Salvy and Ray appear here to stay.
Offensive stud: Salvador Perez (C, Royals). Hunker down, Perez might own this title for a while. Though he went hitless yesterday, he helped his team by getting on base with a hit by pitch and scoring a run.
It’s not a great single-game performance, but still, over the past week, his line is .333/.429/.958 with 5 home runs, 13 RBI and 6 runs scored. And slugging dingers is almost all he’s done: He’s managed no other extra base hits since August 13, smashing 9 dingers since that date.
He might be insulted if you call him this, but Perez is a ball magnet—with 10 HBPs on the year, he currently ranks seventh in the American League in that category.
Honorable mention: Bryce Harper (OF, Phillies; .519/.576/1.074, 3 HR, 11 RBI, 6 2B).
Offensive dud: Rougned Odor (IF, Yankees). Once upon a time, going on a decade ago, Odor was a top prospect in the Rangers system. He hammered out three 30-plus home run seasons and played all 162 games in 2017.
Ahh, reminiscing. Since 2019, he’s hit .201/.276/.423 with an OPS+ of 81.
For his career, he’s been in the top five in errors committed by a second baseman each year since 2015 and has led the league five times.
In the past week, he added another error and went 0-for-5 with 3 strikeouts at the plate; on the year, he’s batting just .211 with 90 Ks in 299 at-bats.
The only Odor here is a stinky one.
Dishonorable mention: Aristides Aquino (OF, Reds; 0-for-15, 7 K).
Pitching stud: Robbie Ray (SP, Blue Jays). No pitcher matched Ray’s recent performance (14 IP, 24 K, 1.93 ERA)—and that will be difficult to do—so he’s the Stud for another day.
With modern batters swinging wildly and Ray the best at getting them to do it, he now ranks #1 all-time in career strikeouts per nine innings ratio at 11.18. The next-closest hurler is the Red Sox Chris Sale at 11.10. In fact, the top five in that category are all active (as are seven of the top ten), so leadership might fluctuate day to day and month to month.
Honorable mention: Blake Snell (SP, Padres; 14.2 IP, 20 K, 2 BB, 0.61 ERA).
Pitching dud: Joe Smith (RP, Mariners). Smith also retains his title, having taken two losses, blown two saves and posted an 11.57 ERA over his last few games. It is a rough tumble for the hurler who, despite his misstep, still ranks among the best non-closing relief pitchers ever. He leads active hurlers with 823 career appearances and is 48th all-time in that category, one spot ahead of a starter, Nolan Ryan.
Dishonorable mention: Edgar Garcia (RP, Twins; 1 2/3 IP, 7 ER, 3 BB. 4 H, 1 WP).