George Sherrill- BAL- Caution- Sherrill is entering uncharted territory as far as his usage is concerned. Last season he pitched in 73 games but accumulated only 45-2/3 IP. Sherrill threw only 724 pitches all year, only throwing 20 or more 6 times. In his new closer role he has racked up 35 IP in 37 appearances and already has thrown 612 pitches and has thrown 20 or more 15 times. Sherrill’s control has regressed as he has already walked more batters (19) this season than he did last year (17). He may be able to prove he has adapted to the new role, but in the past two seasons he has suffered drops in effectiveness in the second half, so consider him a risk.
Edgar Renteria- DET- FYI- Renteria will be back in the lineup today according to manager Jim Leyland. Leyland did not offer a reason for why Renteria has been sitting for the last two games, but it probably is a combination of cold bat and diminished range at SS. If the Tigers were hoping to get production close to the .332 Renteria hit for Atlanta last year, they should have looked at his BHIPx. A singles average of .324 was driving his batting average. Renteria was very lucky last year and now that he is at a BHIPx of .269 his batting average has dropped.
Gil Meche- KC- Hot- Meche was back in the quality start column last night, having been one out away from garnering one the last time out. A handful of rough outings (5 starts in which he has allowed 5 or more runs) have inflated his ERA this season. Most of the time Meche has been solid. His walk rate is up slightly over last season, but so is his strikeout rate. Meche will not hurt you, which is almost as important a factor with starting pitchers as trying to get positive production.
Nick Blackburn- MIN- Cold- Blackburn’s GB/FB ratio has been going the wrong direction of late and last night it cost him. After allowing 7 homers in his first 93 IP this season, he gave up 4 in 4-2/3 IP against the Brewers. Blackburn’s home run rate has been creeping up, from 1 in 38-1/3 IP in April to 3 in 33-1/3 IP last month to another 3 in 21-1/3 IP in June before last night. This month he has recorded more fly balls (37) than ground balls (36) after having 115 GBs and 72 FBs prior to June 1st. These are not good trends.
C. J. Wilson- TEX- Cold- As a Rangers’ fan, I get a queasy feeling whenever Wilson takes the mound. Last night did nothing to calm my stomach. After allowing a leadoff homer in the 9th, Wilson got two outs. Then he allowed two more hits before retiring the final batter to nail down the win. With the Rangers hovering around .500, Wilson gets save opportunities, and converts most of the time. However, he has a 5.64 ERA and 1.75 WHIP since May 1st, which can hurt you in those columns.