The Dynasty Digest: 4/6
Chris Clegg runs down all of Wednesday's action you need to know from the Majors and Minors.
Welcome to the Thursday, April 6 edition of The Dynasty Dugout. A sincere thank you to everyone who reads and supports my work. It means more than you know!
Let’s get to Wednesday’s action.
Jesus Luzardo, LHP, MIA
Jesus Luzardo looked like an ace on Wednesday. He pitched seven innings of one-run ball. He allowed five hits, one walk, and struck out ten batters. Luzardo’s velocity was up again in this start and he was still sitting 97 mph in the seventh inning. From a velocity standpoint, Luzardo’s slider and changeup both were up 1.6 mph.
The fact that Luzardo generated a 32 percent whiff rate on his fastball set his secondaries to succeed in a big way. His slider generated a 44 percent whiff rate and Luzardo’s best pitch, his changeup, had a 64 percent whiff rate.
Luzardo finished the day with a 41 percent whiff rate and CSW percentage. This is what an ace-caliber arm looks like. We just need Luzardo to stay healthy to see if he can reach that potential.
Pablo Lopez, RHP, MIN
Pablo Lopez faced off on the other side of Jesus Luzardo and what a fun pitching matchup is was. Lopez has reinvented his arsenal this offseason with a new sweeper and a much-improved four-seam fastball. Lopez’s sweeper sits in the mid-80s and gets a ton of whiffs. His four-seam velocity has been up 2.3 mph and is averaging 96 now.
Lopez finished the outing with eight strikeouts across seven innings. He allowed just three hits, one walk, and one earned run. With Lopez’s reworked arsenal, I see him as a high-end SP2 for fantasy purposes. The fastball improvements are significant, and the fact he is throwing his sweeper the most of any pitch is a good sign. The buy-low window on Pablo Lopez may be shut, but I'm at least seeing what it would cost to get him in dynasty.
Grayson Rodriguez, RHP, BAL
Grayson Rodriguez made his much anticipated MLB debut on Wednesday against Jacob deGrom. An injury kept him from likely exhausting prospect eligibility last season. Even during Spring Training, reports on Rodriguez were not that of an ace-level arm. It appeared Rodriguez would need more time to get his feel for his stuff back. His first Triple-A start was sub-par, but a Kyle Bradish injury earned him the call-up.
Rodriguez was shaky in the early going but settled in nicely after the first inning. For his final four innings, he faced just two batters over the minimum. His final line ended at five innings pitched with four hits, two earned runs, one walk, and five strikeouts.
Rodriguez’s fastball was his most used pitch at 49 percent in which he generated a 36 percent whiff rate. It lived in the zone 73 percent of the time and averaged 96.5 mph. He featured five pitches, but the slider and changeup were Rodriguez’s most used secondary pitches.
At the end of the day, Rodriguez has ace level upside. It could be a bumpy road for the rookie this year as he continues to find his stuff, but the upside is still there. It was a successful MLB debut for Grayson Rodriguez.
Mitch Keller, RHP, PIT
Every time I see Mitch Keller have a good start I say to myself: “Oh no, here we go again.” Keller just seems to have a way to pull you in and as soon as you start to feel confident in him he destroys you. Rostering Mitch Keller is kinda like eating Taco Bell. The food is good, so you go back and every time you do, you risk an explosion.
Keller fired seven innings on Wednesday and threw 107 pitches. He allowed just one earned run on two walks and seven strikeouts. Keller had a 34 percent CSW, but just a 19 percent whiff rate. The stat line may look really nice like that Taco Bell at midnight, but I would not recommend buying it.
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