Carlos Zambrano dominates in latest minor league start
The 32-year-old threw seven shutout innings against Toledo. He allowed just five hits and a walk against seven strikeouts. Zambrano has a 0.95 ERA in 28 1/3 innings between three minor league levels and a 1.50 ERA in two starts at Lehigh Valley. He could be added to the Phillies rotation if starters like Jonathan Pettibone continue to struggle.
DH role seems to agree with Albert Pujols
Pujols also has a .623 slugging percentage, 1.023 OPS, four home runs, five doubles, six walks, seven runs and 13 RBI in his last 15 games.
Pujols has been a much better offensive option as a DH in 2013. His slash line in 40 games as a DH is .311/.494/.881, as opposed to .196/.402/.660 in 29 games as a first baseman.
Jacoby Ellsbury playing up to abilities
After a slower than expected start to the season,
"He's swinging the bat and playing as he's shown before he's very capable," manager John Farrell said, per the Boston Herald. "When he gets on base, we're seeing what he's capable of doing. With two outs, he gets on base and could be standing on third in a matter of pitches. What Jacoby gives us is a dynamic guy in that leadoff spot."
Chase Utley to begin rehab assignment Wednesday
It's unclear how many games Utley will play at Reading, but a best-case scenario could see him returning to the Phillies by the weekend. Utley was hitting .272/.339/.475 in 158 at-bats before he went down with a strained oblique May 20.
Sinker fuels Esmil Rogers' emergence
Rogers had a 4.23 ERA and 1.41 WHIP in 23 relief outings.
"His sinker is the biggest difference," catcher J.P. Arencibia said, per the National Post. "Earlier, guys could jump on his fastball. He had a pretty straight fastball, and now he’s sinking it so you really have to respect that. He can sink a right-hander in, and then they have to respect that ball in, and now he’s throwing 96-mile-an-hour fastballs down and away, late, to strike them out."
Rogers isn't short on confidence either.
"I have unbelievable confidence right now," he said. "I can throw any pitch in any count that I want. I know I got ability. If they’re going to hit, they’re going to hit my pitches."
Justin Smoak homers in first game back
Playing in his first MLB game since May 29,
It was Smoak's fourth home run and third in his last nine games. All of Smoak's home runs this season have been solo home runs and Tuesday's homer was his first before the ninth inning. Dating back to April 29, Smoak has a .279 average and .485 slugging percentage in his last 21 games.
John Jaso hits stride in June
Jaso is batting .389 (14 for 36) with one home run, two doubles, six RBI, seven runs and seven walks in June. His batting average has improved from .252 to .281 during his June run.
Brandon Moss snapping out of slump in big way
Moss is batting .357 (10 for 28) with one triple, six runs, seven RBI and 10 strikeouts in his last six games. Prior to his hot streak, Moss hit .132 (7 for 53) over a 24-game stretch from May 14-June 11.
Ryan Vogelsong gets pins removed from hand
Vogelsong is farther along in his recovery than he expected at this point, and the surgery means he can begin mobility and flexibility exercises with the hand. He is still likely out until the All-Star break or later.
Leonys Martin loves 'base running part of the game'
"I love the base running part of the game," Martin said, per ESPN.
Martin has hit safely in four straight games and is batting .364 (8 for 22) in his last seven games. He has one home run, two RBI, two walks, three stolen bases, three doubles and five runs in that span.