Salvador Perez and Robbie Ray—we’ve been seeing these guys a lot lately, haven’t we?
Offensive stud: Salvador Perez (C, Royals). He didn’t even play yesterday and still outpaces anyone else. In the last week, Perez has 5 home runs, 13 RBI and 5 runs scored; he’s tied with the Cubs’ Patrick Wisdom for most home runs and holds the lead in RBI over the past seven days. His slash line is .323/.393/.920—that OBP is especially stunning, as his career mark is barely .300. The catcher is currently riding a tidy five-game hitting streak and has 12 home runs, 28 RBI and a 1.022 OPS since the beginning of August.
There’s not much to say outside of what’s already been said at this point besides, perhaps, let’s go Salvador!
Honorable mention: Tommy Edman (3B, Cardinals; .414 BA, 2 HR, 3 2B, 10 RBI, 8 R).
Offensive dud: Gio Urshela (3B, Yankees). Urshela continued his slide last night, going 0-for-4 with a strikeout. That unsavory line puts him at 1-for-17 with 4 Ks and a tiny OPS of .059 since his return to New York’s lineup on August 26. Though usually adept defensively, he also committed a couple errors, bringing his season total to 8. Sounds like a case of return-from-the-IL jitters, if you ask me.
Dishonorable mention: Aristides Aquino (OF, Reds; 0-for-17, 8 K).
Pitching stud: Robbie Ray (SP, Blue Jays). While Perez keeps cranking on offense, Ray is dropping stellar start after stellar start on the mound. With 10 strikeouts yesterday, he passed Gerrit Cole for the American League lead with 202 Ks on the season. It is his fourth-career 200 strikeout campaign and first since 2019.
Over his past two games, Ray has 24 Ks in 14 innings, allowing only 9 hits, 3 walks and 3 earned runs, to give him a 1.93 ERA. His season mark has gone down with each start since July 28 and now stands at 2.71—and is 1.72 in that stretch.
In his first 13 starts, the hurler had a 3.50 ERA; in the 13 games since, it’s been 2.02. With numbers like this, fans of the future will be scratching their heads looking at his line and wondering why he didn’t even make the All-Star team.
Honorable mention: Dylan Cease (SP, White Sox; 2-0, 1.38 ERA, 18 K, 13 IP).
Pitching dud: Joe Smith (RP, Mariners). Well, it seems the steady, reliable, sidearming relief pitcher Joe Smith is no more. We’ve been left with a shoddy simulacrum who’s pitched to the tune of a 5.79 ERA in 41 appearances this year.
His past few have been especially horrid: In 3 games, he’s tossed 1 2/3 innings and allowed 5 hits and 3 earned runs for an 11.57 ERA. Relative to past duds, that performance is downright excellent, but his 2 losses and 2 blown saves really bring him down.
Smith began the year with a 7.48 ERA in 27 games with Houston, but was traded to Seattle on July 27. And with the Mariners he’s performed well—a 2.45 ERA in 14 games, despite his rough patch—and looks more like the Smith of old. Before this year, he had a 2.98 ERA in 782 career games. This campaign has raised it to 3.10.
Dishonorable mention: Jake Petricka (RP, Angels; 1 IP, 5 ER, 3 H, 2 BB, 0-1, 1 BSV).