A fractured finger has ended a fine debut season from Brett Lawrie. It's a bit of bad luck for a player that has put up gaudy numbers -- without the aid of good luck. Nothing in his peripheral statistics suggests that what he did was out of the norm that he established with his minor league statistics.
Well, that isn't to say that next year will just be the same, with three-plus times the counting statistics. He could take a step back in the power department without it being out of whack with what he's done before, for example. He seems a lock for 25+ home runs and 20+ stolen bases and a batting average over .280, but OLIVER, the forecasting system by Brian Cartwright at The Hardball Times, has him at .273/.324/.472 next year. At third base, that'll still be very valuable, but keep that number in mind when looking at your keeper decisions over the weekend, too.
The laundry list of seasons that ended on Wednesday is long. Atop the list sits Matt Holliday, who cut his batting practice short after ten swings. He's most likely done and will be a borderline keeper in most leagues too. Jair Jurrjens' knee won't allow him to return before the NLCS. Clay Buchholz's season as a starter is over. He might still help in the pen, maybe. Todd Helton will nurse his back into the offseason. Tommy Hunter left his start with a strained groin and may not be back for his final start. Bud Norris says his shoulder has ended his season most likely, too. Thanks for your contributions fellas, but we have leagues to win.
* These pitching paragraphs will try to focus on guys that might be spot-starters in their final starts. That seems to be the most useful way to do this. Bronson Arroyo shut out the Astros, which is a function of the Astros being the Astros. But he gets the Mets next and might actually be a good start even if he's given up 44 homers on the year. The Mets don't have a ton of power. Ryan Dempster gets the season finale for the Cubs against the Padres next Wednesday and is a start for that. Dustin McGowan held the Angels to two runs in five innings… and struck out eight with no walks! If he gets a start against the White Sox he's probably a deep league spot-start. Mark Buehrle held the Indians to two runs in six innings, but he doesn't strike anyone out and gets the Blue Jays next. He's not a spot-start in shallow leagues for that one. Did someone drop Ubaldo Jimenez? He struck out seven in seven in that same game and gets the Tigers next. Yes. Brandon McCarthy. He held the Rangers to one run in seven innings, so even if he only struck out one, he's a must-spot-start against the Mariners in Seattle.
Derek Lowe gave up three runs in 6 1/3 innings to the Marlins, but his next start is the Phillies and that makes him a pass for the most part. After giving up four runs (one earned) against the Orioles in his short start Tuesday, Erik Bedard has been ruled out of his start against the Yankees on Sunday. Who knows when he'll start again, but he seems like a risky start. Kevin Slowey just can't show what he once had. He gave up five runs in less than seven innings, and it was against the Mariners. Why would he be a better start against the Royals next week?
* Plenty did pleasing things at the plate. Jason Heyward had one of the Braves' two hits and September might be his best month of the season. There are worse players on the wire. Derrek Lee had three hits (one a home run) and is on fire this month. Robert Andino had three hits against the Red Sox on Tuesday and then stole a base against them Wednesday. The Red Sox give up more steals than anyone in the American League. If you're streaming for steals, he's an option in deeper leagues. Mark Reynolds homered and doubled Wednesday and if you didn't use batting average this season, he probably helped you as much as he helped the Orioles. Brent Morel hit a home run and has been awesome this month. Why not (in deeper leagues)? Dee Gordon stole his 23rd Wednesday and faces the worst team in the majors at stopping the run game next. David Freese, tripled, homered, and drove in five. If he can stay healthy all year next year he'll be a great third baseman in most leagues.
* Should we update the bullpens? We should. Joakim Soria threw off flat ground but he might not have enough time to get back. Greg Holland is the man in the meantime. Kyle Farnsworth threw 45 pitches off the mound Wednesday and might still come back this year. Joel Peralta will continue to get saves though.
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National League Quick Hits: Troy Tulowitzki returned to the Rockies' lineup and some people dropped him … Hunter Pence has a strained knee and is out through the weekend … Jayson Werth (elbow) is missing games with his ailment, and Roger Bernadina is filling in … Lucas Duda hit a wall and left the game with dizziness; If it's a concussion he might miss the rest of the season … Chase Headley (finger) and Jesus Guzman (neck) returned to the Padres lineup … Chipper Jones left the team to be with his son but should be back Friday … Jaime Garcia gave up four unearned against the Mets -- ground-ballers will give up unearned runs some times as their defense makes errors -- so maybe he'll always have a better ERA than his WHIP suggests he should have … Ryan Vogelsong gave up four runs in five innings against the Dodgers (three strikeouts), so he doesn't seem like a great spot start against the Rockies on Monday … John Lannan gave up three runs in five innings to the Phillies and maybe he can do better against the Marlins on Monday … Brett Pill had three hits but is a non-prospect by age, at least when compared to Brandon Belt … Alex Gonzalez is going to miss a couple days with his strained calf.
American League Quick Hits: Kevin Youkilis (hip, hernia) is sore but not ruled out for the season just yet … Dan Haren was hit on the left wrist by a line drive in the eighth inning, but thinks he can make his next start Monday … Michael Pineda ended his rookie season with two runs in four innings against the Twins; Don't let this ending fool you next year, he's excellent … Asdrubal Cabrera (back) should be back Thursday … Denard Span (concusssion) was activated and went right into the starting lineup … Billy Butler had two hits, and his 40th double of the year, but when will those doubles turn into home runs … Jeremy Hellickson handles the Yankees in New York (two runs in seven innings), so maybe he can handle them at home … We finally have a start date for Matt Moore -- Thursday against the Yankees; Sucks if you wanted to pick him up for that one … Travis Hafner hit a home run, but is still sharing time with Jim Thome … Phil Hughes had an MRI after he missed Wednesday's start, has inflammation, and might make his start early next week against the Rays … Felipe Paulino only gave up two runs in five innings against the Tigers -- and struck out eight -- so he might be a good deep-league spot-start against the Twins in Minny on Tuesday.