Ryota Igarashi- TOR- Cold- In his latest call up, Igarashi has again failed to translate minor league success to the major league level. He has appeared in both Toronto games since being called up Friday and has allowed 4 runs in 1 IP, failing to retire a batter in his appearance yesterday. It isn't quite as bad as it looks, since Igarashi was supposed to be unavailable yesterday after throwing 41 pitches on Friday but the extra inning game scuttled those plans. Still, it took him 41 pitches to get 3 outs on Friday, which isn't a good sign. Igarashi has had ERAs at AAA of 1.29 and 0.87 this year and in 2011, respectively. His BB/9 ratios were 1.29 and 2.61. Put a major league uniform on him, though, and his control goes out the window. His career BB/9 in 70 big league IP is 6.17. Igarashi's 69 Ks are nice but without better control he can't nail down a valuable spot in a major league bullpen.
Josh Reddick- OAK- Hot- Reddick's power has jumped this season. He has already hit almost twice as many homers (13) in 196 PAs this season as he did (7) in 278 PAs in 2011. He has shown no significant home/road split differential in his homers, hitting 7 at home and 6 on the road in practically the same number of PAs. The main difference in Reddick's stats is that his HR/FB ratio has jumped to 19.4% from 7.4% last year. Does this mean that he is suddenly crushing the ball more consistently? Not necessarily. While it is true that this FB% has increased from 45.6% to 47.5% his infield FB% has made a big leap from 7.4% to 11.9%. Also his infield hit % has gone up from 6.3% to 9.3%. So Reddick has shown an increased tendency to pop the ball up and probably hit dribblers that resulted in hits. The homer rate may be just a fluke. Reddick looks like a sell high candidate.
Ernesto Frieri- LAA- Rise Value- In the new world of closer-by-committee, Frieri will get his chances at more saves, as he did yesterday. His 1.25 Era since coming over to the AL has been helped by a .226 BABIP and 89.1% LOB%, but his 40Ks in 21.2 IP minimizes the effect of good luck because he misses so many bats. Frieri has been solid when at the major league level over the past 3 years and he has had closing experience in the minors. Without the pressure of being THE closer, he will likely provide some solid value and could take over the role by himself as the season progresses.
Alcides Escobar- KC- Stats- The Royals are crediting a change in swing for Escobar's .307 average in 174 PAs so far this season. At least as big a factor, if not greater, is plain old good luck. Escobar has a .355 BABIP after posting numbers of .285 and .264 the past two seasons. Back in 2009, Escobar had a .346 BABIP with the Brewers and batted .304 in 134 PAs. With a 3.0% BB%, not much lower than his current 3.4%. Looking at his major league numbers for the past 4 seasons, the prime factor in differences appears to be how lucky he is. Based on that, Escobar is a sell high candidate.
Jake Peavy- CHA- FYI- Sometimes it's all about distribution. Peavy won his 6th of the year yesterday, allowing 6 hits and a walk while striking out 9 batters in 6.1 IP. Sounds great, doesn't it? Somehow, despite those numbers, 7 of the 27 batters Peavy faced scored. The walk, a hit by pitch and 4 of the hits, including a homer, happened in the 3rd inning, resulting in 5 runs. The other 2 hits, including another homer, came in the 5th to account for the other runs. Peavy didn't allow a baserunner in any other inning, including the 7th when he was lifted after retiring the first batter he faced and hitting the 113-pitch mark. Chalk this up as an impressive outing by Peavy with a fluky number of runs.
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