JD Martinez homered again on Tuesday to put on bow on his insane month of May that saw him hit .310/.320/.704 with eight homers. Martinez has looked like prime JD Martinez again and has homered in three straight games. He's posting elite batted ball data compared to the rest of the league, but the strikeout rate is closing in on 30% and his walk rate is down quite a bit for his standards, down to below 5%. With the batted ball data being so good though I'm not super worried about it, especially since he struck out just 18 times in May compared to 26 strikeouts in the month of April. One small concern with Martinez though is he isn't doing anything against lefties with a .631 OPS.
Cal Quantrill was crushed for the second straight start, allowing eight runs over 4.1 innings to Baltimore and he's now allowed 16 runs over his last 8.1 innings spanning two starts. He's basically been playing with fire for two years now as he strikes out so few batters, and relies solely on generating soft contact with a below average groundball rate. Quantrill's days in the Cleveland rotation could be numbered with Triston McKenzie closing in on a return to the majors as he's a few rehab starts in in AAA. Logan Allen and Tanner Bibee have both pitched well enough to stay in the majors, Shane Bieber is a staple who isn't going anywhere, and Aaron Civale returning to the team on Friday. There's not a real reason to roster Quantrill at this point and come a week or two he's going to have even less of a reason.
AJ Smith-Shawver's rise to the majors took just 111 innings as the hard-throwing righty was recalled to the majors on Tuesday. He's expected to pitch out of the bullpen for now as the Braves have had trouble recently getting the ball from the starters to closer Raisel Igelsias. Smith-Shawver boasts some elite strikeout upside after striking out 103 batters in 68.2 innings in Low-A last season, and had 55 over 33 innings so far this season across three levels in his climb to the bigs. He's an option more in deeper leagues or potentially holds leagues as there's upside with ratios to potentially be a decent piece. He's been a starter in the minors so maybe there's a shot he gets a start or two at some point.
Gunnar Henderson went 2-for-4 at the plate with three RBI Tuesday. Gunnar's second month of the season wasn't too much better than his first month, slashing .224/.322/.447 over 87 plate appearances in May after posting a .669 OPS in April. His average took a slight step up this month and his power ticked up by over .100 points, but the OBP dropped by 20 points as his walk rate dropped a bit. I'm still excited about Henderson but leveling out his batted ball data would go a long way as he's posting only a 21% line drive rate and his fly ball rate as jumped by 15% from last year.
Kodai Senga struck out nine batters over seven innings against the Phillies, finishing his month with a 2.79 ERA over five starts. The best part about this outing wasn't even the zero runs, or one hit allowed, but instead the fact that he didn't walk anyone after walking eight batters over his last two starts combined. Senga has been great for the Mets but the walks have been the main issue that's kept him from being elite, as a 14.6% BB% is nearly double the league average. Outside of that he's running a near-30% strikeout rate, a 46% groundball rate, and limiting batters to a .225 xBA.
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