Zach Greinke - The Brewers' Doug Melvin said he would trade Zach Greinke before the deadline and he stuck to his word on Friday, shipping the right hander to Anaheim in exchange for Jean Segura and two AA pitchers. This trade definitely boosts Greinke's fantasy value as he moves from pitching in the 4th highest scoring ballpark to the 23rd ranked park. He will also get to face the Athletics and Mariners multiple times since the Angels have 22 more games against those two opponents. For the season, Greinke has tossed 123 innings and posted an 8.93 whiff rate, 2.05 walk rate and 0.51 HR rate. He's improved his GB rate from 47% in 2011 to 53% this year and owns an excellent 2.78 xFIP. This move looks like all upside for Greinke and his fantasy owners as he should remain one of the top starting pitchers in the league.
Travis Snider - Travis Snider continued his torrid hitting since getting called up by belting a 2-run HR - his 3rd bomb in 7 games this year - while also drawing a walk in 5 plate appearances. Snider now owns a .308/.345/.731 slash line and already has 8 RBI. It's a very, very small sample, but certainly intriguing to see the former prospect hit so well considering he struggled mightily at the big league level in 2009, 2010 and 2011. For his career, Snider has recorded just a .249 BA, but his .429 SLG% isn't terrible nor is his .180 ISO. It feels like Snider has been around forever, but he's still just 23-years old so it's more than reasonable for him to make improvements as he gets more experience. In deep AL-only and mixed leagues, Snider is worth a look, especially since he's on fire right now.
Aaron Cook - So, you're telling me it's not possible to maintain a good ERA with a strikeout rate of 0.75? You don't say? On Friday, Aaron Cook got predictably crushed by the Yankees by allowing 6 ER in just 4 innings. He struck out just 1, which improved his whiff rate to 0.90 for the season. Entering the start, Cook had somehow posted a 3.50 ERA despite striking out just 3 batters in 36 innings. The right hander had been surviving thanks to a 60% GB rate and 0.75 walk rate, but as you can imagine those marks aren't sustainable when you can't miss any bats. For those thinking about picking up Cook while he's been recording good numbers, Friday's outing was a reminder that the Red Sox starter is about to turn into a pumpkin so make sure to steer clear.
Josh Reddick - The Athletics' Josh Reddick smashed a triple and double in 6 ABs on Friday against the Orioles before getting carted off the field after slamming into the outfield wall making the final out of the game. Fortunately, Reddick was able to get into the cart on his own and is listed as day-to-day. Reddick is now hitting a respectable .272 with a very impressive .537 SLG%. He also owns an outstanding .264 ISO to go along with a solid 10% walk rate. Reddick has been one of the nicer surprises in baseball this season as he has a real shot at 30 HRs and 90 RBI despite never playing in the majors on a regular basis. Reddick has always had solid power as evidenced by his 5 seasons in the minors with double digit HRs. This year, his HR/FB rate is 17% to go along with a strong 23% LD rate. In all, Reddick's numbers look sustainable, so don't expect him to drop off as the season wears on.
Phil Hughes - The Yankees' Phil Hughes tossed 7 innings and allowed 3 ER against the Red Sox on Friday, en route to picking up his 10th win of the season. Hughes now owns a 4.08 ERA and 4.30 xFIP to go along with a strikeout rate right around 8.00. The biggest problem for Hughes is the long ball this season as he's posted a 1.85 HR rate by allowing 25 HRs - including 3 on Friday - in just 121 innings. As an extreme fly ball pitcher, (Hughes owns just a 32% GB rate), it's not surprising he gives up some HRs, but nearly 2 per game is pretty awful. Until he can improve on that rate, he will remain a risky starter against any lineup and especially at HR-friendly Yankee Stadium.
For fantasy baseball advice and information, follow me on Twitter.