Derek Holland- TEX- Cold- Holland’s control issues continued in his first start since May 30th. In his last rehab start, Holland gave up 3 runs on 3 hits and 3 walks in 2.1 IP. Yesterday against the Rays he was tagged for 5 runs on 6 hits and 4 walks in 4.1 IP. On the plus side, Holland did rack up 8 strikeouts. This was despite only throwing 57 of his 106 pitches for strikes. Holland is wearing a knee brace when he pitches now and he may still be getting used to it. Until he shows he is truly recovered from his injuries, he isn’t fantasy worthy.
Chad Qualls- TB- Cold- Qualls was a rare dim spot in the Rays’ sweep of the Rangers. The reliever, acquired at the trade deadline, made 2 appearances against the AL West leaders and had disappointing outings each time. Monday he had serious difficulty with control, throwing 9 balls in 18 pitches and getting charged with a run on 2 hits and a walk in 1 IP. Yesterday he was throwing strikes, 8 of them in 11 pitches, but was extremely hittable. He only retired one of the three batters he faced, allowing the other two to get on via base hit. Both eventually scored. If you are in a league that counts holds and was hoping that Qualls would add to that total moving to a contender, it looks like that idea isn’t going to pan out.
Marc Rzepczynski- TOR- Cold- Rzepczynski took a big step backwards, with his previous control problems jumping up big time. In 4.1 IP he was charged with 3 runs on 5 hits and 5 walks. Of his 74 pitches, 35 were balls. Rzepczynski didn’t strike out a single batter. Right now this performance, especially the lack of strikeouts, is an outlier, so don’t push the panic button yet.
Gio Gonzalez- OAK- Caution- Gonzalez had another strong outing yesterday, but his usage patterns recently are cause for concern about the 24-year-old. Before July 27th he had hit the 110-pitch mark only once this season. In the 5 starts beginning with July 27th he has hit that point 4 times. In each of those 4 games, Gonzalez has walked at least 3 batters. That could indicate that he was throwing a lot of pitches when fatigue was starting to set in. His other categories haven’t suffered yet, but there is increased risk.
Miguel Cabrera- DET- Hot- Despite getting pitched around at a high rate, Cabrera is coming through when he does get to swing the bat. He has 4 homers in his last 4 games, with 4 RBI and a run scored. In his last 7 games, Cabrera is 8-for-22 with 8 walks, 5 of them intentional. After last night’s two homer performance against the Yankees, the bat might be taken out of Cabrera’s hands even more, perhaps rivaling the treatment given to Barry Bonds back in the day. He won‘t be walked every time, though, and you have to keep him in your lineup for those instances.