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AL Player Spotlight - June 8, 2007

Kevin Millwood: What has happened to Millwood? This is not the same pitcher that had a stingy 2.86 ERA with Cleveland and who won 16 games last year while pitching his home games in a hitter-friendly home park. He was hit hard again on Wednesday night, falling to 2-5 with a 7.57 ERA. He can't blame his troubles on Ameriquest Field as his home/road ERA splits of 9.87/6.08 show that he has not pitched well anywhere. To be fair, some bad luck is playing its part, a 61% strand rate and a .326 BHIP%., and he has been battling a hamstring problem. Outside of the bad luck, Millwood's problems are uncharacteristic wildness, 3.9 BB/9, and gopheritis, 7 home runs in 44 innings. Perhaps the hamstring has been affecting his control, but he is a veteran and should be able to reign in the walks. His FB% is just 34%, so he also should be able to cut back on the home runs, although he will be vulnerable in home starts. For the time being, it might be a good idea to start Millwood only in road games in some of the more spacious AL-parks until he shows signs of shaking this slump.

Jack Cust: After an incredibly hot start, 8 home runs in his first 42 AB, Cust has reminded people why he has spent some much time in Triple-A instead of the majors, a .230 batting average and 39 K's in 87 AB. When Cust comes to the plate it will usually be power, a walk, or a strikeout. His Ct% is a horrendous 45%, which puts him at the bottom of all major leaguers. If he plays, he will hit home runs, but you have to decide if the hit to your team batting average is worth the price.

Luis Castillo: Castillo is using a high contact rate of 94%, excellent plate patience, 1.36 batting eye, and speed to produce a .339 batting average. On the negative side, he is completely powerless, 69% GB%, and his BHIP% of .341 points to some batting average downside. His constantly sore legs have prevented him from taking advantage of his speed to steal bases, but it is very encouraging that he has attempted 3 steals in his last 4 games after attempting just 3 steals in his first 42 games.

Omar Infante: Team injuries and position flexibility have given Infante some playing time and he has responded by hitting .325 in 77 AB. Don't expect the high average to last, as he is benefiting from a generous .362 BHIP%, is hitting for no power, and has poor underlying skills, an 80% Ct% and .13 batting eye.

Reggie Willits: Willits has earned himself a full-time job with the Angels by hitting .320 in 153 AB and going 14 of 16 in steals. There is not much power in his arsenal, 7 doubles, 1 triple and no home runs. He exercises nice plate patience, .96 batting eye, but as a hitter with no power, he will need to make better contact, 82% Ct%, if he is to maintain a high average. Once his .347 BHIP% begins to normalize, his batting average will come down.

Here are over 100 player news blurbs posted in the member area each morning, members can read the rest of today's player news by clicking here link:www.fantistics.com/baseball00/. Not a member? Join today link:www.fantistics.com/join/join.php3

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