Trevor Cahill- OAK- Cold- We may be starting to see some regression to the mean kick in here. In 2 of his last 4 starts, Cahill has gotten bombed and his BABIP has risen up a bit to .224. Also, there may be some fatigue factoring in. Cahill has thrown 5 games of 110+ pitches. All but one of them came after the All Star Break. In the last one he needed 116 pitches on September 4th to get through 6 IP. He walked 6 in that contest, indicating that he was throwing a lot of pitches without good stuff. He bounced back in his start last Friday, throwing 7 shutout innings, but then allowed 6 runs on 6 hits and 3 walks in 5 IP last night. It is unlikely that Cahill can duplicate his very low BABIP next season and if he is heavily used in his last starts that could also negatively impact his 2011 performance.
Mike Aviles- KC- Hot- Aviles’ career has had a come from nowhere, go back to nowhere, return from nowhere story line over the past 3 seasons. This season he owns a .300 average, which is helped by a .326 BABIP, but that mark isn’t as high as the .357 he had 2 years ago so might not be as extreme as it appears. One positive sign for 2011 is that Aviles has hit 2 homers in his last 3 games, marking a return of some power that had evaporated. He has a higher FB% this season than he did two years ago but just hadn’t gotten the balls out of the park. Aviles’ Batting EYE is improved this year, his GB% is better, just about all of his indicators compare favorably with 2008. This makes him a player to look at in next year’s draft.
Brad Bergesen- BAL- Rise Value- Bergesen continues to make giant leaps forward as this season ends and evaluation for 2011 kicks in. He tossed a complete game last night, needing only 95 pitches and allowing 1 run on 7 hits while walking no one and striking out 3. Bergesen seems to have solved the control issues that were his major concern. It would be nice to see a higher K rate, but he has been making progress in that department as well. Bergesen’s stock continues to rise.
Jayson Nix- CLE- FYI-The Indians are trying to settle Nix in at 3B, presumably to take advantage of his power. Nix has hit 11 homers in 230 ABs since joining Cleveland. He showed some power last season with the White Sox, hitting 12 homers in 255 ABs. However, his average gives pause. Nix only hit .224 last season and is at .252 with Cleveland this year. His Batting EYE of .18 since coming over makes him look like a poor man’s Russell Branyan heading into 2011.
Clay Buchholz- BOS-Hot- Buchholz’s success this season can be boiled down to two elements. First, he is enjoying better luck, with a .267 BABIP, after having a .289 mark in 2009. The second is his extreme HR paucity in Fenway Park. He has allowed only 1 homer in 75.2 home IP. His road IP of 8 in 84 IP is very similar to the 4 in 44.1 IP he gave up outside of Boston last year. Buchholz allowed 9 homers in 47.2 IP at Fenway last year and that difference is what brought his HR/9 down from 1.27 to .51. You can’t expect Buchholz to be that miserly with the gopher balls in Fenway in 2011. That, along with his favorable luck this year and a continued fall in his K/9 ratio, indicates a drop in performance next season.