Studs and duds: September 1 – September 7

Frank is putting the “win” in Schwindel, amirite, guys? (Wikipedia).

Offensive stud: Frank Schwindel (1B, Cubs). Though he had an 0-for-4 performance last night, the Cubs first baseman’s hot hitting keeps him in the top spot.

Over the past week, he is still carrying a .433/.469/.833 line with 4 home runs, 12 RBI and 7 runs scored. His career marks, despite starting off with a .067 average with Kansas City in 2019 and a .150 mark with Oakland this year, have been elevated to .309/.349/.580 due to his surge with Chicago. His 162-game averages are 37 home runs, 111 RBI and 84 runs scored and, though those numbers are likely unsustainable, they sure look pretty.

He developed his power stroke a little later in his career, having never hit more than 5 home runs in a college season.

Honorable mention: Marcus Semien (2B, Blue Jays; .333/.429/1.125, 6 HR, 11 RBI).

Offensive dud: Gio Urshela (3B, Yankees). After a short time away, Urshela returns to his Dud post after a 1-for-8, 2 strikeout, 2 error showing over the past week. That makes him 3-for-29 (.103 BA) since rejoining the Yankees last month and gives him a .245 mark since late May. It has been an off year for the infielder as a whole—his strikeout percentage (25.1) is the highest it’s ever been, while his home run percentage (3.1) is his worst since 2018.

Is Urshela bad luck? New York has lost each of the last seven games in which he’s played.

Dishonorable mention: Charlie Culberson (3B, Rangers; 2-for-10, 3 K, 3 E).

Pitching stud: Max Scherzer (SP, Dodgers). Riding high on a stellar 13-strikeout performance against St. Louis on Monday, the future Hall of Famer retains his position atop the heap.

Should Scherzer win the Cy Young Award—and its looking like he might—it will be his fourth such honor, making him the fifth hurler with at least that many. It’s an illustrious group, counting Roger Clemens (7 CYAs), Randy Johnson (5), Steve Carlton (4) and Greg Maddux (4) among its number.

The other pitchers with three? Well, they’re pretty great, too: Clayton Kershaw, Sandy Koufax, Jim Palmer, Pedro Martinez and Tom Seaver.

Honorable mention: Logan Webb (SP, Giants; 14 IP, 16 K, 1 BB, 2.57 ERA).

Puk had a 3.18 ERA in 10 relief appearances with Oakland in 2019, his first big league season. (Wikipedia).

Pitching dud: A.J. Puk (RP, Athletics). This past week has not been ideal for the former first rounder, who holds a 33.75 ERA with 8 hits and 5 earned runs allowed in 1 1/3 frames. On September 1 and 7, he took the loss, blowing a save the former game and allowing 5 hits in 1/3 of an inning the latter.

This performance brings his season line to 0-3, 6.08 in 12 appearances—not quite what was expected of the top prospect, who was ranked the 83rd, 30th, 18th and 21st-best by Baseball America each year from 2017 to 2020, respectively. The clock is ticking on the lefthander, who, at 26, is no spring chicken. If all else fails, perhaps he can move to the field—he played some first base in college with Florida.

Dishonorable mention: Andres Machado (RP, Nationals; 2 1/3 IP, 3 H, 1 BB, 0-2, 1 BSV).

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