Brett Tomko- LAN- Cold- When Tomko pitched a quality start against the Marlins in his previous appearance before last night, it was the first time this season that his ERA was lower after he pitched than when he took the mound. That positive trend did not last for long. Tomko's ERA jumped over a run and a half (from 4.33 to 5.97) as he only faced 16 Cardinals, 9 of whom got hits and 8 of them scored. He was well and truly thumped, giving up 4 doubles and a homer. Not one of Tomko's 7 outs was a K. If you look at his Fantistical Player Charts, you'll notice that his K/IP rate has been trending up, a good thing. You'll also notice that his BB/IP rate, which had been trending down over the past few years, has taken a marked jump this season. That is not a good thing. Yes, Tomko has been the victim of some bad luck (with a .312 BHIP% before last night) but that is not enough to dismiss his overall poor performance and make him a prime candidate for bouncing back. Last season, his production improved when he was pulled from the rotation. It is possible that Tomko just can't sustain his performance as a starter any more.
Wilson Betemit- LAN- Rise Value- At least for now, Betemit appears to have reclaimed at least a chunk of the 3B job from Andy LaRoche. He went 2-for-4 with a homer against the Cardinals last night. In his last 8 games, only 3 of which were as a starter, Betemit has gone 6-for-15 with 3 homers, with 4 RBI and 5 runs scored. He credits the turnaround to finding a flaw in his swing after viewing video of last season. That may be partially the case, but it is also possible that Betemit's luck has turned around. His BHIP% entering the weekend was an extremely low .132. When his Fantistical Player Charts are updated, it would not be surprising to see that number jump a bit. Manager Grady Little has said that he is not going to platoon at 3B and will take each game as it comes. Little said that today LaRoche is likely to start, but if a platoon is really in the offing, Betemit will get the major part of the playing time, since he can bat lefthanded. Over the weekend, the Dodgers will be playing with a DH and Little won't have to choose between the two.
Jason Bergmann- WAS- Hot- Despite his lack of a win, some of us here at Fantistics have been touting Bergmann and last night showed why. He flirted with a no hitter against the Braves ending up earning his first win by pitching 8 innings and giving up 1 run on 2 hits while walking 1 and striking out 10. The strikeouts and walk were very encouraging, as Bergmann's ratios in those departments were behind 2006 entering the game. One other big caveat is that he enjoyed the good fortune of a .195 BHIP% entering yesterday's start. However, his other numbers are moving in the right direction so, although Bergmann is not likely to come close to a no hitter every time out, he is looking like a solid starter.
Michael Wuertz- CHN- Caution- Wuertz picked a bad night to melt down on the mound. When you walk more batters than you retire, that is not a good thing, and that's just what Wuertz did. In 2/3 of an inning, he gave up a hit and walked 3 including a walkoff base on balls to take the loss. To make matters worse, manager Lou Piniella went on a rant about his ineffective bullpen. "I'm going to find out if there are some kids down in Triple-A throwing the ball," Piniella said. "Maybe that's the answer -- get some different kids up here who can throw the ball. I don't know what else to say. I've tried everybody out there. You keep hoping it comes around, but we're getting into the middle of May now." Since giving up his first run of the year on April 25th, Wuertz's production has not been good. In 10 appearances covering 6-2/3 IP, he has allowed 4 runs on 10 hits and 5 walks while striking out 3. This puts him in line to get a ticket to AAA Iowa, given the mood Piniella is in.
Hanley Ramirez- FLA- Hot- Ramirez was the only Marlin to record a multiple hit game yesterday, going 2-for-4 to raise his average to .333 for the year. He has been avoiding a sophomore slump on the strength of a very fortunate BHIP% (.326 heading into last weekend) but also a solid Batting EYE of .67. This is a marked improvement over his .44 of last year and is an indication that he will be able to sustain a solid level of productivity.
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