Adrian Gonzalez - Now that Albert Pujols is back to being Albert Pujols, baseball fans can turn their attention to Boston and focus on another great slugger who can't seem to get on track. Adrian Gonzalez collected a single and scored a run against the Tigers on Monday and is now hitting .268 with a .416 SLG% for the season. He owns a meager .147 ISO and has just 4 HRs and 26 RBI through more than 200 plate appearances. After enjoying a .380 BABIP in 2011, Gonzalez owns a .317 mark in 2012 despite improving his LD rate by 1%. The left-handed hitter isn't struggling to elevate the ball as evidenced by his 37% FB rate (which is 5% better than last season), but he is failing to drive the ball with any authority. Gonzalez's HR/FB rate has plummeted from a career 17% mark to just 7% this season. Looking at Gonzalez's career numbers, there's every reason to believe he's going to break out of his current slump. That said, we're entering June soon so, if I own Gonzalez, I'm getting a little nervous.
Lonnie Chisenhall - The Indians called up third baseman Lonnie Chisenhall on Monday and the 23-year old responded with an absolutely sweet-looking mustache and a HR. With Jack Hannahan heading to the 15-day DL, Chisenhall should see time at the hot corner and may occasionally DH, as he did yesterday. In the minors this season, Chisenhall was batting .321 with 4 HRs in 117 plate appearances. His BA has been aided by a .356 BABIP but, by all accounts, he's been swinging a good bat at AAA. Chisenhall played in 66 games for the Indians last season and really struggled, hitting just .255 with 7 HRs and 27 RBI. He didn't show much patience by walking in 3% of his ABs, while striking out in 22%. In the short-term Chisenhall can provide you some power until Hannahan returns in a few weeks. If he plays well, though, the Indians may consider keeping Chisenhall as the starter for the remainder of the season. For that reason, he's definitely a player to monitor over the next few weeks.
Ryan Cook - Oakland's setup man is no longer perfect after allowing his first 2 ER in the 8th inning against the Twins on Monday. Those runs ended up costing the Athletics the game and snapped Cook's scoreless streak to start the season at 23 innings. While Cook's bottom line has been impressive, his peripheral stats have been less than strong. He has walked 14 batters for a 5.88 walk rate and his xFIP is 4.51 compared to his 0.75 ERA. He won't maintain his current 90% strand rate or .107 BABIP, so there's some serious regression in his future. For those in leagues using holds, I'd be cautious of relying on Cook long-term because the numbers don't support continued success.
Chris Perez - My Twitter followers are well aware of my opinion on Chris Perez entering this season. The Indians' closer saved 39 of 43 games in 2011, but did so with smoke and mirrors. Perez's strikeout rate was just 5.88, his walk rate was near 4.00 and his xFIP sat at 5.01. Needless to say, he was very fortunate to have only blown 4 saves. This season, after blowing the save on Opening Day, Perez has now saved 17 in a row and is a totally different pitcher than in 2011. He's upped his strikeout rate to 8.85, lowered his walk rate to 3.10 and has yet to yield a HR in 20 1/3 innings. While his 2.66 ERA is still about a run below his 3.71 xFIP, there's no doubt Perez is much improved and he's a solid Tier II closer in most league formats.
Kelly Johnson - Kelly Johnson crushed a HR and drove in 3 against the Orioles on Monday and is now hitting .263 with 9 HRs and 26 RBI. Through 200 plate appearances, Kelly Johnson is doing what Kelly Johnson does. His ISO is in the upper 1.00s, he's striking out in about a quarter of his ABs, he's posting solid walk rates and he's stealing a few bags. In the last two seasons, Johnson has stolen double digit bases and hit more than 20 HRs. Despite recording 20% LD rates in 2010 and 2011, Johnson's BABIP fluctuated from .339 two years ago to just .277 last season. The result was a drop in his BA from .284 to just .222. This year, his LD rate is once again at 19% and his BABIP is back up to .327. All said, Johnson is likely undervalued in your league and remains a steady contributor at second base.
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