Tagged: rundown

Rundown: Bruce on the loose


Jay Bruce went 2-for-2 with a solo home run vs. the Brewers, giving him a .377/.459/.798 line with 15 homers and 29 RBIs over his last 37 games. It feels like Bruce has been around forever, but 2010 was actually the former top prospect’s first season of more than 108 games. After finishing this year at .281 with 25 home runs and 70 RBIs, I’m predicting a jump to near-elite status at 24 years old in 2011. Only two outfield eligible players — Jose Bautista and Adam Dunn — crossed the 35-home run threshold this year. I bet Bruce joins that club next season, and I wouldn’t hesitate to draft him ahead of guys like Corey Hart, Torii Hunter and Colby Rasmus.
Billy Butler finished his season on a down-note, going 0-for-5 and striking out three times vs. the Rays. The first baseman was a popular breakout candidate after hitting .301 with 15 home runs and 51 doubles last season, but saw his power numbers trend in the wrong direction this year (15 HR, 45 2B). Don’t get fooled again in 2011 — the .315 average is valuable, but 30 home runs just aren’t in the cards and a weak Royals lineup will temper his run production.
Andre Ethier went 2-for-2 with a run and an RBI vs. Arizona, finishing the season with a .292 average, 23 home runs and 82 RBIs in 139 games. If Ethier stays healthy next year, I say his floor is .285/27/90. Check the end-of-season outfield rankings — those numbers would be more valuable than you think.
Dexter Fowler went 2-for-3 with a solo homer and a walk in the Rockies’ loss to the Cardinals. Fowler was a solid outfielder in National League formats, hitting .260/.347/.410 with six homers, 36 RBIs and 73 runs scored. Unfortunately, the switch-hitting speedster had just 13 steals after 27 swipes a season ago.
Red Sox right-hander John Lackey yielded three runs (two earned) on six hits, walked two and struck out ten across 7 2/3 innings to defeat the Yankees. Lackey allowed just five earned runs over his final 20 2/3 innings, but still finished the season 14-11 with a 4.40 ERA and 156/72 K/BB ratio in 215 innings. The lesson: outside of the no-doubt elite guys, don’t trust pitchers in the AL East.
Colby Rasmus went 2-for-4 and scored twice vs. the Rockies. Rasmus’ final numbers — .276 average with 85 runs, 23 homers, 66 RBIs and 12 steals — look suspiciously like a breakout season at age 24. So why am I left wanting more? Between the frequent squabbles with Cardinals skipper Tony LaRussa, the inconsistent playing time and the poor plate discipline, it just seems like there was some underachievement here. If Rasmus comes into 2011 with his head in the right place — or on another team — a .280 average, 30 homers and 20 steals aren’t out of the question.
Mark Rzepczynski scattered four hits, walked two and struck out six over seven shutout innings vs. the Twins. The left-hander allowed two or fewer runs in each of his last four starts this season and will enter 2011 as yet another Blue Jays sleeper starter.
Anibal Sanchez held the Pirates to one earned run on four hits and two walks and struck out seven over six innings. Sanchez finally managed to stick in the Marlins rotation for a full season, and the results were certainly promising: 13 wins, a 3.55 ERA and 157 Ks over 195 innings. 
Dan Uggla went 3-for-3 with a three-run homer, a double and a pair of runs scored in the Marlins’ win over the Pirates. Uggla enjoyed a fantastic season, setting a career-high with 33 taters and raising his average from .247 in ’09 to .283 this year. While that will likely fall closer to his .263 lifetime marknext season, Uggla’s power is valuable enough to make him the sixth or seventh keystone off the board next spring.

Rundown: Return of the Smoak monster


is finally proving the Mariners right. The biggest
cog in the midseason Cliff Lee trade, Smoak went deep again on Wednesday,
marking his third straight game with a tater. The 23-year-old first baseman has
hit safely in six straight games, driving in seven runs in the process nad will
be a great late-round option with tons of upside in mixed-league drafts next


— Had another good day swinging the bat Wednesday
and is expressing optimism that he can be in the lineup as early as Friday.


(L, 6 IP, ER, 5 H, 7 K vs. STL) — Despite the
outcome, McDonald once again proved that Pittsburgh made the right move in
acquiring him for Octavio Dotel at the Trade Deadline. In 11 starts for the
Pirates, McDonald went 4-5 with a 3.52 ERA and 61/24 K/BB ratio over 64 innings.


