Throughout the minor leagues, Adam Duvall’s calling card was his power. He’s finally getting a chance to show that his pop plays at the big league level, as well.
Duvall slugged a two-run homer in Monday’s loss to the Indians. It was his fifth longball in his last 12 games, and he’s sporting a .390 average over that stretch. Duvall now has seven home runs on the season to go with a .284/.328/.587 batting line.
As I previously alluded to, this power for Duvall didn’t come out of nowhere. Even though he batted only .204, Duvall did slug eight dingers across 149 plate appearances in his first two major league campaigns. That came after the 27-year-old put up gaudy home run totals in the minors. He had a couple 30-homer seasons on the farm and smacked 27 longballs over just 91 Triple-A contests in 2014. All told, Duvall had 130 homers over 625 games in the minors.
This isn’t to say that Duvall doesn’t come without his flaws. He sported a pedestrian .268 average in the minors and didn’t display great plate discipline with a 527/216 K/BB ratio. That hasn’t changed at the big league level, as Duvall has hit .240 with an 82/15 K/BB ratio across 266 plate appearances.
The bottom line is that you’re buying into Duvall thinking that his power is for real. It’s been there through each stop in the minors and now in the majors, so betting against Duvall’s power would seem to be silly at this point. The Reds’ outfielder currently is still on the waiver wire in nearly 90 percent of Yahoo leagues.
Editor's Note: Don't whiff on this special FanDuel offer: win your first contest or get your money back (up to $10) to keep playing. Try FanDuel now!
Timmy Grabs a Halo
Ravaged by injuries to their rotation, the Angels are close to luring in a two-time Cy Young winner.
OK, that’s a little disingenuous, as Tim Lincecum obviously isn’t close to being the pitcher he once was when he wrapped up back-to-back National League Cy Young awards. The veteran right-hander is nearing a contract with the Halos, though, as first reported by Yahoo’s Jeff Passan and MLB Network’s Jon Heyman. It will be a major league pact, and the feeling all along is that Lincecum wanted a one-year, “prove it” deal as he returns from hip surgery.
The question isn’t whether Lincecum can capture his previous Cy Young form, it’s whether he’ll be an upgrade to a rotation that will possibly lose Garrett Richards and Andrew Heaney for the rest of the season and C.J. Wilson for likely the first two months of the season. I’m not terribly optimistic.
Lincecum just wasn’t very good his last four seasons in San Francisco, posting a 4.68 ERA, 1.40 WHIP and 577/267 K/BB ratio over 615 2/3 innings. That’s a pretty good strikeout rate, but note that the whiffs have been in a steady decline, as he’s put up strikeout rates of 23 percent, 23 percent, 19.9 percent and 18 percent over that stretch. Keep in mind that these numbers were produced at arguably the most pitcher-friendly venue in the game.
Lincecum’s best bet at improvement is if the hip that he had surgically-repaired last September had really been holding him back. However, while the righty reportedly looked healthy at his showcase earlier this month, he was clocked only in the 89-91 mph range and generally seemed to look fairly underwhelming. Maybe the stuff will slowly get better as he pitches more – he’ll need a handful of minor league starts before joining the Angels’ rotation – but that’s hardly a given.
As far as the potential fantasy impact Lincecum could provide, I wouldn’t get your hopes up. He could wind up with a better than league average strikeout rate, but there’s just not much to get excited about here anymore.
Alvarez Suffers Setback
The A’s had been pegging Henderson Alvarez to make his debut for them later this week, but unfortunately he’s now not going to be pitching anywhere for a while.
Alvarez felt soreness in his surgically-repaired right shoulder during what was supposed to be his final rehab start on Sunday with Triple-A Nashville. The 26-year-old was set to visit with team doctors on Monday, although the results of that exam aren’t yet known.
"He feels a little better than he did yesterday so we'll probably know more after the doctors take a look at him, whether or not to get an MRI or something like that," manager Bob Melvin said Monday. "This is kind of his first little setback."
It’s obviously too soon to tell whether this is a big setback for the former All-Star. Alvarez had had no hints of any issues with his shoulder prior to Sunday, but setbacks when it comes players returning from shoulder surgery certainly shouldn’t come as a surprise.
"We were looking forward to his return," Melvin said. "There's a chance it's going to be a little bit longer than we were hoping. Everything had gone so well. Typically you will get a bump in the road from time to time and that's what the case is with him."
The A’s handling of Hahn this season has been a little bizarre. He’s made just two starts with the big club – one outing being a good one and one not so good – while watching a retread like Surkamp receive five starts. Hahn has put up a 1.93 ERA over five starts with Nashville this season, although his 18/10 K/B ratio over 23 1/3 innings is less than desirable.
Hahn himself is an injury risk, as he’s already had Tommy John surgery and dealt with elbow issues down the stretch last season. The righty is no longer throwing his slider in an effort to protect the elbow, and it’s possible that’s affected his strikeout totals. Between the majors and minors he has only 22 strikeouts versus 16 walks across 35 1/3 frames.
Of course, Hahn was also disappointing from a strikeout perspective last season with just 64 whiffs over 96 2/3 innings. The 26-year-old has shown better swing-and-miss stuff before, though, both in the minors and in his rookie season when he punched out 70 batters across 73 1/3 innings. It will be interesting to see which Hahn shows up on Tuesday against the Rangers and going forward.
National League Quick Hits: An exam of Steven Matz’s pitching elbow on Monday reportedly did not reveal any structural damage, but he’s still expected to miss another start … Adrian Gonzalez departed Monday’s game against the Angels with lower back tightness … Jake Lamb went 3-for-4 with a three-run homer in Monday’s victory over the Yankees … Matt Joyce went 3-for-4 with a two-run homer and three RBI in Monday's victory over the Braves … Adam Conley struck out five while spinning six innings of one-run ball in Monday's victory over the Phillies … Eugenio Suarez went 2-for-4 with a two-run homer and two runs scored against the Indians on Monday … Starling Marte was placed on the paternity leave list on Monday … Aaron Altherr (wrist) can begin swinging a bat in two weeks …
American League Quick Hits: Garrett Richards will attempt to rehab his right elbow rather than have Tommy John surgery … Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow indicated Monday that the club could bench Carlos Gomez soon if he doesn’t turn it around … Alex Rodriguez (hamstring) is expected to be activated from the disabled list on Thursday … Carlos Carrasco (hamstring) threw a 40-pitch bullpen on Monday … Yan Gomes went 2-for-4 with a home run and four RBI in Monday’s win over the Reds … Ian Kinsler went 3-for-5 with a solo homer and RBI double in Monday's win over the Twins … Tyler Skaggs (biceps) was cleared to resume throwing after passing a strength test … C.J. Wilson (shoulder) threw 40 pitches in a simulated game on Monday … Jose Berrios lasted just two-thirds of an inning Monday, getting hammered for seven runs in a loss to the Tigers … J.A. Happ was pummeled for eight runs across just two-plus frames in Monday's loss to the Rays … The Blue Jays claimed Jimmy Paredes off waivers from the Orioles …