Who To Watch: Friday 7-22-2016
Eduardo Rodriguez, SP Boston Red Sox vs. Minnesota Twins
The Red Sox just traded a major prospect to upgrade their starting rotation and a lesser one to improve the bullpen, but if Rodriguez can't pitch better, and more consistently, it may all be for nothing. He has allowed 29 earned runs in his previous seven starts dating back to May 31, and only one of those outings was he able to last into the seventh inning. Henry Owens hasn't been able to hold a spot in the rotation and Clay Buchholz has been relegated to mop up duty so its Rodriguez or bust. If he can't twirl a good one against the Twins then its difficult to see a bright second half.
Dylan Bundy, RP/SP Baltimore Orioles vs. Cleveland Indians
Bundy was a highly touted prospect that has spent significant portions of his career on the disabled list, including Tommy John surgery. The Orioles were faced to carry Bundy on the major league roster and use him out of the bullpen this season because if they tried to send him to the minors to further his development he would have to clear waivers, which is very unlikely. In his first start against the Tampa Bay Rays he struggled, allowing three walks, four home runs and four earned runs in 3.1 innings pitched. Out of the bullpen Bundy shined this season, at one point stringing together a 14 1/3 innings pitched scoreless streak, but it will take some time to see if he can handle a starters workload. Bundy should have a higher pitch count in his second start against a tougher opponent, the Cleveland Indians, but he could be an internal solution to the Orioles rotations woes. The raw "stuff" is there.
Jay Bruce, OF Cincy Reds vs. Archie Bradley, SP Arizona Diamondbacks
Bruce should be one of the more reasonably priced bats on the trade market and he has a $13 million club option for 2017 if a team that acquires him wants more than just a two month rental. Bruce had said publicly that he wants to play for a contender and there are a few teams, like the Indians,that could use an offensive upgrade, especially with the shoulder problems continue to plague Michael Brantley.
Michael Fulmer, SP Detroit Tigers vs. Chicago White Sox
Fulmer was the key piece for the Tigers in the 2015 trade deadline deal that netted the Mets Yoenis Cespedes and probably why they went to the World Series to face the Kansas City Royals. Now, Fulmer is a Tiger and he is making a strong case for AL Rookie of the Year. He has a 2.13 ERA, 1.07 Whip and 77 strikeouts in 84.2 innings. This is a crucial series for both teams and if you haven't seen Fulmer yet, he is one of the bright, up and young arms on the bump and justifies a look.
Texas Rangers (Yu Darvish) at Kansas City Royals (Danny Duffy)
Both teams have lost seven of their last ten and while the American League West looks like the Rangers to lose, the Astros are coming on strong and it would be a great sign for Rangers fans to see Yu Darvish return to being the old Yu Darvish. The Royals are struggling and have fallen nine games back int he Central and six of the Wild Card. The staff has struggled to be consistent while Duffy has been their ace, th eonly starting with an ERA under 4.00. This is an important game for both teams and could be an insightful one for Yu Darvish as well.
Staff Writer www.RotoExperts.com
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