Around the Majors: September 11


Adrian Gonzalez & Roy Oswalt had big nights.  Rich Harden returned to the mound.  Brandon Morrow mase his second career start.  Let’s look at these stories and all the rest from yesterday.

Home Runs:

  • Adrian Gonzalez – San Diego Padres – 2


  • Adrian Gonzalez – San Diego Padres – 4
  • Ryan Howard – Philadelphia Phillies – 3
  • Adrian Gonzalez – San Diego Padres – 3
  • Garrett Anderson – Los Angeles Angels – 3
  • Yunel Escobar – Atlanta Braves – 3


  • No one with more than 2 R

Stolen Bases:

  • No one with more than 1 SB


  • Marco Scutaro – Toronto Blue Jays – 3
  • Josh Hamilton – Texas Rangers – 3
  • Matt Holliday – Colorado Rockies – 3
  • Yunel Escobar – Atlanta Braves – 3
  • Adrian Gonzalez – San Diego Padres – 3
  • Drew Macias – San Diego Padres – 3
  • Matt Antonelli – San Diego Padres – 3


  • Ramon Ramirez – Kansas City Royals
  • Lance Cormier – Baltimore Orioles
  • Shaun Marcum – Toronto Blue Jays
  • Dustin Nippert – Texas Rangers
  • Jered Weaver – Los Angeles Angels
  • Jamie Moyer – Philadelphia Phillies
  • Jair Jurrjens – Atlanta Braves
  • Roy Oswalt – Houston Astros
  • Rich Harden – Chicago Cubs
  • Josh Geer – San Diego Padres


  • Joakim Soria – Kansas City Royals
  • Jim Miller – Baltimore Orioles
  • B.J. Ryan – Toronto Blue Jays
  • Francisco Rodriguez – Los Angeles Angels
  • Brad Lidge – Philadelphia Phillies
  • Kerry Wood – Chicago Cubs


  • Jair Jurrjens – Atlanta Braves – 10
  • Dustin Nippert – Texas Rangers – 7
  • Francisco Liriano – Minnesota Twins – 6
  • Shaun Marcum – Toronto Blue Jays – 6
  • Ubaldo Jimenez – Colorado Rockies – 6


