WHO'S Hot WHO'S Not

August 17, 2008

WHO'S Hot

Brewers
Well, Favre-less Wisconsin, at least you've got baseball. Wild-card leading Milwaukee was surging—they'd won eight of 10 through Monday, five straight since slugger Prince Fielder (above) and pitcher Manny Parra scuffled in the dugout. That Sabathia fella won't lose (CC's 6--0 since arriving from Cleveland), and the Brew Crew won't quit, rallying from 4--1 down to win on Sunday.

Rocco
In the Rays' feel-good season nothing has been feel-gooder than seeing Rocco Baldelli in the cleanup spot on Sunday—his first game since being shelved 15 months ago with a genetic disorder that leaves him fatigued. Rocco was there with flair, singling in a run and making a diving catch in left. Catcher Shawn Riggans to the St. Pete Times: "Oh, my God, it was great."

Byron Leftwich
The oft-injured QB outplayed fellow free agent Daunte Culpepper in an audition, and now he's back in the NFL, as a man of Steel. The ex-Jaguar says he plans to "come in and try to work my butt off" as Pittsburgh's backup to Ben Roethlisberger.

Ian Kinsler
The Rangers' breakout second base star (SI, Aug. 11) had been slumping some. Uh, not anymore. The AL runs-scored leader stroked a career-high five hits and smacked a homer in a win over Baltimore on Sunday.

WHO'S Not

Reds
Oh, well, Ohio, at least the Buckeyes start footballin' this month. Cincy's midseason flirt with decency disappeared with 14 losses in 16 games, including seven of eight after a players-only meeting. Ken Griffey's gone (to the White Sox), so's Adam Dunn (to the D-backs), and phenom Edinson Volquez (above) is suddenly struggling (6.64 ERA in his last four starts).

Orlando
He's out. Diamondbacks second baseman Orlando Hudson injured his wrist and is gone for the year, including any games in October. Sound familiar? A late-season thumb injury sidelined Hudson for the playoffs in 2007. What's Orlando to do? Arizona manager Bob Melvin: "... get back here on the bench and give us moral support like he did last year."

Braylon Edwards
Keep your shoes on, man! The Browns' top receiver was running in stockingd feet when becleated teammate Donté Stallworth trod on his heel. The upshot: a gash, stitches and perhaps two preseason games with Edwards on the bench.

Ian Kennedy
The Yankees' starter came up from the minors, got shelled for five runs in two-plus innings, then declared he was "not too upset" about the outing. The Yankees, though, were. Kennedy was sent to Triple A.

SI PLAYERS MLB POLL

Who is the best all-around catcher in baseball?

Russell Martin, Dodgers 30%

Joe Mauer, Twins 17%

Ivàn Rodríguez, Yankees 14%

Jason Varitek, Red Sox 10%

Brian McCann, Braves 9%

FAST FACTS
Players could not vote for a teammate.... Mauer led big league catchers with a .315 batting average through Sunday; McCann led with 21 homers.... Rodríguez, acquired by New York on July 30, had a 31.6% caught-stealing rate this season, best among these five top vote getters.... Martin, hitting .286 with 53 RBIs, had caught 902 innings, third most in the majors.

[Based on a survey of 449 MLB players] • For more on the poll, and to comment on it, go to SI.com/players.

PHOTOSCOTT CUNNINGHAM/GETTY (FIELDER) PHOTOAL TIELEMANS (VOLQUEZ) PHOTOAL BEHRMAN/AP (BALDELLI) PHOTOAARON JOSEFCZUK/ICON SMI (EDWARDS) PHOTOCHUCK SOLOMON (MARTIN) PHOTOJOHN BIEVER (MAUER)

HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
OUT
HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
IN
Eagle (-2)
Birdie (-1)
Bogey (+1)
Double Bogey (+2)