Bits: Curtis Granderson finishing strong


New York Yankees outfielder Curtis Granderson slugged a pair of home runs and knocked in five Monday, and even added his 12th stolen base. Granderson's season will be remembered as disappointing, as he's hitting .249, but at least he's had a strong September, with six home runs, 14 runs scored and a .290 batting average.

Meanwhile, Tampa Bay Rays right-hander Matt Garza is struggling; he allowed seven runs Monday, five of them earned, and has allowed 19 runs, 26 hits and eight walks in his past three starts, covering only 14 innings. Garza's strong season statistics look ordinary now, and he'll likely fall out of top-20 starting pitcher consideration in 2011.

In the other matchup of potential East division playoff teams Monday, Atlanta Braves right-hander Brandon Beachy made his major league debut in Philadelphia, allowing three runs (one earned) in 4 1/3 innings. Beachy, replacing an injured and recently ineffective Jair Jurrjens, posted a 1.73 ERA and 1.01 WHIP in 119 1/3 minor league innings. Remember the name next season.

Minnesota Twins left-hander Brian Duensing won again Monday, raising his mark to 10-2 with six innings of three-run ball. Duensing is owned in more than half of ESPN's standard leagues, and it should be more. His season ERA is 2.19, and while you shouldn't expect an ERA like that next season, fantasy owners have to consider him a top-50 starting pitcher.

Kansas City Royals shortstop Yuniesky Betancourt homered among his four hits Monday. Formerly a punch line in fantasy circles, Betancourt has hit 16 home runs and knocked in 74. Troy Tulowitzki, Alex Gonzalez, Juan Uribe and Hanley Ramirez are the only other shortstops to have done so this season. Betancourt is owned in fewer than 17 percent of leagues.

Florida Marlins right-hander Chris Volstad spun a five-hit shutout against the St. Louis Cardinals Monday, winning his 10th game and lowering his ERA to 4.82. Volstad has been erratic since a strong 2008 rookie season, but he's only 23 years old, and will bring upside into 2011 drafts.