Fantasy Baseball Final: September 18th, 2015
July trades are catch as catch can. There is no rhyme or reason to whether or not they work out or not. This is particularly true with rentals. The Nationals and Mets both brought in high profile rentals at the deadline. The Mets brought in Yoenis Cespedes while the Nationals brought in Jonathan Papelbon. Cespedes has slashed .295/.345/.661 as a Met while adding 17 home runs in less than two months. He may not be completely responsible for their surge into first place, but when you consider the fact that offense was their biggest concern, you can’t say that it’s hurt.
Meanwhile, you can’t really say Papelbon has been a bad pickup. He is 2-1 with a 2.84 ERA and six saves as a National. Yet, he wasn’t the pitcher he was in Philadelphia. He might end up returning in 2016, so that trade might still pay dividends. Still, when you consider that Drew Storen and the rest of the club have gone in the tank, you’d have to think that brain trust would like to have that trade back.
If you read only one thing…..
There is a similar story brewing in the American League West. The Astros added Scott Kazmir, Carlos Gomez, and Mike Fiers at the trade deadline and had a commanding lead in the divisional race. Everything seemed like it pointed to their coronation in the American League West. Despite some good performances from Kazmir and Fiers overall, the Astros have gone in the tank and are two and a half games back. A slump by Gomez certainly didn’t help matters, but it is the rest of the team that seems to be crumbling around them.
The Rangers have gone in the other direction. Cole Hamels joined the squad on July 31st. Since August 1st, the club has gone a combined 29-15 coming into action tonight. I panned that trade because of how much the Rangers had to give up, but that just goes to show how unpredictable this time of year can be. Hamels is 3-1 with a 4.04 ERA in Texas. That’s good, but not particularly great. Like the Astros in reverse, it has been the rest of the team catching fire around him that has made the difference.
Just as we expected….
Like the last time I reported, Steven Matz continues to dominate in his short time with the Mets. He’s moved to 4-0 with a 1.80 ERA after tonight’s six inning performance against the Yankees. The Mets have gone from a fringe contender to the hottest team in the National League in the span of six weeks. They are now neck and neck with the Los Angeles Dodgers for the right to have home field advantage in a divisional series.
Don’t look now, but the Cleveland Indians are finishing the season with a strong kick. It might be enough to vault them into second place in the AL Central. They brought their record to .500 at 73-73 for the first time in quite awhile on the strength of good starting pitching and a ton of offense. The offense is somewhat unexpected, but the pitching has been there all season. Cody Anderson moved to 5-3 this season and saw his ERA drop to 3.48. He might be a name to keep an eye on during next year’s fantasy draft.
But we didn’t see this coming….
Former TCU Horned Frog Brandon Finnegan made his major league starting pitching debut and lasted five strong innings for the Reds. He surrendered one run in those five innings and established himself as a future fixture in the Reds rotation. In a huge change from the beginning of the season, every starter in the Reds rotation is currently a rookie.
Justin Morneau had two hits and elevated his batting average above .290. That by itself may not seem like much, but Morneau spent most of the season on the disabled list and has only 130 plate appearances on the season. He may or may not be back in Colorado next season, so he might be playing for his baseball life.
The Rest of the Details
- Aroyds Vizcaino (converted)
- Brad Boxberger (converted)
- Tom Wilhelmsen (converted)
- Aroldis Chapman (converted)
- Ryan Dull (converted)
Managerial openings are not uncommon this time of year, but there have been more general manager openings than managerial openings. There are openings in Seattle, Philadelphia, Los Angeles, and Boston. The Tigers also have an interim general manager and may end up hiring one as well in the offseason. That’s five major openings at one time. That kind of turnover is unheard of.