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AL Player Spotlight - July 27, 2010

Joe Ribando

Javier Vazquez (SP - Yankees) - Vazquez hasn’t exactly had it easy since rejoining the Yankees. He had a couple rough months of the season that led to Yankee fans calling for his head. But Vazquez has quietly settled into a groove, posting 8 quality starts in his last 10 starts dating back to the beginning of June. In those 10 appearances, Vazquez has a 3.05 ERA, 1.00 WHIP, K/9 of 6.9, and a BB/I of 0.29. For Vazquez the K’s are down and the AO are up (75 air outs in those 10 starts vs. 55 GO). That last split makes me nervous for what lies ahead, especially as the Yankees still have series against Tampa Bay (3 more series) and the Red Sox (2 more).

Josh Tomlin (SP - Indians) - Tomlin will make his Major League debut on Tuesday. Not only does he have to face the Yankees, but he has to face A-Rod sitting on 599 HR. Talk about a tough draw for your first game! Tomlin was pitching very well in the minors prior to the call-up. In over 100 IP, Tomlin posted a 2.68 ERA, 1.08 WHIP, 6.7 K/9, 2.4 K/BB, and a HR/9 of 0.92. With low K totals and pitching for a bad team, he’s good for some AL-only consideration if you’re trying to find innings on the wires. He is a 2-start pitcher this week as well, facing the Blue Jays on Sunday. His future beyond that game is still undetermined, but if the schedule remains consistent, his opponents won’t get any easier. He would be penciled-in to face the Twins on 8/6.

Jose Bautista (OF - Blue Jays) - Can anyone stop Jose Bautista? Seriously, all the guy does is hit HR. Another one last night gives him a league leading 28 for the season and an AB/HR of 12.5. I thought a few weeks ago it would be impossible for him to keep it up and he has certainly proved me wrong through the month of July. He even has 3B eligibility in some leagues which gives him even more value. A 12.5 AB/HR is Ruthian and almost impossible to maintain, but even if he slows down and ends in the teens somewhere, it has been quite the year for Bautista and his owners.

Matt Garza (SP - Rays) - The year of the no-hitter has another chapter. While Max Scherzer’s no-hit bid ended in the bottom of the 6th, Garza saw his through to the end. After his last attrocious outing where he gave up 7 ER and 10 H to the Orioles, Garza allowed just 1 BB and 6 K’s against the Tigers. It was the first no-hitter in Tampa Bay history and the 5th of the season. Congrats to Garza and my condolences to Tiger fans. Not only did you have to witness a perfect game get stolen away from you by an umpire, you had to watch your offense get no-hit.

Max Scherzer (SP - Tigers) - It just took one pitch right around the 100-pitch count for Scherzer’s night to completely turn around. He had a no-hitter in the bottom of the 6th before he loaded the bases on a couple of walks and a catcher’s interference call. From there, it was a grand slam after throwing two straight fastballs right down the middle. His final line was 2 hits, 3 ER, 8 K, 4 BB in 5.2 IP. Grooving two fastballs shows that Scherzer still has a little maturity to develop before he can reach the next level. He certainly has the stuff with more than 1 K per inning over the last two months.

Follow me on Twitter all season @jribando.

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