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Stock Watch: Abreu hot, Carroll a winner

4/28/2014

RISING

1. Jose Abreu, 1B: When you win American League player of the week honors, you are most certainly on the rise. While a 1-for-25 stretch during the middle of April might have seemed like a warning sign Abreu was a puzzle that is easily solved, he has emerged from that slump emphatically. The production lull only highlights how good he really is. His April home run and RBI numbers are better than any rookie in history, and he essentially had a six-game stretch during which he did absolutely nothing (seven games, counting the one he didn’t start so he could gather his thoughts).

2. Scott Carroll, RHP: The right-hander made his major league debut in emphatic fashion Sunday, giving up just one earned run over 7⅓ innings against the Tampa Bay Rays. It was not only just what a struggling pitching staff needed, it was a story of triumph for a guy

who had spent eight seasons in the minor leagues, had two surgeries and was in his first big league game at age 29. He earned himself more starts moving forward to show what his sinker is capable of doing.

3. Dayan Viciedo, RF: What does 17 hits over a nine-game hitting streak get you? For Viciedo, it has kept him in the American League batting lead with a .367 average. And those aren’t just empty base hits Viciedo is delivering. He has a .381 batting average with runners in scoring position, 16th best in the AL. Viciedo is two games shy of his career-best hitting streak of 11, set in 2012.

FALLING

1. Marcus Semien, INF: Overall, the rookie infielder is having an impressive start, but he has cooled of late, with just two hits in 12 at-bats during the first three games of Chicago’s homestand. Gordon Beckham has taken over at second base, but Semien has been able to slide over to third while Conor Gillaspie is on the disabled list. On Monday, Semien was moved from the No. 2 spot in the batting order to the 9-hole, with his team-leading 35 strikeouts the likely reason.

2. Alejandro De Aza, LF: The former leadoff man started strong with three home runs in the first two games, but he’s been struggling ever since. He is 6-for-26 (.231) over his past eight games and a troubling 11-for-74 (.149) since his hot start. Also surfacing of late have been his issues on defense and with baserunning.

3. Jose Quintana, LHP: The third-year pitcher is trying to step up now that Chris Sale is on the disabled list, but it has been a rocky run of late. Quintana is 0-2 with a 6.55 ERA over his past two starts, giving the White Sox a combined 11 innings in those outings. Those numbers have come after he posted a 2.37 ERA over his first three outings.