With Jair Jurrjens still nursing a tight knee, the
Braves turned to prospect Brandon Beachy
to make his Major League debut start for Atlanta’s pivotal opener vs. the
Phillies Monday night. It went exactly how you thought it went. The 24-year-old
right-hander yielded three runs – one earned – over 4 1/3 innings of four-hit,
three-run ball in the losing effort. Considering the circumstances and
magnitude of the game, Beachy’s shakiness is certainly understandable. What is
unclear is whether or not he makes another start for the Braves. If he does, he’s
worth picking up in NL-only leagues, as he combined to go 5-1 with a 1.73 ERA
— the best ERA posted in the Minor Leagues — while playing for Triple-A
Gwinnett and Double-A Mississippi this year.
Avila (3-for-4, HR, 3 RBIs, 2 R) – You could do worse for
a late-season catcher pickup than Avila, who turned some eyes last season by
posting a .279-5-14 line in just 61 at-bats.
Betancourt (4-for-4, HR, 3 RBIs) — A timely outburst from
Betancourt, who was just 8-for-57 (.140) in 15 games since he last dialed up
the power. Despite a pedestrian .259 average, the 28-year-old shortstop has
been a worthy play in AL-only formats thanks to his 25 doubles and 74 RBIs.
Bogusevic (2-for-4, 2B, 2 R) — Getting his second start since his
inaugural callup on Sept. 1, Bogusevic collected his first career multi-hit
effort and improved to 4-for-14 with two doubles, two RBIs and four runs as a
big leaguer. The 24th overall pick in the 2005 Draft, Bogusevic batted .277
with 13 homers, 91 runs and 23 steals in 131 games with Triple-A Round Rock
Capuano (ND, 6 IP, 2 ER, 4 H, 3 BB, 7 K vs. CIN) — Capuano continues to receive scant
run support despite pitching well. Over his last four starts, he’s posted a
2.59 ERA in 24 1/3 innings of work. Owners in head-to-head playoffs should give
the left-hander some consideration when he returns to the hill on Sept. 25 vs.
Granderson (2-for-3, 2 HR, 5 RBIs, 2 BB, SB) –
Curtis, don’t hurt ’em! A huge night for Granderson, who has popped four out of
the yard during a seven-game hitting streak. With his first blast Monday, the
outfielder officially reached the 20-homer plateau for the fourth consecutive
season. The swipe was his 12th.
Hamels (W, 8 IP, ER, 6 H, BB, 6 K vs. ATL) — Hamels
continues to make opposing hitters look silly. The surging left-hander has won
each of his last five starts, posting an utterly absurd 0.49 ERA and 37/7 K/BB
ratio over 36 2/3 innings. Owners can expect another masterpiece when Hamels
hurls again on Sept. 26 vs. the Mets.
Matusz (ND, 5 IP, ER, 3 H, 3 BB, 4 K) — After leaving his
last start early with a bruised left triceps, Matusz showed no ill effects from
the injury, surrendering three earned runs or fewer for the fifth straight
outing. The 23-year-old southpaw, who is 4-0 with a 1.91 ERA and 26/8 K/BB
ratio in that span, is worth a start in all formats when he toes the rubber
again on Sept. 26 in Toronto.
Murphy (5-for-5, 2B, R) — Murphy has been on a tear over
the last three weeks. The outfielder has hit safely in 15 of 16 games in
September, batting .398 with eight extra-base hits, 11 RBIs and 11 runs.
Holland (L, 3 2/3 IP, 4 ER, 6 H, 3 BB, K vs. LAA) – He’s now
1-3 with a 4.82 ERA since the All-Star break to go with a 29/15 K/BB ratio over
28 innings. The talent is there, you just can’t trust him.
