Batter’s Box: That Mild Odor Has Become A Rotten Stench

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You’re probably familiar with the expression that goes “Don’t let the Odor hit you in the [expletive] on the way out.” Is that not how it goes? Well, at least, in that version of it Texas 2B Rougned Odor is hitting SOMETHING. I’m rapidly losing faith in Texas 2B Odor being able to turn it around this year, and he might be on his way out of my lineup at this point. After going 0-3, K against Cleveland last night, the woefully low wRC+ of 54 he has tells me it’s OK to be angry at how little he’s producing in what is theoretically an extremely potent Rangers order. Admittedly, a .233 BABIP lends a little hope to his currently bleak fantasy landscape. But the fact is Odor has batted so poorly that he recently got demoted in the order from fifth to the 7-spot, which doesn’t do his run/RBI chances any good. And while his hard contact rate is up, so is his whiff rate. Twelve homers unfortunately don’t make up for what he’s failing to do otherwise. Contact in the zone and contact in general are down, so I don’t know how much more patience I can recommend when his .205 average might actually be contributing to you losing a category. He’s especially wretched against changeups and sliders, so absolutely bench him against SP with those pitches featuring prominently in their arsenals. Let’s hope Odor can channel 2015, when his second-half splits were decidedly better.

Let’s take a look at what else happened notably hitting-wise around the league:

Buy & Sell 6/28: Identifying Who To Add And Who To Drop

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Welcome back to Buy & Sell, and this week’s edition theme is CCR: Cincinnati, Cardinals, and Rangers. I know that’s kind of cheating with flipping the team location and names, but I was listening to them while writing this, okay? And perhaps for good reason, as lots of these guys are older players cranking out hits, yet who can easily get overlooked, especially during the mid-June prospect frenzy. But these will be the ones that will help more in the long haul, and help your team keep on rollin’, rollin’ rollin’ on the river.

BUY

Carlos Gomez (OF, Texas Rangers) – You may have been one of the many mourning his productive days from yesteryear, never again to return. But turns out Gomez is back, and doesn’t appreciate your Morticia impersonation. It has always been about health, and although he’ll probably always deal with some nagging injuries (such as his sore back) he’s hitting the ball with authority, with a career-best 40.3% Hard% and a nice low 38.3% GB% with 25.2% LD%. He’s still not a 30 stolen base guy or perhaps even a 20 stolen base guy, and his 30% K rate makes him a batting average liability, but he can go 25-15 and thus should be owned in all mixed leagues. Go to his games and hope you get a souvenir in the Gomezzanine.

Luis Severino’s Fastball + The Nastiest Pitching GIFs from Tuesday’s Games

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Every morning we review the nastiest pitches from the previous day’s games in glorious HD GIFs. Don’t forget to vote for your favorite pitch and check back this weekend to see if it will be in contention for the GIF of the First Half Contest. Did we miss your favorite pitch? Send us a tweet next time @ThePitcherList and we’ll GIF it up + give you a shoutout here in the article.

Luis Severino’s Fastball – Severino was all kinds of filthy against the White Sox on Tuesday, racking up twelve strikeouts through seven impressive frames. Our favorite may have been with this Fastball that had a life of its own, fanning Matt Davidson as the ball seemingly rose up-and-in at a blistering 98mph.

On The Cobb

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I’ve been kinda throwing away questions about Alex Cobb thus far as I was just waiting for him to flounder again and quiet the mob, but it’s getting harder to ignore as he went 8.0 IP, 0 ER, 2 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks. His last 12 starts feature a 3.38 ERA, which includes his disastrous 9 ER starts against the Mariners. So why is Cobb still not on The List? Because he’s a huge TEEs. The Cobb we used to know what a strikeout fiend due to a Split-Changeup that was simply baller. He threw that pitch under 5% of the time last night against the Pirates and he’s averaging 4.33 strikeouts per start in this excellent 12 start run, with a 4.77 xFIP and just 13.6% soft contact. This is bad. 4.89 SIERA, 34.6% hard contact, 1.28 WHIP, etc. The only thing that isn’t bad is his luck creating the 3.38 ERA. Considering we’re making a Three-Fists Compromise with Cobb, that means his ERA needs to be better than 3.70 rest of the way (and that’s generous) for me to consider him over a strikeout upside arm. That’s not a bet I want to make.

Let’s see how every other SP did yesterday:

Closing Time 6/28: Ranking the Top 30 Closers Every Wednesday

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Just when you thought the Nationals closer situation couldn’t get any worse, GM Mike Rizzo decided to sign Francisco Rodriguez on Monday. It’s laughable to think that he could fix their 9th inning problem, as he has been downright terrible this season and has been trending that way for over a year now. He will spend 2 weeks in AAA and while it essentially is a zero risk move, the team has to be willing to deal something of value in their farm system for a legitimate, proven closer outside the organization. As Mike Ehrmentraut might say, “no more half measures“.

