|Notes and Observations Week 15: Patriots Blow Out Dolphins 41-13; Clinch AFC East||Connelly’s Top Ten: Patriots Defense, Special Teams Carry Home Team||Fantasy Football Start ‘Em, Sit ‘Em: Week 15||Right Idea? Red Sox Bring in Rick Porcello, Wade Miley, Justin Masterson|
Two months are in the books, and we are just getting started. The big talk of last week was the call ups of highly-touted prospects Clayton Kershaw (Dodgers) and Jay Bruce (Reds). If you were lucky enough to snag Bruce, then you are a happy owner. As for Kershaw owners, odds are you are demanding a refund. Of course, these are only two of the players in Major League Baseball and you want to know who else made a splash in week 9.
Jay Bruce (CF), Cincinnati Reds: All hail Bruce Almighty! Reminiscent of Ryan Braun in 2007, Bruce silenced all the critics and lived up to the hype. In his first six games, Bruce is 13 for 22 (.591) with 10 runs, 2 HR, 6 RBI, and 2 SB. I not only think he is this year’s Ryan Braun, I expect him to be this year’s Ryan Braun. Bruce is the real deal and will be an impact for the rest of the season.
Shane Victorino (CF, RF), Philadelphia Phillies: The Flyin’ Hawaiian swiped 4 bases and collected 10 hits last week. In addition, the Phillies offense exploded for 55 runs last week and Victorino scored 12 of those runs. Batting 2nd in that lineup assures plenty of runs, especially with Chase Utley on pace for 50+ homers.
Mark Teixeira (1B), Atlanta Braves: Here is another man I spoke highly of in my “Players I Targeted” article. Notorious for starting off slow in the last couple of years, Tex stepped his game up by going 9 for 27 (.333), hitting 3 home runs, driving in 13, and collecting 5 walks. Look for a huge explosion after the All Star Break. After all, Tex is in a contract year.
David Wright (3B), New York Mets: Arguably the best looking man in baseball had 11 hits which included 3 doubles and 2 home runs. Wright also had 6 RBI, 6 walks, and a stolen base. Entering last week, Wright was hitting just .277 and he has brought it up to .293 and looks to repeat last year’s 30/30 season.
Manny Ramirez (LF), Boston Red Sox: Manny was just being Manny last week by getting 8 hits. More importantly, he had 3 home runs that included the historic #500. Also to note, he drove in 8 RBI. This is good to know because over the next month, Manny will be leaned on to drive in runs with David Ortiz going on the DL.
Scott Kazmir (SP), Tampa Bay Rays: As if the Rays being in first wasn’t enough, they had to go and get Kazmir off the DL. Kazmir was 2-0 last week and struck out 16 batters in 14 innings of work while yielding only one earned run. When he is healthy he is a top 5 pitcher, so keep your fingers crossed.
Mariano Rivera (RP), New York Yankees: After two months of play, Rivera has given up only one run. Rivera worked 5 innings last week, got 3 saves, and struck out 7 batters. Clearly he wasn’t listening when people said he was too old to be effective.
Salomon Torres (RP), Milwaukee Brewers: With Eric Gagne on the DL, Torres was named the closer and has yet to disappoint. Last week he got 3 saves and a win. As the closer, Torres has not blown a save or given up a run.
Sean Gallagher (SP, RP), Chicago Cubs: After starting in the bullpen after he was called up from the minors, Gallagher made 2 good starts last week. In 12.2 innings, he struck out 11 batters and he also got the win in both games. He has given up only 5 runs in 3 starts at home.
Garrett Olson (SP), Baltimore Orioles: After a terrible outing on May 21st (6 ER in 2.2 IP), Olson rebounded very nicely in 2 starts last week. Olson gave up 2 runs in 12 innings pitched and struck out 12 batters. In fact, if you eliminate that one bad start, Olson would be 4-0 this year with an ERA of 2.82.
Why Should I Give A Crap About These Guys?
Chad Tracy (1B, 3B), Arizona Diamondbacks: Tracy is back from knee surgery and has already hit two home runs in 7 games. Conor Jackson is battling a quad injury, so Tracy should see playing time in his absence.
Carlos Gonzalez (CF), Oakland Athletics: Another hyped prospect who got the call last week. Gonzalez has 4 hits (all doubles) in 3 games which is good for a .364 average. Gonzalez was acquired in the Dan Haren trade and was hitting .293 with 4 home runs and 25 RBI in AAA before the call up.
Geoff Jenkins (LF, RF), Philadelphia Phillies: With Jayson Werth going on the DL on May 23rd, Jenkins has gotten the playing time in RF. Since Werth went to the DL, Jenkins has 7 hits, 3 home runs, and 8 RBI. For his career, Jenkins average 27 home runs per season and it doesn’t hurt that he is playing in a red hot Phillies offense.
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