Opening Day is fading in the distance, and Major League Baseball is settling into its groove. Well, kind of.
We’re almost two weeks into the regular season, which means players are developing larger sample sizes that help determine their true value for 2017. But there still are plenty of guys off to volatile starts who either are exceeding expectations or falling well short of them.
With that, let’s take a look six players whose stock has risen or fallen over the past few days.
Robbie Ray, SP, Arizona Diamondbacks. Ray has gotten the job done early in 2017, going 1-0 with a 2.19 ERA and 14 strikeouts in his first two starts. It hasn’t exactly been pretty — Ray walked eight batters over those two outings — but the left-hander’s high strikeout total suggests he’s on the right track toward racking up the wins and K’s this season.
Wil Myers, 1B/OF, San Diego Padres. We admittedly were down on Myers this season after his rough end to 2016. We must have motivated the 26-year-old, though, because he’s enjoying a scorching stretch that’s included nine hits in his last four games and the second cycle in Padres history.
Adam Eaton, OF, Washington Nationals. Trea Turner’s injury bumped Eaton into the Nationals’ leadoff spot, and the newcomer has delivered, going 7-for-17 with three RBIs and three runs scored over a four-game span. Eaton’s hot bat might convince manager Dusty Baker to leave him atop Washington’s lineup, which would be great news for Eaton owners banking on his solid average and run production.
Byron Buxton, OF, Minnesota Twins. There’s no other way to put this: Buxton has been absolutely awful at the plate this season. He’s just 2-for-29 with 17 strikeouts in nine games, a slump so bad that Twins manager Paul Molitor benched him Wednesday night. The 23-year-old still has a high ceiling, but he’s going through some serious growing pains right now and costing fantasy owners in the process.
Yasiel Puig, OF, Los Angeles Dodgers. Ah, the enigma that is Yasiel Puig. After jacking two homers in one game last Thursday, the 26-year-old has just three hits in his last five contests and was demoted to the eighth spot in L.A.’s order Wednesday night. His hot opening week gave owners hope he’ll be a productive player this season, but we might want to pump the brakes a little bit.
Adam Wainwright, SP, St. Louis Cardinals. We know better than to count out Wainwright, but he’s gotten off to an unsavory start in 2017, failing to pitch past the fifth inning in each of his two outings and getting roughed up for five runs on 11 hits on Monday. The right-hander turns 36 in August, and a few more bad starts might spell serious trouble.
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