Studs and duds: September 5 — September 11

Marcus Semien, Gio Urshela and Edwin Diaz appear for another day, but there is a new face here, as well.

Offensive stud: Marcus Semien (2B, Blue Jays). Is there an echo in here? Marcus Semien is on the hottest of streaks and is, yet again, the Offensive Stud.

With another home run and 3 RBI yesterday, he is batting .387/.500/.968 with 5 dingers and 13 ribbies over the past week—that puts him at 39 home runs and 94 RBI on the year.

Should he reach 40 big flies, and it is unlikely that he won’t, he will be just the 5th second baseman to achieve that mark, with the others being Rogers Hornsby (42 in 1922), Davey Johnson (43, 1973), Ryne Sandberg (40, 1990) and Brian Dozier (42, 2016).

If he reaches 100 RBI—another strong possibility—he’ll be just the second second sacker to reach 40 homers and 100 RBI since Sandberg; he had exactly 100 ribbies in 1990. The 100 RBI mark itself is a rarity for second basemen, with the last to reach it being Jonathan Schoop, then of the Orioles, in 2017.  

Baez has 30 home runs and 17 stolen bases on the year. (Wikipedia).

Honorable mention: Javier Baez (IF, Mets; .519/.581/.926, 3 HR, 7 RBI, 10 R, 4 SB).

Offensive dud: Gio Urshela (3B, Yankees). Oh my goodness, it’s a train wreck! 0-for-3 with 2 more strikeouts yesterday—that makes him 2-for-18 with 7 Ks since September 5! What in the world is going on!

Who knows, but the Yankees can’t be pleased. They’re in a tight race for second place in the American League East with Boston and Toronto and cannot afford any clunkers right now. Urshela’s WAR for the season is 0.6—a thoroughly mediocre number—and his line is now .255/.293/.404. That OBP is an eyesore, especially.

It will be interesting to see what the Yankees will do should they reach the playoffs with Urshela struggling. He owns a .205 postseason batting average, so one wonders if he’d be worth the risk of utilizing at all.

Dishonorable mention: Ryan Lavarnway (C, Indians; 0-for-6, 3 K, 2 E).

Prior to 2021, Gausman was 50-66 with a 4.26 ERA. (Wikipedia).

Pitching stud: Kevin Gausman (SP, Giants). What an incredible season this has been for Gausman—especially so, since he had never even posted a winning record before this year (the best he did was .500 in 2014 and 2020).

He boosted his line further this past week, going 2-0 with 18 strikeouts and just one walk allowed in 13 innings. Though his ERA was an elevated 4.15, his season mark still stands at 2.65, good for 5th-best in the National League. He has even helped himself with the bat this season, with his .188 average the best among the team’s starters.

Though he has some stiff competition, ESPN’s Cy Young Predictor says he has the 3rd-best chance of winning the honor, behind only Walker Buehler and Julio Urias.

Honorable mention: Corbin Burnes (SP, Brewers; 13 IP, 21 K, 3 BB, 6 H, 2.08 ERA). I guess he should be the stud due to recent events, but I think I’m jaded against no-hitters now.

Pitching dud: Edwin Diaz (RP, Mets). The hurler has lost 2 games, blown a save and owns a WHIP of 5 over the past week. As one of Diaz’s primary skills is blowing saves, here is a compilation of him ruining games. And here’s one of his “2019 lowlights”.

Diaz owns a career .318 winning percentage, the 3rd-worst among active pitchers with at least 300 innings pitched. If any player is proof teams should not be wooed by one amazing standout campaign, Diaz is that man.

Dishonorable mention: JT Chargois (RP, Rays; 2 2/3 IP, 4 H, 3 BB, 2 ER, 1 L, 1 BSV).

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