The home run Saturday was Mercer’s second in the last week and on the season the shortstop is slashing .274/.357/.367 on the season with four home runs and 26 RBI coming into Saturday. Mercer also extended his hit streak to ten games with Saturday’s performance. Sunday the Pirates face Clayton Kershaw, whom Mercer is 2 for 5 in his career.
It has to be difficult to understand the wear and tear a football player endures in the NFL. But Calvin Johnson contends his desire to be retired is not fueled by a lack of playoff appearances or wins or losses, he was beat up. Johnson hauled in 731 passes in his career for 11,619 yards with 83 touchdowns for Detroit. In a recent interview, he reiterated his desire to stay retired and while fans are hopeful for a return, Johnson contends he is satisfied in retirement.
The veteran has gone from being a top fantasy pick, to having a very down season so far in 2016. On the year McCutchen is hitting just .241, after putting up a career average of .294 in his first six seasons in the league. His bat woke up Saturday in a big way, taking Dodgers starter Kenta Maeda deep twice. With 11 home runs and 29 RBI and only two stolen bases, he is producing stats, just not at the rate we are used to. In addition to the overall down season, he is hitting only .192 on for the month of June, which has prompted rumors that the veteran needs to be traded. On Sunday, the Pirates will face the best pitcher on the planet in Clayton Kershaw. Surprisingly, Cutch is 9 for 24 with a home run in his career against the Dodgers ace.
Coming into Saturday’s contest with the Dodgers, the veteran turned in a quality start his last time out against the Giants at home, and today’s strong showing makes two in a row. The two starts prior to that, Locke was a disaster, allowing 11 and 7 runs respectively. On the year, he is posting a 5.44 ERA and a 1.43 WHIP, to go with a 6-5 record. His next start comes against the A’s on the road July 1st. Locke has been torched on the road the tune of a 7.36 ERA and a 2-4 record.
With only 2 hits in his last ten games, and a .198 average on the season, Ellis has not done much to make his way into the starting lineup for the Dodgers. However, he drove in the only run for the Dodgers on Saturday. He remains the backup to starting backstop Yasmani Grandal, who has not been much better so far in 2016. Ellis figures to head back to the bench Sunday as the Dodgers face Pirates rookie starter Chad Kuhl, who will be making his major league debut in place of Juan Nicasio. If Ellis finds himself in the lineup, he could have some success against the rookie.
The rookie Japanese import continues to impress in his first season in America, however, he did not have his best stuff Saturday, including giving up two homers to Andrew McCutchen. Maeda entered Saturday with a 6-4 record, a 2.64 ERA, and a 1.10 WHIP. His presence as the number two starter behind all world, Clayton Kershaw has been welcomed, and it is anyone’s guess as to where the Dodgers would be without him considering the state of the rest of the rotation. In his last five starts, Maeda has posted a 1.82 ERA and allowed two or fewer runs in each, while winning three. He will take the hill next against the Brewers on the road at Miller Park on June 30th. On the road this season, Maeda is 4-0 with a solid 2.19 ERA.
Moya is considered day-to-day. He'll hope to return to the lineup on Sunday as the Tigers square off against Josh Tomlin and the Indians. Moya has pretty ugly plate discipline, walking 6.3% of the time with a massive 28.6% strikeout rate, the latter of which will lead to the steep decline of his batting average. He does have massive raw power however, which makes him interesting. He hit 40 home runs in 2014 across multiple levels of the minors, but managed only 23 last season. He's a very aggressive hitter which limits his value in OBP and points leagues, but he's an interesting option in deep mixed leagues for those looking for home runs.
In one of the biggest surprises of the 2016 season, Fernando Rodney has been perfect in his save chances. Rodney now has 17 saves on the year and in June has a sparkling 16:3 K:BB rate in 9.2 innings pitched. For the season, his ERA is at 0.31 with only one earned run allowed and a WHIP of 0.87. It remains to be seen if Rodney will be traded at the deadline, but he has resurrected his career in San Diego in the first half.