Studs and duds: August 17 – August 23

Ty France began his career with San Diego in 2019. (Wikipedia).

This is one of the few times France is a winner.

Offensive stud: Ty France (IF, Mariners). Just a couple days after ending a five-game hitting streak, France started another. This one, so far, is up to six games, giving the slugger a .393 batting average over the past week. Among his 11 hits, he’s tallied 4 home runs and a double; he’s driven 8 runs home and scored 7 himself. In recent months, France has been surging, batting .361 in August, .319 in July and .319 since his season reached its low-point on May 13, when his batting mark dropped to .213. He didn’t make the All-Star team, but it’s been an All-Star recovery for the 26-year-old who was drafted by the Padres way down in the 34th round in 2015. By 2019, he was hitting .399 with 27 home runs at Triple A.

Honorable mention: Christian Yelich (OF, Brewers; .360 BA, 2 HR, 8 RBI, 5 R, 1 grand slam).

Offensive dud: Gavin Lux (IF, Dodgers). This is getting boring, Gavin. Can’t you do anything to get yourself out of here? I’m trying to find a reason not to do this to you, but why shouldn’t I put you here when the Dodgers think you’re so bad, they can’t even find a reason to put you on the field?

Dishonorable mention: Rodolfo Castro (IF, Pirates; 1-for-9, 3 K, 1 E).

Pitching stud: Logan Webb (SP, Giant). Webb is back on top again. The 24-year-old tossed 13 1/3 innings over the past seven days, allowing just 3 earned runs for a 2.03 ERA. He had 15 strikeouts to just 2 walks and held batters to a middling .280 on-base percentage. Through his seventh start on May 5, he was 1-3 with a 5.34 ERA; since then, he’s gone 6-0 with a 1.63 ERA. In 66 1/3 frames, he’s Ked 72 batters and they’ve hit just .198 against him. Typically, the script is flipped for Webb—he usually gets off to hot starts before eventually slumping. In 2019, he had a 3.52 ERA in his first three starts, but posted a 6.29 mark the rest of the way. In 2020, he had a 2.81 ERA in his first four appearances and a 6.57 mark over his final nine.

Honorable mention: Vladimir Gutierrez (SP, Reds; 1 W, 2.03 ERA, 15 K, 2 BB, 13 1/3 IP) … a near-identical line to Webb, but Gutierrez also took a loss.

Ramirez was selected off waivers by the Diamondbacks on May 22. (Wikipedia).

Pitching dud: Noe Ramirez (RP, Diamondbacks). On August 20, Ramirez returned to the majors after nearly a month away and it hasn’t been pretty. In 2 1/3 innings over 3 appearances, he’s allowed 4 walks, 2 hits and 3 earned runs for an 11.57 ERA. On August 21, he blew a save. It sullies what once was a decent season, as his ERA was 2.95 as late as July 20. Not anymore—it’s up to 3.92, which is more in line with his career mark of 4.16. Prior to 2021, the Angels traded Ramirez to the Reds for closer Raisel Iglesias, who this year has 27 saves, a league-leading 46 games finished and a K/9 ratio of nearly 14. Cincinnati released Ramirez before the season even began. You can tell who got the better of that deal (especially since Los Angeles later re-signed Ramirez!).

Dishonorable mention: Alex Colome (RP, Twins; 1 G, 1 IP, 2 H, 2 ER, 18.00 ERA, 1 BSV).

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