Bryce Harper walks on water, saves babies from sunburn with a glance that causes the sun to recede, and never makes an out. Never. Well, at least that’s what some people seem to think. The uber-prospect, judged by many to be the best talent in baseball in the minors despite being just 18 years old, simply killed it at Single-A ball this year. He may have made some outs, in fact he made a ton, but overall he was a dynamic option hitting .318 with 14 homers, 46 RBI, 49 runs and 19 steals in just 72 games. The groundswell was that he was going to ascend all the way to the majors this season (I for one have remained steadfast in my belief that he won’t be a full-time player for the Nationals until at least June of next season. At least.). In nine games at Double-A it’s all gone wrong for Harper (he skipped High-A). It’s only been nine games so there is zero reason to panic, but he has hit .194 with two runs and two RBI’s. The game just isn’t that easy folks. Harper will figure it out in due time and start mashing again, nothing will stop him from doing that, but be realistic with the kid and his progress. Nothing happens overnight.
Jeff Keppinger was dealt from the Astros to the Giants. For my thoughts on the deal see Giants Deal for Keppinger.
Speaking of the Giants, Pablo Sandoval is out of the lineup Wednesday after tweaking his quad on Tuesday. The issue doesn’t appear to be serious, but the club is just playing it safe with their most important hitter. And hit Sandoval has done lately. Since returning from surgery on his wrist, Sandoval has appeared in 32 games. He’s had a hit in 30 of those contests on his way to racking up a .316 average. Guess what he’s hitting on the year? How about .315. For his career, four at-bats short of 1,500, Sandoval is hitting .306.
Placido Polanco will have an epidural on Thursday as he continues to waste away on the DL because of a bugling disk in his back. After being an MVP in April (.398 with 19 RBI) Polanco has resembled a washed up middle infielder who is barely hanging on hitting just .216 with 20 RBI over 57 games.
If you’re looking for a good matchup on the hill, it will be tough to beat Tim Lincecum vs. Clayton Kershaw today. Lincecum enters the day with a 2.99 ERA and 9.67 K/9 rate while Kershaw has a 2.88 ERA and 10.13 K/9 mark. There may not be a better lefty-rigthty matchup at any point this season, so watch these two NL West aces face-off today if you get the chance.
The last 28 days did you know…
Aramis Ramirez has hit 12 homers with 25 RBI and 23 runs scored. He’s been the best hitter in baseball in that time. Jose Bautista isn’t far behind with 10 homers, 20 RBI and 19 runs scored.
Emilio Bonifacio has hit .357 with 13 steals. You do know he has no chance of sustaining even 80 percent of that level of production moving forward, right?
Nick Markakis has hit .381. Moreover, the Orioles’ outfielder has hit a robust .347 over his last 41 games to raise his season long average to .293.
Curtis Granderson has hit only .240 but he leads the AL with 22 runs in that time. Granderson also has 19 walks, tied with Ben Zobrist for the most in baseball. Zobrist has a .429 OBP, Granderson .396. Both those numbers are wonderful, but amongst every day players those totals pale in comparison to the .477 mark of Yunel Escobar.
Jose Reyes has only 48 at-bats because of his leg injury, but he hasn’t picked up a single strikeout. Reyes also has an amazing .519 OBP.