Around the Majors: September 10

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Manny Ramirez continued his assault on the NL.  James Parr had another impressive start.  Taylor Teagarden is thrusting himself into the Rangers catching battle for 2009.  Let’s look at these stories and all the rest from yesterday.

Home Runs:

  • Manny Ramirez – Los Angeles Dodgers – 2
  • Kelly Shoppach – Cleveland Indians – 2
  • Kelly Johnson – Atlanta Braves – 2
  • Christian Guzman – Washington Nationals – 2

RBI:

  • Christian Guzman – Washington Nationals – 5
  • Manny Ramirez – Los Angeles Dodgers – 4
  • Miguel Tejada – Houston Astros – 4
  • Eugenio Velez – San Francisco Giants – 4
  • David Wright – New York Mets – 3
  • Raul Ibanez – Seattle Mariners – 3
  • Carlos Pena – Tampa Bay Rays – 3
  • Jerry Hairston Jr. – Cincinnati Reds – 3
  • Asdrubal Cabrera – Cleveland Indians – 3
  • A.J. Pierzynski – Chicago White Sox – 3

Runs:

  • David Wright – New York Mets – 4
  • Ichiro Suzuki – Seattle Mariners – 3
  • Chipper Jones – Atlanta Braves – 3
  • Kelly Shoppach – Cleveland Indians – 3
  • Christian Guzman – Washington Nationals – 3
  • Emilio Bonifacio – Washington Nationals – 3

Stolen Bases:

  • Jose Reyes – New York Mets – 2

Hits:

  • Ichiro Suzuki – Seattle Mariners – 4
  • Raul Ibanez – Seattle Mariners – 4
  • David Wright – New York Mets – 4
  • Kelly Shoppach – Cleveland Indians – 3
  • Alexi Casilla – Minnesota Twins – 3
  • Jason Kubel – Minnesota Twins – 3
  • Marco Scutaro – Toronto Blue Jays – 3
  • Vernon Wells – Toronto Blue Jays – 3
  • Randy Wynn – San Francisco Giants – 3
  • Troy Tulowitzki – Colorado Rockies – 3
  • Chipper Jones – Atlanta Braves – 3
  • Brian McCann – Atlanta Braves – 3
  • Christian Guzman – Washington Nationals – 3
  • Carlos Beltran – New York Mets – 3
  • Fernando Tatis – New York Mets – 3
  • Reggie Abercrombie – Houston Astros – 3

Wins:

  • Huston Street – Oakland Athletics
  • Dustin Moseley – Los Angeles Angels
  • Roy Corcoran – Seattle Mariners
  • Trever Miller – Tampa Bay Rays
  • Scott Lewis – Cleveland Indians
  • Kevin Slowey – Minnesota Twins
  • Mark Buehrle – Chicago White Sox
  • Guillermo Mota – Milwaukee Brewers
  • Alex Hinshaw – San Francisco Giants
  • Ricky Nolasco – Florida Marlins
  • Jeff Bennett – Atlanta Braves
  • Joe Smith – New York Mets
  • Brian Moehler – Houston Astros
  • Ted Lilly – Chicago Cubs
  • Derek Lowe – Los Angeles Dodgers

Saves:

  • Brad Ziegler – Oakland Athletics
  • Francisco Rodriguez – Los Angeles Angels
  • J.J. Putz – Seattle Mariners
  • Jason Hammel – Tampa Bay Rays
  • Salomon Torres – Milwaukee Brewers
  • Luis Ayala – New York Mets
  • Jose Valverde – Houston Astros
  • Kerry Wood – Chicago Cubs

Strikeouts:

  • Brett Myers – Philadelphia Phillies – 9
  • CC Sabathia – Cleveland Indians – 8
  • Roy Halladay – Toronto Blue Jays – 8
  • Ricky Nolasco – Florida Marlins – 8
  • Josh Beckett – Boston Red Sox – 7
  • Andy Sonnanstine – Tampa Bay Rays -7
  • Mark Buehrle – Chicago White Sox – 6
  • Sean Gallagher – Oakland Athletics – 6
  • Dustin Moseley – Los Angeles Angels – 6
  • Chris Waters – Baltimore Orioles – 6

