The September Boys

Your boys are falling like flies. I know. Dudes are getting shut down every day it seems and the free agent wire is all too confusing. Well, allow me to do the research for you. Here are some solid pickups for your stretch run:

American League

1. Jesse Litsch - SP - TOR - Litsch has won three of his last four starts and has surrendered just five earned runs in his last 35 2/3 innings. He'll pitch on short rest this weekend and could rack up a good amount of starts down the stretch. We're expecting that he'll continue to pitch effectively.
Recommendation: Should be owned in mixed leagues.

2. Nelson Cruz - OF - TEX - Cruz hit .342 with 37 HR and 99 RBI at Triple-A Oklahoma and has now begun to rake at the major league level. He's 12-for-32 in September with three dingers and eight runs batted in. There's no reason to think he won't keep it up.
Recommendation: Worth a look in mixed leagues.

3. Scott Lewis - SP - CLE - Lewis won his major league debut on Monday by tossing eight scoreless innings against the Orioles. It was the best debut by an Indian since Luis Tiant threw a complete game shutout in 1956. With Anthony Reyes sidelined, Lewis will go again versus the Twins on Monday. Maybe he just got lucky last time out, but the 67-of-96 pitches he threw for strikes should have fantasy owners salivating.
Recommendation: Worth a look in mixed leagues.

4. Alfredo Aceves - SP - NYY - Aceves held the first place Angels to five hits and one run over seven innings in his first major league victory Tuesday. Overall, he's given up just two earned runs in 12 innings since joining the Yankees' rotation.
Recommendation: Worth a look in mixed leagues.

5. Josh Outman - SP - OAK - Outman replaced the struggling Gio Gonzalez in the A's rotation and will get his first start on Saturday. Involved in the Joe Blanton trade, he had a 3.11 ERA with 86 strikeouts in 98 1/3 minor league innings. He sounds like a solid innings eater and should keep a nice ERA and WHIP. He's worth a look while the A's are sour on Gonzalez.
Recommendation: Worth owning in AL-only leagues.

6. Dustin Nippert - SP - TEX - Nippert has won two consecutive starts, though both were against fairly weak offenses. Still, he could finish the season strong as he's essentially auditioning for a rotation spot next year. Keep an eye on him as he tries to impress management.
Recommendation: Worth a flier in AL-only leagues.

7. Jim Miller - RP - BAL - George Sherrill is back and is supposedly ready to retake the closer's role, but Miller is one slip-up away from getting a shot. He earned his first major league save on Thursday and hasn't allowed a run in five relief appearances. It's a situation worth monitoring if you're desperate for a few saves down the stretch. And who isn't?
Recommendation: Worth monitoring in mixed leagues.

National League

1. James Parr - SP - ATL - Parr hasn't allowed a run in 12 innings since he was called up on September 1. He has fanned eight. And, now, with Charlie Morton done for the rest of the season, Parr has a spot in the rotation all to himself. We're thinking he keeps a nice ERA for the final few weeks. Wins may be at a premium.
Recommendation: Worth grabbing in mixed leagues.

2. Eugenio Velez - 2B - SF - Emmanuel Burriss is done for the season, paving the way for Velez to finally get some regular playing time. Since Burriss went down, Velez has gone 5-for-10 with two doubles, two triples, and six RBI. He's also knocked two game-winning hits. Take a seat, Ivan Ochoa. Velez is our man.
Recommendation: Should be owned in NL-only leagues.

3. Max Scherzer - SP - ARI - He's baccck. After a short stay in the bullpen, Scherzer rejoined the starting rotation last weekend and fanned 11 batters. He'll get another shot against the Reds on Sunday and should put up some nice strikeout numbers. If you can afford a guy that's going to let up a few runs, pick the man up.
Recommendation: Should be owned in NL-only leagues.

4. Brad Penny - RP - LAD - Brad Penny has said he wants to start again this season. He's thinking dollar signs, but you should be thinking about grabbing him. Most owners gave up when he went down and then rejoined the Dodgers in the bullpen, so if you're quick, he might be out there. At least keep an eye on the whole ordeal.
Recommendation: Worth a flier in mixed leagues.

5. Drew Macias - OF - SD - Macias went 3-for-5 and blasted his first major league homer on Thursday. Jody Gerut is out and there are starts to be had for Macias. He is worth grabbing for at least one week.
Recommendation: Worth a flier in NL-only leagues.

6. Takashi Saito - RP - LAD - Plenty of team owners dropped Saito after he went down and Jonathan Broxton took over ninth inning duties. He should rejoin the 'pen on Saturday after tossing a strong 26-pitch simulated game on Wednesday. Broxton might keep the closer's role, but Saito will be the next best option.
Recommendation: Worth monitoring in mixed leagues.

7. Brian Schneider - C - NYM - Schneider was scratched with a knee infection Friday, but we're hoping it's not serious. If he can get back in the lineup soon, manager Jerry Manuel has already said that he'll receive the bulk of starts at catcher. If you're looking for a guy that's a lock to play most days, first monitor the knee situation, then pick up Schneider. Or do that in reverse order. Or. yeah. it's a free country.
Recommendation: Worth monitoring in mixed leagues.

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