Ervin Santana- LAA- Injury- Santana had only walked 23 batters in 102-1/3 IP before last night’s start against the Nationals in Washington. He was uncharacteristically wild in the Nation’s Capital, allowing a season-high 5 free passes. There may be an explanation beyond mere loss of control. Santana had a cracked nail on the middle finger of his right hand and that may have contributing to his lack of ability to get his pitches where he wanted. Watch his next start to see if the nail has healed to where it is no longer affecting him.
Glen Perkins- MIN- Cold- Perkins has continued to suffer from bad luck, as his .321 BHIPx before last night’s start indicates. However, he has not helped himself by posting a .53 K/IP mark. For someone who averaged more than a strikeout per inning in the minors, that is quite a drop off. Another issue Perkins has is with efficiency. Last night he needed 91 pitches to get through 5 IP. Only 33 of them were balls, and he gave up just 6 hits and 2 walks. That indicates that there were probably a lot of foul balls. Batters are just missing connecting with his pitches. Perkins may not have the stuff to succeed in the major leagues unless he shows he can miss more bats.
Ross Gload- KC- Hot- Gload went 3-for-3 last night to extend his current hitting streak to 5 games, in which he has gone 9-for-19. From May 1st through June 20th Gload hit just 181, dragging his average down to .234. His current hot streak has added back 27points of batting average. Gload’s Batting EYE has increased ever so slightly over last year, from .41 to .42. That is mainly due to a decreased strikeout ratio, as his walk ratio has also declined a little bit. Gload’s batting average has inversely correlated fairly well with his strikeout ratio over the last few years, so this bodes well for improvement, as well as a tendency to improve markedly in the second half of the season.
Jeremy Sowers- CLE- Although Sowers turned in his second quality start, after failing to notch any in his first four starts this season, it was not all beer and skittles for him. Between the 7 hits and season-high 5 walks it gave him a WHIP of 2.00 for the game. He has been hurt by a .355 BHIP%, but before putting him down as likely to improve by regression to the mean, see if his control bounces back.
Jay Payton- BAL- Hot- Payton hit 2 homers last night, giving him 6 for the season in 146 ABs. This leaves him just one homer short of his total for all of 2007, compiled in 434 ABs. Right now Payton’s SLG stands at .411, as compared to last year’s .376. However, he raised it 45 points last night. Other than the homers, Payton’s extra base power has vanished. Last year he hit 21 doubles and 5 triples in addition to the homers. This year he has only 4 doubles and no triples so far. Given this, the homers may just be an aberration. If you were hoping that maybe it was an indication he would be a sleeper homer candidate for the second half, I wouldn’t bet on it.