|Connelly’s Top Ten: USA Women, Red Sox Bore Astros into Submission||Preparing for Another Year of Rebuilding for the Celtics||Red Sox Bullpen Sleeper: Matt Barnes||The Case For Trading Clay Buchholz|
Eight weeks into the season, and Chipper Jones is still hitting over .400. If you actually think he will hit over .400 for the rest of the season, then you need your head examined. Jones is a great player, but not this great. Trade him now if you have him and let some moron get suckered into this hype. At this point in any league, if you are in last place, make your moves NOW. You can’t afford to linger at the bottom and hope your guys will come through. If your team hasn’t come around yet, then they won’t do it anytime soon. Who was tearing up the diamond offensively last week? I am here to let you know.
Corey Hart (CF, RF), Milwaukee Brewers: I predicted earlier in the season in my Players I Targeted post that Hart would be good enough to make 25/25. I was scared all season until Hart finally showed signs of life last week by hitting 4 HR and driving in six. He also stole a base to bring his total to 8 on the year. Five of his Six home runs on the season have come within the past 10 games so I take this as a sign of him finally finding his stroke.
Frank Thomas (Util), Oakland A’s: *WARNING: Stupid Inside Joke Alert*. The man who hits the fastest home runs on the planet hit 4 home runs last week and in record time. The Big Hurt collected 10 hits and drove in six. For those who think Frank can’t keep this up in Oakland, just remember that he had 39 home runs in 2006 with the A’s. You can attribute his bad days with Toronto on the Rogers Center/Skydome/whatever you want to call it because Thomas is a career .277 hitter indoors which is below his career mark of .302. He was never as good on turf as he was playing outside. So look for a run at 30 HR. Yeah, I said it.
Michael Bourn (LF, CF), Houston Astros: The only reason Bourn should hold a roster spot is because of his steals, which stand at 23. Last week, Bourn also contributed with his bat by getting 10 hits to raise his average to .216. Bourn was busy on the base paths as well by stealing 5 bases. For speed, he is great. For everything else, you just better have plenty of hitters to make up for such a bad average.
Kevin Kouzmanoff (3B), San Diego Padres: Everyone remembers him for his terrible start last season (.113 in 21 April games). This season he once again started slow but he picked up the pace last week. Kouzmanoff had 4 home runs and 7 RBI to help the Padres. Don’t write him off yet, after last year’s slow start, he went on to hit .317 with 11 home runs after the All Star Break.
Jason Bay (LF), Pittsburgh Pirates: Proving that Nate McClouth isn’t the only player on the Pirates, Bay had a monster week by hitting .480 (12 for 25) which included 3 home runs, a double, and a triple. Bay drove in 8 runs and walked 3 times. He even threw in a stolen base. Last year’s bad season is behind him and he is back with a vengeance baby.
Jose Contreras (SP), Chicago White Sox: Sure his career ERA is 4.46. But don’t let that keep you from picking him up. Contreras made two starts last week and got the W in one of them. For the week he threw 14 innings and struck out 14 batters. In his last 28 innings, he has only given up five earned runs.
Kevin Gregg (RP), Florida Marlins: Gregg’s great year has attributed to the Marlins being in first place. He collected three saves and a win last week while surrendering zero runs and striking out eight batters. To think, Sports of Boston’s KC drafted him by accident and was itching to trade him seconds after the draft was over.
Takashi Saito (RP), Los Angeles Dodgers: Anybody else sick of hearing how Saito is going to break down and how Jonathan Broxton is the future closer in that bullpen. Saito may be 38, but he isn’t slowing down soon. He got 2 wins and 2 saves last week and struck out 8 batters. Age be damned, Saito’s carrer ERA of 1.75 proves that Broxton isn’t touching the closer’s role as long as Saito is alive.
Justin Duchscherer (SP, RP), Oakland A’s: Making one start last week, Duchscherer made it count. He baffled the Red Sox by taking a no hitter into the 7th inning. For the game and the week, he had 8 innings pitched and struck out 4. Opponents are hitting a minuscule .215 off of him.
Justin Verlander (SP), Detroit Tigers: You don’t hear me talk a lot about Tiger pitching (Why would you? The team ERA is an even 5.00) but Verlander is trying to make things right. He made two starts and got one victory. In 13 innings he allowed just two runs and fanned 10 batters. Hopefully his shaky starts are a thing of the past and owners can get him cheap off somebody.
Why Should I Give A Crap About These Guys?
Glen Perkins (SP, RP), Minnesota Twins: Perkins has made four starts this season and all four have been quality outings. Most recently he got the win in Detroit by going 7.2 innings and giving up one run. He lasts longer every outing and he isn’t surrendering runs. So if you’re in need of quality innings, then pick him up.
Alexi Casilla (2B), Minnesota Twins: Casilla has started every game since May 19th and is playing a premium position. In that time he has 8 hits, 2 home runs, and 10 RBI. With second base being so shallow, Casilla is worth adding.
Ben Francisco (LF, RF), Cleveland Indians: With David Dellucci struggling (.217, 4 HR, 14 RBI), Francisco has made the most with his opportunity this season so far by accumulating a .353 average to go along with 2 home runs, 11 RBI, and 11 doubles in just 20 games. If you’re looking for some hot offense at the moment, give Francisco a look.
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