Jose Tabata- PIT- Hot- Tabata has hit safely in 13 of his last 14 games and raised his average to .297. He also has cut down on his strikeouts, not fanning in his last 4 games and only striking out 11 times in 107 ABs since racking up 3 Ks on July 2nd. On the downside, Tabata has also dramatically dropped his walk rate, only drawing 7 walks in that same post-July 2nd time frame. He has only walked twice since drawing 3 on July 11th. Also, Tabata’s luck this season has been positive, with a .335 BABIP. Tabata has performed well, but it’s not time yet to say he has arrived with all of his potential.
Thomas Diamond- CHN- Rookie- Diamond finally made his major league debut and hit double digits in strikeouts while posting a quality start. He was the last of the hyped DVD trio of starters that were in the Rangers’ farm system (none of whom are still with Texas) to make it to the big leagues. While the Ks last night were impressive, the 3 runs on 10 hits and 3 walks were less so. Also, it took Diamond 122 pitches to get through 6 IP. While he is now 27 years old, so the usual caveats about young arms and high pitch counts don’t apply as much, that’s still a lot of pitches and Diamond should be watched in his next start to see if there is some carryover effect.
Jaime Garcia- STL- Cold- It looked more like Jerry Garcia pitching than Jaime, as the Astros got to him for 10 hits in 5 IP and scored 8 times. Only 4 of those runs were earned, so Garcia’s ERA didn’t take as bad a hit as it could have. Garcia seems to have lost the consistency he had early in the season and now throws some clunkers in there with regularity, along with the quality starts. Only 3 of his last 7 starts have been of the quality variety. Some regression to the mean was due, but with a BABIP of .305 now, Garcia should be pretty well evened out. Any more extreme bad luck and it will be a statistical anomaly.
Carlos Lee- HOU- Stats- On a night when the Astros scored 18 runs, Lee did not knock in any. He did go 3-for-5 and score 3 times, but that’s not the role a slugger is supposed to play. Since July 7th, Lee has only hit 2 homers and they both came in the same game. With a .246 average, 14 homers and 53 RBI, Lee’s fantasy value is way down compared to where he was at his peak several years ago.
Joe Saunders- ARI- Caution- Since Saunders seemed to really put it together with a shutout on May 14th, he has had 14 starts. In 5 of them before last night he threw 110+ pitches. He followed those up with quality starts twice. In his starts with fewer than 110 pitches he has followed with a quality start 7 out of 9 times. Last night he threw 116 pitches. His odds of a solid performance are tougher the next time out.