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It’s been a trying season for 36-year-old Adrian Beltre and his fantasy owners, but the likely Hall of Famer showed on Sunday that he’s not done yet.
Beltre hit a pair of home runs and drove in five, giving him 15 long balls and 55 RBI for the season. He has produced those numbers in 488 at-bats as he tries to match last season’s 19 home runs.
The decline in Beltre’s batting average has been a huge source of disappointment for fantasy owners, as he’s hitting .264 after hitting at least .296 in the previous five seasons. Over those five seasons, he’s accumulated a .316 batting average and .899 OPS. This season his OPS sits at .725 after Sunday’s performance.
Beltre does have an excuse for his struggles during the latter half of the season, as he suffered a thumb injury in June that’s nagged him since then. Still, he had a strong August by hitting .308-5-18, and is starting to wake up this month after Sunday’s big performance.
Coghlan Terrific in Cubs Loss
Chris Coghlan was in afterthought in most fantasy leagues coming into the season, but he continues to put together a strong season. He had one of his best days of the year on Sunday, going 4-for-5 with one home run and two triples.
Coghlan is having his best fantasy season since his rookie campaign, hitting .257-16-40 with 59 runs and 11 stolen bases. He’s seen only 42 at-bats vs. lefties this season, as manager Joe Maddon continues to astutely play the splits.
His limited RBI have limited his value for mixed-league owners, but Coghlan is still carrying some value. That’s especially the case after he gained second base eligibility in most leagues, playing there during the second half of the season while the team has attempted to find at-bats for Kyle Schwarber.
The most promising development for Coghlan’s value recently has been Maddon’s decision to hit him third in the batting order since the end of July. He had 11 RBI in August and is off to a strong start in September.
Rich Hill Shows Flashes of 2007
Well, we didn’t see this one coming. Rich Hill was called up by Boston to make his first start since 2009, and he delivered in a big way.
The former top Cubs prospect, who produced a 3.92 ERA and 183 strikeouts in 2007, threw seven scoreless innings vs. Tampa Bay, allowing only one hit, one walk, and fanning 10 Rays. Tampa Bay starter Drew Smyly kept up with Hill, throwing six scoreless innings in a game that ended with Boston winning 2-0 in 13 innings.
Hill has served as a lefty specialist over the last three seasons, and this was his first major league appearance of the season. Earlier in the year, he made 30 appearances between the Nationals and Red Sox organizations, and also made two starts for the Long Island Ducks of the Independent Atlantic League.
The performance seems even more improbable based on Hill’s poor control in the minors this season, with 30 walks in 54 innings. However, Hill finished his minor league season as a starter and posted a 2.78 ERA and 29/9 K/BB ratio in 32.1 innings down the stretch.
He’s earned at least one more start as the Red Sox go to a six-man rotation, though he’d have a rough matchup vs. Toronto if Boston’s pitching schedule remains as it stands now.
American League Quick Hits: ESPN’s Buster Olney reported Troy Tulowitzki (shoulder) could return in 2-3 weeks … Jonathan Schoop hit a pair of home runs on Sunday, giving him 14 for the season … Carlos Gomez is being sent back to Houston to be evaluated by team doctors after sitting out due to intercostal muscle discomfort … C.J. Cron launched a pair of home runs vs. Houston … Johnny Cueto continues to struggle for Kansas City, allowing eight runs in 6.1 innings on Sunday … Shin-Soo Choo left Sunday’s game with neck stiffness … Dixon Machado was removed from Sunday’s game with tightness in his left hamstring … Anibal Sanchez (shoulder) will start on Wednesday in his return from the DL, and Daniel Norris (oblique) will make an appearance as a reliever. The Tigers will also skip Matt Boyd’s next turn in the rotation … Clay Buchholz (elbow) could return before the end of the season. The Red Sox previously said Buchholz was out for the year … Taijuan Walker’s turn will be skipped after he pitches on Monday … Billy Burns (hamstring ) is hoping to return to Oakland’s lineup on Tuesday … Leonys Martin could return before the end of the season as he recovers from hamate bone surgery … Mike Napoli made his first pro appearance in left field on Sunday … James Paxton lasted only into the fourth inning in his return from injury on Sunday … Edward Mujica left Sunday’s game with a leg injury … Brad Miller was a late scratch due to neck spasms …
National League Quick Hits: Zack Greinke was terrific again on Sunday, allowing only three hits in eight scoreless innings … Mets manager Terry Collins said the team is considering having Matt Harvey make shorter, more frequent appearances … Max Scherzer was terrific vs. the Marlins, throwing eight scoreless innings … Mat Latos has been moved to the Dodgers bullpen … The Cardinals are hopeful Matt Holliday (quad) will be activated on Tuesday … Bryce Harper was removed from Sunday’s game for precautionary reasons after a collision at second base … Jorge Soler (oblique) will remain on a rehab assignment with High-A Myrtle Beach until the conclusion of their playoff series, which could run through Friday … The Diamondbacks said they might skip Rubby De La Rosa’s next scheduled start … Colin Rea (elbow) could be used as a reliever if he returns this season … Carl Crawford (hamstring) ran sprints prior to Sunday’s game … Yasiel Puig (hamstring) has yet to resume baseball activities … Hunter Pence (oblique) will hit off a tee on Monday. His timetable remains to be seen … Carlos Frias was activated from the 60-day DL by the Dodgers … Bryan Pena (hamstring ) could be available soon after doing some running and taking swings on Sunday … Devin Mesoraco (hip) is out for the season, but hopes to do some running and agility work this week …