D.J. Short

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Maybe Maybin?

Thursday, June 30, 2011




AL ONLY

Rich Harden SP, Athletics (Yahoo: 3 percent owned, ESPN: 0 percent)

Were you expecting a joke about Harden's lack of durability? Pshh…too easy. If anything, his reputation as an injury-prone pitcher should increase your chances of finding him available on the waiver wire. Harden struck out 12 over 7 2/3 innings in the minors and reached 94 mph on the radar gun during his last rehab start, so I have no problem with taking a chance on his upside. I would consider keeping him in reserve Friday against the Diamondbacks, but I really like him against the Mariners next week.

Eric Thames OF, Blue Jays (Yahoo: 1 percent owned, ESPN: 0.5 percent)

The major side benefit of Jose Bautista moving back to third base is that Thames is now getting the chance to play everyday in right field. The 24-year-old has hit safely in four straight games since being called from the minors last week -- all of them out of the No. 2 spot in the order -- and hit a solo homer during Wednesday's game against the Pirates. Small sample size, yes, but I could see him picking up some steam in mixed formats before long.

Brett Cecil SP, Blue Jays (Yahoo: 5 percent owned, ESPN: 0.6 percent)

This is a shot in the dark more than anything else. Of course, Cecil was demoted to the minors in late-April after posting an ugly 6.86 ERA over his first four starts. The 24-year-old left-hander didn't exactly dominate during his stay with Triple-A Las Vegas either, compiling a 5.26 ERA over 12 starts, but the Blue Jays are confident that he has rediscovered his velocity. Pick him up in hopes that something clicked in the minor leagues.

NL ONLY

Alex Presley OF, Pirates (Yahoo: 5 percent owned, ESPN: 1.2 percent)

The Pirates were already planning to call up Presley last week, but he now finds himself in an everyday role following Jose Tabata's quad injury. The 25-year-old was batting .336 with eight homers and 18 stolen bases over his first 75 games with Triple-A Indianapolis and already has a homer and stolen base to his credit with the Pirates. While there's some pop in his bat, NL-only owners should invest for his speed and run-scoring potential at the top of the Pirates' lineup.

Mat Gamel 3B, Brewers (Yahoo: 1 percent owned, ESPN: 0.1 percent)

If I had a flashing sign that read, "for a limited time only," it would be hanging over Gamel right now. The Brewers called him up from Triple-A Nashville this week with the sole purpose of utilizing him in American League ballparks. The 25-year-old has been tearing the cover off the ball in the Pacific Coast League, but there's no place to play him under normal circumstances. He'll likely be in the lineup for at least two games this weekend against the Twins, so plug him in if you need a short-term power boost.

Barry Zito SP, Giants (Yahoo: 5 percent owned, ESPN: 2.7 percent)

Zito has a brief window to prove his worth while Jonathan Sanchez is sidelined with left biceps tendinitis, but he made a pretty strong opening argument in his return from the disabled list Tuesday night. The southpaw held the Cubs to just two runs over seven innings while striking out three and walking two. I'm not expecting miracles here, but he should be able to provide value in NL-only and even deeper mixed leagues.


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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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