The aging shortstop has picked his game up in July. He's now 19-for-63 (.302) while playing in all but one of the team's 17 games this month. However, there's a glaring downside to Tulowitzki's uptick in average, and that is an unusually high 16:2 strikeout to walk ratio in July. In league's that don't penalize whiffs, owners might be wise to ride Tulo while he's hot -- but temper expectations as he's certainly more of a name than a producer at this point in his career.
His first-inning solo shot got the Rangers on the board, while his 10th-inning single brought home Delino DeShields for the winning run. Andrus had been in a 2-for-29 rut since the All-Star break, but he snapped out of it in fine fashion Friday and his 12 homers on the season has already blown past his previous career high of eight.
With a broken rib behind him, Hardy is now waiting on his fractured wrist to heal before getting back to baseball. He's scheduled to meet with a specialist after traveling with the team on next week's road trip. At that point, Hardy's ultimate fate for 2017 may finally become clear. Regardless, Hardy should be on waivers across all formats until he not only comes back, but provides better than the .211/.248/.308 slash line he posted in 64 games before the injuries.
Polanco has been in a constant struggle at the plate, going 1-for-27 during his last nine games, including an 0-for-3 outing against the Yankees on Wednesday. He will take a seat in favor of Ehire Adrianza, who has been playing well since coming off the disabled list (abdomen) in early July
Thursday's seven-run outburst aside, the Rangers' bats were quiet throughout the Orioles' four-game sweep, with Andrus serving as the poster child for his team's struggles. He failed to record a hit in 16 at-bats during the series and has now opened the second half with a 2-for-29 showing at plate, resulting in an 18-point drop in his batting average. Don't be surprised if manager Jeff Banister gives the shortstop day off during the weekend series with the Rays to reprogram.
Despite Oakland's ongoing fire sale, Semien's name has not been included strongly in trade rumors. The A's apparently want to build around him as part of their long-term middle infield with Franklin Barreto. Semien is batting just .151 with one homer and five stolen bases in 90 plate appearances, though he missed most of the year after fracturing his wrist in mid-April, so this slow re-entry into fantasy relevance isn't surprising. With more reps and a recovery back into game shape, he could re-emerge as a solid fantasy asset down the stretch.
Bogaerts had missed the previous two games with a hand injury suffered when he was hit by a pitch July 6. He had gone 4-for-26 over seven games after getting hit by the pitch, so manager John Farrell gave him a two-game breather. Bogaerts was dropped to sixth in the batting order Thursday as part of a lineup adjustment the manager initiated to jolt the Red Sox out of a recent offensive funk.
After stealing double-digit bases in seven consecutive seasons, Escobar has just two stolen bases this year. It's been a huge blow to his fantasy value, as the shortstop owns a crippling .234/.257/.320 slash line. His three homers, 32 RBI and 37 runs aren't moving the needle, either.
Mountcastle will make his first start with Bowie at third base against Altoona on Thursday. The 20-year-old was hitting .314/.343/.542 with 15 home runs and 47 RBI during 88 games with High-A Frederick upon his promotion. Mountcastle will get a chance to see how he stacks up at the next level, with a spotlight on his K:BB that was sitting at 61:14 during his time with Frederick. The top prospect will need to improve on those numbers in order to continue his progression for the Orioles.
Tulowitzki receives a standard day off following six straight starts to open up the second half of the season. Ryan Goins draws the start at shortstop in his place.