Rundown: Drabek arrives

(By Dave)


was the centerpiece of the Blue Jays’ haul from the
Roy Halladay trade. Kyle Drabek also made his Major League debut Wednesday night vs.
the Orioles. He was pretty solid, allowing nine hits and three earned runs with
three walks and five strikeouts over six innings of a losing effort. The
22-year-old right-hander spent the season at Double-A New Hampshire, where he
went 14-9 with a 2.94 ERA and 132/68 K/BB ratio in 162 innings. Those in keeper
leagues already know Drabek well, but those in deeper leagues that need a
swanky new arm down the stretch might want to press “click” on Drabek’s name,
as he’ll face the Mariners next.

One highly touted rookie you won’t want to pick up
down the stretch is Jenrry Mejia.  The Mets pitching prospect left
Wednesday’s game in the third inning with an acute strain in the muscle in the
back of his right shoulder, a injury that could end his season. Stay tuned for
results on his MRI.

Twins manager Ron Gardenhire announced that upon Scott Baker‘s return from the DL, Baker
will pitch out of the bullpen. Baker has not pitched since his start against
the Tigers on Sept. 2 when he had a second occurrence of tendinitis in his
right elbow.

Cardinals right-hander Chris Carpenter was removed from Wednesday night’s 7-3 loss to the
Cubs due to cramping in his right hamstring in the seventh inning.  Let’s stay tuned for an update on that one
but I’m guessing it’s nothing too serious.

(W, CG, ER, 7 H, 3 Ks vs. TOR) Hello! AL-only leaguers who rolled the dice here have been
rewarded in spades, as Bergesen is 2-1 with a 1.57 ERA over his last four trips
to the hill. He gets the Red Sox next.

(2-for-3, HR, 4 RBIs, BB) — Betemit has been
absolutely destroying the ball during a five-game hitting streak, going
11-for-22 with two jacks and eight RBIs. Just add him already.

(W, 7 IP, ER, 4 H, 3 BB, 6 K vs. SEA) — A nice
bounce-back for Buchholz, who was tagged for five runs in just one inning last
time out. The victory was his first since Aug. 22, as the young right-hander
lowered his ERA to 2.48, which is good for second in the AL. Owners can return
to throwing Buchholz with confidence when he hurls again on Sept. 21 vs. an
Orioles club he blanked earlier this season.

(W, 7 IP, 0 ER, 3 H, 5 K vs. LAD) — A dominant
performance from Cain, who surrendered less than two earned runs for the first
time in eight starts. Oh, and he didn’t walk anyone. The big right-hander will
carry a 3.08 ERA and 1.10 WHIP into his next outing on Sept. 21 vs. the Cubs at

(2-for-4, 2 HR, 4 RBIs) – Hey, that was exciting!
Too bad there’s likely not much to see in Johnson here, as in 25 games this
season, he’s batting .221 with 16 RBIs and 12 runs.

(ND, 3 IP, 3 ER, 4 H, 5 BB, 5 Ks vs. ARI)  Uh
oh. Bailey has really become the ultimate pitching tease with all of his
inconsistencies, flashing ace form one day and then clunking it up the next.
This disaster came on the heels of a seven-inning, nine-strikeout shutout of
the Pirates last time out.

(L, 5 IP, 6 ER, 6 H, 3 BB, 4 K vs. KC) – Didn’t see
that one coming. Cahill entered the contest having hurled 13 consecutive
scoreless frames over his last two starts. Don’t you worry about Trevor Cahill,
he’ll be just fine.

(L, 5 1/3 IP, 6 ER, 9 H, 2 BB, 4 K vs. MIN) –
Back-to-back rough outings for Floyd, who’s now been hit for 11 earned runs
over his last 11 1/3 innings. After going 3-1 with a 0.80 ERA for July, Floyd
is 4-5 with a 6.13 ERA since. Not good.



Rundown: Time to buy Sale

(By Dave)


If there’s a Sale then you know it’s time to buy.
White Sox manager Ozzie Guilen made some comments on Tuesday that indicated
closer Bobby Jenks isn’t expected back any time soon from his current bout of
ulnar neuritis in his right forearm. I don’t know what ulnar neuritis is, but it
sounds painful and it sounds like it’s time to familiarize yourself with Chris Sale. The 21-year-old rookie
southpaw has been electric since getting the call, saving a pair of games while
posting a 0.57 ERA with a 21/10 K/BB ratio over 15 2/3 innings. We all know how
important saves are down the stretch, especially come fantasy playoff time, so
scoop Sale up while supplies last.

 — Missed
Tuesday night getting elbow treatment. Considered day-to-day.

Hamilton –
Not feeling any better after trying a
few more swings. Not good.

