With the unofficial start of summer upon us, the national pastime is about to envelop all of us as the weather gets warmer.
The week will be highlighted by the return of one of game’s most feared sluggers (and one who comes with a lot of question marks).
So lets’ look at some hot, intriguing and trending names to watch this week.
Roy Halladay: Philadelphia Phillies
The normally sure-handed Halladay has his owners on edge as he has proven to be mortal of late, giving up nine earned runs in his last two starts (spanning only eight innings).
The worse news for Halladay is that he is scheduled to see a doctor on Tuesday regarding a sore shoulder. After that we’ll know if “Doc” is ready to take the mound in his next start, which is scheduled at home against the Marlins.
Adam Jones: Baltimore Orioles
Well, it took until his last at-bat on Monday, but Jones extended his hitting streak to an impressive 19-games.
Jones has been a revelation this year and is off to fantastic start (.307 batting average, 14 home runs, 31 RBI’s).
Jones will look to continue his streak with two more games against the Blue Jays (Ricky Romero, Brandon Morrow) before taking on the Rays (David Price, Jeremy Hellickson and Matt Moore).
Manny Ramirez: Oakland A’s
Although he is not certain to get the call for Wednesday (when he is eligible to return from his suspension), A’s manager Bob Melvin said there is a 50-50 chance that the mercurial Ramirez will be brought up.
It will be interesting to see what kind of power Ramirez has in his bat. If he is recalled for Wednesday, Ramirez will face off against the struggling Francisco Liriano. After that, the A’s take on the Royals on the road (Felipe Paulino, Luke Hochevar and Nate Adcock) to end the week.
Dayan Viciedo: Chicago White Sox
Viciedo has long been touted as a raw prospect with an unlimited ceiling, and right now he is delivering on his promise.
Viciedo has been on a tear of late and is 10 for his last 17 with three home runs and 10 RBI’s. As a result of his recent surge, more and more fantasy owners are either picking him up or activating him.
For the rest of the week Viciedo will take on the Rays’ James Shields and Alex Cobb before ending the week with the Mariners (Felix Hernandez, Hector Noesi and Kevin Millwood).
Francisco Liriano: Minnesota Twins
The maddeningly disappointing Liriano will get another crack at starting this week and if he can’t deliver in this go round, then it might be time to cut ties with the former stud pitching prospect.
After doing a so-so job out of the pen (7.1 innings pitched while allowing four runs on seven hits and seven walks but striking out nine batters) Liriano will return to the rotation on Wednesday at Kansas City.
Let’s see if he can hold it down this time.
Giancarlo Stanton: Miami Marlins
After a rough beginning at the start of the season, Stanton is making his presence felt at the plate of late.
Stanton has four home runs in his last eight games and is heating up as the temperature rises. Stanton also has four doubles and has driven in 12 runs in this stretch.
Stanton and the Marlins will take on the Nationals (Edwin Jackson, Chien-Ming Wang) at home before heading to Philadelphia to take on the Phillies (Kyle Kendrick, Roy Halladay and Cole Hamels).
Carlos Quentin: San Diego Padres
If there is one team that could use some power it is the Padres, who are last in the league in home runs with 18 (yes, Josh Hamilton has two more than that himself) making the return of Quentin long overdue.
If (and this is a big “if”) Quentin can stay healthy, he can still contribute and be a marginal player for fantasy purposes. Do remember, though, that he has to hit in spacious Petco Park. Quentin was admirable in his debut on Monday against the Cubs, going 1-4 while driving in run.
For the rest of the week, Quentin will take on the Cubs’ Jeff Samardzija and Ryan Dempster before returning home to take on the Diamondbacks (Wade Miley, Daniel Hudson and Trevor Cahill).
Phil Hughes: New York Yankees
While he has let down fantasy owners for far too long, Hughes had pitched well prior to his two-start outing this week, going 3-1 with three quality starts previously.
As such, many fantasy players either scooped him up or activated him for this week hoping he can build on his resurgence.
However, Hughes is off to rocky start after being clubbed by the Angels on Monday (5.1 innings pitched while allowing 11 hits including another home run) but he’ll get a chance to redeem himself in Detroit on Sunday, although he’ll have to face off against Justin Verlander.
Chris Capuano: Los Angeles Dodgers
Have you taken notice of Chris Capuano lately?
If you haven’t then you are missing out on a pitcher who is off to a Cy Young-type season.
Capuano is off to a dazzling 7-1 start, while sporting a pristine 2.14 ERA and 1.00 WHIP. While Clayton Kershaw gets all the pub in L.A., Capuano is quietly flying under the radar.
In his next start, Capuano will square off against the Rockies on the road on Friday.
Matt Kemp: Los Angeles Dodgers
Although it was only two weeks, it seemed like two months that Kemp was out and he’ll finally make his return to the diamond on Tuesday when takes on Michael Fiers and the Brewers at home.
Kemp will also face off against Yovani Gallardo and Zack Greinke before going on the road to take on the Rockies (Jamie Moyer, Juan Nicasio and Alex White).
Follow me on Twitter @Stacdemon