I applaud Rays infielder Sean Rodriguez for his recent play. Not only has he become a defensive gem at third base in the wake of Evan Longoria's injury, but S-Rod is contributing offensively as well.
He has hit safely in 16 of his last 18 games, producing a .322 average, .542 slugging percentage, .897 OPS, three homers, four doubles, eight RBI and nine runs in that span.
He's finally looking like the hitter he was in the minors. Rodriguez had a career .501 slugging percentage in the minors, producing a .620 slugging percentage and 1.016 OPS in 175 Triple-A games.
But is it time to buy into S-Rod? Unfortunately, I'm not so sure that this isn't just a market correction to get Rodriguez's numbers back to where they have been.
Before his recent hot streak, Rodriguez was batting .182 with a .263 OBP, .227 slugging percentage and .490 OPS in his first 22 games. After his latest outburst, Rodriguez's numbers are .248/.304/.376/.680. His career numbers are .231/.307/.368/.675. You see my hesitation?
It's true that S-Rod is entering the prime of his career. It might be that he has finally figured it out now this is the third straight season he has received regular at-bats at the MLB level. But I'm not ready to wholeheartedly back S-Rod for Fantasy owners without a few more weeks of evaluation.
If you can afford a bench spot in a deep league, then absolutely stash and probably start S-Rod while he's on a roll. But if you have a short bench and are in a shallow league, then I would still take a wait-and-see approach.