Mike Pelfrey - Pelfrey won his seventh in a row last night, shutting down the Cards over seven innings in a 7-2 win. The Mets have won his last nine starts, he's only walked three men in his last 36 innings, he's only allowed a home run (well, three of them) in one of his last 12 starts....the interesting stats go on and on. The substantial control improvement has been the key to his success of late in my opinion, as his K rate is still very suspect, but as we've seen before if you don't allow walks or homers you always have a fighting chance. To me Pelfrey is still a back-end starter at best, but his stuff is good enough that he still may have a step forward in him. I would still consider him a sell-high candidate for this year, however, simply because he isn't quite performing well enough to expect this winning streak to continue.
John Grabow - Grabow might be the biggest beneficiary of last night's trade, at least in the short-term, as he is the likely candidate to pick up saves now that Damaso Marte is heading to the Bronx. Grabow is a perfectly average reliever having his best major league season despite weaker peripherals, and there'd really be no reason to own him other than the expectation of some saves, so plan your waiver strategy accordingly. Jason Michaels is expected to get most of Nady's playing time, but he isn't all that valuable in most formats either.
Jimmy Rollins - I've been really impressed with Jimmy Rollins this year, although the traditional stats don't paint him in a very favorable light relative to last year. After throwing up a career-high 30 homers last season, Rollins appears to have made a conscious effort to hit the ball in the air less often this season, cutting his flyball percentage from 44 to 32. He's pushed his contact rate up over 90%, resulting in a drop in strikeouts, he's walking more than ever before, and his LD% is an excellent 24. Unfortunately, luck hasn't followed him, as his BABIP has dropped 20 points despite a 4.4% increase in line drives. It looks like a disappointing season for Rollins at face value, but he's actually playing a bit better, albeit with significantly less power. I'd expect that AVG to start moving upward any day now, and I think he could be undervalued in many leagues here at the trading deadline, although I will add that 2007 was pretty clearly his peak season.
Wandy Rodriguez - Rodriguez won his fourth straight with an excellent performance against the righty-heavy Brewer lineup last night. I've been totally wrong about Rodriguez, who has steadily improved from a guy that had no business being in the rotation three years ago to guy with a K:BB ratio of over 3 allowing less than a homer per nine. He's still a two-pitch pitcher pitching in a rather unfavorable home park, but he's surviving quite well nonetheless. I'm honestly stunned that he's gone from 4.5 BB/9 and 6 K/9 to 2.7 and 8 respectively in just two years, all while cutting his HR rate by .2. He is a very serviceable #2 or #3 starter right now, and if the Astros would ever put together an offense he might even be a bit more valuable.
Nomar Garciaparra - Nomar has been very solid since returning from injury (306/346/592), and it really could be even better, as his BABIP is only .253 despite a LD% of almost 23. Nomar still is basically the same guy he's been (when healthy, I know) since the first injury, which is a 300/350/500 kind of a player, which is eminently valuable...especially at SS. He's fairly ugly over there at this point in his career, but that's only relevant in real life I guess. Nomar is a worthwhile start in all formats, although as always a backup plan is SOP.