Lost in a season focused on prolific home run binges and unexpected breakouts, Jonathan Schoop still flies below the radar. One second baseman last year reached at least 35 home runs with 100 RBI, Robinson Cano. Schoop launched his 27 on Monday night and drove in three, raising his RBI total to 91 this year. The current pace projects Schoop to finish with 35 home runs and 118 RBI. He’s also slashing .302/.351/.538, ranks second in the American League in RBI, ninth in batting average and OPS, plus, Schoop’s 10th in slugging percentage.
- Nicky’s an on-base machine
Although plenty of puns prove available when writing about Nicky Delmonico, he’s reached safely in 18 of his first 19 games in the majors. He’s also hit safely in 15 of his 19 games this year including an 11-game hit streak. During his doubleheader on Monday, Delmonico scored three runs, hit his sixth home run, and walked twice between the two games. Through his first 67 major league at-bats he is slashing .343/.443/.642 with 15 runs, two doubles, six homers and 12 RBI. More impressive, he has walked 11 times against 13 strikeouts.
Jose Abreu did lose his 10-game hit streak in Game 2 of the doubleheader, but did become the 10th player to reach 25 home runs in his first four seasons. Ryan Braun and Albert Pujols are the only two players on this list still active.
- Rodon’s surging
Despite facing tough competition since his return from the disabled list, Carlos Rodon continues to impress. Winning only his second game, Rodon allowed four hits, two earned runs and three walks with nine strikeouts over 6.1 innings of work. On the season, he’s thrown 60.1 innings with 68 strikeouts (26.7 strikeout percentage), 27 walks, and a 3.88 ERA. It’s Rodon’s fifth straight quality start during which he’s struck out 48 in 36 innings.
- Pollock homers for the win
It’s been a tough season for those who reached for A.J. Pollock in the early rounds. He’s battled injuries with a steep decline in power this year. If there’s ever a week for him to turn around his second half, this should be it. Facing a beleaguered Mets staff on the road and then heading home to face a bevy of southpaws from San Francisco – it sets up well for Pollock.
He took advantage on Monday night hitting a two-run home run in the top of the 10th inning, his sixth of the season. Pollock’s on a modest five-game hit streak and his team along with fantasy owners hope a hot streak’s lurking.
- The good, the bad and the ugly with the Dodgers
Starting with the good, the Dodgers won again on Monday night, their 37th time on the road helped in part by a grand slam by new acquisition, Curtis Granderson. He made some history becoming the first player to hit two slams within five days of each other on two different teams. Granderson’s a clubhouse gem and the pennant chase will only enhance his production.
For the bad, Cody Bellinger did not appear in a 12 inning game. It’s obvious he’s not ready to return from his ankle injury, and this forced Kenta Maeda to pinch hit. And the ugly. Alex Wood lasted six innings giving up five hits, three earned runs and striking out five, but also allowed three solo home runs. Wood will be shut down for at least one start and perhaps more with his SC joint acting up again. Fantasy owners take note. Looks like Brandon McCarthy may actually have a spot in the rotation when he’s ready.
- Dozier’s multiplicity
No, the Twins cannot clone Brian Dozier for more productivity with Miguel Sano sidelined. But, Dozier is heating up with a six game hit streak during which he’s recorded multiple hits four times. Within the streak, Dozier is 10-for-20 with eight runs (At least one in each game), a double, three home runs, six RBI and a stolen base. It’s worth noting, Dozier’s walked nine times in the streak against four strikeouts. He’s streaking, and when he’s hot, ride the power wave.
- Pitching observations
Chris Stratton finished with six more shutout innings at home against the Brewers and he’s hurled 13.1 straight shutout innings including holding the Nationals scoreless on the road his last time out.
Juan Minaya notched his third save in the last four days and his second consecutive in Game 1 on Monday. Minaya seems to be wresting the role to himself, and both the slider along with his curve generating swinging strikes; he could stick in the role. It will be volatile at times, but momentum’s on his side.
While Mark Melancon muses when to get surgery on his nagging forearm muscle injury, he pitched in the eighth inning for the Giants with Sam Dyson remaining in the closer role. Dyson’s saved 11 games for the Giants with a 1.98 ERA and 21 strikeouts in 27.1 innings. He’s far from perfect, but can pitch on back-to-back days, something Melancon cannot.
Statistical Credits: Fangraphs.com, ESPN.go.com, MLB.com
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