The Price is Right

First of all, let me apologize for that headline. Not cool. But, hey, there's important stuff in here. Baseball's regular season is nearing it's end. It's looking like September 28 will be the final day. Before I get all emotional and scare away any additional readers, let's skip ahead to the important stuff.

* David Price allowed a single earned run (and one unearned) over 5 1/3 innings in his first major league start Monday night. The left-hander was brilliant through the first four frames before loading the bases in the fifth inning. But, it was when the bags were juiced that he showed off his real talent. Stick with me. He issued a run-scoring walk to the No. 9 hitter and a sacrifice fly to the next batter, but he followed that with a strikeout and a groundout that helped him avoid a real problem. When a young pitcher gets himself out of a jam like that, you know there's something special under the hood. He was throwing high heat on 0-2 to Aubrey Huff! Huff has destroyed left-handers this year. Price has what it takes to be a dominant pitcher in this league, but you already knew that. I mean, you read Rotoworld.

* Hanley Ramirez went 0-for-5 with a couple of strikeouts in his return to the Marlins' starting lineup on Monday and the Marlins were officially eliminated from the NL East race. Even worse, Ramirez stole the leadoff spot back from our boy Cameron Maybin. Come on, Hanley. If that shoulder isn't 100 percent, just shut it down. Maybin is 11-for-25 since he was called up exactly one week ago. He has scored seven runs, walked twice, and swiped two bags. And what's the coolest part? The kid (yup, he's 21) totally skipped Triple-A in his promotion to the bigs. In essence, he's the coolest thing to happen to baseball since J.T. Snow first donned flip-up sunglasses.

Maybin was still in the lineup Tuesday night, hitting seventh, finishing 1-for-4, and should get regular at-bats over the final week of the regular season. How he factors in the Marlins' plans for 2009? That remains to be seen. Surely they'll want the youngster to pick up some experience in Triple-A before they issue him a full-time job, but he'll be invited to spring training next season, and what if he's equally as impressive there? They will have to give him a shot. Manager Fredi Gonzalez was open to the idea last season, when Maybin was just 20 years of age. That's a situation worth monitoring this offseason and into the spring.

* Reds' outfielder Chris Dickerson is done for the season and will undergo surgery Friday to repair a stress fracture in his heel. It's minor surgery and he's expected to be ready for the start of spring training. The 26-year-old hit .304 with six homers, 5 RBI, 20 runs scored, and 5 stolen bases in 102 at-bats this season. He had an on-base percentage of .413. Dickerson should get a shot at opening next season as the Reds' primary center fielder. That would allow Jay Bruce, who's a bit of a liability in center, to slide over to a corner outfield spot where he's more comfortable. It would work out nicely for both players and the Reds, who have an intriguing youth movement going on.

* Suspensions were levied on multiple Tigers and Indians on Monday in the aftermath of Friday's on-field brawl. Asdrubal Cabrera will be out three games, leaving Jamey Carroll to fill in at second base. Victor Martinez is also out three games for his involvement. Fausto Carmona received the biggest punishment, with six games, and will only be able to make another start this season if he begins his suspension tonight. Of course, all of these suspensions are pending appeal. Carmona could appeal and make his scheduled start Wednesday, then sit out the last four games of the season. Gary Sheffield was the only Tiger punished. He started the whole fight when he charged the mound from first base and was suspended four games. That's a bit perplexing, but it's right in line with how the MLB has operated for some time. Jeff Larish and Mike Hessman should grab his at-bats.

* The Cubs have tinkered with Rich Harden's schedule, in a move that seems to put him on pace to be the second man in the team's postseason rotation. He will pitch Thursday of this week, rather than Tuesday. The North-siders will go with Carlos Zambrano, Harden, then Ryan Dempster. Watch for other teams making moves similar to this. If a guy is getting bumped back or bumped up for postseason purposes, it's likley because he's an important contributor to a ball club, meaning he also holds fantasy value. Don't miss out on one of your aces' final starts.

AL Quick Hits:Julio Lugo could miss the first round of the playoffs after suffering a setback with his injured quadriceps muscle . Vladimir Guerrero's right knee is improving and he is expected to be ready for the first round of the playoffs . Manager Mike Scioscia said he's hopeful Howie Kendrick and Juan Rivera will be available to play Monday . Jack Hannahan could miss the final few games because of a strained rib cage muscle . Brandon McCarthy will not pitch again this season . A's called up Donnie Murphy for some infield depth . Carlos Silva is still dealing with back problems and might miss his final start . Justin Duchscherer is done for the season with ongoing hip issues . The Orioles will not make up a postponed game against the A's.

NL Quick Hits:Todd Helton finally admitted that he won't be able to play again this season . Jake Peavy's scheduled start has been pushed from Tuesday to Thursday . Pirates agreed to terms with first-rounder Pedro Alvarez . Kaz Matsui (back) is expected to return to the lineup Tuesday night . Jeremy Hermida returned to the lineup with a homer on Monday . Brandon Webb won his 22nd game against the Cardinals on Monday . An MRI on Chris Carpenter's injured shoulder showed no structural damage.

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