Tim Beckham- TB- Rookie- Beckham debuted as a pinch hitter and got a single in his first major league at bat. The pessimist would say he has nowhere to go but down. But that would be depressing. Realistically, Beckham hit .276 at AAA Durham, an improvement of 20 points over his 2012 numbers. However, his BABIP jumped 32 points and his Batting EYE remained exactly the same, so whether there was a true developmental jump is an open question. For the most part Beckham has disappointed after being drafted first overall in 2008. Multiple drug issues have tarnished his prospect status. Beckham did swipe 17 bases at AAA this year so he does have a modicum of speed. He is far from a sure thing.
Ubaldo Jimenez- CLE- Hot- Jimenez has had his stock rise over the past few weeks. He has struck out fewer than 8 batters only once in his last 7 starts and has walked none in 3 of those. Jimenez was 1/3 of an inning short of a quality start in the first game of that stretch. He only gave up a single run in that one and has quality starts in all of the others. It looks like Jimenez has cured the mechanical problems that were plaguing him and will be contributing in 2014.
Robbie Ross- TEX- Hot- Ross threw 2 perfect innings of relief after being bypassed in Wednesday night's contest. He would have pitched more except Tampa Bay pinch hit with a right handed hitter to start the 8th and Ross was lifted. He struck out half of the 6 batters he faced and threw 19 of his 26 pitches for strikes. Ross has thrown 59.2 IP and picked up 13 holds this year. He is more than a LOOGY and has value in leagues that count holds. This value should remain in 2014.
Jake Odorizzi- TB- Rise Value- Odorizzi will be activated today, now that AAA Durham has finished their season. He will start in the bullpen but could possibly take a start away from Jeremy Hellickson before the season is done. Odorizzi had some bad luck during his prior stints, posting a 5.09 ERA but 4.31 FIP. He struck out almost a batter an inning at AAA and still projects as a solid starting prospect. Odorizzi will likely challenge for a rotation spot in the spring.
Hiroki Kuroda- NYA- Cold- The regression parade continued for Kuroda. Although he ended up with a quality start, giving up 3 runs in 6 IP, he did it on 8 hits and 4 walks. A bright spot was that Kuroda struck out 7. His ERA and FIP didn't get any closer to each other, they just ended up both increasing by the same amount. Kuroda hadn't walked this many batters in an outing since April. His ERA is still at 3.17 and FIP at 3.53, which aren't terrible. He has pitched almost 200 innings so still projects as an overall asset for 2014. Kuroda had a similar rough patch last year before finishing the season with 2 solid starts so don't write him off for the rest of this season.
Follow me on Twitter all season - @fantisticspaul