David Price (SP - TB): For the 2nd time in his last 3 outings, Price has struggled to handle the A's offense. On Sunday he wasn't able to get through the 5th inning before being pulled, allowing 4 ER's on 7 hits and 3 BB's, while striking out 7. After showing some great strides in his command early in the season, Price's BB Rates have regressed slightly in July and August as have his K Rates. The performance has followed as well as Price has surrendered a 5.18 ERA and 1.39 WHIP since the end of July. Price has gone through some "slumps" like this in the past with his peripherals so I don't think this warrants any significant concern. A part of me wonders if the struggles can be attributed to the move to the 6-man rotation, which the Rays will now abandon with Alex Cobb going on the DL. Price's next start comes @NYY, which given the recent struggles and Price's struggles historically with the Yankees is one I'd sit out.
Mike Carp (1B - SEA): Carp has continued swinging a hot bat since his promotion from Triple A Tacoma where he was hitting .343/.411/.649. On Sunday he extended his hitting streak to 8 games and has hit .344/.373/.531 since being recalled. The strong performance has come with some shaky peripherals as he's struck out in over 26% of his AB's and posted a chase rate approaching 35%. Whenever he has made contact it's been pretty hard as he's posted a 30% LD Rate. As a result the BABIP, which is approaching .400 isn't out of line, but to expect Carp to be able to maintain a 30% LD Rate seems foolish. We've seen some other young players get off to hot starts despite shaky plate discipline and ultimately they've gone through adjustment periods. I expect Carp to see the same. While he's hot and earned himself a spot in the middle of the Mariners lineup, I don't expect him to hold a lot of fantasy value outside of AL-only formats the rest of the season. In deep leagues he's worth an add while hot, but keep a short leash prepared.
Jake Peavy (SP - CHA): I really don't know what to make of Jake Peavy. Peavy was outstanding on Sunday as he shutout the Twins over 8 strong innings allowing just 3 hits and striking out 6 without walking anyone. This comes directly after an impressive outing against the Yankees when he limited them to 3 ER's in 7 innings. Peavy's shown exceptional command this year as he hasn't walked more than 3 in a single start this year and has walked 1 or less in 9 of his 14 starts. While the command has been spectacular the K Rate has tumbled as Peavy's velocity has been down a bit and his LD Rate is way up. The combination makes it tough to know what to expect from start to start and that's basically what we've experienced. In 6 starts this year Peavy has allowed 4 or more ER's and in 3 others he's allowed 0 ER's. Basically it's been all or nothing. That's not typically the kind of guy I like to have on my roster, but Peavy's skills certainly warrant attention. He'll get KC his next time out, a team that he struggled against in his first outing this year allowing 5 ER's in 6 innings. I'd probably reserve him for the outing, but at this point I'm throwing darts as to whether Peavy's going to be exceptional or atrocious.
Alex Rios (OF - CHA): It figures after spending much of the morning using Rios as an example on our podcast for having to cut bait on disappointing players at this time in the year that Rios would go out and have his 2nd consecutive strong game. He homered and doubled in a 2-4 effort that included 2 Runs and 2 RBI's, and is now 7-18 with 3 XBH's here in August. The pop that Rios has shown in the last week has been the main skill that has been eluding Rios all year long. While it's nice to see in a few favorable matchups of late, I'm still not buying into this as the sign of him turning things around. He's had a nice schedule of late against some starters he's handled well in the past and I think that has more to do with it than anything else. The White Sox have an extremely favorable schedule this week so if you are holding onto Rios and want to plug him in for the favorable schedule, I'd understand it. In leagues where I've owned guys like Eric Thames and Travis Snider and am desperate for OF help Rios is a name I might call on for a week, but it doesn't mean I believe he's back to his 2010 levels. I remain cautious.
Brett Lawrie (3B - TOR): We're dealing with a pretty small sample size here, but it sure looks like Brett Lawrie is ready for big league pitching. Ok fine... maybe the Orioles don't really constitute big league pitching, but Lawrie finished up the 3 game set going 5-11 with a HR and 2 RBI's. I've been a big fan of Lawrie's bat and his position elgibility which will be generous with Lawrie getting eligibility at 2B currently and eventually at 3B as well. The Blue Jays are still trying to figure out where his glove will fit around the diamond but its pretty clear the bat plays anywhere. At AAA this year Lawrie was hitting .353/.415/.661 and while the numbers were inflated by playing in the PCL and Las Vegas his hit tool is legitimately strong. I think he's able to stay up the rest of the year and produce at the level of a Top 10 3B the rest of the way. He should be owned in all formats.