Willie Adames- SS- TB- Hot- Adames went 1-for-3 with 2 walks, 2 runs, and 2 RBI yesterday. For the season, he is only slashing .187/.237/.341. Adames does have 4 homers. There are positives to his Statcast numbers, with what would be career highs in Exit Velocity (89.2,) HardHIt% (44.6%,) and Barrel% (14.9%.) Adames also has a GB% of 29.7% and FB% of 51.4%. With a BABIP of .268 that is well below his career .339 number he has been facing some bad luck this season. However, Adames' plate discipline tempers the expectations that he will turn things around at the plate. The two walks he drew yesterday boosted his BB% from 4.8% to 6.1% because he has now only walked 8 times in the season. The two times he struck out increased his K% from 36.5% to 36.6%. Adames saw his K% jump in the shortened 2020 season to 36.1% from 26.2% in 2019. This season he is failing to make contact on a regular basis. Adames has a SwStr% of 20.3%, up from 16.7% in 2020 and 11.4% in 2019. His Overall Contact% is 61.7%, a drop from 63.9% last year and 75.7% the year prior. Adames suffered a significant drop in contact last season and it has carried over into 2021. If he can increase contact then that uptick in FB% and HardHit% could result in a power breakout and boost in average. Until and if he does that his status as a sleeper for later in the season is in serious doubt.
Hansel Robles- RP- MIN- Rise Value- Robles had a horrendous 2020, posting a 10.26 ERA, 1 save, 2 blown saves, and no holds with the Angels. This was after he had saved 23 games for them in 2019. Robles signed with the Twins as a free agent last offseason and had been performing well in a setup role for them, recording 7 holds. Yesterday the Twins had their first save opportunity in what seemed like forever. They had taken the lead in the bottom of the 8th and had a 1-run lead entering the top of the 9th. Erstwhile closer Alex Colome had pitched the 8th and even though he only threw 7 pitches did not return to the mound. Taylor Rogers had thrown 20 pitches in his last appearance Thursday but wasn't called upon. It was Robles who was handed the ball and picked up the save. He faced 4 batters, allowing one hit and striking out 2 as the Twins snapped a 5-game losing streak. This is an indication that Robles is the current closer for the Twins, who aren't as bad as their play so far this season will indicate. The biggest question regarding Robles is his control. He has a 5.17 BB/9 in 2021 after posting a 5.40 last season. Over his career Robles has only had a BB/9 less than 3.00 once and less than 4.00 twice in 7 seasons. He didn't walk a batter in either of his last 2 appearances but issued a free pass in each of his 6 prior games. The upside is that he has struck out 2 batters in each of his last two outings also so signs are that he can put things together to hold the closer spot.
Martin Perez- P- BOS- Hot- Perez got his first win of 2021 and also his first quality start as he threw 6 IP for the first time. He threw 6 scoreless IP against the Angels, allowing 3 hits and walking 4 while striking out 5. Perez has had inconsistent control, allowing 3 or more walks in 3 of his 8 starts. It hasn't hurt him too much, as he owns a 3.40 ERA and 3.49 FIP. Perez' 97 pitches today was a season high and the most he has thrown since 9/29/2019. His 8.39 K/9 is better than any he has ended a season with. Stamina is still a question mark, but this game was a good sign that he can combine effectiveness with at least enough IPs to qualify for a quality start.
Giovanny Urshela- 3B- NYY- Hot- Losing a few days to a knee injury doesn't seem to have slowed Urshela down. He went 2-for-5 yesterday to extend his current hitting streak to 10 games and has hit safely in 14 of his last 15 games. In 6 of those games Urshela has multiple hits. His HardHit% of 42.7% and Barrel% of 9.1% are higher than he has ever finished a season with and his Exit Velocity of 91.3 is just a tick below his career high of 91.4 last season. Urshela does have a BG% of 50.0%, so his BABIP of .360 is likely giving a boost to his .303 average. His 5 homers put him on track to get at least his projected 22, as long as he stays healthy.
Ryan Pressly- RP- HOU- Hot- As the Astros have climbed the AL West standings save opportunities have become more common for Pressly. After nailing down last night's victory over the Rangers with a 1-2-3 9th inning he has converted all 7 of his save opportunities. Of those, 6 have come since April 26. Pressly has a 1.50 ERA, 10.00 K/9, and 1.50 BB/9. He has yet to allow a homer in 18 IP. He has improved over his first season as Astros' closer, when he had a 3.43 ERA, 2.81 FIP, and 3.00 BB/9. Pressly's K/9 was higher in 2020 at 12.43, but his current number is still excellent. He is getting into elite closer range.
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