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Bits: Jarrod Parker continues hot start

6/5/2012

Oakland Athletics right-hander Jarrod Parker was excellent again Monday, taking a no-hitter into the eighth inning against the Texas Rangers and ultimately throwing eight shutout innings. Parker, owned in a mere 7.3 percent of ESPN standard leagues, has allowed one run in his past 21 innings, striking out 18. His ERA is 2.40 and the rookie has given up more than two runs in only one of eight outings. He should be more popular.

St. Louis Cardinals slugger Allen Craig homered and knocked in three runs Monday, and continues to earn playing time regardless of the opposing pitcher. Craig is hitting .355 with a 1.159 OPS in 62 at-bats. He's one of ESPN's most-added players and has added first-base eligibility as well. He's worth activating in all formats.

Seattle Mariners third baseman Kyle Seager hit his seventh home run Monday, on the same day his younger brother Corey was a first-round draft pick by the Los Angeles Dodgers. The elder Seager, hitting third regularly for the Mariners with Ichiro Suzuki restored to leadoff, also drew his first walk in nine games. Seager is on pace for 20 home runs and 91 RBIs and ownable in standard leagues, but more plate discipline would help.

Philadelphia Phillies right-hander Vance Worley was activated off the disabled list Monday and threw four reasonable innings against the Los Angeles Dodgers. Worley allowed two first-inning runs but settled down and threw 80 pitches in total. Worley is a risky own in 10-team leagues; he will continue to pitch with a balky elbow and aim for offseason surgery, and his WHIP is 1.40.

San Francisco Giants left-hander Jeremy Affeldt saved Monday's win over the Chicago Cubs, hurling two perfect innings. The Giants swept all four games from the beleaguered Cubs and three different pitchers earned saves, none of them injured closer Santiago Casilla (bruised tibia). For now, Casilla remains the top choice for saves, but investing in any Giants reliever long-term is risky.

Los Angeles Angels first baseman Kendrys Morales swatted a pair of home runs Monday; he had hit four home runs in the first 45 games, but now has three home runs in seven games, with eight RBIs. Morales also hit the Monday home runs off lefty Jason Vargas, hopefully a harbinger of good. Morales has 10 of his 73 career blasts off lefties.