Prince Fielder, Texas Rangers - The source of Prince Fielder's power issues this year may have been identified Saturday as the first baseman will miss a few games with a herniated disk in his neck. He received a nerve blocking injection that will hopefully alleviate the pain that Fielder has been having. His ISO has declined each of his three years since moving to the AL and has dipped to .113 this year, slotting right between Jose Altuve and Billy Hamilton. Not exactly great company to be in when owning some of the best raw power in the game. Mitch Moreland will start at first for at least the next two games for Texas while the team waits to see how Fielder's neck responds to the treatment.
Mark Teixeira, New York Yankees - Teixeira has enjoyed a nice bounce back season, launching his 9th homerun of the season with 20 RBI. With a career low ISO last year at .183 the Yankees first baseman is second only behind Jose Abreu in ISO at .283 among first baseman (w/ 100 AB). His strikeout rate is a career high, but his walk rate has also climbed to its highest mark since 2010. His RBI numbers aren't outstanding when compared against other first baseman with similar power numbers, but they are certainly still respectable. His FB rate is well above his career average of 18.2%, but those numbers are fairly sustainable playing at Yankee stadium, where 30% of his fly balls are leaving the yard. Some regression should happen in his HR/FB%, but not enough to affect his overall stat line too much.
Danny Duffy, Kansas City Royals - Danny Duffy was incredible Saturday, as he was perfect threw 6.2 inning before Adam Jones singled. He was pulled after the end of the inning with a final line of 7.0 innings, two hits, and two strikeouts in just his third start of the season after beginning the year in the bullpen. Since being moved to the rotation, Duffy has allowed just two earned runs over 17.0 innings with seven walks and six strikeouts. His ERA is currently at 1.42 after Saturday's gem, and his FIP is at 3.12. Right now, Duffy's success is coming from his .162 BABIP against him which is well below his career average of .310. As he's not striking out many batters at the moment since being moved to the rotation and he's walking almost four per nine, some regression can be expected as his BABIP begins to normalize. His next start should come against the Angels next week, and it will be interesting to see how he does but he is definitely worth consideration for owners.
Xander Bogaerts, Boston Red Sox - Perhaps the hype around Xander Bogaerts was a little too strong coming into this season, but the young shortstop has put together a solid stretch to help turn his season back around. He hit his second homer of the season Saturday against the Tigers and is now triple slashing .263/.366/.376 through 164 PA. A big reason of his sub-par power numbers to date is the discrepeancy between his FB% and his HR/FB%. Nearly 40% of his at bats are ending in a fly ball but just 2.5% them are leaving the yard. Since Monday, Bogaerts has picked up five hits and scored four runs while bring his average up 10 points. He could be a nice buy low target, or even an add if people decide to drop him, as his HR/FB% is bound to rise at some point.
Alex Cobb, Tampa Bay Rays - Alex Cobb appears ready to regain the Rays rotation after his rehab appearance Saturday. He gave up just three hits while striking out nine over five scoreless inning for the Port Charlotte Stone Crabs. With he being set to go, and Cesear Ramos' struggles Saturday for the big league club, a promotion and start set for Thursday can virtually be set into stone. Cobb was one of the better pitchers in baseball last year going 11-3 with 8.41 K/9 and a 3.36 FIP and he was off to another excellent start in 2014 until he was sidelined with a left oblique injury. That Thursday outing would come at home against the Red Sox, so although it's reasonable to be a little wary in his first start out, you should be completely comfortable rolling Cobb out there as you normally would.
Josh Sperry - @jsperry1991
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