Roto Roundup: Danny Espinosa Has Big Game, End of Line for Rafael Furcal?

WASHINGTON, DC - JULY 8: Danny Espinosa #18 of the Washington Nationals reacts after striking out in fifth inning against the Colorado Rockies at Nationals Park on July 8, 2011 in Washington, DC. The Colorado Rockies won, 3-2. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)

I ranked White Sox outfielder Alex Rios in my Top 24 outfielders for 2011 in the preseason, with the thought that he could duplicate his 2010 season which saw him hit 20+ HRs and steal 30+ bases. He hasn't come close. He is hitting just .210-.258-.306 with 6 HRs, 22 RBIs and 6 SBs. Rios has a ridiculously low .216 BABIP this season, which explains his poor performance at the plate this season.

Yankees starter Phil Huighes had his best start in many months yesterday, going 6 innings, giving up just 2 runs on 4 hits, 2 walks and striking out 5. The win was his first of the season, and Yankee fans are hoping he can build on this start going forward.

Yankees outfielder Brett Gardner went 3-4 with 3 runs scored and 2 SBs yesterday, and for the season, he is hitting .286-.364-.418 with 4 HRs, 18 RBIs, 48 runs and 26 SBs in 36 attempts. He now has three 3 hit games in his last 4 games. Gardner hit leadoff yesterday, and he is probably a better leadoff hitter than Derek Jeter is right now.

More Roundup after the jump:

Reds starter Homer Bailey held the Cardinals to just one run on 3 hits, 3 walks and 4 strikeouts to win his 4th game of the season yesterday. For the season, he owns a 3.74 ERA, 1.17 WHIP and a 39-13 K/BB rate, but has given up 8 HRs in 55+ innings of work. 

Mets outfielder/first baseman Lucas Duda went 2-5 with an RBI yesterday and is hitting just .252-.301-.398 with 13 RBIs and an 18-7 K/BB rate in 103 at bats. He should get plenty of playing time if/when Carlos Beltran is traded, and could see more action at first base as well as Ike Davis isn't anywhere near coming back. Duda hasn't shown the power he displayed in the minors yet. In 129 AAA at bats this season, he hit 10 HRs and drove in 24, while hitting .302-.414-.597.

Orioles catcher Matt Weiters went 2-4 with a HR, RBI and 2 runs scored and is now hitting .266-.328-.426 with 10 HRs, 36 RBIs and a solid 48-26 K/BB rate in 289 at bats. He is on pace for an 18 HR-63 RBI season and many will be looking for him to build upon that in 2012.

Nationals second baseman Danny Espinosa went 3-5 with a HR, 2 runs and 3 RBIs yesterday. He is now hitting .248-.336-.472 with 17 HRs, 55 RBIs and 12 SBs. I own him in an NL-only league and have to say I didn't expect this kind of season from Espinosa in 2011.

Marlins leadoff hitter Emilio Bonafacio went 2-4 with 2 runs scored yesterday and is now hitting .290-.363-.381 with 41 runs scored and 17 SBs in 286 at bats. Bonafacio playing everyday and hitting .290! Who saw this coming? 

Athletics leadoff hitter and second baseman Jemile Weeks went 2-3 with 2 runs, 2 walks and an RBI yesterday. Since his call-up, he is hitting .319-.354-.420 with 11 RBIs, 17 runs and 10 SBs in 138 at bats. He will be a 30+ SB guy in 2012 with upside potential to 40 SBs.

Brewers outfielder Ryan Braun pinch-hit yesterday so a DL stint looks like a remote possibility at this point. 

TrueBlueLA's Eric Stephen wrote yesterday that the next two weeks will be very important for Dodgers shortstop Rafael Furcal. He says this because he feels shortstop prospect Dee Gordon should be playing everyday in LA even if Furcal is not traded by the July 31st deadline. Furcal has had several DL visits this season and is hitting just .168-.215-.208 in 101 at bats.

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