– On track to return Sunday vs. the Orioles. Welcome
back, Andy!

(W, 6 IP, 0 ER, 4 H, BB, 5 K vs. TOR) — Another
strong showing from Arrieta, who has surrendered three earned runs or fewer in
five of his last six starts. He’s been even better over his last three outings,
going 2-0 with a 2.60 ERA and 13/2 K/BB ratio over 17 1/3 innings. He gets the
Red Sox next, so start him if you dare.

A. Dickey
(W, CG, ER, 5 H, 3 BB, 4 Ks vs. PIT) Had a shutout going until the ninth.
This just further underscores that Pirates + Citi Field = crazy delicious.

(3-for-4, 2 HR, 4 RBIs) — A monster night for
Duncan, who erupted for his second career multi-homer game, and first since his
rookie season. For the season, the 30-year-old outfielder is batting .240 with
31 RBIs and 22 runs, numbers that have restricted his stock to AL-only formats.

(W, 6 2/3 IP, ER, 5 H, 2 BB, 13 Ks vs. FLA) – This is
starting to get ridiculous. Hamels is now 5-3 with a 1.79 ERA in his last 13

(W, 8 IP, 0 ER, 5 H, 2 BB, 6 K vs. ATL) – And he
homered! Maybe he hasn’t been Livan on a prayer, as the season is winding down
and Hernandez’s ERA still sits at a pretty 3.67 clip. You could do worse than
throw him out there for his next start vs. the Astros.

(W, 8 IP, 0 ER, 4 H, BB, 8 K vs. CIN) –  Ho hum. There haven’t been many hurlers in the
game better than Hudson over the last six weeks, as the young right-hander has
posted a 1.67 ERA and 59/12 K/BB ratio in 64 2/3 innings. Owners can sit back
and watch him work when he hurls again on Sept. 19 in Pittsburgh.

(L, 5 IP, 4 ER, 9 H, BB, 3 K vs. WAS) – Over his
last two starts, Jurrjens is 0-2 while yielding 11 earned runs over 8 2/3
innings. Not good. Also not good? His 4.64 ERA and 1.39 WHIP on the year. There’s
nothing to see here in mixed leagues, folks. Maybe next year.

(3-for-4, HR, 3 RBI, 3 R ) — Over his last nine
games, Aviles is 11-for-31 (.355) with a pair of homers, five RBIs, and five runs.
You could do worse down the stretch.

(3-for-5, HR, 4 RBI, 2 R ) — Betemit has been a
pleasant surprise this month, as he’s 11-for-26 (.423) with a homer, five RBIs,
and six runs in his last six games.

(W, 7 IP, 1 ER, 4 H, 0 BB, 6 K @ COL) – You can take
Jon Garland out of PETCO, but you can’t take the PETCO out of Jon Garland.

(W, 9 IP, 0 ER, 4 H, 0 BB, 4 K @ SF) – First career
complete-game shutout for Kershaw. It also marked his second win since July 25,
despite making nine quality starts in that span. Whatevs, you want him in your
rotation when he faces the Rockies next.

David Murphy (3-for-5, HR, 2
RBI, 2 R) – Is now hitting .366 with a homer, six RBIs and five runs scored
over his last 10 games. You want him in your lineup.

Bud Norris (W, 7 1/3 IP, 1
ER, 3 H, 5 BB, 7 K v. MIL) – It’s Norris’ sixth win in seven decisions. Norris
now owns a 3.61 ERA and 62/27 K/BB ratio over his last 10 starts and is worth
using when he faces the Reds next.

Randy Wells (W, 8 IP, 1 ER, 5 H, 0
BB, 5 K @ STL) – Just the second in 10 starts for the sophomore. With a 5.22
ERA and 41/25 K/BB ratio in that span, you’ll want to stay away when he touches
the rubber next against the Marlins.

Gio Gonzalez (L, 2 IP, 7 ER,
7 H, 3 BB, 1 K @ KC) – Let’s pretend this one never happened, as Gio entered the
contest riding a wave of seven straight quality starts. Chuck him out there
with confidence when he faces the Twins next.

Adam Wainwright (L, 8 IP, 5 ER,
12 H, 1 BB, 8 K v. CHC) Uh oh, Wainwright
has now lost five of his last six starts. Still, he’s rocking a solid 3.71 ERA
and 63/16 K/BB ratio in his last 10 trips to the mound. You can’t not start


Rundown: Bruce is loose

(By Dave)


Jay Bruce knows
how to return in style. After missing 12 games with a sore side, Bruce
proceeded to homer twice and drive in four in a four-hit Monday night. The
better news for Bruce owners is that he has a track record of saving his best for
last, as the former blue-chip prospect batted .353 with four homers and 16 RBIs
last September for the Reds. Here’s some other notable things that went down

Joe Blanton (W, 6
IP, ER, 5 H, 2 BB, 8 K vs. FLA) – More of the same from Blanton, who is now 4-0
with a 3.41 ERA and 52/12 K/BB ratio over his last 10 trips to the mound. No
reason not to use him with confidence going forward.

