Jason Schmidt- LAN- FYI- There are a couple of odd things going on with Schmidt's rehab start tomorrow. First, he is heading to Class A without facing live hitters since being put on the DL. That is very rare. Second, Dodgers' trainer Stan Conte is leaving the team and traveling to San Bernardino to be there when Schmidt pitches. Both came over from the Giants after last season, so Conte is familiar with Schmidt, but the move still seems highly irregular. There is speculation that the sped up schedule is being prompted more by the Dodgers' need for a starter than Schmidt's progress. When and if Schmidt returns, it may be wise to keep him on your bench until he shows that he is really ready.
Doug Davis- ARI- Hot- For the first time this season, Davis did not walk a batter. That likely played a large part in his ability to hold the Phillies to 1 run in 8 innings of work yesterday on 7 hits while striking out 5. Control has been an issue for Davis this season, as he had walked at least 3 batters in 8 of his 10 previous starts this season. If you look at his Fantistical Player chart, you will see that Davis' ERA has a strong correlation with his walk rate prior to this season. The only reason it hasn't tracked this season is that Davis has given up a relatively high percentage of his runs this year after an error. His Expected ERA still correlates. If Davis can command the strike zone as he did yesterday, then his numbers will be good. However, he has to do it in more than one game to prove his value.
Kyle Lohse- CIN- Hot- For Lohse owners, I'm hoping that his three starts before yesterday were another case of the periodic alien takeovers that happen to certain players at certain times. For your sakes' let's assume the pitcher who gave up 20 runs (17 earned) in 10 innings during those 3 starts was not really Lohse but, rather, was Gron from the planet Gornbeck. That's because if yesterday was the real Lohse, you'll have a lot to be happy about. Whoever was on the mound for Cincinnati threw a gem, a complete game shutout needing only 105 pitches and allowing only 6 hits and walking no one. Heading into yesterday's start Lohse/Gron had been plagued by an extremely high .348 BHIP%, so there was plenty of room for luck to swing the other way. Hope that Gron is gone for good.
Jeff Francis- COL- Hot- Entering yesterday's game against the Cardinals in Denver, Francis had some serious home/road split differences, not uncommon for Rockies players. His ERA was 5.26 in Coors Field, more than twice the 2.57 he posted at sane altitudes. Francis narrowed the gap with yesterday's performance, leaving the game with a home ERA of 4.76. Still, if you have him and have the option of daily transactions, sitting him at home would be prudent.
Micah Owings- ARI- Caution- Keep a close watch on Owings tonight. He pitched very well his last time out. However, manager Bob Melvin left Owings in to throw 118 pitches in his complete game victory, the most he has ever thrown in a major league game. That amount of work on a 24-year-old arm is not a historically good thing to do. Owings also had a DL stint earlier this season. It was not arm related, but that still makes it look like Melvin was pushing the envelope last time.
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