Shairon Martis- WAS- FYI- Martis followed up a 110 pitch outing on May 2nd by allowing 9 hits and walking 2 in 5-1/3 IP the next time out. In his last start, Martis threw 109 pitches, perilously close to the 110 pitch warning point. Although he only allowed 1 run on 2 hits in 7 IP, he did walk 4 and only struck out 2, going back to a disappointing pattern of last month. Still, the Nationals hitters have supported Martis, as his 5-0 record in 7 starts with an ERA of 4.10 shows. He is more of a pitcher than a thrower, so could be a sleeper candidate if he can keep using his smarts to get things done. Today against the Pirates, though, the 22-year-old has that heavy workload thing working against him. Watch how he does and how many pitches he throws.
Jon Garland- ARI- FYI- If you have daily transactions ad are deciding whether to start any Diamondbacks and Marlins, know that today’s game is doubtful. There is a 70% chance of thunderstorms at game time and that chance climbs to 90% later in the night. The entire series might get washed out, since the forecast for tomorrow calls for at least a 50% chance of thunderstorms throughout the afternoon and evening. If tonight is rained out before getting started, Garland would probably go in one of the doubleheader games tomorrow, if that gets played. All in all, if you have options other than your D-Backs and Marlins, today would be a good day to use them. Check tomorrow’s forecast before putting them back in your lineup.
Chad Billingsley- LAN- FYI- Joe Torre has been riding Billingsley hard. Hopefully he hasn’t been put away wet. Last season Billingsley threw 110 or more pitches 7 times, all coming after June 1. This year he has already hit that mark 4 times, including his last 3 starts. Billingsley’s last outing was a career high 123 pitches. He is still just 24 so this is dangerous territory. If Torre keeps leaving him in for these high pitch counts, Billingsley runs the risk of injury.
Cristian Guzman- WAS- Hot- Guzman went 2-for-4 to bring his batting average to a .385 mark. He is due for a big fall, since luck has been driving it as evidenced by a BHIPx equal to his current batting average. Another pivotal event for Guzman yesterday was that he finally drew his first walk of the season. That allows his Batting EYE to be calculated and it is at .06. That is better than not able to be figured, but is far from good or even acceptable. With lack of discipline, Guzman’s average should plummet once luck starts to even out.
Craig Counsell- MIL- Rise Value- This is starting to become an annual occurrence. Rickie Weeks gets hurt and Counsell’s playing time goes up. Counsell’s batting average has suffered mightily over the past two seasons by extreme bad luck in relatively small sample sizes. His BHIPx numbers were very low (.207 and .211) but he had no more than 281 ABs in either of those years, so that kind of extreme result is more likely. With regular playing time, Counsell’s excellent strike zone control (1.11 Batting EYE) should be more of a factor. Even without the boost of luck he is getting this season (.298 BHIPx) expect some decent production from him.