Jonathon Niese- NYN- Rookie- The Brewers may not be the best of teams for southpaw Niese to make his major league debut against. Milwaukee is 31-14 against lefties, the best mark in the NL, and are hitting .274 against them as opposed to .251 against righthanders. At AAA New Orleans, his L/R splits were backwards, with lefties hitting .243 off him, but righties only .227. However, this is not the minor leagues. Niese has an uphill fight today in a baptism of fire.
Greg Maddux- LAN- Hot- Since Maddux switched uniforms, yesterday’s Padres-Dodgers contest in Chavez Ravine was a home game for him. Thus he pitched well, going 5-2/3 IP, and allowing 2 runs on 6 hits and no walks while striking out 4. Maddux’s home/road splits remain sever, with a 2.65 ERA at whatever park he wears white at and 5.97 away.
Drew Stubbs - CIN- Rookie- The Reds’ need of outfielders could mean that 2006 first round pick Drew Stubbs will finish the year in Cincinnati after working his way up through Class A, AA, and AAA ball. The Reds are not going to make any callups until after AAA Louisville is done with their playoffs, so any moves could be a couple of weeks away. Overall, Drew has hit .277 with 7 homers and 33 steals in the minors this season. He also boasts a .371 OBP. Stubbs’ 123 strikeouts in 470 ABs is a concern, as the knock on him was that he had a long swing that could be exploited at higher levels. There is potential there, but also a relatively high degree of risk. Also, Stubbs would have to be added to the 40-man roster, which would mean a corresponding move with someone else and the Reds may not want to do that.
Jorge Julio- ATL- FYI- Julio will rejoin the Braves since the AAA Richmond season is now over. Getting sent to the minors did not improve his disassociation with the strike zone, as he walked 23 in 39-2/3 IP. Julio’s 2.04 ERA at Richmond is mainly a product of having 6 of the 15 runs he allowed being unearned. The one time Orioles’ closer’s days as a productive fantasy player seem to be behind him.
Stephen Drew- ARI- Hot- Drew had the mother of all multi-hit games for his third in a row of that type. He hit for the cycle and added an extra double in a 5-for-5 night. The performance raised his batting average 7 points, not a mean feat for someone with 515 ABs. Since the All Star Break Drew has hit .339 with a Batting EYE of .43, compared to numbers of .264 and .32 in the first half. The improvements in each are likely not unrelated.