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AL Player Profiles

Schuyler Dombroske

A.J. Burnett - A.J. Burnett was at it again last night, walking batters with aplomb until he absolutely had to get an out, which he of course was able to do. Burnett has had a very cushy schedule since coming off of the DL, and he's taken full advantage, allowing only five earned runs in four starts covering 27 2/3 innings. Burnett is a different pitcher (seemingly) every time out, and last night was the groundball A.J. His velocity was off ("only" 92-95 mph) a bit, but possibly he was just throwing two-seamers instead of four-seamers. His curve was sharp for a few innings, and then gone completely for a few innings, which explains the five walks. To me, Burnett is still one of the most enjoyable pitchers to watch....he could absolutely throw a no-hitter every time out. He's only 7-7, but a 3.70 ERA and more than a K per inning are enough for me to want him in there in all formats.

Jack Hannahan - It seems to me that whenever a hitter is going well, he's pulling the ball less than usual, and when a hitter is slumping they're pulling the ball almost every time up. The opposite may not prove to be true, but Jack Hannahan has been hitting the ball the other way more than half of the time that I've been watching him the past few weeks, and he's now hit in nine straight after an infield hit (the other way) last night. He also drove a ball to the wall the opposite way, so the developing power that he's shown here in 2007 is still evident at the big-league level. His on-base skills have really blossomed the past few seasons, and his ISO at AAA this year was nudging up against .200 before his call-up (which is about a 50% increase from every other season in his career). As I mentioned last week, I'm still not sold on Hannahan being a long-term solution, but he's been good enough so far to warrant utilization in deeper mixed leagues and AL-only leagues until/if Chavez returns.

Jason Bartlett - Bartlett is scorching through the latter part of August, batting over .500 (16-31) for the last seven games with three doubles, three triples, and two homers. He hasn't been stealing bases lately, but with an OBP of .400 and an SLG of over .600 for the month of August, who cares? This is his age 27 season after all, so a bit more power wouldn't be unexpected.....the injury issues with his neck, shoulder, and hamstring may have limited his production for much of the year (and if you ask him, are still limiting his production), but he's worth starting now to be sure.

Mike Mussina - Mussina was blasted again last night by the Tigers, giving him an ERA bordering on 18 for the last three outings. At this point, I'd say that it is about 60/40 in favor of Mussina making his Saturday start against Tampa Bay, with Kei Igawa and Ian Kennedy looming as potential alternatives. Mussina's K rate has dropped by about 1.5 this season, and just about every one of those balls in play have turned into a hit, accounting for the 1.70 increase in his ERA from last year. The big question here is "Is Mussina done?" I've enjoyed watching the guy for almost 15 years now, so I'm hopeful that he has a bit more in the tank, but it sure doesn't seem that way. The good news is that he really isn't allowing many homers....it's just singles and doubles that are biting him start after start. A little bit of physical deterioration combined with some poor luck this year has made for a terrible line, and while I certainly wouldn't have him in my lineup right now, I wouldn't discount the possibility that he could offer a few decent outings in September if the Yanks stick with him. We should know more about Saturday's start tomorrow, and if it's Ian Kennedy you'll probably want to grab him.

Frank Catalanotto - The Cat has been red-hot in August, slugging at a 400/471/683 clip. As Thomas mentioned, there might still be some upside here as Catalanotto has one of the better BB/K rates in the game (and the best on the Rangers by far). He's seemingly perpetually underrated for some reason, and should be in your lineup in most formats right now.

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