TIER 1: Nothing Compares 2 U

1. Kenley Jansen (Los Angeles Dodgers)—Pedro Baez, Sergio Romo

2. Craig Kimbrel (Boston Red Sox)—Matt Barnes, Joe Kelly

3. Aroldis Chapman (New York Yankees)—Dellin Betances, Tyler Clippard

Jose Berrios’ Curveball + The Nastiest Pitching GIFs from Monday’s Games

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Every morning we review the nastiest pitches from the previous day’s games in glorious HD GIFs. Don’t forget to vote for your favorite pitch and check back this weekend to see if it will be in contention for the GIF of the First Half Contest. Did we miss your favorite pitch? Send us a tweet next time @ThePitcherList and we’ll GIF it up + give you a shoutout here in the article.

Jose Berrios’ Curveball – Last night’s Twins/Red Sox game was an absolute treat for pitching fans as Berrios paired up against Chris Sale in a battle of elite breaking balls. We’ve made plenty of Berrios Curveball GIFs thus far, but with the Red Sox slow-motion camera by our side, we were able to get a great look at just how much break the pitch gets as it traveled from the inside corner to the opposite batter’s box to Xander Bogaerts. Wow. (Thanks to  for the tip!)

Batter’s Box: Sippin’ on Gin Andrus

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Elvis Andrus has had quite a year so far, hasn’t he? He continued that on Monday night, going 3-4, 2 HR, 3 R, 4 RBI. With those two home runs, Andrus now has nine on the year, which is a career high for him, and we haven’t even hit the halfway point of the season yet. In fact, so far this year, he’s on pace for around 20 home runs (and 40 steals), which would be completely unheard of for him. Andrus has always been a guy who hits near .300 and steals 30-40 bases for you with a good number of runs. He’s never been a power guy, but all of a sudden, he is now, and it’s fair to wonder about the legitimacy of it. Well, I’m here to tell you that it’s real, and that Andrus’ value this year is immensely higher than it ever has been in the past. Andrus has changed his approach, most notably, he added a high leg kick that’s seemed to help him a lot. You look at his batted ball stats, his hard hit rate is at a career high 30% (he’s averaged 23.9% on his career), and with that has come a rise in his pull rate (a career-high 48.6% compared to his career average of 36.9%), and a rise in HR/FB rate (another career high at 9.7% compared to his career average of 4.3%). He’s turning on the power this year, and it all looks entirely sustainable. Do I think he’ll be a 20/40 player this year? I think it’s possible, but I doubt it. But I think he could end the year with 15 home runs, 35-40 steals, all while batting .280-.290 the rest of the way, and if he does that, that’s a pretty fantastic year.

Let’s take a look at some of the other performances from Monday:

JorMont By Your Side

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I don’t think anyone who has been listening to our Podcasts or following these roundups was unaware of Jordan Montgomery before last night, but I’m sure many are going to start join me on the hype train after his impressive 7.0 IP, 1 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 8 Ks line against the LHP-feasting Chicago White Sox. The Bear (JorMont) has been on a tear in his last seven outings, boasting an 8.93 K/9, 1.91 BB/9, and 2.34 ERA with a solid 6+ IPS. Walks are down, his whiff rates are at an elite 14.8% mark across those starts, and while he has faced some weak teams in that stretch, seeing swinging strikes rise and walks fall are always great signs to see a pitcher getting comfortable in the big leagues. The largest concern has been an overall HR/FB rate under 10%, but during this stretch he’s found success even with a 14.3% clip. I’m not telling you he’s Top 25, but man I want him everywhere and he can be a sturdy #4 for your fantasy squad through the year as he plays for a winning (well not the last two weeks) ballclub. What if The Bear and the Maiden Fair were the same person…?

Let’s see how every other SP did yesterday:

Batter’s Box: The Nationals Are Taylor-Made For A Goodwin Every Day

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After the eventful series that took place between the Cincinnati Reds and the Washington Nationals this past weekend, it seemed pertinent to focus on some of the unsung heroes playing for the team that came out on top twice in three tries. Outfielders Michael Taylor and Brian Goodwin had excellent performances in Friday’s and Saturday’s games, respectively, to spur their Nats on to victory by scores of 6-5 and 18-3. While Taylor only pinch-hit Friday, he still went 4-10, 5 R, 3 HR, 5 RBI, 3 K for the series; he has plated 15 in June to double his RBI count to 30 on the year. I would argue that aside from the Royals’ Jorge Bonifacio, he is the least known name of the 94 guys to have hit 11 homers thus far. The .273 average is more than OK, and the 33 runs he’s scored are also not terrible for 209 at-bats’ worth of work. Taylor has thrown in seven steals to the mix, and he’s only owned in 17% of Yahoo leagues and 10.2% of ESPN leagues. He’s honestly an extremely sturdy play at OF right now, given his .284 average in June and the HR/FB ratio and hard contact percentage being where they need to be for you to feel good about using him. The walk rate is super low and the K rate is high, but production is happening so don’t let those things dissuade you just yet. Goodwin, on the other hand, is a newer asset with a much smaller sample for us to analyze after having been called up from Triple-A Syracuse just over a month ago. Through 91 AB, he has a .275 average with six homers, 16 RBI, 25 runs and a steal after posting a 6-12, 5 R, 2 HR, 3 RBI, 4 BB, 2 K line versus Cincinnati. It’s tough to break out in an outfield unit featuring the stellar Bryce Harper, but Goodwin is doing a fine job opposite him in relief of Jayson Werth, who’s dealing with a toe injury on the 10-day DL. Goodwin’s .657 slugging percentage in June and 11 XBH in the same span make him an appealing streamer over the next several weeks. He likely won’t have a roster spot when Werth is reactivated in mid-July (after the All-Star Break), but if you need a shot-in-the-dark boost to average and runs with moderate power, Goodwin may be worth a look in the meantime. He’s batted second in the productive Washington lineup over his last seven starts, which is food for thought.

Let’s take a look at what else happened notably hitting-wise around the league:

Jake Junis’ Slider + The Nastiest Pitching GIFs From This Weekend’s Games

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Every Monday we review the nastiest pitches from the previous weekends’s games in glorious HD GIFs. Don’t forget to vote for your favorite pitch and check back this weekend to see if it will be in contention for the GIF of the First Half. Did we miss your favorite pitch? Send us a tweet next time @ThePitcherList and we’ll GIF it up + give you a shoutout here in the article.

Congrats to Corey Kluber’s Slider for winning Nastiest Pitching GIF of the Week! The pitch has taken the crown for two straight weeks. Should be fun pitting them against each other in the first half tournament.

Jake Junis’ Slider – If you’re not a Royals fan, you may not be aware of Junis, but his breaking ball certainly deserves your attention. Check out the late bite on the pitch as Kevin Pillar came up empty-handed as he chased the pitch out of the zone to end the second frame on Friday.

Sonny, It’s Time We Had A Talk

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I have to imagine there is a ton of confusion about how to feel about Sonny Gray, who just made things more difficult to assess after his 7.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 7 Ks against the White Sox last night. Now he hosts a 4.45 ERA on the year, though it comes with a 9.05 K/9, 54.3% GB rate, and comfortable 3.39 xFIP. I will mention that his previous two outings were disappointing, but he faced the Astros and Yankees, and Gray finally got some respite against Chicago. Now, is Gray someone that can take that step and be a solid #3 like he was back in the day? I don’t really think so. When he was coming back from the DL, I essentially labeled him as a Toby and I think he’s still that guy. He’ll have those moments where he makes you a super happy owner, but that BB/9 is still above 3.00 and he’ll struggle against good teams. Don’t expect consistency and certainly don’t expect him hinting at #2 arm for your squad.

Let’s see how every other SP did yesterday:

Reviewing All Starting Pitcher Matchups For Week 13 (6/26 – 7/2): Who To Sit/Start

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Every weekend here at Pitcher List, I review all expected starting pitcher matchups for the week ahead. There are three labels: Start, Maybe, and Sit. Outings marked with a Maybe are circumstantial and dependent on your needs in a 12-teamer, while the other two are self-explanatory. Feel free to question my designations in the comments and we’ll dive into it together.

Here’s the massive table containing every Week 13 start from 6/26 – 7/2:

The Stash 6/25: Ranking The Top 10 Hitting Prospects To Stash

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Franklin Barreto made his MLB Debut this weekend for the Athletics and rewarded them by depositing a baseball into the left center bleachers. He finished the day going 2 for 5 with a HR and 2 RBIs. He is in today’s line up and the Athletics have already moved him from the 7th spot to the 2nd. I figured they would plug him into the middle or early part of the line up card but I wasn’t expecting on day two. While Barreto owners are happy, Torres owners are sad. His hyper extended elbow ended up being worse than was initially thought. His season is over now that he needs Tommy John.

Let us begin. Every weekend, I will be posting about the minor leaguers you should be stashing on your team. This list will be arranged by impact for this year only. Players that will be called up sooner will be ahead of players with more talent who might only be called up late in the year.

1) Yoan Moncada, Chicago White Sox AAA, ETA: July

After starting June off 6 for 45 with 19 strikeouts, Yoan Moncada has turned it around the past nine games as he’s had 14 hits in 37 at bats (.378 AVG) with 2 homeruns, 10 walks and 7 strikeouts. The timeline is still post all-star break but do not expect him up immediately after. July 20th is around the time I think he will be up. Add him now, or miss him completely.