Porcello (ND, 5 1/3 IP, 5 ER, 12 H, 2 K vs. KC) — Porcello, who was scratched from his
last start with strained right index finger, wasn’t very sharp in his return to
action, as the 12 hits represented a season high. The no-decision snapped a
four-start winning streak for the 21-year-old right-hander, who will carry a
5.22 ERA into his next outing on Sept. 26 vs. the Twins.
Gavin Floyd — Was taken out of the game with tightness in the back of his right
shoulder after throwing just seven pitches vs. the A’s. Floyd
left the game with a 2-2 count to leadoff hitter Rajai Davis. Tony Pena
replaced Floyd and got Davis to fly out to center. Floyd is 3-0 with a 1.32 ERA
lifetime against the A’s, but he has been struggling recently. In his previous
start, he allowed nine hits and six earned runs in 5 1/3 innings against the
Twins. Before that, he gave up 13 hits and five earned runs against Detroit.
Hey look, it’s Andy
Pettitte! The veteran southpaw had a strong return to the mound on Sunday,
tossing six innings of one-run ball, yielding three hits and one walk, while
striking out two vs. the Orioles. Pretty impressive numbers considering
Pettitte has been sidelined since July 18 with “persistent small tear” of
his left groin. He’ll face the Red Sox next and is a worthwhile stash for the
Abreu (2-for-5, 2 HR) — Abreu
has now hit in five straight games, with extra-base hits in three of those
contests. With that pair of solo shots on Sunday, the veteran outfielder has
the ninth 20-homer season of his career.
Baker (3-for-4, RBI, BB, 2 R) —
Baker has really made the most of his starts in September. Including his
performance on Sunday, the reserve infielder has four multi-hit games in six
starts this month. However, sparse playing time combined with a .726 season OPS
leaves will keep Baker from fantasy relevancy.
Guillen (2-for-4, HR (GS), 6 RBIs)
— Guillen appears to be enjoying his time in the Bay Area. In 95
at-bats since being traded by the Royals, the veteran slugger is
triple-slashing .315/.354/.453 with three homers and 15 RBIs. He could be a
sneaky play in deeper leagues if playing time comes to him at a regular pace.
Kemp (3-for-5, HR, 2B, 2 RBI,
BB) — Kemp broke out of a 3-for-24 slump in a big way, notching three
hits in a game for just the seventh time this season. Despite the .251 batting
average, the 25-year-old outfielder has been a solid source for power (23
homers, 24 doubles) and RBIs (77) this season.
Lee (2-for-5, HR (GS), 2B, 2 R) — Lee, who entered the
game with five RBIs in September, nearly matched that sum in one swing of the
bat. His seventh inning grand slam was just the veteran first baseman’s second
homer as a member of the Braves, as he’s batting just .267 with Atlanta.
Lester (W, 7 IP, 4 H, 0 ER, 4 BB,
4 K vs. TOR) – Ho hum. Lester is now 5-0
with a 2.38 ERA in that spa, racking up 46 strikeouts against 17 walks.
Rasmus (2-for-3, HR, 2 R) –
Rasmus continues to rake, as the talented sophomore is now batting .387
(12-for-31) with two homers, five RBIs and nine runs scored over his last eight
Adam Wainwright (W, 8 IP, 5
H, ER, 3 BB, 7 K vs. SD) — A nice bounce-back performance from the
Cardinals ace, who entered the contest having lost five of his previous six
Miller (L, 1 1/3 IP, 3 H, 5 ER, 4
BB, K vs. CHC) – The Marlins aren’t doing Miller any favors by sending
the lefty out there every fifth day. Over his last three starts, Miller is 0-3
with a 14.81 ERA. That’s not a typo. Miller has really allowed 17 earned runs
over his last 10 1/3 innings.
Niemann (L, 4 1/3 IP, 6 H, 5 ER, 3
BB, 5 K, 2 HR vs. LAA) - Speaking of pitchers who’d be better off out of their
team’s rotations, Niemann just hasn’t been the same since returning from the
DL. In his five starts back, Niemann is 0-4 with a 14.43 ERA. Not good. Expect
Jeremy Hellickson back in the Rays rotation ASAP.
Chris Tillman (3 2/3 IP, 3 H, 3 ER, 6
BB, K vs. NYY) – That’s two straight games with six walks for Tillman, who is
0-0 with a 4.02 ERA (not
bad) and a 9/15 K/BB ratio (bad) over his last three trips to the mound.
Drabek 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
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.
