Coming into the season, I was luke warm on Alex Rodriguez in 2011. His power had dropped off steadily since his tremendous 2007 season where he went 54-156-143-24. His home run power has dropped from 54 HRs in 2007 to 35 HRs in 2008 and 30 HRs in 2009 and 2010. This season has been a down year for third baseman and ARod has had his worst season of his career. He is hitting .292-.365-.484 with 14 HRs and 53 RBI. His walk rate is just under 10%, his worst walk rate since 1998, and his ISO of .185 is the worst of his career. Injuries and age appear to have impacted his power at the plate and I wonder if we will see him hit 30+ HRs again.
Orioles catcher Matt Wieters went 2-4 with a HR, 2 runs and 3 RBI last night and is having a hot August, where he is hitting .306-.383-.528 with 3 HRs, 10 RBI, 11 runs and a 13-8 K/BB rate in 72 at bats. We still have more than a month left in the 2011 season, but it appears Wieters is figuring things out at the plate, and could have a breakout season in 2012. Finally.
I was watching the Dodgers-Rockies game last night (what else is new?) and Dodgers Hall of Fame announcer Vin Scully announced he will come back in 2012. I can't imagine listening/watching a Dodgers game without hearing Vin call the game, so this was terrific news for me. I don't even need to watch the game when he calls the game, and I usually don't, as I am usually writing these Roundups when the Dodgers are playing.
More Roundup after the jump:
Indians starter Ubaldo Jimenez bounced back after a rough outing to hold the Royals to one run on 7 hits, a walk, and 10 strikeouts in 7 innings of work. Jimenez is 2-1 with a 5.79 ERA and 1.42 WHIP since his trade to Cleveland last month.
Rays starter James Shields dominated on Friday night, throwing a complete game 7 hitter, giving up just one run and striking out 12. He is now 12-10 with a 2.96 ERA, 1.05 WHIP and a 192-51 K/BB rate in 201 innings. I wonder if the Rays will re-visit dealing him this offseason, as he makes a lot of sense for a team like the Reds, and the Reds have a surplus of prospects they can deal, including first baseman Yonder Alonso.
The Giants offense is so bad right now that even Astros starter J.A. Happ and his 6.00+ ERA held them to just one run in 6 innings last night. I have to imagine that the Giants will be looking to improve their lineup this offseason.
Dodgers outfielder Matt Kemp went 2-4 with a HR and RBI last night, and has joined the 30 HR - 30 SB club last night. He is hitting .323-.393-.576 with 30 HRs, 98 RBI, 82 runs and 33 SBs in 2011. I think he could be the #1 pick in 2012 fantasy drafts.
The Athletics pounded the Red Sox last night, winning 15-5, and their offensive explosion was lead by leadoff hitter and second baseman Jemile Weeks. Weeks went 3-5 with 2 doubles, 3 runs and a walk. Weeks is hitting .295-.327-.411 with 0 HRs, 23 RBI and 16 SBs in 285 at bats this season. He could be a 30+ SB threat in 2012.
Mets starter Chris Capuano out-dueled Braves ace Tim Hudson last night, as he tossed a complete game 2 hitter. That is all well and good, awesome really. But, what is really surprising was the 13 strikeouts and no walks. Capuano is now 10-11 with a 4.43 ERA and 1.32 WHIP this season.
Mets outfielder/first baseman Lucas Duda has been on fire of late, and he went 3-4 with 2 runs and 2 RBI last night. In his last 10 games, he is 13-38 with 3 HRs and 10 RBIs, and is now hitting .288-.357-.486 with 7 HRs, 38 RBI and 25 runs scored in 212 at bats since his call up from AAA. Can he be a 25 HR - 90 RBI guy in 2012?
Rangers outfielder Nelson Cruz went 4-5 with 2 HRs, 3 runs and 6 RBI last night hitting in the 7 spot in the Rangers stacked lineup. For the season, he is hitting .265-.318-.528 with 28 HRs and 84 RBI in his 426 at bats. After a slow start, he is on pace for a 34-102 season, which is pretty damn good considering on June 1 he had just 10 HRs and 24 RBI.