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When young Rangers left-hander Martin Perez was hammered for seven runs -- six earned -- in just three innings during a July 26 loss to the Indians, many risk-averse fantasy owners jumped off the bandwagon. Hopefully that wasn’t you.
Perez threw his first career complete game Sunday in the Rangers’ 6-1 defeat of the Astros, allowing just one run on four hits over nine frames while striking out eight. Since that disastrous-seeming July 26 start, the 22-year-old southpaw boasts a 1.59 ERA and 19 strikeouts in 22 2/3 innings and he has not lost a decision.
Perez was regarded as a top prospect from a very early age -- 17 years old, to be exact -- and is just now starting to find his groove at the highest level of baseball competition. He possesses a consistently-mid-90s fastball and three different offspeed deliveries. The kid is a must-start in standard fantasy formats going forward.
Reds Welcome Back Ludwick
Reds outfielder Ryan Ludwick has not appeared in a major league game since suffering a dislocated right shoulder and torn right shoulder cartilage while running the bases on Opening Day. But he will change that this week.
Ludwick was officially activated from the 60-day disabled list on Sunday night and is expected to return to the Reds’ starting lineup for Monday night’s series-opener against the Cubs at Wrigley Field. Derrick Robinson got optioned to Triple-A Louisville on Sunday to clear the roster room.
Ludwick hit just .136/.208/.207 with only two extra-base hits during his 13-game minor league rehab assignment and he turned 35 years old in July. But the veteran slugged 26 home runs and tallied 80 RBI in 125 games last season for Cincinnati and should still have some power swings left in his bat. Great American Ball Park tends to help bring those power swings out.
Farquhar Finding It
If you read this column last week, you would likely be a proud owner of the Mariners’ new closer and one of the hottest relievers in all of Major League Baseball, right-hander Danny Farquhar. The hard-throwing 26-year-old hasn’t allowed a run and has yielded only four total hits in his last nine relief appearances and he’s converted four straight saves since being thrust into Seattle’s ninth-inning role.
Farquhar has 56 strikeouts in 37 1/3 innings this season and should keep dominating down the stretch.
National League Quick Hits: Nationals ace Stephen Strasburg threw the first shutout of his career Sunday in a victory over the Phillies … Clayton Kershaw allowed just one run over eight innings Sunday in the Dodgers’ defeat of the Rays … Cardinals first baseman Allen Craig finished 3-for-3 with a double, two walks, an RBI and two runs scored Sunday in a defeat of the rival Cubs … Pirates third baseman Pedro Alvarez launched his 28th home run of the season Sunday in a loss to the Rockies … Hanley Ramirez has missed seven straight games with a jammed right shoulder … Jayson Werth went 3-for-4 with an RBI in Sunday’s win over the Phillies and is now batting .571/.647/.821 in August … Cardinals closer Edward Mujica earned his 31st save of the season Sunday against the Cubs … Freddie Freeman homered and finished with three total RBI in the Braves’ win over the Marlins on Sunday … Rex Brothers tallied his 10th save of the season Sunday in the Rockies’ win over the Pirates … Diamondbacks outfielder Cody Ross was diagnosed Sunday with a dislocated right hip and might be done for the year … Carlos Beltran is day-to-day with a right foot contusion … Jason Heyward finished 4-for-5 with an RBI and two runs scored Sunday as the Braves rolled past the Marlins … The Diamondbacks promoted third base prospect Matt Davidson from Triple-A Reno … Justin Upton (hamstring) is hoping to play Monday … Yadier Molina (knee) is expected to return from the disabled list on Thursday, the first day that he is eligible … Pirates left-hander Wandy Rodriguez (elbow) could resume facing live hitters by early next week.
American League Quick Hits: Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez hit his first home run of the 2013 season Sunday off Tigers ace Justin Verlander … Alex Rios went 2-for-4 on Sunday against the Astros and is now 4-for-7 since joining the Rangers … A’s closer Grant Balfour picked up his 30th save of the season on Sunday against the Blue Jays … Matt Moore (elbow) threw a 50-pitch bullpen session on Sunday and should rejoin the Rays’ starting rotation next weekend … Tigers catcher Alex Avila was placed on the 7-day concussion disabled list … Adam Jones slugged his 24th home run of the season Sunday in the Orioles’ defeat of the Giants … Jeremy Hellickson lasted just three innings Sunday in the Rays’ loss to the Dodgers … Royals catcher Salvador Perez went 1-for-3 in his first game back from a concussion on Sunday … Chris Carter slugged his 21st home run of the season Sunday in the Astros’ loss to the Rangers … Royals closer Greg Holland tallied his 32nd save of the year Sunday against the Red Sox …Mariners ace Felix Hernandez tossed eight scoreless innings Sunday in a defeat of the Brewers … Dayan Viciedo will undergo an MRI on his sore left thumb Monday … Twins right-hander Kevin Correia tossed seven innings of shutout ball Sunday against the White Sox … Jamey Carroll was traded from the Twins to the Royals on Sunday for a player to be named later or cash considerations … Mariano Rivera blew his third consecutive save opportunity Sunday against the Tigers but escaped with the win … Astros shortstop Jonathan Villar (thumb) is expected to return to the starting lineup Monday … Neftali Feliz was scratched from a rehab start this weekend at Triple-A Round Rock due to triceps soreness.