Few movies can evoke the same amount of uproarious laughter that Hot Shots! or the sequel, Hot Shots! Part Deux brings out. After watching the former yesterday evening, this particular scene stuck out as especially inane and hilarious.
On today’s agenda:
1. Quick thoughts on Matt Garza
2. A trio of hot middle infielders
Quick thoughts on Matt Garza
Though Garza’s seasonal numbers aren’t impressive, he has picked it up recently. Yesterday’s eight innings and eight strikeouts was his finest start of the season, and now he is working on 15 consecutive innings of one run ball. The sole run allowed was on a solo home run. Beyond that one blemish he allowed just five other base runners on the day. He’ll still be prone to the occasional home run, but he is a solid source of strikeouts and decent ratios. His WHIP last year was 1.18 and prior to yesterday’s gem, Garza had a 1.22 WHIP. Garza should be rostered — not just streamed — in most formats at this point. He is free to own in over 40% of ESPN and Yahoo! leagues as well as 25% of CBS leagues.
A trio of hot middle infielders
Jose Iglesias is now hitting a scorching .431/.482/.578 through 114 plate appearances and has received starts at third base over the struggling Will Middlebrooks. Don’t expect home runs from him, but Iglesias will run into a double or the occasional triple for you. The Boston Red Sox have been rewarding Iglesias’ hitting with playing time; you should as well as long as he stays hot. He is eligible at both third base and shortstop and will continue to garner plate appearances as long as his .494 (!) BABIP maintains. Of course he won’t keep that BABIP up for long, so grab him while he is hot and ride him until regression kicks in. Iglesias is currently owned in just 19% of Yahoo! leagues, 31% of CBS leagues, and 61% of ESPN formats.
Another shortstop — as well as second base — eligible player that has been on fire recently is Brian Dozier. After yesterday’s home run, Dozier has crushed four home runs in his past five games. Over his past 30 days, Dozier has hit .270 with six home runs, 14 RBIs, 14 runs, and three steals. The power is certainly a surprise, as Dozier’s current .151 ISO is almost 40 points above his career average, but the question looms about whether or not his new found power legit. Prior to yesterday’s dinger, five of his six home runs were rated as “plenty” according to ESPN’s Hit Tracker, so he isn’t hitting wall-scrappers. His batted ball profile hasn’t changed, nor has his strikeout and walk rates, so this power increase could be the real deal. It wouldn’t be unheard of for a 26-year-old to find his power suddenly, after all, look at what Trevor Plouffe did for Minnesota in his 26-year-old season just last year. If Dozier is able to keep up this pace on the counting stats, he may end up with a nice little 15-15 season. Dozier is owned in just 7% of ESPN and Yahoo! leagues and 19% of CBS formats.
Now that we’ve covered the AL East and AL Central, let us not make the AL West feel left out. Nick Franklin has been crushing the ball since being called up and now owns a .277/.362/.494 line in 94 PA’s. He’s powered four home runs and six doubles while stealing three bases to boot. Like Dozier, Franklin is eligible at both short and second, giving him an extra layer of goodness to enjoy. If you have room to add just one of these middle infielders, Franklin should be the favored pick. For now, Franklin is free to own in 70% of Yahoo! leagues, 54% of ESPN formats, and 35% of CBS leagues. Grab him now before you miss out on a smooth hitting 22-year-old middle infielder with a strong prospect pedigree.