leading hitter in the MLB for July? It's our very own
David Freese! His .463 avg leads the league. Andrew
McCutheon follows with the only other .400+ average at .437.
Freese brings in an impressive 1.168 OPS for the last 30 days.
The only other Cardinal in the top 25 is Matt Holliday, who
finished the month at 10th on the list with .360 mark.
Who's the best pitcher in July...would you
believe Jordan Zimmerman (Wash)? His 4-0 record, 0.97 ERA and
WHIP average of 0.84 are a well-rounded collection of sharp
numbers. Other pitchers may lead in one category or the other
but Zimmerman brings the best ERA to the table.
The Cardinal bats are really an enigma. Often it
seems that they're shut down for much of a series yet, they lead
the NL in hits, runs, and batting average. The power seems to
have been drained from the Birds Bats..... they are 6th in the
NL in HR. Clearly Beltran has slumped, Frese has been on fire,
Holliday has the steady numbers but again we focus on the top of
the order. The Birds need the #1-2 batters to get on base.
Jay struggled for much of the month, Schumacher has been in-out
of lineup, Furcal seems streaky.
Here's one that stunned me...Matt
Carpenter is 6th in the MLB in OPS for the year! His OPS of .836
is deceptive since he only has 4 HR for the season.
complete implosion of the Milwauke bullpen may quickly take the
Brewers from championship thoughts to "sellers". FranRod and
Axford have fallen on their faces as closers for Milwaukee this
year. Last year Axford was 41 of 43 in save opportunities.
It's a far cry from this year's debacle. He's 17 of 24 for 2012
in the save opportunity bin. Flip-flopping closer-8th innings
roles and back again hasn't worked. FranRod is 3 of 9 in the
save department. Milwaukee has fired their bullpen coach....come
on ....he isn't the one walking batters to extend innings. NYM
dumped FranRod at the right time. From the Brew Crew
perspective, his work last year was a key component of the 2011
TALKING TRADES ......
The deal was far from an earth-shaker for
the Cards. Acquiring Edward Mujica as a set up man for a top
round draft choice(Zach Cox) who's floudering in the minors,
seems like a nice upside. Obviously, the Cards are looking for a
7th inning pitcher to set up Boggs & Motte. The 4.38 ERA of
Mujica doesn't raise my hopes too far. I anticipate a sparkling
first couple weeks and then a spinning downward for this veteran
pitcher. Cox, a 3B, was a weak fielder, hitting .254 and
probably never going to push David Frese aside. I'm not so sure
that this trade was consummated just to satisfy the StL fan base, who
always want to be shown that you're TRYING to win. Is Mujica
that much better than our current corp of relievers ? Will he be
the Dotel of 2011 ? Time will tell. He's been ineffective when
in "pressure" spots of a game most of his career. I hope that
the large crowds at Busch don't cause him problems.
Looks like the Phils are "moving on"
this year...their deal surrendering Hunter Pence takes away the
"spark" of the Phils. From the Giants point of view...I love the
deal for Pence. SF has a strong bullpen and pitching staff but
needed more pop (especially since Sandoval went on DL).
Pence is a very strong player. He brings RBI ability, some HR
pop, strong OF(career: .290, 131 HR). Trading Tommy Joseph to
the Phils, a hot catching prospect, is a case of trading from
surplus. Big-hitter, Buster Posey is currently behind the plate
while top-prospect Hector Sanchez is moving his way through the
system. Philly procures Nate Schierholtz who has flashed real
skill at times but has been unable to permanently become the RF
for the Giants. Maybe this opportunity will be what he needs to
emerge as MLB star. For Pence, its Ground Hog Day again....he's
traded to a contender from a pretender as he was 2 years ago
when Houston sent him to Philly.
Philly "dump", the Phils dealt veteran All-Star CF, Shane
Victorino to the Dodgers for Josh Lindblom and Minor League
pitcher Ethan Martin on Tuesday. This one is a no-brainer(LA
wins big)-- Lindblom has struggled for the last month after an
outstanding April & May. Victorino brings a speedy, talented CF
to the top of the order. With a 9.5mil price tag and free agency
looming at the end of the season, the Dodgers may resign
Victorino (31 years of age) to help bolster their offense which
has really been anemic. Ironically, Victorino was originally
signed by LA but was lost through Rule 5 draft-- not once but
TWICE! By adding Hanley Ramirez and Victorino, the Dodgers have
upgraded their offense, speed and athleticism.
Pittsburgh really addressed
their needs for the playoff drive. Travis Snyder, obtained from
Toronto, has immediate & long term potential. However, he has
yet to "put it together" for an entire year. Gabby Sanchez is
the right-handed hitter off the bench for the Bucs. Pittsburgh
did have to part with Brad Lincoln (to Toronto for Snyder), who
was having a terrific season. But...to fill Lincoln's void, the
Bucs turned around and filled his spot with Chad Qualls from the
Yanks. Sending Casey McGehee to the Bronx Bombers for Qualls
made sense for the pin-stripers. McGehee can jump in at 3B
(A-Rod hurting) or 1B (Tex has a bad wrist). However, if I was
in his shoes...I wouldn't buy a house or any other long-term
investment in New York! Meanwhile, the Pirates landed Wandy
Rodriguez earlier so they've been aggressive in trying to reach
Walt Jocketty surprised most everyone! Cincy has
been enjoying a tremendous season from their bullpen in 2012.
Unable to land a lead-off batter, Walt reached out and grabbed
Jonathan Broxton to supplement his pen. Broxton, a proven
closer, will add depth to a bullpen that is called upon nightly
(so it seems). With Aroldis Chapman in his 1st year of closing,
Broxton also provides flexibility in the use of Chapman. Look
for Chapman to get an extra "day off" occasionally to keep his
dynamite arm fresh for the stretch. Walt is playing for this
year (and why not!). He has a roster with some real seasoned
vets who may be running on their last legs (e.g. Scott Rolen,
Texas grabbed Ryan Dempster from the Cubbies at
a bargain basement rate. Two minor leagues (one in
Class A) brought Dempster, who wielded his non-trade clause with
a heavy clout in these negotiations. Dempster replaces Colby
Lewis in the rotation and fills the void of a couple struggling
pitchers coming off the DL.
Winners of 2012 deadline trades: PItt, Cincy, Texas
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