Some young hitters and pitchers are profiled as we all take a step back for the All-Star break.
Heath Bell continues to be laughably bad. Consider his 6.75 ERA. Add his ERA up from the last three years and you get 7.08. His WHIP has been 1.21 or lower each of the last four years. It’s gone up 50 percent this year to 1.82. A career 2.91 K/BB arm, Bell has a mark of 1.60 this season (his previous worst is 2.43 from last season). A career .306 BABIP has ballooned to .360 this season, about as amazing a change as we’ve witnessed in his left on base percentage column. A career 74.2 percent guy in LOB%, that mark is at 61 percent. Moreover, that mark had been at least 77 percent each of the past three seasons. Obviously things have gone horribly wrong for Bell and there isn’t much let up in sight. Steve Cishek is probably someone who should be owned in 12 team mixed leagues given the struggles of Bell, but Cishek has his own concerns. First, he has walked 4.34 batters per nine innings, and no one wants to see that in the 9th inning. More germane to the question regarding whether or not you should add Cishek is the fact that Juan Carlos Oviedo is coming hard. The artists formerly known as Leo Nunez will begin his rehab assignment Monday. He’s eligible to return from his suspension for lying about his identity on July 23rd, and it’s possible that by August he could be closing for the Marlins. Lets not forget that he saved 30 games each of the last two years for the Marlins, and that he is one of just seven arms that had at least 26 saves each year from 2009 through 2011.
Lorenzo Cain was causing plenty of excitement this spring, almost the same way as 14 year old girls swoon when they hear Justin Bieber in concert. Well, it might be time to get excited again â€“ and not just if you have a Bieber poster on your bedroom wall. Cain has been activated off the 60 day DL and the expectations is that he will, in rather short order, become the Royals starter in center field pushing Jason Bourgeois and Jarrod Dyson into reserve roles. Last year in Triple-A Cain hit .312 with 16 homers, 81 RBI, 84 runs scored and 16 steals. Think Johnny Damon four years ago. That’s the type of player Cain could be in the second half this season. At the same time he only has 184 at-bats at the big league level and had a really tough time getting his body healthy enough to play as he suffered multiple setbacks during his rehab. He’s an immediate add in AL-only leagues and becomes a rather intriguing option in mixed leagues that start five outfielders as well.
Ike Davis is hitting .202 on the season, a monumentally disappointing mark. Amazingly though he’s hit 12 long balls with 49 RBIs. Given that he’s played 81 games this season that obviously means a 162 game season would still equate to 24 homers and 96 RBIs. I would venture three guesses. (1) He’s not going to hit .202 this year. (2) He’s not going to knock in 96 runners this year. (3) He’s not going to hit 24 homers this year. Wait a second, I might amend that last point. Not only is he on pace to hit that homer number over a full season, Davis has been producing like a champ of late with six homers and 21 RBIs the past three weeks. OK, so maybe the homer total is possible. Regardless, he has the look of a solid run producer the rest of the way, even if he’s gonna have a lot of trouble getting his batting average to even .250.
Todd Frazier check up. The Reds hitter is batting .278 with a .901 OPS through 180 at-bats as he’s gone deep nine times with 29 RBIs. The venerable Scott Rolen continues to steal at-bats from Frazier even though Rolen’s OPS this season, in 129 at-bats, is .543. That’s right, Frazier has a higher SLG than Mr. Rolen’s OPS. â€śIâ€™ve got to play Scottie sometime,â€ť manager Dusty Baker said. â€śEventually, the jobâ€™s going to be Frazierâ€™s. Not to say when…â€ť Dusty, come on buddy, make the change to Frazier full-time. It’s just the right move.
Danny Hultzen is one of those names that people are hoping/expecting to see in the second half of the season. Hultzen, one of the elite pitching prospects in the game, is likely ready to pitch in the big leagues right now because of one main reason â€“ he knows how to pitch. He may never become a Cy Young contender for the Mariners, but ask a scout and they’ll tell you this guy is in line for a long and successful big league career. Hultzen dominated at Double-A with an 8-3 record, 1.19 ERA, 1.09 WHIP and 79 Ks in 75.1 innings. Promoted to Triple-A, he’s continued to have success with a 11.25 K/9 mark through three starts. So we’ll be seeing him any day now in the Mariners rotation, right? Well, not so fast. According to a report by BaseballGuys’ Twitter account.