(W, 7 IP, 3 H, BB, 4 K vs. PIT) — Walters, who was
roughed up in his first start after being recalled from Triple-A Memphis —
where he went 8-5 with a 3.81 ERA in 19 games — submitted a more polished
performance in this one, scattering a couple of singles while expending just 80
pitches. The 25-year-old right-hander finishes the season with a 6.00 ERA and
22/10 K/BB ratio over 30 innings of work.


(W, 7 IP, R (0 ER), 3 BB,
6 K vs. WSH) – Over his last 10 starts, Blanton is 5-0 with a 3.06 ERA and
58/16 K/BB ratio. Not a bad close out to the season.


R. A. Dickey (L, 7 IP, 6 H, ER, 4 K
vs. MIL) —
Despite the loss, Dickey was sharp on his final turn
in the rotation in 2010, allowing one run or fewer for the 11th time in 26
starts. Most impressive about the 35-year-old hurler is his impeccable control
of the knuckleball. The right-hander walked just 41 batters in 173 2/3 innings
— a 2.12 BB/9 ratio, good for fifth in the National League.


(W, 6 2/3 IP, 6 H, 0 ER,
3 BB, 5 K vs. CIN) —
Figueroa’s ninth and final start with the Astros
was his best, notching his only scoreless start. Since joining Houston’s
rotation, the journeyman right-hander was 3-3 with a 3.62 ERA and 37 strikeouts
over 49 2/3 innings.


(3-for-4, 2 HR, 3 R, 3 RBIs)
Given the rare opportunity to start consecutive games, Francisco
didn’t disappoint, notching his first multi-homer game of 2010. The 28-year-old
reserve outfielder is hitting .267 with a .500 slugging percentage as a


(2-for-3, HR, 4 RBI, 2 R,
BB) —
Hill’s long ball was his 5th in September and his 26th overall.
Home run power has been the keystoner’s lone source of production in an
otherwise rough season. In 516 at-bats, the 28-year-old is hitting .207 with a
.675 OPS.


(W, 7 IP, 6H, ER, 4 BB, 11
K vs. ARI
) — Lincecum closes out a wonderful September with a 5-1
record and a 1.94 ERA. The defending NL Cy Young Award winner racked up his
sixth double-digit strikeout performance, improving his total to an NL-leading
231. The ace right-hander may take the mound one more time this regular season,
either in the finale against the Padres on Sunday, or in a one-game playoff on
October 4.


Mayberry (
2-for-4, HR, 3 RBIs)–A
day removed from clinching a fourth consecutive NL East title, manager Charlie
Manuel played an irregular lineup and Mayberry took full advantage of the
opportunity. Wednesday night’s game marked the first start Major League start
of the season for the second generation Major Leaguer. The 26-year-old spent
his most of his year at Triple-A Lehigh Valley hitting .267 with 15 dingers and
65 RBIs.

(W, 5 IP, 3 H, 0 ER, 2 BB,
6 K vs. CHC
) — Young, who’s still working his way back from shoulder
woes, was the sharpest he’s been since returning from the disabled list. His
K/BB ratio of 6/2 in Wednesday’s tilt is a marked improvement from the 4/6 mark
from his previous two starts.

Rundown: Mad about Bumgarner


Madison Bumbgarner might be really good for a really
long time. The 21-year-old rookie southpaw was dealing in Thursday night’s
pivotal drubbing over the Cubs, permitting seven hits with a walk and nine Ks
over seven shutout innings to even his record at 6-6. After being staked to a
10-0 lead in the second, all Bumgarner needed to do was throw strikes and
cruise to his first win since Aug. 20. The outing marked his fifth straight in
which he yielded two earned runs or fewer — and first in which he actually got
some run support. The young phenom will carry a 3.06 ERA into what will likely
be his last start of the regular season on Sept. 29 vs. the D-backs.

— Went deep twice in Thursday’s win over the
Pirates for his 40th and 41st homers of the campaign.  Pujols has now reached the 40-homer mark an
incredible six times in his storied 10-year career. He needs six more long
balls in order to match the 47 he launched a season ago.

(W, 8 IP, H, 2 BB, 7 K vs. TEX) — Simply a dominant
performance from Braden, who consistently got ahead of hitters and induced 16
swinging strikes on 114 pitches. The outing was markedly different from his
previous four, in which he went 0-4 with a 6.23 ERA. The left-hander is on
track to toe the rubber again on Sept. 28 vs. the Angels in Anaheim.

