Weekly Roster Update 07/27/18
July 27, 2018
Welcome to the first post-All-Star Game R.B.I. Baseball Roster Update! We’re back with new lineups and player tunings that best reflect last weeks performances. We’ve also placed recently moved players like Manny Machado and Seung-hwan Oh on their new teams. Make sure to check back next week to see where other trade pieces end up. For now, let’s take a look at the some of the best performers since play has resumed:
Greinke’s first start since the All-Star break saw the Diamondbacks ace pick up right where he left off. He went 8 IP with 13 K and 1 ER against the Rockies in an utterly dominant performance. The start lowered Greinke’s ERA in July to 1.69 and on the year to 3.05. While his K/9 looks similar to last year – an above league average 9.51 – Greinke’s 1.67 BB/9 is the lowest its been since 2015 when he came in 2nd place in Cy Young voting. We’ve boosted Greinke’s Curve and Drop rating.
After a difficult June, Keuchel has completely turned things around in the month of July. In his last three starts, he has a 0.89 ERA giving him a 1.30 ERA on the month. The recent dominance seems to be in correlation with Keuchel’s increasing change-up usage. On the season, Keuchel has gone to the change around 12.3% of the time. In July however, Keuchel is going to the pitch around 25% of the time and for good reason: batters are hitting a meager .193 against the pitch. We’ve boosted Keuchel’s Velocity, Curve, and Speed Difference ratings.
Boyd has made two starts since the All-Star break and both of them have been fantastic. In his first start, he went 5 IP with 1 ER, and 6 K against a potent Red Sox offense. Boyd then backed that up with a 6 IP, 2 ER, 0 BB, 7 K performance against the Royals. Boyd has one of baseball’s best sliders right now. Boyd is doing a fantastic job at both keeping the pitch in the zone when it needs to be there and burying it in the dirt when he needs a strikeout. Batters are hitting .183 against the pitch and it has a 32% K-rate. We’ve boosted Boyd’s Drop rating.
Anthony Rizzo has been a jack of all trades this month. He’s hitting .286. He’s walking at a 14% rate. He’s making A.J. Pollock hit pop-fly’s to center field (if you didn’t see his pitching debut, be sure to catch it here). While it might appear on paper that Rizzo is having an off 2018, his peripherals support that he’s likely to return to the Rizzo of old in the second half. His career low .267 BABIP (that’s batting average on balls in play; definition here) and 39% ground ball rate seem to support that he’s frequently been getting unlucky. If Rizzo keeps performing like he has in July however, those numbers will turn around in no time. We’ve boosted Rizzo’s Contact and Power ratings.
In the two weeks of games since the All-Star break, Andrus has slashed .303/.368/.545 with 3 stolen bases. He has upped his average exit velocity and has been barreling the ball in a little over 4% of his at bats, too. Andrus is more than just offense however as he’s put up an above average defensive runs saved so far this year with a 1.5 zone rating to boot (definition here). While the first half of Andrus’ season was sadly plagued by injury, it looks as if he’ll be back to his old self for the remainder of the 2018 season. We’ve boosted Andrus’ Contact, Power, Arm, and Fielding rating.
The summer is heating up and so is Josh Bell’s bat. In the month of July he’s slashing .354/.440/.508 this past month with 7 XBH and a fantastic 13.3% BB-rate. While the ISO has dipped a bit since 2017, Bell is still making a good amount of hard contact at 31% and hitting line drives at a 20% clip. If Bell continues at this pace, he is likely to set a career high for walk rate and a career low for strikeout rate. We’ve boosted Bell’s Contact and Power.