Fantasy Baseball: Week 18 Rundown

Matthew BeckCorrespondent IAugust 3, 2009

PHOENIX - JULY 28:  Starting pitcher Dan Haren #15 of the Arizona Diamondbacks pitches against the Philadelphia Phillies during the major league baseball game at Chase Field on July 28, 2009 in Phoenix, Arizona.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

Week 18 Rundown

The trade deadline has come and gone, with four teams entering August as winners:  the Red Sox, the Phillies, the Tigers and the Cardinals.  For once, the Yankees made only a minor move acquiring Jerry Hairston, while the Red Sox went out and acquired all-star catcher/first basemen Victor Martinez.

This week has very good two-start pitchers including both Dan Haren and Zack Greinke.  There are also many other two-start pitchers that may help you this week, as you start to position yourself for the playoffs.

There are a few players that should be looked at entering into this week that may be need to be picked up before someone else in your league does, that may just be what your team needed to make it to the next level.

Players to pick-up for week 18

Jason Frasor, RP (TOR):  With the Blue Jays placing closer Scott Downs on the disabled list with a left big toe injury, that opens the door for Frasor to receive the save opportunities until his return.  Frasor is posting a solid 2.09 ERA out of the bullpen this season with almost one strikeout per inning pitched.  Pick this guy up as soon as possible if you are need of a closer.

Neftali Feliz, SP (TEX):  On Sunday, the Rangers called up their top pitching prospect in Feliz, but he is listed as bullpen help.  With all the injuries to the Rangers starting pitchers, it looks like he may get a shot to make spot starts here and there for the rest of the season. 

If you have the bench room you should go ahead and stash this young star.  He is only 21-years-old and has tons of upside that will be seen, if he gets the opportunity to start some games for the Rangers.

Maicer Izturis, MI, 3B (LAA):  Izturis has a great July, and started up August right going 2-fo-5 with a home run in the Angels first game in August.  He is batting .322 since July 1, and isn’t showing any signs of slowing downs.  He may still be available in your league, so if he is pick him up to solidify your middle infield positions.

Delwyn Young, 2B, OF (PIT):  With the departure of Freddy Sanchez to the Giants, the Pirates have turned to Young to take over the everyday role at second base.  He has a .309 BA after just 181 at-bats this season, along with five home runs and 25 RBI.

If you are in a deeper league, Young is a solid pick if players like Izturis aren’t available.  Keep an eye on him through the next couple of weeks to see if he can keep his batting going and if he continues to get regular playing time.

American league injury updates

After running without pain August 2, the Angels have set a return date of August 6 for their designated hitter Vladimir Guererro.

Torii Hunter will begin a rehab stint August 7 to begin his comeback from a strained right adductor, with an Angels’ minor league affiliate.

The Athletics received bad news of Friday, when pitcher Justin Duchscherer was scratched from his Triple-A start with an undisclosed injury.

The Athletics first basemen Jason Giambi is currently on a rehab assignment, with a return to the team sometime in early August.

Scott Downs has been placed on the disabled list by the Blue Jays with a left big toe injury.

The Mariners expect Erik Bedard back sometime in mid-August after having a successful catch session on August 2.

Adrian Beltre was able to take batting practice July 27 and 28, and is expected back in the Mariners lineup possibly August 4.

The Rangers have placed Ian Kinsler on the disabled list with a strained left hamstring, retroactive to July 29.

Kevin Millwood was scratched from his August 3 start, but the Rangers are not expected to put him on the disabled list.

The Rays could possibly get Akinori Iwamura back sometime in August, after looking good taking ground balls July 28.

The Red Sox have listed Jason Bay as day-to-day after being held out of their August 2 games with cramping in his right hamstring.

Gil Meche is slated for a Triple-A rehab start August 3, with the expectations of returning to the Royals rotation sometime in early August.

The Twins scratched Francisco Liriano from his July 29 start, after noticing swelling on his left forearm, but still may make his next start August 5.

Jake Peavy threw a 50 pitch bullpen session August 2 for the White Sox and is still optimistic about returning late August.

The White Sox shortstop Alexei Ramirez missed his fourth straight game on Sunday, due to a sprained right ankle.

