On to the Miguel Cabrera trade.
As mentioned here Cabrera is leading the leage in HRs and RBIs since the all star break. His slow start has been forgotten and now Jim Leyland is comparing him to Pujols and Brandon Inge is calling him a "freak of nature."
Lately he's been playing first base and it looks like he'll stay there for the following season.
Dontrelle Willis has worked his way back from A ball in Lakeland and will get a start or two before the season ends. Though his latest AAA starts were "up and down," Dombrowski and Leyland were sufficiently impressed by his more recent simulated outings.
Among their flurry of September 1 moves, the Fish called up Eulogio De La Cruz, activated Andrew Miller of the DL and moved Mike Rabelo to the 60-day DL.
Prior to going on the DL in July, Miller was starting, but now has been brought back as a reliever. He's working on making his delivery more consistent. He struggled in his first week back.
Cruz had his first major league outing in which he didn't give up a run, but immediately followed it by giving up 6 in 2 IP.
Rabelo is still rehabbing his right wrist that he hurt back in June.
Cameron Maybin has played well all season long, and recently has started walking more and striking out less. He wasn't among the Marlins' four call-ups last week, because Fredi Gonzalez wants to wait until the AA Carolina team finishes their post-season before calling up any of their players.
Dallas Trahern spent the entire season in AAA and his numbers have been mediocre across the board. There is not a bright spot to be found among his splits: day or night, home or away, pre- or post-all star break, his ERA is higher than 5.00 and batters hit better than .300 against him.
Burke Badenhop: After a handful of starts and relief appearance he was sent down to the minors, made two appearances there in July and hasn't been heard from since. The most recent news about him is that he was selected the Tigers' best minor leaguer in 2006.
Howie Kendrick came back from an injured hamstring, had a monster July, came back to earth in August, and hurt it again two weeks ago. The injury is not as severe as the one that kept him out for 40+ games earlier, but apparently hammy pulls dont make for precise healing estimates and the team is waiting it out blindly.
Jeff Mathis had been overshadowed by Mike Napoli, who spent most of the first half mashing, but got a chance to establish himself when Napoli went down. He started 27 of 28 games and was able to show off his "greater all-around game." With Napoli healthy again, they'll continue to platoon.
Now that they've clinched their division, the Angels will be resting their starters. Ervin Santana, for example, will get 7 days off between starts. Santana is still all over the top 10 in every significant pitching category.
Joe Saunders is tied with Santana for the team lead in Wins at 15. He had a rough August, but has started September strong, and is still sporting a 3.64 ERA.
Nick Adenhart is still in the minors and "needs more seasoning."
Matt Kemp: The LA times says, "of the players who have been on the roster all season, none has improved as much as the young Oklahoman." Within the same piece Larry Bowa agrees: "He's way ahead of schedule...Right now, he's at the point I thought he might be in two or three years, that's how much he has improved."
He had a "red hot August," but has now cooled considerably and is 4-25 in September.
Clayton Kershaw pitched well in early August - a run of 5 ER in 5 starts - floundered a bit, and looks to be in the groove again, going 2-0 with a 1.45 ERA in his past five starts.
The Dodgers have been careful to monitor his workload, and only last week they allowed him to work into the 8th inning for the first time all season. Kershaw is not thrilled with the 170 inning cap they've installed, but he's already reached a career high in IP.
Andy LaRoche eventually did get dealt for a slugger, Manny Ramirez. Now in Pittsburgh, he's been disappointing. Jayson Stark reveals that,
"Scouts who have followed the Pirates have been buzzing about Andy LaRoche's lethargic play since he arrived from the Dodgers, who traded him because they had the same concerns. 'To see that effort level is really disappointing," one scout said. 'I'm stunned that the effort level has been so poor. To see a kid hitting .170 and not running ground balls out, it's hard to fathom. This isn't the kind of player this team needs. They need more dirt balls and fire guys who scratch and claw.'"The perhaps politically inclined writers at mlb.com softly suggest that there's "room for improvement."
He's batting .150 in 33 games for the Pirates, prompting local fans to ask their columnists, "...Did the Bucs even scout Andy LaRoche?"