Jon Lester - Lester continued his emergence as one of the better young pitchers in the game last night, holding the Orioles to four hits and a run over seven innings to earn his 12th win of the year. He's gone at least seven in each of his last eight starts, with six of those eight being quality starts. The improvements in BB/9 and HR/9 are tremendous, and an extra strikeout or two per nine is really the only thing separating him from the elite now.
Willy Aybar - Aybar is a guy that I think has been perpetually undervalued, and now that he's playing every day in the wake of Longoria's injury he's managed a line of 302/373/566 for August. He has a contact% up close to 90, he's walking almost as much as he's striking out, and at age 25 he's showing a bit more power, as you'd expect. He also has an abnormally low BABIP of .250 despite a LD% above 20. What's not to like? I think he is a solid replacement for Longoria while he's on the shelf in just about all formats.
Jeremy Guthrie - Guthrie tossed his fifth straight quality start yesterday against the Red Sox, but it ended up not being quite enough in the 6-3 loss. If you thought Guthrie was a bit lucky last year you had no idea what was coming, as in the categories the pitcher has the least control over, BABIP (.259) and Strand% (78.8), Guthrie has been even more fortunate in 2008. To me, Guthriew is a mid-rotation starter miscast as an ace, but for the time being he's actually pitching to his role with the O's. I would not expect him to post a better season than this one going forward.
Randy Ruiz - Randy Ruiz, veteran of eight organizations and ten minor league seasons, finally got his first MLB at-bat back on August 1st. Three weeks later it looks like he might be the starting DH for a club in the playoff hunt, as he's hit in seven of eight games since coming up and has started the Twins last three as the DH. Ruiz has a career minor league line of 301/375/521, so he's certainly capable of hitting a bit. Since the Twins have normally been using backup catchers and middle infielders as DH's, this is a breath of fresh air. Ruiz actually merits some consideration as a backup in deeper leagues, but at age 30 expectations should be tempered.
Adam Lind - A three-homer week has Lind back on the hot sheet, as the young OF has been Toronto's best hitter since the All-Star break. He has become a definite start in all formats now that his playing time is settled, although I do think that he's pretty close to his ceiling with this performance so far this season.
There 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. Not a member? Join today.