Ray's Ramblings: Big & Small of It
Trevor Bauer, J.D. Martinez, Clay Buchholz, Tyler Flowers, Billy Hamilton and more are discussed within.
What should you expect from Trevor Bauer when he is called up? Now that J.D. Martinez is up, will he continue his homer barrage? Is it time to bail on Clay Buchholz? How long can Tyler Flowers sustain his hot start? Will Dexter Fowler ever live up to expectations? What to do with Billy Hamilton? Will this Aaron Hill guy every come around? What, wasn't Cory Kluber supposed to be good? All this and some zany wit from the Oracle.
Trevor Bauer has a dynamic arm. We can all agree there. What we also know is that he (A) has no spot in the rotation of the Indians right now and (B) he's been maddeningly inconsistent during his professional career. Yes he looked great in his one outing this season with eight punchouts and only one earned run allowed in six innings. That effort still lowered his career ratios to just 5.03 in the ERA column and 1.63 in the WHIP category. He also owns a 1.16 K/BB ratio in the bigs in nine starts. Bauer has looked great though in his two minor league starts (18 Ks, three walks, one run in two outings) this season, I'll give him that. What size league do you add him in at the moment? Can't in 10 teamer. Could in 12, probably should in 15. Still, we don't know when he will be up or how he will perform. If you don't like Danny Salazar don't know how you can take a shot on Bauer at the moment.
Clay Buchholz stunk up the joint on Patriot's day Monday. CB fell to 0-2 as he allowed six runs while recording all of seven outs against the Orioles. At the end of the game he had a 7.71 ERA and 1.93 WHIP. You all know I'm concerned. I'm always concerned with him. There velocity is down yet again as well. In 2012 he threw 94 mph. In 2011 it was 92.6. In 2013 it was 92.2. Last season it was 91.9. This year its 90 mph. Oh, and there is this. He's NEVER thrown 110 innings in back-to-back seasons. Ever. Oh and that hair... has to be the dirtiest thing going in baseball. Has to be.
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Lucas Duda and Ike Davis. I'd take the Pirates new first sacker over the Mets current option. Pretty close call though. Duda brings a bit more stability and is less likely to hurt your average, while Davis undeniably brings more pop. Both are more like 15 team mixed league options or corner infield plays in 12 team leagues where people are growing antsy with the likes of Pablo Sandoval and Kyle Seager (you don't drop Sandoval or Seager for either of these two mind you, but you can bench them at the moment).
Tyler Flowers and I are not related. Wouldn't mind if we were after his hot start. “Hot' really isn't the right word actually. How about scalding. Through 16 games Flowers is batting .389 with a .884 OPS. Fantastic numbers for those of you that had no choice but to call his name out on draft day as your second catcher. At the same time, sorry cuz, you are living on borrowed time with Flowers so I would advise dealing him immediately. It's actually pretty absurd what he has done. Through 57 plate appearances he has 20 strikeouts, nearly a third of his at-bats, and his BABIP is .606. I didn't fat finger that. His BABIP does include two 6's. Not much else needs to be said, right?
Dexter Fowler started hot, got sick, and has stunk since. A succinct yet accurate statement. Keep in mind we're still talking about a guy who has 13 homers, 20 steals and 79 runs scored over his last 134 games. Don't sleep on Fowler, and certainly don't let him languish on waivers if someone has mistakenly put him out there. Get on it and add the switch hitter.
Billy Hamilton has a hit in 5-straight games. He's boosted his average up to .213. He's still struck out five times in those five games, and that .250 OBP on the year is hideous, but improvement is improvement. Hamilton has swiped five bags in the last four games and that is exciting. Amazingly, at this point Hamilton is on pace to hit .213 with 63 steals. Since 1900 only one man has stolen 60 bases while hitting under .230. Rodney Scott stole 63 bases while hitting .224 in 1979 for the Expos. His .307 OBP that year seems huge by comparison.
Aaron Hill is batting .221 and people are running from him in droves. Should you join that list? I don't think so. Hill has hit .272 for his career, and he's been over .290 the past two seasons. Pretty sure that the 0.18 BB/K ratio will improve too. After all he's a guy with a 0.52 mark for his career. Also pretty sure it makes no sense that he has a .286 BABIP, five points off his career mark, while rapping out line drives at an elite rate (25 percent). He wont struggle along trying to hit his weight. Buy low if you can or keep the faith if you own him.
I went to the bank today to cash a check. I was wearing flip flops and sweets. Pretty sure that the pretty teller was shocked to see that I had more than $37.52 in my account.
Corey Kluber was one of those guys that I pushed on people this offseason. Right now that doesn't look like the smartest of calls, but I'm gonna say something you've heard me say before, and something you should actually take to heart; it's early. It's been 23.1 innings. If he throws 180 innings this season that means he has thrown 13 percent of the innings he will throw this season. To compare to football, that's less than two games of action. Be patient. Stay the course. Yes the ERA is 5.40 and the WHIP is 1.70. That's awful. I get it. Note that he's still only walked six men, that his K/BB ratio is still strong at 3.17, and that he's also been saddled with an absurd .390 BABIP early on. Buy lo here... don't sell.
J.D. Martinez was named the International League Player of the Week as he hit .318 with six bombs and nine RBIs in seven games for the Mudhens. Not just a one week thing either as Martinez has hit 10 homers already, the most in the minors. The Tigers said we likely so they promoted the one time top shelf prospect to the majors as they transferred Andy Dirks from the 15 to 60 day DL opening up a spot on the 40 man roster for Martinez. Three things. (1) There may not be a hotter hitter in baseball right now. (2) If Martinez was that good, wouldn't he already be on the 40 man roster and wouldn't the woeful Astros have held on to him? Let's not forget that through 899 big league at-bats that J.D. Is a .251 hitter with a .300 OBP and .387 SLG. Those are not good numbers. He's also stolen only two bases in those 252 games, and 24 homers in 899 at-bats is nothing to look at. Also, that 0.28 BB/K ratio I don't like. (3) How much will he play? With Victor Martinez the daily DH, it looks like Martinez will be nothing more than a 4th outfielder behind Rajai Davis, Torii Hunter and Austin Jackson. A nice AL-only add, but it's pretty aggressive if you're looking at him in a mixed league.