Bronson Arroyo (W,
6 IP, 2 ER, 7 H, 8 K vs. ARI) – A nice bounce-back effort from Arroyo, who was
tagged for seven runs in 4 1/3 frames last time out vs. the Rockies. With
Monday’s win, Arroyo now has three straight seasons with 15 victories.

Dillon Gee (ND, 6
IP, 0 ER, 5 H, 4 BB, 3 K vs. PIT) — Gee did a good job of mixing his stuff,
inducing nine flyouts and five groundouts to go along with the three Ks. The
24-year-old right-hander has answered the call in his first two big league
starts, surrendering a combined seven hits and one earned run over 13 frames. Still,
I’d shy away from him for his Sept. 18 start vs. the Braves.  

James McDonald (ND,
8 IP, 5 H, 2 BB, 4 K vs. NYM) — McDonald, who extended his scoreless innings
streak to 17, submitted his fourth quality start in eight trips to the hill as
a member of the Pirates. He’s posted a 3.49 ERA and formidable 44/16 K/BB ratio
over 49 frames in that stretch. The 25-year-old right-hander is on track to toe
the rubber again on Sept. 18 vs. the D-backs. And that’s a matchup I like.

Derek Lowe (W, 8
IP, 0 ER, 6 H, 12 K vs. WAS) — The veteran sinkerballer has been lights-out
since missing a start due to elbow soreness, going 2-0 with a 0.64 ERA and 14/0
K/BB ratio in his last two trips to the hill, spanning 14 innings. Owners in
head-to-head playoffs looking to add an arm should make a move for Lowe, who’s
set to take the rock again on Sept. 19 vs. the Mets at pitcher-friendly Citi

Andrew Miller (L,
5 IP, 7 R (5 ER), 3 BB, 5 Ks, 3 HR vs. PHI) – That’s back-to-back disastrous
efforts from Miller, who’s combined to give up 12 earned runs over his last
nine innings, yielding 20 hits in that span. Nothing to see here, folks.

Chris Narveson (ND, 6 IP, 1 ER, 6 H, 2 BB, 7 K vs.
HOU) – That’s four straight starts where the Narv Dog has gone at least six
innings without allowing more than two earned runs. In that 26 1/3-inning-span,
he rocks a stellar 30/8 K/BB ratio and is a worth a roll of the dice when he
faces the Cardinals next.

Geovany Soto (3-for-3, RBI) – Ya know, just in case he’s
somehow available.


Rundown: Wain-righting the ship




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By Matt Chaprales

Adam Wainwright is not accustomed to
losing. Before a recent four-start slide, the Cardinals hurler hadn’t dropped
more than two consecutive decisions since 2007. Considering he was facing a
Braves squad Thursday that had never defeated him, something had to give. Early
on it didn’t look good, as Wainwright surrendered three runs in the first. It
was lights-out after that, though, as the Cy Young candidate faced the minimum
over the next seven frames to notch that elusive 18th win.

Andy Pettitte was pleased with his
rehab start Thursday night for Double-A Trenton, in which he threw 51 pitches
over four innings, giving up two hits and fanning four. Of course, owners with the
southpaw want to know when he’s going to return. That remains an open question,
though if I had to venture a guess, it’s probably unlikely he sees anything more
than a few carefully monitored tuneups for the postseason down the stretch, as the Yankees are already looking
toward October. And as we all know, there’s only one month that truly matters
in the Bronx.

Johnny Damon (4-for-4, RBI, 2 R) has
popped off for four multi-hit efforts in the last five games, going 10-for-21
with four runs and four walks during the brief surge. Without delving too deep
into the history books, I’ll go out on a limb and say Damon is the first player
in some time to notch a four-hit game not long after rejecting a trade to the
Red Sox in favor of remaining in Detroit.

rookie Chris Nelson pulled off a
rare feat Thursday, stealing home off Reds reliever Nick Masset in the eighth to
help propel Colorado to a season-high seventh consecutive win. The speedy pinch-runner
became the first player since Corky Miller in 2001 to record his first career
swipe via a straight steal of home. Nelson was recalled earlier this month
after batting .313 with 12 homers, 55 RBIs and seven thefts at Triple-A
Colorado Springs.

