Studs and duds: August 27 – September 2

Twice an All-Star, Grandal has 167 career home runs. (Wikipedia).

Yasmani Grandal is on a run that would make any catcher jealous … even Salvador Perez.

Offensive stud: Yasmani Grandal (C, White Sox). Grandal missed the better part of two months with knee surgery, and upon his return showed the White Sox how much they missed him.

In 5 games since coming back, the backstop has slashed .529/.636/1.353 with 4 home runs, 11 RBI, 6 runs scored and 4 walks. He’s managed to put up solid numbers despite a weak .217 batting mark overall, as he’s averaged nearly a walk per game with 64 in 68 appearances, giving him a .408 OBP on the year. The last time a player averaged a BB in more than 95 percent of his games was Barry Bonds in 2007, when he drew 132 in 126 matches.

Combined with his slugging mark of .515, which is backed mostly by his 18 dingers (he has only 5 doubles), his OPS and OPS+ are .923 and 154, respectively.

Honorable mention: Salvador Perez (C, Royals; .292/.370/.667, 3 HR, 8 RBI, 1 GS). Sorry Salvador, you’ve been demoted.

Offensive dud: Gio Urshela (3B, Yankees). Despite not playing since August 31, Urshela is back on top of the dud pile with a 1-for-17, 5 strikeout, 2 error showing over the past week. It’s difficult to glean anything positive from his run, but look at the bright side: His sole hit was a double and he managed 5 putouts and 8 assists. This Urshela is a far cry from the April and May edition—from April 18 to May 15, he hit .338/.385/.563 with 3 home runs and 13 RBI in 20 games. He’s slashed .241/.275/.387 since.

Dishonorable mention: Jose Iglesias (SS, Angels; 0-for-3, 1 K, 2 E).

Pitching stud: Gerrit Cole (SP, Yankees). Despite an excellent showing by Logan Webb (7 IP, 1 ER, 10 K) last night, Cole keeps his title after striking out 24 batters in 13 innings over the past week.

It’s crazy to think he is pitching worse now than earlier in the season—since July, his ERA is 2.87 in 53 1/3 innings. Over the first couple months of the year, it was 1.78 in 70 2/3 frames. In June and July, the hurler swooned big time, posting a 4.68 ERA in 59 2/3 innings—it wasn’t all bad, however, as he still Ked 79 batters and men hit just .225 against him. Too many of those hits left the yard, however, as he surrendered 12 of the 18 homers he’s allowed this year in that ten-start stretch. Hoping that’s all in the past, he’ll be carrying a 0.69 ERA over his past two games into his next one.

Honorable mention: Logan Webb (SP, Giants; 14 IP, 16 K, 2 BB, 0.64 ERA).

Karinchak has averaged 14.3 strikeouts per nine innings for his career. (Wikipedia).

Pitching dud: James Karinchak (RP, Indians). One appearance. One horrid appearance in which he didn’t even manage an out is all it took to land Karinchak here.

Pitching in relief against the Red Sox on August 27, the hurler surrendered 3 earned runs on 2 hits, a walk and a home run for the loss. It further sullied what had otherwise been a great first full campaign. He did not allow a single earned run through his first 13 appearances, striking out 25 batters in 11 2/3 innings. He carried a 2.78 mark and 13.9 K/9 ratio into late July, but allowed 11 earned runs in 9 innings over his last 12 appearances.

Karinchak is a strikeout ace, whiffing 12.8 per nine frames this year and an astounding 17.7/9 in 27 appearances last year. But even the best strikeout relievers falter eventually—his numbers remind me vaguely of Kyle Barraclough and Dellin Betances.

Dishonorable mention: Dillon Tate (RP, Orioles; 1 2/3 IP, 5 H, 4 ER, 0-2 W-L).


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