Sean Marshall (RP - CIN) - Marshall was pulled against the Yankees after giving up a two runs on four hits in just a third of an inning as Jose Arredondo came on for the save. After the game, manager Dusty Baker hinted that Aroldis Chapman could possibly be taking over the closer's role soon. That would certainly be a case of Chapman winning the job rather than Marshall losing it, as the southpaw has put up dominating peripherals but has been victimized by a .432 BABIP entering the game despite allowing line drives on only about an eighth of his balls in play. He would still be worthy of a roster spot if he loses the job, as he provides excellent strikeout value and his ratios will be very good once his BABIP regresses.
Christian Friedrich (SP - COL) - After a dominating first two starts, Friedrich was crushed by the Mariners for eight runs on nine hits (one home run) in five innings, walking four and striking out three. It was certainly a setback, but he has a first-round pedigree and good strikeout potential, as he fanned over a batter an inning in his minor league career. However, he served up 31 home runs in 251 innings at AA and AAA, so that will be an issue in Coors Field. He pitches next Friday in Cincinnati and while Great American Ball Park is a launching pad, the Reds have not hit this season.
Angel Pagan (OF - SF) - Pagan picked up another two hits to raise his season line to .304/.353/.462, as he has now hit safely in 10 straight games and 30 of his last 31. He came into the game hitting line drives at a 21.3% rate, but a big change has been hitting more ground balls as his GB% is up more than 10% from last season. His speed allows him to beat out grounders as he has five infield hits already, and hitting it on the ground is more beneficial at AT&T Park for a player like him without much power. He's also added eight stolen bases and should be considered a quality option going forward.
A.J. Burnett (SP - PIT) - Burnett got decent results against the Tigers, allowing two runs on seven hits in six innings. However, he walked three with only two strikeouts and served up a home run. Detroit's lineup is very tough though (especially against right-handers), and Burnett likely won't face many better the rest of the season. Although his ERA is still an ugly 4.78, that is entirely driven by one disastrous outing against the Cardinals as he has allowed two runs or fewer in his other five starts and owns an impressive 33/10 strikeout-to-walk ratio. He should keep it going at home against the Cubs Friday.
Ryan Dempster (SP - CHC) - Dempster was unspectacular for the second straight outing, surrendering four runs on seven hits (two home runs) to the White Sox in six innings, walking and punching out three. His strikeout and walk rates have been excellent, but he has given up a line drive on almost 30% of his balls in play coming into the night yet had only allowed a .259 BABIP. He also came into the night having just three percent of his flyballs leave the yard and is a 35-year old who has faded in the second half the last two years. Sell high if you can, although he does have an excellent matchup in Pittsburgh on Friday.
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