Ryan Ludwick (2-for-3, 2B, HR, 2
RBIs, BB) is fixing to come alive after an extended poor stretch. The
outfielder ended a 25-game power outage but is still batting just .225 with
four jacks and 16 RBIs in 36 contests with the Padres.

was a banner day for Colby Rasmus (4-for-4,
2 HR, 4 RBIs, 3 R, BB), who put together his second multi-homer game of the
season. The second-year outfielder has come into his own in 2010, improving
significantly on his .251/.307/.407 triple-slash as a rookie with an impressive
.276/.360/.514 line this season. Despite a reported trade request, the
24-year-old has 10 hits in his last 18 at-bats.

Bumps ‘n’ bruises: Jimmy Rollins remains day-to-day with tightness in his right
hamstring. … Elvis Andrus is
expected to return to the starting lineup tonight when the Rangers begin a
weekend series vs. the Yankees. … Orlando
missed his second straight start Thursday with a sore left oblique.
Gordon Beckham is targeting a
return to action sometime this weekend. … It’s still not known whether Aaron Cook will be sidelined for the
remainder of the season with a non-displaced fracture of his right leg.


Oh, the pain!


By Zach Steinhorn

Injuries. They can mean the difference between a first and
fifth place finish, and the most frustrating thing is that they are totally out
of our control. Sure, we can try to improve our odds of making it through the
fantasy season relatively healthy by avoiding injury-prone players on draft
day, but sometimes it just isn’t meant to be. Here’s a look at five players who
saw their 2010 campaign come to an end under rather fluky circumstances.


Kendry Morales  1B  Angels 

Coming off a breakout 2009 campaign, Morales was well on his
way towards establishing himself as one of the game’s elite first basemen
before disaster struck. Only if Kendry’s deep fly ball had not cleared the
fence on the afternoon of May 29, he would still be playing today. Instead, a
walk-off grand slam led to a jubilant celebration which led to a fractured leg
which ended his season. Tough way to lose your fourth round pick. The good news
is that Morales should be 100 percent healthy for the start of 2011 and will be
available at a discount. He’s definitely someone to target.


Dustin Pedroia  2B  Red Sox

Make no mistake, getting hit by a pitch hurts. But 95
percent of the time, the batter grimaces for a minute or so, trots to first
base and is later listed as day-to-day. Not in the case of Pedroia, who after
getting plunked on the foot by a Jonathan Sanchez pitch, immediately landed on
the DL. Owners of the scrappy second baseman were all smiles upon his return to
Boston’s lineup
in mid-August, but the good feeling lasted just two games. Back to the DL he
went, and this time it was for good. Elite middle infielders are so hard to
find in fantasy that I don’t see Pedroia falling too much in drafts next year,
but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t take him. Just be willing to pay full


Jake Peavy  SP  White Sox

After looking like his old dominant self during his three
starts with the South Siders last September, Peavy proved that he was fully
recovered from the ankle injury that sidelined him for a good chunk of the 2009
season. The former Cy Young award winner instantly became a mid-round sleeper
target for 2010. Owners who took a chance on him are surely kicking themselves
now. Not only was he mediocre in 17 starts this year, posting a 7-6 record and
a 4.63 ERA, but in July the injury bug struck yet again as a detached shoulder
muscle ended his season. Peavy says he’ll be ready in time for spring training,
but you’re better off turning to other options next year. Pitchers coming back
from shoulder surgery generally do not make for smart investments.


Ricky Nolasco  SP  Marlins

Now this one is flat-out bizarre. Just when Nolasco owners
were starting to gain some confidence that he was finally putting his
early-season inconsistency behind him, having recorded nine quality starts in
his last 12 outings, he suffers a torn meniscus. How, you might ask? While tying
his shoes. Seriously, you can’t make this stuff up. Sabermetric gurus will once
again be drooling over the K/BB specialist heading into 2011, and I’ll once
again be on the bandwagon. Sooner or later, this guy is bound to live up to his


Francisco Rodriguez  RP  Mets

We’re all taught in kindergarten not to let our anger get
the best of us. Apparently, K-Rod was out sick during that lesson. The Mets’
stopper was in the midst of yet another stellar season before suffering a torn
ligament in his thumb, and he wasn’t even on the mound at the time. Rather, he
sustained the injury when he struck his father-in-law during a heated dispute
in the team’s clubhouse. Rodriguez’s fantasy value should remain unchanged
going into next season, unless of course the Mets decide to cut ties with their
fiery closer.


Rundown: Gee whiz?

By Ian Kay

Mat Latos for Cy Young? Sixty more innings pitched probably gives Roy Halladay the edge right now, but just being in the conversation at age 22 is pretty, prettaaaay good. Latos has 14 wins and leads the NL in ERA (2.21) and WHIP (0.96) after another impressive turn last night against the Dodgers (W, 7 IP, ER, 4 H, 10 K).

