Matt Cain- SF- Inj Update- Cain will have season ending surgery next Monday to remove bone chips. Cain had a stretch for several years where he threw a lot of pitches and a lot of innings. It may be taking its toll. His HR/9 ratio was 1.12 in 2013 and was 1.30 this year. Interestingly, Cain's home/road splits aren't that extreme, despite playing in AT&T Park. The elbow chips may have hurt him this season, but the homer tendency leads to caution when evaluating him for 2015.
Steven Souza- WAS- Rookie- Souza has made some brief trips to the majors this season but this latest may see him getting his most playing time yet. He was hitting .354 for AAA Syracuse, but that was with the benefit of a .395 BABIP. He has 18 homers in 386 PAs at AAA, so his power is there. Souza has made a significant jump in plate discipline, lowering his K% from 23.5% at AA last season to 17.6% at AAA in 2014 while keeping his BB% at the exact same 12.7%. Souza also has speed, with 24 steals for Syracuse. For keeper leagues, Souza is a decent prospect, given his advance in K% this season and ability to provide power and speed. He probably won't be sticking with the big club this season though after Nate McLouth comes off the DL.
Alfredo Simon- CIN- Cold- For the 3rd time in 4 starts, Simon failed to have a quality one. Yesterday he allowed 5 runs in 5 IP on 6 hits and 3 walks while striking out only 1. He was yanked after 70 pitches, only half of which were strikes. Simon's ERA jumped to 3.07, but there is still room for more negative regression to the mean as his 4.49 FIP is looming. His 5.54 K/9 is not a sign of doing anything but selling high, if that's still possible.
Brad Penny- MIA- FYI- Penny has been at AAA New Orleans for a month. With the Marlins' rotation beset with injuries, Penny may be called up before too long. Last night he threw 6 shutout innings against Nashville, allowing 3 hits, walking 4 and striking out 4 to drop his ERA to 2.28. Heading into last night, in 4 starts Penny had posted an ERA of 2.91 and FIP of 2.46. His K/9 of 9.14 and BB/9 of 2.08 were promising early signs. Penny has yet to yield a homer in his AAA stint. Penny could be in the right place at the right time to ends up producing and contributing down the stretch. There is sleeper potential here.
Maikel Franco- PHI- Hot- Franco continued his hot stretch at AAA, going 2 for -4 with his 26th double of the season and 2 RBI. It's almost a foregone conclusion that he will be called up no later than September. When he is, Franco may get some time at 1B as well as 3B. His power numbers are down from the monster numbers he put up at High A and AA last year but Franco doesn't turn 22 until later this month. It may take him some time to catch up to major league pitching when he is called up but huge power potential is there.
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