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Exactly 13 months ago today, we discussed how Melky Cabrera was part of a select quartet of players that hadn’t gone hitless in back-to-back games through the first two months and change of the 2014 season. He wound up enjoying a tremendous comeback season, proving he was past the PED scandal.
Cabrera signed with the White Sox this winter and he hasn’t come close to duplicating his fine 2014. His hits are down, his walks are down and his speed has evaporated. After getting on base more than 35 percent of the time last year, Cabrera is barely doing so 30 percent of the time this season.
Now, the good news: the Melk Man is scorching in July. He homered Thursday to extend his batting streak to eight games (see video below for one of the biggest hits of his streak) and improve his slash line this month to .379/.394/.690 — just as the Sox are heating up, winning seven of nine. Looking for a second half sleeper? Cabrera could be your man.
The good news: Houston 3B Luis Valbuena returned to action Thursday after missing three games with a toe woe. The bad news? He went 0-for-3, dropping his BA to .201 — fourth worst in the bigs. Still, Valbuena has clubbed a team-leading 19 dingers — an amazing figure considering he only has 56 hits in total. You don’t usually see a player like Valbuena having that high a percentage of homers among his hits; that’s usually reserved for the Mark McGwires and Barry Bonds of the world.
Fantasy Baseball Notes
- Houston LOOGY Joe Thatcher was enjoying a stellar campaign, but he’s been scored on in consecutive outings to see his ERA rise from 2.04 to 3.44. Wildness has been his undoing this year. Ah, the perils of being a specialist reliever.
- Speaking of Astros relievers, how about the job Will Harris has done this year? With over a strikeout per inning and a mere 16 hits allowed in 34 appearances and 39 2/3 IP, he arguably deserves a spot on the All-Star team.
- After seeing essentially full-time at-bats and hitting .293 in 2013, OF J.B. Shuck has only received 184 at-bats over the last two seasons combined. He deserves more action this year based on his play, but he’s been rotting on the pine.
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