Notes:

  • It’s not everyday that you see a line like this for a pitcher.  Coming off the DL, Sean Gallagher started and tossed 4 shutout innings, throwing 88 pitches.  The thing is, he didn’t give up a hit.  That’s right, he threw 4 no-hit innings, yet had 88 pitches.  That’s because he walked 6 and struck out 6.  Yikes.  The Angels are next on the schedule for him and who really knows what will happen there, considering they have already locked up the division.  He has some upside, but I think there’s just way too much risk to use him.
  • Armando Galarraga put up his second straight poor showing, giving up 5 runs on 8 hits and 1 walk, striking out 4, over 4 innings.  He also allowed 2 HR, one to Ryan Sweeney (2-3, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 1 R) and one to Jack Cust (1-4, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 1 R).  This comes on the heels of an outing where he allowed 6 runs on 3 hits and 6 walks, striking out 4, over 6 innings against the Twins.  With his next start coming in Texas, it may be time to start considering moving him to your bench if you have other options available.  It is very possible that he is tiring down the stretch.
  • Where is the second half surge from Andy Pettitte?  He lasted just 4.2 innings giving up 4 runs (3 earned) on 9 hits and 1 walk, striking out 5.  Since the All-Star Break he is 3-6 with an ugly 5.43 ERA.  I know I expected significantly better from him and at this point you have to begin to wonder what he could give you next season.  His next start is scheduled for the White Sox and I’d certainly be weary of using him there.
  • Francisco Rodriguez put two runners on (1 hit and 1 walk), but struck out 2 in locking down save #56.  He’s now 1 away from tying the mark set by Bobby Thigpen.  I know there’s a lot of debate about the save record, but that’s a story for another day.  No matter what you want to say, there’s no way around the fact that K-Rod has posted a very impressive season.
  • Raul Ibanez is certainly making a strong case to cash in on free agency this offseason.  He went 4-5 with 3 RBI and 1 R yesterday, putting him at .310 with 23 HR, 105 RBI and 77 R.  While he’s not in line for a long-term contract at 37-years old, he should get a lucrative deal from someone.  I’ve said it before, but he certainly should be high on your draft board next season, though his landing spot certainly could affect his value.
  • Taylor Teagarden is making a strong case of his own for 2009, as he went 2-4 with 1 HR, 2 RBI and 1 R.  He hit only 9 HR in 246 AB in the minor leagues this season but now has 4 in the majors, to go along with a .375 batting average.  He certainly has gotten hot at the right time, though he is involved in a crowded Rangers catching situation.  It certainly will be interesting to see how it plays out, as Teagarden is no slouch.  Despite his struggles this season, he did hit 27 HR last season in the minors.  The catching situation in Texas is a storyline that is worth monitoring in the offseason.
  • Two other youngsters worth watching in Texas went deep as well yesterday in Nelson Cruz (1-3, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 1 R) and Chris Davis (2-4, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 2 R).  Davis has quickly proven to be a must own next season and a very good source of power.
  • In his second start since coming back from the DL, Josh Beckett gave up 1 run on 6 hits and 2 walks, striking out 7, over 6 innings.  In the two starts, he’s gone 12 innings giving up 1 run and striking out 14.  That certainly is more along the lines of what owners expected from him heading into the season.  He’s got another match-up with the Rays coming up and is obviously a must use option.
  • Carlos Pena was the hero for the Rays going 2-6 with 1 HR, 3 RBI and 1 R.  The HR was the game-winner, coming in the Top of the 14th off Mike Timlin.  That was his first HR since 8/27 and only the second game he has an RBI in during September.
  • Talk about an impressive major league debut, the Indians Scott Lewis went 8 shutout innings, giving up just 3 hits without walking a batter, striking out 3.  Lewis had been impressive in the minors, going 8-4 with a 2.40 ERA.  He’s got the Twins next and while he still is too risky to use if you are in the heat of a race to your fantasy title, he’s worth monitoring for next season.
