Huston Street (RP-SD)- Street recorded his ninth save of the season in the Padres 3-2 win over the Orioles. He threw one shutout inning in which he allowed one walk while striking out one. The veteran closer lowered his ERA to 4.60 for the season, but he has looked somewhat ineffective in during the first month and a half of the season. Of course it is a small sample size, but Street has the worst peripherals of his career in 2013 with a 6.32 K/9 and 3.45 BB/9. While Street's velocity is down from a couple of seasons ago, it has not decreased from last season (89 mph). However, he came into last night's game with a career worst 8.3 percent swinging strike (13.5 percent career rate). While that it is a concern,Street has also seen his ground ball rate drop to 30 percent and has allowed five home runs in 15.2 innings pitched.
Domonic Brown (LF-PHI)- Brown went 2-for-4 with a home run and two runs scored to help lead the Phillies to a 6-2 win over the Indians last night. The home run was Brown's seventh of the season, and he improved his slash line to .257/.306/.441 in the process. It has been an up and down first month and a half, as Brown has put up solid power numbers. However, some of his other offensive skills seem to have taken a step back in 2013. His plate discipline has not been as strong with his walk rate dropping from 9.9 percent in 2012 to 6.1 percent. He has seen an increase in his chase rate, and his strikeout rate has also increased to 19 percent. Brown's average has also been somewhat hurt by a .275 BABIP despite producing a line drive rate of 22.9 percent. I would expect his average to improve and get into the .265 range. His fly ball rate (30.3 percent) is holding him back from being a big time power hitter, but he should still get to 20 home runs for owners if he stays healthy even if his HR/FB ratio somewhat regresses (21.3 percent).
Jeff Locke (SP-PIT)- Locke pitched well in the Pirates extra innings victory over the Brewers, and did not earn a decision despite allowing three runs in six innings of work on seven hits and one walk. The left-hander struck out six, and is pitching to a 3.15 ERA this season. He has been nice surprise for the Pirates this season, but his 4.72 FIP and 4.56 xFIP suggest that this success will be short lived. Locke has been successful despite below average peripherals (5.52 K/9 and 3.94 BB/9) in most part because of a .231 BABIP and 80.8 percent strand rate. His BABIP will eventually see some regression considering he is allowing a 24 percent line drive rate. The improved Pirates defense has contributed to that below average rate, as he does produce an above average amount of ground balls (48.1 percent). His 7 percent swinging strike rate also indicates that his strikeout rate is not likely to see much improvement.
Carlos Beltran (RF-STL)- Beltran went 3-for-5 with a strikeout, a home run, two runs scored and four RBI in the Cardinals win over the Mets last night. The home run was Beltran's tenth of the season, and he improved his slash line to .303/.338/.553 for the year. It has been somewhat of a strange season for the veteran outfielder, who has not been as patient this season (5 percent walk rate). His chase rate is at a career high 33.1 percent, but he has put up very strong power numbers once again. Beltran's .250 ISO would be his highest since 2006, and he has posted a career best HR/FB ratio (21.7 percent). His overall power numbers have improved with a change in his batted ball profile. Beltran's 42.6 percent fly ball rate is his highest since 2007, and his line drive rate is also at a career high (24.7 percent). His HR/FB ratio will see some regression, but he should be able to reach the 30 home run plateau once again if his fly ball rate remains steady.
Patrick Corbin (SP-ARI)- Corbin improved his record to 6-0 last night after he threw seven shutout innings against the Braves. He allowed three hits and five walks during his quality outing, and struck out five to lower his ERA to 1.52 for the season. Corbin has succeeded in his first eight in large part to limit the home run ball, which was an issue during his tenure last year. He is likely to see his 4.2 percent HR/FB ratio regress as we get into the summer months, but I still like he chances to pitch to a 3.50 ERA by the end of the year even when his strand rate (89.2 percent) and BABIP (.259) regress. The left-hander generates an above average amount of ground balls (47.6 percent), and I do expect his peripherals to improve. His walk rate (2.87 BB/9) is a little high considering his 70.5 percent first pitch strike rate. Corbin's strikeout rate should also see some improvement, as his 8.4 percent swinging strike rate is above average.
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