Adam Wainwright (SP—Cardinals) Apparently, Adam Wainwright is not at all convinced that Ubaldo Jimenez is the choice for N.L. Cy Young winner. Wainwright is making a very strong case for the honor (an honor, in my opinion, that he should have received in '09) as he pitched a two-hit complete game shutout on Friday. It was Wainwright's second shutout of the year and gave him his 16th victory just one behind Jimenez. Wainwright's 2.07 ERA and 1.00 WHIP provide strong backing for that argument of the league's best pitcher. And the terrific stats don't end there. Opponent batting average of .212, K/BB of 3.66, 20 quality outings out of 24 games started, an opponent OBP of .266 and my favorite: a LOB% of 82.6%. That number is 10% higher than the MLB average. If that number normalizes, could Wainwright get even better? Yeah, Ubaldo has been good, but my money is for Wainwright to beat Jimenez to 20 wins and take home the pitching prize at the end of the day. Could you even think of not starting Wainwright?
Adam Dunn (1B/OF—Nationals) You know those big, slugging home run hitter guys? The ones that make hitting a baseball seem like its as easy as swatting flies? And you know when they get in the zone and get hot, how scary good they can be? Well, Adam Dunn is frighteningly blistering hot right now. Dunn launched two home runs Friday night giving him six home runs for August and four home runs in the past three games. That's good for a total of 30 on the year. As an extra bonus this year, Dunn has a .280 average compared to his .252 lifetime mark. As Joe wrote yesterday, Dunn looks like he is on his way to 40 home runs again and even more interesting is that he may be on his way out of D.C. Dunn was claimed off waivers by an “unknown” team. Shame for Washington as this makes it somewhat limiting in that it narrows the negotiation process to just the one team rather than the other 29. It will be interesting to see if he is moved. Chances are it's a N.L. team as it's highly doubtful that Dunn would pass through all of the N.L. teams and get to the A.L. without a claim. If I were to make a guess, I would say the Rockies might be the claiming party. Their claim would block the Giants and the Padres and Dunn would provide welcome boost for the fading Todd Helton. Don't hold me to it. But that's my guess.
Tom Gorzelanny (SP—Cubs) Tom Gorzelanny certainly falls into the category of “Pitchers who Deserve a Hug and are Unappreciated”. You know what I'm talking about. The guy who goes out there day after day and delivers a solid effort, but but doesn't receive the credit he deserves. But at the end of the day and you look at his body of work and you recognize he did pretty darn well. Maybe some of you can relate to that kind of guy. Well, Gorzelanny took his sixth loss of the season to even out his record but he also pitched his 9th quality outing out of 16 starts, allowing three earned runs over 7 innings. Gorzelanny has a very respectable 3.51 ERA and a FIP of 3.41 indicating his pitching as been pretty effective in relation to his ERA. He's done a good job striking out batters with a K/9 of 8.44 but his control has been lacking with a BB/9 of 4.5 which has been on the rise over the past month. Sure enough he walked 4 on Friday. But with just six home runs allowed on the year for pitching in a traditionally home run friendly park, Gorzelanny has done a lot more right than wrong. Consider him a very usable pitcher that, albeit hasn't been dominant as other pitchers, seems to come up with effective performances on a pretty regular basis.
Matt Lindstrom (RP—Astros) Well, give credit to our own Dave Regan for giving a fair warning about Matt Lindstrom and his back issues. In Lindstrom's second game after resting his back for a few days, the bottom fell out. Lindstrom was hit hard allowing a 3 run lead to slip away in the 9th inning and taking his 2nd loss of the season along with his 5th blown save. Lindstrom's ERA took a big bounce upward going from 2.41 to 3.27. Whether this issue was due to just a bad day or his previous back concerns is yet to be determined. But for a closer. Lindstrom tends to walk the wild side (no pun intended) with a WHIP of 1.54 and a opponent batting average of .289. Granted, Lindstrom had been chugging along very effectively having not allowed a run since June 24th, so a bad game was bound to happen. But Lindstrom never makes it look easy and one has to be a little extra concerned if the back played any part of the blown save on Friday. Monitor this situation closely. Hopefully it was just a bad outing.
Bronson Arroyo (SP—Reds) It's been a little bit of a strange year for Bronson Arroyo stat-wise. He's had some very, very good numbers in certain areas, but other numbers that don't really jibe with the good ones. Friday, he put down the Cubs easily, pitching 7 scoreless innings, allowing 5 hits, a walk and striking out 7. With that game Arroyo was able to get his ERA below the 4.00 mark to 3.83. But far more impressive is that Arroyo has a WHIP of 1.16 for one of the best in the league and opponents are hitting just .227 against him. That's also one of the best. But with such a low WHIP and opponent average, wouldn't you think the ERA would be lower? Well, he has been hurt by a somewhat low LOB% at 71% He is primarily a contact pitcher with weak component stats with a K/9 of 4.6 and a BB/9 of 2.9 and averages about a home run game which helps to keep his ERA high. In fact Arroyo's FIP is 4.74 indicating that he may not be pitching as effectively as his ERA would indicate. His BHIP is very low at .238, so one would have to expect that number to go up and batters to hit Arroyo a little more in the future. Still, all in all Arroyo seems to be getting the job down. Keep him active in all formats as the Reds are helping notch victories as well.
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