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NL Player Spotlight - May 30, 2007

Yorvit Torrealba: Last night, Torrealba picked a good time to hit a grand slam, as he had sat the previous two games in favor of equally unproductive Chris Iannetta. It is not hard to see why the Rockies at some point would at least take a shot with the younger Iannetta. Torrealba is not hitting for average, .229 average in 109 AB, or power, 4 doubles and 1 home run. He is not making enough contact, 82% Ct%, to offer hope for a big average rebound and his GB% of 60% says last night's home run will not be a common occurrence.

Lance Berkman: What has happened to Berkman's power? After putting up a career high 45 home runs in 2006, Berkman has just 5 home runs and incredibly only 1 double in 172 AB this year. It seems like he is not hitting the ball as hard as last year, 2006 G/L/F of 39/19/42 vs. 2007 G/L/F of 47/19/34. This is not new territory for Berkman, as he followed up his 2002 42 home run season with 2003/2004/2005 home run numbers of 25/30/24. Expect some sort of a rebound but he will be hard pressed to crack the 30 home run barrier this year.

Antonio Alfonseca: For some bizarre reason, Manager Charlie Manuel is turning to Alfonseca for saves. His 2007 numbers, 4.57 ERA, 3.7 K/9, 3.7 BB/9, and a 47% GB rate are not even major league worthy. The damage to your WHIP and ERA is not worth the few saves that he will pick up.

Noah Lowry: Lowry has been getting by, 5-4 with a 3.08, with a less than ideal skill set, 5.2 K/9, 4.4 BB/9, and a 50% GB%. The low ERA is more the result of a high strand rate of 78% and a low .245 BHIP%. To further succeed with these skills, Lowry will have to tame the free passes and keep inducing ground balls at a high rate. He is capable of bringing down the walks, but his history shows that he has never been a ground ball pitcher, 2003/2004/2005/2006 GB%'s of 44/40/41/36.

Willy Taveras: Taveras stole two bases on Monday, his first successful swipes since May 16th. For the year he has been caught a too high 8 times in 20 tries. He certainly has the skills to steal bases, 33 for 42 in 2006. Perhaps the early struggles caused Manager Clint Hurdle to take away the green light. He is expected to miss the next few games with an injured finger. When he returns, it will be interesting to see if Taveras is running at a higher clip. A few more successes could lead to a nice surge in that department.

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