Robbie Grossman leads the way for Ben Verlander’s team of the week

As the weeks dwindle down in the MLB regular season, this week’s team of the week was the toughest one I’ve had to do thus far in 2023.

No one really went off and had a huge or spectacular week. There weren’t really many huge stars that had big weeks, either. 

Anyway, here is my team of the week!

Catcher: Jake Rogers, Detroit Tigers — .462 batting average, one home run, 1.154 OPS

Rogers has been playing really well lately. He knocked his 17th homer of the season this past week. He has really had a sneaky good year when you consider that he played just 73 games in the majors prior to 2023 and is coming off Tommy John surgery last year.

First base: Lamonte Wade Jr., San Francisco Giants — .476 batting average, one home run, three RBIs, 1.158 OPS

It was definitely a great week for Wade, as he has done his part to help keep the Giants afloat in the playoff hunt. He actually recorded a walk-off single for the Giants in their 10-inning win over the Cleveland Guardians this past Wednesday.

Wade’s performance in the clutch has also earned him a pretty fun nickname: Late Night Lamonte. Just a great nickname. 

Tampa Bay Rays’ Randy Arozarena headlines Ben’s Team of the Week

Second base: Andy Ibáñez, Detroit Tigers — .438 batting average, one home run, 1.214 OPS

Look at that, the Tigers are getting some love again in team of the week. 

Ibáñez is really an underrated player. He has had a solid season for Detroit, hitting .255 with a .732 OPS to go along with 11 homers in 102 games. He’s actually hitting .309 with a .982 OPS and four homers over the last four weeks — so definitely a good stretch of baseball for him.

Third base: Elehuris Montero, Colorado Rockies — one home run, four RBIs, .989 OPS

Another name on here that might be a household name to baseball fans, but is also a reason why I love doing this!

You’ll typically see MVP candidates on here every week throughout the season. When you do this on a week-by-week basis though, you’ll also get a good amount of players who get hot off over a stretch and allow them to be recognized when they normally aren’t. Montero actually recorded a walk-off hit against the Giants, too. He did get a little help from San Francisco’s defense though. 

Shortstop: Miguel Rojas, Los Angeles Dodgers — .412 batting average, one home run, four RBIs, 1.062 OPS

Rojas is going to be a big part of this Dodgers team as it gears up for October. Obviously, Mookie Betts and Freddie Freeman make that offense go. 

But Rojas helps give that lineup depth, something that was a shortcoming for the Dodgers in each of their last two playoff exits. If he’s able to perform like he did this week throughout the playoffs, he makes that lineup deeper and much more dangerous.

Outfield: Oswaldo Cabrera, New York Yankees — .364 batting average, one home run, three RBIs, 1.072 OPS

The Yankees are letting the kids play, and it’s been fun to watch. 

Obviously, they called up Jasson Domínguez and he was tearing it up for them before he, unfortunately, needed to undergo Tommy John surgery. Cabrera joined Domínguez in the youth movement showcase for the Yankees as their season dwindles down, putting up a more than respectable stat line in what’s mostly been a frustrating year in New York.

Outfield: Randy Arozarena, Tampa Bay Rays — .400 batting average, one home run, three RBIs, 1.084 OPS

Randy was en fuego this week.

He stepped up for the Rays in the major AL East tilt with the Orioles this weekend, hitting a key RBI triple in the Rays’ 4-3 win Thursday and a three-hit performance the following night in another win for Tampa.

Outfield: Robbie Grossman, Texas Rangers — .409 batting average, two home runs, eight RBIs, 1.245 OPS

Grossman had a really, really good week. The outfielder hit a pair of homers, giving the Ranges’ offense some life while other players haven’t been pulling their weight. 

Designated hitter: Mark Canha, Milwaukee Brewers — .316 batting average, two home runs, six RBIs, .982 OPS

This was such an underrated pickup by the Brewers at the deadline.

We all knew Milwaukee needed offense in order to survive the NL Central race, rectifying its mistake from last year’s deadline. Canha was far from the biggest and sexiest players traded (and that’s just even talking about players the New York Mets shipped out), but he’s always been a good, consistent bat. 

He’s producing them, and he’ll likely be in a spot to produce for them in the playoffs.

Starting pitcher: Lucas Giolito, Cleveland Guardians — One win, seven innings pitched, 12 strikeouts, one walk, zero earned runs, two hits

Giolito’s outing against the Rangers this past week was closer to a performance we’ve seen from him in his prime as opposed to what we’ve seen for much of the season. This is what he was when he was dominating with the Chicago White Sox a couple of years ago, posting numbers that got him in the Cy Young contention. His changeup has been one of the best in the game, though it’s been hit or miss for him for much of the season. 

Relief pitcher: Will Vest, Detroit Tigers — One save, two holds, 4 ⅓ innings pitched, seven strikeouts, zero earned runs, two hits

A third Tigers player! What is going on here? Vest had a strong week though. He stepped up in the closer role for a game during the week, and he also had an outing where he struck out four Reds players in a row on 16 pitches.

Player of the game: Robbie Grossman

I feel like I’ve had a Rangers player on my team of the week in each of the last three weeks, with players taking turns dominating for them. That’s why it’s even more frustrating to watch the Rangers struggle the way they have over the last month.

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