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Baseball Daily Dose

Quantrill Quieting Bats

by Ryan Boyer
Updated On: September 28, 2021, 11:07 am ET

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Few teams develop pitching as well as the Indians. Have they unearthed another gem in Cal Quantrill?

Quantrill picked up his eighth victory of the season on Monday in the Indians’ 8-3 win over the Royals. He gave up three runs on six hits and no walks, registering five strikeouts along the way while inducing 14 swinging strikes on 94 pitches.

It’s not an eye-popping line from Quantrill or anything, but it was yet another quality start in the midst of what has been a spectacular second half for the right-hander. In 14 outings since the All-Star break, Quantrill boasts a 1.94 ERA, 1.03 WHIP and 79/27 K/BB ratio over 88 innings of work. He’s yielded fewer hits in the second half (64) than he did in the first half (65) in 25 2/3 more innings.

Quantrill isn’t getting as many strikeouts as fantasy managers would like, but they are on the uptick. In 11 starts since the beginning of August, the right-hander has fanned 66 batters over 71 innings. That will play.

The biggest change in Quantrill’s repertoire has been ditching his slider in favor of a cutter, which he began doing right around the time he took off (Statcast is still calling the pitch a slider, but Quantrill himself says “I’m calling it a cutter”). He has featured his cutter more during the aforementioned 11 starts, using it at nearly a 40 percent clip after throwing it at around a 25 percent rate previously. Six of Quantrill’s 14 whiffs Monday came on the cutter.

Quantrill might not have the upside of fellow rotation mate Triston McKenzie, who himself had been on a nice run prior to hiccups his last two times out. He could be less risky, however. Both guys figure to be key pieces moving forward for an Indians (Guardians) club which promises to continue to hang its hat on pitching.

Starting Pitchers with an EDGE

Reiver Sanmartin vs. PIT – 5 2/3 IP, 1 ER, 5 H, 1 BB, 5 K

Not bad for a major league debut. Added to the big league roster earlier in the day, Sanmartin gave up a run in the fifth inning on a wild pitch and that was it in Monday’s win over the Pirates (he did need help from Art Warren who escaped Sanmartin’s bases-loaded jam in the sixth with a strikeout). The left-hander might have earned another start this weekend.

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Hitters with an EDGE

Joey Votto vs. PIT – 2-for-4, 2 HR, 4 RBI

The Reds put a hurting on the Pirates on Monday, clubbing five home runs and scoring 13 runs in a 13-1 beatdown. Two of the dingers came courtesy of Votto, who showed no ill effects from the knee injury which had caused him to miss a few games. Votto is now up to 35 home runs on the season after his second two-homer game in a week. That’s just two away from a career high for the 38-year-old.

Jonathan India vs. PIT – 4-for-5, HR, 2B, 2 RBI, SB, 4 R

I told you that the Reds’ hitters had some fun Monday. India filled up the stat sheet with his big day, hitting a home run and stealing a base in the same game for the first time in the big leagues. His four runs scored also represented a career high. India has trailed off over the last six weeks but is now up to 21 home runs and 12 steals in his rookie season to go along with a robust .380 on-base percentage.

Amed Rosario vs. KC – 4-for-5, HR, 2B, 3 RBI, 2 R

Rosario led the charge as the Indians roughed up Jackson Kowar on Monday in an 8-3 victory. Amazingly, it’s the sixth four-hit game this season for Rosario (one of them was a five-hit game), who is the first to accomplish that feat for the club since Joe Carter did it back in 1986. Rosario had been struggling in September and missed time while on the bereavement list, but he’s certainly off to a nice start in the final week.

Priority Pickup

Nick Gordon, 2B/SS/OF, Twins

Dee’s little brother finally seems to be finding his footing at the major league level, putting together a .305/.349/.525 batting line with three home runs, 13 RBI and five stolen bases over 19 games so far this month. The former first-round pick is now 10-for-11 in stolen base attempts in the majors this season in addition to going 7-for-9 on attempts in the minors. It’s in the stolen base department where Gordon is probably most likely to help out in the final week of the season, although it certainly doesn’t hurt that he’s also hot with the bat and has multi-position eligibility.

Closing Time

Liam Hendriks struck out a pair in a scoreless frame to earn a save as the White Sox edged the Tigers 8-7 on Monday. The save was Hendriks’ 37th of the season, which leads the American League. He now boasts a 2.61 ERA, 0.75 WHIP and ridiculous 108/7 K/BB ratio across 69 innings.

The Nationals used Tanner Rainey and not Kyle Finnegan to close out Monday’s win over the Rockies. It wasn’t easy, as a two-out walk and then an RBI double put the tying run on second base, but Rainey escaped further damage and nailed down the 5-4 win by getting Ryan McMahon to ground out to end it. Finnegan had pitched the eighth inning, getting around a hit and a walk. Rainey has pitched well since being recalled earlier this month and looks like the favorite for saves with the Nats this week.

Tuesday’s Matchup of the Day

Brandon Woodruff (MIL) vs. Adam Wainwright (STL)

The Cardinals will hand the ball to Wainwright on Tuesday as they attempt to extend their winning streak to an unbelievable 17 games. Wainwright had a rare misstep last week against these very same Brewers, getting jumped for five runs over four innings in his shorted outing since mid-May. Woodruff was excellent versus the Cards last week but took a tough-luck loss. It will be interesting to see whether the team eases up on his workload at all after they clinched the National League Central on Sunday.

 

American League Quick Hits: Starling Marte didn’t start Monday’s game against the Mariners due to lat soreness. He joined Josh Harrison (knee) on the bench … Eloy Jimenez went 3-for-4 with a two-run homer Monday in the White Sox’ win over the Tigers … Bradley Zimmer hit a solo home run off of his brother, Kyle, and also doubled and scored three runs Monday against the Royals … Jonathan Schoop smacked a solo home run and also had a single and an RBI Monday versus the White Sox … The Rays are expected to activate Andrew Kittredge (neck) prior to Tuesday’s game … Matt Brash is expected to make his major league debut Tuesday versus the A’s …

National League Quick Hits: X-rays have revealed a fractured left thumb for Brandon Belt. He is still being evaluated before it’s determined how much time he might miss … Luis Castillo was placed on the family medical emergency list Monday and won’t make his next start until Friday versus the Pirates … Brendon Rodgers had to exit Monday’s game versus the Nationals after being beaned, but he has passed concussion protocols … Eugenio Suarez homered and reached base four times in Monday’s victory over the Pirates … Jon Lester is nursing an undisclosed injury which has his next start up in the air …