Josh Hamilton- TEX- Hot- Hamilton led the way for a Texas offensive onslaught last night, going 5-for-5 with 2 homers, a triple, a walk, 5 RBI, and 4 runs scored. The 13 total bases was one short of a franchise record. When Hamilton came up in the bottom of the 8th inning needing a double to complete the cycle, the Texas crowd booed when he was walked, even though he eventually came around to score in an inning where the Rangers blew the game wide open. It’s looking like the Hamilton for Edinson Volquez deal may be one that benefits both teams. Volquez is doing very well in Cincinnati and Hamilton seems to be fulfilling the potential he had before drugs sent him in a downward spiral. He is hitting .314 despite suffering from a .220 BHIPx. He already has 13 doubles in 172 at bats, when he needed 298 ABs to record 17 doubles in 2007. His triple last night was his third of the year, one more than all of last year. Hamilton also has 10 homers already, which increases his home run ratio from last year, when he hit 19. Hamilton continues to impress and there are no strong indicators that he will falter.
Joaquin Benoit- TEX- Hot- Benoit earned his 7th hold of the year by retiring the side in the top of the 8th, when the game was still in doubt. He has now been scored on in only 1 of his 8 appearances this month, giving up 2 runs in 8-1/3 IP on 5 hits and 2 walks while striking out 5. In leagues where holds count, Benoit’s newfound consistency and Texas’ resurgence has given him more value.
George Sherrill- BAL- Hot- Sherrill picked up his 16th save in 18 opportunities last night, retiring the side in order in the 9th inning. There are a couple of things that point to him not being able to maintain this performance for the entire season. First, Sherrill has had some control issues, walking 10 in 20 IP and striking out 15. Both ratios have gone in the wrong direction, compared to his numbers in 2007. Second, he has benefited greatly from good fortune, riding a .167 BHIP%. Factor that into his low 13 hits allowed and suddenly his 1.15 WHIP seems a little precarious.
Alexei Ramirez- CHW- Hot- "Even with his average not showing the way he swing, every time I put him in there, he hit the ball hard,” said manager Ozzie Guillen about Ramirez, “He should have more home runs than this one, maybe three or four." Maybe Guillen is a Fantistics subscriber, and was commenting on the fact that the backup infielder was suffering from a BHIPx of .094 (as of May 8th). Or not. Whether Guillen is a subscriber or not, the comment is borne out by those numbers. It looks like Ramirez will get at least one more start this weekend, as Juan Uribe will probably spend the time recuperating on the bench.
Travis Hafner- CLE- Hot- There are signs of the old Pronk returning. With the Indians in a NL park this weekend, he has to make do with whatever chances come his way and he certainly did so last night. Hafner hit his first homer in almost a month in a pinch hit role. Since the beginning of the month, Hafner has batted .278 and more importantly seems to be regaining control of the strike zone. He has walked 7 times while striking out 9 but in his last 6 games his BBs have doubled his Ks, 4-2. As a result Hafner’s OBP for May stands at .409. If yesterday’s homer is a portent of one of his patented hot streaks, Hafner could regain a lot of the value it looked like he may have lost.