(3-for-5, 3B, HR, 4 RBIs) — Drew, who has blasted
off in consecutive contests on the heels of a 20-game power outage, has popped
off for six multi-hit efforts in the last 10 tilts. For the season, he’s
batting .280 with 11 triples and 78 runs.

(W, 6 2/3 IP, 3 ER, 7 H, 2 BB, 9 K vs. FLA) — Just
another night on the job for Gallardo, who has surrendered a total of 20 hits
and six earned runs over his last four starts, spanning 27 2/3 innings. Owners
can expect the Milwaukee ace to finish the season on a high note when he takes
the rock on Sept. 29 vs. the Mets in New York.

(2-for-5, GS, 6 RBIs) — More of the same from Gonzalez, who
extended his hitting streak to 10 games while nearly singlehandedly bringing
the Rockies back from an 8-2 deficit. The MVP candidate has gone 17-for-39 with
six extra-base hits, 13 RBIs and 11 runs during the latest surge, which has
kicked his average up to a season-high .342.

Kelly Johnson (3-for-5, HR, 2 RBIs, 2
R, SB) — And the beat goes on for Johnson, who’s sent five into orbit in the
last eight games. The swipe was his 12th.

(W, 8 IP, ER, 5 H, BB, 4 K vs. SD) – That’s five
straight quality starts for Kuroda, who is wrapping a bow on his finest Major
League season. The third-year import is now 11-13 with a 3.27 ERA, 1.16 WHIP
and 153/47 K/BB ratio over 190 innings.

(2-for-3, 2B, HR, 3 RBIs, 2 R) — Morse has brought
out the heavy lumber three times in the last five games on the heels of a
16-game power outage. The big right fielder has enjoyed a solid second half,
batting .296 with nine jacks, 29 RBIs and 28 runs in 54 tilts.

(W, 6 IP, 4 H, 4 BB, 3 K vs. CLE) — O’Sullivan
finally ended a very rough stretch in which he had been tagged for at least
five earned runs in four consecutive starts. The victory was his first since
Aug. 22, as the right-hander lowered his ERA by more than half a run to 6.03.
O’Sullivan will try to put together successive quality outings when he toes the
rubber again Sept. 28 vs. the Twins.

(2-for-4, 2 HR, 6 RBIs) — Uribe enjoyed a second
inning for the ages, as the infielder belted a two-run jack before following it
up with a grand slam as part of a nine-run explosion by the Giants. In doing
so, he broke out of a 2-for-21 rut while equaling his RBI output from the last
23 games. Uribe, who has already established a new career high with 83 RBIs, is
one homer away from tying the 23 jacks he totaled in 2004.

(L, 1 2/3 IP, 9 ER, 7 H, 2 BB, 2 K vs. SF) — A
forgettable night for Dempster, who faced 15 batters and recorded only five
outs. While he entered the game having hurled a combined 14 shutout innings
over his last two starts — both wins — the writing was on the wall in his two
outings before those. In 7 2/3 innings vs. the Mets and Pirates, Dempster got
tuned up for 16 hits and 14 runs (10 earned). The right-hander is on track to
return to the hill on Sept. 28 in San Diego.


Rundown: Yes way, Jose


Better late than never, I guess, Jose Lopez. The Mariners infielder
blasted three homers Wednesday night vs. the Blue Jays, proving that he does,
in fact, have a pulse. The long balls were his first since Aug. 15, which ended
a 30-game power outage. And while the fireworks display is surely encouraging,
it doesn’t change the fact that there haven’t been many bigger disappointments
in the game this season than Lopez, who is batting a paltry .237 with 10 long
balls and 56 RBIs one year after posting a .272-25-96 line.

 — Was
sidelined again with an elbow injury.
 After going 1-for-4
in his return on Tuesday night, Ramirez felt more discomfort in his left elbow
Wednesday. “He said he was feeling worse,” manager Edwin Rodriguez
said. The elbow has bothered Hanley for about six weeks, and he had missed four
straight games before playing on Tuesday. It is unclear when he will be back in
the lineup.

Pedro Alvarez (2-for-5,
2B, HR, 4 RBIs)

— It would be an understatement to say Alvarez needed a night like this, as
the rookie third baseman was just 5-for-36 with two RBIs over the last 10
games. While the highly-touted basher has endured his fair share of struggles,
there’s no doubt he’s shown he can rake at the big league level. He will be a
sneaky mid-to late round pick in mixed leagues next year.