Speaking of future Cy Young winners, Latos’ victory came at the expense of Clayton Kershaw (7 IP, 2 ER, 5 H, 1 BB, 6 K), who just can’t catch a break right now. The lefty is 1-3 in his last six turns (39 2/3 IP) despite a 2.27 ERA and a 44/15 K/BB ratio over that span. Uhh, Andre? Matt? Any time you want to crank up the offense…
Wrapping up the past/future Cy Young winner portion of our program, Johan Santana (strained pectoral) will be re-examined later this week, Josh Johnson (back, shoulder) will skip his Friday start and Tim Lincecum K’d 11 over 6 2/3 innings of three-run ball in a win over the D-backs.
Dillon Gee — Santana’s rotation replacement — turned in quite the impressive big leage debut for the Mets, holding Nats to one run on two hits over seven frames and taking a no-hitter into the sixth. If you’re still playing meaningful games in an NL-only format, go ahead and take the plunge. Gee’s 9.2 K/9 and 4.0 K/BB ratio over 161 1/3 Triple-A innings this season are far better than his career norms, but you’re really only asking him to keep it up for another four or five starts. 
In the long term, I’m more excited about Yuneski Maya — the other starter who made his big league debut in that Mets/Nats tilt. The 29-year-old Cuban wasn’t overly impressive last night (5 IP, 5 H, 4 ER, 2 BB, 3 K), but even the Nationals don’t give out $6 million contracts for nothing. Scout him over the next few weeks — there might be 2011 sleeper potential here.
Trevor Hoffman finally locked down save No. 600 vs. the Cardinals. I heard that Andy Asby and Steve Finley co-hosted a fabulous after-party, with Woody Williams also making a special guest appearance. Hopefully we can now resume the John Axford closer era in Milwaukee. 
Miguel Cabrera left last night’s game early because of the same biceps injury that forced him out of action twice last week. There’s no word yet on whether Miggy will be available today, but this seems like the kind of injury that won’t be fully healed until Spring Training.
Three more hits and two more RBIs for Jhonny Peralta. He’s now hitting .329/.379/.553 with five homers and 20 RBIs over his last 22 games. Dhetroit Rock City indeed.
Happy Meals for everyone! James McDonald earned his third win after blanking the Braves over seven innings (5 H, 3 BB, 3 K). A 4.17 ERA in seven turns (41 IP) with Pittsburgh doesn’t stand out, but the 40/16 K/BB ratio comes with extra Big Mac special sauce. I’m sure he’ll find his way onto a few of my teams next season.
Michael Bourn was dropped around mid-season in a lot of leagues, but he’s quietly hitting .381 with 14 runs in his last 16 games and has swiped a bag in three of his last four contests. If you need to win steals in a head-to-head playoff match up, he’s your man.
Drew Stubbs went 2-for-4 with a pair of ribbies last night. The outfielder is extremely streaky and the average may never be a plus, but he’s also capable of going bonkers and winning you two or three weekly categories by himself. Just keep the old saying in mind: when you try to catch lightning in a bottle, you might get burned.
Bumps ‘n’ bruises: David Wright was scratched with a bruised finger. … Billy Butler and Freddy Garcia exited early due to injury. … Paul Konerko could be back tomorrow. … Jose Reyes is targeting a Friday return. … Jay Bruce hit off a tee. … Brian Fuentes didn’t feel 100 percent after a bullpen session. … Gordon Beckham is going to miss a few more games. … And Jutin Upton isn’t ready to return from a shoulder strain that has supposedly bothered him since 2006.

Rundown: Spinning Espinosa

(By Dave)


National rookie shortstop Danny Espinosa made a costly error
in the first inning that ultimately led to two Mets runs. This made him mad.
And when Danny Espinosa gets mad, he hits two homers with six RBIs! Espinosa
now has three homers and two doubles while batting .563 (9-for-16) since his
callup with the Nats. The highly regarded infielder made a big leap in the
power department this year in the Minors with 22 taters to go along with 25 steals
between Double-A Harrisburg and Triple-A Syracuse, and I have to think the Nats
give this promising youngster free reign with ample at-bats the rest of the
way. There’s little reason not to own him down the stretch.

Josh Hamilton
Said his bruised left ribcage is showing signs of improvement. Considered
day-to-day but I have to think he misses at least 4-5 games.

Justin Upton
Missed his sixth straight game with a left shoulder injury, and it doesn’t seem
like manager Kirk Gibson has any idea when his star outfielder will be back.
And if Gibby doesn’t know, how am I supposed to?

Mat Latos
Scratched from yesterday’s start with the stomach flu. The Padres stopped their
10-game losing streak anyway. Who needs Latos?

