Andy Dirks - Dirks reached base twice more yesterday, extending his hitting streak to 7 games and bringing his line to 379/423/652 for the year. I was ready to brush this off just like everyone else, but after a closer look I'm not so sure he isn't going to be a solid starter. The power growth that he exhibited in his age 24 and 25 seasons was fairly significant, and he's maintained 15-20 SB speed as he's matured. Aside from a few instances of poor fortune in BABIP he's been a .300 hitter as well, and his K rates are rather solid for a corner OF. He's been a very impatient hitter at the upper levels, and that more than anything gives me pause in going out and picking him up (he's still owned in just 30% of ESPN leagues)....I think his AVG will be pretty volatile with a chase% over 40, but his contact rate has remained close to 90% despite his free-swinging ways, and his minor league K rate is only 14.1%, so there's a chance this will have less impact on him than it would for most players. I think there's more here than just a flash in the pan, and with the struggles of many of the other Tigers it certainly looks like he's going to play every day or close to it. I think he's worth at least a reserve slot in most formats right now, and certainly worth a start in deeper leagues and AL-only leagues.
Felix Doubront - Doubront was very solid against the Indians yesterday, holding them to one run on three hits over six innings while picking up his third win of the year. On the surface it's easy to be intrigued by Doubront, who has a terrific K rate, solid velocity for a lefty, an FIP ERA about a run lower than his 4.46 ERA, and pitches for a team that can put up some runs. The problem is that his control ranges from mediocre to poor, his swinging strike% (7.5) can't possibly support this K rate long-term, he's been very fortunate with BABIP thus far, and he faces a pretty difficult schedule. I think despite the FIP ERA that this level of ERA and WHIP are about as good as you could expect from Doubront this year, which make him a borderline start in deeper leagues and waiver wire bait in most.
Mark Trumbo - Trumbo stayed hot yesterday, homering again and walking twice in the 4-2 win over Texas. The power has never been a question for the 26 year old, but with his poor contact ability the high AVG this season has been a surprise thus far. He's chasing a bit less this year, allowing for some of this upward move in AVG (and the higher walk rate), but he's also been a bit lucky on balls in play, so I'd expect him to settle more in the .270-.280 range if he continues to play in a similar fashion. Still, that's impressive enough gains for his sophomore campaign in a category that I expected to be a perpetual weakness, and the fact that he's likely to end the year eligible at all four corners is a big boost to his value as well. He is playing a bit over his head right now, but not so much that I'd want to go out of my way to unload him.
Mike Carp - Carp hit his second homer since coming off the DL yesterday (and just missed another in the ninth that was overturned by video replay), but the .167 AVG has kept him on the wire in most leagues. The 25 year old is clearly still feeling his way back to full health, as he's hitting a ton of grounders right now, but a much-improved contact rate has me optimistic that he'll be back to normal production sooner rather than later....keep in mind that this is a guy that hit 33 homers last season between AAA and the bigs, and he's still just entering his athletic prime. He should provide adequate value as a 1B/OF in most formats the rest of the way.
Zach McAllister - With Josh Tomlin heading to the DL, Zach McAllister came right back to Cleveland to make a second straight spot start, holding the Red Sox to four runs over seven innings with no walks and eight K's. McAllister has been very solid at AAA for the Indians for the past season-plus, exhibiting excellent control and solid K rates while posting a 15-4 record. Through two starts with the Tribe McAllister has walked one and fanned 13, and he gets the Mariners next week on his next turn. I'd be inclined to take a chance on him next week if I had a spot open in most formats, but it would likely be a one-time start as he ends up with the Tigers the following week. He's certainly worth a look at least as long as Tomlin is on the shelf.