D.J. Short

Waiver Wired

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Action on Jackson

Thursday, July 28, 2011




AL ONLY

Brandon McCarthy SP, Athletics (Yahoo: 5 percent owned, ESPN: 3 percent)

McCarthy has been up-and-down since returning from a stress reaction in his shoulder, but the overall numbers are very impressive. He has a 3.77 ERA and 23/6 K/BB ratio over 31 innings, which isn't all that far off from what he was doing before he originally went on the disabled list in May. The 28-year-old right-hander tossed eight innings of one-run ball against the Rays on Tuesday in what was arguably his best start of the season. He should be owned in all AL-only formats and comes recommended Sunday against the Twins.

Alejandro De Aza OF, White Sox (Yahoo: 0 percent owned, ESPN: 0 percent)

The White Sox sent a message to the slumping Alex Rios on Wednesday, sending him to the bench and calling up De Aza to replace him in center field. De Aza has a measly .242 batting average and .623 OPS over 198 major league at-bats, but he got off on the right foot by slugging a two-run homer in his first-at bat. I'm don't expect this arrangement to last very long, but the 27-year-old has always shown a capacity to steal bases in the minor leagues. He is worth using in AL-only leagues as along as he continues to play regularly.

Jake McGee RP, Rays (Yahoo: 8 percent owned, ESPN: 7.5 percent)

McGee has been excellent since returning from the minors earlier this month, making six scoreless appearances while giving up two hits and posting a 6/2 K/BB ratio over four innings. The Rays are reportedly dangling Kyle Farnsworth in trade talks, so I'd stash the 24-year-old southpaw in case he gets a crack at he ninth-inning gig. By the way, don't pay too much attention to these ownership numbers. McGee was hyped as a sleeper during spring training, so I suspect he was left on the rosters of those who have ignored their fantasy team since the second week of the season. You know the type.

NL ONLY

Kyle Blanks OF, Padres (Yahoo: 2 percent owned, ESPN: 0.2 percent)

The Padres sent Anthony Rizzo back to the minors last week after he batted just .143 with 36 strikeouts over his first 96 at-bats, but the good news is that Blanks replaced him on the active roster. Blanks, who underwent Tommy John surgery last year, was hitting .351/.421/.716 with 11 homers and 35 RBI over 152 plate appearances with Triple-A Tucson. The 24-year-old hasn't done much of anything so far, batting just .118 with nine strikeouts in 17 at-bats, but he's worth owning because of his power potential.

David Ross C, Braves (Yahoo: 3 percent owned, ESPN: 0.6 percent)

Losing Brian McCann to an oblique injury obviously hurts the Braves' lineup, but fortunately they have one of the better backup catchers in the league. Ross has experienced something of a renaissance late in his career, batting .287 with 13 homers and 65 RBI in 321 at-bats over the past three seasons. The 34-year-old backstop stepped in for McCann on Wednesday night and drove in only two runs of the game for the Braves, including the game-winner in the 10th inning. See, I do occasionally watch baseball games. Ross is a must pick-up in NL-only leagues and I could even see him getting some play in deeper mixed leagues.

Steve Lombardozzi 2B, Nationals (Yahoo: N/A, ESPN: N/A)

There are all sorts of trade rumors going on with the Nationals right now, whether we're talking about potential deals for Denard Span or B.J. Upton. One name we have heard mentioned in talks is shortstop Ian Desmond. If he is traded before the deadline, I believe we would see Danny Espinosa to move back to his natural position and Lombardozzi called up from the minors to play second base. Lombardozzi, 22, is batting .314/.367/.450 with seven homers, 40 RBI and 21 stolen bases between Double-A Harrisburg and Triple-A Syracuse this season.
This is a complete speculative add, but it could pay off.

Collin Cowgill OF, Diamondbacks (Yahoo: 0 percent owned, ESPN: 0.6 percent)

The Diamondbacks promoted Cowgill from Triple-A Reno earlier this week after he was batting .354/.430/.554 with 13 homers, 70 RBI, 30 stolen bases and a .984 OPS over 456 plate appearances this season. Of course, Cowgill isn't the first player to put up monster numbers in the Pacific Coast League, so there is some room for skepticism, but he has shown solid patience and above-average speed during his ascent through the minor leagues. Those skills should be assets on the big league level right away. It's not clear how much he'll play over Gerardo Parra in left field, but he's a must pickup in NL-only formats.

Lucas Duda 1B/OF, Mets (Yahoo: 1 percent owned, ESPN: 0.4 percent)

It was only a matter of when. The Mets agreed to a deal on Wednesday that will send Carlos Beltran to the Giants for prospect right-hander Zack Wheeler. This move provides Duda with a clear path to playing time in right field. The 24-year-old is batting .276/.350/.455 with an .805 OPS over 140 plate appearances this season and looks to be breaking out of a prolonged power draught with two homers in his last five games. The Mets will likely give him a pretty long look with an eye toward 2012, so don't hesitate adding him where available.


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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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