Doug Fister (SP-DET)- Fister had some outing against the Royals yesterday allowing three runs (two earned) on five hits while striking out ten over 7.2 innings of work. He struck out an American League record nine batters during the outing, and was able to lower his ERA to 3.38. Fister's record remains at 10-9 because of a blown save in the ninth. He has not been able to duplicate the success of his 2011 season, but his 3.33 FIP and 3.34 xFIP indicate that his 2011 season was not a fluke. As expected with the Tigers terrible defense, his BABIP has increased from .272 in 2011 to .293. However, Fister has improved his strikeout rate to a career best 7.72 K/9 along with a career best 8 percent swinging strike rate. His big 12-6 curveball, which he is throwing more than ever this season (20 percent) can induce ground outs, swinging strikes and called strikes. The pitch has allowed him to drop his usage of his slider/cutter (his worst pitch), and has allowed him to post a career best 50.3 percent. I would count on another strong season in 2013.
Travis Blackley (SP-OAK)- Blackely made his fourteenth start of the season on Thursday against the Rangers not being able to make it past the second inning. He allowed five runs on five hits (two home runs) in just one inning, as he saw his ERA jump up to 4.16. His command has deserted him over the last few outings since being put back into the rotation, and his 4.06 FIP and 4.38 xFIP indicate that he has not been particularly lucky or unlucky so far. Blackely has benefitted from a .266 BABIP, but that gain has been cancelled out by a 66.6 percent strand rate. His below average strikeout rate (5.84 K/9) could actually improve considering his swinging strike rate is above 9 percent. However, his road numbers indicate that he has benefited from the Coliseum where his HR/FB ratio is 4.8 percent (over ten percent on the road). Look for him to be a swinging man heading into 2013.
John Jaso (C-SEA)- Jaso went 2-for-5 with a double, a home run and three RBI to help lead the Mariners to a 9-4 win over the Angels yesterday. The home run was his tenth of the season, as he improved his slash line to .275/.392/.361 for the season. Jaso has split time at catcher and the DH spot against right-handed pitching. He has a .300/.416/.513 line against RHP this season, and should be considered once again in 2013 for owners playing in daily leagues where he can be substituted regularly. His value almost doubles for those playing in OBP leagues considering his career 13.3 percent walk rate (15.5 percent this year), though I doubt he will be able to reproduce his home rate once again. His 15.4 percent HR/FB is nearly double his career rate of 7.7 percent, and his fly ball rate dropped to a career low this season (27.3 percent).
Curtis Granderson (CF-NYY)- Granderson went hitless with a strikeout in four at-bats in last night's game against the Blue Jays. He saw his slash line drop to .227/.316/.481 for the year in addition to his 40 home runs and nine stolen bases. It has been a strange year for Granderson owners, as he has been able to duplicate his home run totals from last season( career best 23.5 percent HR/FB ratio in 2012) but have been hurt in almost every other category. His stolen base total dropped, as his attempts decreased from 35 to 12 this season. His batting average has taken a hit thanks to a career worst 28.4 percent strikeout rate, but an examination of his batted ball profile (career best 23.1 percent line drive rate) indicates that his .258 BABIP should be better. The Yankees have a club option for Granderson that I assume will be picked up, so I expect another fantastic home runs season considering his home ballpark. I think we will see improvement in his batting average next year .245-.255 with BABIP improvement even if his strikeout rate does not improve, and he should produce another 35 home run plus season.
Evan Longoria (3B-TB)- Longoria went 1-for-4 with the game winning solo home run in the ninth inning for the Rays in last night's win over the White Sox. The home run was his 14th of the season, and he now has a .287/.364/.506 line in 286 plate appearances this year. Despite his hamstring injury that has limited his number of plate appearances, Longoria has performed very well at the plate in his limited duty. His 17.5 percent HR/FB ratio is above his 16.3 percent career rate, and his 135 wRC+ is right in line with his career numbers. His health problems will probably take somewhat of a toll on his draft position next year, but he should still be ranked as the third best option at the position heading into 2013. He has proven that his 2011 batting average was a BABIP induced decline, and I would envision a .275/.360/.505 type of a line with 30 home runs if he is able to remain healthy.
These are only a few of the players we are covering today. We profile over 100 players everyday in our premium section, become a member today.