There were only five games on the schedule last night, but they still left us with plenty to talk about. Who is hotter at the plate, Mark Reynolds or Adam LaRoche? How did Jason Hammel do in his return from the DL? Let’s answer these questions and all the rest from yesterday’s games:
- Tim Hudson was solid last night, tossing 7.0 shutout innings against the Rockies. He allowed just 6 H and 2 BB, striking out 2. As always Hudson is performing well, he just isn’t generating many strikeouts. Over 153.0 innings this season he has managed just 90 K. While it is really the only knock against him, it goes a long way in limiting his fantasy appeal. He’s always going to be worth using, but he’s not going to be a fantasy ace by any stretch.
- It wasn’t a good start for Marco Estrada, allowing 4 ER on 7 H and 0 BB, striking out 5, over 5.0 innings of work. He entered the day with a 9.53 K/9 and 2.01 BB/9, and this start did nothing to change how impressive a ratio that has been. With that type of ability, there is no reason to think that he won’t be able to produce. As long as he is pitching (and it’s possible he gets shutdown at some point in September), he is going to be worth using in most formats.
- Adam LaRoche went 1-3 with 1 HR, 2 RBI and 1 R, his fourth straight game with a home run and his sixth home run in his past six games (the only game he didn’t hit a home run in was on 9/2, when he had just 1 AB). He has driven in 14 RBI in his past 8 games (and 8 in his past 4). Could he possibly get any hotter than he currently is?
- Kurt Suzuki went 3-5 with 1 HR, 3 RBI and 2 R. In 79 AB since coming over from Oakland he is hitting .266 with 3 HR and 13 RBI (in 262 AB before the trade he was hitting .218 with 1 HR and 18 RBI). Fantasy owners have long been waiting for Suzuki to put things together, so could a move from Oakland have been all it was going to take? While his 10.7% HR/FB would be the best of his career, he also left a park that suppresses power. In two-catcher formats he’s worth using down the stretch.
- In his first start off the DL (his last start came on July 13) Jason Hammel 1 ER on 6 H and 2 BB, striking out 6, over 5.0 innings to the New York Yankees. While the WHIP may not have been the best, it’s hard to complain about this type of performance. He was showing a good strikeout rate (8.82 K/9), good control (3.23 BB/9) and the ability to generate a significant number of groundballs (53.4%), and all of those things were still on display yesterday (he had 6 groundball outs vs. 1 fly ball out). The GB% is far different then his career in Colorado, but I wouldn’t call it unsustainable either. If he can maintain that he is going to be a good option, despite the division. Now that he’s healthy, he is well worth using once again in all formats.
- Mark Reynolds went 2-3 with 2 HR, 3 RBI and 2 R, as the Orioles pounded the Yankees for 6 HR. Reynolds now has homered in three straight games and has 8 HR in his past 7 games (including three 2 HR days). I don’t trust Reynolds because of the average concerns, but he needs to be active while he’s this hot.
- While Adrian Beltre (2-4, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 1 R) continued to carry the Rangers, Nelson Cruz has nearly disappeared. He went 0-4 yesterday and is now hitting .194 with 2 HR and 5 RBI in his past 10 games. In fact, since July 31 he has just one multi-RBI game. Is anyone getting worried? Of course not, as I would expect him to pick it up soon.