Quick Hits

Quick Hits 7/6/16

Nathan Eovaldi

  • Eovaldi’s start this week will be skipped and he’ll be used out of the bullpen until the break. There is no telling what happens after that but it wouldn’t surprise me if he’s relegated to a bullpen role indefinitely. It’s not all his fault. His 19.4% K rate and 6.9% BB rate are both good enough to be an average back end starter. His 4.00 xFIP and 4.12 SIERA also imply that he has been far better than his ghastly 5.54 ERA. The one thing that has absolutely killed Eovaldi this year has been the long ball. His 22.1% HR/FB rate is only beaten by Jon Niese’s 22.9% mark among qualified starters and his 1.88 HR/9 is good for third worst in baseball. It’s likely that both of those numbers are massively inflated given that he had a 7.8% HR/FB and 0.58 HR/9 last year (I’m going to throw out the Marlins years as park factors between MIA and NYY are significant for HRs). Eovaldi should pitch much better in the second half, but I’m concerned that there won’t be a role for him in the rotation. Chad Green has pitched very well in a tiny 11 inning sample and Luis Severino has pitched to a 2.69 FIP in AAA after being demoted. Eovladi could be a weapon out of the pen given his velocity but of course he would enter the most dominant back end of a bullpen in baseball. Pains me to say but it’s probably time to move on from Eovaldi unless you can afford to stash him in the hopes that he gets his job back.

Archie Bradley

  • Bradley is everything I want in a pitcher (high Ks) and everything I don’t want (high BBs and HRs) at the same time. He has been frustrating to own as he continues to rack up Ks but also continues to give up runs. His 23.8% K rate is fantastic but his 11.1% BB rate is downright awful. His HR/FB of 20% should come down (partly due to luck and partly due to him improving) but he’s still pitched to a 4.04 xFIP and 4.3 SIERA. In most standard leagues, he’s not worth owning. Bradley will definitely be a hot name next year because there is a lot to like about his profile. Any SP with his kind of pedigree and strikeout stuff is going to get opportunities. If Bradley can ever harness his stuff, he could be special and it’s worth holding onto him in dynasty type leagues to find out.

Billy Burns

  • Billy Burns has been awful with an atrocious 55 wRC+ and 0.274 OBP. It’s amazing that he’s somehow managed 14 SBs which actually puts him on a better pace for steals than in 2015. Burns’s BABIP of .269 is likely majorly unlucky even though his line drive rate has fallen two points. Amazingly Burns has a 22.6% infield fly ball rate (which correlates strongly to BABIP) but he had a similar number last year (20.7%) and posted a 0.339 BABIP. There are definitely luckier days ahead for Burns. His SB success rate is up to 82% from 76% last year which is great but he only has two SB attempts (both successful) going back to 6/1/16. Part of that is a .203 OBP in June but it’s still concerning. Burns doesn’t walk (career 4.1% BB rate) so a dip in BABIP really hurts his fantasy output. Overall, I’d take a chance on Burns if I desperately needed steals. If he puts up a BABIP around .300 he could still notch 13-18 SBs in the second half.

Junior Guerra

  • Junior Guerra has been a nice find so far with a 2.93 ERA and 1.02 WHIP but it’s time to move on while you still can. Guerra’s K rate of 22.3% and swinging strike rate of 11% are both good. However his 7.6% BB rate and 0.236 BABIP are worrisome. The BB rate is about average but it’s pretty apparent that his BABIP has driven his WHIP. His GB rate (44.4%) isn’t quite good enough to say that the low BABIP is skill based. Guerra’s advanced stats are 3.55 FIP, 4.02 xFIP and 4.08 SIERA. That’s a serviceable pitcher but you probably don’t want to be a part of the regression period because it might be brutal.

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