National league injury updates

The Astros will have Lance Berkman test his calf with running on August 2, to determine if he can start a rehab assignment.

Roy Oswalt is listed as day-to-day with a low back strain, but is expected back in the Astros rotation August 8.

After leaving his August 1 game after only four innings, the Astros pitcher Wandy Rodriguez is expected to make his next scheduled start August 7.

The Braves scratched Tim Hudson from his July 31 start due to a mild groin strain, but is still on track to return to the rotation late August.

Corey Hart is listed as day-to-day after suffering abdominal pain and plans to visit the Brewers’ doctor this week.

Ted Lilly was able to play catch and do exercises for the Cubs over the weekend, and is expected back around mid-August.

The Cubs have listed Aramis Ramirez as day-to-day after suffering a swollen left forearm, but is expected back Monday.

The Diamondbacks have said that Brandon Webb will have season-ending surgery on his throwing shoulder on Monday.

Chad Billingsley left his start on Sunday after five innings with a left knee injury and is listed as day-to-day.

The Dodgers have listed Casey Blake as day-to-day, after hurting his left wrist while weight training.

Mets general manager said that shortstop Jose Reyes should be able to return within the next few weeks, after suffering a small tear in his hamstring.

Jordan Zimmermann threw a 45-pitch bullpen session over the weekend and reported no pain to the Nationals medical staff.

The Reds have announced that Edinson Volquez is slated for season-ending surgery on his elbow on Monday.

Scott Rolen is listed as day-to-day after being hit in the head by a pitch in the Reds game on Sunday against the Rockies.

Two-start pitchers

Great options

Dan Haren (ARI):  @NYM (Figueroa), @WAS (Mock)

Javier Vazquez (ATL):  @SD (Stauffer), @LAD (Kuroda)

Zack Greinke (KC):  @TB (Kazmir), OAK (Anderson)

Justin Verlander (DET):  BAL (Tillman), MIN (Baker)

Josh Johnson (FLA):  @WAS (Martin), PHI (Moyer)

Johan Santana (NYM):  STL (Pineiro), @SD (Stauffer)

Matt Cain (SF):  @HOU (Hampton), CIN (Harang)

Good Options

Clayton Kershaw (LAD):  MIL (Parra), ATL (Kawakami)

Scott Baker (MIN):  @CLE (Huff), @DET (Verlander)

Hiroki Kuroda (LAD):  MIL (Gallardo), ATL (Vazquez)

Brett Anderson (OAK):  TEX (Feldman), @KC (Greinke)

Scott Kazmir (TB):  KC (Greinke), @SEA (Rowland-Smith)

Joba Chamberlain (NYY):  @TOR (Halladay), BOS (Penny)

Jose Contreras (CWS):  LAA (Lackey), CLE (Huff)

Yovani Gallardo (MIL):  @LAD (Kuroda), @HOU (Hampton)

OK options

Aaron Harang (CIN):  CHC (Wells), @SF (Cain)

Tim Stauffer (SD):  ATL (Vazquez), NYM (Santana)

Luke Hochevar (KC):  SEA (Rowland-Smith), OAK (Gonzalez)

John Lackey (LAA):  @CWS (Contreras), TEX (Holland)

Zach Duke (PIT):  ARI (Petit), STL (Pineiro)

Chris Tillman (BAL):  DET (Verlander), @TOR (Cecil)

Joel Pineiro (STL):  @NYM (Santana), @PIT (Duke)

Mike Hampton (HOU):  SF (Cain), MIL (Gallardo)

Jamie Moyer (PHI):  COL (Hammel), FLA (Johnson)

Other notable two-start options

Yusmeiro Petit (ARI), Kenshin Kawakami (ATL), Brad Penny (BOS), Randy Wells (CHC), David Huff (CLE), Jason Hammel (COL), Manny Parra (MIL), Gio Gonzalez (OAK), Charlie Morton (PIT), Mat Latos (SD), Ryan Rowland-Smith (SEA), Scott Feldman (TEX), Derek Holland (TEX), J.D. Martin (WAS), Garrett Mock (WAS), Jon Niese (NYM), Marc Rzepczynski (TOR).

Good luck to all this week, and check back next week for the weekly rundown!

This article was originally published on


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