Chris Ray- BAL- Inj Update- Reading between the lines of what's coming out of Baltimore, don't expect Ray to be back this season. He is not going to be even picking up a baseball for the next three weeks and then the club will evaluate the status of his bone spurs. There is no reason for them to rush surgery, since if he ends up needing it and has it now or in a month, there will be no impact on Ray's availability in 2008. In the meantime they can hope that rest will get him well enough to pitch some more this season, even if the likelihood is slim. In the best case scenario, Ray would come off the DL in a month but still be limited and unable to pitch on consecutive days. That still damages his fantasy value in the closer role.
Jose Contreras- CHA- Cold- Things just keep getting worse for Contreras. The White Sox scored 7 runs in the first 4 innings yesterday, but even that wasn't enough to prevent him from taking his 13th loss of the season. His recent performances have been truly awful. He has given up 19 runs in his last 2 starts, covering 12 innings. Contreras has only given up fewer than 6 runs once in his last 5 starts, and he gave up 5 runs in that odd one. There is either an undisclosed injury issue here or Contreras has just lost it. Either way, there is nothing to recommend him.
Fausto Carmona- CLE- Hot- It's hard to believe the young 13-game winner is the same pitcher who failed miserably as a closer last year. Either we have another case of the intermittent alien habitation or Carmona just is not put together to function as a closer. At this point, the Indians certainly don't mind. Yesterday, he threw 8 scoreless innings for the second consecutive start, allowing just 4 hits and 2 walks to the Red Sox while striking out 6. Carmona has been very consistent, having only one truly horrible start all season. His 113 pitches yesterday was the second most he has thrown this year, but he did post a quality start after throwing 121 pitches back in May, so he could get through his next outing without any aftereffects.
Kenny Rogers- DET- Cold- Rogers insists that there is nothing physically wrong with him and that he is not suffering any lingering effects from the damaged arteries that pushed back his 2007 debut and has limited him to 6 starts so far. However, it looks like something happened after his 3rd start of the season, at which point he owned a 1.04 ERA. In Rogers' 3 starts since then he has given up 17 earned runs (19 overall) in 15-1/3 IP on 21 hits and 8 walks while striking out 6. His ERA now stands at 5.23. Until and unless Rogers can show that he can pitch effectively he should be avoided.
Gil Meche- KC- Cold- Meche earned his status as the KC stopper for 7 innings yesterday, giving up only 3 runs through that point. Then he ran out of gas, only getting one out before being removed in the 8th and getting charged with 2 more runs. Overall he allowed 9 runs and a walk while recording a single strike out. Meche has been worked hard this season. Including his 120-pitch outing yesterday, he has thrown 110 or more pitches in 10 of his 22 starts this year. In a pitcher like Meche, who has shown a significant increase in his post-All Star Break ERA in 3 of the past 4 seasons, that could mean signs of fatigue are showing up and his performance will be heading downhill from this point.
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