Injuries are coming hot and heavy, but our focus switches to the on field performances of the night in Major League Baseball. Our top story is one of fantasy baseball's favorite younger brothers shows us exactly what he is capable of, one of my favorite rookies is on a power surge, and a pitching coach affects fantasy baseball yet again. We talk about two players that have had career nights that you completely can't count on, as well as one pitcher that I am liking more and more as he puts it togther in the last six weeks of the year. Finally there is some injury news as well as a prospect who you need to know just in case he continues to shine. There aren't too many days left in the baseball season which means that now more than ever you need Rounding The Bases.
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Allow me to take a minute to thank Justin Upton for finally coming through like we hoped he would for the past couple of years. He homered for the fourth time in five games to bring his season total to 30, and with his 20 stolen bases and near .300 average, Upton has officially arrived as one of the elite performers in fantasy baseball. This may sound like a surprise to you because maybe you assumed he was already based on where he has been drafted in previous seasons, but he had an incredible year two years ago and now this one and I believe that 2012 can be even better. I will say that he will be a top flight fantasy option in the outfield next year and could sneak into being a first round pick in the following season's fantasy drafts. Welcome to the big time young Mr. Upton, your brother was never quite able to make us this happy!
Kevin Youkilis has been dealing with hip and back issues all season long, and now when his fantasy owners need him the most, Youk is out with that hip issue again. He has been sent back to Boston to get another test on his ailing body and it showed bursitis in his hip and he received injections for it. He hasn't been right since April, but hopefully he will be able to get back on the field before it is too late for your fantasy team. Don't expect him to play at all this weekend, and don't be surprised if he misses more than the series after that. The Sox are falling in the standings but it still seems like they have a decent grip on the wild card and their first priority will be to have their star hot corner guy healthy for the playoffs.
It appears that Cardinals' pitching coach Dave Duncan has done it again, as he has taken journeyman Edwin Jackson and turned him into a decent fantasy pitcher. He didn't get the win on Friday, but this marked the seventh time in his nine starts since joining St. Louis that Jackson has given up two earned runs or less. He kept the Cardinals' faint wild card dreams alive with six strong innings in which he allowed two earned runs and struck out five. He hasn't been a big source of strikeouts (which he never is), but Jackson has won four of his six decisions in St. Louis, and has pitched well enough to have more than that. Jackson is one of the hotter pitchers in baseball and looks to be a great pickup down the stretch if you need a consistent outing.
A rookie that I liked to talk about a lot on The Fantasy Alarm Show during baseball season was Cleveland's Lonnie Chisenhall as I thought he would be a fantasy gem once brought to the majors. However, he has struggled to put the ball in play consistently and Chissy is hitting under .240. However, all of a sudden he has caught a little fire, and with his two homers on Friday, Chisenhall now has three in the last three days to go with six RBI. I will continue to monitor him in the last three weeks of the year as he is a guy that always intrigues me, but I am starting to wonder how his power will translate to the major leagues. Chisenhall will not be a starting fantasy third baseman in 2012, but could be a decent option if your league requires a corner infielder.
I've been telling you for the last month not only to pay attention to Wade Davis, but to follow him all the way through the end of the season to see what kind of momentum he can build on in the offseason. Well, Davis won his tenth game of the season in impressive fashion as he threw a complete game against the Red Sox, allowing just two runs and striking out eight. He has now allowed three earned runs or less in four of his last five starts and I am starting to ride the Wade Train a little. The Davis Express if you will. The kid is very talented but has struggled with consistency so far in his time in the Majors, but very few young people don't go through a stage like this so it is to be expected. Continue to monitor Davis in the last three weeks, but so far I am starting to like him as a good sleeper for the 2012 season and is worth a pickup for those of you still trying to win right now!
From the "Even the sun shines on a dog's ass" department, not only did Jeremy Guthrie win his seventh game of the season (against seventeen defeats lol), but he actually pitched very well against the Toronto Blue Jays. The much embattled pitcher threw seven shutout innings while walking three and striking out five. Guthrie to me is one of the worst pitchers in all of Major League Baseball and on any other team he would have been removed from the starting rotation AGES ago. Please do not listen to any sort of temptation that has you adding this guy as it simply isn't worth it, and if anything he will hurt your team as you are trying to win that elusive championship.
How bad has it gotten for the Pirates? Omar Infante, a weak hitting infielder for the Marlins, connected on two dingers on Friday night, bringing his grand total on the season to five. Yes, you read that right folks. The guy had three home runs in the first five and a half months, and then in one night off of such star pitching as Russ Ohlendorff and Daniel McCutchen, Infante was nearly able to double his season output. Don't look too far into this one night for Infante, and also let it serve as a warning that the bottom has dropped out for the Pirates and that it has gotten so bad that the Cubs are now nipping at their heels.
Once a pretty decent prospect for the Mariners, Bryan LaHair is now with the Cubs and so far has made the most of his callup with the team. LaHair tripled in a run for the North Siders on Friday and now has four RBI in just the five games that he has played. He might not get every day playing time, but if he continues to produce like this he could be seeing the field much more than the bench. I might give him a few more days to see if he does indeed crack the lineup on a day to day basis, but LaHair could be a sneaky pickup for those of you still competing down the stretch.
Listen to The Fantasy Alarm Show Saturday & Sunday from 5:00 PM to 8:00 PM EST on SiriusXM Fantasy Sports Radio XM channel 87/Sirius 210.
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