Skip to main content

Around the diamond

Make sure you play ... Kelly Shoppach, Cleveland Indians

This past week, Shoppach became the first catcher in major league history to record five extra base hits in a game. He's been more than just that one game, though, as he's batting .329 with seven homers and 16 RBIs since July 1.

Honorable mention: Ryan Doumit, Pittsburgh Pirates (.370, 10 RBI over the last two weeks)

Don't expect much from ... Jason Kendall, Milwaukee Brewers

Kendall has zero power and doesn't run at all anymore, so about the only was he can provide for fantasy owners is with his batting average. Given that he batted .169 in July, it doesn't take a genius to suggest Kendall is wasting a roster space right now.

Honorable mention: Kenji Johjima, Seattle Mariners (.188 average over the last two weeks; 7 home games)

Make sure you play ... Mike Jacobs, Florida Marlins

The Fish are at Philly and New York this week, and that's a good thing for Jacobs. He boasts a 1.159 OPS in 22 career games at Citizens Bank and a .940 OPS in 37 career games at Shea.

Honorable mention: Conor Jackson, Arizona Diamondbacks (.379-4-9 over the last two weeks; 7 home games)

Don't expect much from ... Paul Konerko, Chicago White Sox

It's been just a horrible season for Konerko. With the acquisition of Ken Griffey Jr., it figures to only get worse, as Paulie's playing time will be cut into.

Honorable mention: Joey Votto, Cincinnati Reds (1 HR since June 21)

Make sure you play ... Mike Fontenot, Chicago Cubs

Fontenot quietly had a fantastic July, batting .365 with four homers and 15 RBI. He doesn't play every day, which obviously limits his value to an extent, but he's done enough lately with limited playing time that he's worth a play.

Honorable mention: Esteban German, Kansas City Royals (.379, 6 RBI, 3 SB over the last two weeks)

Don't expect much from ... Ronnie Belliard, Washington Nationals

Belliard's playing time figures to drop drastically over the final two months. Ryan Zimmerman is back to handle the hot corner, and youngster Emilio Bonifacio should get the bulk of the starts at second down the stretch.

Honorable mention: Mark Grudzielanek, Kansas City Royals (.091 over the last week)

Make sure you play ... Stephen Drew, Arizona Diamondbacks

J.D.'s little brother is batting .306 since July 1. With the D'backs at home for seven this week and slated to face right right-handers, we like Drew to continue stroking it at the plate.

Honorable mention: Jed Lowrie, Boston Red Sox (.316, 9 RBI over the last two weeks)

Don't expect much from ... Bobby Crosby, Oakland A's

Crosby has already managed to play in the most games since his rookie season, but unfortunately, his production at the plate hasn't been there. He's hitting only .163 over the last two weeks.

Honorable mention: Maicer Izturis, L.A. Angels (.184 over the last two weeks)

Make sure you play ... Casey Blake, L.A. Dodgers

Blake has batted .357 with a home runs in eight games since heading to La La Land. The Dodgers face all righties this week, and Blake has hit 10 of his 12 homers and collected 53 of his 59 RBIs against right-handers.

Honorable mention: Melvin Mora, Baltimore Orioles (.340-2-15 over the last two weeks)

Don't expect much from ... Ty Wigginton, Houston Astros

Wigginton has been non-existent for the 'Stros lately, hitting only .130 over his last two weeks. He's been so bad that MarkLoretta and Geoff Blum have been stealing some starts at the hot corner.

Honorable mention: Mike Lowell, Boston Red Sox (.218, 0 HR over the last two weeks)

Make sure you play ... Kosuke Fukudome, Chicago Cubs

Cubs fans might not be getting what they had hoped out of Fukudome, but they can't be disappointed with what the Japanese import has done at home. He's batting .343 with a .952 OPS at Wrigley, where the Cubbies will be all week.

Honorable mention: Nick Swisher, Chicago White Sox (career .916 OPS at US Cellular)

Don't expect much from ... Andruw Jones, L.A. Dodgers

It's not very hard to suggest that Jones isn't in line for a big week given what he's done (or not done) this year. We just want to have the chance to rag on him one more time before he gets sent down to the minors (which is expected to happen soon).

Honorable mention: Chase Headley, San Diego Padres (.178 over the last two weeks)

Make sure you play ... Ryan Dempster, Chicago Cubs

Dempster has taken his re-entering the rotation like a duck to water, posting a 12-4 record and 2.90 ERA. He's been particularly nasty at home, going 10-1 with a 2.72 ERA. Both of Dempster's starts this week with come at Wrigley Field.

Honorable mention: Jair Jurrjens, Atlanta Braves (2.77 ERA, 1.12 WHIP on the road)

Don't expect much from ... Edinson Volzquez, Cincinnati Reds

It was inevitable that Volquez would come back down to earth, which he did in July with a 4.54 ERA and 1.57 WHIP. We're not suggesting you sit the young fireballer, but it might be a good idea to keep your expectations limited.

Honorable mention: Clay Buchholz, Boston Red Sox (6.75 ERA, 1.78 WHIP since returning to the rotation)