D.J. Short

Waiver Wired

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What's the Matusz With You?

Thursday, June 02, 2011




AL ONLY

Felipe Paulino SP/RP, Royals (Yahoo: 0 percent owned, ESPN: 0 percent)

Paulino was solid in his first start of the season (and as a Royal) on Wednesday against the Angels, tossing five scoreless frames while striking out four and walking none. It wasn't too long ago that the 27-year-old right-hander was considered a fantasy sleeper with the Astros, but the home run ball really hurt him in 2009 while his command was a major issue last season. I'm not expecting any miracles now that he's pitching in the American League, but he has a chance to keep a rotation spot for a little while.

Russell Branyan 1B, Angels (Yahoo: 1 percent owned, ESPN: 0.1 percent)

The Diamondbacks released Russell Branyan last month, but it didn't take him long to find a new gig. The veteran slugger quickly latched on with the Angels and has drawn regular at-bats against right-handed pitching with Howie Kendrick and Vernon Wells on the disabled list. The Angels' roster could get awful crowded soon and Branyan's back remains something of a ticking time bomb, but I'd absolutely take a chance on his power in AL-only leagues.

Phil Coke SP/RP, Tigers (Yahoo: 2 percent owned, ESPN: 0.3 percent)

Coke's recent ankle injury was a tough blow for fantasy owners, as he was coming off his best start in the major leagues. And against the Red Sox, no less. While Coke has completed seven innings on just two occasions this season, he has an impressive 3.81 ERA and 30/16 K/BB ratio over 52 innings. The 28-year-old southpaw is currently scheduled for a minor league rehab start Friday with Triple-A Toledo, setting up his return against the Rangers next week. I'd probably keep him in reserve for his first outing back, but hopefully he can pick up from where he left off.

Josh Reddick OF, Red Sox (Yahoo: 0 percent owned, ESPN: 0.1 percent)

It was interesting to see Reddick in the lineup Wednesday against the White Sox, even though J.D. Drew was deemed healthy. Drew batted just .188/.305/.290 over 82 plate appearances in May, so Terry Francona sat him down for performance reasons. Time to speculate? The 24-year-old Reddick was batting just .248 before being called up from Triple-A Pawtucket last week, but he already had 12 home runs and 26 walks over his first 44 games. He compiled 18 home runs and 25 walks over 114 games with the PawSox last season. Drew could get back on track any day now, but Reddick is worth stashing should his struggles continue.

NL ONLY

Jordan Lyles SP, Astros (Yahoo: 3 percent owned, ESPN: 3.4 percent)

Lyles was very impressive in his major league debut Tuesday against the Cubs, allowing two runs (one earned) over seven-plus innings while striking out four and walking none. He didn't give up his first run until making an errant throw to third base on a bunt play in the bottom of the eighth inning. The 20-year-old right-hander isn't a lock to stay in the big leagues once Wandy Rodriguez returns from the disabled list, but he's a must-own in NL-only leagues and even some deeper mixed formats right now, especially with a matchup against the Padres on Sunday.

Tony Campana OF, Cubs (Yahoo: 1 percent owned, ESPN: 1.4 percent)

Things we know about Tony Campana. One, his name is a lot of fun to say. Just try it. Two, he's really fast, as evidenced by his four stolen bases against the Astros on Monday night. And three, he has zero homers over 1,334 plate appearances between the majors and minors. You won't find this 25-year-old prominently mentioned on many prospect lists, but his speed makes him worth a flier while Marlon Byrd recovers from facial fractures over the next 4-6 weeks.

Jordan Schafer OF, Braves (Yahoo: 1 percent owned, ESPN: 0.1 percent)

Remember this guy? Schafer was a hot add in fantasy leagues after a fantastic first week in the big leagues back in April of 2009, but his career took a turn for the worse due to a nagging wrist injury. Now 24 years old, he's currently making his case to steal Nate McLouth's job in center field. Schafer wasn't doing anything special offensively in the minors, but plays solid defense and also had six stolen bases in 42 games with Triple-A Gwinnett. For a Braves team that has just 11 stolen bases through 57 games this season, that could be enough.


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D.J. Short is a Rotoworld baseball editor and contributes to NBCSports.com's Hardball Talk blog. You can also find him on Twitter.
Email :D.J. Short



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