Mike Stanton (3-for-5,
HR, 3 RBIs) – Has gone deep twice in four starts and now has 11 homers with 24 RBIs
since the All-Star break.  Watch me spend
a fifth-round pick on him in next year’s drafts.

Aaron Hill (2-for-4,
HR, 2 RBIs) – Now has four homers and nine RBIs over his last seven games.
Yeah, I dropped him last week.

Adalberto Mendez
(W, 6 IP, 0 ER, 1 H, 2 BB, 6 K vs. PHI) – Not a bad Major League debut, except
for the fact he was yanked early after he pulled up with a right quad strain
while running to first base on his first big league hit. The 28-year-old righty
posted a 3.98 ERA and 88/41 K/BB ratio over 86 innings between Double-A and
Triple-A this season and is worth a look in NL-only squads assuming his quad is

Koji Uehara (SV,
IP, 0 ER, 0 H, 0 BB, 2 K) – Is now 7-for-7 in save opportunities since first
taking over the role on August 21. He now owns a stellar 2.18 ERA and 1.03 WHIP
with 36 Ks in 33 innings on the year, and needs to be owned everywhere.

Tommy Hunter (L,
7 IP, 7 ER, 7 H, 2 BB, 4 K vs. TOR) – If you’ve been chugging Hunter out there
for every one of his starts, believing that his 12-3 record and respectable ERA
were legit, then, well, you deserve this.

Brett Anderson (W,
7 2/3 IP, ER, 4 H, 4 K vs. SEA) – That’s back-to-back stellar one-run outings
for everyone’s favorite Oakland southpaw. If he was somehow dropped in your
mixed league, well, you know what to do.

Madison Bumgarner (ND,
7 1/3 IP, 0 ER, 5 H, BB, 7 K vs. ARI) — The quality start was the ninth in 14
trips to the hill for the young phenom, who lowered his ERA to 3.44. You’ll
want him in your lineup when he faces the Paders next.

Brian Burres (W,
6 IP, ER, 5 H, 3 Ks vs. ATL) – Marked Burres’ first win since May 6. That’s not
good. He has a 5.75 ERA. You really shouldn’t be reading this blurb anymore.

Yovani Gallardo (ND,
7 IP, 2 ER, 4 H, 2 BB, 4 K vs. STL) — An encouraging outing for Gallardo, who
finally put behind him a forgettable three-start stretch in which he been
rocked for a combined 20 earned runs in 14 2/3 innings. Keep him in your
rotation when he faces the Cubs next.

Corey Hart (3-for-4,
2B, 2 HR, 3 RBIs, 3 R, BB) — A huge day for Hart, who has come alive since
suffering through a 1-for-23 slump. The big right fielder has racked up three
consecutive multi-hit efforts, going 7-for-12 with four jacks, two doubles and
six RBIs during the brief surge.

Ian Kennedy (ND,
8 IP, 0 ER, 2H, 2 BB, 6 K vs. SF) – Is now 2-0 with a 1.23 ERA and 23/6 K/BB
ratio over his last three starts. You know what to do here.



Rundown: Allen makes grand return

(By Dave)


Allen knows how to make his presence felt. The beastly 24-year-old first
baseman crushed a grand slam Wednesday night in his first Major League action
of the 2010 campaign with Adam LaRoche sidelined.
107 games before his callup, Allen batted .261 with 25 homers and 86 RBIs, and
should be a sneaky source of power going forward with the D-backs firmly out of
playoff contention. Here’s what else went down yesterday …

(2-for-4, HR, 2 RBIs, 3 R, SB) — A vintage effort
in a disappointing season for Rollins, who entered the game on a 6-for-37 skid.
Overall, the former NL MVP is hitting .244 with 42 runs and 35 RBIs this

(L, 6 IP, 2 ER, 11 K vs. PHI) – He’s 1-4 in his last
seven turns despite a 53/20 K/BB ratio and a 3.15 ERA over 45 2/3 innings in
that span. I Will own Kershaw in every single league next year. He gets the
Padres next.

(3-for-5, HR) – Six homers last nine games. He
should have been picked up in your league by now.

(L, 1 2/3 IP, 9 ER, 8 H, 2 BB, K vs. FLA) – Early
leader for biggest yikes-list performance of September.

(W, 8 IP, ER, 5 H, BB, 9 K vs. COL) – Welcome back,
Timmy! The win pumps the breaks on Lincecum’s five-game losing streak. In five
August starts, the two-time National League Cy Young Award winner posted a 7.82
ERA while opponents batted .311 against him. So I guess what I’m saying is, I’m
glad it’s not August anymore.

