Zack Greinke- KC- Stats- Greinke has thrown 4 consecutive quality starts in which he has given up a total of 4 runs, only three earned. There have been three factors that have driven Greinke’s success this year. First is an increased strikeout rate, with 216 Ks in 205.1 IP. Second is a decreased walk rate, with 42 BBs. The third and perhaps most significant is a dramatic reduction in long balls allowed. Last year Greinke gave up 21 homers in 202.1 IP over 32 starts. This year he has only allowed 11. This combined with a lot of pitches thrown this year (he has already exceeded his IP of 2008 in just 29 starts) makes Greinke a risk for 2010. This season at the age of 25 Greinke has hit or exceeded the 110 pitch mark 13 times. That is more than the rest of his career combined. This is a very heavy level of usage for a young arm and if his sudden decrease in long balls is a statistical outlier, Greinke will be way overpriced in next season’s drafts.
Edwin Jackson- DET- Caution- Jackson’s first quality start in 3 outings came September 6th and took 126 pitches. He followed that up by allowing 4 runs on 8 hits and 4 walks on September 12th. Jackson has had a downturn lately which may be a combination of regression to the mean and fatigue, given his .267 BHIP and career high 190 IP. Looking to 2010, Jackson still has to prove that his early season success is not just a statistical bubble.
John Danks- CHA- Hot- Danks comes into today’s outing with a string of 7 consecutive quality starts. His performance in the second half has been an improvement over his first half production. This is the exact opposite of what happened in 2008 and is a good sign for 2010. Danks has not been heavily used and a good finish gives hope that he will build on the sub-4.00 ERAs he has had over the past two seasons and will be a consistent performer for years to come.
Matt Guerrier- MIN- Hot- Guerrier added to his league leading Holds toal, with his 30th of the season. It wasn’t the prettiest of outings as he gave up as many hits (2) as outs he recorded. Still, Guerrier has only been scored on once in his last 10 appearances, so he hasn’t hurt his owners and has given a big boost to those where holds are counted. Last season’s 5.19 ERA looks to be an anomaly and Guerrier should be able to be counted on for a typical performance in 2010.
Carl Crawford- TB- Hot- Crawford seems to be snapping out of his September slump, going 2-for-4 last night. He is really trying to set a career high in steals, but is still 3 short of the 60 he needs as he got thrown out twice in attempts against the Orioles. Crawford has already set a career high in walks with 44 and with a .302 average 13 homers and 57 steals, he is helping across the board. He turned 28 next month, so should be in the prime of his career and is really taking off. Crawford’s .289 BHIPx is above the major league average but not outrageous or unprecedented for someone with his speed. Expect him to have a high value going into 2010.