By: James Sargent
Jose Bautista: The major league leader in home runs, Jose Bautista, showed last week why he is a definite starting third baseman or outfielder for your team. He hit five home runs, scored eight runs and drove in 13 last week. If his average wasn’t so low, I would definitely consider Bautista as an MVP potential player. July was also just a great month, in general, for Bautista. As a result of his outstanding play, he was named the Honda July Player of the Month. Look for the power numbers to continue for Bautista and for him to definitely exceed 100 RBIs.
Juan Pierre: Juan Pierre has been great over a current eight-game hit streak, batting .448 (13-for-29) with six RBIs, six runs scored and four steals. This is great to see out of Pierre because he had been struggling with his bat all season long. Pierre should offer solid value for the rest of the season because his play time is sure to increase.
Danny Valencia: If you haven’t heard of Twin’s third baseman, Danny Valencia, you should start taking notice now. Last week, Valencia recorded 12 hits, eight RBIs, scored four runs and hit his first major league home run, which happened to be a grand slam. He also became the first Twins rookie to have four hits in back-to-back games. If you are in a deep league and your third baseman is struggling, give Valencia a shot and watch as his power numbers are sure to rise.
Torii Hunter: Torii Hunter has run hot and cold since the All-Star break, and last week happened to be a cold week. Other than Sunday, in which he recorded three hits, Hunter was in an 0-for-15 skid. The All-Star is sure to pick it up soon, and his season numbers do back that up. Hunter is batting .285 with 16 home runs and 64 RBIs. Ride out the lean times Hunter is facing and get ready for his production to sky rocket.
Cristian Guzman: Rangers or Nationals, the slump for Cristian Guzman has continued even after the trade went through. Guzman was held hitless in all 12 of his at bats last week. Guzman was brought in by the Rangers to fill the spot of the injured Ian Kinsler, who could be on the DL for a while. Guzman’s batting should drastically improve getting thrown into a stacked Rangers lineup. Give Guzman a go if a shortstop or second baseman is what you need, but don’t rely on him heavily.
Bengie Molina: Although Bengie Molina is typically only playing three games at a time and then taking a two game break, last week was quite bad for the Rangers catcher. Molina recorded just one hit, scored one run and is starting to get lifted by pinch-hitters late in games. I am not a big fan of Molina as of late, and age is definitely catching up to him. There are many other young and more talented catchers out there, so drop Molina if you have him and search free agency for someone else.
Brett Myers: Houston pitcher Brett Myers is currently in the midst of a career revival at age 29. Myers is 8-6 this year with a 3.10 ERA, having pitched at least six innings in all 21 of his starts. Also, Myers is currently holding a career low walk rate, and has also upped his ground ball percentage resulting in fewer home runs Last week, Myers had one hell of a game. He pitched a complete game with 12 strikeouts and only allowed one run. If you need a spot starter for your squad, Myers could be a valuable option. The only downside is that he is on Houston and gets no run support.
Matt Capps: The Minnesota Twins acquired a really solid closer from the Nationals by the name of Matt Capps. I believe Capps is a great addition and he will finally be on a winning team, unlike the Nationals or Pirates. Last week, Capps recorded three saves, two for the Nationals and one for the Twins, and did not allow any runs. Although Jon Rauch was pitching very well as well, I believe Rauch as a setup man and Capps as a closer will better the Twins greatly as they start to make a run at the AL Central.
Josh Tomlin: We might not know much about Josh Tomlin, and he doesn’t have overpowering stuff, but his first two major league starts have been very impressive. He is 1-0 while pitching 12.1 innings and only allowing two earned runs. He beat the Yankees in his first start and did enough in his second start against the Blue Jays to let his bullpen and lineup solidify the victory. Honestly, I do not know much about Tomlin, so I don’t want to “bs” through this. Leave a comment directed at Pat McWeeny if you want more info, because I know he knows his Indians.
Johan Santana: I am going to include Johan Santana’s pitching stats from yesterday’s game into this analysis. Santana threw 12.2 innings and had an ERA of 7.82 last week. The first inning has been a killer for him. Santana gave up six runs against the Cardinals and then yesterday he gave up three against Braves. Take away that first inning and Santana would have thrown a good game. The Met’s offense has also been very sub-par and is not generous to Santana at all. Santana is a good enough pitcher to rebound from these two bad starts, so don’t worry if you own him, just don’t bank on him bringing you a lot of wins to your team.
Yovani Gallardo: Last week, Yovani Gallardo had a start to forget about. Gallardo lasted a mere 2.2 innings while allowing six runs (five earned) on 10 hits. The young Brewer’s ace is having a very good season and one bad start is not the end of the world. He will certainly top the 200 strikeout mark again for his second time, and could potentially finish with 13 to 14 wins. This young kid will be a good pitcher in the league for a long time.
Ryan Rowland-Smith: Ryan Rowland-Smith had an even worse outing than Gallardo did last week. The Mariners pitcher went five innings and allowed 11 earned runs. After the game, Rowland-Smith was placed on the disabled list with a lower back strain. Well, that’s one way of not having to decide on what to do with Rowland-Smith after he got shelled. I think he should be demoted to Triple-A with a 1-10 record and 6.96 ERA. There is no reason to keep him up in the big leagues if he is going to give you these types of seasons. He also isn’t even a young arm and really has no potential.