Johnny Damon could be headed back to the Red Sox. The 36 year old outfielder was claimed by the Sox and now has to decide if he is willing to go back. This really isn't fantasy relevant because I don't see his numbers taking a huge jump in Fenway Park, but it is a cool story since Damon was legendary in Boston with his Captain Caveman look. It could trickle down to a second wind for Damon and a slight increase in production as a shot in the arm going back to his former surroundings, but I wouldn't count much on it.
Stephen Strasburg will need another MRI on his strained wrist tendon, but I still believe in the end this will lead to him being shut down for the season. I own him in one league that I am hopelessly out of, but if I was still in contention I would be waiting to get the final word before I actually made a move, and obviously in keeper leagues you are just going to have to carry the dead weight on your roster for the rest of the year. Hopefully good news will come from this, but I really can't see the Nats forcing anything here. 2010 attendance isn't worth possibly hurting this kid long term.
Last year's Nationals stud pitcher to get hurt, Jordan Zimmerman, looks to take Strasburg's spot in the rotation. Zimmerman was the top pitching prospect in the Nationals system before Strasburg came around before blowing out his elbow and needing Tommy John Surgery at the end of last year. He isn't a flamethrower like Strasburg although he throws pretty hard and his strikeout numbers aren't nearly as impressive. But Zimmerman is a very good talent and could be someone to help you down the stretch. Some players have been successful right away coming back from Tommy John although most take some time, making him a gamble. If you are in an NL-only league or desperate for stats you might want to grab him now, or you could take a wait and see approach when he starts on Thursday.
A candidate for one of my biggest disappointments is definitely Kansas City's Billy Butler. He is batting .310 and drove in a run on Monday, but it was only his 61st of the year and he has just 11 home runs on the season. He is going to fall well short of his 2009 totals of 21 homers and 93 RBI, both of which I was supremely confident he would surpass. However, I will not jump off of his bandwagon. This guy is far too talented a hitter to regress like this for long. Come next March look for him to be a guy that I back in a huge way as someone who is going to have a bounce back year and be a great value pick in 2011.
Kyle Lohse is another returning pitcher that could give you a boost down the stretch. He wasn't doing well before he went down with a forearm injury, and was rocked his first start back. However, Lohse was much better on Monday although it was against the Pirates. So which Lohse finishes the season? The guy who was 7-11 last season or the pitcher on the mound Monday night and the guy who had 15 wins for St. Louis in 2008? Only time will tell, but the Cards have turned around many a pitching career, so if you are flailing and desperate, maybe Lohse could be your safety net.
Since filling in for the injured Matt Lindstrom on August 13th, Brandon Lyon has racked up five saves including one Monday night. He doesn't exactly light up the stat sheet, but the guy is getting it done and should immediately be picked up for those looking for saves down the stretch. In Houston he won't get a ton of opportunities, but I don't know if Matt Lindstrom gets healthy this year or if he does whether he gets his job back considering how well Lyon is doing. He could pick up eight to ten saves by the end of the season.
For the second time this month a pitcher has been removed while throwing a no hitter. Tonight it was Rich Harden although given his injury history and the fact that he threw 111 pitches I can see the logic there. It is a shame he couldn't control his pitches, he walked five batters, or else he could have had a shot at history. It is good to see Harden so successful in his return from his latest injury, further proving if his body wasn't so fragile he could be among the best in baseball.
You can email me at email@example.com with any question, and I guarantee a response within 18 hours. Please listen to The Fantasy Alarm Show on Blog Talk Radio as Jeff Mans and Ryan Hallam give you all the latest news and analysis on the topics you are thinking about in fantasy sports, plus plenty of extra laughs as well. You can hear the show Sunday nights at 11:00pm EST and Tuesday night at 9:30pm EST at blogtalkradio.com/fantasyalarm. Don't miss it, it is appointment radio!
Rounding The Bases - Todd Zola Looks At The First 10 Rounds of a Likely 2014 Fantasy Baseball Draft
Master Fantasy Baseball Notes From Todd Zola - Looking Ahead To The 2014 Fantasy Baseball Season
Rounding The Bases - Master Fantasy Baseball Notes From Todd Zola
The Farm Report: Minor League Baseball Coverage From A Fantasy Perspective (20 Prospects for '14)
2013 Fantasy Baseball Waiver Pickups: Week 24
The Farm Report: Minor League Baseball Coverage From A Fantasy Perspective (September Call-Ups)
2013 Fantasy Baseball Waiver Pickups: Week 23
Rounding the Bases: A Day For the Little Man
Rounding The Bases: Morse, Willingham On the Move?
The Farm Report: Minor League Baseball Coverage From A Fantasy Perspective (Roster Expansion)
2013 Fantasy Baseball Waiver Pickups: Week 22
Rounding the Bases: Five Surging Pitchers & Hitters
Rounding the Bases: Rookies, Veterans & Roster Movement
The Farm Report: Minor League Baseball Coverage From A Fantasy Perspective (Pitching Help On The Way!)
2013 Fantasy Baseball Waiver Pickups: Week 21
Master Notes From Todd Zola - Taking A Look at Starting Pitching In Keeper Leagues
Rounding the Bases: Small Names, Big Production?
Rounding the Bases: A First for Stephen Strasburg and the (Near) Final Round-Up
The Farm Report: Minor League Baseball Coverage From A Fantasy Perspective (Hitting Help On The Way!)
2013 Fantasy Baseball Waiver Pickups: Week Twenty