Eric Chavez- OAK- Cold- With a GB% of 54.0% and a FB% of only 24.0%, it looks like Chavez may still have back problems plaguing him. He just is not getting enough loft in his batted balls. Chavez has yet to hit one out in 71 plate appearances. This doesn’t bode well.
A. J. Pierzynski- CHA- Hot- Pierzynski broke out of a 4-game hitless skid by going 2-for-3 last night. The catcher everyone loves to hate is still at a .167 average, but a .182 BABIP explains away a lot of that. He needs to get the ball up more. A 27.8% FB% makes it hard to hit homers, of which he has none so far. Given his BABIP and 8.3% K%, Pierzynski looks like a buy low candidate.
Neftali Feliz- TEX- Cold- Feliz was one batter away from losing his closer role last night. After giving up 2 runs in the 9th to make it a 1-run game, Feliz retired Juan Pierre to end the game with Frankie Francisco ready in the bullpen. In his last 4 appearances, Feliz has allowed 6 runs on 10 hits and only recorded 2 strikeouts in 4 IP. If there is not an injury lurking there somewhere, maybe the Rangers put Feliz in the closer role too soon. His position there now hangs by a thread. Long term, going back to setting up might not be a bad thing, but it would impact his value in leagues that don’t count holds.
Gil Meche- KC- Danger- Meche got lit up again yesterday, allowing 5 runs on 8 hits and 3 walks while striking out 5 in 6 IP. He threw 115 pitches to get that far. I could point out that Meche broke the 110 pitch barrier 8 times last season and followed up with quality starts twice, but that would be beside the point. He has not thrown a single quality start this season and with a BB/9 of 7.23 that’s not surprising. Sure, he is getting slammed by bad luck to the tune of a .381 BABIP, but Meche is killing himself with a lack of control.
Max Scherzer- DET- Cold- Scherzer got hammered by the Twins yesterday, getting charged with 6 runs on 10 hits while striking out 3 in 3.2 IP. He didn’t walk anyone, but with him serving up batting practice, why would anyone wait for a walk? Scherzer ended up with a no decision thanks to an offensive outburst by his teammates after he had departed, but he certainly pitched well enough to deserve a loss. He gave up 2 homers, a danger factor pointed out last week by Fantistics’ Drew Dinkmeyer. Scherzer has now served up 5 gopher balls on the season for a HR/9 of 1.63. With a GB/FB ratio of .88, that kind of tendency doesn’t bode well. Scherzer’s K/9 of 6.51 does not put him in the elite power pitcher range expected of him. The early trends are not good and the shift to the AL may have a very bad effect on Scherzer’s production this season.