It's now June 11, which gives us just over two months worth of data on the 2021 MLB season. At this point we should have a pretty good idea on a player's outlook -- or should we? Eduardo Rodriguez remains one of the more confounding starting pitchers to this point. On the surface, he's been awful. He put up another clunker on the Thursday and now has a 7.58 ERA over his last eight starts. That's a pretty big sample! All the while, he's still getting a good amount of strikeouts, he's limiting walks and has a 3.44 xFIP. Is he a clear drop? It depends. I would drop him for Luis Severino, Tarik Skubal or Mike Minor. I would not do it for Tucker Davidson, Logan Gilbert or Austin Gomber.
A hitter we keep getting questions about is Matt Chapman. He's now batting .201 with a .630 OPS. I'm more confident we can drop Chapman than Rodriguez. With Chapman, we don't even have underlying numbers that give us hope. Remember, he had hip surgery last offseason, which could very well be playing into this. The problem is that there are not many exciting third basemen to add right now. If you have another starting third baseman on your roster and you just want to drop Chapman for an upside play at a different position, I don't have a problem with that.
Rogers continues to dominate
The expectation was that at some point Marlins SP Trevor Rogers would crash back down to earth, but that hasn't happened yet, and it's fair to wonder if it actually will this season. Rogers was dominant again on Thursday over seven innings, allowing just two runs, four hits and one walk. He added eight strikeouts with 18 swinging strikes on 87 pitches (eight induced on the changeup, seven on the four-seam fastball).
This was Rogers' third straight quality start and he has allowed three earned runs or less in every single start this season. Rogers now has a 2.02 ERA and a 1.06 WHIP on the season. At this point, Rogers is performing like a bona fide SP1. Of course, the question remains when will the Marlins pull the plug and slap an innings limit on him. For now, enjoy the ride.
I think Rogers' innings limit might be something we'll have to worry about in August. In about a month, it might be time to sell high on him if he's still pitching at such a dominant level.
The sticky situation surrounding the Yankees again
Despite all the attention being paid to Yankees SP Gerrit Cole's spin rate following allegations that he uses foreign sticky substances to increase said spin rate, it was closer Aroldis Chapman who might have some questions to answer after Thursday's blow up. Chapman was crushed, allowing two two-run homers to Josh Donaldson and Nelson Cruz.
However, the story surrounds the underlying numbers. The spin rate on Chapman's fastball was down 129 rpm. His fastball velocity was also down 2.3 mph overall. But that wasn't all. The spin rate on Chapman's slider was down 184 rpm. Troubling numbers worth monitoring moving forward.
More news and notes
- White Sox 2B Nick Madrigal was placed on the 60-day IL with a right hamstring tear. Possible replacements in shallow leagues: Ty France, Jonathan Schoop, Josh Rojas. In deeper leagues: Brendan Rodgers.
- A's RP Trevor Rosenthal is progressing "rapidly" through his strength program, according to A's manager Bob Melvin. He could be in line for saves when he returns.
- Twins OF Byron Buxton had two homers Thursday in a rehab game at Triple-A.
- Yankees DH Giancarlo Stanton is likely to be on the bench for the Yankees this weekend as they have a two-game set in a National League park against the Phillies.
- Rockies SS Trevor Story returned Thursday. He finished 1-3 with a walk and a run scored.
- Twins 1B/OF Alex Kirilloff left Thursday's game due to a low-grade ankle sprain.
- Twins SP Kenta Maeda worked four innings of one-run ball in his rehab start Wednesday for Triple-A. He added five strikeouts.
- Reds RP Tejay Antone was not an option out of the bullpen Thursday. Manager David Bell did not provide a reason.
- The Cardinals have activated SS Paul DeJong.
- Yankees 1B Luke Voit could begin a rehab assignment Sunday.
- Blue Jays 2B/3B/OF Cavan Biggio could be reinstated this weekend.
- Brewers 1B/3B Travis Shaw landed on the IL with a dislocated left shoulder.
- OF Jake Bauers was traded to the Mariners in exchange for cash considerations.
- Brewers pitching prospect Aaron Ashby was moved to the bullpen at Triple-A to work as a multi-inning reliever in preparation for an eventual call-up. Maybe he becomes a piggyback reliever for somebody like Freddy Peralta to limit his innings? This is something to keep an eye on.
- Tigers OF Daz Cameron batted sixth Thursday after being recalled. He was batting .299 with two homers, four steals and a career-best 17% K rate at Triple-A. Previously, strikeouts were a major issue for Cameron.
- Scott's five on the verge (you can find a complete breakdown of each prospect's outlook in Scott White's prospects report): Rays SS Wander Franco, Rays 2B/OF Vidal Brujan, Angels OF Jo Adell, Marlins OF Jesus Sanchez, Red Sox OF Jarren Duran.
- Scott's five on the periphery: Phillies SS Bryson Stott, Mets 3B Brett Baty, Dodgers 3B Miguel Vargas, Marlins SP Jake Eder, Yankees SP Ken Waldichuk.
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Best hitter matchups in Week 12
- Indians: BAL4, @PIT3
- Mets: CHC4, @WAS4
- Brewers: CIN3, @COL4
- Padres: @COL3, CIN4
- Nationals: PIT3, NYM4
Worst hitter matchups in Week 12
- Astros: TEX2, CHW4
- Rangers: @HOU2, MIN3
- Phillies: @LAD3, @SF3
- Reds: @MIL3, @SD4
- Diamondbacks: @SF4, LAD3
Waiver wire possibilities
- Tigers 2B Jonathan Schoop (63% rostered) went for 3 for 4 with his 10th homer on Thursday. In his last 24 games, he's hitting .358 eight homers.
- Brewers SS Willy Adames (39% rostered) went 2 for 5 on Thursday with two doubles, two runs, and an RBI.
- Reds 1B Joey Votto (44% rostered) went 1 for 4 with his sixth homer on Thursday and he's hitting the ball his hardest in the Statcast era with a .262 xBA and .518 xSLG.
- Mariners OF Jake Fraley (5% rostered) now has three stolen bases over his last seven games, if you need speed.
- Red Sox 2B Christian Arroyo (4% rostered) went 1 for 3 with his second homer on Thursday. He also added four RBI. He's now batting .284 and has started seven of the last nine games.
- Orioles SP Keegan Akin at TB
- Red Sox SP Garrett Richards vs. TOR
- Diamondbacks SP Merrill Kelly vs. LAA
- Royals SP Brady Singer at OAK
- A's SP/RP Cole Irvin vs. KC
- Angels SP Alex Cobb at ARI
- A's SP/RP James Kaprielian vs. KC
- Royals SP Jackson Kowar at OAK
- Phillies SP Vince Velasquez vs. NYY
- Nationals SP/RP Joe Ross vs. SF
- Cardinals SP John Gant at CHC