Chris Colabello (1B-MIN): Chris Colabello had himself quite the doubleheader against the Blue Jays, going 5 for 7 with 1 run, 4 RBI, and 1 BB to push his season line to .357/.410/.571. Stories have emerged about Colabello's adjustments during the 2013, as the veteran journeyman shortened his swing and changed his focus to an all-fields approach as opposed to his former pull-happy one. While this may cut down on his power, he has cut down his strikeout rate significantly in the early going. He is growing on me, but the 14% swinging strike rate concerns me, so we shall see how he adjusts against better competition as the season progresses. And with the injuries to Oswaldo Arcia and Josh Willingham, he and his fantasy owners will get that opportunity.
Kyle Gibson (SP-MIN): Kyle Gibson tossed 8-shutout innings in game 1 to pick up the win. He allowed only 4 hits and 1 walk and struck out 4, and has allowed only 2 earned runs in his last 19 and 1/3 innings. So is this for real? The short answer is no. His .93 ERA/4.70 xFIP indicate he has been EXTREMELY fortunate so far, with his 90% LOB and .211 BABIP marks serving as the leading culprits. While Gibson has pedigree and is working his way back from injury, I don't see him as viable in 12-team mixed leagues quite yet. Perhaps most telling is his below average 6.6% swinging strike rate and 25% chase rate. I think he is developing, but don't overpay.
Danny Salazar (SP-CLE): Danny Salazar ran into trouble in the 5th against the Indians, finishing with the following line: 5 earned runs on 6 hits and 3 walks in 4 and 2/3 innings, with 3 strikeouts. While he has had some misfortunate with .405 BABIP and 70.1% LOB marks, leading to his 7.71 ERA/4.32 xFIP, there are serious reasons for concern. His velocity is down 2+ MPH from last season, and his swinging strike rate is hovering near the league average of 8.5% when it was 14.6% last season. Moreover, hitters are teeing off of his split, one of his go-to-pitches last season. Salazar has a history of arm troubles, and while I'm not giving up on him, owners should look to sell if they can get 90 cents on the dollar of his draft-day value.
Joakim Soria (RP-TEX): Joakim Soria tossed a much-needed 1-2-3 9th against Seattle to pick up his 2nd save of the season. With the recent revelation that Ron Washington is willing to use Alexi Ogando in save situations as well, Soria is going to need outings like these to save his job. While he has been unfortunate with a 6.00 ERA/3.44 xFIP, his linedrive rate is up, and the Rangers brass have discussed their desire for more of a strikeout pitcher to close out games. Soria dropped some nasty breaking pitches to finish off the game, and he'll have to do that with his 90 MPH fastball. With all of the chatter of Ogando, and the deposed Neftali Feliz pitching well in AAA, there is some risk here. Despite this outing, if you could sell for 80 cents on the dollar, I'd consider.
Justin Verlander (SP-DET): Justin Verlander battled through 5 innings and 113 pitches, allowing 6 hits, 4 walks, and 3 runs (0 earned), but picked up the win after the Tiger bats woke up in the 5th. While he added 7 strikeouts, there is some reason for concern. For the season, he has a 2.08 ERA/4.48 xFIP and has allowed 25 hits and 10 walks while striking out out 20 in 26 innings. His AVG fastball velocity sat at 93 MPH, down nearly 1 MPH from last season. He had a difficult time all game with 2 strikes, failing to put away many hitters until after several foul balls. While his secondary stuff looks to be solid, owners should monitor his VELO and efficiency moving forward. I wouldn't sell just yet, but I'm concerned.
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