Sean Marshall- CHN- Caution- Maybe it is fatigue catching up with Marshall, but despite putting up mostly decent numbers in his start yesterday (5 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 1 BB) there are a couple of others that stand out. First, he did not strike out a batter and his Ks have been declining for 5 starts. This from a pitcher who struck out 8 batters in two of his first three starts. Second is the two homers Marshall allowed. This gives him 5 long balls given up in his last 18 IP. That is too high a ratio to be comfortable with. Marshall has the signs of wearing out.
Elizardo Ramirez- CIN- Hot- Ramirez turned in a creditable performance in his spot start yesterday, allowing 3 runs on 5 hits while not walking anyone and striking out 1 before being lifted for a pinch hitter. In AAA Louisville, Ramirez has dramatically cut down his homers allowed, giving up only 3 in his 60 IP. This was a problem for him in his time with the Reds last season, when he allowed 14 in 104 IP. Ramirez is still 24 years old, so may develop some more. He is not that distinguishable from many other prospects, however, so there is no reason to jump on him.
Jeff Keppinger- CIN- Hot- Keppinger is working on a current 7 game hitting streak and has hit safely in 13 of his last 14 games. He has also walked at least once in each of his last 5 games. Keppinger seems to have finally brought his Batting EYE with him to the major leagues. Currently it is at a ridiculously high 2.40. It can't stay at that level but he has consistently posted a mark of over 1.00 in his minor league career. At the age of 27 and in an era of Moneyball skills being appreciated, Keppinger may have finally gotten the extended look he needs to establish himself in the major leagues.
Hanley Ramirez- FLA- Hot- Shades of Rickey Henderson! For the 3rd time in 11 games, Ramirez led off the first inning with a homer. Of his 23 homers this season, the Florida SS has led off the first with a homer 6 times. If he starts referring to himself in the third person as "Hanley,"don't be surprised.
Barry Bonds- SF- FYI- There is a good chance that Bonds will sit out the last two games in Florida. They are afternoon contests and playing in the heat and humidity may not be the best thing for a 40-something outfielder who is on a team facing 9 more games after that until their next day off.
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