AP Photo/Frank Franklin II
The Yankees first baseman cranked out two more homers on Tuesday night, giving him 17 on the year, tied with Grady Sizmore for second in the American League behind Josh Hamilton.
Considering that Giambi hit just .236 with 14 homers in an injury-plagued 2007, his third straight season of decline in his batting average, you can be forgiven for thinking he was toast when he started this season by batting .164 in April.
However, Giambi hit .315 with six homers in May, and is batting .364 with six more homers already this month to bring his average up to .268 with more walks than strikeouts this season. He's posting his highest slugging percentage since his first season with the Yankees in 2002.
Can he keep it up? If he stays healthy, there aren't a lot of red flags in his numbers. Giambi is striking out at his lowest rate in more than a decade, and his balls in play average indicates that his batting average still has some slight upward potential.
His homers per flyball is right back around his career average after a sharp dip last season, and his raw power appears to be as good as it's been since joining the Yankees. He's pouncing on mistake pitches like he used to.
The bottom line is that Giambi's resurgence is for real, and he can be expected to keep on producing at a solid rate.
Ryan Braun, Brewers
He joined Chase Utley and Dan Uggla in the 20-homer club after going deep twice against the Blue Jays. All-Star Game voters have noticed, as he's now fourth in balloting among NL outfielders.
Justin Upton, Diamondbacks
With an 0-for-3, two-strikeout night against the A's, Upton is now down to .244 for the season. He's been miserable in June, hitting just .083 (3-for-36) with 18 strikeouts.
Kevin Youkilis is not expected to return to the Red Sox lineup until Friday due to back spasms. He'll be rested Wednesday to take advantage of the Thursday off day. ... Having missed five games with a strained rotator cuff, J.J. Hardy is expected to be back in the lineup on Wednesday. ... Travis Hafner's shoulder is not responding well to strengthening exercises, so he is headed to Dr. James Andrews for another opinion, according to the Cleveland Plain Dealer. Surgery has not been ruled out just yet. ... Hiroki Kuroda will miss his scheduled start on Wednesday due to pain in his shoulder, and could be out longer than just one turn. Derek Lowe will move up a day to replace him. ... Aaron Hill, out with lingering issues from a concussion, is still at least 10 days away from beginning a rehab assignment, according to the team Web site. Meanwhile, Ryan Church hopes to be return to the lineup from his concussion problems on June 23 if all goes well, according to the New York Daily News. ... Jeff Clement is expected to start almost every day for the Mariners at catcher, with Kenji Johjima seeing more time at DH. ... Fausto Carmona's rehab has been put on hold after he experienced soreness in his hip after a three-inning simulated game on Monday. ... Homer Bailey, whose velocity has dropped 3-4 mph since coming up from Triple-A, may not make his next start this weekend, and could be bumped from the rotation. ... Hank Blalock, out with a wrist injury, is expected to begin a rehab assignment on Friday and join the active roster next Tuesday. ... Anthony Reyes will make at least one spot start for the Cardinals on Thursday, as Todd Wellemeyer will be skipped in the rotation due to a sore elbow.
"[H]ere's an intriguing thought (and it's nothing but speculation): For the same reason that the Red Sox might be the best-positioned team to make a run at [C.C.] Sabathia, if they wanted to, Boston could be best positioned to make a short-term acquisition of [Mark] Teixeira."
-- Buster Olney Full Story
• Paul Konerko went on the disabled list for the first time in his career due to a strained oblique muscle and should be out about three weeks. The White Sox called up DeWayne Wise, who will be part of a time-share in center field, with Nick Swisher moving to first base in the interim. Brian Anderson and Alexei Ramirez will also see time in center.
• The Red Sox placed Bartolo Colon on the disabled list with back stiffness. They summoned reliever Chris Smith from Triple-A temporarily. Daisuke Matsuzaka will be ready to go when it is Colon's next turn, and Justin Masterson will remain in the rotation for at least a few more starts.
• The Nationals activated Paul Lo Duca from the disabled list, but Jesus Flores will still be the starting catcher. Lo Duca will see time behind the plate, at first, and in left field to get his bat into the lineup.
• Knuckleballer Charlie Zink just keeps on rolling at Triple-A for the Red Sox. He allowed one run on just four hits in seven innings on Tuesday night to drop his season ERA to 2.14. He's allowed one run or less in six of his past seven starts, and has walked just three batters total in his last three outings. Though there is no opening at the big league level right now, Zink has put himself in consideration for a callup later this season. You always have to pull for the knuckleballers.
• Troy Tulowitzki went 2-for-4 with a double and had no issues playing shortstop in his first rehab game at Triple-A on Tuesday. He's on track to return to the Rockies on Friday.
• Jeff Keppinger went 2-for-5 with a homer in his rehab game at Triple-A, but has yet to test his kneecap in the field. He's been a DH for all six of his rehab appearances thus far, and is still at least a week away from returning due to not being able to play the field.