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MLB Barometer: Be Wary of September Sits

Kevin Payne

Kevin Payne

Kevin has worked for Rotowire just under a decade and has covered basketball, baseball and football. A glutton for punishment, he roots for his hometown Bills, Sabres and the New York Yankees. He hosts the RotoWire SiriusXM show every Wednesday and Friday and you can follow him on Twitter @KCPayne26.

Upgrades:

Doug Fister, P, DET - This upgrade is long overdue given what Fister has done since his move to the Tigers. He's compiled a 5-1 record since the trade with a 2.11 ERA and a 46:5 K:BB ratio. Right now the Tigers are likely looking at him as the #2 starter for the playoffs with Max Scherzer pitching inconsistently. With the fifth best BB/9 rate among starters, Fister should be more owned than the 64 percent mark he has in Yahoo leagues.

Joel Peralta, P, TB - If you're desperate for saves, here's your guy for the final 10 games. Peralta has taken over closing duties from Kyle Farnsworth who's dealing with a balky elbow. Peralta was able to convert his fourth save Saturday at Boston, striking out two in the process. For the season his other fantasy relevant stats have been solid too - a 3.13 ERA, .950 WHIP and almost a strikeout per inning.

Jim Johnson, P, BAL - Johnson has taken over the closer role from ticking time bomb Kevin Gregg and the only surprise about this move was that it took so long. Since Aug 14, Gregg has an ERA over 10 spanning 13 appearances (10.2 innings). For the season Gregg's 1.69 WHIP suggest his 4.69 ERA is lucky if anything. Look for the Orioles to continue to hand the ball to Johnson in the ninth, making him another viable option if you need saves.

Mike Moustakas, 3B, KC - "Moose" finally appears to be adjusting to major league pitching after initially struggling since his promotion from Triple-A Omaha. After hitting just .160 in 94 July at-bats, Moustakas went on to his .283 in August and has a seven-game hitting streak and a .346 average in September. The pedigree is there with Moustakas who'll make for a nice sleeper at third base next season.

Chris Parmelee, 1B, MIN - With the injury to Justin Morneau, Parmelee has taken over as the everyday first baseman for the Twins. With Morneau's injury history there's a chance Parmelee carries this role over into next season. Parmelee has gotten off to a hot start, hitting .347 with a home run in 28 at-bats. He is probably more of an AL-only option in most leagues and should help your team's counting stats.

Check Status:

Brian Wilson, P, SF - Wilson could make his return from the DL Sunday after spending the last month on the DL with an elbow injury. Unless you're really desperate, he's probably too risky to put back into your lineup given that he may not be used as the closer and could suffer a setback at any point. A strange split stat for this season for Wilson - he has a 4.50 ERA and 1.95 WHIP on the road but a 2.27 ERA and a 1.16 WHIP at home.

Nelson Cruz, OF, TEX - The Rangers are close to making a decision on when to put Cruz back into the outfield and giving him regular at-bats. Cruz got the start at DH Saturday and went 1-for-5 in his return to the starting lineup. Keep in mind next season when considering him for your team that he's missed at least 34 games in each of the last three seasons.

Joakim Soria, P, KC - A hamstring injury has kept Soria out for the last week although he might be only a couple of days away from returning. It's hard to determine if he'll jump right back in the closer's role which makes him a risky start for fantasy owners. Unless you're willing to gamble, look elsewhere for closing options.

Injuries:

Yunel Escobar, SS, TOR - Escobar is dealing with an elbow injury and has missed five straight games. The good news is there isn't anything believed to be structurally wrong but the bad news is the injury has actually gotten worse. Don't be surprised if the Jays shut him down with the season winding down.

Matt Holliday, OF, STL - There is some speculation the Holliday will be done for the year after sustaining a hand injury. Owners can safely drop him in redraft leagues and it'll be interesting to see what happens to his production next season if Albert Pujols ends up somewhere other than St. Louis.

Downgrades:

Jose Reyes, SS, NYM - The 2011 season will go down as one of the more injury-plagued campaigns at the shortstop position. Reyes has to be included in that group after missing time in August with a hamstring injury. While he's back and been in the Mets lineup, he's admitted he still isn't 100 percent. As a result, the Mets have been giving him a day off here and there since they're out of the playoff race. What's even more discouraging for owners is that Reyes has attempted only one stolen base in September (66 at-bats). It would probably be wise for owners to see if there's a better option on the waiver wire for the last week and a half.

Ryan Howard, 1B, PHI - Howard may end up sitting more than starting for the last 10 days, as there are reports that the team will rest him now that the Phillies have clinched the NL East title. Howard has been dealing with a sore ankle and is considering a cortisone shot, which would keep him out for a week. In other words, look for other first base options for the upcoming scoring period.