By James Sargent
Troy Tulowitzki: Troy Tulowitzki has been as hot as you can be in a week. He was named NL Player of the Week for the performance he had. Last week, Tulowitzki batted 10-for-27 (.370) with six home runs, 11 RBIs and nine runs scored. He has had three multi-homer games in his career, and two of them came last week. That surge has raised his average to .327 and put Tulowitzki second in the league behind teammate Carlos Gonzalez (.335). The Rockies are making a bid for returning to the playoffs, and “Rocktober” might happen just because of the numbers ‘Tulo is putting up.
Mike Stanton: The sky is the limit for the 20-year-old rookie, Mike Stanton, who has hit a combined 41 homers between the Minors and Majors. The powerful rookie has now hit six home runs in September, which has resulted in a whopping .854 slugging percentage. Last week, Stanton batted .414 with five home runs, eight RBIs and six runs scored. Owners in keeper leagues, or just in general, should hold tight to this prodigy.
Emilio Bonifacio: Emilio Bonifacio seems to be channeling his amazing April of 2009. Bonifacio is now hitting .483 over his last seven games with nine runs scored, three RBIs and three stolen bases over that span. Bonifacio will be used mainly in the infield until the season ends, due to Donnie Murphy’s season-ending dislocated wrist. If you are in need of a speed and batting average boost, you may want to pounce on the resurgent switch-hitter.
Pablo Sandoval: If only Pablo Sandoval could play every game at home. I’m sure he wishes that, because his home batting average is .336 as compared to his road average of .207. Last week was another disappointing week for owners of Sandoval. He batted 1-for-10 and scored only one run. Don’t expect too much from Sandoval as the season draws to a close. Juan Uribe looks to be stealing starts from Sandoval at third base while Edgar Renteria is swinging a live bat at shortstop.
Mark Reynolds: Mark Reynolds is a player that owners should consider dropping. With his sore hand still bothering him and the fact that he’s on a team that has nothing to play for down the stretch, Kirk Gibson could start giving Reynolds ample time off. Last week, Reynolds also did not make a great case to get much more playing time. The Diamondbacks’ third baseman went hitless in 12 at bats. The only reason you might even want to consider Reynolds to start for your team is if you need home runs.
Carlos Quentin: Carlos Quentin, like Reynolds, had a hitless week last week. With the addition of Manny Ramirez to the White Sox, the lineup is getting pretty crowded for the likes of struggling players who typically play. Since Quentin is not producing and having the season he hoped he would, Ozzie Guillen will likely sit him more to make way for other hot hitters. The .236 average is not too appealing to Quentin owners either.
Huston Street: Huston Street has been the lock down closer that the Rockies have needed. Street has converted nine straight save opportunities since last blowing a save Aug. 20 at Arizona. In 13 games beginning Aug. 22, when Street earned the first of those nine consecutive saves, he is 1-0 with a 1.38 ERA. Street, in my opinion, is one of the best closers out there, and will certainly be a great guy to have if the Rockies make the postseason.
Fausto Carmona: Fausto Carmona had a very dominate performance the last time he took the mound. Carmona allowed three hits and one walk while striking out seven in his first shutout of 2010. He is having a decent season with a 12-14 record and 3.86 ERA. It’s too bad he just can’t have a better team because I would guarantee more wins and less losses if he didn’t have such a stagnant offense.
Cory Luebke: Cory Luebke has been a present surprise to the San Diego Padres. Last week, Luebke pitched six shutout innings with seven strikeouts to earn his first major league victory. It was a much better showing than his big league debut, when he surrendered a pair of two-run homers over five innings in a 4-3 loss against Colorado. I don’t expect too much for Luebke because of the stellar starters that the Padres have, but if he is ever called upon, he has shown that he can get the job done.
Chris Carpenter: Chris Carpenter has been struggling as of late, and even suffered a right hamstring cramp in his last start that shouldn’t be too serious. The Cardinals’ ace has given up 11 earned runs in his last two starts while receiving two losses. Although his past few starts have been sub par, Carpenter should finish off the season on a strong note.
Mariano Rivera: Mariano Rivera blows saves!? I cannot recall the last time he did this and it wasn’t the World Series. I guess that’s partially because I don’t follow the Yankees and also because last week was only his third blown save on the season. I realize I just placed Mo on the cold list, but don’t worry, it won’t last long at all. The man will be back to shutting down games the next time he walks out of the bullpen.
Aaron Harang: Aaron Harang is having a similar season to Javier Vazquez. His last start was another poor one (2.1 innings, four earned runs) so he has been demoted to the bullpen and it doesn’t look like he will return to the rotation anytime soon. The Reds are trying to set up their rotation for a stretch run to make the playoffs, and Harang is the odd man out. Drop Harang if you have him (I doubt anyone has him) unless you believe he can thrive in relief.