PITTSBURGH, PA - SEPTEMBER 4: Andrew McCutchen #22 of the Pittsburgh Pirates hits an RBI single in the third inning against the Houston Astros during the game on September 4, 2012 at PNC Park in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)
The Cardinals called up pitching prospect Shelby Miller yesterday, about 3 months later than I thought they would. Miller struggled to start the season, with talk that he might have lost some speed to his fastball and had some maturity issues, but he has turned the corner in the second half this season. In six August starts, he is 5-1 with a 2.89 ERA, and a 53-4 strikeout to walk ratio in 37.1 innings. Since the All Star break, Miller is 7-2 with a 2.88 ERA and a 70-7 strikeout to walk ratio, so his early season struggles appear to be behind him.
Desmond Jennings is starting to look like the hitter we drafted back in March. Last night, he went 1-3 with a walk, HR, 2 runs and a stolen base, raising his slash line to .254-.318-.406 with 12 HRs, 69 runs, 41 RBI and 25 stolen bases. Over his last 10 games, Jennings is 14-40 with 3 HRs, 10 runs, 4 RBI and 2 stolen bases, raising his BA from .244 to .254. I could see him being a Top 20 outfielder in my 2013 outfielder rankings.
I drafted Nationals first baseman Adam Laroche in 2011 and he got hurt and missed most of the season. I stay away from him in drafts this season, and he has the best year of his career. Laroche went 4-4 with 2 HRs, 2 runs and 2 RBI and is now hitting .266-.338-.498 with 27 HRs, 62 runs and 87 RBI this season. He is on pace to hit 32 HRs and drive in 104 runs. Laroche has more home runs than the following first baseman: Joey Votto, Adrian Gonzalez, Prince Fielder, Mark Teixeira among others.
Cardinals outfielder Matt Holliday left Tuesday night's game with tightness in his back in the 7th inning when jogging to first base after working a walk. He is considered day to day at this point. The Cardinals need his bat as they battle for the last wild card spot.
It seems like I am writing about Orioles first baseman Mark Reynolds every day now. Reynolds went 3-4 with a HR, 2 runs and 4 RBI in the Orioles 12-0 win that put them in a tie with the Yankees for first in the AL East. Reynolds is now 12-33 with 5 HRs, 10 runs and 11 RBI over his last 10 games, with all 5 HRs and 11 RBI coming in his last 5 games. All have come when the Orioles needed his power bat in the middle of a division race.
As I asked on Twitter last night. Is it me or is the AL East not as strong as it is made out to be?
Maybe James Loney just needed to get out of LA to start hitting. Loney went 2-2 last night (as of this writing) and is now 10-30 since being traded in one of the biggest trades in MLB history. Since the trade, he is hitting .333-.350-.467, but with only one extra base hit. Could he hit enough to guarantee a major league roster job in 2013?
Pirates outfielder Andrew McCutchen is more than likely a top 5-6 pick in fantasy drafts next year, but could he be a Top 3 pick? I think he might be. McCutchen went 4-4 with 3 RBI last night, raising his slash line to .347-.409-.565 with 24 HRs, 92 runs, 83 RBI and 16 stolen bases. He is on pace for a 29 HRs, 110 run, 100 RBI and 19 stolen base season in 2012. Who thought he was capable of hitting 30 HRs and driving in 100 back in March?
Diamondbacks second baseman Aaron Hill was not a sexy name at second base on draft day, but he might be one of the more productive fantasy second baseman this season. Hill went 5-5 with a double, HR, 3 runs and 2 RBI in last night's 8-6 win over the Giants. Hill is now hitting .302-.359-.513 with 34 doubles, 21 HRs, 74 runs, 65 RBI and 12 stolen bases this season. Second base has become a very productive position for fantasy purposes in 2012.