Brad Bergesen- BAL- Hot- Bergesen has been making positive steps in realizing his potential. Since July 31st he has posted quality starts in 5 of his 8 outings. That may not seem that great, but it is an improvement over his earlier performance. Bergesen has cut down on the long balls, allowing 6 in 55 IP over that span. Other than his September 2nd start, when he walked 5, he hasn’t allowed more than two walks in an appearance. He has struck out at least 3 batters and was only that low once. While still not consistent enough with his production to have a lot of value for the last few weeks of this season, Bergesen is showing enough progress to warrant attention for 2011.
Brennan Boesch- DET- Stats- There is a silver lining around the cloud that has been Boesch’s performance of late. His rise and fall can be attributed in large part to luck. His BABIP numbers by month correlate very strongly with his monthly averages. When Boesch was hitting .345 and .337 in May and June his BABIPs were .400 and .370. His July and August averages of .209 and .185 were driven by BABIPs of .253 and .231. Last month, Boesch seemed to be pressing, as indicated by a Batting EYE of only .12, which certainly didn’t help matters. So far in September his luck is a little better, with a .278 BABIP, but that is still below average and driving a .227 average. However, his Batting EYE is much improved at .50 and if he can maintain plate discipline some improvement can be expected, just not o the heights of earlier this season.
Manny Ramirez- CHA- Cold- Manny went 0-for-2 for the second straight game. He is hitting .350 since his trade, but that is driven by a .500 BABIP and he is offering nothing else to his fantasy owners. All of Manny’s hits have been singles and he has 1 runs cored and no RBI in 7 games for Chicago. With one walk and 6 Ks in 20 ABs his plate discipline is lacking. Manny may make some adjustment in the last few weeks, but given his lack of power this season don’t expect it.
Gio Gonzalez- OAK- Caution- Gonzalez picked up his 7th straight quality start last night, giving up 3 runs on 6 hits and 2 walks in 6.2 IP while striking out 9. After making 4 starts with fewer than 110 pitches, he threw 117 last night. Gonzalez doesn’t turn 25 for another 10 days, so he’s still in a danger zone as far as overuse goes. His control wasn’t as much of an issue last night as it was in his stretch of high pitch games in late July-mid August, so maybe he won’t be affected, but it is still a concern.
Ichiro Suzuki- SEA- Hot- Ichiro went 2-for-4 last night to extend his current hitting streak to 10 games. He has multiple hits in 8 of those games. There are still concerns about his lack of walking. Ichiro hasn’t drawn a base on balls since August 25th. His overall walk rate of 6.5% is still above his career average, but his strikeout rate has climbed to a career high of 13.2%. The resulting .53 Batting EYE is well below his career average of .67. Last season Ichiro only had a .45 Batting EYE but his BABIP of .384 masked that. Ichiro will still likely be a .300 hitter in 2011, but at 37 years old in November, a slow decline may have started.