Players to Watch: Mariners
Felix Hernandez: I’ve already covered Hernandez, but it needs to be said again: This is one of the best pitchers in baseball coming off of one of the most dominant performances in baseball history. Many of you probably aren’t tuning in to watch the Indians now that they’re out of it, but why not tune in for this one? So what if the reason is to watch a guy on the opposition. He’s that good. It’s worth staying up until 1 AM.
- Dustin Ackley: Ackley is supposed to be “the man” for the Mariners. Unfortunately, it’s been a less-than spectacular season for the sophomore second baseman. He struggled early on at the plate and has never really been able to bounce back. He’s still an exciting player and can still do some exciting things that can swing a game in the Mariners favor. What’s really going to be interesting is seeing how he bounces back next year.
Players to Watch: Indians
- Ezequiel Carrera: Since he was called up to replace Johnny Damon, Carrera has been great. So far he’s hitting .341/.348/.523 and has finally made his way to the top of the lineup. He has the speed that you like to see in a prototypical lead-off hitter. Now it’s just a matter of whether or not he can get on base with the same type of regularity that’s needed. So far so good. Let’s just hope it continues.
- Esmil Rogers: Rogers has been a surprising addition to the Tribe’s bullpen. Since he was acquired he’s become one of the few reliable pieces Manny Acta has left to work with, having posted a 2.43 ERA and almost strikeout an inning. With his emergence as a reliable late-inning reliever, it makes you wonder if he could make either Chris Perez or Vinnie Pestano expendable in the offseason. Could he be a potential eighth-inning setup man for Perez, or could we find him setting up Pestano in 2013? His performance the remainder of the year could help decide that.