The holiday weekend is over and as we get back to work the Major League season keeps on moving along toward it’s mid-summer break. Here’s a look back at some news and notes from Monday’s games.
Currently owned in only 6 percent of Yahoo! leagues, Corey Patterson now has 16 stolen bases on the season, with is only one less than Shane Victorino in 166 fewer plate appearances. He is also currently hitting .290, but with a .367 BABIP and a 17 percent line drive rate so there is a chance for a regression.
Alexei Ramirez is on fire all of a sudden. He has two home runs in his last two ballgames and his AVG is now up to .281. Given his poor plate discipline, hot streaks like this should come and go all season so buyer beware.
Make that six very good starts in a row for Gavin Floyd, who should be owned in just about every format.
Jonathan Sanchez went six innings allowing only one earned run. He stuck out six and walked six. That makes it 17 walks in hsi last 19 innings. The wheels may be starting to come off for a second half slide.
Recently acquired Eric Patterson started in left field and hit two home runs for the Red Sox in their 5-to-6 win over the Rays. It would be hard to imagine him doing much more damage in the home run department this season, but he has a chance to provide AL-only leagues with some stolen base potential.
Omar Infante got his first start since being named to the all-star team. He went 0-for-4 and is a non-factor outside of NL-only leagues.
Starting at third base in place of the injured Placido Polanco for the second straight day was Gregg Dobbs, who went 2-for-3 with a home run. Dobbs has always had raw power, but of his 28 career home runs none have come off of left-handed pitching. Due to his righty/lefty splits, Dobbs is more of a NL-only play while Polanco and Utley are out.
Speaking of Chase Utley, word has it that he could be out until September and that the thumb injury could affect his swing even when he does come back.
Matt LaPorta continues his home run rampage with another one last night. That’s now five on the year and four in his last seven games. Surprisingly, he is only owned in 15 percent of Yahoo! leagues.
Carlos Santana also hit his fifth home run last night. I’ll probably mention him every time he does something like this as my man crush may cause me to rank him very-very high in the 2011 catcher rankings. VERY high.
Javier Vazquez had another solid outing last night going seven innings and only allowing one earned run. Still, we have to keep in mind that it was against the .703 team OPS A’s and Vazquez only managed two strikeouts on the night.
Mike Stanton is hitting .209 with only two home runs and has 36 strikeouts in 93 plate appearances (38 percent strikeout rate). He’s only 20-years-old and has tremendous potential, but the Marlins need to take a step back, send him to triple-A where he should have been promoted and look forward to seeing what he can do next season.
Russell Branyan hasn’t missed a beat since joining the Mariners. He hit .289 in June and now has two home runs in 17 July at-bats. However, his long injury history, including back problems that cost him all of September last season make him a fine sell high candidate.
Mike Pelfrey allowed seven earned runs in 4.2 innings while walking four and striking out only one. Obviously, Pelfrey didn’t have his best stuff and his lack of strikeout potential makes it even more difficult for him on a night like this. I’d be looking to sell high if he bounces back in his next outing.
Part of the damage to Pelfrey came off the bat of Joey Votto, who ended up with three hits including two home runs. Votto is now hitting .318/.418/.599 (1.017 OPS) with 21 home runs.
I don’t care that the all-star game “counts” now because of home field advantage. This game is supposed to be about showcasing the games best talent, period. An all-star game without a player like Votto, with the season he is having, is ridiculous. Why can’t the commissioner’s office look back and see that they have turned this event into a joke just because of one tie game where fans were upset for about three hours afterward?
The “Final Vote” may still get Votto to the game, but just fact that a player like Omar Infante can take a spot because of his versatility means that having the game “count” has taken it too far. The all-star game is a showcase, for fun and the entertainment of the fans, nothing more. There isn’t even really an AL/NL rivalry anymore as players switch teams and leagues all the time. The sooner the commissioner’s office and the fans realize this the better.