Three weeks ago I wrote a piece titled, "Worry Meter." I took a look at all 30 big league clubs and dissected each team's most concerning slow starter. I ranked my level of worry pertaining to fantasy on a scale of 1 to 10. Since then, the season has matured and the numbers now carry more meaning. Let's see how drastically the Worry Meter has shifted.
Worry Meter stuck due to injury:
Josh Reddick - right wrist - previous Worry Level 6
Josh Johnson - triceps - previous Worry Level 8
Joel Hanrahan - Tommy John surgery - previous Worry Level 8
Jason Heyward - appendix - previous Worry Level 7
Giancarlo Stanton - hamstring - previous Worry Level 8
All of these guys commanded a fairly high amount of worry. They were not players in a 3-week funk. There was something physically wrong. Hanrahan will miss the rest of the 2013 season. Heyward just came off of the DL, but he hasn't played a substantial amount of time that would allow me to alter his Worry Level. Johnson is going to make his first rehab start on Monday and Reddick is hoping to avoid surgery. I really wish Stanton didn't go down. We were having a nice debate about his struggles and their relation to the lack of lineup protection. He was starting to get hot too.
Worry Meter on the rise:
Josh Hamilton - previous Worry Level of 3, current Worry Level of 6
Well, Hamilton is batting above .200, which is good I guess. However, he has only 5 homers (4 came against Houston) and 12 RBI. Hamilton still isn't being selective. He has swung at 42.3% of pitches outside of the strike zone. For some reason, I still have hope that Hambone can turn his season around. I think that once the Angels get going as a team, Hamilton will start to come around. This has got to happen soon.
Mike Moustakas - previous Worry Level of 3, current Worry Level of 6
Batting below .200. 4 homers. 10 RBI. 10 runs. Need I say more?
Victor Martinez - previous Worry Level of 5, current Worry Level of 7
I am looking for some more pop out of V-Mart. Everybody expected him to adequately protect Miguel Cabrera and Prince Fielder, but he only has 19 RBI with 2 homers and is posting a .213 average. Hopefully he is just a little rusty since he missed all of 2012, but there is the possibility that he will never be a prolific run producer again.
Matt Kemp - previous Worry Level of 5, current Worry Level of 7
I WANT HOME RUNS. I WANT RBI. 6 steals and a .273 average is cool, but ONE measly homer? Come on.
Rickie Weeks - previous Worry Level 3, current Worry Level 7
I said it last time and I'll say it again. I think Weeks is the most comfortable when he bats higher in the order. He has been batting 5th or 7th lately, but I like him in the 2-hole ahead of Braun. Weeks has 3 dingers and is batting .176. Booooo.
Miguel Montero - previous Worry Level of 3, current Worry Level of 6
Montero is another guy batting below the Mendoza Line at .180. Gibson has dropped him down in the order, which angers me because Montero has driven in 85 plus runs each of the last two years. With only 13 RBI so far, it doesn't look like he will reach this plateau in 2013.
Matt Cain - previous Worry Level of 2, current Worry Level of 5
Cain has been hot and cold thus far. In four of his starts, he has given up 2 runs or less. In three of his starts, he has given up 6 runs or more and three home runs. These outings when Cain gets rocked skew his stat line. His ERA will not even be close to 5 by the time 2013 comes to a close, but he has to locate his pitches better. Every time I watch him throw, it seems like he is leaving a majority of his pitches up in the zone. This explains why he has given up over 2 HR/9 (.91 is career high).
Worry Meter on the decline:
Mitch Moreland - previous Worry Level 4, current Worry Level 1
Moreland really turned it around. Last time we checked on him, he was batting .164 with 3 homers. Now, he has 9 homers and is batting .288. Minimum worry here.
Asdrubal Cabrera - previous Worry Level 6, current Worry Level 3
Ubaldo Jiminez - previous Worry Level 9, current Worry Level 5
I was pretty confident that Asdrubal would turn it around, but Ubaldo has completely shocked me. His strikeout rate is 9.74 per 9 innings, the highest in his career. Ubaldo is really good when he gets ahead and in 2013, he is throwing a first pitch strike nearly 55% of the time. Hitters are really chasing his high cheese lately, as well. We will see if he can continue his streak of 4 straight quality starts.
Aaron Hicks - previous Worry Level 4, current Worry Level 2
Let the kids play! I know Hicks is not even batting .150, but he is improving and that's what matters. He may not be the rookie of the year like a lot of people predicted, but he will continue to progress.
Adam Dunn - previous Worry Level 9, current Worry Level 5
Yeah Dunn is going to bat around .200. Get used to it. He does have 10 homers though and that's pretty tight.
Brett Gardner - previous Worry Level 6, current Worry Level 2
CC Sabathia - previous Worry Level 2, current Worry Level 1
Brett is starting to swipe bags (9). CC will throw harder in the heat and he K'd 10 batters in his last start.
Joey Votto - previous Worry Level 3, current Worry Level 1
Votto still isn't driving in runs like I would like him to, but he is a hitting machine and has a ridiculous eye. He reached base 6 times on Saturday and he is starting to heat up fast.
Dan Haren - previous Worry Level 9, current Worry Level 5
Haren has been decent, but I am still worried about his decreased velocity (average of 89.3 on his fastball). 3 out of his last 4 starts have been quality.
Ryan Howard - previous Worry Level 7, current Worry Level 4
Howard already has 2 home runs against lefties. He is batting around .250, but he still isn't driving in a ton of runs. I would like to see more power too, but Rhino is putting up respectable numbers thus far.
Worry Meter about to blow!!!!!:
Jesus Montero - previous Worry Level 8, current Worry Level 10
I give up on Jesus. 3 homers. .200 average. 9 RBI. On top of this horrendous offense, he probably couldn't even throw me out if I was trying to steal second.
Ike Davis - previous Worry Level of 4, current Worry Level of 7
Another crazy slow start for Ike. 4 homers, 9 RBI, and a .160 average. I think it's time for the Mets to send him down to the minors again. The average is way too low to keep him around.
David Price - previous Worry Level 7, current Worry Level 9
Price just got put on the DL, but this isn't saving his Worry Level from going up. The dude just cannot locate his fastball and for a guy who throws his fastball as much as Price, this is a huge problem. Last year, he threw his fastball over 60% of the time. This year, he is throwing it around 55% of the time. Price is known for putting the fastball on the black of the plate. Hopefully this problem gets fixed, or else Price owners are in huge trouble.
No Longer Worth the Worry:
Houston Astros minus Altuve - previous Worry Level 1
Baltimore Orioles DH - previous Worry Level 2
Scott Hairston - previous Worry Level 6
Cameron Maybin - previous Worry Level 8
Mitchell Boggs - previous Worry Level 8
No real fantasy impact here.