Well, we've hit the final stretch. September 1st has now come and gone, and the following players were called up yesterday for those of you looking for that last little boost or a good keeper for next season:
- Yonder Alonso
- Desmond Jennings
- Brandon Allen
- Mat Gamel
- Freddie Freeman
- Brad Hawpe
- Jenrry Mejia
- Nolan Reimold
- Chris Nelson
Now, not all of these players are clearly going to help all that much for this season, but if you're in a keeper league where they go onto waivers when they get called up, then you should definitely look into most of them. Another nice one to see, but with very little fantasy impact, is that the Rays also called up Rocco Baldelli.
Ian Kinsler was also activated from the disabled list yesterday, and if you've been holding him this long, it's probably time to insert him into the lineup. I don't trust him, but that doesn't mean I wouldn't with the right need.
Cliff Lee was sent back to Texas yesterday after complaining of back pain. This could be at least a part of the reason that he's been struggling of late, and clearly not good news for any of his owners. Hopefully we'll hear more tomorrow or the next day.
A.J. Burnett got a bit back on track yesterday against the Athletics, striking out 8 and walking just 2 over 6 innings. The 3 earned runs are nice, but the A's aren't exactly killing the ball of late either. If you have to have strikeouts, I'd start him, but I'm not sold I would for any other reason yet.
Carlos Marmol recorded his 25th save of the season, an interesting one to say the least. He faced 7 batters, got 4 outs, walked 3 batters, and recorded 3 strikeouts. Look, you knew that when you drafted him there would be saves like this. Be happy with the 114 strikeouts in just 63 1/3 innings pitched.
Which would you rather have for next season?
Player A: .288, 21 HR, 78 RBI, 17 SB, 83 runs
Player B: .301, 24 HR, 83 RBI, 8 SB, 78 runs
I was definitely surprised to see how close Hunter Pence (player A) really is to Matt Holliday (player B). Pence went 2 for 2 with his 21st home run and 3 runs batted in during last night's game. He started off really slow, and I'm really impressed how far he has come back already. I think he's going to have to be in the top 15 outfielders for sure, and could possibly break into the top 10.
Clayton Kershaw had a great start against the Phillies, striking out 11 and walking just 2, but took the loss as Roy Oswalt gave up no runs in his 6 1/3 innings. I really liked what I saw from Kershaw last night, and while the pitch count was a bit high, for the amount of outs he got and the number that were strikeouts, I don't think this one was all that far out of whack.
A pitcher I haven't written about at all I don't think is Barry Enright of the Diamodnbacks. He had another nice start yesterday, allowing 2 earned runs over 7 innings and getting his 6th win of the year. He's not a big strikeout pitcher (2 last night and just 41 in 73 innings), but he did jump straight to the Majors from AA this year, and is someone worth watching in my opinion. Not ready to necessarily pick him up in standard leagues, but worth watching for sure.
Adrian Beltre is going to get paid this offseason. He hit his 24th homerun of the season, and is now hitting .321 and has 91 runs batted in. He has an outside shot to get to 30/110 before the end of the season.
Tommy Hanson seems primed to be underrated next season. He has only 9 wins this year after winning last night, and now sits at 3.60 after 7 shutout innings. His FIP actually shows a pitcher who has thrown better than that, and I think there's a very distinct possibility that he gets lost in the shuffle of the pitchers who have posted sub-3 ERA's to this point.
Ian Desmond has been hitting really well of late, and continued it last night. He went 3 for 4 with 2 runs and 2 runs batted in. Since August 1st, he is now hitting .347 with 2 HR, 16 RBI, and 5 stolen bases. And he qualifies at both middle infield spots in most leagues.
Max Scherzer threw 9 innings of 1 run ball, and struck out 9. Unfortunately, there was no victory at the end of this, but it's hard to argue with that performance. It clearly wasn't his fault tonight. I really think he's going to end up in my top 25 starters for next season.
Tim Lincecum may finally be getting back on track, striking out 9 and allowing just 1 earned run over 8 innings to get the victory over the Rockies. All you can do at this point if you own him is continue to start him and hope that this continues.