Friday, September 23, 2011

The Final A.L. Gearing Up (Part I of II)

For some of you, last Sunday or Monday was the last day you could make transactions that impacted your line-up. CBS leagues are treating the last three scheduled days of 2011 as part of this current week and I believe ESPN is doing so as well.

In both of my home leagues you can make moves this week. Rather than look at specific players like I often do for Gearing Up, I thought instead that I'd take a look at the American League on the whole to see if any players are worth picking up in the final week in an A.L.-only league. This morning I'll look at the hitters. Tonight I'll look at the pitchers.

Baltimore Orioles
Matt Angle had 10 steals in 81 plate appearances entering tonight. Adam Jones is back and healthy so Angle might not play all three games next week. However, those three games are against the Red Sox so even as a pinch runner Angle could do some damage, particularly if Jason Varitek is in there for any of the games.

New York Yankees
The Yankees are probably going to do what they did tonight: mix and match their regulars with their bench players the rest of the way.  It's going to be tough to predict who will play and who won't in the last serious against Tampa. I'd grab Eduardo Nunez if he is available. Like Angle he has a lot of speed, but Nunez also has a little pop in his bat too.

Minnesota Twins
Brian Dinkelman is swinging a hot bat, albeit one with virtually no power. He has stolen two bases this week and looks like he'll play second base almost exclusively down the stretch for Minnesota. The Twins close out 2011 at home against the Royals.

Oakland A's
Hideki Matsui's in a terrible slump. But he's playing, and if you have a regular go down this weekend Matsui is probably going to be one of your best choices. Matsui hasn't been good most of the year; his stats are padded by an awesome (1009 OPS) July. He's driving in runs though, and 2-3 extra RBI in the final 2-3 days could be huge if you're contending.

Seattle Mariners
Alex Liddi is someone I'd definitely pick up if I were contending, but someone who also might be a keep at $10 next year if he is starting. Liddi is a potential high power/low average hitter. I don't like that profile in young players, but Liddi is starting ahead of Adam Kennedy right now so there's clearly a job opening if Chone Figgins is truly a washout and the Mariners eat his contract. Liddi gets the A's at Safeco next week.

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