Alexei Ramirez went 2-for-4 with a double and an RBI against the Marlins on Saturday.
Always a free-swinger, Ramirez has only six less walks this year (10) than he did over 593 at-bats last season. That's the good news. The bad is that Ramirez hasn't found his power stroke. Ramirez (one home run) is slugging only .354, the lowest mark of his career.
Nate McLouth went 2-for-4 with a walk in Saturday's victory against the Blue Jays.
The 32-year-old is thriving atop Baltimore's potent lineup, posting a .285/.365/.437 slash line and leading the American League with 15 steals. He's also sixth with 34 runs scored. Between 2010-2012, McLouth often looked dead in the water, batting an anemic .221/.320/.346 line over 255 games. McLouth hasn't played this well since 2008, when he was a 26-year-old All-Star for the Pirates.
John Axford hasn't allowed a run since May 14.
This stretch of effectiveness couldn't have come at a better time for the Ax Man. With Jim Henderson shelved with a hamstring injury, Axford could enter into a ninth-inning committee with Francisco Rodriguez and Mike Gonzalez. Axford held a 9.20 ERA on May 14. Six straight scoreless appearances have it down to 6.64.
Jerry Blevins has posted a spectacular 1.99 ERA and 0.66 WHIP in 22 appearances.
In addition, he's 3-0 and has posted an amazing 20/1 K/BB ratio over 22 2/3 frames. Owners in holds leagues should note that this veteran left-hander hasn't yet recorded one, but Blevins has proved over the last few years to be a decent middle reliever in AL-only leagues.
Burke Badenhop twirled two scoreless innings of relief in Saturday's loss to the Pirates.
Acquired over the winter from the Rays for OF Raul Mondesi, Jr., Badenhop hasn't disappointed Milwaukee's brass, boasting a 2.11 ERA and 0.94 WHIP over 24 appearances. Badenhop hasn't given up an earned run in May, which has had a gastric bypass-type effect on his earned run average.
Brandon Kintzler holds a 4.22 ERA and 1.12 WHIP over 21 1/3 innings.
The 28-year-old righty has been hit or miss this year. In five of his appearances, he's given up exactly two runs each time. In the other 16, he's given up none. Kintzler has six holds on the season, including four in the last two weeks.
Tony Cruz has collected only two singles and a walk in 13 plate appearances.
The little-used backup isn't going to sniff fantasy relevance playing behind Yadier Molina. Cruz, a former 26th-round pick, is a .251/.287/.345 career hitter.
Randy Choate logged a scoreless inning of relief Saturday against the Dodgers, lowering his ERA to 1.08.
A 37-year-old lefty killer, Choate has logged only 8 1/3 innings this year due to discretionary use. He's dutifully performed his role, allowing only one earned run over 16 appearances. Choate has six holds on the year and will earn plenty more pitching for the mighty Cardinals.