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    Our prospect team mines the minors for top prospects and useful pieces alike.
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    Marc Hulet adjusts (and updates) his prospect list for fantasy purposes.
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Bullpen Report: June 23, 2018

Arizona did not deploy Brad Boxberger until the 11th inning for a save opportunity, but Boxberger failed to convert it for the second straight outing. Boxberger allowed an unearned run to score but it’s the three walks which raises eyebrows, not the end result. Leadoff walks never end well for closers and Boxberger started the inning with one to Gregory Polanco. Then he handed out a free pass to Josh Bell along with an intentional walk to Austin Meadows after a sacrifice bunt to load the bases. Had Jake Lamb made a better throw to home, perhaps it’s a moot point, but Boxberger’s walked five over his last six innings giving up three home runs and six earned runs in these appearances. As a result, Boxberger’s walk percentage has risen to 12.1 percent and his WHIP to an uncomfortable 1.37 through 26.1 innings.

It’s important to note, Boxberger’s only thrown 27.2 innings total across all levels in 2016 and 37 innings last year due to injuries. Fatigue could be a factor as the All-Star break looms. Arizona will let him continue in the role not wishing to increase arbitration to Archie Bradley, but in the midst of a pennant chase in the wide open National League West may eventually force their hand. Bradley’s only yielded one earned run in 10.1 innings in June despite his 4:4 K:BB in them. Yoshihisa Hirano’s on a 21 game (18.1 inning) scoreless streak but mostly works in the seventh inning as a setup pitcher. Andrew Chafin’s also pitching well tossing 23 scoreless outings of his last 25 giving up only two earned runs his last 17.1 innings (1.04 ERA). Whether or not the Diamondbacks make a change remains to be seen, but Boxberger’s officially under watch as innings accrue. If the walks and home runs persist, he could be on the outside looking in for save chances in July. Read the rest of this entry »


Roto Riteup: June 23, 2018

The Roto Riteup is jumping into the weekend like:

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Lineup Analysis: AL Edition

Note: Greeting from Denver as the FanGraphs writers travel here for the weekend. These reports aren’t as detailed as normal as beer and a whiffle ball game call.

Angels

  • It’s set with the top. The bottom is a complete mess with Luis Valbuena getting the most consistent playing time.

Astros

Athletics Read the rest of this entry »


Bullpen Report: June 22, 2018

Although Bruce Bochy listed Sam Dyson and Tony Watson as his “primary options” to close with Hunter Strickland headed to the disabled list, could Mark Melancon work his way into at least a time share? While it’s not out of the realm of possibilities, keep in mind Dyson worked the three previous games prior to last night so he received a much needed day off. Melancon stepped in to record his first save, one year and one day since his last one before missing the majority of last season. For one night, San Francisco’s blueprint went exactly as planned with Madison Bumgarner firing eight shutout innings and Melancon locking down the save. Read the rest of this entry »


Roto Riteup: June 22, 2018

I’m not actually here everyone this is some guy I met.

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Pitcher Spotlight: Chad Kuhl May Have Figured It Out

I’m taking a chance today, posting this piece just an hour before Chad Kuhl takes the hill against the Brewers. Yesterday’s game was postponed, forcing me to take a leap of faith today, but I know what I see and I’m going to talk about it anyway.

We’ve been waiting for Kuhl to have consistent fantasy relevancy since his call-up in 2016, but it’s been a laborious two years. Back-to-back seasons with a WHIP over 1.30 and an ERA well north of 4.00 have done little to inspire hope, as his strikeout rate has hovered 20%.

However, Kuhl’s last four starts have been successful and I could be more than just a blip on the radar. I actually think it’s going to stick.

Chad Kuhl’s 2018 Season
ERA HR/FB Soft Contact Whiff% Slider usage Fastball usage
First ten starts 4.20 16.7% 15.4% 9.1% 16.1% 61.3%
Last four starts 2.70 8.3% 21.7% 11.1% 28.5% 51.4%

That’s a table comparing Kuhl’s first ten starts of 2018 to his last four, including a bit of a pitch mix adjustment as Kuhl is suddenly throwing his slide piece over 30% of the time as he pulls back from his fastball.

Why is this important? Because Kuhl’s slider is incredible and his fastball is terrible.

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Waiver Wire Week 12: 10 Widely Available SPs

Each week through the season, I’ll be looking at the collection of starting pitchers owned in under 15% of leagues (consensus Yahoo/ESPN ownership from Fantasy pros) and pointing out the options to consider if you need an extra arm or two at the end of your staff.

It’s been another week of Fantasy Baseball, and the waiver wire has shifted. Let’s highlight my ten favorites, roughly ordered from top to bottom:

Shane Bieber (Cleveland Indians) – The only reason Bieber qualifies is his lack of security inside the Indians rotation. It’s possible he only sticks for one more start – Thursday against the Tigers – as Carlos Carrasco returns from his short DL stint, but the possibility that he gets more starts alone should be enough to grab in most leagues now. And even if it’s just for one start, his control-heavy approach with a good fastball and solid secondary offerings make him a good play for Thursday’s matchup.

Read the rest of this entry »


Bullpen Report: June 21, 2018

Life is coming at the Giants’ bullpen fast. On Monday, Hunter Strickland blew a save against the Marlins and punched out a door. On Tuesday, Strickland had surgery and Sam Dyson was named the new closer. That night, Dyson notched a save, and then on Wednesday afternoon, he came perilously close to blowing a save.

The Giants gave Dyson a three-run cushion in their series finale with Miami, but the Marlins shaved a run off the lead when Starlin Castro brought Miguel Rojas home with a one-out sacrifice fly. Dyson was one strike away from recording his second save in two days, but then Brian Anderson smacked an 0-2 two-seamer into right field for an RBI single. After J.T. Realmuto singled on Dyson’s very next pitch, Bruce Bochy called for Reyes Moronta to get out of the jam. In striking out J.B. Shuck on four pitches, Moronta got credit for his first career save.
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The Daily Grind: Announcements Aplenty

I will be traveling without internet or phone access from June 22 through July 1. This column, including Invitationals, will cease to exist in the interim. See you again on July 2. In other news, I’ve been awake since 5:00am (by choice). It shows.

AGENDA

  1. TDG Invitational
  2. Weather Reports
  3. Pitchers to Use and Abuse
  4. SaberSim Says…
  5. Observations

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8 Starting Pitcher Velocity Gainers

We know that the average pitcher gains velocity as the season wears on, typically adding around a mile an hour by the end of the year versus where he began. But, obviously, not every pitcher follows that pattern. So it would be beneficial to learn which pitchers have gained significant velocity month-to-month, as it might portend improved results. Let’s discuss eight starting pitchers who have gained the most velocity from May to June.

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