D.J. Short

Waiver Wired

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Maybe Maybin?

Thursday, June 30, 2011

You won't find Lonnie Chisenhall in this week's edition of Wired. And the reason is really quite simple. He's already owned in 10 percent of Y! leagues and 6.6 percent of ESPN.com leagues, which puts him in a weird state of fantasy limbo for the purposes of this column. He's too obvious to mention in AL-only leagues at this point, but I'm not yet convinced he'll be an asset in standard mixed leagues right away.

Think about it. The Indians were getting next to nothing from third base after Jack Hannahan's hot start, so while Chisenhall had three multi-hit games in his last six before being promoted to the majors, his numbers with Triple-A Columbus this season didn't exactly scream priority add in mixed leagues. He could easily play into consideration with a hot start, given the lack of quality depth at the third base position this season, but he's going to have to earn his way there. At least with me, anyway.

Let's move on to the good stuff.


Antonio Bastardo RP, Phillies (Yahoo: 32 percent owned, ESPN: 32.1 percent)

Now that Ryan Madson is on the disabled list with a bruised right hand, Bastardo is expected to serve as the short-term fill-in for the ninth inning. He was equal to the task in his first opportunity Wednesday night, sitting down the Red Sox in order to secure his third save of the season. The 25-year-old left-hander now has an outstanding 0.93 ERA to go along with 33 strikeouts over 29 innings. He's a no-brainer add if you're on the hunt for saves.

Jonny Gomes OF, Reds (Yahoo: 13 percent owned, ESPN: 10.5 percent)

All the talk about Chris Heisey's recent three-homer game has overshadowed the fact that Gomes is actually swinging the bat pretty well. The 30-year-old batted .321 with four homers and 11 RBI over 53 at-bats in June. While he still has a lowly .225 batting average, his current .790 OPS represents a career-high. You can do better in shallow mixed leagues, but Gomes certainly has his place in deeper formats, especially five OF leagues.

Cameron Maybin OF, Padres (Yahoo: 11 percent owned, ESPN: 11.5 percent)

After weathering a recent 0-for-16 skid, Maybin is batting .393 with four stolen bases and eight runs scored over his last eight games. The 24-year-old already has five homers and 11 stolen bases through 64 games, which puts him on pace for his first 10/20 season. Most fantasy owners would probably sign up for that. I'm not optimistic that he'll be able to maintain his current .262 batting average, as he still strikes out way too much and his line-drive rate doesn't support his lofty batting average on balls in play, but his power-speed combo is intriguing.

Jason Vargas SP, Mariners (Yahoo: 15 percent owned, ESPN: 12.9 percent)

I can understand the lack of enthusiasm with Vargas. He doesn't throw hard, his strikeout rate is underwhelming and he plays for the lowest scoring team in the majors. Got it. But if you play the matchups, he's actually quite useful. The 28-year-old left-hander has a 3.10 ERA over his last 10 starts dating back to May 1, including two complete game shutouts. And just where did those outings occur? The spacious Safeco Field, of course. In turn, I wouldn't hesitate using him against the light-hitting Padres on Friday night.

Derrek Lee 1B, Orioles (Yahoo: 27 percent owned, ESPN: 31.8 percent)

This year has been a struggle for Lee, but he has some shown signs of life lately by batting .340 with two homers, four doubles and six RBI over his last 11 games. I got lucky by recommending Vernon Wells two weeks ago and Jason Bay last week, so why not roll the dice with Lee, too? His health is a concern, but like the others mentioned above, he has too much of a track record to be hitting around .200 for the long haul.

Joe Nathan RP, Twins (Yahoo: 33 percent owned, ESPN: 29.8 percent)

Are we finally seeing the old Joe Nathan? He struck out two in a scoreless inning of relief Tuesday night against the Dodgers while averaging 93.2 mph on his fastball. The 36-year-old right-hander averaged just around 91 mph on his heater before going on the disabled list at the end of the May, so this is a very encouraging sign. Matt Capps has pitched well enough to keep his job for the short-term, but he's an obvious trade candidate should the Twins decide to become sellers. This makes Nathan an ideal stash if you're thinking long-term.

Rafael Furcal SS, Dodgers (Yahoo: 33 percent owned, ESPN: 22.1 percent)

Furcal is four games into a minor league rehab assignment and could return as soon as this weekend against the Angels. The 33-year-old has been limited to just 17 games this season due to thumb and oblique injuries, but he did bat .300 with eight homers and 22 stolen bases in 97 games in 2010. It's asking a lot for him to stay healthy for any long stretch, but it wouldn't take him much to provide value at the thin shortstop position.

Brett Myers SP, Astros (Yahoo: 38 percent owned, ESPN: 32.9 percent)

After posting an ugly 6.90 ERA in May, Myers just finished off the month of June with a 3.73 ERA and 29/8 K/BB ratio over six starts. While it's true that the veteran right-hander leads the majors with 22 homers allowed over 109 2/3 innings, he has at least limited the damage by issuing only 33 walks. I'd give him a try against the Pirates next week.

Shopping at the five-and-dime:

(Players owned in less than 10 percent of Y! and ESPN.com leagues)

Cory Luebke RP/SP, Padres (Yahoo: 7 percent owned, ESPN: 3.8 percent)

NL-only to mixed league recommendation in the space of one week? I love when that happens. Luebke was as advertised in his first start of the season Sunday against the Braves, allowing just one hit over five shutout innings while striking out six and walking just two. He'll get the Mariners on Saturday at Safeco Field, which is one of the coziest matchups on tap for this weekend. Take advantage.

Javy Guerra RP, Dodgers (Yahoo: 5 percent owned, ESPN: 6.9 percent)

What a mess, huh? Jonathan Broxton appeared poised to regain the closer role this time last week, but he's now sidelined for at least three weeks after his elbow started barking during a rehab assignment. Guerra will remain the primary option for the ninth inning for the short-term, though it's worth noting that he hasn't saved a game since June 19. In case it wasn't obvious already, I prefer Bastardo over Guerra.

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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.
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