Welcome to the daily Monday through Friday article where we discuss all things lineups playing time, platoons, and production trends.
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I had to call an audible here. I decided the only way for this section to remain relevant daily is better to break down a full team’s lineup trends instead of picking separate individual trends. This article is a new concept so of course, there are growing pains. Let’s get to it. We will start in the NL East.
- Jorge Soler has led off every start of the season so far. In 23 plate appearances, he has only hit .158 but the 17.4% walk rate is helping him sustain a .304 OBP. Leading off will continue for now.
- Jazz Chisholm has started 3 of 4 games and has hit 8th twice and 9th once. Only a 26.7% strikeout rate to begin 2022. If this sustains the tools should play up. Already hit two home runs and five RBI in just 15 plate appearances. Unfortunately, just two runs are from his home runs. Runs are going to be an issue as long as he is down in the lineup.
- Jesus Sanchez playing every day but against LHP did dip to 7th in the order. Better to dip than to sit. Against RHP he has hit either 2nd or 3rd. A .300 ISO to begin the year will keep the bat in the middle of the order. Also, only a 19% strikeout rate is even more encouraging.
- Joey Wendle hitting .455 and great plate discipline is far outproducing Brian Anderson early on and I wonder if Anderson’s playing time can take a hit if this lingers into late April or early May.
- Jesus Aguilar, Garrett Cooper, and Avisail Garcia are all struggling to start the season. This explains the anemic run production from the Marlins early on. Not to mention a ton of tough losses.
We’re Going Streaking
A real original of a name, I know. This is just a spot to highlight a few players who are running hot or cold. The data is limited but we will try to take note of the standouts just a few games in. Remember, it is still very early so we cannot overreact to anything we are seeing. We simply note it and monitor things from here.
- Alex Kirilloff batting .059 with a 38.9% strikeout rate over his 18 plate appearances to start the year is not what we hoped to see.
- Gavin Lux is an everyday starter and had some hard-hit balls so the power could start to come. Hitting .417 to start and has had multiple balls in plays over 106 MPH yesterday and a season-high of 108 MPH max exit velocity.
- Cody Bellinger continues to struggle. 35.3% K rate early on and no HRs but those 2 SBs yesterday are buying goodwill from fantasy managers.
- Kevin Smith might be sent down in short order with his hitless start to the season. 0-12 and a 58.3% strikeout rate. Just seems to be having trouble acclimating to the MLB pitching so far.
- Seiya Suzuki has my attention.
On The Peripheral
This is simply a spot to drop a name or two that could provide value or be relevant in general in deeper formats. This will have an emphasis on playing time
Kyle Farmer, SS, Cincinnati Reds
I am not buying into this yet but you can’t ignore the production in deeper formats. He is playing every day while hitting well to start the season. In five games he has had 18 plate appearances and hit .375 with a .444 OBP and a stolen base. The power has not shown up but three runs and four RBI are not too shabby.
Notable Injuries and Lineup Fallout
We will break down the most notable injuries from the day prior and discuss those who gain from the increased opportunity.
Robbie Grossman left with groin tightness. MRI results were negative. Says he feels better Wednesday. Sounds like he is DTD for now.
- Fantasy Fallout: Victor Reyes got the first start and even led off today in his place. Akil Baddoo is more secure for playing time but still sticking to 7th in the order over Reyes is the surprising part.
Nelson Cruz scratched yesterday with groin tightness. We are waiting for more news on this.
- Fantasy Fallout: Yasiel Hernandez should get secure playing time. However, he was already in 3 of the last 4 games so maybe this is better for the other outfielders like Lane Thomas and Victor Robles.
UPDATE: Since publishing this article this morning, Nelson Cruz is actually in the starting lineup today. Appears all is well.
Tommy Pham x-rays were negative so he might just be DTD.
- Fantasy Fallout: Aristides Aquino is in today with Pham out and appears to be who would fill the void if Pham misses more time than expected.
David Fletcher dealing with a hip strain. Andrew Velasquez is being called up.
- Fantasy Fallout: Velasquez is a deep league option if you are desperate for stolen bases. Legit speed here.
Just a final section of added tidbits I want to throw in about anything I think is interesting or of note.
Jesus Luzardo was overall impressive yesterday. He utilized three pitches at least 16% of the time. Most notable: He threw the curveball 50% of the time. The curve had a 92% whiff rate and 55% CSW. Let’s see if he can continue to have a similar level of success with his next start.
Paul Blackburn threw five solid innings and 7K (just 1 walk) vs the Rays. He did so utilizing a five-pitch mix (at least 15% on all pitches) and had a 41% whiff rate and 38% CSW. Velocity was up at least 1 MPH on four of his pitches.
We hope you enjoy this new daily concept. If you have questions please follow and reach out on Twitter. You can reach me @Mike_Kurland.
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