D.J. Short

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Beachy Keen

Thursday, June 23, 2011




AL ONLY

Bruce Chen SP, Royals (Yahoo: 4 percent owned, ESPN: 1.2 percent)

After missing more than six weeks with a lat strain, Chen will return from the disabled list to start Friday against the Cubs. The 34-year-old left-hander had a 3.59 ERA over his first seven starts prior to the injury, though it was partially fueled by a low batting average on balls in play and stingy strand rate. Chen is ultimately a middle-of-the-road option in AL-only leagues due to the limited upside, but he should keep a spot in the starting rotation as long as he's healthy.

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

Called up to replace the injured Carl Crawford on the active roster, Reddick has hit safely in three out of four games since being recalled from Triple-A Pawtucket. He should continue to share playing time with Mike Cameron and Darnell McDonald until Crawford is ready to return, though I would downgrade him slightly if Adrian Gonzalez ends up playing some outfield in Pittsburgh and Philadelphia.

Chris Carter OF, Athletics (Yahoo: 0 percent owned, ESPN: 0 percent)

The Athletics promoted Carter from the minors Thursday morning after Josh Willingham was placed on the disabled list with a strained left Achilles tendon. Carter recently returned from a thumb injury and was batting .333 with three homers and eight RBI over nine games this month. With Daric Barton now in the minor leagues, the 24-year-old should have a prime opportunity for playing time in the big leagues. He has much greater fantasy upside than Conor Jackson, who has started each of the last three games at first base. Let's hope he gets a fair shake.

NL ONLY

Cory Luebke RP/SP, Padres (Yahoo: 2 percent owned, ESPN: 0.1 percent)

After posting an impressive 3.23 ERA and 43/15 K/BB ratio over 39 innings as a reliever this season, Luebke will make his first start of the season Sunday against the Braves. The 26-year-old southpaw averaged 7.5 K/9 and 2.1 BB/9 over parts of four seasons in the minors, where he was used primarily as a starting pitcher. Luebke is relevant in NL-only leagues right away based on upside, but I wouldn't be afraid to use him in mixed formats for matchups at home.

Scott Hairston OF, Mets (Yahoo: 0 percent owned, ESPN: 0 percent)

Here's a short-term option for you. Mets manager Terry Collins indicated earlier this week that Hairston will get increased playing time this week as the Mets face a few left-handed starters. He got the start over Angel Pagan on Wednesday night and will likely play at least twice this weekend at Texas, especially with the added presence of the designated hitter. While Hairston got off to a very slow start in April, he's batting .393 with two homers and two doubles over his last 28 at-bats.

Wily Mo Pena OF, Diamondbacks (Yahoo: 0 percent owned, ESPN: 0.4 percent)

I wasn't sure we'd ever see this guy in the majors again, but Pena got the call from the minors this week after batting .363/.439/.726 with 21 homers and a 1.165 OPS over 63 games with Triple-A Reno. Granted, those numbers were accomplished in the hitter-friendly Pacific Coast League, but the 29-year-old did go yard in his first game with the D-Backs on Tuesday night. He could provide a short-term boost in the power department.

Vance Worley SP, Phillies (Yahoo: 2 percent owned, ESPN: 0.7 percent)

Worley allowed one run over five innings in a spot-start against the Mariners last Saturday, which was apparently enough for him to get the nod over Kyle Kendrick this Friday against the Athletics. The 23-year-old right-hander has a 3.09 ERA and 27/13 K/BB ratio over seven major league starts, so I would take advantage of the favorable matchup. He will likely stick around until Joe Blanton is ready to return from the disabled list.


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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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