John Bowker (3-for-3, 2B, HR, 2
RBIs, 2 R, BB) — That’s two multi-hit efforts in the last four games for
Bowker, who has struggled in limited duty this season, batting .222 with 12
extra-base hits, 17 RBIs and 15 runs in 57 contests between the Giants and

(2-for-4, 3B, 2 RBIs, 2 R ) — A big night for
Espinosa, who came through with his first multi-hit effort since exploding for
two homers and six RBIs on Sept. 6. In 19 games since his inaugural callup, the
23-year-old infielder is batting .229 with nine extra-base hits, 13 RBIs and 11

(2-for-3, 2B, 3 RBIs, R, BB) — Getting just his
fourth start of the season, Morales came through with his second multi-hit
effort. The 27-year-old catcher is 6-for-22 with seven RBIs and three runs for
the season. He could be a nice late-season add if Joe Mauer misses more time.

(W, 7 2/3 IP, 2 H, 2 BB, 8 K vs. KC) — A dominating
performance from Scherzer, who held everyone in the Royals lineup not named
Gregor Blanco hitless. Despite a forgettable first two months, the
smoke-throwing right-hander boasts a formidable 3.40 ERA and 8.54 K/9 mark.
Owners can throw Scherzer with confidence when he takes the rock again on Sept.
28 in Cleveland.

(L, 5 2/3 IP, 6 ER, 5 H, 6 BB, 7 K vs. FLA) – Since posting
a 2.48 ERA for July, Niese is just 2-6 with a 4.83 ERA. He gets the Marlins
again next time out, so tread water cautiously.

(W, 6 IP, 3 H, ER, 2 BB, 5
K vs. LAD) —
Stauffer continues to get the job done for the Firars. In
26 innings as a starter, the 28-year-old swingman is 2-1 with a 2.08 ERA, and
he’s allowed one run or less in four of his five starts. He gets the Cardinals
in St. Louis next time out.

(3-for-4, 2-R HR) — Tejada’s
300th career homer underscored just how productive the shortstop has been since
joining the Padres. The third inning shot was his 15th of the season and his
eighth as a Padre — eclipsing his Baltimore total in 207 fewer at-bats.

(W, 7 2/3 IP, 6 H, 0 ER,
BB, 6 K vs. SF) —
Wells has spun back-to-back gems after going 1-5 with
a 5.98 ERA over eight starts between August 2 and September 8. The second year
right-hander is 2-0 in these last two starts, having allowed just one run,
eleven hits and one walk with eleven strikeouts in 15 2/3 innings of work. The
28-year-old sports a 4.28 ERA and a 142/59 K/BB ratio for the year.

(W, 6 IP, 4 H, ER, 2 BB, 7
K vs. CIN) —
Wolf has turned his season around in the second half. The
veteran lefty entered the All-Star break on many a waiver wire with a 6-8
record, 4.58 ERA and a 74/58 K/BB ratio. Since, the 34-year-old has gone 7-3
with a 3.80 ERA and a fantastic 61/27 K/BB mark.

(1 1/3 IP, 8 H, 8 ER, 3
BB, 2 K, HR vs. MIL) —
Cueto just didn’t have it as the Brewers hitters
got him for three singles, four doubles and a homer before he was relieved by
Aaron Harang with one out in the second inning. It was the shortest outing of
the season for the 24-year-old flame thrower, who had pitched a minimum of five
innings in all but one of his 28 starts entering the night’s action. The
right-hander will attempt to get back on the beam at home against the Astros on
September 29.


Rundown: Richard goes the distance


Clayton Richard is pretty good
at throwing a baseball. The Padres sophomore breakout turned in his best
performance of his young career Tuesday night, firing a complete-game shutout by
scattering eight hits while walking two and striking out six in a win over the
Dodgers . This coming after he allowed a career-high eight runs on 11 hits six
days ago against the Rockies.  With a 13
wins and a 3.38 ERA under his belt, Richard has been one of the better
waiver-wire gems of the 2010 campaign, as he sets up to face the Reds on Sept.
26 in his next start.


Edinson Volquez (:W, 8 IP, 1 ER,
4 BB, 6 K @ MIL) — Normally a flyball-strikeout pitcher, he
uncharacteristically notched 16 of his 24 outs via the groundball and helped
himself by inducing four double plays. Using 108 pitches for the night, Volquez
faced the minimum 15 batters through the first five innings, with both hits
erased by double plays. He had only 49 pitches to that point. He is scheduled
to make his next start on Sept. 26 at San Diego.


