Sammy Sosa- TEX- Caution- Sosa's name surfaced in connection with George Mitchell's steroids investigation, as did teammate Jerry Hairston's. There seems to be a focus on Baltimore Orioles past and present (thin Rafael Palmeiro) and Sosa is one of the players getting a spotlight shined on. This story looks like it is going to heat up over the summer and given past rumors, Sosa will probably get a lot of unwelcome attention.
Mark Teahen- KC- Teahen extended his hitting streak to 9 games by going 2-for-4 yesterday. He has benefited from a bit of luck in building his batting average to .298, with a BHIP of .314 as of Tuesday, but he has also made major improvements in his Batting EYE, with 3 walks and only 3 Ks in the streak. This gives some indications that Teahen's recent production is deeper than just having some lucky balls fall in.
Victor Zambrano- TOR- Drop Value- It looks like Zambrano is headed to the bullpen and will not make his scheduled start on Sunday. The Blue Jays feel that Zambrano's starts since taking Josh Towers' place have showed that he doesn't have the arm strength built back yet to handle a spot in the rotation. A replacement starter has not been named yet (since they haven't officially confirmed that Zambrano is out) but whoever it is will probably have a short time in the spot, since Gustavo Chacin is not far from returning.
James Shields- TB- Hot- Shields pitched his fourth straight quality star as he was locked up in a classic pitchers' duel with Baltimore's Erik Bedard. Although neither starter was involved in the decision, which was a 1-0 Orioles' win in 10 innings, Shields outpitched Bedard. He lasted 9 scoreless innings, giving up just 3 hits and a walk while striking out 4. Manager Joe Maddon may be learning how to handle his pitchers, as he did not push Shields despite the shutout, pulling him after 107 pitches. He is showing stamina, lasting at least 6-1/3 in each of his 7 starts (but not throwing more than 109 pitches) and is developing consistency as well.
Nate Robertson- DET- Cold- Robertson was cruising along last night, allowing just 1 hit in his first 3 innings, then the wheels fell off the cart. In his final 5 outs of work he was tagged for 9 hits leading to 6 runs. Robertson developed location problems as the game went on. It was not the typical "lose all sense of the strike zone"problems that pitchers run into. Robertson's difficulty was that he kept throwing pitches up in the strike zone that hitters had their way with. It was his first poor start of the season and given that he issued no walks and only 22 of his 76 pitches were out of the strike zone, just chalk this up as "one of those outings"and don't worry too much.
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