I woke up this morning, looked outside, and the sun was shining. Hopped in the shower, even used soap, and I’m ready to take on the world. Randomness, my calling card, follows as I pick out a plethora of players who deserve some special attention as we near the conclusion of June.
Over the last 10 games before going 0-for-1 Wednesday night, Brandon Belt has performed markedly better than he had earlier in the season as his average has gone up .013 points (.264), his OBP is up .011 points (.333) and his SLG is up .021 points (.438). Those numbers still aren’t very good, and given that he’s on pace for 16 homers and six steals this season it’s safe to say his first half has been disappointing – yet again.
Yovani Gallardo allowed five runs, three earned, over four innings Wednesday causing more frustration for his owners. At the same time he’s only allowed three runs over his last four starts as his ERA has fallen from 5.25 to 4.20. He’s also struck out 58 batters in his last 62.2 innings.
Lots of folks seem to be very disappointed with Alex Gordon after a terrible month of June (.557 OPS). I’m not really getting it though. A year after hitting .294 with 14 homers, 72 RBIs and 93 runs scored Gordon is on pace to hit .293 with 14 homers, 80 RBIs and 85 runs scored. Isn’t that pretty much the same thing?
Luke Gregerson of the Padres had a 0.91 ERA on June 10th. Just over two weeks later than mark is now 2.67 as he’s allowed seven earned runs in four innings.
Looks like I was wrong about saying that Jason Kipnis wasn’t a fantasy star. He clearly is. Not only has he hit .405 with a 1.158 OPS over the 23 games of June, he’s up to 11 homers and 17 steals in just 68 games played this season. That’s a 20/30 pace and then some. He had 14 homers with 31 steals last season.
Shaun Marcum threw eight scoreless innings Wednesday to get his first “W” of the year. Marcum is 1-9 with a 5.08 ERA so I’m sure many of you look at him as if he was pocket lint. Still, the fact is that he has a 1.26 WHIP, 7.35 K/9 ratio and 3.24 K/BB ratio. For his career those numbers are 1.23, 7.33 and 2.68. Interesting huh? He’s only owned in 26 percent of leagues over at Fleaflicker.com.
Mark Melancon has been arguably the best setup man in baseball this season for the Pirates. Not only does he have a 0.94 ERA and 0.89 WHIP, but he’s also striking out better than a batter per inning this season and he’s walked a total of four batters over 38.1 innings. Dominating doesn’t begin to describe his efforts of MM who is also sporting an elite 3.00 GB/FB ratio. Don’t worry Jason Grilli owners, the plan was for Grilli to get a breather Wednesday so even though Melancon got the save he’s still in the setup role for the surging Pirates.
Luis Mendoza rarely goes deep into games, and on the year he has a 4.16 ERA and 1.40 WHIP, not to mention a 2-4 record. So why am I bringing up his name? Over his last 10 starts he’s allowed more than three earned runs just one time. In those 10 starts his ERA has down down 2.20 runs. He should be a decent arm in AL-only leagues just like I wrote in his Player Profile.
Salvador Perez is hitting .300 with three homers. And so the beat continues. Are you ready to admit, after my attempts to say it to you for four months now, that Perez just isn’t a 15-20 home run hitter at this point of his career?
James Russell, the new closer for the Cubs? It’s by no means a lock to happen, but it sure is starting to seem like the Cubs are planning on moving Kevin Gregg which will open up 9th inning duties. Russell has a better than 4:1 K/BB ratio, and he’s sporting a 2.15 ERA and 1.06 WHIP. Unfortunately the lefty does no own dominating stuff and he allows fly balls like I like pounding fruity drinks while on vacation. Oh, and there is the fact that in his career lefties are hitting .285 against him with a .345 OBP, not exactly closer worthy numbers. Carlos Villanueva is also lurking…
The Brewers called up Scooter Gennett to light a fire under Rickie Weeks. Looks like it worked. Weeks has clubbed the pelota with alacrity of late hitting a robust .435 with a 1.370 OPS over his last 16 games. He’s gone deep five times in those 16 games. As for Gennett, he’s been sent back to Triple-A after hitting .214 in 17 games.
By Ray Flowers