Trade season kicked off Friday night. Some quick thoughts:
-The move should help Jeff Samardzija’s win total, but pitching in spacious Oakland should not be much of a factor. His ground ball rate is steadily rising, up to 52.5% this year. His HR/FB was a very reasonable 10.3% in Wrigley, barely above the league’s 9.8% average. Migrating to the DH league is a more significant change than the park adjustment.
-Jason Hammel will be just fine as long as he maintains a low walk rate. His swinging strike percentage has risen enough to make the K% increase legitimate. He is throwing more sliders, historically his best swing and miss pitch.
-Give Addison Russell and Billy Mckinney a slight bump in dynasty leagues. Both hitters are described as having present gap power with the potential to become 20 HR men. Playing in Chicago will give them a better chance of realizing that. Wrigley hasn’t posted a below average home run factor in the last 12 years. In nine years it was better for right-handed hitters than lefties; advantage Russell.
Marlon Byrd has eleven home runs in his last 34 games. His BB/K ratio is downright awful, and that hinders his chances at sustained success, but there are precious few available sources of power.
There are a few unfamiliar names in the ISO leaders of the last 30 days. Ownership percentages come from Yahoo. 2) J.D. Martinez (64%), 6) Steve Pearce (47%), 8) Byrd (62%), 11) Lucas Duda (11%), 15) Kole Calhoun (57%).
Searching for cheap speed instead? In the last 30 days James Jones of Seattle has eleven steals and is owned in 15% of Yahoo leagues. Other leaders include Ben Revere (56%) and Josh Harrison (43%).
Last year LaTroy Hawkins posted a 2.93 ERA and a 3.12 xFIP. This season he has a 2.70 ERA but a 4.34 xFIP. His saving grace is that no one in the bullpen is pushing him. No Rockie reliever has both an ERA and xFIP under 4.00.
Here is Carlos Santana’s line drive rate by month: 11.8%, 11.7%, 28.6%, 30.8%. His BABIPs mirrors the trend: .164, .193, .360, .308. He is the #3 catcher in the last 30 days, kudos to those who exercised patience.
Through five starts Mat Latos has a great ERA, but a paltry 4.81 K/9 and has lost 2.5 mph off his fastball. He is not showing ace skills but owners may be able to cash in on his name and results.
Brandon Belt was activated Friday and hit a home run out of PetCo Saturday. He only had two hits over the weekend but picked up four quick RBI.
Flying in the face of my Pitch or Ditch recommendations, Jeff Locke has a 3.08 ERA with all indicators under 3.50. His strikeout rate is low, but he is extremely stingy with walks at only 1.09/9. There is nothing outstanding about his zone% or first strike rate and he walked 3.96/9 in Triple-A this year. It is difficult to see this holding up.