July 27, 2012; San Francisco, CA, USA; Los Angeles Dodgers third baseman Hanley Ramirez hits a two-run home run during the tenth inning against the San Francisco Giants at AT&T Park. Mandatory Credit: Beck Diefenbach-US PRESSWIRE
Before I get into the top performers from Saturday's action, I want to address the Dodgers trade for Hanley Ramirez. I was down on Hanley heading into the season as his power had trended down in the last 3 seasons. I think he can flourish now that he is a Dodger. Not because I am a Dodgers fan. Well, ok, part of it is because I am a Dodgers fan. I think now that he is out of Miami, where he was the big superstar expected to carry the team, he is now in Los Angeles, where there are several superstars in Matt Kemp and Clayton Kershaw carry the team. In LA, the pressure will not be as big for him to produce. Manager Don Mattingly batted him 4th yesterday, but has batted him 5th in 2 other games in a Dodgers uniform. Ramirez is on pace for a 24 home run, 84 RBI and 24 stolen base season, and is certainly having a better season than Jose Reyes has, so I admit I was wrong about him.
Since his trade to LA, Hanley is 6-16 with a game winning home run, 4 runs scored and 6 RBI.
Royals third baseman Mike Moustakas was pulled from Saturday's game with a strain of the right knee and will have an MRI today. Moustakas has had a solid season at the plate for the Royals, triple slashing .262-.317-.461 with 16 HRs, 48 runs and 50 RBI in 362 at bats this season. He could stand to take the free pass a bit more, but that may come as he gains more experience.
Cubs young first baseman Anthony Rizzo's struggles in his first look at major league pitching last season has been well documented. He was traded in the offseason for Andrew Cashner, and was assigned to AAA Iowa to work on some holes in his swing. And just like clockwork, he dominated AAA pitching like he did last season, with the only question being, how would he hit when he finally gets the call up. Well, Rizzo has hit well in his first 100 at bats, which is a bit of a small sample size, but I am starting to get the idea that what we are seeing from him may be what we should expect going forward. Since his call up, he is hitting .317-.349-.535 with 6 HRs, 13 runs, 15 RBI and a 12-4 strikeout to walk ratio in 101 at bats.
More Roundup after the jump:
The Tigers traded for Anibal Sanchez this week, and he made his first start with the team yesterday. It wasn't good. He gave up 5 runs on 8 hits, 3 of which were home runs, 3 walks and 3 strikeouts. I bid $5 of my FAAB budget on Sanchez in my AL only keeper league a few days ago, with the hope that he will pitch well against the AL Central teams in August and September.
Braves young lefty Mike Minor appears to be turning the corner on the mound since Memorial Day. He limited the Phillies to one run in 8 innings, giving up just 4 hits, walking none and striking out 9. He is now 6-7 with a 5.18 ERA, 5.04 FIP, 4.40 xFIP, 1 1.29 WHIP and a 98-42 strikeout to walk ratio in 113.0 innings. Since Memorial Day, he has lowered his ERA from 6.98 to 5.18. He has been hurt by the home run ball all season long, and has now given up 22 home runs on the season. One positive is that he has given up just 3 runs over his last 3 starts, giving up 2 home runs, and walking none. If he can harness the command, he could blossom in the second half of the season.
Red Sox first baseman Adrian Gonzalez is starting to show some power for his fantasy owners. He went 3-5 with a double, a home runs, 2 runs scored and 4 RBI last night in the Red Sox 8-6 win over rival Yankees. AGonz has homered 3 times in his last 10 games, and is how hitting .294-.335-.442 with 10 HRs, 28 doubles, 48 runs, and 62 RBI. Gonzalez has had a power drought this season, as he is on pace for just 16 home runs, down from 27 last season. His ISO is a woeful .140 vs. 200+ over the previous 5 seasons.
The Mets have struggled mightily since the All Star break, but first baseman Ike Davis has flashed lots of power. Last night, Davis went 4-4 with 3 home runs, all of the solo variety. Over his last 10 games, he has hit 7 home runs, with 9 runs scored and 10 RBI. He is not hitting for much average this season, but he now has 20 home runs and 60 RBI on the season, and he is now 6th in the National League in home runs.
Raise your hand if you thought A's outfielder Yoenis Cespedes would sniff a .300 batting average this season. I certainly did not. He went for $22 in my AL only keeper league and is starting to look like a steal. Cespedes went 2-4 with a triple and a home run last night, and is now hitting .302-.361-.541 with 14 home runs, 34 runs, 53 RBI and 8 stolen bases thus far in 2012.
Dodgers outfielder Matt Kemp has missed half the season due to multiple hamstring injuries and has less than 200 at bats so far, but he is putting up another excellent season at the plate. He went 4-5 with a home run, 2 doubles, 3 runs scored and 4 RBI yesterday, raising his triple slash line to .342-.414-.658 with 15 HRs, 39 runs and 38 RBI. Had he not missed half the season so far, he would be on pace for 40+ home runs and well over 100 runs and RBI.
The Rockies may have found their future second baseman, but he is playing shortstop right now, and has played shortstop in the minors. Josh Rutledge will probably go into spring training as the Rockies second baseman if he continues to hit like he has since his call up. Rutledge went 3-5 with 2 runs scored last night, raising his average to .370 with 1 home run, 8 runs, 6 RBI and 3 stolen bases in just 14 games with the big league club. He has decent pop and speed, so he could be a sleeper in 2013 fantasy drafts.