Chris Archer- TB- Hot- Archer pitched very well Saturday, allowing 1 run on 3 hits and walking none while striking out 4 in 6.2 IP. It was his 3rd quality start in his 4 outings this season, making his previous start look like the aberration. Archer's K/9 is up to 7.66, slightly better than 2013, and his BB/9 is at 1.82, down significantly from last year. He has not allowed a homer yet, which isn't going to last, but has his FIP down at 1.98. His xFIP is at 3.01, which is below his projected ERA of 4.15, However, if he keeps his control at this level or only slips a little, he could beat that projection.
Chris Davis- BAL- Cold- Davis has the same number of singles as he did at this point last season. The difference is that his power has vanished. Davis has only 5 extra base hits in 2014 (only 1 homer) as opposed to 14 (7 homers) in his first 18 games of 2013. Currently Davis has a higher OBP than he finished with last year due to an increase in BB% but has only drawn 2 more walks than he had at this point last year. His BABIP is on par with what he has done in his major league career. Either pitchers have figured out how to effectively pitch around Davis or he is going to look like an echo of former Baltimore 50-homer guy Brady Anderson. A positive for Davis as opposed to Anderson is that Davis showed power previously, hitting 33 homers in 2012. Anderson never hit more than 24 homers in any season other than his 50-homer effort in 1996.
Carlos Carrasco- CLE- FYI- Carrasco has not had positive results this season, with a 7.31 ERA. His FIP of 3.64 and xFIP of 3.91 may make it look like this is a case of early season small sample size. However, there are reasons to stay away from Carrasco and not look to him as a buy low candidate. He hasn't developed the movement that was hoped for from changes made to his delivery. His fastball is coming in straight and getting hit hard. The Indians are sticking with him in the rotation now so there is a chance he will improve. There isn't as much hope as there was in spring training, however.
John Danks- CHA- Hot- Danks has quality starts in each of his 4 outings this season, but several have been problematic. Yesterday is an example. He allowed only 1 run in 6.1 IP but gave up 6 hits and walked 3 while only striking out 1. Danks has a BB/9 for the year that is 4.62 and his K/9 is dangerously low and close to it at 4.97. His ERA of 2.84 is well below his FIP of 4.14 and xFIP of 5.21. Danks' velocity has dropped every year since 2010 and now sits in the high 80s. Regression is not going to be his friend, even if he manages to miss the injuries that have plagued him over the past few seasons.
Joakim Soria- TEX- Hot- Soria is settling down. Last night he posted his third save in his last 3 appearances and third consecutive 9th inning appearance with a strikeout and no walks. He didn't lose focus last night even when the leadoff hitter got on second base due to an errant throw by Elvis Andrus. Alexi Ogando hasn't supplanted Soria yet as Ogando got the final two outs in the 8th before Soria took the mound in the 9th. If Soria keeps pitching like he has lately he will nail down the closer role and won't have to worry about a challenge from Ogando.
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