Joel Colomby’s

Kole’s cold start a real puz­zler ... Di­et­rich a re­serve piece in name only ... Closer merry-go-round up and run­ning

Sunday Sports - - SPORTS -

Kole Cal­houn’s

.145 AVG is as per­plex­ing as is his one home run. This from a guy who has hit .260 since be­com­ing a reg­u­lar four years ago while av­er­ag­ing 20 dingers per sea­son.

Cal­houn’s AVG can be mostly blamed on a hor­rid .185 BABIP. His hard hit rate is well up from last year, 31.7 to 35.1. He’s nail­ing the ball as solidly as he has in the past, but they are find­ing gloves more of­ten.

The stun­ning drop in home run rate is even more ex­as­per­at­ing be­cause An­gels Sta­dium low­ered its right-field wall prior to this sea­son, which was sup­posed to ben­e­fit linedrive hitters such as Cal­houn. Prob­lem is his line-drive rep­u­ta­tion isn’t what it once was. He was top 15 in LD% (23.8) in his rookie year of 2014 but that num­ber has been on a dow­nard trend ev­ery year since, a 16.8 mark this year well down from last year’s 21.1 and the low­est of his ca­reer. And he is pulling the ball less fre­quently 44.7 to 42.7.

Un­for­tu­nately for his own­ers, no sur­prise, is that those fig­ures are also se­verely af­fect­ing his runs scored (14) and RBIs (11).

Add in that he re­cently went on the DL with one of those al­ways un­pre­dictable oblique strains and it’s turn­ing out to be a lost first half for the An­gels’ star OF.

Derek When you think Di­et­rich,

you think util­ity player and of lit­tle fantasy value. You’d be cor­rect on the first as­sump­tion, wrong on the se­cond. An­nu­ally slot­ted into the Mar­lins’ or­ga­ni­za­tional depth chart as a bench guy, he has found his way into the n

CAL­HOUN

lineup be­cause of in­juries and each time pro­duced enough to re­main, at worst, a semi-reg­u­lar on the strong end of a pla­toon, qual­i­fy­ing at sev­eral po­si­tions. This year is no dif­fer­ent as Di­et­rich is batting .284 for the sea­son with seven HRs, 23 runs and 24 RBIs. His 0-fer on Thurs­day in St. Louis was only his sixth since May 1 and in that span he has gone 32-for-91 (.351). He also has four multi-hit games in his past seven. And he is still avail­able in three-quar­ters of Ya­hoo! leagues? Adam Ea­ton

fi­nally re­joined the Na­tion­als OF on Satur­day, so it’ll be in­ter­st­ing to see how they jug­gle

Bryce Harper, Michael him, Tay­lor Juan Soto.

and young Harper, nat­u­rally, will be in ev­ery day. Come to think of it, they all de­serve to be, but one will have to sit. And, un­less n

KOLE

they send Soto back to triple-A (highly un­likely), Tay­lor, on the bench on Satur­day, could be back in a re­serve role.

Some re­cent changes among the closers set: We’ve fig­ured for more than a year that this was on its way, but Kyle Bar­r­a­clough

is now the closer with the Mar­lins,

Brad Ziegler re­plac­ing

Roberto Osuna’s … leave of ab­sence in Toronto keeps get­ting ex­tended and likely will be again be­fore his as­sault hear­ing on June 18. Hard to shake the feel­ing that he might not pitch again this sea­son … The Phillies are go­ing

Hec­tor with a com­mit­tee un­til Neris

finds his stuff, with Ser­an­thony Dominguez

and Edubray Ramos

also in the post-Alex Colome mix … The sit­u­a­tion with the Rays is best avoided for now, mostly be­cause of their rad­i­cal experiment n of de­ploy­ing closers as ‘open­ers’ and pitching just the first in­ning of se­lected games … The Gi­ants are con­tent

Hunter Strick­land to leave

in the clos­ing role for now, even though in­cum­bent Mark Me­lan­con

made his sea­son de­but last week­end.

Duty-bound to point out that since sug­gest­ing in last week’s Fantasy Fare that Paul Gold­schmidt’s

slow start to 2018 may not be as easy to over­come as ex­pected, the Di­a­mond­backs su­per­star has gone 12-for-24 with three HRs, in­clud­ing 10 hits in his past three games head­ing into Satur­day. The as­ter­isk re­mains, how­ever, that he’s been en­joy­ing this break­out on the road and away from the hu­mi­dored base­balls at Chase Field, where he has hit only two of his 10 HRs and his AVG is .155 less. n

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