Alex Cobb, Baltimore Orioles - Alex Cobb made his debut for the Orioles on Saturday and well.... It didn't go well. He allowed eight runs (seven earned) over 3.2 innings while allowing 10 hits. The Red Sox crushed the ball off of him hitting two home runs (Hanley Ramirez and JD Martinez) and averaging an exit velocity of almost 90 MPH off Cobb as well. Cobb hasn't been near the pitcher he was before Tommy John surgery as he's struggled to miss bats dropping from a 22% K% pre-TJ to around 16% post-TJ and he generated only three swinging strikes Saturday on 79 pitches.
Hector Velazquez, Boston Red Sox - Hector Velasquez started for the Red Sox Saturday and allowed two runs over 5.0 innings to pick up his second win of the season. Velasquez had three prior appearances, including one start April 1st, all coming against Tampa and he's performed much better in the rotation that he has in his two relief appearances. In his starts, he's striking out 8.5 per nine innings and has walked just two batters in his 10.2 innings. According to Fangraphs pitch/FX his slider is his best offering and he put it to u,se Saturday generating five swinging strikes and one called strike on just 16 offerings of the pitch. He's also seen a nice 3 MPH jump on his fastball this year compared to last season.
Jurickson Profar, Texas Rangers - Jurickson Profar has been getting some consistent at-bats due to all of the injuries to the Rangers infield and he's off to a decent start for them. He started at second base for Texas Saturday and reached bases four times in five plate appearances with a single, double, and pair of walks. Profar was one of the most hyped prospects I can remember and a combination of injuries, inconsistent playing time, and not performing in limited time has caused him to all of a sudden be 25 years old. He's worth a flier in AL-Only right now but that's about it until we can see a little more of an extended performance from him, though a .400 OBP and 9:6 BB:K is an excellent start for him.
Blake Swihart, Boston Red Sox - Mookie Betts left the game Saturday with a foot contusion and Blake Swihart filled in admirably going 2-for-3 at the plate with a double, run scored, and a RBI. Manager Alex Cora has said that the hardest player to get at-bats for on the team is Swihart, but there may be a chance here at least for the next couple days. Unless the Red Sox want to put JD Martinez in the outfield I think we see Jackie Bradley Jr shift to RF for any possible days that Betts may end up missing since the injury doesn't seem to be anything major.
Joey Gallo, Texas Rangers - Joey Gallo homered for the second straight day and also laced a double while striking out three times. Gallo is off to a slow start for the Rangers with just a 97 wRC+ two weeks in but he's striking out at almost a 10% less rate than last season which is a promising sign. He's also hitting just 9.1% of his batted balls for line drives which is down 8% from last year, which is influencing his current.220 BABIP. Gallo is never going to be a high BABIP guy because of all the homers, but if he can level out some swings combined with the lower strikeout rate there's a chance we see a better average mark than the .209 clip he hit at last season.
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