Ricky Nolasco- FLA- Hot- Nolasco’s strikeout and walk rates are close to his 2006 numbers. His K/IP number is .74 this season and was .71 then. His BB/IP rate is .26 now and was .29 then. Does the slight improvement in both numbers explain Nolasco’s ERA change from 4.82 in his rookie season to 3.74 now? Not really. That is more likely do to a difference in luck over the two seasons. In 2006, Nolasco has a BHIP% of .302 while it is only .266 this year.
Jerry Hairston, Jr.- CIN- Hot- Over his past 8 games, Hairston has failed to get a hit only once and only once more failed to get multiple hits. In that span he has gone 14-for-30 with a homer, 5 RBI, 7 runs scored and 3 steals. Hairston has raised his batting average from .321 to .343 with the performance. Given that he has a BHIPx of .297 and only once in his career has posted a higher batting average in the second half than the first, don’t expect this to continue. Hairston is prime “sell high” material.
Ubaldo Jimenez- COL- Hot- Jimenez posted his second consecutive quality start and 3rd in his last 4 appearances, shutting out the Brewers in 7 IP, allowing just 3 hits and striking out 7. His control problems returned early, as he allowed 5 walks, but 4 of them came in the first two innings. After that, Jimenez faced just 16 batters to record his final 15 outs. Inconsistency is still an issue, but Jimenez seems to be making substantial progress.
Miguel Montero- ARI- Stats- With Montero in a starting role in place of the injured Chris Snyder, he has a chance to prove that he has the stuff to be a regular catcher. There are positives and negatives in his performance so far this year compared to last year. A big negative is his homer totals. Montero is as close to negative as you can get, with no homers so far this year in 94 ABs, as opposed to 10 last year in 214 ABs. On the flip side, he may be getting close but not quite hitting them out. His doubles total of 7 this season already equals what he had in 2007, giving him close to the same percentage of extra base hits in both years. Montero’s BHIPx of .254 is slightly above the major league average, whereas his .191 last year was bad luck. His rise in batting average from .224 to .245 can be largely attributed to a dose of better luck. Montero’s Batting EYE has dropped from last year, going from .57 to .52. However, it is due mainly to an increase in strikeout ratio outpacing a marked jump in walk rate. He has struck out 25 times and walked 13 this year after striking out 35 times and walking 20 last year. The increased walks have boosted Montero’s OBP from .292 to .333. All in all, it looks like he has a good chance of breaking out of his power drought, especially at home (where he hit 7 of his homers last year), but his average will probably not get much better.
Jorge Campillo- ATL- Hot- Campillo posted a quality start last night, allowing 3 runs over 7 IP on 5 hits and 3 walks while striking out 2. As has become customary, though, the Atlanta offense failed to support him, getting shut out and managing only 1 hit. In Campillo’s last 6 starts the Braves have scored a total of 12 runs, with 4 of them coming in the one win he has posted in that stretch. Overall, Campillo has been effective as a starter, with a 3.75 ERA and 1.14 WHIP. His teammates just don’t put him in the position to win games.