Brandon Moss (1B/OF-OAK)- Moss had a monster day at the plate to help lead Oakland to 14-4 win over the Tigers on Wednesday. He went 4-for-6 with a double, two home runs, a strikeout, three runs scored and six RBI. Moss is now hitting .252/.329/.499 with 24 home runs in 419 plate appearances this season. While he has now displayed the power he did in his brief run last season, Moss has put together a strong season in a platoon role. His .247 ISO is ninth in all of baseball, and he has shown some improvement in his strikeout rate that has steadily declined over the last three months. Moss still struggles against left-handed pitching even though both of his home runs last night came against them. He has struck out in 43.7 percent of his plate appearances against left-handers and has a .315 wOBA. With that said, Moss has proven valuable considering where most owners were able to draft him this season.
Asdrubal Cabrera (SS-CLE)- Cabrera went 0-for-3 with a walk in the Indians loss to the Braves last night, as his slash line dropped to .241/.296/.391 for the season. The shortstop also has nine home runs and seven stolen bases in his 106 games (445 plate appearances). Cabrera's .302 wOBA is his lowest in three seasons. Some of his lack of production has stemmed from his increased strikeout rate. Cabrera's BABIP is a little more than 10 points down from his 2011 and 2012 seasons, but his OBP and batting average has been hurt by his career worst 21.6 percent strikeout rate. Cabrera has been hitting the ball harder than in the past with a 25.3 percent line drive rate and 39 percent fly ball rate, but his 9.9 swinging strike rate the behind the drop in production. Cabrera needs be more selective or at least return to his old ways. His 34.4 percent chase rate is a career high, and he is making less contact in general (78.7 percent).
Fernando Rodney (RP-TB)- A day after blowing his eighth save of the year, Rodney threw a dominating inning in which he struck out two to record his thirty-first save of the year. The veteran closer now has a 3.72 ERA, and his DIPS have consistently remained strong throughout the year (2.98 FIP and 3.15 xFIP). Rodney's season has been a peculiar one. His 5.34 BB/9 has played a part in almost all of his blown saves this season, but it has been somewhat negated by his career best strikeout rate (11.64 K/9). Rodney is throwing close to the amount of pitches in the strike zone that he did last season, which means his walk rate should improve somewhat. However, this command is also playing a large role. He has been leaving too many fastballs and change-ups in the middle of the zone, which helps to explain his 25.7 percent line drive rate.
Chris Sale (SP-CHW)- Sale rebounded his previous start and turned in one of his best performances on Wednesday night against the Astros. He improved his record to 10-12 after allowing just one run on four hits (a home run) and two walks while striking out twelve over eight innings of work. Sale improved his ERA to 2.99, and his DIPS (3.11 FIP and 2.92 xFIP) indicate that he has pitched just as well as his ERA would suggest. Sale continues to be one of the ten best starters in baseball, as he has continually improved his control (1.97 BB/9) while maintaining his ability to record strikeouts (9.63 K/9). His elbow has held up remarkably well throughout the season after last year's scare, and there has not been the overall drop in velocity that owners saw last season in August. His overall fastball velocity is up from last year (93 mph compared to 91.6 mph), and he managed to average a little more than 95 mph last night.
Danny Duffy (SP-KC)- Duffy made his third start of the year and turned in a strong outing to earn his second victory of the season. He threw 6.2 scoreless innings in which he struck out seven and did not allow a walk. The Twins were not able to produce an extra base hit against him hitting only five singles. Duffy has looked strong recovering from Tommy John surgery averaging 94.5 mph with his fastball last night, and he was able to record a 14.6 percent swinging strike rate in his outing last night. Duffy reintroduced his slider in last night's outing something he had yet to display in his previous two major league starts. Duffy is obviously building up more arm strength with every start, but he is definitely a must add for owners needing a boost in strikeouts down the stretch. Control has always been a sticking point with Duffy, but it looks to have improved in these three starts (2.76 BB/9). He has a 63.1 percent first pitch strike rate, but it is just a small sample size.
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