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."
(All stats as of Wednesday, Aug. 28)
Will Venable, CF, San Diego Padres - Venable has followed in the footsteps of teammate Chase Headley. Headley, if you remember, went off for 23 homers and 73 RBI in the second half last season after previously putting together a nondescript career. Venable, who hit .219 with a .674 OPS over his first 88 games, has gone 55-for-143 (.385) with 10 doubles, three triples, 10 homers, 19 RBI, 26 runs, six steals and a 1.124 OPS over his last 37. That includes a .519 average (14-for-27) with three home runs over his last six games.
Brandon Moss, 1B, Oakland Athletics - Moss burned the Tigers Wednesday night with two homers and six RBI in a 4-for-5 performance. The first baseman has blasted six homers with 12 RBI and a .414 average over his last nine games.
Salvador Perez, C, Kansas City Royals - Perez finally found his power stroke this week, hitting four homers and driving in 13 runs while batting .500 over 22 at-bats. He only had five home runs all season prior to this hot streak.
Other: Jason Castro (12-for-23, two 2B, one 3B, four HR, six RBI, seven BB last eight games); Dustin Ackley (25-for-57, six 2B, one 3B, two HR, five RBI last 17 games)
Ricky Nolasco, RHP, Los Angeles Dodgers - Nolasco thoroughly dominated the competition over his last two starts, tossing eight shutout innings in both and allowing five hits and one walk combined with 17 strikeouts. The right-hander is 5-0 with a 2.01 ERA and 42 K over 49 1/3 innings since joining the Dodgers.
Charlie Morton, RHP, Pittsburgh Pirates - Morton has been both physically and mentally painful to face this season -- he has hit 13 batters in 83 innings and has held opponents to 29 earned runs (3.14 ERA) despite allowing 120 men to reach base against him via hit, walk or HBP. The right-hander is 3-0 with a 1.83 ERA over his last 34 1/3 innings.
Jhoulys Chacin, RHP, Colorado Rockies - Here's an amazing stat: Chacin has allowed just four home runs in 99 1/3 innings at Coors Field this season and has served up seven total in 169 1/3 innings. Over his last two starts, the right-hander went 2-0 with a 1.29 ERA and just five hits allowed over 14 frames.
Other: Chris Archer (2-0, 1.71 ERA, 14/2 K/BB, 21 IP last three starts); Andy Pettitte (3-0, 0.46 ERA, 19 2/3 IP last three starts)
Wil Myers, RF, Tampa Bay Rays - The strikeouts have caught up to Myers lately, as the rookie has gone hitless in his last 18 at-bats with eight K in that span. Since going 3-for-4 with two doubles and four RBI on Aug. 15, Myers is 5- for-42 (.119) with zero extra-base hits and 15 K in 11 games. His average is down from .326 to .287 in that span.
Matt Wieters, C, Baltimore Orioles - Wieters, who has been a successful second- half hitter in his career, is 0-for-14 over his last four games and 14-for-92 (.152) over his last 27. With a line-drive rate that is down from 20.4 percent to 16.9 percent and an infield flyball rate that is up from 8.8 percent to 12.1 percent, it's not hard to understand why Wieters' batting average on balls in play (BABIP) is down 38 points from 2012.
Mark Trumbo, 1B, Los Angeles Angels - Trumbo struggled out of the gate after the All-Star break, hitting .198 in his first 24 games, but he looked to be turning things around when he went 11-for-31 (.355) with four home runs and 10 RBI from Aug. 13-20. However, he has hit a 3-for-26 (.115) skid, striking out 10 times in the process.
Other: Nick Franklin (8-for-79, 31 K last 20 games); Desmond Jennings (11- for-79), one extra-base hit, 24 K last 20 games)
Hiroki Kuroda, RHP, New York Yankees - New York's most reliable pitcher in 2013 has been anything but that in late August. Over his last three starts, the 38- year-old has gone 0-3 while allowing 29 hits and posting an 8.10 ERA over 16 2/3 innings. What's worse is that those starts came against divisional opponents Boston, Tampa Bay and Toronto.
Jeremy Hellickson, RHP, Tampa Bay Rays - Hellickson nearly pulled off the unthinkable feat of appearing in the Who's Not section four weeks in a row, but he was left out last week. After allowing five earned runs on seven hits over 2 2/3 innings to bring his ERA to a nice round 9.00 over his last six starts (0-5), Hellickson was demoted to High-A Charlotte until the Stone Crabs' season ends on Sept. 1. There was no way I could omit him this week.
Jeff Locke, LHP, Pittsburgh Pirates - Speaking of demotions, the Pirates gave Locke one to Double-A Altoona Wednesday. Locke went 9-2 with a 2.11 ERA over his first 19 starts this season, but that was mostly a product of his .226 BABIP. Regression bit him hard over his last seven starts, as he went 0-2 with a 7.02 ERA, a 2.28 WHIP and a .450 BABIP over 33 1/3 innings.
Other: Jacob Turner (0-2, 4.79 ERA, 1.94 WHIP, 6.53 BB/9, 20 2/3 IP last four starts); Justin Verlander (0-1, 6.75 ERA, 1.67 WHIP, 12 IP last two starts)
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