No. 10-Many were concerned about the Giants’ lineup after Melky Cabrera was suspended, but Angel Pagan has stepped up and is red hot. Pagan was at it again Tuesday getting hits for the ninth time in the last ten games. If Pagan can stay hot the Giants figure to stay in the race with the Dodgers in to the final games of the season.
No. 9-If Stephen Strasburg is shut down early by the Nationals, he is giving his owners solid starts down the stretch. The Nats have been monitoring Strasburg closely and he has not pitched past the sixth inning in his previous three starts headed in to his matchup with the Braves on Tuesday. Strasburg again was lifted after six innings, scattering four hits and one earned run while striking out ten Braves’ batters.
No. 8-Todd Frazier returned to the lineup on Tuesday for the Reds and hit his eighteenth home run while filling in for the injured Joey Votto and getting expanded playing time. Frazier looks to have typical corner infielder power and will find a place at third for the Reds for years to come.
No. 7-Jason Heyward continues to have an impressive second half. On Tuesday Heyward collected three more hits. The game marked the fourth time in seven games that Heyward has had multiple hits in a game.
No. 6-Jhouyls Chacin returned to the mound for the Rockies and picked up the win. Chacin, who hasn’t pitched since May, lasted six innings and only gave up one earned run in the win. If you are looking for starts Chacin would be a guy to keep an eye on and consider for a spot start.
No. 5-What happened to the Ricky Romero that stormed out to an 8-1 start? Romero earned run average was rising after an impressive 4-0 start, indicating that a regression was likely, but no one expected him to repeatedly get torched for ten straight losses. Tuesday marked the tenth loss in a row after another shaky outing where Romero allowed five earned in 5 1/3 innings…with an inexplicable 8 walks and NO strikeouts!
No. 4-It has been nice to see Billy Butler finally develop his power stroke this season, as he has hit a career high twenty five home runs without sacrificing his normal .300+ batting average. Butler has been especially effective lately collecting hits in nine of his last ten games.
No. 3-Greg Holland has been impressive since taking over the closer role after the Royals shipped Jonathan Broxton at the trade deadline. The common thought is that the Royals’ win so infrequently that their closer has little value, but Holland is dispelling that with six saves and two wins thus far in August.
No. 2-Keep a close eye on Reds’ minor leaguer Billy Hamilton. Hamilton set a new record by swiping three bags on Tuesday to establish a new baseball record of 146 steals in a season. Hamilton began the seasonin A ball and was promoted to AA earlier in the season. If Hamilton gets the call up to the big leagues in September he figures to have the green light whenever he reaches base. The jump from AA to Cincinnati maybe more than the light hitting Hamilton is ready for, but his raw speed makes him an intriguing player.
No. 1-Roger Clemens…to be continued!