Updated: October 2, 2009, 10:25 AM ET

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AP Photo/Al Behrman

Those who selected Chris Carpenter in fantasy drafts this season definitely hit a home run.

Carpenter finishes regular season in grand fashion
The last time I wrote an Out of the Box column was two days ago. You'll forgive me if I reuse the same opening line:

"Not bad for a guy that was picked in the 16th round."

On Wednesday, I was referring to Adam Lind, whose average draft position (ADP) in ESPN leagues this spring was 156. Today, I refer to a player picked on average at No. 159, Cardinals pitcher Chris Carpenter, who literally did it all on Thursday.

By all, I mean pitch five shutout innings allowing three hits, a walk and striking out six, and also driving in six runs with a grand slam and a two-run double.

Carpenter obviously fell in drafts this year due to this small fact of pitching just 21 1/3 innings in the big leagues the previous two seasons, as nobody has questioned his ability when he's been able to take the mound every fifth day. But he's been able to throw 192 innings in 28 starts this year despite getting hurt again, missing five weeks earlier this season due to an oblique injury.

The good thing is that the arm hasn't been an issue, which gives us a little more confidence that he can keep it up again next year after two elbow surgeries (including Tommy John) and shoulder trouble. I wasn't afraid to bet heavily on him in the second half (I had him in my top 50 overall in our midseason rankings), and although his injury history is always going to be in the back of my mind, I wouldn't shy away from him next year, either.

News, Notes and Box Score Bits
• A good five innings of work from Scott Baker against the Tigers kept the Twins' postseason hopes alive. He allowed just an unearned run. After a slow start to the season, Baker finished well, with a 3.21 ERA and 1.16 WHIP in 15 starts after the break.

• Speaking of second-half splits, they are not good for the Diamondbacks' Dan Haren. After a 2.01 ERA in 18 starts before the break, Haren slipped to a 4.62 mark in 15 second-half starts after allowing five runs in six innings to the Giants on Thursday, as he's dealt with a hip issue he's going to get checked out in the offseason. Tim Lincecum allowed two runs on two hits and struck out seven in seven innings to beat Haren and win his 15th game.

Luke Scott remained out of the Orioles lineup and manager Dave Trembley said there was just a "50 percent chance" he would play again this season after leaving Wednesday's game with a foot injury, according to the team Web site.

• With a playoff berth secure, the Red Sox will sit J.D. Drew for a couple of games to deal with a sore shoulder. Drew will get in at least one more game before the season ends, and could return on Saturday. Meanwhile, Mike Lowell went 1-for-4 in his return to the lineup after getting a "maintenance shot" in his troublesome hip on Monday.

• It looks like Aramis Ramirez (shoulder) may still play a bit more this season after all. There was talk he was done for the year after the injury acted up on Tuesday, but he was in the lineup on Thursday in a game that was eventually called on account of rain. He should be in the lineup this weekend as well.

• It's always tough when you're fighting for a title and you have players on playoff teams the final week of the season, because you can expect them to get plenty of rest. Case in point: The Phillies rested both Shane Victorino and Chase Utley on Thursday.

Carlos Lee was out of the Astros' lineup on Thursday due to a sore hand, and is considered day-to-day.

• Although X-rays revealed sprains, and not fractures, in the injured fingers on his right hand, the fact Corey Hart showed up to the park in a cast on Thursday means his season is likely over, according to the team Web site.



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Player Spotlight
Hitter of the night
Troy Tulowitzki, Rockies
Tulo went 3-for-3 with his 20th stolen base to bring his average up to .299 and give him a chance at a .300 BA/30 HR/20 SB season. He's already hit the latter two milestones in his comeback season after a torn quad derailed him last year, and he should be the second shortstop off the board next year behind Hanley Ramirez.
Pitcher of the night
Jon Lester, Red Sox
The Red Sox southpaw answered some questions about the readiness of his bruised quadriceps for the playoffs by allowing just three baserunners and fanning seven in 6 1/3 shutout innings. Lester just got better as the season went along, posting a 2.82 ERA, a 1.15 WHIP and more than a strikeout per inning after the break.
Stat of the night: 10
Ahh, the last week of baseball, when scrubs get their names on the lineup card and make pitchers look good. Kevin Millwood faced not the -- shall we say -- best Angels lineup (and what regulars that were there were gone early) and racked up that many strikeouts in a complete game effort. To be fair, it was actually Millwood's second 10-strikeout game of the year after he did the same to the Giants on June 21, and he did finish with a 3.67 ERA after allowing just four runs in his final 23 innings. However, the lineup did help in this one, as eight of the whiffs came off of Angels' backups.
They Said It

Dan (Kentucky): Would you keep Justin Upton instead of Ian Kinsler as Mr. Roberts alludes to in his recent article?

Jason Grey: I think it depends how many of the other premium second basemen are projected to be protected. I always look at these things in relation to the player pool at each individual position. In a general sense, I don't have any problem with protecting Upton ahead of Kinsler, but it would depend on my league context which way I go. I have zero issue with how bold Brendan is being on Upton.

Bill (Parts unknown): What are your thoughts on the Jose Reyes developments?

Jason Grey: Well, hamstring surgery for someone who relies on his speed is never a good thing, and I would expect that is probably coming given that there's a new tear. I would be very cautious for next season as of now. People forget how much trouble Reyes had with his legs his first two big league seasons because he's been so durable the last few, but I'm not treating this lightly.

Tommy (Chicago): Chalking up 2009 to rookie bumps in the road for Derek Holland? Look into your crystal ball and give me an idea of what to expect in 2010.

Jason Grey:I expect both him and Trevor Cahill to take leaps forward next year. The stuff is there, it's about learning to command it against big-league hitting. They got away with pure stuff in the minors, but that doesn't play as well, obviously. It's also why Brett Anderson -- a pitcher with command to go with his raw stuff -- had so much success this year in comparison.
-- Full chat transcript

Friday's fantasy chat schedule:
Injury chat with Stephania Bell, 11 a.m. ET

Looking Ahead

Kevin Correia has been one of the most overlooked pitchers this season, and is a good spot start at home against the Giants. He's owned in just 15 percent of ESPN leagues despite a 3.89 ERA and 1.31 WHIP this season (marks that have helped make him a top-50 starter for the season in our Player Rater.) He also has a 3.17 ERA and 1.32 WHIP since the break and a 1.25 ERA and 1.00 WHIP this month.

Rick VandenHurk has always been kind of a sleeper of mine, and could be a pitcher worth looking at today against the Phillies, with some regulars likely to rest. He has a 4.44 ERA and 1.37 WHIP in 10 big-league starts this season, but the 24-year-old has struck out a batter per inning as a pro (149 K's in 148 1/3 innings over 31 big league starts the last three years), showing there's some upside here as the 24-year-old continues to sharpen his command and control.

Tom Gorzelanny takes on the Diamondbacks at Wrigley on Friday, and looks to continue his career revival. Gorzelanny has a 4.08 ERA and 1.29 WHIP in six big league starts this season, with a 33-to-9 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 28 2/3 innings. It's not a lot, but it's a start for the pitcher as he tries to find the form that won 14 games for the Pirates in 2007. He might be worth a look if you're streaming pitchers and miss out on some of the other options like Correia.