Roto Roundup: Matt Moore, Trevor Plouffe, Phil Hughes, and Others

June 15, 2012; St. Petersburg, FL, USA; Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcher Matt Moore (55) throws a pitch in the first inning against the Miami Marlins at Tropicana Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-US PRESSWIRE

I will be attending my nephew's graduation party later this afternoon, so there is a chance that I won't get to the Roto Roundup for Sunday morning. If I do, it will be posted late Sunday morning.

Rays starter Matt Moore was called up late in the 2011 season and dominated in his one regular season start and his one playoff start, leading to some expected hype coming into this season. Well, Moore did what many young starting pitchers do, and that is struggle. His April ERA was 4.68 and struggled with his control as he walked 14 vs 17 strikeouts in 25 innings pitched. In May, his ERA was 4.83, but his control improved as he struck out 41 and walked 14 in 31.2 innings. Last night, he shutout the Marlins on 1 hit, 3 walks and 8 strikeouts. He is now 4-5 with a 4.16 ERA, 4.41 FIP and 4.20 xFIP with a 1.37 WHIP and a 79-36 strikeout to walk ratio in 75.2 innings. He has given up 3 runs or less in 8 of his last 10 starts, and has won his last 3 starts. Your chance to deal for him may be gone.

Does anyone know who this pitcher named Ryan Dempster is? I seem to remember a guy by a similar name who would strike out a bunch of hitters, but also give up plenty of base runners and runs. This Ryan Dempster is striking out hitters, but at a lower K rate, and his WHIP is down from 1.45 to 1.01 this season. Yesterday, he shutout the Red Sox on 4 hits, 2 walks, and 3 strikeouts in 7 innings to win his 3rd game of the season. He is 3-3 with a 2.11 ERA, 3.25 FIP, 3.75 xFIP and an excellent 66-22 strikeout to walk ratio in 81 innings pitched this season. He has given up 1 run or less in 8 of his 12 starts, and has not given up a run in his last 3 starts, covering 22 innings. No wonder the Yankees and Dodgers are interested in trading for him.

More Roto Roundup, with some Saturday morning updates, after the jump:

Twins infielder Trevor Plouffe is having one helluva June, and the month is only half over. Plouffe went 2-4 with 2 HRs and 2 RBI last night and is now hitting .240-.311-.575 with 14 HRs and 24 RBI. But of those 14 HRs, 9 have come in June, with 8 coming in the last 10 games. Trade him now because he won't stay this hot.

Is it me or is Dustin Pedroia having a down year? He went 0-4 with a walk yesterday and is hitting "just" .271-.331-.404 with 5 HRs, 33 runs, 25 RBI and 3 stolen bases. His BABIP is right around league average, and he is hitting a few more line drives this season than last, but the power is down. His .411 SLG is down vs 2011 where he slugged .474. He is on pace to hit 13 HRS, drive in 63 and score 84, all significantly down from 2011 levels.

Rockies outfielder Carlos Gonzalez is having an MVP type season for a team that is 13 games under .500. Cargo went 3-5 with a HR and 3 RBI last night, as the Rockies scored 8 runs in the 10th inning, 6 of them off of Tigers closer Jose Valverde. Gonzalez is now hitting .328-.389-.622 with 17 HRs, 51 RBI, 50 runs scored and 9 stolen bases, and is on pace for 44 HRs, 131 RBI, 129 runs and 23 stolen bases. As I commented on Twitter last night, I question whether the humidor is working at Coors Field this season though. He's a certain first round pick in 2013 if he stays healthy this season.

Yankee starter Phil Hughes is pitching to the potential many saw in him a few years ago. Hughes limited the Nationals to one run in 6 innings, giving up 6 hits, walking 2 and striking out 9 to win his 7th game of the season. He is now 7-5 with a 4.50 ERA, 4.69 FIP, 4.18 xFIP, a 1.34 WHIP and a72-20 strikeout to walk ratio in 74 innings pitched. His strikeout rate is up huge this year, to 8.76 per nine innings vs. 5.67 last season, and the walks are down as well. He has given up 2 runs or less in 8 of his 13 starts, so he is pitching better than his overall stats indicate. I would try to trade for him if his owner isn't asking too much for him.

I keep thinking Red second baseman Brandon Phillips will eventually have a down year at the plate, but it appears it will not be this year. Phillips went 1-5 with a HR and 2 RBI and is now hitting .290-.335-.462 with 9 HRs, 35 runs, 40 RBI and 2 stolen bases. Gone are the days where he would steal 20+ bases, but Phillips consistently puts up solid HR and RBI totals for a second baseman. He is on pace for a career high 103 RBI and 23 HRs, which would be his highest HR total since his 30 HR season back in 2007.

Phillies catcher Carlos Ruiz left Friday night's game in Toronto with a left oblique strain and more than likely will land on the DL. Ruiz is hitting .362-.424-.578 with 8 HRs and 35 RBI thus far, and has been the best hitter on the team. Tough break for the Phillies, as nothing has gone right for them this season. I wonder if this pushes GM Ruben Amaro Jr. to look at selling more seriously.

Rangers starter Yu Darvish had his best start in about a month as he limited the Astros to 2 runs on 7 hits, 2 walks and struck out 11, to win his 6th game of the season. It's safe to say he has disappointed fantasy owners this season, as he is 6-2 with a 3.57 ERA, 3.91 FIP and 3.98 xFIP, with a 1.48 WHIP and a 88-46 strikeout to walk rate in 80.2 innings pitched. His walk rate is an absurd 5.13 thus far, but he is striking out almost 10 batters every nine innings, so he has a little more value in 5 x 5 leagues.

Reds outfielder Drew Stubbs landed on the DL after sitting out several games with a left oblique strain. The Reds say he could return next weekend, as his DL stint was backdated to June 6th, but I have my doubts. Stubbs is having a typical Stubbs-like year as he is hitting .235-.3--0.373 with 7 HRs, 34 runs, 18 RBI, 13 stolen bases, and a 59-18 strikeout to walk ratio. He is actually striking out and walking less this season, and hitting for slightly more power. With Stubbs out of the lineup, Chris Heisey and Ryan Ludwick should get the majority of starts in CF and LF.

Blue Jays starter Kyle Drabek was placed on the 15 day DL on Friday with a ligament tear in his right elbow, as reported by Shi Davidi on Twitter last night. Drabek is scheduled to pay a visit to Dr. James Andrews this weekend to confirm the tear, and possibly his second Tommy John surgery.

Cardinals starter Chris Carpenter threw 40 pitches off a mound on Friday and is moving closer to a rehab stint. The Cardinals are scheduled to provide an update on Carpenter on Wednesday. He could be a solid pickup for the second half of the season if he can stay healthy.

The Oakland A's have moved prospect Grant Green from the outfield to third base last night and the thought is it will put him on the fast track to the big leagues. Green is hitting .303-.344-.475 with 8 HRs, 40 runs, 38 RBI and 6 stolen bases in 244 at bats at AAA Sacramento this season. He could see time at third base in Oakland once he gets comfortable at third in AAA.

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