Randal Grichuk- OF- TOR- Stats- Grichuk has put up consistently decent power numbers this season. He has 17 homers for the year, with 5 in April and June, 4 in May, and 3 so far in July. His other production has suffered from regression to the mean and also decreasing plate discipline. At the end of May Grichuk was slashing .289/.322/.497, had a BB% of 4.3%, and a K% of 18.8%. He also had a BABIP of .320, above his career mark of .295. Since the beginning of June Grichuk has slashed .215/.237/.422. He has a BB% of 2.2% and K% of 28.1%, with a BABIP of .239. Grichuk's HardHIt% actually went up a tick, from 44.0% to 44.8% and his Exit Velocity has increased from 89.8 to 91.8. Expect Grichuk to keep hitting homers and His average to fluctuate with his luck. His current .259 is very close to his pre-season projection of .257, so given his Statcast numbers, the cold stretch does appear to be more of a statistical correction than underlying skill decline. If you need power and can pick Grichuk up on the cheap he should produce.
James Karinchak- RP- CLE- Rise Value- Karinchak earned his 10th save of the season, swapping roles with Emanual Clase, who pitched the 8th in a setup role. Friday it had been the other way around and Clase blew a save after Karinchak had pitched the 8th. With Clase's recent struggles Karinchak is more likely to get the bulk of save opportunities for the Indians. He will not have a firm grip on the role if Clase pitches more like he did yesterday (a perfect 8th with 2 Ks) and Karinchak pitches like he did yesterday (allowing a run in the 9th on 2 hits and a walk without a K.) Karinchak had some control issues when he first came in, but ended up finding the strike zone as the appearance wore on, ending up throwing 16 of his 24 pitches for strikes. With a K/9 of 14.81 and a fastball in the mid to upper 90s Karinchak has closer stuff. His 5.01 BB/9 shows his control can be sporadic.
Frankie Montas- P - OAK- Hot- Montas tossed his second straight quality start and 3rd straight of 2 or fewer runs allowed with 5.2 or more IP. He allowed 2 runs on 6 hits and a walk while striking out 7 in 6 IP. Unfortunately for Montas the Oakland offense didn't score enough to prevent him from taking the loss, evening his record at 8-8. Montas has struck out 17 batters in 12.2 IP in his last 2 starts and allowed 3 runs total on 11 hits and 2 walks. He turns in performances more like this most often but has the occasional clunker (like 8 runs on 9 hits and 2 walks in 5.2 IP on June 21) which depresses his overall numbers (4.33 ERA.) Last season Montas 2 or fewer runs in 6 of his 11 starts and 4 or more in the other 5. Going back to 2019, Montas didn't allow more than 4 ERs in any of his 16 starts and only did that once. This season he has given up more than 4 ERs only 3 times in his 19 starts and 4 ERs only once. Montas has only given up more than 3 ERs that one time in his last 9 starts so his performance is trending more to what he did in 2019.
Nelson Cruz- DH- MIN- Great Player- Cruz went 2-for-6 with a HBP in yesterday's doubleheader. He is now slashing .305/.382/.548 with 18 homers in 325 PAs. That kind of excellent production is not unexpected from the 41-year-old. However, he yesterday he was credited with his second steal in his last 4 games and third for the season. He hadn't swiped any bases since 2018 and this is more steals than Cruz had in 2017-2020 combined. He is not going to come close to the 20 stolen bases he recorded with the Rangers in 2009, but it is a little bonus for his fantasy owners, maybe making up for his limited lineup availability. Cruz just keeps putting up numbers, all kinds of numbers.
Josh Fleming- RP- TB- Cold- Fleming made his first start since June 19th and it didn't go well. Actually it was going great for the first 3 scoreless innings. Then came the 4th. By the time it was over Fleming had been charged with 6 runs. He still limped into the 5th and gave up another run and got another out. Since the beginning of June Fleming has made 6 appearances, three starts and 3 out of the bullpen. In his starts he has given up 17 ERs in 17.2 IP on 25 hits while walking 3 and striking out 8. In the relief appearances he has allowed 1 run on 2 hits while walking 3 and striking out 7 in 11.1 IP. It looks like long relief is a better role for Fleming at this point.
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