Mike Clevinger had a bad night Friday against Toronto Blue Jays. He gave up 4 runs in four innings. Well, really, he gave up four runs in the fourth inning. Apart from that one bad inning Clevinger has looked good but not great this season.
Clevinger has a 2.70 ERA through three games, so those bold predictions look like they might be spot on. Unfortunately his underlying numbers are a bit concerning. His WHIP is an elevated 1.38 and his K-rate is down to 20 per cent.
Clevinger isn’t known for pounding the strike zone, so he likely will have an elevated walk rate. Still, opponents contact rate is up from 70 percent last year to 78 percent this year.
Fantasy Advice – Sell
I am still optimistic about Clevinger, but I can’t deny his value may never be higher. If you can get a Top 100 player in return take it and sell.
Chris Archer has never been my favorite pitcher. The greatest value Archer is giving you is his K-rate and his 200 plus innings. That is rare in today’s game. But, 200 innings of an ERA over 4.00 will hurt your team more than it helps. I think Archer’s biggest problem is that he plays for Tampa Bay. His BABIP is .379 and strand rate is just shy of 56 percent, both the worst of his career.
Don’t get me wrong, Archer is hurting himself plenty and doesn’t seem to be able to get left handed batters out any more. His strike out rate is slightly lower than in previous years and his walk rate is slightly higher. Archer’s season, though, looks like it is going to depend on the defense behind him.
Archer is in a difficult position. He won’t have a lot of trade value unless he improves his numbers, but he can’t improve his numbers on a team with a four man rotation and dismal defense.
Fantasy Advice – Hold
I would hold him for now because you won’t get back anywhere closer to what you paid for him, but if a reasonable offer comes in then strongly consider it.
Bradley Zimmer was a hot choice heading into the season. He was projected as a 15 homer, 30 steal guy. His size and speed were unique in baseball and he has been able to hit to all fields meaning he can be tough to defend. The fact that he was going outside the Top 200 players in drafts meant he was pretty cheap.
Zimmer has never been able to make consistent contact. He does make hard contact 37 percent of the time, so there is hope his home run rate may pick up. But he is striking out 38 percent of the time and walking less than 5 percent.
Fantasy Advice – Drop
He doesn’t have the discipline to help your team. Feel free to drop him.
Jose Ramirez was a player I had high hopes for entering the year, but he seems to have sold out to the fly ball revolution. Sure he has three home runs and two steals through 14 games which suggests he is on pace to improve on last years numbers. But his fly ball rate has increased from 39.7 percent last year to 52.2 percent this year.
I believe this is the cause of his low average. Nothing else seems to have changed. His K-rate is down and his walk rate is up, and that usually bodes well for a batter. But fly balls tend to lead to outs rather than hits. Maybe Ramirez normalizes, but I think he has changed his swing in an attempt to hit for more power.
Fantasy Advice – Hold
I would love to say Ramirez is a buy low candidate, but until we see his line drive rate increase and his fly ball rate decrease I don’t want much to do with him.
Nick Castellanos has been playing baseball in football weather and that has hurt him early. Most people drafted Castellanos because they thought he was a lock to hit 30 home runs this year. Through the early going he hasn’t hit a single ball out of the park. I think this is easily explained by the weather.
His underlying numbers look great. His walk rate is up slightly and his strike out rate is down. His hard hit rate is up to 53.7 percent and he is hitting to all fields. This has lead to a .302 batting average early in the season.
Everything looks great, except for his home runs. I believe this is simply due to the Detroit Tigers playing in some miserable weather so far. They have 6 postponed games so far and played some that should have been rescheduled.
Fantasy Advice – Buy
The Tigers won’t play a game south of the Mason Dixon Line until they travel to Tampa Bay for a series starting April 30, so hope Spring finally comes to the AL Central. I would buy Castellanos everywhere while his price is a bit depressed because he is eventually going to start hitting home runs that will warm your heart.