This late in the season, it's difficult to recap the day's baseball news in a way that is meaningful to fantasy baseball players. None of the starting pitchers will even start again without the help of extra regular season baseball.
Sure, it's nice to know that Jacoby Ellsbury hit his 29th, 30th, and 31st home runs on Sunday, and that the third powered the Red Sox to an all-important split of the double-header with the Yankees… but Ellsbury was already owned in your league. Clayton Kershaw won his 21st and Roy Halladay won his 19th -- don't check your waiver wire for either of them.
That doesn't mean there aren't any big-name players that didn't make fantasy news Sunday. Jose Bautista is a fairly famous dude and he crashed into the wall in the first inning Sunday. He played five more innings, but his knee swelled and stiffened. He's day-to-day but wants to play again. Justin Upton was hit in the head by Tim Lincecum but passed all the tests and should only miss Monday at worst. Miguel Cabrera has been dizzy, but thinks he'll be in the lineup Monday. Cole Hamels will not start Wednesday, and will only get an inning or two in relief at most. The Phils have to save their bullets for the postseason. Kevin Youkilis is going to continue trying to play this season but is still hurting. Carlos Gonzalez is likely done with wrist soreness, as he's supposed to sleep with the brace and still has discomfort. He's still a keeper.
* A few pitchers deserve mention because they might be borderline keepers. Like Derek Holland, who had a bad first half but has come on lately. He struck out seven in five innings and held the Mariners to three runs. He's an excellent late-round pickup in redrafts, but you'll want to be in a deeper dynasty league in order to keep him. Hiroki Kuroda has 13 wins and a 3.17 ERA, but he might end up in Japan. He says it's 50/50 right now and makes his last start of the season on Tuesday against Arizona. Kuroda is old, but he's good and makes a decent deep dynasty keeper. Mike Minor has been up and down all year, literally and figuratively. Sunday he gave up one run in 4 2/3 with five strikeouts, which would sound better if his manager didn't pull him as soon as he got into trouble in the fifth. His strikeout upside makes him an intriguing dynasty keeper.
Josh Collmenter is young, but he might still slump next year. He's survived on a funky delivery. Sunday against the Giants he gave up two home runs, but they were solo jobs. He struck out four in seven and held the Giants to two runs… but it was the Giants. Cory Luebke gave up three earned in six against the Dodgers and looks like a good keeper, but it's worth mentioning that he's only pitched half the year as a starter and we might not know exactly how good he is yet. Edwin Jackson pitched seven strong against the Cubs (two runs), but only struck out two. He's way too inconsistent to keep. Ross Detwiler held the Braves scoreless in six, and even struck out six. Normally, though, he doesn't get the strikeouts or the ground balls to make his improved control meaningful.
* At the plate, at the plate, who do pitchers hate at the plate? Jesus Montero had two hits and two walks, and one was intentional. He's absolutely a play at catcher in most leagues. Kevin Kouzmanoff had two home runs Sunday as the Rockies absolutely destroyed the Astros. He's still a risky play at any time. Ryan Braun singled and hit a home run… could he be the MVP? Hunter Pence returned from his knee injury and went hitless Saturday, but he had three hits Sunday and looked fine. Johnny Damon had three hits Saturday (one a home run) and put together a mixed-league worthy year this season, did you notice?
* Jordan Walden heads up the bullpen paragraph, but not for a good reason. Walden blew his tenth save Sunday, when the Angels needed a save most. He gave up a home run to Willingham and then threw a ball away. Him and Carlos Marmol have blown the most in the major leagues, and even if Walden's peripherals have been better than Marmol's, you have to dock him some points for those blown saves. Greg Holland is closing for Joakim Soria, who is out for the rest of the year with a hamstring injury, and he's been great. He got his fourth save Sunday. Kyle Farnsworth returned from his elbow injury Saturday, but then Joel Peralta got the save Sunday. That's still a collaborative work it seems. The Rockies might shop Huston Street this offseason, what with Rafael Betancourt playing so well.
If you want to talk to me about any of this, hit me up on the twitter. I've enjoyed the year, and I hope I've helped you win your league. Don't hesitate to email me about keeper questions in the offseason.
National League Quick Hits: Stephen Strasburg is still a keeper, but he'll be pitching under an innings limit in 2012 … Yovani Gallardo may or may not make his scheduled start Wednesday, with the Brewers locked into the postseason but battling for the second-best record in the NL … Adam Wainwright will throw his fourth rehab bullpen Monday and has been recovering well so far … There's a chance Jair Jurrjens returns this week, but it's not a great one … Jarrod Parker will make his major league debut Tuesday against the Dodgers and is absolutely a good spot start in deeper leagues … Aubrey Huff is done for the year, as his manager wants to try out Brandon Belt and Brett Pill (finally) … Freddy Sanchez (shoulder) should be ready for opening day, huzzah … Anthony Bass will pitch against the Cubs Tuesday and there are worst deep-league spot-starts out there … Chris Iannetta got his final start of the season Sunday, and Chris Nelson left the team to be with his ailing mother … Brad Peacock will not make another start this season … Kyle Lohse would be the Cardinals' starter if there's a one-game playoff.
American League Quick Hits: J.D. Drew (finger) returned to action … Aramis Ramirez (quad) should be back Tuesday … Clay Buchholz 9back) may rejoin the Red Sox bullpen Wednesday … Justin Masterson will sit for Zach McAllister for the season finale in Cleveland … Alex Rios left sunday's game after running into the wall but appeared fine … Nolan Reimold hit a three-run home run Sunday and is a power play in most leagues over a short stretch like this … Grady Sizemore is done for the season, even though he feels healthy … Colby Rasmus missed Sunday's game with the flu … Mike Trout is very exciting, but his manager is already hinting that he might begin 2012 in the minors … The Royals have already shut down Alex Gordon and Jeff Francoeur to see what Lorenzo Cain and Jarrod Dyson can do, so it looks like Melky Cabrera is next … Adam Lind is with his wife as she gives birth … David DeJesus left Sunday's game with a right hip contusion and Michael Taylor may just play out the string for him … Jim Thome is leaning towards coming back again next year … Trevor Crowe (shoulder) is done for the season.