Phantasy Philes: Who's Hot and Who's Not

In both a fantasy league and the Major Leagues, a good hot streak from one of your players down the stretch could turn out to make the difference between being a champion and a loser. In this week's edition of the Philes, we'll take a look at those Phillies that are getting the job done right, and those that aren't, as we inch closer to postseason play and the naming of fantasy league winners. Of course, as always, we have our non-Phillie of the week for those of you in need of that extra boost.

Who's hot:

It's been a while since he's done anything worth discussing, but Jimmy Rollins has finally changed that, and in a good way. Over the last eight days, Jimmy is hitting .357, which is almost 100 points higher than his batting average for the season. In addition to the improved average, Rollins has also found some pop, with two homers and six RBIs over the same span. The only bad news here is that J-Roll still can't steal a base, and hasn't even attempted one in quite a while. Despite this recent power surge for the shortstop, don't expect the dingers to keep piling up. Though he may start swinging for the fences more now, as he did just about all of last season, Jimmy simply does not have the power to go yard at a consistent clip. If you have Rollins on your fantasy roster, ride out this current hot streak, then bench him as soon as he starts to flag. J-Roll just doesn't contribute in enough offensive categories to warrant a guaranteed spot in your starting lineup.

Thanks to a couple of solid starts in a row, it appears that Randy Wolf has overcome the struggles he experienced throughout most of August. In each of his last two outings, Wolf has gone seven strong innings, allowing two earned runs and striking out six or more batters. However, it is important to note that both of these fine starts came against the mediocre Mets, but they're still positive signs nonetheless. Those that benched Wolf during his span of looking like a batting practice pitcher should get him back in the active lineup for his next start, since these last two should give him the overdue confidence boost he's needed to get back on track. Although, his very next outing is against the division leading Braves in Atlanta, so that will have to be a judgment call depending on how confident you are with Wolfie. Personally, I would go with Randy next week because he has pretty good career numbers against the Braves. He's 1-1 with a 4.24 ERA and a .206 opponents batting average against Atlanta this season.

Who's not:

After a promising first week, Chase Utley has really hit the rocks. The young second baseman had been tearing up Triple-A between being sent back down in April, and his recall in August, but that success just hasn't translated to the Majors. At 24, Utley still has plenty of time to get his act together, so there's no reason to worry too much about his struggles for the long term. As for the rest of the season however, it appears that Chase won't be worth much of anything in the fantasy game.

While guys like Wolf and Millwood may be on the rebound from the recent troubles, Brett Myers continues to have difficulty. For the first time all season, Myers has his ERA above 4.00, but I don't expect that to last much longer. What has to take place, if it hasn't already, for Myers to turn things around soon is a make up (not out, but that might help to) session with Joe Kerrigan after the yelling match the two had a couple weeks ago. Once those two can get back to working together, Brett should be able to pitch the way he did earlier this season. Don't give up hope on the young guy yet.

This week's non-Phillie is for those in need of a helping hand in the batting average category. Sean Burroughs, who is eligible at both third base and second base in many leagues, is currently on a 14 game hitting streak, which has his average up to .300 for the year. Now leading off, with the likes of Brian Giles, Phil Nevin, and Mark Loretta hitting right behind him in the Padres' lineup, it's no wonder why Sean is seeing a lot of good pitches to hit. If batting average or an infield filler is what you need, Burroughs could be the answer you're looking for, especially since he's most likely available many leagues out there.

Well, that'll do it for this week folks. If you have any questions or comments for me, feel free to send them to qwaz21@aol.com with "PBN" in the subject line. Until next time, I'm out like Tyler Houston.


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