Cordero Coming AlongAlbert Cordero is hitting .333/.382/.367 in his last 10 games (10-for-30). After hitting .182/.193/.218 in 16 games in May, Cordero is up to .286/.357/.388 in 16 games in June. Cordero did not draw a walk in April, earned one in May and four in June - that's progress. He's also thrown out 15 of 27 basestealers against him. If he can hit a little, his defense will carry him.
Rafael’s Rips Rafael Fernandez has hit safely in 10 of his last 11 games going 15-for-38 (.395) in that time. He is hitting .347/.417/.493 (AVG/OBP/SLG) in 21 games in June. His OPS has increased every month from .751 in April to .803 in May and .910 in June. He'll be 23 in August, so he's old for the South Atlantic League, but it's nice to see a player improving and doing so in a way captured numerically.
Sunday PitchingTaylor Whitenton and two relievers combined on a five-hit shutout. It was an unusual outing for Whitenton who usually racks up the strikeouts and the walks but who fanned only three and walked one in six innings. I've been saying on air that he has the stuff and when he throws strikes, he'll succeed. Six scoreless innings later, on this day, well, there's something to that. He's come a long way in terms of throwing his changeup for a strike and his breaking ball looked better than I can remember seeing it.
Also, Sunday, I saw the return of 2010 Gabriel Zavala. Zavala generated many questions last year when he was magnificent out of the Savannah 'pen with a 1.56 ERA and 38 strikeouts against 10 walks and 22 hits in 34.2 innings. He succeeded last year on a fastball that topped out near 90, but with a magnificent breaking ball that he could throw for a strike or bury when he wanted a batter to chase. Entering Sunday, Zavala just wasn't the same guy as last year: a 5.40 ERA with 26 hits, 19 runs, 21 walks and 24 whiffs in 28.1 innings. Sunday, the breaking ball was back. He worked two perfect innings with three strikeouts.
Cuan PerfectIn game one Friday, Angel Cuan was perfect for three innings with one strikeout. He doesn't throw hard, but he's a strike throwing machine with just six walks in 47.1 innings.