Jim Johnson- OAK- Drop Value- Johnson is out as the Oakland closer after a bad start with his new team. He will be replaced by a committee that sounds like a cast of thousands. This isn't very surprising if you've been paying attention to Johnson's peripherals during his past two 50-save seasons with Baltimore. His ERA has been ½ - ¾ lower than his FIP. His K/9 was 5.37 in 2012 and 7.17 in 2013, not elite closer numbers. One quote from Johnson might indicate that there is more than regression happening, though. "I'm trying to figure out what's going on," he said. "The ball's not going where I want it to go consistently. Try to get it sorted out, try to get locked in." With only 61 strikes in 109 pitches this year and 6 walks in 3.1 IP there might be a physical issue in play as well.
Robbie Ross- TEX- Stats- Ross certainly struggled with his control Wednesday night. He gave up 6 walks in 5.1 IP and at one point had more balls thrown than strikes. He recovered in the later part of his outing and finished with a career-high 98 pitches, 51 of which were strikes. The Texas broadcast team noted that his velocity didn't suffer despite the number of pitches. Endurance was a question mark for the converted reliever but he is showing that he can throw a decent amount of pitches. Ross is still a work in progress but he looks to be on an upward trend.
Josh Reddick- OAK- Cold- Reddick got a "mental health" day off yesterday. He might be getting a "travel" day if he ends up getting optioned back to AAA when Craig Gentry is activated. Reddick has suffered horrendous luck early this season, with a .188 BABIP. This has been magnified by his plunge in FB% to 12.5%. When your GB% is at 62.5% a low BABIP is going to bite you twice.
Daniel Nava- BOS- Stats- Nava hit his first homer of the season yesterday, after slugging 12 of them last year. Nava has showed a complete reversal of his good luck of 2013. Last season his .303 average was driven by a .352 BABIP. So far this season his BABIP of .160 has depressed his batting average, which is now at .139. Nava has probably been pressing, with a K% of 25.6% when he has been under 20% in each of the last two seasons. Regression to the mean will be his friend.
Dallas Keuchel- HOU- Hot- Keuchel cut his ERA almost in half with his second start of the season, seeing it drop from 7.20 to 3.75 after allowing a single run on 5 hits and 2 walks while striking out 6 in 7 IP. Keuchel had an 8/3 GB/FB ratio, which helps him immensely. His problem so far this season, as it was last year, is that those occasional fly balls can go a long way. Keuchel has a HR/FB ratio of 18.2% after having a 17.4% in 2013. He needs to keep the flies in the park to have better than average fantasy value.
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