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AL Player Spotlight - August 9, 2007

Paul Sauberer

Dustin Moseley- LAA- Cold- Despite getting roughed up by the Red Sox (6 runs on 10 hits and a walk while recording 1 K in 4-2/3 IP), manager Mike Scioscia says he is going to stay with Moseley in the rotation. In three starts since taking over for Bartolo Colon, he has been less than impressive, with an ERA of 8.16, WHIP of 1.70, and one start longer than 5 IP. Moseley seems to have lost track of the strike zone since the All Star Break. Prior to that he allowed 11 walks in 45 IP. Since then he has already given up 10 free passes in only 20-2/3 IP. Right now Moseley seems out of place in the starter's role and is not performing well enough to deserve a spot on a fantasy roster.

Josh Fields- CHW- FYI- Fields has been hampered by a chronic hamstring injury that has been with him since before his callup from AAA Charlotte. That has impacted both his average, as he has not been able to run full speed and beat out as many infield hits as he did in AAA last season, and his stolen bases. Fields has only stolen one in 56 major league games after swiping 28 in 124 games at Charlotte in 2006. If an offseason of rest solves the problem, Fields could be poised to make some major gains in 2008 and would be a good acquisition in a keeper league.

Asdrubal Cabrera- CLE- Rookie- Cabrera got the start at 2B last night and with Josh Barfield hitting .177 since the All Star Break, more playing time could be coming the rookie's way. Cabrera was probably rushed a bit as a 20-year-old in AAA and his numbers showed it. His .249 batting average and 90 Ks in 393 ABs were not stellar. The Indians started him at AA Akron this year and Cabrera turned it around, finding himself back in AAA after a recent promotion. His strikeouts were down to 50 in 406 at bats and he learned to draw a walk also, boosting his Batting EYE from .36 last season to .94. Cabrera has also exhibited speed (25 SBs) and a little bit of pop. There is certainly question about whether Cabrera is ready to translate this into major league production, but he may have an opportunity with Barfield slumping and represents a low risk opportunity, especially in keeper leagues.

Felix Hernandez- SEA- Cold- Hernandez won his 8th decision of the year, but his performance was not dominating, to say the least. For the 3rd time in 4 starts, it was not of the quality variety. Hernandez allowed 4 runs in 6-2/3 IP, giving up 10 hits. He did not walk a batter, but he only struck out 2, not what you want from him. Hernandez has been hit hard, to the tune of a .304 opponents' batting average since the All Star Break, but a lot of that can be blamed on an extremely high .347 BHIP. His K/9 ratio of 8.23 remains solid, so he is still a useful pitcher, he just hasn't jumped into the elite level that was predicted for him.

John Lester- BOS- Cold- Lester seems to be going backwards with each start he makes. Last night he gave up the most runs (5) he has since coming back to the Red Sox in the least amount of innings pitched (3-1/3). Lester allowed 8 hits and walked 3 while striking out 3. Efficiency was his big problem as only 54 of his 93 pitches were strikes. Lester has to get a better handle on the strike zone in order to get things back on track.

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