Francisco Liriano- MIN- Cold- Liriano’s Grapefruit League issues (20 H and 9 BB in 18.2 IP) have continued in the regular season. A good thing from yesterday’s effort was that his control was much improved. Liriano only walked 1 in 5 IP and also threw 53 of his 78 pitches for strikes. However, too many of those strikes were hit, as he ended up being charged with 7 runs on 8 hits. Liriano also kept the ball down, having a GB/FB ratio of 5.00 (15/3). Overall, it looks like Liriano may have been a victim of bad luck yesterday. Signs of improvement are there and this could be an opportunity to pick up a player on the cheap who will yield dividends in the future.
Alex Gordon- KC- Hot- Is Alex Gordon’s .346 average an indication that he is finally living up to the potential he was tagged with when he first hit the majors way back in 2007? Considering that he is benefiting from a.425 BABIP early in the season, probably not. Gordon looks to be very luck dependent, even if you examine his minor league numbers. He’s not really a AAAA player, as some have tagged him. Yes he put up averages of .313 and .315 in his last stints at AAA, but he also had BABIP numbers of .391 in each of those seasons boosting him up. In a short stint at high-A ball last year, with a BABIP of .267 he only hit .235. If you bank on Gordon avoiding regression to the mean, you are going to have a tough time of it.
Brett Anderson- OAK- Hot- Anderson missed posting his 3rd straight quality start by 1 out. He left after 5.2 IP in which he gave up 3 runs (2 earned) on 9 hits and a walk. The hits were not good and he only struck out 3, but his control is still sparkling and with 1 FB to 14 ground balls, Anderson wasn’t getting knocked around too hard. This outing doesn’t look like anything to worry about.
John Danks- CHA- Hot- Danks continues to exhibit some power in his pitching, striking out 7 in 8 IP yesterday. He allowed only 1 run on 5 hits and 3 walks. Last season, Danks had his highest K/9 (8.07) in the first month of the season. He tailed off to end up at 6.35 for the year. In 2009 he also started the season strong and had a marked decline in K/9 in the second half. Before that, though, there wasn’t a similar pattern. We will have to see where the trends go, if there are any.
Paul Konerko- CHA- FYI- Konerko was helped greatly by a .326 BABIP last year. So far, luck is even better for him with a BABIP of .350. The effects of that are getting magnified in his .362 average because he is putting wood on a lot of balls. Konerko’s K% is at 10.6%, well below his career norm of 16.4%. His swinging strike % is only 5.3% while his Contact% is 88.5%. Konerko is putting a lot of balls in play and getting lucky with them. Regression to the mean will not be his friend.
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