By: James Sargent
Jose Reyes: Jose Reyes is really starting to heat up in this last week of May and looks to continue the surge throughout June. Last week, Reyes batted .500 and drove in seven runs while also scoring seven runs. His speed is starting to return to him as he also recorded three stolen bases. Reyes is currently on a nine-game hitting streak and this spark plug is definitely helping the streaky Mets win some games.
Carlos Gonzalez: Carlos Gonzalez is swinging a hot bat as he went 8-for-19 last week, raising his season average to .316. He also had three homers and five RBIs, and two of those homeruns came back-to-back twice with outfielder Seth Smith. Gonzalez is a nice fixture atop the Rockies’ batting order and will hopefully stay up there due to his hotness.
Miguel Cabrera: Miguel Cabrera continues to mash the ball as his average his flying upwards. He also remains a legitimate Triple Crown threat, and with numbers last week of a .615 average, four homeruns and eight RBIs, he sure is a possibility. And who knows if the stats could have been higher since he missed a couple games due to the birth of his child?
Chase Utley: Chase Utley recorded just two hits all of last week and saw his average plummet, but was still able to stay above .300. He scored one run and recorded one RBI but that was it. His two hits came on Sunday, so maybe this little slump will be cleared this week.
Justin Upton: The 23-year-old All-star has a dismal week to say the least. Recording just one hit and dropping his average down to .249 says it all. This is not what the D-Backs need right now with Haren struggling and an awful bullpen. They need explosion from this young outfielder if they want to put runs on the board and try to outscore their opponents, because with the pitching they have, scoring runs are their only hope.
Jayson Werth: Jayson Werth is hitless in his last 19 at-bats but isn’t panicking about it. Werth is used to this as he usually has skids like this in every season. Werth has always been a streaky hitter, and he figures his time will come around and this skid mark will get wiped up.
A.J. Burnett: A.J. Burnett had two fabulous starts last week while picking up the “W” in both games. His week ERA was 0.69 and he recorded 13 strikeouts. He’s improved to 6-2 and has a 3.28 ERA on the season. Look for Burnett to have a great June and for the help of the Yankees’ batting order to start proving him needed runs.
Matt Cain: Last week, Matt Cain pitched a complete game shutout against the Diamondbacks and only allowed one hit while striking out nine. He snapped a three-game losing streak and improved to 3-4 with a 2.50 ERA. Cain has only had one game this season where he allowed more than three earned runs, so definitely look for more wins to start getting racked up if this continues.
Jonathan Broxton: Jonathan Broxton picked up a victory and recorded three saves last week and also did not allow a single run. Opponents are batting just .213 against him and he is showing why he is one of the most dominant closers in all of baseball. With the Dodgers making a huge run at the NL West, look for Broxton to play a prominent role in shutting teams down in the latter part of the game.
Wandy Rodriguez: Wandy Rodriguez surrendered eight runs in three and a third innings for his only start of last week. He allowed two homeruns and walked two as well. In Rodriguez’s last six starts, his record is 1-5 with a 6.75 ERA. The bullpen coach will diagnose what is wrong and will look to work with Rodriguez’s mechanics to get him back on track.
Matt Garza: In two starts last week, Matt Garza compiled a 7.15 ERA while giving up nine runs on 15 hits. Rays’ manager Joe Maddon says a couple of the recent starts from Garza could have been wins, but the offense hasn’t been performing as well as it should. Garza started the season 5-1 and hasn’t recorded a win since May 5. If Garza can keep his frustration level down on the mound, a rebound could be sure to follow, but if he lets the recent struggles affect him, who knows how the rest of his season will go.
Hiroki Kuroda: Hiroki Huroda has had a pretty good season so far, but last week was a disaster start. He went four innings and allowed five earned runs against the Rockies. Kuroda is now in his third season in America and looks to make the most of it since his first two years were a little below average for what he is capable of doing. The Dodgers will need Kuroda to pitch well and help out the young arms of Billingsley and Kershaw to get a playoff birth.