Fernando Rodney: Despite Todd Jones' problems, 5.46 ERA, the Tigers are more likely to stick with him as the closer or look outside the organization rather than turning to Rodney. Rodney has struggled also, 5.40 ERA, but has also been quite unlucky with the longball, 15.6% HR/FB, and possesses a better skill set, 7.9 K/9, 3.5 BB/9, and a 44% GB%, than Jones, 4.9 K/9, 3.9 BB/9, and a 41% GB% The reason that the Tigers will almost definitely not turn to Rodney to close games is his previous work in closing games, an incredible 18 blown saves in 38 opportunities.
Jamey Wright: Despite walking 6 batters in 5.2 innings, Wright allowed just 2 runs and managed to pick up a victory yesterday against the Astros. In four starts this year, covering 19 innings, he has now allowed 13 ER, while walking 16, and striking out 12. Those numbers tell you that he wont get away with a win with that kind of performance very often. He is not recommended in any format, especially for his next start in Detroit.
Justin Verlander: Verlander moved to 9-2 and lowered his ERA to 2.78 with an impressive 7 inning, 1 run, 11 K performance against the Braves yesterday. In his second season, the 24 year-old hurler is showing some nice growth, 2006/2007 K/9's of 6.0/7.9 and GB%'s of 42%/45%. The BB/9 of 3.2 is slightly elevated, but it looks like Verlander is becoming a potent ground ball/strike out pitcher.
Ryan Sweeney: The White Sox will likely place Jermaine Dye on the 15-Day DL after he aggravated his strained right quad in Friday's game and recall Sweeney to play right field. In 45 AB with the Sox earlier this year, Sweeney didn't show much, batting .200 with a home run and 5 RBI. Still the 22 year-old projects to be a major league starting outfielder with potential power. In Triple-A this year, he was batting .298, while not hitting for much power, 4 home runs and 12 doubles in 188 AB. His Ct% was just 82% and despite having a reputation for good strike zone judgment, his BB/K was only .55. At 6-4, 200 lbs, the power should come, but it will not be anytime this year, especially at the major league level. The Ct%, BB/K, and lack of power also show that his batting average will probably suffer with White Sox. Don't expect any steals from him either, over the last two seasons in Triple-A, he has been caught 8 times in 17 tries.
Magglio Ordonez: Not only is Ordonez hitting a sizzling .381, he is also showing more power than last year, 13 home runs and 34 doubles in 268 AB vs. 24 home runs and 32 doubles in 593 AB. All of his underlying numbers are trending in the right direction, 2005/2006/2007 Ct%'s of 88%/85%/89%, BB/K's of .86/.52/1.30, FB%'s of 34%/38%/41%, so look for the power and good average to continue. He looks locked in for a career year.
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