Adrian Beltre - The season is officially over for Adrian Beltre. With surgery to his thumb scheduled for this week, the Mariners will shut the 3B down for the remainder of the year. This thumb injury was lingering all year long, so the fact that he made this long is pretty impressive. Over all, it was a decent season for Beltre. He posted a 0.60 FPI, 0.784 OPS, and HR/AB of 22.2. If you told me Beltre was going to have 25 HR with his season ending 2 weeks early at the beginning of the season, I would have been pretty surprised. I think we squeezed plenty of value of the Mariner 3B this year.
David Price - Price made his long-awaited (and much anticipated) major league debut on Sunday, pitching 5.1 IP in relief against the Yankees. He gave up 3 hits, 2 ER while striking out 4 with no walks. Not a bad start to his career. The news here is that his value is certainly climbing, as he'll likely get a start at some point this week with the Rays needing 6-men (due to rainouts and double headers). Price's dominance in the minors this league is well documened. He hurled 109.2 innings and posted a 2.30 ERA, 1.13 WHIP, and K/9 of almost 9.0 (a strikeout an inning). Always a little risk throwing anyone for their first major league start, but Price is the real-deal and might be worth the risk (or at least the pickup to prevent others from benefitting). If I had to guess, he'll get a start against Minnesota sometime during the weekend.
Alexei Ramirez - Ramirez was red-hot for the three-month period from May 1st to August 31st. During that time span, he hit .335 with a 0.75 FPI, HR/AB of 22.3 (11 HR total) and an OPS of .885. A pickup like that at 2B could have been the big difference maker for any fantasy team. Well, with that hot-spell came a cold-streak in September. For the final month, Alexei is hitting just .222 but does have 2 HR to his name. The good news is that he's starting to heat-up again with 6 hits in his last 15 AB. His ownership has remained steady at over 90% despite his recent struggles, but if he happens to be out there, I would love to have him as my 2B for the final couple weeks of the season.
Magglio Ordonez - Ordonez is having an incredible stretch-run and is single-handedly carrying fantasy teams on his back. For September, Mags already has 4 HR and is hitting .476 with 10 extra-base hits (out of a total of 20 hits) with 12 RBI. It feels like the Detroit players haven't gotten as much press thsi season as they have in previous years, but Ordonez is having a fine year, hitting .323 with a .382 OBP, .893 OPS, and a solid 0.73 FPI. I always like to think if I would have been happy with overall numbers had you guaranteed me them at the beginning of the season. For Mags, I would have taken a 0.73 FPI with over 500 AB and 90+ RBI. 20 HR is a little light, but not too surprising in Detroit.
Justin Verlander - When you flip over Verlander's baseball card in 10 years, hopefully you'll say "What happened in 2008?" This is certainly a season everyone would like to forget about. Another loss on Sunday makes Verlander 10-16 with a 4.78 ERA and 1.38 WHIP. Those are absolutely terrible numbers after posting back-to-back seasons of 3.63 and 3.66 ERA's with records of 17-9 and 18-6. Injury and an overall frustrating season in Detroit hasn't helped, but Verlander just hasn't pitched well and has shown a drop in velocity at times, making him a dropping-value starter going into 2009 (of course if he drops too long, he becomes a decent gamble). His next start is a favorable one against Cleveland on Saturday.
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