Liriano (
7 IP, 0 ER, 5 H, BB, 7 K vs. DET) – He’s still really good. He ranks fourth in
the American League with 178 Ks in 165 1/3 innings, complemented by a solid
3.27 ERA and 1.25 WHIP

Nelson Cruz (1-for-4, 2 RBIs) – Is
just 2-for-13 in the three games back, so hopefully Wednesday’s knock is a sign
of happy days to come!

Jhonny Peralta (2-for-4, RBI) –
Started at DH, which is always fun. Now has 20 RBIs in 108 at-bats with Detroit
and looks like a swank power option with infield eligibility going forward.

Ubaldo Jimenez (L, CG, 2 ER, 10
K vs. SF) – Has gone 0-4 since tying the Rockies’ record for wins in a season
on August 4 and now stands at 17-6. I think I’d still keep him around.

Mike Stanton (2-for-5, HR, 2
RBIs) – Stanton strong and tall. And he needed this one, as the rook had just
one hit in his previous 32 at-bats over the last 10 games.

Sean Rodriguez (3-for-3, HR,
3B, RBI, SB) – Interesting … let’s see his next game before doodling his name
in your trapper keeper. But you might want to start sharpening your pencils.

Aroldis Chapman (W, 1 IP, 0 ER,
2 K) – Meet David Price 2008. He hit 103 on the radar gun. Joel Zumaya would
give him a thumbs up for that if he could.


Rundown: Frenchy goes to Texas

(By Dave)


The Rangers tried to
add a prolific bat to their squad as they gear up for the playoffs. They also
acquired Jeff Francoeur from the Mets. Zing! With Nelson Cruz back from
the DL and David Murphy having proven that he is a capable bat, Frenchy will
have a hard time cracking the lineup consistently, all but making him an
afterthought in fantasy circles. Then again, his .237-11-43 line with a .293
OBP already made him an afterthought in fantasy circles.


Ian Kinsler — Expected to return from the DL tonight after
being sidelined since July 29 with a strained left groin. Activate him but
don’t start him. Teach him a lesson and sit him in the corner by himself after
missing so much time and giving so little this year.


Edison Volquez  — Optioned to Class A after going 3-2
with a 6.17 ERA and 1.97 (!) WHIP over eight starts. Have to think the move was
mostly made due to ineffectiveness. Can’t also hurt that they wanted to call up
this guy …


Aroldis Chapman — Looked like a virtual unhittable
human cyborg in his debut last night. Reportedly reached 103 on the gun in his
first pitch. Struck out one in one perfect inning. He’ll only be used in the
bullpen this year, but act fast in keeper leagues and set your google alert for
whenever he’s warming up, cause it’s getting hot!


Jose Reyes  — Missed his fifth straight game with
his oblique injury. He hasn’t been able to swing a bat without pain. Mum is the
word in Queens about his return, but I’d set the over/under on how many games
he starts this season at 0.5. And I’m leaning towards the under.


Rich Harden — Announced that he is headed back to the
bullpen in favor of Derek Holland. Holland has intrigue but you’re playing
Holland roulette, a less lethal but still dangerous form of Russian
roulette, if you start him in the playoffs. 


Jay Bruce  — Scratched with pain in his right side
last night. Of course he was, too many good things started happened to him.
Hopefully he’ll be alright but you gotta hope this doesn’t pump the breaks on
his recent tear, as Bruce has gone 8-for-15 with five home runs and eight RBIs
over his last four games.


Troy Tulowitzki/Justin
Upton/Adam LaRoche/Gordon Beckham– 
All scratched, all considered day-to-day.


Dan Uggla  — Missed another game with a groin
injury. Monitor this one, groins injuries not only sound painful, but actually


Jose Bautista  (2-for-4, HR, 4 RBIs) — 43 homers and
103 RBIs and has even upped his average to an almost respectable .268


Edwin Jackson (W, 8 2/3 IP, 3 ER, 7 H, BB, 11 Ks vs. CLE) —
I’m sorry Ms. Jackson, I thought your son’s season would take a turn for the
worse when he got dealt to Chicago. EJax is now 3-0 with a 1.47 ERA and 45/8
strikeouts-to-walks ratio in five starts with the White Sox


Jed Lowrie (2-for-3, HR, 2 RBIs) — Finishes
August batting .288 with 11 extra-base hits, 14 runs and a .912 OPS. I’d
take a flier on him if I needed middle-infield help.


Derrek Lee (3-for-3, 2B, RBI, R, BB)  — Now
hititng .243 with the Braves.


