Erik Bedard- BAL- Hot- Bedard's first start after the All Star break was a good sign, particularly the 7 Ks in 7 IP. He is throwing fewer pitches per inning than he did last year, so fatigue may not be a major factor. Bedard probably can't show the second half improvement he did last season, simply because he has pitched so well this year there is not that much room to improve, but just staying consistent with his first half numbers would put him in the upper echelon of starters.
Paul Konerko- CHA- Hot- Konerko has continued the hot streak he was on before the All Star Break. He has posted consecutive multi-hit games since play restarted, going 2-for-3 with 2 doubles yesterday. This extended Konerko's current hitting streak to 9 games. His batting average has suffered this year from a low .210 BHIP. Konerko's Batting EYE is sitting at a healthy .80. Put those two together and there is a good chance that Konerko will have a very productive second half. He has done it before.
Dustin Pedroia- BOS- Stats- Pedroia went 0-for-4 yesterday, but he did draw a walk. Strike zone control has been the key element of success for Pedroia in his rookie season. His Batting EYE of 1.45 exceeds even the healthy 1.23 he posted in his minor league career. Pedroia seems to have not skipped a beat in going from the minor to major league levels as his .312 batting average and .396 OBP are almost identical to the .308 and .392 he recorded as a farmhand. These numbers are very solid for a middle infielder and his consistency gives hopes that they will be maintained.
Todd Jones- DET- Cold- Jones managed to record his 23rd save of the year yesterday, although he did it in his usual heart attack inducing style. Jones entered the 9th with a 3 run lead and gave up 2 runs before striking out Ben Broussard to end the game with the potential tying run at bat. Although Jones ERA (5.06) and WHIP (1.58) are dreadful for a closer, he is the closer on a team challenging for a division title and he has no immediate competition in sight. For now those saves outweigh the damage done to your other categories, because his innings are relatively few. If the Tigers get in the hunt for someone like, say, Eric Gagne, then Jones' value plummets. For now, he is a solid source of saves.
Robinson Cano- NYA- FYI- Cano must be on a very short leash. He was not in the starting lineup last night due to "inconsistency at the plate."Sure, he had gone 0-for-4 Thursday, but he finished up the first half on a 10-for-26 tear in his last 7 games before the break. The benching didn't last long, as Cano pinch hit for Miguel Cairo in the 7th inning, smacking a single. He stayed in the game and ended up 1-for-2 for the night. I'm not sure what else the Yankees want from Cano. Maybe this was a vintage Steinbrenner move.
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