D.J. Short

Waiver Wired

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Rebound for Rasmus?

Thursday, June 07, 2012




NL ONLY

Jordan Lyles SP/RP, Astros (Yahoo: 0 percent owned, ESPN: 0.1 percent)

Lyles has bounced back and forth from Triple-A to the majors on multiple occasions this season, but the Astros now plan to give him an extended look in the starting rotation. Coming off a start where he held the NL Central-leading Reds to just two runs over seven innings on Sunday, it's hard to say he doesn't deserve the opportunity. While Lyles owns an ugly 5.27 ERA over his first 123 innings in the big leagues, he has seen a nice jump in fastball velocity (89.8 mph to 91.2 mph) this year after making some mechanical tweaks. The previous regime moved him pretty aggressively, so it's easy to forget that he's just 21 years old. Perhaps something will finally click for him.

Elian Herrera 2B/3B, Dodgers (Yahoo: 1 percent owned, ESPN: 0.9 percent)

The Dodgers haven't had much luck with injuries recently, but fortunately for them, Herrera has stepped in quite nicely while filling in at multiple positions. The 27-year-old switch hitter is batting .306 (22-for-72) with six doubles, nine RBI and two stolen bases in 21 games since his call-up last month. This includes a pair of go-ahead hits against the Phillies this week. Herrera has swiped at least 31 bases in each of his last three full seasons in the minors, so he can help a lot of fantasy teams right now, even in some deeper mixed formats. He needs to be owned in more leagues right now, even with Juan Uribe on the comeback trail from a wrist injury.

Chris Young SP, Mets (Yahoo: 2 percent owned, ESPN: 0.4 percent)

Young started a major league game Tuesday for the first time since shoulder capsule surgery (the same surgery as Johan Santana) and allowed three runs (two earned) over five innings against the Nationals. He topped out at 85.9 mph on his fastball and averaged 83.9 mph, which is just a shade under where he's been the past couple of seasons. We're talking about a guy who has made just nine starts over the past three seasons and 41 dating back to the start of 2008, so who knows how long his arm will hold up, but he's always managed to have success due to the deceptive delivery from his 6-foot-10 frame. Worth a flier.

Fernando Martinez OF, Astros (Yahoo: 0 percent owned, ESPN: 0 percent)

Martinez never matched the hype attached to him as a top prospect in New York, mostly due to a combination of a chronic knee condition and being rushed up the organizational ladder, but he has found new life since being claimed off waivers by the Astros in January. Finally healthy, the 23-year-old batted .319/.374/.532 with eight homers, 38 RBI and a .906 OPS over 51 games with Triple-A Oklahoma City before being called up to the big club over the weekend. He's just 1-for-15 with nine strikeouts thus far, which is pretty ugly, but he should continue to get regular looks in right field in the short-term.

AL ONLY

Hank Conger C, Angels (Yahoo: 0 percent owned, ESPN: 0 percent)

Bobby Wilson was placed on the 7-day disabled list with a concussion earlier this week after being hit in the catcher's mask by a foul tip, so the Angels called up Conger from Triple-A Salt Lake. We probably would have seen him immediately following Chris Iannetta's wrist surgery last month, but he just recently returned after missing more than five weeks with a sprained right elbow. Though Conger batted just .209 in 177 at-bats with the Angels last year, he also clubbed six home runs. The power potential makes him a solid pickup in AL-only leagues, even though Iannetta is likely a couple weeks away from rejoining the Angels' lineup.

Daisuke Matsuzaka SP, Red Sox (Yahoo: 2 percent owned, ESPN: 0.1 percent)

He's back. After missing a year following Tommy John surgery, Dice-K is scheduled to make his return to the Red Sox this Saturday against the Nationals. The 31-year-old right-hander was sharp during his rehab assignment, posting a 3.65 ERA and 30/9 K/BB ratio over 37 innings between High-A Salem, Double-A Portland and Triple-A Pawtucket and topped out at 94 mph on his fastball during his most recent tuneup on Tuesday night. Control problems have doomed him during his time with Boston and that likely isn't going away, but he should be able to pile up some strikeouts (8.21 K/9) and win a handful of games with the high-scoring Red Sox offense behind him. Don't forget that the Dice-K is also in the final year of his six-year, $52 million contract, so he should have plenty of motivation to perform.

Sean Doolittle RP, Athletics (Yahoo: 0 percent owned, ESPN: 0.1 percent)

Doolittle was originally drafted by the A's as a first baseman/outfielder back in 2007, but he decided to give pitching a try late last year following a series of knee injuries. It looks like he made the right choice. The 25-year-old left-hander earned a promotion to the majors earlier this week after posting a fantastic 0.72 ERA and 48/7 K/BB ratio over 25 innings between High-A Stockston, Double-A Midland and Triple-A Sacramento. Yes, 48 strikeouts in 25 innings, good enough for an average of 17.3 K/9. His secondary pitches are a work in progress, but he sits in the mid-90s with his fastball and could eventually find his way to the backend of the A's bullpen. Those in deeper AL-only leagues can afford to speculate.

Brandon Moss OF, Athletics (Yahoo: 0 percent, ESPN: 0 percent)

The A's surprised many on Wednesday by designating Kila Ka'aihue for assignment and calling up Brandon Moss to serve as the new starting first baseman. To his credit, Moss earned the opportunity by hitting .286/.371/.582 with 15 homers, 33 RBI and a .582 OPS in 51 games with Triple-A Sacramento. Of course, it's important to recognize that those numbers were accomplished in the Pacific Coast League and the 28-year-old is a .235/.299/.380 hitter over 752 plate appearances in the majors. My gut says Moss is your typical Quad-A bat, but he's worth a flier in AL-only leagues while he tries to prove otherwise.



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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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