Alex Rodriguez- NYA- Great Player- Yes, ARod has had a great, if somewhat tainted, career. His 600 homers is quite the milestone. However, that doesn’t really do you any good in the 2010 fantasy baseball season. Looking just at this year, his production has been disappointing. A .264 average and 17 home runs is not what was expected from him at this point. Luck has played a major role in ARod’s depressed average, with a .275 BABIP. The power loss might be coming from something different. ARod seems to have lost an important part of plate discipline. He has swung at 26.2% of pitches out of the strike zone. That’s quite a bit above his 20.9% norm. Not only is he swinging at those pitches, he is making contact at a 65.5% rate, way higher than his average 51.7%. This means that he is not, to use the cliché, getting good wood on the ball. Instead of driving pitches with powerful swings, he is hitting balls from odd angles. That results in fewer homers. It will be interesting to see if finally getting homer 600 changes that. He may have been trying to knock everything out of the park to get to that number and sacrificing plate discipline to do so.
Shaun Marcum- TOR- Caution- For the 4th time in 5 starts and 6th time in 9 starts Marcum failed to produce a quality start. This streak dates back to June 9th, the start after he tossed 112 pitches. Through his career, Marcum hasn’t bounced back from the rare occasions that he has been pushed over 110 pitches. Did that have an impact on his trip to the DL? Possibly. Marcum came off Tommy John surgery and with a track record of fragility that extended start may have thrown him off stride.
Alberto Callaspo- LAA- FYI- Callaspo has not disgraced himself with the Angels, hitting .282 since the trade. He hasn’t distinguished himself much, either, with no homers, 5 runs scored and 4 RBI in 11 games. The power that Callaspo showed early in the season has largely vanished. He has 8 homers in 2010, but only 1 since May 20th. He can post an average that won’t hurt you, but he doesn’t help you much anywhere. Having Callaspo in the lineup is almost like having a void.
Carlos Quentin- CHA- Hot- As happened last season, Quentin has been killed by bad luck. His .155 BHIPx is even worse than his mark of .182 in 2009. There may be some hope for regression to the mean. In his last 6 games, Quentin has gone 6-for-22 with 2 homers. That’s not a great average, but it is an improvement and the power numbers are a good sign.
Justin Masterson- CLE- Cold- Even when it looks at first glance that Masterson had a good game (*a win and allowing 1 run on 4 hits in 5 IP against the Red Sox) it doesn’t look as good when digging a little deeper. It took Masterson 95 pitches to get through that 5+ IP. Of those pitches, 44 were balls and he walked 4 batters. That kind of lack of control just won’t work consistently in the major leagues.