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