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Danny Duffy has been one of the biggest disappointments of the 2018 season. He isn't missing bats, he has his highest walk rate since 2013, and batters are crushing the ball when he does throw strikes. A lot of people have been trying to figure things out with speculation that he's tipping pitches and his slider is broken.
I had Duffy on myin January, but even I didn't expect him to be this bad. On Thursday, he wasn't. We'll see if it's a step in the right direction.
The first thing I noticed was Duffy took a slightly more fastball-heavy approach against the Rangers; more than 60 percent of his pitchers were heaters. The second thing is he still wasn't missing very many bats, with 11 swinging strikes on 113 pitches.
The good news is Duffy pitched deeper into a game than he has all year, and only walked two hitters in 7.2 innings. Some of that was good fortune, but it's a step in the right direction. I was a proponent of dropping Duffy after his last two starts, and this one didn't do anything to make me think he's fixed. But the difference will be in public perception. You could afford to leave Duffy on the waiver wire before this start because no one was going to pick him him up. Now it's more likely someone will. At his ownership I do think there are pitching-starved teams that should look to stash him in case he has another promising start his next time out.
A week ago I tried to temper expectations for Austin Meadows, because I expected his stay to be a short one. Starling Marte's injury wasn't thought to be serious, and frankly, Meadows hadn't been that impressive in the minors recently anyway. Marte has been improving as expected, but the second part of the equation has been flipped on it's head.
In six games since being called up, Meadows is 11/25 with two doubles, three home runs and just one strikeout. He doesn't have a walk either, but we'll forgive the lack of patience with the way he's raking. Unfortunately for him, the question still remains: Where is he going to play? At this point I'm fine not worrying about that.
Between Marte, Corey Dickerson and Gregory Polanco there's plenty of injury potential, and a decent chance one of them is dealt around the deadline. What Meadows has done is ensure that if you've added him, you're not immediately dropping him when Marte comes off the DL. If he's still available in a categories league I would add him and ride the hot streak.
Brandon Nimmo doesn't have the pedigree or the future that Meadows does, but he's sure raking right now. He also doesn't have the ownership. Nimmo has been an on-base machine (.450 OBP) for the Mets this season and has spent the last three games at the top of the order. He has a spot in the lineup for as long as Yoenis Cespedes is unavailable, and deserves a bump in ownership. I'd look to add Nimmo in any NL-Only format or any five-outfielder league with 14 teams or more.
With Raisel Iglesias on the disabled list it looks like Jared Hughes will be the short term answer as the Reds closer. While I do expect this will be a short stay on the DL for Iglesias, it's worth noting Hughes has a 1.23 ERA this year and a 0.89 WHIP this seaso. Some of that is luck (his K/9 is just 6.8), but if he keeps that up he'll help your ratios in the short term as well. While I don't generally believe in pitchers outperforming their peripherals like this, Hughes has a 2.41 ERA since the start of 2014 with just 5.7 K/9. I'm adding him in any league where I'm desperate for saves.