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NL Player Spotlight- May 12, 2009

Paul Sauberer

Casey Kotchman- ATL- Hot- Kotchman continued his tear, going 2-for-4 with 2 RBI and a run scored. He is now 11-for-26 over the past week with 4 doubles and his first 2 homers of 2009. One concern is that he has not walked in this span while striking out 4 times. That is very un-Kotchmanlike (to invent a word). This free swinging is working for now but he is unlikely to continue this without command of the strike zone.

Willy Taveras- CIN- Hot- Taveras had a good week yesterday, racking up 5 hits, a double, 4 runs and 2 RBI. He added 32 points to his average, which now stands at .315. So far this season Taveras has made a huge leap in controlling the strike zone, with a .92 Batting EYE where his previous season high was only .46. If hitting coach Brook Jacoby has turned him around, Taveras could have the second .300+ batting average of his career.

Bronson Arroyo- CIN- Danger- Arroyo’s 123 pitches yesterday sends up a big red flag. On May 1st he threw 117 getting through 8 shutout innings. That was followed up be getting hammered for 9 runs on 7 hits and 3 walks in 1 IP. Over the past couple of seasons this kind of pattern has been repeated. In 2007, Arroyo threw over 120 pitches twice. In his follow up starts he gave up 13 runs on 13 hits in a total of 3-2/3 IP. Last year he threw back-to back 120+ pitch starts in his first two September outings. No effect was immediately seen, but Arroyo finished up the season giving up 11 runs on 19 hits and 5 walks over 13 IP in his final two starts. There are other examples of Arroyo failing to get out of the 3rd inning following a 110+ pitch appearance. Don’t expect much his next time out.

Chris Young- ARI- Cold- Luck is still killing Young. His BHIPx is down to an incredibly low .089. His batting average has suffered mightily and Young has been below the Mendoza line since April 30th. He has not helped himself with a .21 Batting EYE, but that may be a reflection of frustration and over eagerness at the plate, trying to make something happen. As hits start falling, which they almost have to, Young should regain some confidence and reclaim some command of the strike zone.

Todd Wellemeyer- STL- FYI- Wellemeyer gets another crack at the Pirates, the team he held to 2 runs on 4 hits and 3 walks the last time out. Getting starts against teams that lose 9 of their last 10 games is a good way to see luck turn around and a .357 BHIP start to even out. There appears to be little wrong with Wellemeyer that a normal amount of balls finding gloves instead of grass won’t cure.

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