Ivan Rodriguez- TEX- Hot- Pudge’s return to the Rangers was a smashing success at the plate. He went 3-for-4 with a double, RBI and run scored. The crowd was definitely behind him and that may have helped. In the longer term, there isn’t that much to get excited about, however. His almost nonexistent Batting EYE (.18) is not a good indicator that he is going to have a big surge at age 37. I can break out my Pudge jersey again and wear it, but that’s about all the impact the move will have.
Joe Mauer- MIN- FYI- After killing the Rangers in the first two games of the season to the tune of 6for-10 with 3 homers 4 RBI and 4 runs scored, Texas pitching was very careful with Mauer last night. He went hitless for the first time since August 1st, but did draw 2 walks, one intentional. Other teams may start to do likewise, causing the same effect as what happened to Adrian Gonzalez. Watch Mauer’s walk totals. If they rise, his stratospheric average may drop if he tries to press.
Zack Greinke- KC- Hot- At first, I saw Greinke’s name as losing pitcher and 4 runs allowed and thought maybe he is starting to tire. Then I looked in more detail at his line and think that there is not much to worry about. Greinke only allowed 6 hits and a walk in 7 IP, striking out 8. Those are very strong numbers. His problem was that 3 of the hits were homers and that is quite possibly a statistical anomaly. I am still a little concerned about the stretch of 4 games from late July through early August where he cracked the 110-pitch barrier 3 times, but it hasn’t seemed to have that big of an effect. The bigger question will be if his workload has any carryover into 2010.
Paul Konerko- CHA- Hot- The streaky Konerko may have turned the switch back on. After going through a stretch of 7 games in which he went 0-for-22, he is 4-for-9 with a homer in his last two games. Konerko is a guy you ride when he is hot and try to figure out when he is going into a dry spell.
Jered Weaver- LAA- Caution- Over the course of the past 3 seasons Weaver had thrown 110 or more pitches 11 times. He has followed those games up with quality starts 4 times and one of those was a 6-inning outing where one of the 4 runs he allowed was unearned. Weaver has allowed 5 or more runs 4 times in those follow up games. Last night he threw 116 pitches. Beware of his next time out.