A matchup at Yankee Stadium against a team that entered the night having won eight of its last nine games didn’t look like the greatest setup for Carlos Rodon on Monday. Then again, it hasn’t seemed to matter much who Rodon is facing these days.
The White Sox ace limited the Yankees to just two runs over seven superb innings Monday as Chicago captured its fourth straight victory. Rodon walked four batters and recorded a season-low two strikeouts, but he also permitted just two base hits.
Rodon hasn’t lost since June even as he’s pitching for a team sitting 27 games under .500. In nine starts since the beginning of July, the southpaw has put up a microscopic 1.84 ERA, 0.93 WHIP and 49/27 K/BB ratio over 63 2/3 innings. The only time he allowed more than two runs over that stretch was on August 15 in Detroit, when he held the Tigers to three runs over eight innings.
Sure, you’d like to see more than 71 strikeouts over 93 1/3 frames, especially when you’re talking about a guy who entered the season having fanned more than a batter per inning in his career. I’m sure some will point to this as a reason to sell high on Rodon, and when you look at the gap between his ERA and FIP, perhaps those people will wind up being right.
I’m hanging tight with the left-hander, though. Rodon’s fastball velocity is right at his career mark, and he still possesses one of the most devastating strikeout pitches in the game in his slider. We could easily see him rebound in the strikeout department down the stretch.
I also feel the need to point out how Rodon’s improved efficiency has allowed him to consistently pitch deeper into games. The southpaw has already pitched into the eighth inning in six of 14 starts this season. Prior to this year, he had thrown a pitch in the eighth inning in just six of 63 starts.
Rodon faces a stiff test his next time out as he tries to keep things rolling, as he’ll take on the Red Sox in Chicago this weekend.
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The Padres on Tuesday will get a look at a guy they hope will be part of their middle infield for a long time.
Kevin Acee of the San Diego Union-Tribune was first to report and many others confirmed that infield prospect Luis Urias will be summoned from Triple-A El Paso to make his major league debut Tuesday against the Mariners. Urias is ranked by MLB.com as the No. 22 overall prospect and No. 4 prospect in the Padres’ system and is slated to serve as the big club’s regular second baseman for the rest of the season (and hopefully beyond).
Urias has one of the more interesting profiles of any top prospect in the game. He has consistently been an on-base machine since turning pro back in 2014 as a 17-year-old, boasting a career .397 OBP on the farm and a 244/220 K/BB ratio. This year at El Paso, the now 21-year-old has posted a .296/.398/.447 batting line with eight home runs, 30 doubles and seven triples.
What’s questionable at this point is how much home run pop Urias can provide for fantasy owners. While he has good raw power, it hasn’t shown up much in games yet. The eight longballs Urias has hit this year are a career high and nearly doubled his career total of nine over four seasons coming into 2018. Lifting the ball in the air has been an issue, as Urias has never had even a 30 percent flyball rate at any level.
Urias is also unlikely to chip in in the steals department. He’s only 2-for-3 in stolen base attempts this season and has been caught (38) more times than he’s been successful (35) in his minor league career.
However, while the youngster might not have much upside at this point in his career when it comes to counting stats, Urias is about as bankable as a prospect comes for batting average. He should also score a decent number of runs, especially if the Padres bat him at or near the top of the lineup. Urias is worth taking a chance on in all fantasy leagues.
White Whacks Another One
You would’ve had a hard time before the season finding someone who didn’t think the Astros would be one of the best teams in the game. It probably would’ve been even more difficult finding someone who thought Tyler White would be an integral part of the club, but that’s exactly what he’s become.
White cranked a three-run home run and added an RBI single Monday as the Astros turned a 4-0 deficit against the A’s into an 11-4 victory. Alex Bregman matched White’s four RBI and had four hits as Houston extended their lead in the American League West to 2.5 games.
Since being recalled on July 29, White is batting .342 with seven home runs and 20 RBI over 22 games. He’s started 20 games over that stretch. By comparison, Evan Gattis and Yuli Gurriel – White’s two chief competitors for playing time – have started 15 and 22 games, respectively, during that span. Gattis is hitting .188 with four homers since July 29 and Gurriel is batting .250 with two homers.
White’s production in the majors prior to this season in spot duty has been hit-or-miss, but he’s crushed the ball in the minors, batting .300/.371/.528 in 2017 at Triple-A Fresno and .333/.444/.569 at Fresno in 2018. He’s also blistering the ball during his recent hot stretch, as he came into action Monday with a 39.7 percent hard-hit rate.
White has batted either fourth or fifth in six of his last seven starts, although he hit seventh Monday with George Springer returning to action. He’s obviously not guaranteed playing time moving forward, but if he keeps hitting like this, he’ll remain in the lineup. White is currently still a free agent in over 80 percent of Yahoo leagues.
American League Quick Hits: Josh Donaldson (calf) will begin a rehab assignment Tuesday with High-A Dunedin … Trey Mancini went 2-for-4 with a three-run homer and five RBI in the Orioles’ win over the Blue Jays on Monday … Shohei Ohtani (elbow) threw a successful 50-pitch simulated game Monday before later cranking a three-run homer versus the Rockies … Chris Sale (shoulder) resumed a throwing program Monday … Mike Trout homered and reached base four times Monday versus the Rockies ... Matt Chapman went 2-for-4 with a two-run homer in the Athletics' loss to the Astros on Monday … Gleyber Torres went 1-for-2 with a two-run homer and a stolen base in the Yankees’ loss to the White Sox on Monday … Sean Manaea (shoulder) will visit Dr. Neal ElAttrache on Tuesday … David Hess scattered four hits over six shutout frames in a win over the Blue Jays on Monday, fanning five in the process … Jonathan Villar went 2-for-2 with two walks, a stolen base and scored a pair of runs in the Orioles' win over the Blue Jays on Monday ... Rafael Devers (hamstring) will begin a rehab assignment with Triple-A Pawtucket on Wednesday … Matt Shoemaker (forearm) will begin a rehab assignment with High-A Inland Empire on Wednesday … The Mariners placed Marco Gonzales on the disabled list with a cervical neck strain …
National League Quick Hits: DJ LeMahieu went 3-for-5 with a grand slam against the Angels on Monday ... Chris Stratton whiffed six across eight innings of one-run ball in the Giants’ victory over the Diamondbacks on Monday … Anthony Rizzo went 3-for-5 with a home run, two RBI, and two runs scored Monday in the Cubs' defeat of the Mets … Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic has reported that the Phillies have claimed Jose Bautista on revocable trade waivers and have until Tuesday to work out a trade for the veteran … Rhys Hoskins went 2-for-3 with a solo home run in the Phillies' loss to the Nationals on Monday … Buster Posey underwent successful surgery Monday on his right hip to repair a torn labrum and impingement … Brandon Nimmo (finger) is expected to be activated from the disabled list on Tuesday … Kelvin Herrera is out for the season after being diagnosed with a torn Lisfranc ligament in his left foot. Justin Miller notched a save for the Nationals on Monday and the club is expected to use a committee at closer with Sean Doolittle (foot) also still out … Patrick Corbin fanned nine while holding the Giants to two runs over seven frames on Monday but took a loss …