The great and glorious season of Roster Expansion is upon us. Also, we've come to that point in the fantasy season when keeper-minded owners are looking ahead.
With all that in mind, this edition of the Nightcap is youth-heavy.
The Young and Potentially Restless
• Lucas Duda batted second and played left field for the Mets. He batted a crazy .314/.389/.610 at Triple-A Buffalo this year. He's not a burner, by any means, but it appears as though he has the bat even for a corner position.
• He's not a call-up, per se, but Lorenzo Cain started again last night for Milwaukee. In center, again.
• After pitching quite well in his previous start, Yankee Ivan Nova failed to record a K despite facing 22 batters. He's still sporting a 50|PERCENT| groundball rate, though.
• Oriole Josh Bell now has 118 major league PAs. Here's the worrisome part: 40 K, 2 BB.
• Pittsburgh's Jose Tabata and Neil Walker are bothing batting .310 now. Here are there respective lines. Tabata: .310/.361/.421 (.349 BABIP). Walker: .310/.354/.486 (.367 BABIP). The former is probably more likely to retain that high BABIP.
• Cameron Maybin's line since his August 24th recall: 39 PA, .278/.333/.472 (.333 BABIP). It's definitely not time to abandon him. He's only 23 still, and he was hitting quite well at Triple-A. With Cody Ross gone, center field is basically his.
• Matt Fox made his major league debut, starting for the Twins. Line: 5.2 IP, 21 TBF, 0 K, BB, 8 GB on 20 BIP (40|PERCENT|). Yeesh. To be fair, it was on three-days' rest and one hour of sleep.
• Derek Holland made his sixth start of the season. Line: 6.1 IP, 26 TBF, 5 K, BB, 12 GB on 20 BIP (60|PERCENT|). Guy is awesome.
• Minnesota's Danny Valencia keeps banging out the hits. He was 2-for-3 yesterday, to bring his average up to .343.
• Mitch Moreland started at first and went 0-for-3 against the Twins. Season line: 94 PA, .247/.340/.457 (.259 BABIP).
• Cincinnati's Juan Francisco doesn't really have a position and also has no plate discipline. But he's been pinch-hitting for the Reds a little. He went 0-for-1 last night. His line at Triple-A Louisville this year: 329 PA, .286/.325/.565 (.332 BABIP). Also, there's this: 81 K, 16 BB. Eesh.
• Dan Hudson's pitched well last night and has been kinda amazing, generally, since joining Arizona. With the DBacks: 49.2 IP, 8.70 K/9, 1.63 BB/9, 3.54 xFIP. The 33.8|PERCENT| groundball rate's a bit scary, but with swing-and-miss stuff, it's less scary.
• Brandon Allen played left field for Arizona last night. That's notable. If he can play there decently at all, then he'll almost definitely be a major leaguer next year, and will almost definitely jack 173 dongers.
• San Diego's Cory Luebke made his major league debut last night. Line: 5.0 IP, 22 TBF, 3 K, 2 BB, 6 GB on 15 BIP (40|PERCENT|). He profiles to have like 6.0 K/9 or so with decent control. Also, he'll be pitching in Petco.
• Starlin Castro (a) is now batting .319 and (b) has compiled enough plate appearances for qualify for the batting title. Carlos Gonzalez is at .331 – and Omar Infante has an unqualified .341 – so Castro mayn't make it. But WERE he to, he'd be the youngest ever batting champion. Pinky swear.
• Chris Capuano pitched well, conceding only a single run to the Phils. Line: 5.0 IP, 20 TBF, 4 K, 2 BB, 7 GB on 14 BIP (50|PERCENT|). Weird thing is, Macha took him out after 80 pitches.
• With his performance last night against the Angels, Gio Gonzalez has now allowed two or fewer runs in each of his last six starts. He's legit, I think.
• Eye Andrew Miller's 5.0 IP, ER performance with some suspicion. In 85.1 DOUBLE-A IP this season, he had near as many BB (61) and K (66).
Kinda Weird Save Chances
Mostly Normal Save Chances
• Carlos Marmol, converted (26). Line: 1.0 IP, K, BB. Nothing else.
• Rafael Soriano, converted (41). Line: 1.0 IP, K, H. Nothing else.
• Joel Hanrahan, converted (3). Line: 1.0, 2 K, H. Nothing else.
• Matt Capps, converted (8). Line: 1.2 IP, K, 2 H. Nothing else.
• Ryan Franklin, converted (23). Line: 1.0 IP, K. Cards win, against all odds.
• Juan Gutierrez, converted (7). Line: 1.0 IP, H. Nothing else – except to say that Gutierrez seems to've been pitching well of late.
• Huston Street, converted (14). Line: 1.0, H. That's it.
• Hong-Chih Kuo, converted (8). Line: 1.0 IP. Nothing else.
• David Aardsma, converted (27). Line: 1.0 IP, K, BB, 2 H. No runs, though.
Closers, Other Appearances
• John Axford pitched with the bottom of the eighth with the Brewers down 0-1 at Philly. Line: 1.0 IP, K. Nothing else.
• Mariano entered with the Yankes up 7-4 in the ninth. He threw six pitches, got three batted-ball outs.
• Joakim Soria pitched the ninth with KC tied 5-5 with Detroit. He acted exactly like you'd expect him to.
• Lance Berkman started at DH, went 2-for-4. He's now 4-for-7 since returning from the DL.
• Steve Tolleson played shortstop for Oakland last night. He's probably not a prospect.
• Reed Johnson played left field for the Dodgers! Reed Frigging Johnson!