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Rangers’ OF Nelson Cruz was called up to the majors and will play almost everyday for the rest of the season. In Triple-A, he was absolutely destroying everything he saw with a .342 avg, 37 HR, and 99 RBI. In 96 games last year he hit very differently with a .235 avg, 9 HR, and 34 RBI.
Carl Pavano finally returned after rehab from Tommy John Surgery over a year ago and picked up the win in a 5-3 Yankees victory. Pavano gave up three earned in five innings and struck out 5 batters on 91 pitches.
After finding little success in Texas, relief pitcher Eddie Guardado is back to the team where he started his career in 1993. In his last appearance, Guardado couldn’t close out the game and he took the loss for Texas. Frank Francisco has been named the new closer for the Rangers and now Guaradado is nothing more than a middle reliever.
Now for the stars of week 21.
Nick Swisher (1B,LF,CF,RF), Chicago White Sox: Swisher’s season has been seen as a dissapointment but last week he has tried to right his wrongs by hitting a home run in four consecutive games to bring his total to 21 for the year. Swisher also drove in eight runs as part of his great week.
Mark Teixeira (1B), L.A. Angels: Tex Mex raised his average to .302 with a 9-23 (.391) week which included three home runs and five RBI. Tex is hitting .386 since joining the Angels.
Brian Roberts (2B), Baltimore Orioles: Roberts didn’t impress anybody last week with his power (1 HR), but he did manage to slap 11 hits, drive in 5, and swipe 3 bases. Roberts is 7-7 in SB attempts in August.
Mark DeRosa (1B,2B,3B,LF,RF), Chicago Cubs: DeRosa’s bat woke up last week with 10 hits including four for home runs. He drove in runs in five straight games (6 RBI total) and now has 77 RBI on the season.
Vernon Wells (CF), Toronto Blue Jays: Wells’ week was pretty much dead before Toronto faced the Red Sox. In that series alone he was 6-11 with three home runs and six RBI.
Rich Harden (SP), Chicago Cubs: There is no better pitcher in baseball right now than Rich Harden and yes, I am including CC Sabathia. Harden just added to his ridiculous stats last week by striking out 21 batters in 14 innings to pick up two more wins. Out of his eight starts with the Cubs, five of those games saw Harden strike out 10+ batters.
Ricky Nolasco (SP), Florida Marlins: Nolasco won both of his starts to bring his record to 13-7. His wins included his first complete game of the season and 21 K’s while surrendering just two runs.
Brian Wilson (RP), San Francisco Giants: Even though Wilson blew a save last week, he still picked up two wins and two saves. Even with the blown save, Wilson has a 2.93 ERA and 10 saves post break.
Barry Zito (SP), San Francisco Giants: Yes you read that correctly, I did type Barry Zito’s name. Zito put together a great week with two wins while working 15 innings. OK, so he only struck out eight batters but come on, give the man the little credit he gets.
Mariano Rivera (RP), New York Yankees: The best closer of our generation did what he does best. Rivera picked up three more saves and gave up zero runs in 3.2 innings while fanning three batters.
Jensen Lewis (RP), Cleveland Indians: Hey, it’s an Indians’ closer with an ERA under 4.00. Lewis has gotten comfortable as the 9th inning man in Cleveland and has converted five straight save opportunities and now has six total in August.
Rocco Baldelli (CF), Tampa Bay Rays: Hey, remember him? In eight games since his return from the DL, Baldelli is hitting .308 with 2 HR, and 4 RBI.
Ryan Church (LF,CF,RF), New York Mets: Church has battled issues with multiple concussions all year and has finally returned to the everyday lineup. In the 60 games he has played, Church is hitting .310 with 10 HR, and 37 RBI.
Tags: Barry Zito, Brian Roberts, Brian Wilson, Carl Pavano, Eddie Guardado, Fantasy, Fantasy Wrap-Up, Mariano Rivera, Mark DeRosa, Mark Teixeira, Nelson Cruz, Nick Swisher, Rich Harden, Ricky Nolasco, Vernon Wells