h2h Corner ~ Katy Perry All-Stars XII

Welcome to the latest installment of the weekly hot and cold fantasy update. This column is all about the recent hot/cold trends and how they can engulf owners.

You know the drill, I run down this past week’s good and bad performers. I give you some analysis, you agree with me and we move on. No need to mince words at this point in the season.

With that said, let’s move on to who’s hot:

Everth Cabrera – Over the last week, Cabrera, who was recently called up by the Padres, posted a .357 OBP and stole three bases. He also added five runs and six RBIs. I wouldn’t expect continued similar output in runs and certainly not in RBIs. Still, he could provide a good source of stolen bases. In deeper leagues, he’ll be a real nice add.

Elvis Andrus – Much like Cabrera, Andrus doesn’t offer much pop, though he has good speed. Over the last week, Andrus hit .333, scored four runs and stole five bases, while posting a .389 OBP. Over the last month, Andrus has posted a decent OBP (.333) and added seven SBs. If he continues to get on base at a reasonable clip, he’ll be good for your SB numbers.

Orlando Cabrera –Continuing the shortstop portion of Katy’s All-stars, I give you Orlando Cabrera. O-Cab hit .310 with two HRs and two stolen bases last week. However, he only managed two runs and three RBIs, as his production in the A’s lineup is limited by his teammates. Still Orlando Cabrera is a better second half player, posting a .275/.322/.402 AVE/OBP/SLG. I like him more than Andrus and the previously mentioned Cabrera, so if you need all-around value, grab him if he’s available.

Martin Prado – Prado, who qualifies at first, second and third base, has earned Bobby Cox’s trust; meanwhile, Kelly Johnson appears to have lost his manager’s confidence. In getting consistent playing time over the past week, Prado scored eight runs and knocked in six, while batting .484 and posting a .529 OBP. In the second half last year, Prado hit .335 with a .400 OBP and .485 SLG percentage. So long as he stays out of Bobby’s doghouse, he should provide some good help at the ratio categories over the second half.

Colby Rasmus – Rasmus had a phenomenal week: .500 AVE, .524 OBP, seven runs, and three HRs. Rasmus has raised his averaged to .282, batting .333 over his last 87 ABs. Given the available sample of his at bats, we now have a pretty good roadmap for Rasmus. Namely, you absolutely should never start him against lefties (.173 AVE, .259 OBP and .231 SLG). Conversely, he murders righties (.311 AVE, .343 OBP and .554 SLG). So make sure to pull his card when the situation is beneficial.

Marlon Byrd – It is summertime, which means global warming is proving its existence. Last week, Byrd powered two HRs and knocked in eight RBIs, while batting .300 and posting a .444 OBP. He’s going to fight for at bats in a crowded Rangers outfield and DH with Josh Hamilton back, but when he is in the line-up he should provide useful power numbers.

Gordon Beckham – Beckham has heated up over the past few weeks. Last week, he scored five runs, knocked in five, and hit two HRs. After a rough start, Beckham might be settling into his own. He could provide a good middle infield source of power.

Armando Galarraga – Just when you thought Galarraga was pitching his way out of the Tigers’ rotation, he struck out 12 batters in 13.1 IPs last week, while posting a 1.35 ERA and a 1.05 WHIP. Galarraga started the season hot, though he had cooled considerably recently. Monitor his recent hot streak and pounce if he continues pitching well.

Brett Anderson – Anderson only had one start last week, but he made the most of it. In a complete game against the Red Sox, Anderson struck out nine, didn’t allow a run, and posted a 0.44 WHIP. Over the last month, Anderson has 30 Ks in 29 IPs, and a 1.31 WHIP. He could be a good source of Ks and potentially WHIP as he gets used to the major leagues. Remember, Anderson skipped AAA ball entirely.

Ross Ohlendorf – Ohlendorf got two starts last week and, boy, did he produce. He struck out 11 batters in 12 IPs and posted a 3.75 ERA and 1.17 WHIP. Unsurprisingly Ohlendorf’s best start last week was at home. For the season, Ohlendorf has posted a 3.38 ERA and 1.14 WHIP at home, and a horrendous 6.04 ERA and 1.43 WHIP away. Like Rasmus, Ohlendorf is giving you a blueprint for how to use him.

THE FLIP SIDE (the supposed good guys who are stinking up the joint)

Time to move on to those cold salamanders that are likely owned in your league, yet have sucked lately.

Alfonso Soriano – Soriano hasn’t had the greatest of years (I was somewhat tepid on him before the season, ranking him in the 30s). Still, even I didn’t think there would be consistent weeks like these: .150 AVE, .190 OBP, and no runs/HRs/RBIs. At this point, you can’t get any real value trading him so you have to ride this slump out. Feel free to bench him, though prepared for it to hurt when he goes off for a multi-HR game. One other thing to note, Soriano isn’t running (of course he isn’t getting on base), as he only has one SB over the last month.

Carlos Pena – I thought Pena would have a good year, I thought Pena would end up on the Katy Perry All-star team a bunch. What’s that you say? No, those thoughts are not mutually exclusive. Pena is simply the definition of streaky. Last week, Yahoo!’s 50th ranked player, managed just two hits and a .286 OBP. This won’t last, however. If you can use that to buy low, go ahead. He’ll bounce back with a good week sooner rather than later.

Miguel Cabrera – I wasn’t Miguel Cabrera’s biggest fan to start the season (ranking him the 18th best hitter). Cabrera, the 48th ranked player in Yahoo!, had a bad week: .241 AVE, one run, and a .241 OBP. He’s a good player, no doubt, but I don’t think he’ll end the year a top 10 talent. If you can get top 10 talent for him right now, I wouldn’t mind selling him at that price.

Ryan Howard – Speaking of powerful first basemen, Howard hit .200 with two RBIs this past week. Over the last month Howard has hit .232 with just four HRs. Even in Philadelphia’s 22-1 pounding of Cincinnati, Howard managed just one RBI. Still, this is likely just a min-slump. Don’t be too concerned.

Orlando Hudson – I’ve never liked O-dog, seeing him as little more than a Placido Polanco clone. Last week he went 1/21. He also didn’t add any runs or RBIs. For the season, he hasn’t been bad, but at this point going forward I might even prefer Martin Prado over him. If you can trade Hudson for decent value and pick up a Prado or someone similar, that’d be a good way to maximize your roster.

Derek Lowe Lowe had a very disappointing two starts last week: 4.76 ERA, 1.85 WHIP, and just five Ks in 11.1 IPs. This was actually better than his past month, however: 7.50 ERA and 2.07 WHIP, with just 11 Ks in 30 IPs. If you’re a Lowe owner you have to be a bit concerned as he, uncharacteristically, gave up three HRs in June. So, as long as that number drops back down to his typical zero or one, his ratios will stabilize. If his price tag isn’t cost prohibitive, he might be a decent buy at the moment.

Kevin Millwood – Millwood made the prognosticators feel good this last week: in 11.1 IPs he struck out four hitters, while posting a 10.32 ERA and a 2.03 WHIP. On June 22, I wrote:

“Millwood could continue to produce like this (although he has only had an ERA under 4.01 once since 2003). However, why take the risk? I say trade him for what you can get and pick up someone like Trevor Cahill.”

I’d be selling Millwood aggressively after his next good start.

All stats are as of July 7.

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