D.J. Short

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Deserving Dexter

Thursday, September 08, 2011


AL ONLY

 

Trevor Plouffe  2B/SS/OF, Twins (Yahoo: 3 percent owned, ESPN: 4.2 percent)

 

His .242/.309/.412 batting line may not seem impressive, but he has actually been one of the better bats in the Twins' lineup since the start of August. The 2004 first-round pick now has 21 extra-base hits (including seven homers) over 211 at-bats this season, which is one short of Joe Mauer and Tsuyoshi Nishioka combined. Ouch. Plouffe isn't a great defender, but he should continue to get plenty of starts at shortstop and second base as the Twins attempt to see if he can be an asset for 2012. 

 

Zach Stewart RP/SP, White Sox (Yahoo: 1 percent owned, ESPN: 0 percent)

 

Stewart took a perfect game into the eighth inning in his last start, but it doesn't look like many fantasy owners were impressed. Granted, it was against the Twins, so we may have to dock a couple points, but Stewart has actually pitched pretty well during his rookie season. Though the 24-year-old right-hander is the owner of a pretty mediocre 4.56 ERA over 36 2/3 innings, he has a 28/9 K/BB ratio and a ground ball rate of 53.6 percent. There's still some debate about whether he'll be a starter or reliever in the long run, but he deserves to be owned in AL-only leagues the rest of the way. 

 

Jose Lobaton C, Rays (Yahoo: 0 percent owned, ESPN: 0 percent)

 

Rays manager Joe Maddon announced earlier this week that Lobaton would get increased looks down the stretch to see if he could be in the team's plans for 2012. The 26-year-old backstop had a solid season with the bat at Triple-A Durham, batting .293/.410/.489 with eight homers and an .889 OPS over 224 plate appearances. He aggravated his left knee during Tuesday's game, but is expected to be back in the lineup his weekend. He is worth a flier down the stretch. 

 

NL ONLY

 

Juan Francisco 3B, Reds (Yahoo: 0 percent owned, ESPN: 0.3 percent)

 

Francisco would have been with the Reds even sooner if it wasn't for injuries to his left calf and right knee, but he was finally recalled from Triple-A Louisville when rosters expanded last week. The 24-year-old is batting .286 (6-for-21) with one home run, two doubles and six RBI since his return and has started three of the last four games at third base. Scott Rolen still intends to return this season after undergoing shoulder surgery in early August, but that's far from a guarantee. Francisco has routinely posted impressive power numbers in the minor leagues, so he's well worth owning this month.  

 

Manny Acosta RP, Mets (Yahoo: 1 percent owned, ESPN: 0 percent)

 

Acosta locked down his fifth career save in Wednesday's win over the Marlins. The veteran right-hander got the call because Bobby Parnell and Jason Isringhausen were both unavailable, but it's worth mentioning that he has a 3.05 ERA and 80/28 K/BB ratio over 76 2/3 innings since being claimed off waivers by the Mets at the end of spring training last year. If Parnell continues to struggle, he could be a real darkhorse for saves down the stretch. 

 

Edinson Volquez SP, Reds (Yahoo: 21 percent owned, ESPN: 20 percent)

 

Ignore the ownership numbers. I think they are a dead giveaway of owners who bailed on their teams early in the season. The main thing to focus on is that Volquez is expected to take Mike Leake's spot in the starting rotation once he is shut down for the season. Volquez, now two years removed from Tommy John surgery, has a 5.93 ERA over 16 starts with the Reds this season. However, he has impressed since his demotion in early July, posting a 2.47 ERA and 76/23 K/BB ratio over 11 starts. That doesn't automatically mean he'll be successful now that he's back in the big leagues, but he's obviously worth a look in NL-only formats. 



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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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