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The last twenty comments in true blog fasion, with the links to their authors and the player commented upon.

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Wade Miley Houston Astros

I can't, Rotoworld.

09.10: Wade Miley lasted just one-third of an inning and gave up seven runs Tuesday in a loss to the Astros. (It's one thing to have a single start like this -- that can happen to anyone -- but Miley has done it twice in a row; he's given up 12 runs while retiring a total of one batter the last six days. Oddly enough, all
seven hits Miley gave up tonight were singles. He also walked a batter.
His ERA has skyrocketed from 3.06, which was third in the AL, to 3.74 in
just a week. If he didn't face the Royals next time out, we'd probably
suggest dropping him in shallow leagues.)

Alex Patton Alex
Lance Lynn Texas Rangers

Amen,  Rotoworld.

09.11: Lance Lynn held the Rays to one run in seven innings Tuesday in a no-decision. (Lynn allowed one earned run or fewer for the 12th time in 30 starts this
season, an impressive feat given his home ballpark and the mediocre
defense behind him. He's 14-10 with a 3.72 ERA.)

Alex Patton Alex
Sean Murphy Oakland Athletics

As one of the top catchers in the minors to begin the season, Murphy missed a lot of time with a knee injury this year.  He was always a catch-throw guy first, but he's always been a solid hitter too.  This was supposed to be his big developmental opportunity in AAA, but he only managed 32 games before his callup, including one in Rookie ball.  He did slash 308/386/625 at AAA.  Last night was a breakout, with 2 HR, giving him 3 in 6 games, 14 AB for the big club. I hope he makes the team out of Spring Training next year.

BA said- Murphy is an exceptional defensive catcher who should hit enough to avoid being relegated to the bottom of the lineup. A high school growth spurt pushed him to 6-foot-3, but he retains the agility of a smaller man and the accompanying chip on his shoulder. Murphy shows at least plus raw power in batting practice and has the bat speed and strength to hit home runs, though he hasn't completely synced his swing in games to the satisfaction of all scouts. He has hit for average in the minors thanks to above-average plate discipline and plate coverage and an all-fields approach. Baserunners don't often test Murphy, whose double-plus arm and consistent sub-2 second pop times draw consistent praise. All he needs is improved throwing accuracy. He blocks and receives well but like most young catchers must add nuance to his game-calling and pitch presentation. 

Sickels recent update 46) Sean Murphy, C, Oakland Athletics, Grade B+: Previously No. 41; missed much of year with torn left meniscus but effective when healthy; .293/.384/.580 in 150 at-bats in Triple-A — ready for MLB trial.

Eugene Freedman EugeneFreed
Will Smith San Francisco Giants

Verlander pitching a no hitter with one baserunner allowed in a 2-0 game is why. He had a .666 WPA in it. Gerrit Cole in his 8 Inning 1 run 1 baserunner outing in a 21-1 had a WPA of just .147 bc once the score got to 9-0 in the 3rd the Win probability for the Astros had already reached 100%. 

van wilhoite LVW
Danny Hultzen Chicago Cubs

It has been a long time coming. I still remember watching him out-pitch Gerrit Cole in the Fall Stars game a number of years back. I'm happy that after all the years of injury after injury, he finally made it to the show.

Tim McLeod tlmcleod
Matt Olson Oakland Athletics

After taking a 15-0 beating last night, the A's are returning the favor in Minute Maid. They lead the Astros 20-3 in the sixth inning. Olson has two two-run homers. The team has hit six.

So far.

Alex Patton Alex
Tim Anderson Chicago White Sox

What stands out to me is his going the other way. Way up. That is a big change. He looks more like a .280 hitter than .300 going forward, but with some power and speed that's a valuable hitter. (To me his BA this year is reminiscent of Willie McGee's first batting championship, though McGee was a better contact guy than Anderson as a youngster.)

Peter Kreutzer Rotoman
Bruce Bochy San Diego Padres

Bochy's career record is 1995-2019 and those are the years he has been a manager!

Howard Lynch LynchMob
Mike Foltynewicz Atlanta Braves

He's finally looking like the guy I paid $16(keeper league) for in March but I think I'll try to get him for less next year.

jeff merk jeffamerk
Tim Anderson Chicago White Sox

Talk about adjusting launch angle.  He's at a career high in line drive rate by a considerable margin.  It's definitely helped his BABIP.  Hitting so many in the air last year obviously hurt.  It seems to me, he won't be able to match this year's level going forward, but if he can level out at .350-360, not unreadable given his speed, he should be able to hit around .300, which is great our traditional leagues.  In OBP leagues, that's another matter.  Too bad he spent so much time on the shelf.  I'm keeping him for $23 next year.

Eugene Freedman EugeneFreed

In a year when everyone else is swinging for the fences, is Tim Anderson trying to put the ball in play? It sure looks like it. He's got a 12-point lead over LeMahieu for the batting crown -- I can't imagine that was one of his goals at the beginning of the season but I bet it is now.

Alex Patton Alex
Patrick Sandoval Los Angeles Angels

In my daily notes from OnRoto:

09.10: Patrick Sandoval gave up five hits and three earned runs over 3 1/3 innings in a loss to the Indians on Monday. (He
walked two and struck out four in the loss. Sandoval reached his pitch
count of 60 pitches -- he threw 61 in total -- quickly, and he probably
would have been pulled early anyway since he wasn't effective against
the Cleveland lineup. The 22-year-old offers some dynasty potential, but
he just doesn't have the command to handle these kind of lineups right
now. He'll take a 5.28 ERA in 29 innings into his start on Sunday
against Tampa Bay, and he will not be a recommended option for fantasy
players.)

