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Roto Roundup: Carlos Martinez, Robinson Cano, Chi Chi Gonzalez and others

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Ray offers his thoughts on some of the top fantasy performers from Friday's roto action, including Carlos Martinez, Robinson Cano, Chi Chi Gonzalez, Alex Rodriguez, and others.

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Robinson Cano struggling in year two

I wasn't high on Mariners second baseman Robinson Cano coming into the season, but he exceeded my expectations last year, so I felt I needed to rank him based on lowered power expectations but with a solid batting average, runs and RBI totals. Well, he has been a big disappointment to date in 2015, and there was a lot of chatter about it last night on Twitter.

Cano went 0-4 in last night's 1-0 loss to the Rays, and is now hitting just .243-.283-.326 with 2 home runs, 22 runs scored and 18 RBI in 233 plate appearances. His power is down to the worst levels of his career, as his .083 ISO is less than half what it was two years ago, and ranks in the lower 20 in all of baseball right now. His peripheral stats are down this year as well, as he is walking less - 5.2% vs 9.2% last season - and is striking out more - 17.2% vs 10.2% last season.

One positive, though, is that his 35% HARD%, as measured by FanGraphs, is his highest since 2103. But, there is no escaping his wRC+ of 72, indicating that he is 28% worse than league average in weighted runs created this season. His line drive percentage is up to 23.9% vs 22.6% last season, and his .287 BABIP indicates he has been a bit unlucky, but this just may be an example of a player beginning the decline phase of his career.

I just didn't think it would happen this season.

For more on Cano and the Mariners, make sure you check out Lookout Landing, SB Nation's Mariners fan site.

Carlos Martinez is breaking out

When Cardinals ace Adam Wainwright went down with a season-ending achilles injury earlier this spring, many felt that the Cardinals could eventually go out and trade for a Cole Hamels to solidify their rotation. With the breakout of young starter Carlos Martinez, that may not be necessary.

Last night, Martinez dominated the Dodgers over 7 innings, giving up just one run on 3 hits, 4 walks and striking out 11 over 7 innings in the Cardinals 2-1 win. The win moved his record to 6-2 with a 2.94 ERA, 3.57 FIP, 3.19 xFIP, a 1.25 WHIP and a 75-31 strikeout to walk rate in 67.1 innings.

Martinez has given up just one earned run over his last four starts, going 3-0 with a 32-11 strikeout to walk rate over 27.1 innings of work.He is striking out more than ten batters per nine, keeps the ball on the ground at a 54% rate, but is walking more than four batters per nine. He has been prone to the home run, as he has given up seven this season, but none in his last four dominating starts.

If he can get his walks under control, he could be a top 30 starter for the rest of the season.

For more on Martinez and the Cardinals, make sure you check out Viva el Birdos, SB Nation's Cardinals fan site.

Roto Roundup

Coming into the season, I didn't even rank Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez in my 2015 preseason third base rankings. That was a mistake, but I did not think he would be 100% this season, and some in the industry felt that he was done. ARod has proven he is far from finished as he went 4-5 with a run scored and an RBI in the Yankees 807 win over the Angels. The four hits moved his slash line to .284-.374-.530 with 11 home runs, 31 runs scored and 28 RBI in 208 plate appearances. He is on pace for 32 home runs, 91 runs scored and 82 RBI this season, in his age 39 season. Actually, he will turn 40 years of age in late July, so his bounce back has been nothing short of incredible.  He is putting up his best power season since 2011. He has to be the favorite for Comeback Player of the Year, no?

The Brewers signed traded starter Marco Estrada for first baseman Adam Lind to a contract this offseason, and I felt that Miller Park was a good fit for Lind. Last night, he had a big night at the plate, going 3-5 with a home run, double, 2 runs scored and 6 RBI in the Brewers 10-5 win over the Twins. Lind is now hitting .290-.364-.517 with 9 home runs, 21 runs scored and 31 RBI, and is on pace for 27 home runs and 91 RBI. He is putting up his best power season, as measured by slugging percentage, since 2009. Not bad for a late round pick in most drafts.

Rays starter Jake Odorizzi is having a breakout season of his own this year, but last night he left his start vs the Mariners in the fifth inning with an oblique strain. He was pitching great when he grabbed his side after throwing a pitch and was immediately removed. Odorizzi was shutting out the Mariners on four hits, a walk and 4 strikeouts when he left with one out in the fifth inning. It is likely he will need a stint on the disabled list, and could need more than the required 15 days. His 4-5 record doesn't indicate how well he has pitched this season, as he owns a 2.47 ERA, 2.99 FIP, 3.68 xFIP, a 1.02 WHIP and a 63-15 strikeout to walk rate in 76.2 innings this season.

The Rangers have once again dealt with more than their fair share of pitching injuries this season. They have endured injuries to Yu Darvish, Derek Holland and others, and are still in the wild card race in the American League after a scorching May. There have been rumors linking the Rangers to Phillies ace Cole Hamels, but when you get pitching performances like they got last night from rookie Chi Chi Gonzalez, the Rangers can afford to wait. Gonzalez tossed a complete game three hit shutout vs the Royals, one of the best teams in baseball. Gonzalez gave up just three hits, walked two and struck out two in the Rangers 4-0 win, and is now 2-0 and hasn't given up a run in his first two big league starts. His 4-7 strikeout to walk rate says this won't last long, but he does keep the ball on the ground.

After a slow start to the season, Pirates outfielder Starling Marte is proving his 2014 breakout was for real. Last night, he went 2-3 with 2 walks, 3 runs scored, a home run and 3 RBI in the Pirates 10-8 win over the Braves. The big night moved his slash line to .260-.319-.485 with 11 home runs, 31 runs scored, 37 RBI and 9 stolen bases in 210 plate appearances. He is on pace for 33 home runs,111 RBI and 27 stolen bases right now, but a 20+ home run, 20+ stolen bases season is more likely. He will once again be a top 25 hitter come 2016 draft season.

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