Fantasy: September callups could be pricey help 0
Twins' Chris Parmelee is getting regular playing in right field. (AFP)
t’s your last chance to plug that hole in your lineup — the September callup. Most single-league rotisserie pools mimic MLB’s September roster expansion by allowing the one-time-only addition of an extra player once the calendar turns. The catch is it’s costly — $50 cash in our pool. Some fantasy owners prepare in advance and stash a workable bat or arm on their reserve for the occasion. Others dip into the pool of prospects who have been called up by thier MLB teams. While having an established major-leaguer is obviously the way to go, there are always a few callups who, if given the chance, turn in a promising final month and can provide a late fantasy lift. Some of the biggest names in baseball have made their debuts as September callups, though not all have flourished right away. Fred Lynn batted .419 for the Red Sox in 1974. Two years earlier, Mike Schmidt batted .206 for the Phillies. And there are the no-name surprises, such as Royals RP Joel Johnston, who in 22.1 IPs in September of ’91, allowed just one earned run and struck out 21, but never came close to duplicating that feat and was out of baseball within four years. We’ve had a week to look at this year’s batch of callups, with a few more perhaps on the way once their minor-league teams get knocked out of the playoffs. Most will serve only as bench depth in the majors, but a few will get a chance to make a mark. Check them out in the Waiver Watch section.
n September roster expansion also means bloated rotations. The Twins, for instance, are using six starters, adding P.J. Walters, and could go to seven if Esmerling Vasquez stays. Not great news if you own Scott Diamond. The Marlins also are thinking of making Wade LeBlanc their sixth starter.
n Dan Uggla’s demotion did not last too long. Replaced by LF Martin Prado last weekend, the Braves’ 2B was back in the lineup Wednesday with an 0-for-3, but followed that up going 3-for-8 with a HR over his next two games. Uggla has been the NL’s version of Carlos Pena — batting just .209 this season with still only 18 HRs.
n Just when we were about to give up on Chris Parmelee, the Twins 1B/OF suddenly finds himself playing every day in RF since being recalled Aug. 29. getting hits in all eight games he has started, going 13-for-32 with three HRs and raising his AVG from .204 to .246.
n Giants’ Pablo Sandoval has not homered since the seventh inning of a July 8 loss in Pittsburgh — a stretch of 123 ABs. He did miss three weeks with a left hamstring injury and you have to wonder if, as a LH bat, he’s just not getting the push-off with that back leg needed to generate power. The Giants also expressed concern that Sandoval, who shed 40 pounds after they won the 2010 World Series, apparently has put most of it back on.
n Wei-Yin Chen may have finally hit the wall. The Orioles SP, brilliant for most of the first four months, has now been rocked in four of his past seven starts.
n Stephen Strasburg’s season is over after getting shelled in last start. Many poolies were hoping that his short outing would have given him another start before reaching his innings limit.
In need of steals, I made Royals OF David Lough and his 26 triple-A bags my September callup. Batting leadoff against RHPs and stealing his his first K.C. base on Monday — just my luck — he strained a hamstring two games later and, while it is not serious, I can’t see him attempting too may more steals.
Mark Reynolds BALT
Vs AL East
14 HRs, 37 RBIs
6 HRs, 21 RBIs
HOT AND NOT
Hitters the past two weeks
Chris Carter OAK
.355, 4 HRs, 9 RBIs
DeWayne Wise CHW
.298, HR, 6 SBs
Chris Heisey CIN
.464, 2 HRs, 1 SB
- - - - - - - - -
Matt Kemp LAD
.190 1 HR, 2 RBIs
Curtis Granderson NYY
.128, 2 HRs, 3 runs
Jered Weaver (biceps) and David Price (shoulder), arguably the AL’s top two starters this season, both had their starts skipped this weekend ... Troy Tulowitzki (groin) is doing well in his rehab stint, but the Rox aren’t in any hurry to re-activate him. It could be later this week ... Adam Dunn has been in and out of the lineup with a sore oblique ... Neil Walker’s recovery from a sore back is going slower than expected ... Mike Napoli (quad) is making progress, but still can’t run hard ... Huston Street aggravated his calf injury ... Jarod Saltalamacchia came down with back spasms on Friday ... Travis Snider re-injured his hamstring … David Ortiz (heel) may not return this season ... Jose Altuve suffered a strained ab on Friday ... Gavin Floyd (elbow) hopes to make a start this week ... Mark Teixeira (calf) was finally expected back at first for the Yankees on Saturday.
With fantasy rating out of 5
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Little LH fireplug batted .381 and swiped 38 bags on his way to becoming MVP of the PCL this season. He is batting leadoff against righties, which would make him a solid pickup choice if he can keep the role.
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More of a utility type, but even though he is a RH bat, he has started five of six games, going 8-for-20, including a HR on Friday. The pop was no fluke as he had hit 22 HRs at Columbus.
An elite hitting prospect, he homered in his first AB last Sunday, going 2-for-4, then sat on the bench until Friday when he struck out as a pinch-hitter on Friday. Expect more of the same until Texas’ playoff fate is decided.
A sure-fire staff ace one day, he was 5-1 with a stunning 53-4 K-BB ratio at Memphis in August, but will likely pitch only in middle relief this month.
Looked like a solid pickup option after homering in his second game on Wednesday, but he hasn’t received a sniff of the batter’s box since.
Big, raw and toolsy, he eerily resembles countryman Miguel Cabrera, only with more speed. With the Tigers contending, he’s limited to starts against lefties and late-inning defensive duties.