Travis Wood - Wood shut the Astros down for the second time in five days, giving him five quality starts in eight outings. On the surface, Wood appears to be a candidate for substantial improvement, as his FIP ERA of 3.20 would be fantastic if realized. Perhaps I'm being overly cynical here, but I look at the ridiculously high LD rate (expected BABIP of .396), the increasing BB rate, the decent but not spectacular swinging strike% (certainly not high enough to support 8 K/9), and the abnormally low HR/FB rate and I can't help but think that, ironically, his real performance (read: ERA) is actually closer to what it should be than his FIP ERA. There's plenty of room for me to be wrong here, but I'm skeptical of considerable improvement here.
Chris Iannetta - Iannetta was most of the Rockie offense last night, going 2-3 with a double and a homer while scoring both of the Rockie runs in the 2-1 win. Iannetta has now hit in 6 straight and reached base in 10 straight, bringing his season line up to 247/414/519. The 28 year old backstop has been even more patient than usual this season, but for the fourth straight year is cutting down his swinging strike%, which is now down to a palatable 8.9%. Iannetta is never likely to be a batting average boost, but he does enough in the power categories to be a worthwhile option in almost all formats, and in OBP-based leagues he's actually a potential stud.
Shane Victorino - The Flyin' Hawaiian tripled for the third straight games yesterday, extending his hitting streak to 12 games. He's been more patient this year and appears to be making a conscious effort to hit the ball in the air more, two items that have pushed his ISO up over the last two years to career-high levels. The 30 year old is still showing the wheels as well, swiping his 8th bag of the year last night. Victorino has definitely become a guy that helps everywhere but AVG, and he doesn't kill you there either. A excellent, well-rounded OF that could very well post another career high in HR this season if he stays healthy.
Jason Pridie - After 3748 minor league AB's (and 4 in Minnesota), Jason Pridie is finally getting some consistent playing time for the Mets, his 3rd organization. He's put up an OPS of .886 in his first 45 AB's, and with Pagan having a setback recently it looks like Pridie is going to keep playing for a bit. He's likely to hurt your AVG a bit, but he'll take a walk, has 15 HR power, and could swipe 200-25 bags if given the chance to play. In short, not a bad flyer if you need a bench guy or an injury fill-in for a few weeks. His ceiling is likely that of a 4th OF, but he has just enough value right now to justify an NL-only 5th OF spot.
Mat Latos - There's quite a bit of potentially good and potentially bad things through six starts for Mat Latos, who scuffled through 5 2/3 against the Brewers last night to fall to 0-5. The K rate has been typically outstanding thus far, and allowing only 8.3% line drives is a good indication that people aren't centering him up too often. Of a more concerning note are the walks and, to me, the more disturbing lack of velocity. He's now down almost a full 2% in velocity this season, and when combined with the subpar control certainly speaks to fatigue or rust at best, with something more sinister a clear possibility. For the K's and his home park alone, Latos is a potential ace-level starter, but there is clearly more risk here than in a lot of top-tier names. I'm still a buyer, but a much more cautious one.