Jim Moore says flatly that Edwin Encarnacion "won't be here next month" and others wonder, can you take him as the M's All-Star rep if that's the case? If not, he recommends the "lovable lug" Daniel Vogelbach for the game. That certainly would blow a fresh gust of hype into the "folk hero" status that the beat writers see for him. Dr. D isn't much into folk heroes like Bucky Git R Done Jacobsen, but he is into DH's who hit .260/.400/.550.
'Bach hasn't slowed down as the season grinds by with the swift excitement of a glacier at high noon. He was 4-for-5 with a HR and BB on Wednesday and is hitting .295/.410/.455 over the last 14 days, with a 9:10 EYE. Included have been some nice zingers to LF against the shift and some rocket balls off the fence and barely foul, so the league is utterly failing to adjust its way out of his clutches.
I hadn't realized that his 17 homers had him #5 in the league, had you? For the year 'Bach is on a pace for 43 homers and 105 BB per 155 games. Dr. D continues to struggle to come up with the realistic comps for the lad, but he lightly fancies Paul Konerko DH as one of them. Of course if he keeps up this 44 HR, 100 BB shtick it would be more like Jim Thome ... I'll settle for Konerko but take the Thome, savvy.
My Northwest has a peachy set of three trade-deadline primers that are well worth a look-see. Here is article one, article two and article three. 'ave at thee, mates. Dr. D enjoys trade primers from beat writers* is 'cause they have better access than he does, and probably reflect Dipoto's attitude reasonably well. So, their crunch along with Mainframe kibitzing:
Despite T-Mobile field, on pace for a career high in homers, which is sayin' a good bit when you have 400 of them. Into the bargain, he has shown that he can play a reasonable 1B. There's no reason on this spinning ball of blue that he couldn't play for an NL team, which raises your list of feasible buyers from 5-6 to more like 12-15. Whatever you do, kiddies, never lose sight of Dr. D's Fifth Law of July 31: 70% of these trades were never DREAMED of before the moment they occurred.
For one thing, does anybody else find it strange that Nelson Cruz could consistently SLG .550 here, and now you've got EE flourishing greatly? Does that go towards the question of whether other M's hitters should have taken a more positive approach to the place? For another thing, you've got Wishhiker (IIRC) opining that EE should bring back more than 1/2 a salary dump. Indeed, because only half his salary for this year remains. How many seasons have we wished the Mariners could go get a 47-homer man to jack their lineup, and we were told they just weren't available unless we gave back Michael Pineda?
A "serviceable veteran rotation piece" who is streaky and on a good streak right now. Almost went to the D-Backs a week or two back.
Dr. D's add here would be the Ron Shandler PQS principle. Go back and grade a guy's last 4-5 starts on a 5/5 Quality Start scale with K, BB, K/BB, HR, and hits. Gives you a pitcher's form at a glance. Leake's go 5, 5, 4, 4 against the Twins, Houston, LAA, and Oakland, and he compiled a whoppin' 30 innings of code over that last month.
Don't underestimate "current form" at the trade deadlines. That's what all the scouts are out there watching. It ain't like they didn't have book on Mike Leake before this month, y'know. They want a calm, savvy veteran who is throwing in form, to help them for a few months. Savvy?