Rick Porcello (SP-DET) The Indians knocked around Porcello last night in as his overall record fell to 11-7. Porcello, who hadn't allowed more than 3 runs in any start since June, allowed 11 hits, 1 home run and 8 earned runs while striking out 3 in 3.2 innings pitched. He saw his ERA jump to 4.93 for the season. Porcello has been the victim of some bad luck this season, and his xFIP of 4.00 suggests that he should be pitching better. Mostly he has been victimized by a low strand rate of 66.8 percent (the tenth lowest among qualified starters), and a .316 BABIP (the highest of his career). His strikeout rate of 5.43 K/9 is the best of his career, and his HR/FB ratio of 8.3 percent is also a career low. Furthermore, his 18.7 percent line drive rate is slightly higher than his career mark, but it is not enough to make a difference in his BABIP.
David DeJesus (OF-OAK) DeJesus went 2-for-5 with a home run and a strikeout in the A's loss to the Blue Jays. DeJesus has been hot of late hitting 3 home runs and batting .364 over his last 5 games. Last night's home run was his eighth of the season and he has improved his slash line to .234/.314/.374. His batting average has taken a hit the season because his BABIP has dropped to a career low .264. His batted ball rates are comparable to his career rates, and his average should gradually increase has his BABIP rises. The one noticeable difference in his overall numbers is his increased strikeout rate, which in some part has affected his low batting average. His 16.5 percent strikeout rate is up from 11.9 percent last season, and it is a career high. Even as he gets hot, I would only consider using him in AL-only leagues.
Phillip Humber (SP-CHW) Humber earned a no-decision in last night's extra innings loss to the Orioles. The Orioles tagged him for 11 hits, 2 home runs, 1 walk and 4 runs in 6 innings in addition to striking out 3 times. Humber's record remains at 8-8, and his ERA has reached a season high of 3.67. Opposing teams have scored 4 or more run in 5 straight starts against Humber, and it seems as if regression and some fatigue have caught up to the right-hander. His xFIP of 4.01 suggests he will continue to regress, and he has never thrown more than 150 innings in a professional season. His average fastball velocity from last night's start was 90 mph, a slight dip in his average of 90.3 mph this season and his lowest in 5 starts. His .259 BABIP should continue to rise, and it's safe to say that I think he will finish with an ERA just under 4.00.
Joakim Soria (RP-KC) Soria blew his seventh save of the season after he allowed 3 hits and 3 runs (2 earned) in .2 innings pitched against the Rays. His ERA increased to 4.20, which is a career high, but his xFIP of 3.52 does indicate that he has not been extremely lucky this season. His .306 BABIP is a career high and it is significantly higher than his .266 career rate. Soria's velocity has gotten better throughout the season, and his swinging strike rate has improved to 9 percent this season even though it is a career low. His season has been marred by a xFIP of 5.29 in April when his velocity was in the upper 80's, and his strikeout rate was as low as 3.86 K/9 and he had a walk rate of 4.63 BB/9. While this has been Soria's worst season to date, and I'm not worried about his status next year if he can maintain this same velocity.
Adrian Gonzalez (1B-BOS) Adrian Gonzalez went hitless with one strikeout in 4 at-bats against the Twins last night. While he continues to have an impressive slash line of .348/.409/.551, Gonzalez has only hit 2 home runs since July 1 (18 for the season). Additionally, he has had an ISO of .127 in July, and a weak .085 ISO during the month of August. His lack of power can be explained by his recent inability to get the ball in the air. His fly ball rate was 25.2 percent in July, and his 33.3 percent fly ball rate in August has been hindered by a 18.2 percent infield fly ball percentage. Gonzalez's overall HR/FB ratio of 14.2 percent is below his 2010 ratio, but it is not a career low. His fly ball rate of 32.9 percent is a career low, and this evidence might lead one to believe that his shoulder might be bothering him again.
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