||Ready to Pounce :: 9/01/08
by Andrew G.
Published: September 1, 2008, 3:32 pm
Matt Lindstrom, RP, FLA – After Kevin Gregg blew his league-leading ninth save on Friday night, he admitted to pitching through pain in his knee. With four runs given up in each of his past two outings, Gregg's ERA has skyrocketed to 3.79, and he is going to take some time off to heal the soreness in his left knee. Although the Marlins might go by a committee during his absence, this seems like a good opportunity to test flamethrower Matt Lindstrom. None of his regular season stats look very appealing, but Lindstrom has been sharp since the All-Star break with an ERA of 2.00 in 20 games. Lindstrom could be auditioning for the closer's role next year, so keep an eye on his performance and pick him up if you're in need of a save or two with no reliable options available.
Michael Bowden, SP, BOS – With Josh Beckett placed on the DL, the Red Sox called up one of their many young pitchers to make a start. In his first Major League start, Bowden pitched five solid innings and picked up his first win. Bowden isn't the type of guy who will light up the stat sheet, but he has good control of his pitches and can pitch well enough for the Red Sox's lineup to win games for him. The news on Beckett is optimistic, but they'll be careful not to rush him, and it seems like at least one pitcher lands on the DL every other week.
Jordan Schafer, OF, ATL – After trading Mark Kotsay to the Red Sox, the Braves created a void in the outfield that could be filled by the young prospect who will likely get a September call-up. Schafer started the season with a 50-game suspension for using human growth hormone, but in 82 games he has hit 10 home runs and stolen 12 bases. He won't hit for a high average, but his power and speed potential make him an intriguing prospect that could receive playing time right away with the Braves out of playoff contention.
Kila Kaaihue, 1B, KC – Does a 24-year-old with 36 home runs in 121 games seem like a player of interest? Yeah, I would think so. He's also hitting for a .314 average combined in Double-A and Triple-A with a .458 on base percentage and a 1.087 OPS. Most of his time has been spent in Double-A, but most of his numbers in Triple-A are actually better. If the Royals make the right move and call him up, he is an interesting option in just about all leagues. He's similar to Chris Davis, only he draws more walks and his name is harder to pronounce.
Scott Elbert, SP, LA – The hype for his debut isn't anywhere near close to that of Clayton Kershaw's long awaited debut, but the level of talent isn't too far off. Elbert has some nasty stuff, having struck out 46 batters in 41 innings in Double-A with only 22 hits allowed. He struck out two batters and walked one in his debut, which came in a relief outing. He'll likely stay in the bullpen in September, but with Kershaw struggling and therefore demoted, there could be an outside chance of him getting a crack at the rotation, where he'd be a big strikeout asset.
Jay Payton, OF, BAL – After talking about younger players, I'll stray from my norm and give some love to a veteran. After being stuck in a platoon role for almost two years as an Oriole, the injury to Adam Jones has allowed the well-traveled Payton to get regular playing time in center field, where he is displaying a solid bat to go with his great defense. Payton has seven home runs and seven steals on the year, three of which have come in August. He's not by any means a guy to carry a fantasy team, but he's a good option to fill out a team in an AL-only league or a deep mixed league.