Matt Carpenter (3B-STL) - With David Freese in an 0-for-14 slump, Carpenter got the nod at third base on Sunday and he took advantage, going 4-for-6 with a double and three RBI to raise his impressive slash line to .312/.385/.505. Hitting second in the order between the very underrated John Jay and the elite Matt Holiday, Carpenter got good pitches to hit and to his credit, he delivered. We'd like to see more than four homers in 186 at-bats from a corner infielder, but he hit .300+ in each of his last two minro league seasons, so the average could be somewhat close to being sustainable. Carpenter also had a 1.24 EYE in Triple-A last year, so the plate discipline is excellent, leaving only power is the one tool that needs to show improvement before he can be considered for a starting gig.
Domonic Brown (OF-PHI) - With the trades of Hunter Pence and Shane Victorino, Brown is getting a real chance at making his case to be the team's Opening Day starter in left or right field. He was just 0-for-4 with a walk on Sunday, leaving him at .256/.356/.333 in 39 at-bats. He's yet to homer or steal a base, but his 4:5 K:BB is solid, and don't forget that he was once one of the top-rated prospects in the entire game. Those are the guys you want to speculate on as potential late-developers, and Brown could either be that or he could flame out and find himself in Triple-A next year. He was batting an underwhelming .286/.335/.432 in Triple-A this year, but just look back to his 2010 minor league numbers between Double-A and Triple-A for a sense of his talent: .320/.391/.589 with 20 homers and 17 stolen bases.
Ross Detwiler (SP-WAS) - To be fair, Detwiler has pitched pretty well for most of the season especially lately, but this still underscores how shaky the Washington rotation could be without Stephen Strasburg beginning sometime in September. Detwiler allowed five runs (four earned) in 4.2 innings Sunday against the Diamondbacks. It's odd to see a pitcher allow five runners to score while allowing just three hits and a walk, but Washington also committed a couple errors in the contest. Detwiler still has a solid 3.18 ERA, though with a 74:33 K:BB in 116 innings, he's been far from dominant. Oddly, Detwiler entered the game with a 0.95 ERA in day games, but that just points to the care you should take in all cases in putting too much stock into such a small sample. Detwiler should rebound next time out.
Brandon Belt (1B-SF) - Belt had two singles, a pair of doubles, and a walk in his five PA's against the Rockies on Sunday. The big day lifted Belt's slash line to .260/.360/.401 and gave further support to Belt playing every day. The left-handed hitter is actually hitting southpaw better, batting .239/.325/.507 against same-sided pitching. It was a little surprising to see Buster Posey catching Sunday instead of slotting in at first base, but either way, there's little chance that Belt gets pushed to the side the rest of the way. Belt put up a .975 OPS in Triple-A last year, as this is a guy who could be the Giants' version of Buster Posey at first base.
Hunter Pence (OF-SF) - When he stepped to the plate in the bottom of the eighth inning Sunday, Pence was just 7-for-41 with the Giants. A three-run homer later, he was a fan favorite. Pence is still batting a modest .258/.318/.429 with the Giants, but it's very possible that he could use Sunday's hit as a springboard to a strong finish. Pence has just a 14:1 K:BB with the Giants, but it's not a stretch to say that he's still setting in with his new team and that once that initial pressure is in the past, he should be the "good" Pence.
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