Carlos Marmol- CHN- Caution- Marmol picked up his 9th save and has yet to blow an opportunity since his promotion into the closer role, but there are some things that can make you queasy. Half of Marmol’s 14 pitches were balls. For the third straight game he issued at least one walk. Over his last 3 appearances he has allowed as many BBs (4) as Ks. If he doesn’t get his control under control eventually this is going to bite him in the rear. Lou Piniella has given Marmol a vote of confidence, but Lou has been known to change his mind. Keep an eye on Marmol’s performance the rest of this season and in spring training next year before counting on him for saves in 2010.
Nick Johnson- FLA- Hot- After 2 hitless games, Johnson caught fire again yesterday, going 2-for-5 with a homer, 2 RBI and 2 runs scored. Since joining the Marlins Johnsons has been an offensive force when healthy. His normally strong Batting EYE has gone to the absurd level of 1.92. Johnson only has 2 homers in 75 ABs, but he has 8 doubles and a .520 SLG, so the homers may just be a matter of time. Looking ahead at 2010, the “when healthy” part is the major concern. Johnson fits the definition of injury plagued, but if he can avoid that tendency for a full season, he could put up very big numbers next year.
Skip Schumaker- STL- Hot- For the second game in a row, Schumaker collected 3 hits, raising his average to .298. There is also a possible reason to hope that he will have a sudden power surge in 2010. Although Schumaker’s homer total this year compared to 2008 has dropped from 8 to 4, his doubles have shot up from 22 to 32 in 63 fewer ABs. As a late round pickup he could be a pleasant surprise and is a definite sleeper candidate.
Chris Young- ARI- Hot- Young has had a very frustrating season, but has been coming on like gangbusters lately. After going 2-for-5 with a double yesterday he now has a .311 average for September and a whopping .756 SLG for the month. It is enough to keep him in your plans for 2010. When he is on, Young can be a big boost to the homer and steal columns.
Adrian Gonzalez- SD- Hot- After a horrible July, Gonzalez is back to his early season form, when he seemed to have an “S” on his chest and it didn’t stand for San Diego. He batted .362 last month with 6 homers and so far this month is hitting .311 with 3 homers in 45 ABs. The only downside is that Gonzalez has only knocked in 26 runs since August 1st, but the weakness of the San Diego lineup is probably a reason why teams aren’t afraid to pitch to him any more. Next season he will probably command a high price in fantasy leagues but could still end up as a bargain if the Padres decide to deal him. Petco Park has had a severe dampening effect on his numbers and getting a new home would probably result in huge production.