Phil Hughes continues to cruise
After holding the visiting Boston Red Sox to one run in six innings, Hughes now has five straight quality starts. He hasn’t allowed a walk since April 20, a streak that coincides with his current streak of QS. Over that time frame Hughes has beaten Detroit twice plus Baltimore, Kansas City and now Boston. Prior to yesterday’s eight strikeout affair, Hughes only had 15 strikeouts in his previous four outings. He gathered 15 swinging strikes out of 97 pitches, despite tons of whiffs never being a part of Hughes’ game. As long as he continues to play at home or in spacious parks on the road, his extreme fly ball tendencies shouldn’t hurt him too much. Hughes gets enough strikeouts to be relevant in mixed leagues as a spot starter or at least a stream option. Since the start of the 2013 season he leads the league (among starters with at least 180 innings pitched) with an incredible 71.3% first strike percentage. During that same time frame Hughes’ 31.3% ground ball rate is the lowest in baseball. If you can stomach the occasional dinger, Hughes can be a useful fantasy piece. He is currently owned in 48% of CBS leagues but just 20% of Yahoo! formats and not even 10% of ESPN leagues.
Jon Singleton is close…ish
The exact words Houston Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow used to describe Singleton was “on deck.” Exactly when the prospect will get the call remains to be seen, however with the super two deadline looming, it will probably be five to six weeks. The slugging first baseman currently sports a cool .293/.401/.629 line with 12 dingers. That triple slash translates to a 158 wRC+ in the Pacific Coast League. Present first base options have consisted of a bit of Chris Carter, but mostly a mix of Jesus Guzman and Marc Krauss, a combo that owns a .199/.309/.338 and a 29.1% strikeout rate together. In deeper leagues I’d make a play for Singleton now, but in a standard 12-team redraft mixed league he just doesn’t offer enough right now to warrant ownership. Add him to your watch list as I think once Singleton gets called up he’ll hit well enough to justify a roster spot in 12-team leagues.
Assorted disabled list moves
The Cincinnati Reds moved Mat Latos from the 15-day to the 60-day despite a strong bullpen session. It was a move that was largely procedural. It frees up a slot on the 40-man roster for a few weeks as the Reds await his return from dealing with a strained flexor mass tendon in his right arm. The club is aiming at an early June return for Latos.
Wandy Rodriguez was activated from the 15-day DL by the Pittsburgh Pirates and threw five innings of two-run ball yesterday. Wandy allowed one walk, four hits and struck out four on the day. Both runs were solo homers and now Wandy’s seasonal 26.5% HR/FB% is the highest in baseball (minimum 20 IP). I’d leave him to the waiver wire until he can string some starts together without allowing so many hard hit balls.
After some speculation, Colby Rasmus was placed on the 15-day DL by the Toronto Blue Jays with hamstring tightness. The move is being made retroactive to May 13 and hopefully will get the outfielder back on the field as soon as possible. Following a miserable April where Rasmus hit for a 69 wRC+, his May was excellent, popping five home runs in not even two weeks. The Jays called up Anthony Gose to take Rasmus’ roster spot. Gose offers steals, though I’m not sure he’ll be able to reach base often enough to really be an asset.
The New York Yankees placed Carlos Beltran on the 15-day disabled list due to a bone spur in his right elbow. Surgery hasn’t been ruled out just yet, as it seems as though the club will reevaluate Beltran in two weeks. If they decide surgery is the best option, a six to eight week time frame is estimated for recovery.
The Daily Five
Starting Pitcher: Zack Greinke — $11,300
Greinke takes on the Arizona
Cardinals Diamondbacks, and while it is the offense friendly Chase Field, the D-Backs have struggled against right-handed pitchers. As a team they own just a 89 wRC+ for the season when facing a righty.
Starting Pitcher: Ervin Santana — $11,100
The St. Louis Cardinals have hit a collective 95 wRC+ against righties this season. Their .365 slugging against righties ranks 24th in baseball.
Infielder: James Loney — $3,500
A bit of a budget pick here, though the Tampa Bay Rays do tend to hit right-handers quite well with a 104 wRC+ as a club.
Outfielder: Ben Revere — $3,300
For his career, Revere hits better against left-handed hitters but given Alfredo Simon‘s ground ball tendencies, I like Revere to leg out some infield hits and get some steals.
Other Hitter: John Jaso — $4.200
Jaso is hitting a scorching .317/.400/.537 against opposite-handed pitchers this season. For his career he’s hammered righties to the tune of a 129 wRC+ and he should have a big day today against Zach McAllister.
Remaining budget: $16,600
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