Carlos Zambrano (ND, 6 IP, 0 ER,
3 H, 5 BB, 8 K v. SF) — It’s been a wild ride for Zambrano, who has gone from
Opening Day starter to needing anger management therapy. In eight starts since
Aug. 14, he’s 6-0 and has given up seven earned runs over 52 innings for a 1.21
ERA. What’s the difference? Zambrano’s slider and split have been more
effective than earlier in the year. He is lined up to make his next start on
Sept. 26 against the Cardinals.


Trevor Cahill (W, 8 IP, 2 ER,
6 H, 1 BB, 7 K v. CWS) — Cahill labored on his way to his 15th victory. He
threw 116 pitches — just 60 for strikes — over six innings and walked six
batters. The 22-year-old helped himself with a pickoff n the first inning and
was picked up by a Rajai Davis outfield assist in the fifth. With a 15-6 record
and a 2.72 ERA, Cahill has been one of the breakout fantasy stars of the 2010


Andres Torres – Could return
from appendectomy by the weekend. Huge news for Giants fans and Torres owners,
as the breakout outfielder is hitting .278 with 13 homers, 59 RBIs, 78 runs
scored and 23 steals.


Ervin Santana (W, 9 IP, 0 ER,
5 H, 1 BB, 8 K v. TEX) — Santana is driving to the finish line with wins in
seven of his past eight decisions. Having established a career high with 17
victories against nine losses, he figures to have two more starts, meaning a
20-win season is unlikely. Santana faced only one batter over the minimum
through five innings, moving into eighth place on the Angels’ all-time
strikeout list when he put away Moreland to end the fifth. It was Santana’s
845th career strikeout. He is lined up to make his next start on Sept. 26
against the White Sox.


Justin Upton  Looks like he’s done
for the season. Upton, who aggravated his stiff left shoulder on Aug. 30, has
started just two of the Arizona’s last 19 games. He served as a ninth-inning pinch-runner
and stole a base in losses on Sept. 11 and 17. Upton worked out at Chase Field
on the club’s off-day Monday and also prior to Tuesday’s game. The right
fielder has averaged 126 games in his first three full MLB seasons.


Brad Bergesen (W, 6 IP, ER, 5
H, 4 BB, 2 K vs. BOS) — Another strong performance from Bergesen, who’s gone
3-1 with a sterling 1.30 ERA over his last five starts, spanning 34 2/3
innings. The 24-year-old right-hander will face a big test when he toes the
rubber again on Sept. 27 in Tampa Bay vs. a Rays club that has knocked him
around a few times this season.


Jarrod Dyson (3-for-4, 2 2B,
3 R, RBI, BB, SB) — A nice all-around night for Dyson, who’s 8-for-18 with
four doubles, six runs and four steals in eight games since his inaugural
callup. The 26-year-old center fielder batted .272 with 33 runs and 13 steals
in 46 games with Triple-A Omaha before his promotion.


Mark Rzepczynski
6 1/3 IP, 2 ER, 7 H, 3 BB, 8 K vs. SEA) —
An impressive showing from
Rzepczynski, who threw first-pitch strikes to 19 of 28 batters while inducing
13 swings and misses. The left-hander, who has surrendered three earned runs or
fewer in four of his last five starts, earned his first victory since Aug. 13.
Rzepczynski is on track to take his next turn in the rotation on Sept. 26 vs.
the Orioles.


Mike Minor (L, 2 1/3 IP, 3
ER, 7 H, BB vs. PHI) —
Minor, who needed 73 pitches (42
strikes) to record seven outs, was bounced after serving up a three-run homer
to Jayson Werth in the third. Minor has been hit hard in each of his last four
outings, surrendering a combined 17 earned runs and five jacks in 16 1/3
innings. Owners should probably stay away from the rookie when he hurls again
on Sept. 27 vs. the Marlins.



Rundown: Not-so Beachy keen

(By Dave)


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.

(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.

(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.

(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
this season.

(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.
the Marlins.

(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.

(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.

(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.

(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.

(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.

(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. 
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.



Rundown: Welcome back, Andy

(By Dave)


Hey look, it’s Andy
! 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
stretch run.

(2-for-5, 2 HR) — Abreu
has now hit i
n 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.

(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.

(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.

(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.

(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.

(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.

(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

(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.

(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. 

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: 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.