Tom Wilhelmsen (RP-SEA): A day after he allowed 4 earned runs without recording an out, Wilhelmsen finds himself out of the closer's role, as interim manager Robby Thompson announced on Friday. Despite no discernible loss in velocity and no reported injury, Wilhelmsen has seen his K-rate plummet and his line drive and walk-rates skyrocket. While Yoervis Medina is likely to grab the next save chance, I like Danny Farquhar, who has dominated as of late, to emerge down the stretch. Stephen Pryor is also a name to keep in mind as he's finally pitching in rehab games and could return within the next week. In any case, those in need of saves should monitor the situation closely, as the Mariners are a much-improved team and could provide any one of these guys with a not-so insignificant number of save chances.
Chris Davis (1B-BAL): Chris Davis homered for the 2nd consecutive game, hitting his 40th homer of the season. Davis has now homered in 3 of his past 4 games, but while the power looks to be returning, there are some reasons for concern. Specifically, Davis' EYE and contact rates have been on a steep decline since the beginning of June. While he should have no problem clearing the 50-homer mark, he's going to have to make some adjustments or else that batting average will fall into the .270-.280 zone.
Austin Jackson (OF-DET): AJAX hit his 7th homer of the season to help the Tigers trump the White Sox. His season line now sits at a disappointing .266/.339/.396, and he hasn't been particularly productive since his return from the DL. His EYE, contact rate, and groundball rates are at levels similar to last season's, and his linedrive rate is actually up. While this suggests that the 35 point-dip in his BABIP is unfortunate and signifies positive regression to come, I'm concerned that his hamstring isn't 100%, as he's attempted only 4 steals since mid-June and has been caught in 3 of those tries.
Alex Gordon (OF-KC): Alex Gordon added another 0-for-4 night at the plate in what has been a disappointing year for the lefty and his fantasy owners. Gordon has posted a .272/.343/.410 line with 57 runs, 53 RBI, 10 homers, and 6 steals in 102 games thus far. Interestingly, his K-rate is up and his BB rate, ISO, and line drive rate are down. The high BABIP from the past two seasons was a huge part of his value, and with a 30-point decline, we're seeing the consequences. Quite strange in the whole puzzle is the development of a reverse split, as Gordon is posting a wOBA 86-points higher against lefties than righties. While I wouldn't give up on him in keeper leagues, I'm quite bearish on him for the rest of 2013.
Nelson Cruz (OF-TEX): With the Biogenesis decisions looming, Nelson Cruz belted his 26th homer of the season to help lead the Rangers to victory. Cruz, currently 13th among OFs on ESPN's Player Rater, has had a fantastic season, really adjusting his game to stay on the field. There have been mixed signals from the Cruz camp on whether or not he will appeal the suspension that is likely to arrive on Sunday. Owners should stay tuned while plotting for a potential replacement.
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