Bergesen (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.
Betemit (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.
Buchholz (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.
Cain (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
Johnson (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.
Bailey (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.
Cahill (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.
Floyd (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.
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.
Pujols — Missed
Tuesday night getting elbow treatment. Considered day-to-day.
Hamilton – Not feeling any better after trying a
few more swings. Not good.
Pettitte – On track to return Sunday vs. the Orioles. Welcome
Arrieta (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.
Duncan (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.
Hamels (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
Hernandez (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.
Hudson (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.
Jurrjens (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.
Aviles (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.
Betemit (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.
Garland (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.
Kershaw (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
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
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.
(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.
Guys I’m looking at after Funky Tuesday, which is my favorite flavor of Tuesday, barely edging Tasty Tuesday.
extended tryout replacing Ted Lilly in the Cubs rotation. Hello NL-only leagues!
The Padres acquired third baseman Miguel Tejada from the Orioles on Thursday in exchange for Minor League pitcher Wynn Pelzer. Tejada didn’t have much fantasy value in Baltimore, and he won’t have much fantasy value in San Diego.
- Though the Padres desperately need to upgrade their shortstop position with Everth Cabrera hitting .201 on the year, Tejada is expected to primarily spell Chase Headley, who has posted an underwhelming .269-7-34 line over 98 games primarily at the hot corner
- Tejada, who posted an almost-identical .269-7-39 in his return to Baltimore this season, hasn’t been a mixed-league factor in ’10 and certainly won’t be one now playing half his games at PETCO Park.
- I have to think Tejada will play more shortstop for San Diego than reports initially indicate, but since he already has shortstop eligiblity after playing 158 games at that position last season with the Astros, this does little for his fantasy prospects.
- For what it’s worth, Tejada owns a lifetime .288/.321/.365 triple-slash over 52 at-bats at PETCO Park.
- Oh, and feel free to erase Pelzer’s name from your memory bank, as the 24-year-old right-hander sported a 4.20 ERA with a .277 average against and 83/56 K/BB ratio over 94 1/3 innings with Double-A Texas. This was pretty much just a salary dump on the O’s part. And I can’t blame them.
- The big winner who emerged from this trade is Orioles top positional prospect and third baseman Josh Bell, who will take over the hot corner in Charm City for the rest of the season. Bell went 5-for-19 (.263) during a cup of coffee earlier this month with B-More, but has hit .273 with 13 homers, 50 RBIs and a .481 slugging percentage over 316 at-bats with Triple-A Norfolk this season. The 23-year-old is projected to be the O’s third baseman of the future and is a must-add in any AL-only format.
The Phillies have reportedly come to an agreement with the Astros to acquire Roy Oswalt in exchange for starter J.A. Happ and a few rumored prospects. The deal apparently all hinges on whether Oswalt waives his no-trade clause and is OK being the second-best Roy on the team.
- The soon-to-be 33-year-old was already in the midst of a quality season, as his 3.42 ERA is his lowest clip since his ’07 campaign and his 1.11 WHIP is his best mark since his rookie year in ’01.
- Despite the friendly hitting confines of Minute Maid Park, Oswalt has been dominant on his home turf throughout his career, posting a 2.89 ERA over 998 1/3 career innings. Combine that with the fact that his new stomping grounds — Citizens Bank Park — favors batters, as well, and a change of home ballparks would likely only have a nominal affect on Oswalt’s performance.
- The one main promising prospect for Oswalt is the hope that jettisoning the second-to-last-place Astros in favor of the contending Phillies will reinvigorate the Houston ace and he can repeat what Cliff Lee did last season for the Phils. Though this remains a possibility, I just don’t see it happening. Oswalt is a fine pitcher but Lee is Lee, and judging by his current 114/7 K/BB ratio, last season’s success with the Phils was really only the tip of the iceberg for the all-world southpaw.
- With that said, outside of a few more wins, expect more of the same from Oswalt should he pitch in Philly. And, frankly, that’s not a bad thing. A mid-to-low ERA in the threes combined with a K/9 rate in the eights still makes him a Top 30 fantasy starter going forward.