D.J. Short

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Shark Week

Thursday, May 10, 2012




NL ONLY

Christian Friedrich SP, Rockies (Yahoo: 2 percent owned, ESPN: 0.9 percent)

Friedrich pitched well in his major league debut Wednesday afternoon, allowing two runs (one earned) over six innings while striking out seven and walking just one in a win over the Padres. While his star has faded a bit over the past couple of years due to injuries and ineffectiveness, he earned the promotion by posting a 3.00 ERA and 27/4 K/BB ratio over his first five starts with Triple-A Colorado Springs this season. The 24-year-old southpaw may not be up for good, but he's a pretty solid option with a start against the Giants on tap next week.

Michael Bowden RP, Cubs (Yahoo: 0 percent owned, ESPN: 0 percent)

Remember how I mentioned I wasn't high on Rafael Dolis? Yeah, here's where I'm hedging my bets. Bowden, who came over from the Red Sox in the Marlon Byrd deal, struck out 78 batters in 72 2/3 innings between Triple-A Pawtucket and the majors last year, his first season as a full-time relief pitcher. The former top prospect has the reputation as a fly ball pitcher, so there's some reason for concern here, but don't be surprised if he gets a save chance or two if (or when) Dolis stumbles.

Taylor Green UT, Brewers (Yahoo: 0 percent owned, ESPN: 0 percent)

Travis Ishikawa is hitting .195/.250/.415 over his first 45 plate appearances this year and has a .723 career OPS in the big leagues, so there's hoping Green gets a proper look at first base in the days ahead. The 25-year-old owns a healthy .291/.373/.455 batting line in the minors and had 22 home runs last year with Triple-A Nashville. Granted, Green accomplished those power numbers in the Pacific Coast League, but he has always had decent pop and a solid approach at the plate. If the Brewers don't end up signing Derrek Lee, look out.

Cesar Izturis SS, Brewers (Yahoo: 0 percent owned, ESPN: 0.1 percent)

The Brewers haven't had much luck on the injury front lately, as they have lost Mat Gamel and Alex Gonzalez to torn ACLs in the past two weeks. While there's some uncertainty about Gamel's replacement, as I detailed above, Izturis is expected to step right in for Gonzalez at shortstop. The 32-year-old is a .255/.295/.322 career hitter, so keep expectations modest, but he reached double-digits in stolen bases each year from 2008-2010. There's some value there.

AL ONLY

Johnny Giavotella 2B, Royals (Yahoo: 1 percent owned, ESPN: 0.1 percent)

Giavottella should already be gone in most competitive leagues, but here's your reminder that he's a must-add in AL-only leagues following his promotion on Wednesday. The 24-year-old was hitting .331/408/.504 with five homers, 25 RBI and a .912 OPS over his first 152 plate appearances with Triple-A Omaha this season. While it's great that he's back in the big leagues, it looks like he'll be sharing playing time with Chris Getz at second base. He'd be worth considering in deeper mixed leagues if he manages to wrestle away the regular gig.

Brad Peacock SP, Athletics (Yahoo: 1 percent owned, ESPN: 0 percent)

Again, here's someone who should be stashed away in all AL-only leagues at this point. Peacock, who was acquired from the Nationals in the Gio Gonzalez deal, has a 3.24 ERA and 32/13 K/BB ratio in 33 1/3 innings over his first six starts with Triple-A Sacramento this season and is merely biding his time before he gets called up to the A's. The hard-throwing right-hander is a bit of a fly ball pitcher, but fortunately O.co Coliseum is a pretty forgiving home environment. My guess is that he'll be Oakland's rotation by June.

Matt LaPorta 1B, Indians (Yahoo: 0 percent owned, ESPN: 0 percent)

LaPorta has a pretty lousy .238/.304/.397 batting line over his first 1,008 plate appearances in the big leagues, so I don't blame you if you aren't excited to see his name here, but he is hitting .346 with nine homers and a 1.082 OPS over 29 games with Triple-A Columbus this season. Meanwhile, Casey Kotchman has back-to-back multi-hit games under his belt, bringing his batting average up to .198 on the year. Yeah, he's been that bad. LaPorta might end up being your typical "Quad-A" bat, but he has little to prove in the minors. The Indians could bring him up if Kotchman finds himself in another prolonged funk.

Brian Dozier SS, Twins (Yahoo: 0 percent owned, ESPN: 0 percent)

Part of a major shakeup with the Twins' roster, Dozier got the call from Triple-A Rochester on Sunday and is expected to serve as the regular shortstop moving forward, pushing Jamey Carroll into a utility role. The 24-year-old is coming off a strong season in which he batted .322/.423/.472 with nine homers and 24 stolen bases between High-A Fort Myers and Double-A New Britain. Dozier is known as a contact hitter and has a solid approach at the plate, so he should be able to maintain a decent batting average and get on base at a good clip. He has hit out of the second spot in the Twins' lineup in each of his first three games, so he could be a nice find if he continues to get regular playing time.



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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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