Manny Machado hitting for power
Orioles third baseman struggled upon his return from the disabled list back in May but since then, he is hitting and hitting for power. Here are his monthly split heading into Firday's game vs the Cardinals:
May: .220-.271-.284, 2 HRs, 5 RBI
June: .260-.313-.462, 5 HRs, 12 RBI
July: .333-.356-.565, 4 HRs, 10 RBI
August: .310-.375-.379, RBI
Last night, he raised that August slash line, as he went 2-4 with a home run and 3 RBI in the Orioles 12-2 thrashing of the Cardinals. Machado raised his season slash line to .270-.318-.425 with 12 home runs, 37 runs scored and 31 RBI in just 79 games.
Machado is coming off major knee surgery, so to see him hitting for power, and showing improvement after a rough start is promising. He appears to be on the cusp of a power breakout season and I could see him hitting 20-25 home runs in 2015.
For more on Machado and the Orioles, make sure you check out Camden Chat, SB Nation's Orioles fan site.
The Pirates have had success taking on struggling pitchers and turning them into useful major leaguers. Their most recent reclamation project is Vance Worley, the one time Phillie and Twin starter. Last night, Worley limited the Padres to one run on 5 hits, a walk and 7 strikeouts in the Pirates 2-1 win. Worley moved his record to 5-1 with a 2.30 ERA, 1.07 WHIP and a 39-10 strikeout to walk rate in 62.2 innings of work. He has made just nine starts for the Pirates, but has given up two runs or less in six of those starts, including five in a row. I am not sure how he is doing it, as he strikes out just 14% of batters he faces, but he also doesn't walk many or give up the long ball. He is available in about 68% of leagues right now, so if you are hurting for a starter, you can do worse than Worley at this point.
One pitcher who has struggled over the last three months Marlins starter Nathan Eovaldi. Eovaldi looked like a different pitcher to start the season, as he went 2-1 with a 2.58 ERA and a 35-11 strikeout to walk rate in 38.1 innings in April, but has put up ERAs over 4.00 in each of the last three months, including a woeful 6.75 ERA in July. He is doing his best to turn things around in August as he has given up just one earned run in his two August starts, including his eight shutout innings last night. Eovaldi limited the Reds to 5 hits, a walk and struck out 6 in 8 shutout innings in the Marlins 2-1 win. Eovaldi evened his record at 6-6 with a 3.99 ERA, 1.20 WHIP and a 105-31 strikeout to walk rate in 151 innings.
Reds outfielder Billy Hamilton reached base twice without benefit of a hit last night, walking once, but had a horrific night on the base paths. He was caught stealing for the 18th tine this season, and picked off first base when he did reach base. Not a good night for a guy who's main skill is his ability to steal bases.
Nationals starter Stephen Strasburg had a rough night on the mound in Atlanta on Friday night. Strasburg was knocked around for 7 runs on 7 hits, 2 walks and 9 strikeouts in 5 innings in the Nationals 7-6 loss to the Braves. Strasburg was coming off two excellent starts in a row, where he had given up just one earned run over the two starts. The loss moved his record to 8-10 with a 3.68 ERA, 1.23 WHIP and a dominating 186-35 strikeout to walk rate in 156.1 innings. He is on his way to his second consecutive sub-.500 season. Not what we all expected when drafting him as a top 5 starter back in March.
Dodgers shortstop Hanley Ramirez left Friday night's game in Milwaukee with tightness in his side. Reports indicate he wanted to stay in the game, so he could return over the weekend. With the way Justin Turner played shortstop last night, he made Hanley look like a gold glover. Turner was credited with just two errors, but probably deserved a third. Miguel Rojas will spell Hanley if he can't go on Saturday.
Red Sox starter Allen Webster pitched well in his third start of the season, limiting the struggling Angels to two runs on 4 hits, 2 walks and 3 strikeouts in 6.2 innings. Webster bounced back from two horrible starts, where he gave up 6 runs on 5 hits, 11 walks and 5 strikeouts. Control has always been an issue for Webster, and he will have to limit the walks going forward if he wants to stay in the Red Sox rotation.
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