Anibal Sanchez (ND, 7 IP, 0 ER, 3 H, 1 BB, 7 K vs. WAS) —
Has given up two earned runs or fewer in four of his last five starts.Should be
owned everywhere and so should this guy …


Jordan Zimmermann (ND, 6 IP, 0 ER, 1 H, 0 BB, 9 K vs. FLA) —
Was flat-out dominant and faced the minimum. Should be scooped up everywhere
but could see a lesser workload down the stretch after the whole Strasburg


Yovani Gallardo (L, 5 IP, 8 ER, 9 H, 3 BB, 6 K vs. CIN) — Has
been touched for at least six earned runs in each of his last three starts,
translating to a 12.27 ERA. The Ks are still there, which is nice, but you
gotta at least think twice before throwing him out there in his next start vs.
the Cardinals.


Jon Niese (L, 4 2/3 IP, 8 R (3 ER), 10 H, 2 BB, 6 Ks vs.
ATL) — Has now given up 15 runs in his last two starts (10 1/3 IP). Sports a
14/5 K/BB ratio in that span so I’m not totally jumping ship but he’s certainly
scaring me. Also wouldn’t be surprised if he got shut down early.


Jeff Niemann (L, 5 IP, 7 ER, 7 H, 2 BB, 3 K vs. TOR) — Has
now given up a combined 17 earned runs in just 8 1/3 innings since returning
from the DL. Who wants to bet on Niemann shadily going on the DL and Hellickson
getting called up? 


Josh Hamilton (2-for-4, 2 RBIs) — The big news is that he
started at DH because of a where-did-that-come-from knee injury. Keep posted on
this one. 


Jhonny Peralta (3-for-5, RBI) — 16-for-41 [.390], 2 HR,
12 RBI, 7 R in last 11 games. Should be owned everywhere by now. 


Jose Tabata (3-for-5, 3 B, 2 RBI, 3 R) — .339
(37-for-109), 9 XBH, 8 RBI, 18 runs in August. So should this guy.


Cliff Lee (ND, 4 2/3 IP, 4 ER, 10 H, 0 BB, 5 K vs. KC)
— Is now 2-5 with a 4.69 ERA with Texas. How that’s even possible while
sporting a 72/6 K/BB ratio is beyond me.  Oh, and yea, maybe the Yanks shouldn’t have traded for him.  



Finding the Fountain of Youth


By Zach Steinhorn

Aging pitchers are generally avoided like the plague in
fantasyland, as most owners would rather take a chance on the young
flamethrower with that all-important “upside.” That strategy usually works, but something strange is happening in 2010: many of
these grizzled veterans are actually providing tremendous return on their draft day investment. Let’s discuss four pitchers who are
defying the odds.

, SP Braves: 
was a popular sleeper pick after pitching very well in his return from Tommy
John surgery last September, but no one could have seen this coming. Not only
has the right-hander reclaimed his ace status, but he’s turning in the finest season
of his career with a 14-5 record, 2.15 ERA and 1.09 WHIP through 25 starts.
Although Hudson
doesn’t offer much in the strikeout department, his low walk rate (2.94 BB/9)
and a knack for inducing tons of ground balls will help keep his ERA down. Expect
continued top-notch production from the 35-year-old sinkerballer.

, RP Braves: 
was supposed to be Wagner’s final season in the big leagues, but the lefty closer might want to delay those retirement plans. Another Tommy John surgery success story, he’s dominated opposing hitters to the
tune of a 1.71 ERA and 0.87 WHIP, and allowed runs in just eight of his 54
appearances this season. Owners who were willing to take on the injury risk and
draft Wagner with a mid-round pick are being handsomely rewarded.  

, SP Mets: 
this one is baffling. Just about the only positive development in what has been
a bitterly disappointing season for the Mets is the emergence of Dickey, who
entered the season with a career ERA of 
5.43. The 35-year-old was called
up from the Minors back in mid-May to serve as a rotation fill-in, and three months later he’s 8-5 with a 2.41 ERA through
18 starts. I remain skeptical as to how much longer his good fortune will last,
but the guy deserves a ton of credit for transforming from an ineffective
hard-thrower to a successful knuckleball pitcher. Who knows — maybe he can
follow in Tim Wakefield’s footsteps and pitch into his mid-40’s. Nice story,
but banking on Dickey to carry your fantasy staff down the stretch is very dangerous.

, SP Yankees: 
The consensus opinion of Pettitte has remained the same
for years: better real-life pitcher than fantasy pitcher. While he was
certainly worth drafting as an innings eater who could rack up a decent number
of wins, owners didn’t expect help in the ERA and WHIP categories from the veteran southpaw. Well, we’ve
been treated to a pleasant surprise this season. Not only was Pettitte 11-2
through 18 starts before going down with a groin injury, but he ranked among
the Major League leaders in ERA (2.88) and held opposing hitters to a .242
average. Pettitte is expected back sometime in
early to mid-September, but the 38-year-old has already far exceeded his owners’ wildest expectations.