Matthew Pouliot

Strike Zone

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AL Potential Callups

Sunday, August 16, 2009




Detroit - The Tigers have been rotating in extra players all year long. In September, they'll be able to carry everyone they wish, but there are no great bets for fantasy value. Jeff Larish may get the occasional start against right-handed pitching and Wilkin Ramirez versus left-handed pitching, but if the Tigers really wanted to use them, they'd be up already. … Scott Sizemore, who has really helped his stock with a .306/.391/.502 campaign between Double- and Triple-A, will play behind Placido Polanco and serve as a pinch-runner. … The pitching callups will likely be the usual suspects: Clay Rapada, Freddy Dolsi and Casey Fien.

Kansas City - If they have any sense at all, the Royals will give Kila Ka'aihue a long look next month. Mike Jacobs isn't going to return next year, and Ka'aihue could be his replacement. The 25-year-old hasn't hit like he did last season, but he could still provide much needed on-base skills. He's currently batting .263/.401/.461 for Triple-A Omaha. … Former first-round pick Chris Lubanski appears to be the other hitter worth watching. He's just 2-for-31 since returning from a 2 1/2-month absence, but he did start off at .308/.388/.462 in 91 at-bats before getting hurt. While it remains quite likely that he'll prove to be a bust, the Royals have so little ahead of him in the outfield that they might as well try him against right-handers. … If not Lubanski, then one-time Braves prospect Cory Aldridge could figure into the outfield mix. He's shown nice power in Triple-A this year, hitting .309/.348/.566 in 256 at-bats, but he's 30, he has a lousy approach at the plate and he doesn't offer much defensively. … Carlos Rosa, who was turned into a full-time reliever this year, may be used as a middle reliever.

Los Angeles - Brandon Wood, Sean Rodriguez, Terry Evans, Freddy Sandoval, Rafael Rodriguez, Rich Thompson, Bobby Wilson… It doesn't really matter. … The one player who might be able to offer the most help is the unheralded Chris Pettit, an outfielder who simply crushes lefties. He's hitting .456/.515/.689 in 90 at-bats against them this season. However, he's not on the 40-man and it's doubtful that the Angels would use him anyway. No reason to mess with what's working.

Minnesota - The Twins have yet to call up a position player to make his major league debut this year, so it remains to be seen whether they'll try third baseman Danny Valencia or middle infielder Steve Tolleson in September. They may just stick with old standbys like Brian Buscher and Matt Tolbert. Valencia should have gotten a look at third a month ago. He's hit .292/.351/.482 between Double- and Triple-A this year. He remains the top sleeper on Rochester's roster. Tolleson, who could be an upgrade at second, has hit .296/.368/.419 in 270 at-bats in Triple-A. … Of the pitchers in the minors, Kevin Mulvey would seem to have the best chance of joining the rotation. He's 5-7 with a 4.39 ERA, 136 H and 105/49 K/BB for Rochester. Odds are that he's not ready to help fantasy leaguers just yet.

New York - Jason Hirsh, Russ Ortiz or Kei Igawa? Perhaps someone in the group will make a couple of starts next month. Hirsh would be the one to watch. He's allowed one run over 11 in two Triple-A starts since being picked up from the Rockies. Still, there probably won't be any fantasy value here. … The Yankees figure to promote Austin Jackson along with fellow position players Juan Miranda and Shelley Duncan, but they may all have to wait until Scranton/Wilkes-Barre's postseason runs ends. Barring injuries, the Yankees won't have significant roles open for anyone on offense. Jackson, who has faded to .302/.362/.420 for the season, may get a couple of starts at the very end of the year. He'd likely be used as a pinch-runner until then.


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Matthew Pouliot is the Executive Editor of RotoWorld.com and has been doing the site's baseball projections for the last 10 years. Follow him on Twitter at matthewpouliot.
Email :Matthew Pouliot



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