Chris Sale- CHA- Caution- Sale had a quality start last night but his usage pattern is worrisome. He ended up throwing 114 pitches, a dozen of them in the 8th inning after it looked like he was tiring. Extending pitchers who haven't yet reached 25 years of age when they are fatigued is not a good thing. This was the 13th time Sale had thrown 110 or more pitches after only hitting that level 8 times in all of 2012. Sale is a risk for injury heading into 2014, if he makes it through this year.
Alejandro De Aza- CHA- Hot- De Aza hit his 15th homer and stole his 19th base of the season last night, giving him an outside shot at being a 20/20 player. After securing a starting job last season, De Aza has progressed this year and provides all around value. His average dipped slightly this year due to some slightly decreasing luck. Next season De Aza should push the 20/20 envelope again.
James Paxton- SEA- Rookie- Paxton will make his major league debut in a start on Saturday. His main mission this year was to get better control in his first season at AAA. Paxton succeeded, dropping his BB/9 from 4.57 at AA in 20112 to 3.58 at AA this season. His K/9 also dropped, from 9.31 to 8.09, but he still possesses an impressive fastball. Paxton's ERA of 4.45 was inflated by some bad luck, as shown by his 3.55 FIP. Paxton is going to get a good look in these last few weeks and could be a strong contender for the Seattle rotation next year. He could contribute to Ks and ERA on a fantasy team.
Joe Nathan- TEX- FYI- Nathan worked the 9th inning in a non-save situation, although he turned it into one if someone had needed to come in after him. He allowed 2 hits with a 4-run lead and struggled some before striking out Coco Crisp to end the game. Nathan threw 27 pitches which could affect his availability for today. He hasn't thrown that many pitches this year and come back the next day. He came close with a 24-pitch effort on July 22nd that was then followed by two more days of consecutive appearances. Those were his first appearances after the All Star Break, though so he had been working on some rest.
Coco Crisp- OAK- FYI- Crisp was in the lineup leading off yesterday and hit his 19th double of the season in a 1-for-5 day. He was the DH, probably as a result of the foul he took off his shin Monday. Crisp extended his current hitting streak to 6 games and has hit 7 homers in his last 13 games. There could be some regression to the mean happening with more in store. Crisp's BABIP is only at .259. His .258 average could be seeing a rise if positive regression is kicking in.
Follow me on Twitter all season - @fantisticspaul