Heading into this week's series against the Mariners, here's a quick overview of the names involved through who's hot, and who's not.
Since May 18, Ichiro has gone 34-for-77 (.441) with a .482 OBP and a .532 SLG (1.014 OPS). This streak includes only two games without a hit, and mutli-hit games in 11 of the 19 played. On the year he's hitting .341/.395/.442. Not too shabby. He's been nearly as hot as Joe Mauer...keep reading for more details.
Ibanez (aka Space Emperor of the Universe) has had five good games in a row. He's 8-for-13 (.615) in that stretch, with 2 homers, 9 RBI, 5 walks and 5 runs scored.
Soriano has been on fire in his last 6 relief appearances. While these 6 instances yielded only 5 2/3 innings pitched, he still allowed no runs, struck out 8 and walked only 1. He was used two games in a row so he may not be available tonight, but he's logged a great start to 2006.
Mateo had a rough April, but has bounced back. The run he allowed on June 4 was his first since April 28. In his last 6 relief appearances he's posted 8.2 innings with 1 run allowed, 7 strikeouts and 2 walks.
Another tough start, Guardado has done better since May. In all of May and his one stint so far in June (9 innings, 11 games), he's allowed 2 runs, 6 hits, has walked only 1 and whiffed 7. An 8.38 ERA on May 3 has been whittled to 5.09.
Sherrill has been brilliantly effective if not efficient, not allowing a run since May 5. In his last 9 appearances he's allowed no runs, and while he's sent down 7 hitters on strikes in this run he's also given 7 free passes.
Since May 22 Everett is 8-for-44 (.182) with no extra base hits and only 3 walks. His .204 OPS in June is hard to believe.
In the same period as Everett, Johima is 9-for-43 (.209) with 2 doubles and 1 walk. His line of .288/.348/.439/.787 has dipped to .269/.322/.396/.718.
Washburn has been nailed for 19 runs over his last 5 starts, good for a 5.97 ERA in 28 2/3 innings. In this period he's walked 9 and sent down 15. I'm pretty sure this isn't what the Mariners were paying for when they signed him. Of course you could say the same thing about their underperforming corner infielders.
King Felix has thrown up only one quality start in his last four total, and his numbers are still outrageously worse than you'd consider. In his last four outings he's been tagged for 30 runs, 25 of them earned, in 23 innings. This is good for a 9.78 ERA. While he's been able to strikeout 20 men over this period, he's also walked 7.
Well, duh. Since May 19, Super Joe Mauer is 27-for-59 (.458)...which is astounding. This period of greatness has included 3 homers, 5 doubles, 4 walks and 5 strikeouts. And he's stolen 2 bases. Through this streak his numbers are .458/.492/.695/1.187, raising his yearlies to .355/.411/.500/.911. Lovely.
Well, sort of...but it's pretty hollow. Since May 21, White has played in only 9 games. In this period he's hitting .296/.296/.333/.629. It's not much, but that .629 OPS has raised his seasonal mark from .409 to .443. Nothing can stop us now, boys! It's all the way to the Superbowl!!!
In limited duty since May 8, Punto is 13-for-42 (.309) with 6 walks in 16 games. I'm certainly not advocating Punto as an everday player, but he's been better than Castro by leaps and bounds. Since May 8, Punto is .309/.417/.357/.774. On the year he's .289/.365/.355/.720, destroying Castro's line of .244/.270/.319/.589.
In his last 6 games Kubel has reached safely in 5 of those appearances, the only time he didn't being an 0-for-1 pitch hit day. Over the last six games Kubel is 6-for-19 with a walk, homer and a double, giving him a line of .316/.350/.526/.876. His yearly numbers are still down, but given the opportunity to play regularly the upward trend will probably continue.
You knew his name would be on the list. 8 quality starts in his last 9, putting up 66 innings, striking out 77 and posting a solid 2.22 ERA.
In his 3 starts this year he's been outstanding, striking out 15 in 16 innings, and while he's allowed 8 walks he's also only allowed 1 run. In 3 starts Liriano is 3-0 with a 0.60 ERA.
Rincon has allowed only 1 run in his last 9 outings, striking out 7 in those 9 2/3 innings of work. His ERA on the year is at an even 2.00, matching an equally pretty 25 strikeouts in 27 innings.
Hunter has cooled a bit in his last 8 games, going 4-for-28 (.143) with 4 walks, a homer and 4 RBI.
Since May 17, Castillo has been pretty shabby. His 13-for-68 is a nice start, but only 2 doubles and 6 walks in that span isn't helping. No stolen bases, only 8 runs scored. Since May 17, Castillo's line is .191/.257/.221/.478. You're killing me, Luis!
Let's just go back to May 1. Since May 1, Batista is 20-for-88 with 3 homers, 5 doubles, 7 walks and 13 RBI. This is good for .227/.292/.386/.678. Those power numbers aren't making up for anything, m'friends. The yearly numbers aren't much better.
Since May 19 Lew is hitting .167/.239/.238/.477. Just 1 homer, 3 walks, 1 HBP and 10 total bases in 12 games. Ouch.
Crain hasn't sent anyone down on strikes since May 19, and continues his good guy/bad guy routine when he enters the game. His last two outings he was fine; no walks, no runs. His prior three outings weren't so fine; 6 runs, 5 earned, a walk and no strikeouts. Crain's ERA currently sits at 6.66, while today's date is 6/6/06. Coincidence or alignment of the moon?
He's not really cold, he just gets a little chilly when we don't use him very often.