The Twins picked him up as soon as the draft pick compensation disappeared. Target Field suppresses power somewhat, but only slightly less so than Los Angeles of Anaheim, and not quite as much as Safeco. In short, there’s not much reason to change expectations. The Twins let go of Jason Kubel to make room for him so the at-bats should be regular. In short, he’s a good option at 1B/CI the rest of the way.
My expectations aren’t very high, but La Stella does seem like a good bet to help out in the batting average category. He rarely struck out as a minor leaguer, and scouts seem to like his swing. I don’t expect more than a few homers and steals, but a .280+ batting average seems very reasonable. In deep mixed leagues, that can be hard to find at the middle infield position.
Has been cleared to go out on a rehab assignment after hurting his knee in the offseason. Holland took a step forward last year and became a legitimate 2-3 guy, throwing 213 innings with a 3.42 ERA. I don’t think he’s quite that good, and it’s tough to be productive in Arlington in the mid-summer months, but in league where rotation depth is hard to come by, he should definitely be owned.
His ratios have really improved recently, even though the runs-against haven’t. He is always going to give up a ton of flyballs, so I would avoid those starts in Toronto and New York. Decent flier, though.
Butler made the jump from AA to Colorado. He has great stuff, but for whatever reason, he stopped striking people out this year. Scouts attribute that to a switch to a hard sinker, but his groundball rate has been good in the past, and is actually down this year. It takes really good numbers across the board for me to take a chance on a Rockies pitcher, so I’m passing on Butler.
I mentioned him in passing last week. Joe Nathan continued getting bombed this week. Nathan’s velocity has been down this year, which in and of itself is not unusual. Every year, it starts down, but typically it creeps up some by this point. I think there’s a pretty good chance that it’s not coming back. He’s 39, so it really shouldn’t be a surprise. I don’t think he’s a 7 ERA pitcher, but, realistically, he’s probably in the 4.5 range. I expect Nathan to at least get a break in the next week or two; possibly a phantom DL stint. Joba has pitched very well, and should slide into the role.