2 ER, 0 BB, 6 K with the W.  Cashner escaped with a victory on Saturday to “improve” his record to 3-9.  I mentioned in “Sometimes A Pitcher Is Only As Good As His Defense” why Cashner can continue to post numbers that don’t really match up with what we would expect of him.  So it was nice to see him get in the win column even though he still gave up a lot of hits.

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