Dioner Navarro- TB- Cold- Navarro was a big part of Tampa Bay’s 2008 World Series run, hitting .295. This season, a combination of bad luck (.198 BHIPx) and hideously poor patience (3 BBs in 173 ABs) have crushed him. After an 0-for-4 last night, Navarro’s average stands under the Mendoza line at .197. The hope would be for some regression to the mean which would then relax him at the plate and cause the Batting EYE to go up. That is a lot to wait for in someone where there are better options at the position.
Koji Uehara- BAL- FYI- Uehara returns form the DL today hoping to build on the success he had prior to going down with a hamstring injury. With 11 BBs and 38 Ks in 50-2/3 IP, Uehara has exhibited very good control of the strike zone. He got the ball down more in May than in April, only allowing 1 homer last month in 20-2/3 IP after giving up 5 in April on 30 IP. The first start back from an injury always carries extra risk, but keep an eye on how Uehara performs against Seattle. If he can continue the pattern of low walks, decent strikeouts and few homers and fly balls, he will have value the next time out.
Zack Greinke- KC- Caution- Greinke’s usage pattern is troublesome. Last season, he threw more than 110 pitches 4 times in 32 starts. This year Greinke has reached that level 5 times already in just 12 starts, including his past two outings. For a pitcher who won’t turn 26 until October, this is risky. Greinke has been performing so well this season due to excellent control (13 BB in 87 IP) and power (91 Ks). Overuse could have a negative effect on those facets of his game as the season wears on.
Kevin Millwood- TEX- FYI- Millwood will be a good test case for the effects of Nolan Ryan’s conditioning regimen and “Get the starters deep into games” policy on veterans. Last season, Millwood had 7 starts of more than 110 pitches. He followed them up with quality starts only twice. This year Millwood has thrown more than 110 pitches in 9 of 12 starts and has quality starts in 5 of the following games, just missing two others and not having a follow up start from his last such game until today. So far, Ryan’s methods seem to be having success. It will take a season long evaluation, and even looking into next year, but this may force some rethinking of traditional usage patterns.
Adrian Beltre- SEA- Hot- Since May 29th, Beltre has been on a roll. He has gone 19-for-47 in 11 games with a homer, 6 RBI, 9 runs scored and even a stolen base. Beltre has raised his average from .212 to .250. Entering it he had been a victim of bad luck, with a .193 BHIPx. When Beltre’s charts are next updated, expect that number to have experienced some regression to the mean. His recent success may be little more than changing fortune, however, since his Batting EYE of .25 during that span is not that much more than he had before.