Now that Ollie's back, let's try this again. As always you can check out the original post here and the updated version here to see where the matchups stood back in May. And now.....let's play Devil's Advocate! (mental note: create 70's style game show called devil's advocate)
*statistics as of Thursday, July 9
- Still not quite a fair fight but you can see Lowe's #'s starting to come down. Both his K and BB rates are currently approaching career worst marks. Couple that with one of the highest opponent averages in his career and you can see why the last month and a half have been a struggle for him. However, as usual his ability to keep the ball in the park is his saving grace. Randy Wolf looks like the steal of the offseason so far at 1yr/$5mil however, I stress so far (see: injuries, typically drastic pre/post ASG splits, .255 career BAA, career high strand rate) As for O-dog, what can I really say here? Maybe things will look better next month...
- Suddenly this race is becoming a good one. Everyone's May MVP Orlando Hudson has (surprisingly) fallen back to earth with a .222 June and only 2 hits so far in July. I never disagreed with the idea that Hudson was a great value but he became very VERY overrated around the start of the season. And at the same time, Luis Castillo has been quite solid which is more than many expected. Unfortunately, at this point Castillo's 'set the table'/infield singles type game isn't quite what this power-starved offense needs but with a normal, healthy lineup he'd be getting driven in a lot more and would garner a lot more credit.
- So I hate to admit it but yes, K-Rod is human. He finally earned a couple of legitimate blown saves and he's definitely walking way too many guys. But hes still definitely been the best option. Wood's numbers have actually improved a bit but he's struggled with walks too and for someone whose given up 5 bombs this season thats not a formula for success. Fuentes has been very solid if unspectacular. But the surprise here has been Trevor Hoffman who at 1yr/$6mil is the apparent steal of the closer class. He has blown only 1 save, given up no hrs and has nearly matched K-Rod's miniscule ERA. On the surface this may suggest a throwback to Hoffman's hayday. However, with his K's down, walks up and a BABIP under .270, I think we're going to see a regression here. For someone who gave up 8 bombs last year I have a feeling hitters are going to begin elevating the ball against him and soon.