Who's Hot, Who's Not - May 8
Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) - Let's check in on which players have been driving fantasy owners' success and which ones have been driving us mad recently in this week's edition of Who's Hot, Who's Not.

Who's Hot

Hitters

Miguel Cabrera, 3B Detroit Tigers - We might as well reserve a permanent wing for Cabrera in this section, since he might just win another Triple Crown. Cabrera is batting .500 with two homers and eight RBI over his last five games, including a 4-for-4, two-homer, six-RBI performance on May 4 at Houston.

Allen Craig, 1B St. Louis Cardinals - Craig, who had 22 home runs last season, didn't hit his first homer of 2013 until the 28th game, but he didn't wait long to get his second. The first baseman went deep Tuesday night and is batting .385 with eight RBI, six runs and four extra-base hits over his last six games.

Paul Goldschmidt, 1B Arizona Diamondbacks - Goldschmidt quietly continues to put up strong all-around numbers for the D-Backs, batting .314 with seven homers, 27 RBI, 20 runs, four steals and a .956 OPs this season. He has gone 9- for-20 (.450) with two round-trippers and nine RBI over his last six games.

Manny Machado, 3B Baltimore Orioles - The former first-round pick is emerging before our eyes as a superstar at age 20, hitting .314 with 12 doubles, five homers, 21 RBI and 24 runs this season. Three of those homers have come since May 1, and Machado is batting .360 in that span.

Carlos Gonzalez, OF Colorado Rockies - Anytime the Rockies go home to Coors Field, you know you're getting something big out of "CarGo." Colorado's last four games have come at home and Gonzalez went 6-for-17 (.353) with two homers in that time. He's batting .429 with three longballs and six RBI in his last seven contests.

Pitchers

Matt Harvey, RHP New York Mets - Harvey is making this pitching in the major leagues thing look pretty easy, isn't he? Though he didn't get the win, Harvey fired nine shutout innings and allowed just one hit and no walks while striking out 12 Tuesday against the White Sox. It was the second time this season he has thrown a start of at least seven innings with one hit, no runs and at least 10 strikeouts.

Hector Santiago, LHP Chicago White Sox - Santiago prevented Harvey from getting a win Tuesday by holding the Mets scoreless on four hits over seven innings. In his first two starts of the season, both of which have come over the past week, Santiago is 1-0 with a 0.73 ERA, a 0.81 WHIP and 14 strikeouts in 12 1/3 innings.

Scott Feldman, RHP Chicago Cubs - Feldman has increased his groundball rate from 42.2 percent to 52.8 percent from 2012 to 2013, and he has benefited from a .206 BABIP to post a 2.70 ERA. His best work has come over the last weeks, as Feldman threw a complete-game three-hitter with 12 strikeouts in a 6-2 win over the Padres on May 1 and followed that up with seven shutout innings of two-hit ball Monday against his former team, the Texas Rangers.

Chris Sale, LHP Chicago White Sox - Sale has thrown at least seven innings and allowed two runs or less in each of his last four starts, and gave up three runs on 12 hits with a 12/2 K/BB in 14 1/3 innings in two starts this past week.

Scott Diamond, LHP Minnesota Twins - Diamond used his stellar control and groundball-inducing approach to shut down two very good offenses on the road over the past week, holding Detroit and Boston to seven hits and two earned runs combined in 13 innings.

Who's Not

Hitters

Carlos Quentin, OF San Diego Padres - Quentin is hitless in the month of May, going 0-for-18 since the calendar flipped, and he's once again dealing with knee soreness.

Josh Hamilton, OF Los Angeles Angels - Angels owners Arte Moreno may close his checkbook for good based on how poorly the Albert Pujols and Josh Hamilton signings have gone for the organization. Hamilton is fifth in the majors in chase rate (the rate of pitches he swings at outside the strike zone) and second in overall swing rate, but he has the 14th-worst contact rate in the game at 69.1 percent. He's 2-for-16 with eight strikeouts over his last five games and is batting .202 with 40 K and just six BB in 141 plate appearances.

Chris Johnson, 1B/3B Atlanta Braves - Johnson was batting .403 on April 26, but he has gone 4-for-29 with 11 strikeouts since then, including 0 for his last 12.

Jimmy Rollins, SS Philadelphia Phillies - Rollins has an RBI in each of the last two games, but those have been the only positives he has provided fantasy owners lately. He is 3-for-27 with five K and two walks over his last eight games, and went 0-for-1 on the basepaths in that timeframe.

A.J. Pierzynski, C Texas Rangers - Pierzynski's strikeout rate is up and his walk rate is down from last year, and he's 2-for-17 (.118) with seven strikeouts in May. The catcher also has a top-10 line-drive rate, however, and should be in for a hot streak if he can get over the tightness in his right oblique without going on the disabled list.

Pitchers

Roy Halladay, RHP Philadelphia Phillies - Fantasy owners were likely looking to sue "Doc" for malpractice after he walked four and allowed nine runs on four hits in 2 1/3 innings in his most recent start (against the weak-hitting Marlins, of all teams). That came after he gave up eight runs on nine hits in 3 2/3 innings in his previous start. His turn against the Marlins will be his last start for quite awhile, as he is slated to have shoulder surgery to remove a bone spur and repair a partially torn rotator cuff and frayed labrum.

Marco Estrada, RHP Milwaukee Brewers - Here's how we can tell that Estrada isn't quite right (besides the fact that he allowed eight runs on six hits in 3 1/3 innings in his last start, that is): he walked five batters. Estrada had a 143/29 K/BB in 138 1/3 innings last year and had a 3.64 ERA and a 1.14 WHIP, and he didn't walk more than three batters in any appearance. He also had a 34/7 K/BB in 35 1/3 innings over his first six starts this season.

Jon Niese, LHP New York Mets - Niese allowed 13 men to reach base (7 H, 6 BB) against him and threw two wild pitches in just four innings in his most recent start, a seven-run drubbing at the hands of the Atlanta Braves Sunday. He has a 1.66 WHIP in 36 2/3 innings this year.

R.A. Dickey, RHP Toronto Blue Jays - Hitters have been letting it fly on Dickey's knuckleball, taking him deep eight times this year, including five times over his last two starts. He allowed six hits, three homers and seven earned runs in six innings against the Mariners in his last start. Dickey's chase rate is down nearly eight percentage points and his swing-and-miss rate is down 2.5 percentage points from 2012.

Ryan Vogelsong, RHP San Francisco Giants - Vogelsong succeeded by stranding 80.4 percent of baserunners in 2011 and 76 percent last year, but that number is just 61.5 percent in 2013. Despite giving up just a 14.9 percent line-drive rate with men on base this season, his BABIP with runners on is .356. His BABIP with men on base last season was .293. He gave up seven earned runs on nine hits in just 4 2/3 innings against the Dodgers in his last start and his ERA is now 7.20.




Comments? Criticism? Applause? Contact Thomas J. Harrigan at tharrigan@sportsnetwork.com.

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