  • It has been 8 starts since Francisco Liriano returned from the minor leagues, and he still has allowed no more than 3 ER in a game.  In fact, he has only allowed 3 runs once, and that happened in his second start.  He went 8 innings yesterday giving up 2 runs on 6 hits and 0 walks, striking out 6.  He may not be the electric pitcher that he was prior to his injury but he is a tremendous option and could be a Top 20 pitcher next season or better.
  • Denard Span has multi-hit games in 5 of his last 7 games after going 2-4 with 1 R and 1 SB yesterday.  In those 7 games he’s 11-29 with 1 RBI, 9 R and 2 SB.  He has scored runs in 6 straight games is a good source of speed and runs down the stretch if you are desperate.
  • With George Sherrill off the DL, it is interesting that the Orioles didn’t even put him in the game instead turning to Jim Miller to pick up his first save of the season.  We’ll see how the Orioles handle Sherrill over the next 2+ weeks.
  • Melvin Mora returned to the line-up for the first time since 8/29, and it looked like he never left going 1-4 with 2 RBI.  Prior to getting hurt Mora was one of the hottest hitters in baseball.  If he is healthy enough and playing everyday he should return to your line-up immediately.
  • Travis Hafner played in his second game since returning from the DL, going 1-4 with 1 R.  He had gone 2-4 in his first game back.  Who knows how often he is going to play, and he is a low end option at this point as it is.  I’m more looking at him to see if he could be a buy low candidate for 2009 as opposed to a viable option and a difference maker the rest of the way.
  • Both Shaun Marcum and Gavin Floyd had matched 0’s for 7 innings before both offenses suddenly clicked in.  Floyd ultimately took the loss, going 7.1 innings giving up 4 runs on 7 hits and 1 walk, striking out 2.  Marcum, meanwhile, went 7.1 innings giving up 2 runs on 5 hits and 1 walk, striking out 6.  Both have really developed this season and should be high on fantasy radars for 2009.
  • Jermaine Dye has had a great bounce back campaign.  He went 2-4 with 2 RBI and 1 R yesterday, giving him a 4-game hitting streak.  Over the streak he’s 6-15 with 4 RBI and 2 R.  For the season he’s hitting .296 with 32 HR and 87 RBI.  It’s not his 2006 season, but he certainly has proven that he is not quite over-the-hill.
  • Marco Scutaro went 3-4 with 1 RBI and 1 R, putting him at 8-12 with 1 HR, 3 RBI and 4 R.  Nice streak, but he isn’t really worth much for fantasy owners unless you are really desperate.
  • Dustin Nippert was great for the second straight time.  He gave up 1 run on 4 hits and 4 walks, striking out 7, over 5 innings.  Over his last two starts he has given up that 1 run over 12 innings, but they were against the Mariners and A’s.  His next start comes against Detroit, which certainly should be a lot more telling.  Don’t go crazy for him quite yet.
  • Hank Blalock went 2-5 with 1 HR, 1 RBI and 2 R, giving him a 3-game hitting streak and HR in back-to-back games.  He’s 4-13 with 2 HR, 3 RBI and 5 R during the dtreak and is hitting .264 with 6 HR and 21 AB in 201 AB this season.  Obviously not overly impressive numbers.
  • Francisco Rodriguez officially tied Bobby Thigpen’s saves record giving up 2 hits over 1 inning to earn his 57th save of the season.  It certainly is an amazing feat, no matter what you think about saves.
  • Brandon Morrow’s second start was good, though nothing close to as impressive as his first.  He took the loss, giving up 2 runs on 5 hits and 4 walks, striking out 5, over 5 innings.  Against one of the best offensives of the league, it certainly was an impressive start despite the inflated walk total.  He has the potential to be a great option for fantasy owners in 2009.
  • This is clutch time for Ben Sheets and in a contract year, so he surely picked a bad time to have a bad start.  He hadn’t given up an earned run in his last 3 outings (spanning 20 innings), but he threw up a stinker against the Phillies, giving up 5 runs on 9 hits and 3 walks, striking out 4, over 6 innings.  His next start is scheduled for the Cubs, so hopefully he’ll be able to right the ship and return to dominance.  Both the Brewers and his fantasy owners need it.  He’s been spectacular all season long, now at 13-8 with a 2.97 ERA, but like I said, he just picked a bad time for this type of start.
  • I have not spoken much about Jamie Moyer, as I’m not that high on him, but sooner or later you have to give him credit.  He improved to 14-7 with a 3.68 ERA after giving up 3 runs on 4 hits and 1 walk, striking out 5, over 5.2 innings.  It certainly wasn’t his best start, but on 3 days rest it certainly is the best you could have asked for.
  • I understand why people are intrigued by Ubaldo Jimenez, I really do, but he is just way too inconsistent for me.  He went 5 innings giving up 3 runs (2 earned) on 5 hits and 4 walks, striking out 6.  After walking just 1 in his last outing, he reverted back to his wild ways (he had walked 9 in his two outings prior to that).  I wouldn’t touch him.
  • Yunel Escobar had a big game for the Braves, going 3-3 with 1 HR, 3 RBI and 2 R.  That puts his hitting streak at 10 games, going 16-39 with 3 HR, 8 RBI and 7 R.  He is not a huge source of power or speed, but he is a solid player.  I’d consider him for your MI spot, but there are better options at SS for smaller formats.
  • Roy Oswalt went the distance, tossing 9 shutout innings giving up just 3 hits and 0 walks, striking out 4.  He is 4-0 in his last 4 starts, the last 3 of which were shutouts (26.1 innings).  On August 2 his ERA was sitting at 4.74 after he gave up 4 ER over 6 innings against the Mets.  Just 8 starts later, it is down to 3.54.  Over that stretch he has given up just 8 ER in 63.1 innings.  It has been a tremendous turnaround to say the least.
  • Reggie Abercrombie has had 17 AB since 9/6, picking up 9 hits to go with 1 RBI, 4 R and 3 SB.  Yesterday he went 2-4 with 1 RBI and 2 R.  I wouldn’t consider him a great option, but I could see using him if you were really desperate for SB.
  • Rich Harden took the mound for the Cubs for the first time since 8/29, giving up 2 runs on 5 hits and 1 walk, striking out 3, over 6 innings to get the victory.  He certainly should be put back in your active line-up now that he has returned to the mound, even with a match-up against the Brewers next on the schedule.
  • Todd Wellemeyer took the loss to the Cubs, despite giving up just 2 runs (0 earned) on 3 hits and 4 walks, striking out 2, over 5 innings.  He’s 12-7 on the season with a 3.63 ERA and has emerged as a useful option in all formats, as long as you’re not desperate for strikeouts.
  • Matt Antonelli finall had a good game for the Padres, going 3-4 with 1 RBI and 1 R.  He’s still hitting just .185 in the majors and struggled this season in the minors.  He’s worth a flier and nothing more.
  • Josh Geer continues his strong start to his career, giving up 2 runs on 9 hits and 0 walks, striking out 2, over 7 innings.  In 3 starts he’s 2-0 with a 3.60 ERA but also a 1.80 WHIP.  His next start comes in Colorado, which could tell us a lot about him, as 2 of his first 3 starts have been at home.  Tread carefully with him, as I’d probably leave him on my bench if I was going to grab hm.
  • Those who thought that Adrian Gonzalez couldn’t repeat his 2007 numbers should obviously reassess those thoughts.  He went 3-4 with 2 HR, 4 RBI and 2 R to put him at .276 with 31 HR and 103 RBI.  Yeah, he definitely is one of the top 1B in the league.


  1. You still think Floyd should be high on draft boards next year? I have to disagree. I won’t even have him on my board next year. He is a 5.00 ERA pitcher who got extremly lucky for 1-2 months. He is already on his way to an ERA of 4.00 this year which puts him as a back of the draft target for most. Marcum is better, but will probably go higher than his true value.

  2. I understand what you are saying, but it’s not like he has been awful lately either. He’s had some bad starts, but so has a lot of pitcher’s, that doesn’t make me want to avoid them. I can’t say that I love his ERA in August and September, though the August # of 4.29 is not the worst I’ve seen.

    Could he be a pitcher with an ERA in the 4.00 range next season? Yeah, I would buy that, but as an option at the end of drafts, I think most people would take that in deeper formats. I’m not suggesting that he’s a Top 20 option for next season, but I do see him as a usable option.


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