Hank Blalock was called Mr. September by his manager. I think he meant it as a compliment. Last year, he hit eight homers in 95 ABs in September. This year, batting .360. In the last seven games, it’s up to .400 with 2 homers. Luckily, he’s also playing every game, because he’s the only one hitting for the Rangers, which means he’ll continue to play. If you’re currently rocking an underperforming corner guy try out Blalock. Instead of chewing gum, chew bacon! (BTW, I have a theory why Blalock hits well in September. The Texas summer tires the Rangers hitters out. By September, they’re done, except for Blalock because he never plays a full season. So this theory would make even more sense if Blalock’s other good month is April. Yup, checks out. In the last three years, April’s his 2nd best month. Check. Mate.) Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:
Bronson Arroyo – 7 IP, 1 ER, 6 baserunners. Guitar Arroyo continues to roll in the 2nd half. Hopefully, I don’t have to field too many questions in March from people asking if they should draft Arroyo in 2010. You should not. I’m all for grabbing him next July though.
Willy Taveras – 2-for-4 as he led off. This start came at the expense of Drew Stubbs. Oh, Dusty, you and your decisions. I think Stubbs will continue to get the majority of the starts.
Lastings Milledge – HR yesterday. Hitting .440 over the last week with two steals, as well. Will he be in this afternoon’s Buy/Sell? Maybe, depends what Late Afternoon Grey puts on the menu.
Vernon Wells – HR yesterday. Wow, so now we’ve had Rios, Hawpe, Dye and Wells homer on consecutive days. Tomorrow, David Wright!
Rafael Furcal – HR yesterday. He was the lead in yesterday’s roundup, so I’m going to be brief. He’s going to end this season well (obviously) then he’s going to tear it up in the playoffs leading to him being overrated once again next year. Thank you, Magic Eight Ball.
Matt Kemp – Hit his 26th homer yesterday to go along with his 34 steals. A guy with 30/30/.300 ability who hasn’t even hit his prime yet? Yeah, I think he’s going to be a top 10 ranked guy for me next year.
Ryan Braun – 0-for-5 yesterday. Speaking of top ten, Braun’s still there, but he definitely hasn’t ended the season well.
Luke Gregerson – He got a rare 1 2/3 IP inning save yesterday. I don’t think it means anything other than Bell’s been overworked lately.
Franklin Morales – Came into yesterday’s game in the 7th inning. That just about does it for his value.
Troy Tulowitzki – Hit his 30th homer yesterday. He also has 18 steals and a .290 average. Yeah, he’s going to be above Rollins in the rankings next year.
Carlos Gonzalez – Sat out yesterday with a hamstring issue. Guy who relies on his legs with a hamstring issue during the final ten days of the season is not someone you need to wait around for in one year leagues. I know, it sucks. I like him too.
Brad Penny – 8 IP, 1 ER. Who doesn’t love NL West pitchers? Who? Show yourself!
Derrek Lee – Left the game in the ninth after his first attempt and steal of a base yesterday. He didn’t come out of the game immediately, so hopefully it’s nothing major. Or nothing, Major. If that’s your rank.
Jacoby Ellsbury – Stole his 66th base yesterday. Member a few years ago how excited people got about Crawford and would draft him in the 2nd round? Well, Ellsbury is doing what Crawford used to do. Steals don’t have a face, but if they did, I think they’d look a lot like Ellsbury. Also, while I’m on the subject, who remembers in May of this year when Buster Olney said Crawford could steal 100? Now, Olney’s forgotten more baseball than I’d ever know, but, seriously, when will people stop hyperbolizing what someone does through a month of baseball? Guess it sells people on the ESPN Hindsighter. Wow, this was a huge tangent. Sorry.
Adam Kennedy – 3-for-5 with his 20th steal. He’s batting .290 on the year with 11 HRs. Member during your draft you couldn’t decide when to draft Alexei so you took him in the fifth round? You would’ve been better off with Kennedy. Who knew?
Eric Patterson – 6 for his last 10 with a steal and a homer. He’s playing every day and could rack up steals quickly.
Michael Brantley – 2-for-5, and a steal. See Eric Patterson, or 1/8 of an inch above.
David Aardsma – Returned from an injury to get a save. What injury, you ask. It turns out Aardsma was out for a few days with back stiffness. In one of the more bizarre ways a player has been injured, his back stiffened while he was reading a book. A relief pitcher hasn’t been hurt this bad from a book since Jose Mesa read Omar Vizquel’s tell-all book.