Chad Green (SP) NYY - It's easy to dismiss a start against the Padres from a RHP, but there might be a bit more to Chad Green's outing than the opposition. Green held the Padres to 1 run on 3 hits over 6 innings Sunday, striking out 8 without walking a man. Looking at his AAA starts this season, that's not really an abnormal result for him: he's allowed 2 earned runs or fewer in 13 of his 14 starts at Scranton, and he allowed 3 in the 14th. He's walked 0 or 1 in 11 of the 14 outings, and he's struck out 6 or more 7 times (and 9 or more 4 times). The net result has been a 1.54 ERA and just over a K per inning, and at this point I'm wondering if he wouldn't be a solid streaming candidate right off the bat should he get a rotation spot. For now he's a watch-lister unless your league is fairly deep, as I think he'll be heading back to AAA imminently, but there is some potential here.....his avg FB velocity is 95, his control is very good, and he can clearly miss bats.
Seth Smith (OF) SEA - Smith capped off a monster series against the Orioles with another homer Sunday, giving him a bomb in each of the last 4 games. This is a perfect example of a week in which it's OK to start Smith in all formats: the Mariners were forecast to face 5 RHP, and Smith hits 293/385/468 against RHP. Smith ended those 5 games going 10-21 with 5 R, 11 RBI, and 4 HR. It's not that he's going to do that every week the Mariners face a bunch of righties, because that's impossible. However, players like Smith, Rajai Davis, and many others are neglected because they don't play every day.....checking the schedules and leaving a "flex" spot or two on your roster to take advantage of them could give you a leg up on everyone else.
Collin McHugh (SP) HOU - McHugh battled his control a little bit on Sunday, and as a result he only lasted 5 2/3 innings against the White Sox, allowing 2 runs on 5 hits and 4 walks with 9 K's. One more out would have given McHugh 4 straight quality starts, and I don't think it's a coincidence that this solid 4-start stretch has coincided with McHugh's highest average velocity of the season. McHugh is up a good 1.5 mph from his April velocity, and he's gone 5 for his last 9 in QS while striking out 61 in 55 2/3 IP. He's not as reliable as you'd like, but McHugh has shown me enough over the last month-plus to think that he deserves to be owned and started in just about all formats, as the swinging strike% has remained above 11% (career-best) and the BABIP is due for a bit of positive regression.
Chris Archer (SP) TB - Archer was on the brink of another first-inning disaster against the Tigers Sunday, allowing 2 walks and a very weakly hit groundball single to the first three batters of the game. Three strikeouts later, all he had to worry about was managing his pitch count. Archer managed to get through 5 2/3 shutout innings Sunday, allowing 3 singles and 3 walks with 10 K's in a no-decision. He still doesn't look like quite the same pitcher that he was last year.....those control improvements don't seem to have taken hold longer-term, but he still looks like he can be a very solid SP2/3. I am still inclined to be patient here, or to look to acquire if possible....the swinging strike% is coming back toward last year's levels after another 18 in 15 pitches Sunday, and the velocity has been up a small amount in June as well.
Hyun-soo Kim (OF) BAL - Kim singled and doubled Sunday, and he's now hit in 8 of 9 to raise his batting line up to 338/423/477 for the year. Yes, the BABIP is due for some regression, but as the 3 doubles and 2 homers in the last 5 games illustrate, I wouldn't be surprised to see a bit more power than he's shown to date to offset that. He's still not playing every day, but I think he's playing enough that he warrants a look in most leagues now...the contact ability is excellent, and he makes hard contact enough (33%) to project average power as well.