MLB Week


A scout's take

On Garrett Atkins Colorado Rockies 26-year-old third baseman Batting .313 with 7 HRs, 26 RBIs

Hitting -- He hits the fastball and can take the breaking ball the other way. He uses the whole field and has a good two-strike approach. He has evolved into a real professional hitter. A lot of guys this young aren't this polished.

Overall -- He's worked on his defense to become above average. They threw him up at the No. 2 spot and he makes their lineup really nasty. He's a tough out with power at the second spot. One of the reasons the Rockies have been so good is that he has been so good.

Future -- There are rumblings that the Rockies need to move (top third base prospect) Ian Stewart to another position because Atkins has been so good. No one would have thought of doing anything like that a couple years ago. And it's not because of Stewart; it's Atkins.

Note: "A scout's take" features the opinion of one major league scout on a particular player each week. A revolving roundtable of scouts is used. Because of potential tampering, the scouts will remain anonymous.

Say what?

"I push my body hard, but I still need ... to get what I call stressful innings. I call them stressful innings because, at my age, it's stressful."

Pitcher Roger Clemens, 43, who said last week that he un-retired again and will pitch for his hometown Houston Astros.

Numbing number


That's how many wins New York Mets pitcher Pedro Martinez had in May. It was the first time in his 14-year major league career that he has made five or more starts in a month and didn't win a game. The goose egg wasn't his fault. In May, Martinez was 0-1 with a 2.14 ERA. He allowed just 25 hits and struck out 55 in 42 innings.

What's up?

Test for Tigers

For the first time this season, the first-place Detroit Tigers go into Chicago to play the defending champion White Sox. The three-game series starts Tuesday. Another 1-2 division battle happens at Yankee Stadium with the Boston Red Sox visiting for four games starting tomorrow. The surprising Arizona Diamondbacks host the Philadelphia Phillies and the Mets for seven games beginning tomorrow.

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