Tyler Skaggs - Skaggs had a rough go of it last night, allowing 7 runs on 8 baserunners to the lowly Padres over just 3 2/3 innings of work. 5 walks were the major culprit, a common theme in many of Skaggs' struggles, but more importantly this outing definitely puts his rotation slot in jeopardy with Brandon McCarthy poised to come back at any time. Skaggs does have a ton of potential, with solid stuff and great K rates throughout his minor league tenure, but with four of five starters still under team control for 2014 and top prospect Archie Bradley tearing it up at AA there's no guarantee Skaggs will be able to break through anytime soon if the BB and HR issues continue to surface every few starts. I still like him, but much more for dynasty leagues than single-season formats, and even there I get the sense that his perceived value isn't taking into account all of the risk. He is likely to become a mid-rotation starter with the ceiling of a #2, but there is more than an insignificant chance that he never makes it as a starter.
Junior Lake - Junior Lake has cooled off a bit after a sizzling first six games of his career, hitting just 1-12 in games 7-9, but he seems to have solidified his spot in the OF and atop the batting order in fairly short order. Lake is 23 years of age and has been an infielder prior to this season, and he has all kinds of tools but has shown sporadic implementation of them to this point in his career. I think he definitely has 20/20 potential, but contact issues are likely to keep the average from being as much of a strength as it might seem at first blush. Still, the power/speed combo is tough to ignore in most formats....the upside and downside are both huge here.
Dan Haren - Sometimes stubbornness pays off, as Haren bounced back from his Monday outing with a solid 7 inning, 1 run stint against the Mets today to pick up his first win since early May. Don't look now, but Haren has tossed 23 innings this month with an ERA below 3.50, walking 6 and fanning 26. Everyone knows that the long ball is Haren's bugaboo, and out of his next five scheduled opponents only the Cubs are in the top half in HRs, and they just traded away their top threat in that category. I maintain my belief that Haren can add to his productive July with an August that provides value as well.
Caleb Gindl - It looks like Caleb Gindl is going to get the good side of the platoon replacing Ryan Braun for the indefinite future, and Gindl may have a little bit more value than most think. Despite being in AAA for the third straight season, Gindl is just 24 years old, and with a career minor league line of 293/367/461, he's proven that he can do a little bit of everything. He likely has 10-15 HR power and 5-10 SB speed over a full year, and he probably won't kill your average but may help it. In OBP-based leagues I'd say that he's a starter in most formats, while his value in traditional leagues is a bit more fringy. He's a bit of a sleeper for me.
Hyun-Jin Ryu - Ryu was tremendous last night against the Reds, allowing a triple, a homer, and a walk over seven innings, striking out 9 and picking up the win to move to 9-3 on the year. Ryu has seemed much more comfortable at home this year, exhibiting better control (18 BB in 69 IP at home vs. 24 in 60 away) and an ERA over two and a half runs lower (1.90 vs. 4.62 on the road coming into yesterday), and with the Dodgers heating up I'd consider him a must-start at home in all formats. On the road he's more of a spot-start option in most formats.