|Are the Patriots Still Legitimate Super Bowl Contenders Without TE Rob Gronkowski?||Notes and Observations Week 14: Patriots Mount Another Improbable Comeback; Beat Browns 27-26||Connelly’s Top Ten – Patriots Stink but Exciting; Poor Gronk||Patriots Lose Gronk But Complete Miraculous Comeback to Beat Browns, 27-26|
The trade deadline has come and gone. Several big names such as Jason Bay, Manny Ramirez, and Mark Teixeira have found new homes. I was very happy to see that Pat Burrell was not traded to the Red Sox because now I don’t have to trade him in my leagues (I hate having Sox players). Of course, now I do have to trade Jason Bay in one league. Although we may not all agree on the fact that Jason Bay was enough for Manny, what we can all agree on is that Craig Hansen is gone and we have never been happier.
Bobby Abreu (RF), New York Yankees: Abreu was 12-27 (.444) with 4 HR and 9 RBI for the Bronx Bombers. Abreu scored 10 runs during his offensive explosion and even stole his 14th base of the season for good measure.
Ryan Ludwick (LF, RF), St. Louis Cardinals: It just seems like yesterday when Ludwick graced the pages of Sports of Boston in April in only the second wrap-up. He has continued his dominant season with a 14 hit, 4 HR week. He just finished a July where he hit .323 with 7 HR.
Xavier Nady (LF, CF, RF), New York Yankees: He was killing the ball in Pittsburgh and he is killing the ball in New York. During his first week as a Yankee, Nady has 10 hits and 10 RBI to go with 3 HR. I see no reason why he will slow his production anytime soon.
Kelly Shoppach (C), Cleveland Indians: If you thought that the catcher’s spot in Cleveland would be useless without Victor Martinez then think again. Shoppach has been on a tear lately with 11 hits last week. Nine of those were for extra bases (5 doubles, 4 HR) and he also had 6 RBI.
Chone Figgins (2B, 3B, RF), L.A. Angels: Chone had 13 hits including 3 games of 3+ hits. He also showed off his incredible speed by swiping four bags.
Zack Greinke (SP), Kansas City Royals: Greinke picked up two wins while striking out 17 batters in 14.2 innings. Greinke is a bit too overrated for my taste. His ERA’s for May, June, and July were 4.38/5.25/5.22. What makes his season seem good was his month of April where he posted a 1.25 ERA.
A.J. Burnett (SP), Toronto Blue Jays: Burnett’s name came up during the trade deadline but it amounted to nothing. His week brought his owners two more wins and 14 K’s. Burnett has won 7 of his last 10 and has already set a new career high for victories in a season with 13.
Ricky Nolasco (SP), Florida Marlins: Nolasco simply blew away opposing batters with a 13 K performance against the Rockies. That game was apart of a 21 K week which saw Nolasco pick up one victory to improve to 11-6 on the season.
Joakim Soria (RP), Kansas City Royals: Soria surrendered no runs and fanned four batters on his way to a four save week. His 31 saves are 2nd best in the majors behind Francisco Rodriguez (45) and his 0.69 WHIP is best among closers with 20+ saves.
Jeremy Guthrie (SP, RP), Baltimore Orioles: Guthrie got two wins last week and his first complete game of the season against Seattle. Guthrie has an ERA of 2.38 in his last five starts.
Francisco Liriano (SP), Minnesota Twins: Those of you turned off by Liriano’s disastrous opening to the season (0-3, 11.32 ERA), should invest in him now. Liriano made his return to the majors and went six strong innings while giving up zero runs. Before the call up, Liriano was 10-2 in Triple A with an ERA of 3.28.
Jamie Moyer (SP), Philadelphia Phillies: Even at 45, Moyer can still bring it. Moyer has 7 quality starts in his last 10 games and has not given up more than 3 runs in a game in that span.
Alberto Gonzalez (3B, SS), Washington Nationals: With Cristian Guzman sidelined, Gonzalez has been making the starts at SS. Acquired at the deadline from the Yankees, Gonzalez is currently hitting .462 in 4 games in Washington. If Guzman can’t get over his thumb injury any time soon, Gonzalez is the starter for the Nationals.