As far as Chris Shelton is concerned, you know you’ve been hitting the ball well when you bat .388 for the week and your overall batting average drops by 40 points. Shelton knocked two doubles, his 4th homerun, and drove in 8 runs. For his efforts, Chris earned co-Player of the Week honors, sharing the award with Phillies Prospect Ryan Howard. While Shelton has continued to hit the cover off the ball, he has also begun to raise his on-base percentage, resulting in a .439/.478/.902 line after two weeks of play.
Curtis Granderson and Ryan Raburn are not putting up numbers in Chris Shelton’s league, but both are presently holding their own. After a week in which he hit .500 with 3 steals, and 5 runs scored, Granderson has raised his line to an outstanding .370/.455/.444. Granderson is doing exactly what he said he wanted to do this fall; work on his bunting, base stealing, and situational hitting. His power numbers reflect the emphasis on this, and there shouldn’t be too much concern surrounding the dip in extra-base hits. While Granderson is adjusting to the competition in Arizona, Raburn is still struggling, going 3 for 15 on the week only scoring two runs. Raburn appears to be in a bit of a funk after his struggles in Detroit at the end of the season.
On the hill, Rick Kirsten tossed 3 innings of shutout ball, picking up the win in Tuesday’s game. In a slightly surprising development, Kirsten is working out of the bullpen, contrary to the Tigers stated goal for him, but with starts like J.D. Durbin, Scott Baker, and Macay McBride, it may be tough to crack the rotation. Lee Rodney also tossed a shutout inning this week, while Mark Woodyard struggled a bit in his only outing. Woodyard gave up three hits and two unearned runs in an inning and two-thirds work. Both pitchers are struggling a bit against the stiff offensive competition, but the organization is still hopeful that both can settle down and establish some level of consistency heading into the offseason.
With another successful week in the books for these young players, it looks as though all are making a case for promotions come next spring. It will be interesting to see, in the coming weeks, if any of the other five players take a leap forward to match Chris Shelton and his ridiculous production.