Bryan Shaw- ARI- Cold- A key part of Arizona's blowing a 6-0 lead yesterday was a poor performance by Shaw. He only retired 1 of the 5 batters he faced and was charged with 2 ERs (4 overall) on a hit, 2 walks and a batter who reached via error. After the game manager Kirk Gibson called Shaw out about the walks. "You can't come in and walk two guys on eight pitches. That's just totally unacceptable," Gibson said. "Not that he's trying to, but in all honesty, Shaw has struggled a lot lately walking guys when he's come into games. It's something that's going to have to be looked at." Shaw has issued walks in 3 of his last 4 appearances for a total of 4 bases on balls in 2.1 IP. He seems to have gone from potential closer material early in the season to the doghouse.
Edinson Volquez- SD- Hot- Volquez threw a gem yesterday for his 4th quality start in his last 5 outings, but the same issues remain that raise doubts about whether he can maintain a high level of production. He only allowed 1 hit but he walked 3. That gives him 19 walks in 33.2 IP in this hot streak. Volquez also threw 117 pitches, giving him at least 111 in each of those games. The only time in his career he has thrown that many high-pitch games was in 2008. He ended up injured the following year.
Jeff Baker- CHN- FYI- Baker has been getting playing time recently, appearing in 10 of the 14 Cubs games in July. He is platooning in RF with Bryan LaHair, starting against southpaws. His .500 batting average in the month is driven by a .529 BABIP and LaHair's .071 average against lefthanders is coming from a .118 BABIP, so regression to the mean from either of both will reduce Baker's playing time.
Starling Marte- PIT- Rookie- Marte has done nothing to reduce his status as a top prospect. In his first season at AAA he has a .288 average, 11 homers and 19 steals. Marte does have a .346 BABIP, but that is the lowest of his professional career and with his speed it's not a product of outrageous luck. He has increased his Batting EYE to .31. It's not great but it shows continued progress. Marte's defensive skills are good enough that he could take over the CF slot and push Andrew McCutchen to LF. When the Pirates bring him up, Marte is one to grab.
R. A. Dickey- NYN- Hot- Dickey was back to throwing a quality start, his second in 5 outings. It wasn't the prettiest, as he allowed 10 hits and 4 runs (3 earned) in 7.1 IP. However he walked only 1 batter while striking out 5. It also earned him his 13th win of the season. If you took the advice of Fantistics' Michael Leone and didn't panic during a cold stretch you should be rewarded.
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