Mike Stanton snapped out of a 5 for 58 slump with 2 HRs and 4 RBIs in a doubleheader against the Phillies. Was retired lefty reliever Mike Stanton hitting for him? I realize they look a little different (the hitter is 22 years younger, 15 pounds heavier, 4 inches taller, a tad darker) but even a young K-prone hitter should avoid that bad of slumps, right? Well, obviously not. Stanton’s 35% K rate translates to a .235 AVG with an average (.300) BABIP. He’s still a valuable asset because of the power – but you’ll have to either compensate with a high batting AVG guy or absorb the AVG hit.
Danny Espinosa - The rookie 2B looked like the 2.0 version of 2009 Desmond by going 4 for 5 with 2 HR and 6 RBI against the Mets. Where’d this come from? Espinosa was a 3rd round pick out of Long Beach State – the baseball factory that brought you Troy Tulowitzki and Evan Longoria. Espinosa has shown 20/20 potential in AA and AAA over the past 2 years but his AVG has been in the .260 range. So it’s possible he maintains this streak for the rest of the month as an extended audition for a 2011 starting spot. Take a chance if you’ve got dead wood in your MI spot.
Jeff Niemann – The good news is he gave you less earned runs than his past two starts. The bad news is that he still got whomped – 6 ER in less than 2 innings after giving up 17 ER in 8.1 IP in his previous two starts. If he’s still on your team, I’d drop him like he bombed.
Jon Lester – Won with 10Ks over 6 IP – his 3rd straight game with a win and 10 Ks. Last Red Sox player to do that? How would I know – I don’t work for ELIAS. (I’d guess Pedro). I’d say it’s Sabathia’s Cy Young to lose but I think Lester will edge out Buchholz and F-Her if he stumbles. Unless Keith Law is the only voter – then I’d say Felix Hernandez.
Brian Matusz – Won his 4th straight game – this time at Yankee Stadium. This three starts were home against Boston and Texas and at the White Sox. All four were 6 IP and none more than 3 ER. So if you need a pitcher to stream, he’s your guy.
Don Kelly – The man two L’s away from donkey status had a HR/3 RBI game. He’s platooning with Ryan Raburn (Kelly gets righty pitchers) and he’s not that great. I’d stream him for a day if your OF isn’t playing – that’s about it.
Neil Walker – Another HR – making that 5 HRs in his past 9 games. Now hitting .312, this guy has been looking like the second coming of Freddy Sanchez. But Pirates are like people you meet at the Jersey Shore – don’t fall in love with them. His minor league stats and his .370+ BABIP suggest he’s hitting out of his mind right now. Enjoy the ride but drop him in shallower leagues should he struggle for the next hot-hitting MI.
Jim Thome - 2 HRs on Saturday. Took Sunday off. Hit another HR on Monday. The guy is hitting a HR now every 11AB or so. Trying to figure when this guy is going to play is infuriating – Kubel and Mauer DH as well – but he’s a must add now for daily leagues where you can swap him out if he’s sitting.
Jose Reyes – The Mets have been in complete minayal over Reyes’ oblique injury. They’ve been having hit batting practice and claim he might play but he’s been out for 7 days and will probably miss most of next week too. As someone who drafted Reyes hoping for a discount on his typical 60 SB with respectable AVG/R/HR/RBI, the only solace is that at least he hasn’t been completely useless like D’Ellsbury.
Ivan Rodriguez – Had 1 HR and 7 RBIs over the past two days. Congrats to the 3 people who own him in a league.
Carlos Marmol - It was clearly Piniella’s fault that the Cubs were underperforming because it feels like they’ve been streaking ever since. Marmol now has 4 saves in 6 days in September. Even better, he’s still K-ing guys and now has a ridiculous 118 Ks in 66.1 IP. Most relievers couldn’t get that many K’s if they faced a lineup of Ryan Howard, Adam Dunn, and Mark Reynolds.
Kevin Kouzmanoff – Will miss a few games with back spasms. I think they’re sympathy spasms for Eric Chavez.