The reason he's in my notes is I claimed him yesterday, and the reason I claimed him was to keep him out of the hands of the team ahead of me -- the first-place Tooners, in a virtual four-way tie in wins -- even though I don't need wins, I need (who doesn't?) good innings.

The Tooners didn't claim Sandoval, I wasn't sure why until I read this note.

Not a huge mistake but a mistake. If I lose by a point, having lost a point by the smallest of margins in ERA or WHIP, I'll have only myself to blame.

Alex Patton Alex
Danny Hultzen Chicago Cubs
Kent Ostby Seadogs
Nico Hoerner Chicago Cubs

And still more, this from MikeG at BP...

Fantasy Impact: Despite his status as an organizational top prospect, Hoerner was viewed as a longshot to crack the Cubs’ 2019 roster, even as a September callup. However, multiple injuries and a tighter race than expected for the second Wild Card slot forced Chicago’s hand. Hoerner should immediately slot in at shortstop, and while Addison Russell’s injury might be short-lived, playoff races have a way of changing the best laid plans and turning raw prospects into everyday players. Hoerner’s numbers at Double-A have been rather underwhelming thus far (three home runs, eight steals and a .284 batting average in 294 plate appearances), but talent often trumps stats when the rubber meets the road in the crucible of September, pennant race baseball.

Báez is probably done for the season, and his status matters far more than Russell’s in terms of how much you’re willing to bet on Hoerner’s rest-of-the-season value (he’s long gone in any keeper league worth its salt). While Hoerner could be more than a decent contact hitter with minimal pop, if that’s all he is the rest of the way and he gets buried at the bottom of Chicago’s lineup, he’s not going to move the needle for you in steals. Of course, this conversation is academic for most fantasy players, who are either crying in their beer over a lost season or already counting their 2019 winnings. If you are one of the lucky few still fighting for a title, Hoerner might be your best free agent option in NL-only or very deep mixed leagues.  – Mike Gianella

Alex Patton Alex

A wee bit more about Nico, courtesy of BA...

Nico Hoerner, SS, Cubs. Dealing with a rash of injuries at shortstop and a playoff outlook that's anything but guaranteed, the Cubs called up  and immediately insert him into the starting lineup. The 2018 first rounder answered decisively, going 3-for-5 with a triple and four RBI, leading the Cubs to a 10-2 win over San Diego as "Nico, Nico!" chants grew louder at Petco Park. 

Hoerner missed two months this year with a broken wrist and was slated to make up some of those at-bats in the Arizona Fall League. Instead, he looks like Chicago's answer at shortstop for the foreseeable future, as Javier Baez, Addison Russell and Dixon Machado contend with injuries.  

While the decision to elevate Hoerner seemed somewhat surprising -- he has just 337 career minor league ABs, none of which are above Double-A -- the results Monday night were not. The Stanford product can put the ball in play, as evident by his .284/.344/.399 line with Double-A Tennessee this year. 

He now finds himself in the middle of a competitive NL playoff race. Chicago is four games back of St. Louis in the NL Central, but is two games clear of the Brewers for the second Wild Card spot. The D-backs (2.5 GB), Phillies (3 GB) and Mets (4 GB) are still within striking distance. 

Alex Patton Alex
Jose Altuve Houston Astros

After their 15-0 rout of the A's yesterday, the Astros have a +255 run differential; A's drop to +123. Next best run dif in either league: Dodgers +233. Then it's the Yankees +174. In the Year of Not Even Trying, two teams have a greater negative differential than 'Stros have a positive: Orioles -259, Tigers -283.

This is after the Astros have won their last two by a combined score of 36-1.

Altuve had three knocks yesterday and deserves a comment.

Alex Patton Alex
Will Smith San Francisco Giants

Quite a change in two weeks, no? What's that all about?

Now there are four players from the AL.

Alex Patton Alex

WPA in mid-September:

Win Prob. Added (WPA) Leaders

Position Players

Christian Yelich (MIL)7.1
Mike Trout (LAA)5.2
Cody Bellinger (LAD)4.9
Freddie Freeman (ATL)4.8
Anthony Rendon (WSN)4.4

Pitchers

Justin Verlander (HOU)5.1
Will Smith (SFG)4.9
Max Scherzer (WSN)4.0
Shane Bieber (CLE)3.8
Mike Minor (TEX)3.7
Alex Patton Alex
Mark Canha Oakland Athletics

Recent Debuts of 3 H, 4 RBI, 1 XBH

PlayerDateTmH2B3BHRRBI
Nico Hoerner2019‑09‑09CHC30104
Miguel Andujar2017‑06‑28NYY31004
Steven Matz2015‑06‑28NYM31004
Joey Gallo2015‑06‑02TEX31014
Mark Canha2015‑04‑08OAK32004
Mark Quinn1999‑09‑14 (2)KCR31024
Ben Grieve1997‑09‑03OAK33005

See the full list at Baseball-Reference.com's Batting Game Finder

Alex Patton Alex
Nico Hoerner Chicago Cubs

Yesterday's Debut

SS Nico Hoerner (CHC)

Born: May 13, 1997 (Age: 22-119d)

Drafted: Drafted by the Chicago Cubs in the 1st round (24th) of the 2018 MLB June Amateur Draft from Stanford University (Palo Alto, CA).

Debut: 3-5, 4 rbi, 2 r

Alex Patton Alex

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