|Connelly’s Top Ten: 1812 Overture Rendition of the Top Ten||Management Forced Its Hand With Rick Porcello, Red Sox Nation Pays||Celtics Sign Amir Johnson to 2-Year, $24 Million Deal||Bruins Trade for Jimmy Hayes, Sign Matt Belesky|
As I have documented before, I am in three baseball leagues. In two, I am in great position in the top 5. In one, I am in dead last thanks to two factors: Injuries and Lance Berkman hitting under .200. The news did not get any better last week when Cubs’ 3B Aramis Ramirez dislocated his shoulder and will miss at least two months. I just have a pretty good feeling that I won’t be making the championship round like I did last season. Son of a bitch!
Here are some players who didn’t piss off their owners last week.
Hanley Ramirez (SS), Florida Marlins: My baby boy! Finally living up to his #1 rank, Hanley turned it on (and turned me on) with 16 hits and 11 runs last week. Six of hits were for extra bases (2 doubles, 4 HR) and he had 7 RBI. He even stole three bases to solidify himself as a 30-30 threat again this season.
Johnny Damon (LF,CF), New York Yankees: *Cough* steroids *cough*. Oh sorry, I had something in my throat. Damon, at age 35, is poised to have a career year *cough* juicing *cough*. His 5 HR and 15 RBI were tops in the majors last week and he did it while hitting a robust .419. Throw in 4 doubles and 7 runs and Damon is showing us that age is just a number *cough* give me a break *cough*.
Adam Dunn (1B,LF), Washington Nationals: Dunn had trouble finding a home for most of the off-season, but if teams knew he’d be hitting .311, then they would have been more poised to open their check books. As for last week, Dunn flashed his usual power with 4 HR and 10 RBI. Dunn already has 5 HR and 13 RBI in May which will put him on pace for yet another 40 HR season.
Ryan Braun (LF), Milwaukee Brewers: Braun continues to establish himself as one of the game’s best young players with 11 hits, 3 HR, and 12 RBI last week. What is encouraging is his increased patience at the plate (19 BB this season) and he is absolutely murdering left-handed pitching this season with a .565 avg against southpaws.
Ryan Zimmerman (3B), Washington Nationals: Zimmerman didn’t hit for power last week (1 HR), but he collected 15 hits and after Monday’s game is currently riding a 29-game hit streak. Yes folks, that means there has only been one game this season when Zimmerman did not record a hit.
Zack Greinke (SP), Kansas City Royals…
OK stop right here. Greinke has been mentioned in the Wrap-Up for four straight weeks (including this week). I think now is the time to commemorate this with a slight change. This will only last until he falters. So, I present to you…
Zack Greinke (SP), Kansas City Royals: Greinke’s stats took a HUGE hit last week when he lost his first game of the season. OK, so it was an 8 IP, 1 ER loss in a 1-0 loss to the Angels. Counting the week as a whole, Greinke was 1-1 with a 0.53 ERA and 15 K. Oh yeah, he added two more complete games to give him four on the season.
Eric Stults (SP), L.A. Dodgers: Not everyone in Los Angeles was at the center of controversy last week (Oh, cheap shot at Manny!). Stults turned in his first complete game shutout of the season as part of a 2-0 week which yielded 9 K and a 1.23 ERA.
Brian Fuentes (RP), L.A. Angels: Daisy Fuentes has been having a pretty rough go of it this season (5.40 ERA), but he turned a corner in Week 5 with 3.2 shutout innings and four saves (9 on the season). It is weird to think that he can pitch better in Colorado than anywhere else.
Francisco Rodriguez (RP), New York Mets: So he won’t save 62 games again this season, but he is still K-Rod dammit! Rodriguez pitched four scoreless innings to pick up four more saves to give him nine this season. K-Rod has not given up an earned run since April 27th.
Joe Saunders (SP), L.A. Angels: Here was a nice sleeper in drafts. Saunders had a great Week 5 with 2 wins, a 1.15 ERA, and 13 K in 15.2 IP. Scoff (thank you word of the day calendar) all you want at the low strikeout totals, but Saunders’ ERA has been decreasing every single season since his debut.
Brett Cecil (SP), Toronto Blue Jays: Cecil made his major league debut and made an immediate impact by going 1-0 in two starts with 12 K in 14 IP. It was a pretty bold move by Toronto to call him up since Cecil had an ERA of 8.47 in four starts in Triple-A.
Jerry Hairston Jr. (2B,SS,LF,CF,RF), Cincinnati Reds: Hairston Jr. churned out 10 hits last week including two home runs. He added a stolen base and eight runs for good measure. Hey, he qualifies at 2B and SS so he is worth a look even if it just for a brief hot streak.
Juan Pierre (LF,CF), L.A. Dodgers: Replacing Manny Ramirez is no small task. Pierre will obviously not give you Manny’s power or RBI, but he can be a source of average and speed. Starting in place of Manny last week, Pierre already has 9 hits, 4 runs, and 2 SB. He will bat leadoff for the next 50 games so the runs and stolen bases will be there.