Bauer allowed six runs (two earned) with eight strikeouts over seven innings against the White Sox on Friday. Bauer has struggled so far this season, and while his plate discipline and contact numbers are still strong (73% contact rate, 11.8% swinging strike rate, 27.5% strikeout rate), he's walked batters at a high 11.3% clip while posting a poor batted ball profile. Bauer has actually been a little lucky with a .244 BABIP considering his 90.3 MPH average exit velocity, 40.1% hard hit rate, and 10.7% barrel rate, and his xBA is 33 points higher than his current .195 batting average against (his .423 xSLG is 48 points higher than his current mark). One of Bauer's more significant issues this season has been his inability to get ahead in the count; Bauer's f-strike rate is more than eight points lower than it was last season, and his current 55.3% rate ranks near the bottom of the league, and Bauer has struggled when he falls behind in the count. Another issue has been Bauer's changeup; he worked on the pitch over the offseason, but its increased usage has hurt Bauer this year as the pitch has been hit hard. Bauer has shown that he can adjust over the season and has already lowered his changeup usage, so expect him to bounce back over the rest of the year.
Núñez went 2-4 with his 14th home run of the season against the Giants on Friday. Núñez has been red hot recently, and the 25-year-old has been a bright spot on a weak Orioles roster. Núñez has seen almost every area of his offensive game improve recently as he's decreased his ground ball and o-swing rates while increasing his contact and hard hit rates, and his improvements have led to some impressive results. High ground ball and IF/FB rates always held Núñez back, and it's encouraging to see both rates trending downwards recently. Núñez has seen his OPS spike similarly twice in recent history (once in the middle of last season and once towards the beginning of this year), but this has been his most drastic improvement and has come with his largest increase in hard hit rate. It remains to be seen if Núñez can keep this up over a full season, but his recent trends have been encouraging, and he's worth a roster spot in most leagues.
Turnbull allowed two runs (one earned) over six innings with just two strikeouts against the Braves on Friday. Turnbull has been excellent so far this season and took a 2.97 ERA into Friday's start. One of Turnbull's most significant developments this year has been a decreased z-contact rate, leading to more swings and misses and less hard contact. Part of the reason behind those improvements is Turnbull's pitch mix; Turnbull has shifted away from his sinker (15.2% whiffs/swing this season) in favor of his four-seamer (23.4% whiffs/swing this season) and slider (41.59% whiffs/swing this season), resulting in his improved swinging strike and z-contact rates. Problematically though, Turnbull is struggling to fool hitters as evidenced by his fairly poor plate discipline profile (31.5% o-swing rate, 72.5% z-swing rate), resulting in an 8.8% walk rate and 3.87 FIP. Expect Turnbull to post an ERA in the mid-3.00's with a better than average strikeout rate and mediocre walk rate.
Candelario went 0-4 with a walk and three strikeouts against the Braves on Friday. Candelario has struggled this season and even had a brief stint in the minor leagues before being called back up on Tuesday. Although Candelario has been making contact at a solid 78% rate (with a strong 91% z-contact rate), the contact has been poor as the 25-year-old has posted a 26.9% soft contact rate that nearly equals his 29.8% hard hit rate to go along with a below league average average exit velocity, 4.8% barrel rate and 17% IF/FB ratio. Candelario hasn't been any better since returning from the minor leagues (he's actually been worse in many respects), so he may not hold on to the Tigers' starting third base job for much longer (not that Dawel Lugo provides much competition, though Brandon Dixon might be worth a look if he can get playing time and cut down on his swinging strike rate). Leave Candelario on waivers and monitor the Tigers' third base situation going forward as Dixon's power makes him a relatively intriguing fantasy option (don't jump on him though; Dixon owns a 20.6% swinging strike rate and 63.3% contact rate).
Jurado tossed six innings of two run ball to get the win over the Royals on Friday. After struggling in a brief stint in the major leagues last season, Jurado has impressed so far this year, though largely in a relief role. Jurado has benefited from increased velocity since moving into the Rangers' bullpen, and his pitches have been more effective as a result (facing each hitter once helps as well). Jurado relies primarily on a sinker and fastball and generates a ton of ground balls as a result, but his strikeout potential is limited even as a reliever (86.2% contact rate, 6.5% swinging strike rate), and he doesn't feature an impressive enough arsenal to stick in the rotation long term. As a result, even spot starts shouldn't really interest daily players (though Jurado's heavy ground ball profile does limit his floor, so starts against weak opponents should pique some interest), so leave Jurado on waivers unless his arsenal improves dramatically.
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