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George Bissell

Baseball Daily Dose

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Daily Dose: Madson Online

Thursday, August 9, 2018


Nationals manager Dave Martinez made it official on Wednesday, confirming to reporters that Ryan Madson will fill in as the team's closer. The 37-year-old veteran owns a 4.32 ERA, 1.39 WHIP and 39/15 K/BB ratio in 41 2/3 innings this season. He’s allowed just one run over his last 11 appearances dating back to July 8 and needs to be added in all fantasy leagues despite his rather pedestrian surface stats. The veteran closer is stepping up in place of Kelvin Herrera, who was placed on the 10-day disabled list on Wednesday with a rotator cuff impingement and mild shoulder inflammation. He suffered the injury during a ninth-inning appearance against the Braves on Tuesday. An MRI turned up negative for structural damage, but the 28-year-old flamethrower is expected to miss at least two weeks, barring any setbacks.

 

The major wild card worth monitoring in Washington is the health of their established stopper Sean Doolittle, who has been out since July 7 with a stress reaction in his left foot. The 31-year-old southpaw has been plagued with injuries throughout his career. If he can get healthy, he will be immediately thrust back into the mix for saves down the stretch. He threw off flat ground without a walking boot on Wednesday and told reporters that he was encouraged by the workout, but still has many hurdles to clear. There is no timetable for his return at this point.

 

Further complicating matters is the presence of Koda Glover, who was recalled from Triple-A Syracuse on Wednesday. He opened the year on the disabled list with a lingering shoulder injury and was optioned to the minor leagues in July to continue rehabbing. The 25-year-old right-hander put up a 2.25 ERA and 10/2 K/BB ratio in his eight minor-league innings of work. He’s more likely to figure into the equation as a high-leverage middle reliever, but he could see some save opportunities with Doolittle and Herrera out. For now, fantasy owners should pick up Madson immediately (if he’s somehow still available) and for those looking to hedge against the veteran option or speculate in deeper mixed leagues, Glover is the most obvious name to target.

 

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Marquez Fires Immaculate Inning

 

Rockies right-hander German Marquez threw an immaculate inning -- striking out the side on nine pitches -- in the fourth inning against the Pirates on Wednesday. He fanned all three batters -- Corey Dickerson, Starling Marte and Gregory Polanco -- on curveballs. According to MLB.com’s Thomas Harding, Marquez is just the second pitcher in Rockies history -- and first at Coors Field -- to accomplish the feat. Lefty reliever Rex Brothers did it on June 14, 2014 in San Francisco. He’s only the third pitcher to accomplish the extraordinary feat this season. Kevin Gausman did it on April 23 and Max Scherzer posted one against the Rays on June 5. Here’s some historical context to put this accomplishment in proper perspective: There have been 86 immaculate innings in major-league history. It’s almost as rare as a perfect game, which has only occurred 23 times (18 since 1956).

 

From a fantasy perspective, Marquez is one of the more intriguing young pitchers in the game. The 23-year-old righty gave up three runs on 10 hits over six innings, but racked up a season-high 10 strikeouts against Pittsburgh on Wednesday. He’s striking out well over a batter per inning (9.72 K/9) with respectable control (3.15 BB/9) this year. According to Baseball Prospectus’ Deserved Run Average (DRA) metric, which is a descriptive pitching statistic that estimates the rate at which a pitcher “deserved” to give up runs by using mixed models to account for variables like ballpark, opponent, framing, temperature and pitch type, Marquez has vastly outperformed his raw run prevention numbers this season. Simply put, he’s long overdue for earned-run regression down the home stretch. Per Baseball Prospectus’ leaderboards, his actual ERA (4.70) was nearly a full run higher than his 3.72 DRA entering his latest start on Wednesday. Of 97 starting pitchers with at least 100 innings of work, only six (Kyle Hendricks, Luis Castillo, Kenta Maeda, Andrew Suarez, Nick Pivetta and Jon Gray) boast a larger differential between their surface ERA and DRA than Marquez.

 

His extreme struggles in Coors Field are the major bugaboo in an otherwise tantalizing fantasy profile. He’s posting a lackluster 6.42 ERA in 12 starts at home this season, but he’s been magnificent on the road, recording a sparkling 3.09 mark in 11 outings. Fantasy owners searching for an upgrade to their rotation should strongly consider targeting Marquez via trade before his next start in Houston on Tuesday, avoid tough matchups at home and prepare to ride the regression wave over the final seven weeks of the 2018 campaign.

