Scott Baker came into the season with a lot of buzz, but the numbers haven't really lived up to the hype quite yet. Yesterday, commenter jgoltser asked who he should drop to pick up Baker, as he thought Baker was a bit of a buy-low opportunity. After his 8 strikeout, 1 earned run performance yesterday, that opportunity may be coming to an end. He mentioned the following:
Baker's FIP: 4.06
Baker's xFIP: 3.81
Through his start yesterday, he now has 4.72 ERA and a 1.32 WHIP, but has 90 strikeouts against only 19 walks in 104 innings. I would definitely try to target him if you have an owner who has been scared off to this point.
My thoughts on Chris Young, Miguel Cabrera, and Josh Willingham after the jump...
Chris Young is pushing himself up my outfielder rankings with excellent games like yesterday's. He went 3 for 5 with a homerun, a stolen base, 3 runs scored and 5 runs batted in. For the season, he now has 15 homers and 14 stolen bases, and a surprisingly high .267 batting average. Young really doesn't seem likely to improve too much on that batting average, but if he goes 30-30, you can probably take the hit in batting average.
How long until the Cubs start moving players? After a 12-0 loss yesterday in which they managed to cough up 9 runs in the 7th inning on only 3 hits, it has to be soon I would imagine. Ryan Dempster had been pitching well up until the 7th inning, and still struck out 9 batters in his 6 1/3 innings. Unfortunately, 5 walks did not help.
Shaun Marcum had been excellent to this point in the season, but it's always scary news when he's placed on the disabled list with elbow inflammation. It sounds so far like the Blue Jays don't expect it to be more than the All-Star break before he returns, but it is something to watch carefully.
Miguel Cabrera was scratched from the lineup yesterday with tightness in his back. If he doesn't play today, I think there may be some concern. Watch the lineup news tomorrow to be sure. Clearly, an injury is not what he or his owners need right now.
A.J. Burnett finally had a good start yesterday, striking out 6 and allowing no earned runs over 6 2/3 innings pitched. The Blue Jays are no slouches out there either, so this seems interesting to me. I would want to see it duplicated again before I would start him on a consistent basis though.
At this point, it really appears that the best thing that could have happened for Max Scherzer was to be sent to the minors. He had another great start yesterday, striking out 7 and only walking 2 over 8 innings and the victory against the Mariners. If he is somehow still available, grab him quick.
Very quietly, Josh Willingham is having a very good season. He hit his 15th homerun of the season yesterday, and has now driven in 45 runs as well. He is hitting .277, and looks well on his way to a 30 homerun season and potentially 100 runs batted in.
Matt Thornton got his 4th save of the season for the White Sox. Bobby Jenks has been reinstated from the bereavement list, so I wouldn't necessarily expect Thornton to get too many more.
Keep the questions coming on the All Questions Answered Thread this weekend!