For every step forward, the Sharks team seems to take two steps backward. After flirting with third place for much of August, we are now unfortunately hovering around the six through eight range. Throughout the season, our team stood firm among league leaders in batting average, homeruns, runs batted in, and runs. Today, we are treading water to remain among the leaders in these categories. Batting average has been a key struggle lately as the team is now only hitting .270. In the past week, our offensive players were either scorching hot or ice cold. Derek Jeter, Mark Trumbo, Russell Martin, and Ryan Roberts hit around the Mendoza line for the week. In fact, Mark Trumbo has only seven hits in his last forty-nine at bats. Before you think I am turning into “Debbie Downer”, I am pleased that the team was fortunate enough to have several hot bats hit around .400 including Joe Mauer, Rickie Weeks, and John Mayberry. Justin Ruggiano also hit over .400, but sadly was on the bench. After a few consistent weeks of pitching, we suffered a relapse with all pitchers except for Hiroki Kuroda and Jeremy Guthrie posting ERAs at least 5.00 or more. After turning his season around after the All-Star break, Wainwright shocked owners by allowing six earned runs in only 2.2 innings against Washington this week. That one stings.
Take a dive with me as we review several players that will hopefully make a difference for your team in the last month of the regular season.
John Mayberry– The Philadelphia Phillies were sellers during the trade deadline as they sat out of playoff contention. This also allowed more playing time for several of their younger players including John Mayberry. He is 10 for his last 21 including two homeruns, five runs, and five runs batted in. Mayberry should keep starting and may be a bandwagon worth jumping on for a few weeks.
Ian Desmond– The Nats’ shortstop has been a pleasant surprise this year. However, his recent injury caused owners to question whether his bat would remain as potent once he returned to the lineup. After shaking off a bit of rust earlier in the month, Desmond now has 10 hits in his last 23 at bats. There is a strong chance that he will end the season with 20 homeruns and 20 steals. What a great value at the shallow position of shortstop!
Jeremy Guthrie– The Kansas City Royals suffered another disappointing season. Regardless, veteran right-hander Jeremy Guthrie produced solid August numbers with five quality starts in six outings, three of which resulted in wins. Consider Guthrie a spot starter as it may be smart to sit him next time as KC welcomes the hard-hitting Texas Rangers this week.
Good luck this week!