  • After going 3-4 with 2 HR, 2 RBI and 3 R, Kelly Shoppach is 5-7 with 2 HR, 3 RBI and 5 R over his last two games.  It will be interesting to see what the Indians do next season, but Shoppach has got to be in the plans behind the plate.  He is a must own in all formats that require 2 starting catchers the rest of the way, as he obviously is going to continue to see plenty of action, even with the return of Victor Martinez and Travis Hafner.
  • Kevin Slowey improved to 12-9 with a 3.63 ERA after going 7 innings giving up 1 run on 4 hits and 1 walk, striking out 2.  Despite a couple of big K games recently, he should not be seen as a big-time strikeout option, but he has been very good of late.  He hasn’t given up more then 3 ER since a start against the Indians on 8/2.  I’ve talked about not being very high on him in the past, and while that holds true, I’d definitely be using him in his next start, which again comes against the Indians.  As for next season, however, the lack of K potential is a strike against him.
  • Delmon Young has hits in 7 out of 8 games in September, after going 2-4 with 1 RBI and 1 R.  For the month he’s gone 10-28 with 1 HR, 4 RBI and 5 R.  He’s a decent option in leagues that require 5 OF’ers, but he certainly has not lived up to the expectations people had for him after being acquired from Tampa Bay in exchange for Matt Garza.
  • After going 0-10 over his last 3 games, it was nice to see Alexei Ramirez bounce back with a 2-4, 1 R game.  He’s certainly come around as a viable option at 2B, especially if you need some power.
  • Remember when we were all compaining about Alex Rios’ power outage?  Well, it certainly has been coming around of late.  He went 2-5 with 1 HR, 2 RBI and 1 R yesterday and is now on an 11-game hitting streak.  He also has 4 HR in September and is looking like the player we expected this season.
  • Jerry Hairston made his first impact since coming off the DL, going 1-3 with 1 HR, 3 RBI and 1 R, with the HR coming off CC Sabathia.  He is not a big power bat, but prior to his injury he really was emerging as a viable option and a solid sleeper source for SB.  It will be interesting to see how much playing time he gets down the stretch, but unless he’s playing everyday, he’s not worth using.
  • Bronson Arroyo has been great in the second half, to say the least.  He went 7 innings last night, giving up 2 runs (0 earned) on 5 hits and 4 walks, striking out 3.  He’s 7-3 with a 2.84 ERA since the All-Star Break, certainly making him a pitcher worth looking at for 2009.
  • The fall of the Diamondbacks continued, and the young team is looking like it may not have enough to comeback.  After scoring 2 runs in the Top of the 9th, Brandon Lyon let the game get away.  Overall he went 1.2 innings giving up 2 runs on 3 hits and 1 walk, striking out 1.  It’s a crushing blow, and considering his 2-5 record and 4.96 ERA, Lyon has to be considered a last resort type option for saves over the last 2.5 weeks of the season.
  • Eugenio Velez was thought of as a sleeper for steals prior to the season and while that hasn’t happened, he’s beginning to look like a possible sleeeper again heading into 2009.  He went 2-5 with 4 RBI yesterday, giving him RBI in 3 consecutive games.  Granted, he is hitting just .236, so I’m not going to call him a great buy low candidate.  Still, he clearly can run and if he can learn to put the ball in play and get on base, he could be a dangerous weapon for the Giants next season.  He certainly should not be considered as anything more then a flyer, at best, at this point, however.
  • Brett Myers had not given up more than 3 ER in a start since returning from his demotion to the minor leagues, but all good things have to come to an end.  He gave up 4 runs on 8 hits and 1 walk, striking out 9, over 7.1 innings to take the loss.  He has struck out 8 or more batters in 6 consecutive starts and really has re-emerged as the pitcher people had hoped he would be from the beginning of the season.  His next start is scheduled for against the Braves and he definitely should be used in all formats.
