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Fantasy Baseball: Thursday's Roto Roundup

Starlin Castro continued his excellent rookie season with a 4-5 game yesterday with 2 runs scored. He is now hitting .320 with 36 runs scored, 3 homers and 37 runs batted in, and 6 stolen bases. While the numbers don't jump off the page, the idea that he could be a player who won't necessarily hurt you in any category and provide a solid batting average in the future makes me think he'll be an excellent keeper and a solid play in 2011 in single season leagues.

Johan Santana had a great start yesterday against the Rockies, striking out 10 in a shutout. At times, it hasn't really seemed like it, but he's been having a pretty good season. He now has a 2.89 ERA but only 10 wins.

Jose Bautista continues to be a run producing machine, hitting his 36th homerun of the season and driving in his 88th rbi. But the story to me was another blown save by Jonathan Papelbon, who gave up 3 earned runs while recording only 1 out and taking the loss yesterday. I think it's extremely likely that Papelbon gets moved during the offseason, and that Daniel Bard takes over as the closer, and am holding him in one keeper league for that very reason. He's been looking extremely vulnerable for most of the season.

Ricky Nolasco struck out 8 over 6 shutout innings yesterday against the Nationals to record his 13th win of the season. I'm really not sure where to rank him for next season, as his upside really could be a top-15 pitcher, but the inconsistency kills me every time. It seems that he's just as likely to throw another great start next time as he is to get blown up.

Carlos Ruiz continued his hot hitting yesterday with a 3-5 game with 3 runs batted in. In August, he's now hitting .286 with 2 homers and 7 runs batted in. If you're still looking for a replacement for Carlos Santana or Geovany Soto, Ruiz would definitely be someone to target.

Johnny Cueto was suspended for 7 games for his actions in that brawl on Tuesday in Cincinnati, and it seems unlikely that he's going to be able to appeal it down below 5 games. As a result, be ready to miss at least 1 start from him.

Shane Victorino was also activated before Thursday's game, but the corresponding roster move was to option P Antonio Bastardo to the minors instead of OF Domonic Brown. I still think that Brown is likely to go to the minors before the end of the week, if for no other reason that they want him to get regular at bats, which he is unlikely to do with the return of Victorino.