 

Gallo Goes Deep Twice

 

Let’s talk about Joey Gallo for a moment. The 24-year-old slugger went 3-for-5 with a pair of home runs and four RBI in the Rangers’ 11-7 victory over the Mariners on Wednesday. He tattooed a two-run bomb off southpaw Marco Gonzales in the third inning and then followed it up with another jack (a solo shot) in the fifth. Not only was it Gallo’s third multi-homer game of the year, but he’s left the yard six times in his last 10 games. He’s a massive batting average drain, slashing .202/.314/.491 in 439 plate appearances, but he’s compensated for it by providing mammoth power production (31 homers and 71 RBI in 109 games). He’s well on his way to eclipsing the 41 dingers he posted in 2017 and sits three round-trippers behind J.D. Martinez for the major-league lead. Over the last two seasons, only four hitters (Giancarlo Stanton, Aaron Judge, Khris Davis and Martinez) have gone deep more than Gallo.

 

Sweet Victory

 

Jacob deGrom struck out 10 batters over six scoreless innings in the Mets' 8-0 shutout victory over the Reds on Wednesday. He scattered four hits (all singles) and a walk, and the Mets' offense finally managed to provide him some run support as he picked up his first win since June 18. The 30-year-old right-hander is 6-7 on the year despite an MLB-leading 1.77 ERA over 23 starts. He owns an absurd 183/34 K/BB ratio in 152 1/3 innings this season. According to the Baseball-Reference Play Index, only 30 pitchers in the last half-century have qualified for an ERA title and posted a sub-2.00 ERA. deGrom will face a much stiffer test in his next start in Yankee Stadium on Monday.

 

 

American League Quick Hits: Mike Trout (wrist) remained out of the Angels' starting lineup Wednesday against the Tigers … Red Sox activated Rafael Devers from the 10-day disabled list … J.D. Martinez went 3-for-4 with an RBI and a run scored in the Red Sox’ 10-5 victory over the Blue Jays … Giancarlo Stanton went 1-for-4 with his sixth career grand slam in the Yankees’ 7-3 win over the White Sox … Luis Severino notched his 15th win of the year, firing seven innings of three-run ball in that win ... Heath Fillmyer recorded his first big-league victory by pitching seven scoreless innings against the Cubs … Adalberto Mondesi hit a three-run homer in that contest … Mike Zunino belted a pair of home runs in the Mariners’ loss to the Rangers … Justin Upton slugged his 23rd home run of the year in the Angels’ 6-0 win over the Tigers … Mychal Givens pitched a scoreless ninth inning against the Rays to record his third save of the year ... Leonys Martin was out of the Indians' lineup Wednesday due to illness … Adalberto Mejia (wrist) expects to make his next scheduled start Sunday against the Tigers … Jed Lowrie admitted late Tuesday night that he's still feeling the effects of a mid-July collision with teammate Stephen Piscotty … Angels manager Mike Scioscia said Wednesday that he's hopeful Tyler Skaggs (groin) can return Saturday against the Athletics … Tigers placed John Hicks on the 10-day disabled list with a right groin strain … Nomar Mazara (thumb) is scheduled to begin a minor league rehab assignment Thursday at Triple-A Round Rock … Byron Buxton (wrist) could return to action at Triple-A Rochester next week … Sam Tuivailala suffered a strained right Achilles tendon in an appearance against the Rangers on Wednesday … Indians released Zach McAllister.

 

National League Quick Hits: Joey Votto (knee) remained out of the Reds' starting lineup on Wednesday. He's still dealing with the after-effects of a hit-by-pitch from Saturday … Stephen Strasburg (neck) threw a bullpen session on Wednesday afternoon. He will throw another bullpen before starting a minor-league rehab assignment … Yu Darvish (elbow) threw 33 pitches in a simulated game with no issues on Wednesday … Pirates activated Josh Bell from the 10-day disabled list … Clayton Kershaw surrendered two runs on six hits over six innings in a no-decision against the Athletics … Matt Carpenter hammered his 31st home run of the season in the Cardinals’ win over the Marlins … Bryce Harper connected for his 28th homer of the year in a losing effort against the Braves … Brandon Nimmo went 3-for-5 with three RBI and three runs scored in the Mets' win over the Reds … Patrick Corbin hurled 7 1/3 shutout innings in Arizona’s win over the Phillies … David Peralta went 4-for-5 with a pair of RBI in that victory … Felipe Vazquez recorded four outs for his 26th save in Pittsburgh’s victory over the Rockies … Starling Marte stole two bases in that win. He’s up to 27 thefts on the year … Orlando Arcia went 3-for-4 and homered in the Brewers win over the Padres … Lewis Brinson (hip) is close to resuming live batting practice sessions … Tyler O'Neill (groin) took batting practice Wednesday … MLB.com's AJ Cassavell reports that Padres pitching prospect Jacob Nix will make his major league debut Friday against the Phillies … Phillies optioned Enyel De Los Santos to Triple-A Lehigh Valley.






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