  • James Parr of the Braves threw his second consecutive sterling start, giving him 12 straight shutout innings to open his career.  This time it was against the Rockies, going 6 innings giving up 5 hits and 0 walks, striking out 5.  He was good in the minor leagues, so I’m not going to say it’s a surprise that he is effective, but he’s not this good.  With the Phillies next on the schedule for him, things definitely could take a turn for the worse, so I would not have him active for that start no matter what.  The risk is way too great.
  • Josh Anderson has a modest 3-game hitting streak after going 2-5 with 2 RBI and 1 R.  Over the streak he’s 5-14 with 2 RBI, 2 R and 1 SB.  He could prove to be a good low-end option for SB and R down the stretch as he tries to earn an everyday job in 2009.
  • Troy Tulowitzki has struggled mightily this season.  Even after a 3-4, 1 R game yesterday, he’s hitting just .244 with 6 HR, 36 RBI and 38 R in 315 AB.  He is the perfect buy low candidate in 2009.
  • Mike Pelfrey has emerged as a great option for fantasy owners, but he had a rare rough start last night.  He went 5 innings giving up 5 runs on 8 hits and 2 walks, without registering a strikeout.  He had only given up 8 earned runs over his last 38.2 innings so I wouldn’t get too worried about this.  His next start is a rematch with the Nationals and he remains a must use.
  • Christian Guzman went 3-5 with 2 HR, 5 RBI and 3 R, giving him 3 HR in the 2-game series with the Mets.  He was 5-10 with 7 RBI and 5 R in the series.  He still doesn’t bring excessive power (9 HR) or speed (5 SB), but is a decent option and should certainly be used while he is hot.
  •  Brian Moehler rebounded from a poor start against the Rockies (5 ER in 4.2 IP), giving up 2 runs on 5 hits and 0 walks, striking out 0, over 6 innings to defeat the Pirates.  He has pitched well this season with a 4.16 ERA and 1.33 WHIP, but he has given up 4 ER or more in 3 of his last 6 starts.  His next start is against the Marlins, which could honestly go either way for him.
  • Hunter Pence has not quite been the player owners expected but after going 1-4 with 1 HR, 2 RBI and 1 R, he is on a 12-game hitting streak.  Over the streak he’s gone 20-46 with 3 HR, 10 RBI, 7 R and 3 SB. 
  • Adam LaRoche went 2-4 with 1 HR, 2 RBI and 1 R to give him a 5-game hitting streak.  He’s 9-19 with 1 HR, 6 RBI and 1 R over the streak and certainly should be used in all formats while he’s swinging the bat like this.
  • I know he is no sleeper or surprise at this point, but the season that Ryan Ludwick has put up just continues to amaze me.  He came out of no where and is now sitting at .296 with 33 HR and 101 RBI after going 1-4 with 1 HR, 2 RBI and 1 R yesterday.  He had been slumping lately, with this being his first HR since 8/27 and he had just 6 hits in September prior to yesterday.  Still, he remains a must use OF’er in all formats.
  • Being handed a 3-run lead, Kerry Wood almost blew the save and spoil a great outing from Ted Lilly (8 IP, 1 ER, 5 H, 0 BB, 5 K).  He gave up 2 runs on 2 hits and 0 walks, striking out 2, over his 1 inning, but was able to hold on and lock down the save, his 29th of the season.  He’s now given up runs in his last 3 outings (7 ER over 3.1 innings).  He’s still a good option for saves over the last 2 weeks, but he is proving that he should not be viewed as a #1 closer option for your team in 2009.
  • If there is anyone who thought the Dodgers made a mistake in picking up Manny Ramirez, think again.  After going 2-5 with 2 HR, 4 RBI and 2 R, he is now hitting .396 with 14 HR and 40 RBI since the deal.  I think the real question is how can the Dodgers not resign him for 2009 and beyond?  The guy has made a huge difference and certainly can be pointed to as one of the reasons they are now in position to make the playoffs.
  • Andre Ethier continued his hot stretch, going 2-4 with 2 R.  He is on a 4-game hitting streak (9-15 with 5 RBI and 5 R) and has multi-hit games in 8 of the last 10.  He’s also scored at least 1 R in 12 of his last 14 games.  Imagine, the Dodgers had him on the bench at times earlier this season in favor of Andruw Jones and Juan Pierre.  I don’t think that’ll be happening in 2009.

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