Since opening the season at .396/.431/.604 through April 18, Sam Fuld has hit .145/.232/.210 in 62 at-bats over this last 15 games. He’s 3-for-41 in his last 10 games.
And this is closer to what should have expected from Fuld. The 29-year-old was a career .278/.368/.400 hitter in 230 Triple-A games. No one ever thought of him as more than a fourth outfielder, and really, he’ll be fortuante to last four or five seasons as a reserve.
So maybe it’s time for the Rays to try Desmond Jennings, the top prospect many hoped they’d call up after Manny Ramirez retired. Jennings is hitting .273/.397/.414 in 99 at-bats in Triple-A. That he’s struck out 24 times already is worthy of concern. But Jennings is an excellent defensive outfielder, and he’s 8-for-8 stealing bases.
Since Jennings spent last September on the Rays roster accruing service time, the team would need to wait until July to call him up in order to guarantee that wouldn’t be a super-two arbitration-eligible player after 2013. That’s too long to go, though. Jennings should provide an immediate upgrade over Fuld once the Rays make the switch, and it might happen within the next few weeks.
Starter Jeremy Hellickson has become the Phillies’ most enticing trade chip as he’s put together a solid month of July. After shutting out the Marlins on one hit and one walk over six innings on Monday, the right-hander lowered his July ERA to 1.97 and his overall ERA to 3.65. As a result, the Phillies are telling teams they want a top-five prospect to part with Hellickson, per ESPN’s Jayson Stark.
Obviously, a top-five prospect means something different if you’re the Marlins as opposed to the Rangers. And the Phillies’ price point for Hellickson isn’t likely to stay that high, but GM Matt Klentak is setting a lofty starting point so that the return might end up being higher than market value.
ESPN’s Buster Olney speculates that the Phillies could end up holding onto Hellickson and giving him a qualifying offer after the season. He notes that the Phillies have only $25 million tied up for the 2017 season, so they could afford to pay Hellickson in excess of $16 million if he were to accept.
Madison Bumgarner isn’t the only Giants pitcher who can rake. Matt Cain crushed a three-run home run during Tuesday’s game against the Giants.
Cain stepped to the plate with runners on the corner and one out against Reds starter Cody Reed in the bottom of the second inning. Reed threw a 1-1 fastball down the middle and Cain hit it about 20 rows back in the left field seats.
It’s Cain’s first homer of the season, his first since 2012, and the seventh of his 12-year career. He still has some work to catch up to Bumgarner, who has two homers this year and 13 in his career.
On the pitching side of things, Cain got the win against the Reds on Tuesday night, giving up four runs on six hits and a walk with four strikeouts in 5 1/3 innings. He currently holds an ugly 5.95 ERA.