Denard Span- MIN- Hot- Span had his second straight multi-hit game, going 2-for-4 with a walk, 2 stolen bases and 2 runs scored. He has been enjoying a .299 BHIPx, but it would be expected that his would be above average, given his speed. Span’s 1.00 Batting EYE is an indication that his success is not a mirage.
Ian Kennedy- NYA- Cold- A 2-for-9 stretch would be bad for a hitter. When talking quality starts for a pitcher, it’s completely unacceptable. That’s where Kennedy stands after last night’s debacle. The control he shows at AAA (14 BB and 49 K in 54-1/3 IP) completely evaporates when he comes to the majors, where he has walked 26 and struck out 27 in 39-2/3 big league innings. Kennedy has to improve, and soon, to avoid the tag of AAAA player.
Travis Hafner- CLE- Inj Update- Hafner’s latest strength test showed that his right shoulder has 75% of the strength of his left. That allowed the DH to graduate from hitting on a tee to taking soft toss swings. He had 2 sets of 15 from hitting coach Derek Shelton. Once Hafner can take 60 swings without discomfort, he will start hitting live BP. Then he will be ready for a rehab assignment and then back to the Cleveland lineup. It may be too late to salvage Hafner’s fantasy value for the year, particularly when the Indians are looking at a best case scenario of his injured shoulder being at 85%.
Mark Buehrle- CHA- Hot- In each of the past 3 seasons Buehrle’s performance dipped significantly in the second half of the year. After getting hammered for 22 hits in his previous 2 starts, it looked like this trend would continue. However Buehrle bounced back with a strong outing against the Red Sox, allowing just 1 run on 4 hits and 2 walks while striking out 8. One factor that may help him turn around his recent tendency to fade is a lighter workload. Buehrle has only thrown over 110 pitches once this season. Last year at this time he had tossed 9, including a stretch of 6 in a row. The results did not show up immediately, but that may have been a major factor in Buehrle’s slide, something he doesn’t have to deal with this year.
Jeremy Guthrie- BAL- Hot- Guthrie tossed his 3rd consecutive quality start, holding the Texas offense to just 1 run on 5 hits and a walk while striking out 4 in 7 IP. He has enjoyed some good luck the past couple of years, with a .268 BHIP% in 2007 and a .257 mark this season. Guthrie threw 114 pitches last night, but at 29 years old, his risk factor from overuse is diminished. He has exceeded the 110 pitch plateau 8 other times over the past 2 seasons and followed those outings up with a quality start all but once.