Zack Greinke: The Royals are moving Greinke back into the starting rotation. His numbers as a reliever; 9.3 K/9, 2.5 BB/9, and a 3.54 ERA, have been much better than when he was a starter earlier this year; 5.2 K/9, 2.9 BB/9, and a 5.71 ERA. He is just 23 years of age, so the better numbers in relief could represent growth or it could be that he is better suited for that role. You cannot blame a team out of contention like the Royals for trying to see if he has a future as a starter, but it makes him a high risk, high reward play in fantasy leagues.
Joakim Soria: Soria has been a perfect 3 for 3 in save chances since being handed the closer role when Octavio Dotel was traded before the August 1st deadline. The 23 year-old's numbers are closer-worthy, 13 of 16 in saves with a 2.48 ERA, 9.8 K/9, and a 2.8 BB/9, and becomes even more impressive when you consider that he was pitching in Single-A ball last year. With a possible future as a top-notch closer, he has become a valuable commodity in keeper leagues, but also a fine contributor in any format.
Vladimir Guerrero: It has been another great season for Guerrero, 21/103/.323. By looking at his home run total, one would think his power is down, but his 42 doubles, just 3 shy of a career high, shows that is not the case. One explanation could be that he is hitting the ball hard, but just not getting enough loft on it, 48% GB%.
Erik Bedard: Bedard, 13-4 with a 2,97 ERA, is maturing into the lethal combination of a ground ball/strike out pitcher, 11.2 K/9 and a 48% GB%. If that isn't enough, he is currently working on a four-tear downtrend in his BB/9, 4.7/3.6/3.2/2.7.
Jason Hammel: Hammel was pounded for 6 ER in 3 innings against the A's last night. His move into the starting rotation is not going well, 0-4 with an 8.26 ERA in 7 starts. A 6.7 K/9 hints at some potential but with a BB/9 of 5.9 for the year, he is walking way too many hitters to have any kind of success. Even in Triple-A earlier this year, his BB/9 of 3.3 was too high. Avoid him in all formats until he proves that he can tame the walks at the major league level.
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