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With the All-Star break on the horizon, it is time to step back and really look at your team. I mean c’mon people, the season is almost half done. Right now, you need to look through all of your stats and determine what areas need improvement and what trades you have to make. You shouldn’t be reluctant to trade just because you don’t want a rival team in your league to get better. Trading is not about trying to screw another team, it is about filling your gaps. If your league is competitive enough, then odds are the free agent pool is looking pretty slim, so if a better option is not easily available, I suggest you start smooth-talking other teams.
Jermaine Dye (RF), Chicago White Sox: I had the unfortunate pleasure of facing a team with Dye last week. Dye was 10-24 (.417) with 5 HR, 13 RBI, and 7 R. Remember, it was just two years ago that Dye had 44 HR and 120 RBI.
Prince Fielder (1B), Milwaukee Brewers: Fielder had eight hits last week which included 5 HR and 8 RBI. So far in the month of June, Fielder is hitting .343 with eight home runs. Watch out next month though. Fielder only has six career home runs in the month of July.
Jeff Baker (1B,2B,RF), Colorado Rockies: The National League Player of the Week had 10 hits and homered in four consecutive games while driving in seven and crossing the plate eight times. The only concern is if he will lose playing time with both Clint Barmes and Troy Tulowitzki coming off the DL.
Vladimir Guerrero (RF), Los Angeles Angels: Vlad has been having a not so Vlad season. Things looked better last week when he had 11 hits and three home runs. His three homer week included his second multi-home run game of the season. This looks like a sign of good things since he is hitting over .400 in June (.433) which is light years ahead of his month of May (.219).
Aubrey Huff (1B,3B), Baltimore Orioles: Huff has picked things up lately with 4 HR and 6 RBI last week. For those in need of an offensive boost, look to Huff this week in the upcoming series against the Cubs. In 9 games against Chicago, Huff has a .448 AVG with 4 doubles and he is also a career .429 hitter at Wrigley Field.
Andy Pettitte (SP), New York Yankees: In two starts last week, Pettitte didn’t surrender a run in 13 innings while striking out 13 batters. Pettitte has won three straight decisions. Since his worst start of the season against the Royals on June 7th (6.2 IP, 10 ER), Pettitte has given up only one run.
Justin Duchscherer (SP,RP), Oakland A’s: Duchscherer had 15.2 IP in two starts last week and struck out 9 batters on his way to his 7th and 8th wins. In the process, Duchscherer lowered his AL-leading ERA to a minuscule 1.99.
Joakim Soria (RP), Kansas City Royals: Soria was a busy beaver last week. Soria saved all five of Kansas City’s victories without giving up a run. Soria has saved 20 of Kansas City’s 34 victories this season and those 20 are good enough for 5th best in the American League.
Mariano Rivera (RP), New York Yankees: After a rare off-year for Rivera last season (3.15 ERA), the veteran closer is back to his old form. Last week he continued his dominance with three saves and eight K’s in 4.1 IP. To this day, I still think that his music that plays when he exits the bullpen should be “Panama” by Van Halen. It just seems like a no-brainer.
Vicente Padilla (SP), Texas Rangers: Padilla won both of his starts last week while tossing 13 innings and fanning nine batters. For those that don’t realize it yet, Padilla is one of only seven pitchers in baseball with double digit wins with 10 on the season.
Why Should I Give A Crap About These Guys?
Brian Buscher (3B), Minnesota Twins: After a brief stint with the Twins in April, Buscher was called back up on June 14 and has hit .385 (10-26) since that time. He has no home runs but, he has driven in 11 runs.
Eric Stults (SP,RP), Los Angeles Dodgers: With Brad Penny going to the DL, there was an open spot in the rotation. Enter Eric Stults. In Triple-A, Stults had an ERA of 3.59 in 82.2 IP. He has made one start since his call up where he went six innings and gave up only one run while striking out five.
Jeremy Hermida (RF), Florida Marlins: Hermida is currently in the middle of a 10 game hitting streak where he has five doubles, 2 HR, 7 RBI, and 9 R. He is worth mentioning because after last season’s All-Star break, Hermida hit .340 with a .401 OBP.
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