A while back, I suggested sitting back and watching to see how Yankees left-hander Andy Pettitte progressed in his comeback after a year-long retirement before jumping onto the bandwagon.
I'd say it's probably OK to jump on now.
Pettitte has been better than his 3-2 record would suggest. He sports a 2.81 ERA and 1.03 WHIP, with 40 strikeouts and 9 walks in 41 2/3 innings. He's held opponents to a .225 batting average and has given up two earned runs or fewer in four of his six starts.
Despite battling a bruised hand, Pettitte declared himself ready to pitch today against the Nationals after having thrown a bullpen session on Wednesday. He's also still available in 38 percent of Yahoo! leagues.
You might also want to consider Pettitte's teammate and fellow hurler, Ivan Nova. The youngster, owned in 55 percent of Yahoo! leagues, is 8-2 and has been hot as of late, with two wins with 11 strikeouts, a 0.60 ERA and a 0.73 WHIP in the last 14 days. Nova has won his last four starts, going at least 6 2/3 innings in each.
Opponents are hitting .290 against him this season, but that's largely due to the slow start to the season Nova got off to. After a 16-4 breakout campaign in 2011, I'm surprised Nova is still so readily available — especially considering he pitches for the Yankees, which almost guarantees he'll finish the season with a decent win total.
* * *
Care to guess who the hottest hitter in the Majors is?
Albert Pujols? Nope. Josh Hamilton? Try again. Prince Fielder? Wrong.
What would you say if I told you it was a Minnesota Twin by the name of Trevor Plouffe?
Plouffe has been playing out of his mind of late, hitting .386 with 7 home runs, 14 RBI and 12 runs in the last 14 days. Perhaps even better, he has eligibility at second, third, shortstop and the outfield and is owned in 47 percent of Yahoo! leagues — although most of that ownership has resulted since he began his hot streak.
On the season Plouffe is still hitting just .232, and this 14-day stretch represents the majority of his production. This leads me to believe this level of play won't last. But if you're scuffling at any of the many positions he's eligible for, you might as well ride the streak and use him for all he's worth before sending him packing once he inevitably comes crashing back to earth.
* * *
Ike Davis is finally showing signs of life for the Mets.
After a truly putrid start which had people asking whether or not Davis would be demoted to the minors, the first baseman has quietly undertake a five-game hitting streak and is hitting .471 with a homer and 7 RBI in the last seven days.
Davis' poor start saw his ownership level drop to 36 percent, so perhaps now is the optimal time to jump back onto the bandwagon.
* * *
If you've been holding onto Richie Weeks hoping he would finally wake up from the nightmare that has been his 2012 season, I think we've now reached the point where you can comfortably drop him.
Weeks is hitting just .164 with 5 HR, 16 RBI and 21 runs and he hasn't been much better of late, hitting just .194 with 4 RBI in the last 14 days. It's hard to believe Weeks could really be this bad, but perhaps he's batting some sort of injury he's keeping quiet about — or maybe this is just a lost season.
* * *
Jim Thome has been enjoying a resurgence of late, hitting .423 with 3 HR and 13 RBI over the last two weeks. But before you get too excited, keep this in mind: Thome has largely done this during interleague play, which has allowed him to get regular at-bats and allowed him to DH rather than play the field (not to mention his familiarity with some of the American League ballparks). So in short, I'm not sure I'm buying this hot stretch of his.
* * *
Just an FYI: it was announced yesterday afternoon that Red Sox starter Josh Beckett will not make his scheduled start against the Cubs tomorrow night due to right shoulder inflammation.