Tomasso DeRosa/US Presswire
The 34-year-old Johnny Damon, thought by many to be in for a decline in his numbers this season after slipping a tiny bit last year, is showing he still has plenty left in the tank.
As if Damon hadn't been hot enough recently, he took it to another level Saturday, going 6-for-6 against the Royals and getting the game-winning hit, becoming the first Yankee to post a six-hit game at Yankee Stadium. That's saying something.
Over his last 10 games, Damon has nine multi-hit contests, and is batting .565 (26-for-46).
As recently as May 20, Damon was hitting .250 but has raised his average 76 points since that time, with at least one hit in 15 of 16 starts. He's now batting .326 with six homers and 10 steals this season, bringing fantasy production across the board in all categories.
While he will undoubtedly cool off quite a bit at some point, Damon is on pace for his first .300 season in three years, and the highest slugging percentage of his career.
The bottom line here is that we've always pretty much known what we're getting when putting Damon on a roster, as he's been a very steady producer over the last decade. This year looks to be no different.
Josh Banks, Padres
Just two starts into his replacement of Chris Young in the rotation, this Banks kid is impressing. He fired six strong innings Saturday to lower his season ERA to 0.39.
Jake Peavy threw 61 pitches in a simulated game Saturday, and if there are no lingering effects today, he'll rejoin the Padres' rotation this week. Edwin Encarnacion was scratched from the lineup Saturday because of a swollen elbow, and is considered day-to-day. Ryan Church will be shut down for a few more days due to continuing issues with the two concussions he has suffered this season. He'll be re-evaluated when the team returns to New York. Eric Gagne could return to the Brewers in about a week, but considering Salomon Torres has been perfect in the closer's role in the interim, manager Ned Yost has indicated Torres could remain in the role Rick Ankiel should return from his knee infection Tuesday. Ian Snell was fine after getting hit with a line drive in his start Friday, and he should be able to take his next turn. Mike Gonzalez might return to the Braves as early as late this week, and with John Smoltz and Rafael Soriano out, and Manny Acosta ineffective, Gonzalez could return to closing ballgames in short order. Rickie Weeks was scratched Saturday because of a sore knee suffered on a take-out slide on a double-play ball Friday. He should miss Sunday's game as well, and is listed as day-to-day. The Orioles will skip Brian Burres' next turn in the rotation. Aaron Rowand should return from his hip injury Sunday. Jake Westbrook is officially done for the season, and he will undergo Tommy John surgery. Jeremy Sowers will replace him in the Indians' rotation. Rafael Furcal hopes to return to the Dodgers on June 17, according to the LA Times.
"Scott Olsen is a cigarette-smoking, unapologetic 24-year-old whose penchant for trouble seems to cast a pall over his potential as a pitcher, and he doesn't care what you think about him.
If Olsen could pick a future for himself, it'd be as a ruthless game-show host, who in his spare time travels the globe in search of a party."
-- Amy Nelson Full Story
• The Tigers placed Jeremy Bonderman on the disabled list with a blood clot in his shoulder. The circulation problem will end Bonderman's season. Armando Galarraga and Dontrelle Willis now both have rotation slots. All season long, we got the sense something wasn't quite right with Bonderman, and that turned out to be to correct.
• The Blue Jays made several moves, activating both Vernon Wells and John McDonald from the disabled list, calling up reliever Brian Wolfe, and sending down Joe Inglett. Aaron Hill also went on the disabled list with lingering concussion symptoms, although the team hopes to have him back as soon as he is eligible on June 13.
• Jeff Clement went 2-for-4 with homer in the second game of a doubleheader Saturday night, after drawing two walks in the first game. The Mariners catching prospect has hit .366 with 12 homers this season for Triple-A Tacoma. His .489 on-base percentage and .725 slugging percentage lead the minor leagues. Yet the M's continue to run Jose Vidro and his .220 batting average out there.
• In his first game at Triple-A since being demoted by the Pirates, Ronny Paulino went 5-for-5 with two homers and three RBIs. Given Ryan Doumit's lengthy injury history, Paulino could be back sooner rather than later.
• Score one for the knuckleballers! Red Sox Triple-A starter Charlie Zink's ball has really fluttered lately, and he allowed just one run over eight innings Saturday night. The 28-year-old has given up one earned run or fewer in six of his last eight starts, and has a 2.44 ERA on the season. The Sox might have a need for the late bloomer at the big-league level soon.