Kyle Drabek (SP—Blue Jays) The Blue Jays have announced Sunday that they are bringing up top pitching prospect Kyle Drabek to make his Major-League debut on Wednesday against Baltimore. Drabek was the prized piece that Toronto received in return from Philadelphia for pitcher Roy Halladay. At Double-A New Hampshire, Drabek was 14-9 with a 2.94 ERA that included a no-hitter back in July. Overall in 5 minor league seasons, Drabek owns a 3.41 ERA and has a K/9 of 7.3. He's been particularly tough to hit home runs off of with a HR/9 of 0.7. It would be tough to call him an immediate pick-up for this season with no time at the professional level higher than Double-A. The Orioles are probably a good team for him to get his feet wet with but it is still probably to early to expect a great deal of success. Long term keeper leagues is where the majority of Drabek's value is tied into. Expect good things in the future but curb expectations for the remainder of this year.
Shaun Marcum (SP—Blue Jays) Shaun Marcum pitched another solid game on Sunday against the Rays despite walking away with a no-decision thanks to same late game heroics from Adam Lind. It was Marcum's sixth game in a row allowing 3 earned runs or less and his sixth game in a row where he has gone at least 6 innings. Marcum's health has been a big plus this year as he has already logged 176 innings which represents a career high for him. His K/9 of 7.68 and BB/9 of 2.06 are very solid and his WHIP of 1.15 will help any roto team. Marcum's 22 home runs given up is perhaps the biggest blemish on what's otherwise been a very nice bounce back season. Barring any unforeseen injury that pops up, Marcum should be a great pick-up for next year's draft as may fly under many people's radar.
Paul Konerko (1B—White Sox) Mike just did a blurb on Paul Konerko yesterday. But with two more home runs on Sunday, giving him 36 on the year with 104 RBI, well, you gotta spend a little more time talking about the guy. He collected three more hits on Sunday, bringing his batting average up to .322. And while I completely agree with Mike's assessment that the batting average is much higher than what anyone should expect from Konerko going forward, the power numbers are for real. His OBP is just right there at .400 and his EYE has been solid at 0.68. With the plethora of outstanding first baseman that play this game, Konerko is sometimes an afterthought. Other names stand out much more than him: Pujols, Cabrera, Howard, Fielder. But having someone like Konerko play a position that is so deep gives owners a great option on draft day to grab other premium players at scarce positions and still grab someone with the offensive contributions of Konerko.
Brett Gardner (OF—Yankees) Brett Gardner was held out of the starting lineup for the final game of the 3-game series against Texas on Sunday. He was held out of the lineup due to a sore wrist that has been causing him some issues since June. With 85 runs scored and 40 stolen bases, Gardner has certainly helped a fair share of roto teams. However, he is only batting .235 since the start of August although he has been taking a fair amount of walks and still has been able to maintain a solid OBP during that time of .364. His 21% strikeout rate is concern and the .342 BHIP should be taking a dip so it's hardly a surprise that his average has been dropping too. He's a risky bet this upcoming week as his wrist issues may slow him down and fantasy owners might do well to choose another outfield option other Gardner right now.
Brayan Pena (C—Royals) With Jason Kendall out for the year, Brayan Pena has been seeing increased playing time behind the plate and he has been doing a more than adequate job. He hit his first home run of the season on Sunday and added another hit in three at-bats with three RBI. Since August 25th, Pena is batting .408 during that span in 53 at-bats. Even more impressive has been his ability to make contact as he has struck out just twice during that span. His long-term value is questionable but with him hitting the ball as well as he has been, especially for a catcher, he is a worthwhile pick-up while he remains hot and will get consistent playing time.
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