Chris Ray- BAL- Drop Value- Ray may finally have pitched himself out of the closer role in Baltimore, at least as far as being the sole closer goes. "It would be nice if we could get him out of some of the situations he's been in, just so that maybe he could relax and he doesn't think he's going to have to be the guy all the time," interim manager Dave Trembley said. Ray took his 6th loss of the season last night after giving up 2 runs in the 9th innings on a Howie Kendrick homer. Ray has been just brutal this month, posting a 9.90 ERA in his 10 appearances covering 10 IP. He has recorded just one save, given up 3 homers, and walked 6 while striking out only 7. Who else Trembley may call on in save situations is unknown at this time.
Howie Kendrick- LAA- Hot- Kendrick went 2-for-5 with the game winning homer last night to extend his current hitting streak to 12 games. He has also raised his batting average over the .300 mark, to .305. Kendrick has been torrid this month, batting .347 and scoring 23 runs in 24 games. Yet, I still remain skeptical. He still can't draw a walk, with 3 bases on balls this month while striking out 16 times. Kendrick has been helped this season by a .292 BHIP, and his speed doesn't warrant looking at that number as a reflection of ability. During his current streak, he has feasted on the likes of Kansas City, Houston, Pittsburgh, and now Baltimore. The only team with a winning record is the Dodgers. Other teams Kendrick has fattened his batting average on in June are Cincinnati, St. Louis, and Minnesota. Johan Santana was not one of the Twins' pitchers he faced. The schedule is favorable for Kendrick for the first half of July, with series against Texas, the Yankees, and Tampa Bay. After that things start to get tougher. He may be able to maintain his batting average through then, if his luck continues to hold out, but severe challenges will come after that.
Justin Verlander- DET- Cold- Verlander got smacked around last night, giving up 6 runs on 4 hits and 5 walks in 5 IP. He had thrown 110 pitches or more in 2 of his previous 3 starts, so that may have had something to do with it. Verlander is only 24 and so still in the age range where pitchers tend to be sensitive to overuse.
Edwin Jackson- TB- Hot- Jackson has pitched consecutive quality starts for the Devil Rays and they aren't cheapies like when he did that earlier this season (then, both were 3 earned runs allowed in 6 IP and in one of them Jackson gave up 3 unearned runs as well). He has pitched 12 inning and given up 3 runs on 15 hits and 3 walks while striking out 8. Jackson is not the second coming of Nolan Ryan, but he is in a more solid position in the Tampa Bay rotation and is starting to show signs that he might start to show some of his potential. Jackson is still only 24 years old, so he might be a late bloomer.
Gregg Zaun- TOR- Hot- Zaun is dragging his batting average to a respectable level by swinging a hot bat of late. In his last 9 games, Zaun has gone 11-for-27, boosting his average from .178 to .240. His numbers are still showing the effects of a hideous BHIP (.164 when last updated in his Fantistical Player Charts). It has been offset recently by a Batting EYE of 1.75. Take those two things together and there is room for Zaun's average to keep climbing.
There are over 100 player news blurbs posted in the member area each morning, members can read the rest of today's player news by clicking here link:www.fantistics.com/baseball00/. Not a member? Join today link:www.fantistics.com/join/join.php3