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The latest news and notes from around baseball:
This just in: On Monday, August 18, future Hall of Fame pitcher Greg Maddux was traded from the San Diego Padres to the Los Angeles Dodgers. Maddux played for the Dodgers for half a season in 2006 after being traded from the Chicago Cubs. Maddux is currently at a 6-9 record witha 3.99 ERA. So far in August he is 2-1 with a 1.89 ERA.
First baseman Richie Sexson was waived by the Yankees on August 15. During his tenure with New York, Sexson hit .250 with one home run and six RBI. His 2008 season has been worse than terrible (.224/12 HR/36 RBI) and the Yanks were clearly left with no other choice.
Tampa Bay Rays closer Troy Percival is on the DL for the third time this season after spraining his right knee in a game against Oakland. This injury is different than his others this season as his two previous DL stints were due to his left hamstring.
Now for the stars of Week 20:
Melvin Mora (3B), Baltimore Orioles: Mora has been tearing it up since the break (.432, 9 HR, 43 RBI) and last week he showed no signs of slowing down with 18 hits including 3 HR and 13 RBI. Impressively, out of Mora’s last 10 games, he has multiple hits in 9 of them.
Ty Wigginton (1B,2B,3B,LF), Houston Astros: I faced Wigginton in one of my leagues last week and I think he sensed it. Wigginton blasted 4 HR and drove in 11 as part of a 16-hit week that saw him raise his average from .282 to .308.
Willy Taveras (CF), Colorado Rockies: Even though Taveras had only eight hits including one for extra bases, you know that he must have been fast on the basepaths to make it to the wrap-up. Taveras swiped seven bags to bring his total to 58.
Kevin Youkilis (1B,3B), Boston Red Sox: The Greek God of Walks hasn’t been walking as much this year (42) but, with his 3 HR, 8 RBI, and 9 R last week, I am sure he doesn’t mind.
Alex Rios (CF,RF), Toronto Blue Jays: An all-around good week for Rios included 5 doubles, 2 triples, a home run, 5 RBI, 2 SB, and 8 runs as part of an 11-hit week.
Javier Vazquez (SP), Chicago White Sox: Vazquez brought his record to an even 10-10 after winning both of his starts. He struck out 18 batters in his 16 innings pitched and only allowed one free pass.
Roy Oswalt (SP), Houston Astros: Oswalt seems to be over his injury woes and picked up two wins. In his last three starts, Oswalt is 3-0 with a 1.64 ERA and 20 K’s in 22 innings.
Edinson Volquez (SP), Cincinnati Reds: Although he has been up and down lately, Volquez showed better consistency last week with two more victories (now 15 on the year) and giving up just one run while fanning nine batters.
Chris Perez (RP), St. Louis Cardinals: Perez seems to be settled in the closer role in St. Louis and he picked up three saves last week. Perez struck out six batters in 4.1 innings and has four saves total in August.
Jose Valverde (RP), Houston Astros: Valverde also picked up three saves last week to bring his total to 31. Valverde is having a great August with a 1.13 ERA after a terrible July where he posted a 6.75 ERA.
Chris Dickerson (LF), Cincinnati Reds: With Adam Dunn’s departure to Arizona, Dickerson seems to be the everyday LF for the Reds. In his time since the call up, Dickerson has been hitting very well by going 9-22 (.409) with seven of those hits going for extra bases. He was hitting .287 in Triple-A with 16 doubles, 9 triples, 11 HR, 53 RBI, and 26 SB.
Travis Ishikawa (1B), San Francisco Giants: The Giants seem to be trying out thier young players for the rest of 2008 and Ishikawa is benefiting. He is already hitting .385 in his first four games with his first home run and three RBI. Prior to being brought up, Ishikawa was hitting .299 with 24 HR and 94 RBI between Double-A and Triple-A.
Jeff Kent (2B), Los Angeles Dodgers: If anybody has benefited the most from the Manny trade, it is Kent. Since Manny started playing in L.A. on August 1st, Kent has been killing the ball. He is currently hitting .410 this month with 11 RBI. Batting 3rd in front of Manny lets him see better pitches and those in need of a boost to your batting average should take a look at Kent.