D.J. Short

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Bauer Power

Thursday, June 28, 2012




NL ONLY

Rex Brothers RP, Rockies (Yahoo: 1 percent owned, ESPN: 0.4 percent)

Brothers has been excellent since returning from the minors earlier this month, allowing only two runs (one earned) over 11 2/3 innings while striking out 19 and walking just three. The 24-year-old left-hander was mentioned as a possible sleeper for saves coming into the season and while his early struggles resulted in a demotion, he is now firmly back on the radar. The Rockies are all but out of the race, so Brothers could find himself closing games if Rafael Betancourt is dealt to a contender in advance of the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline. Heck, it might even be time to stash him in some deeper mixed leagues.

Eric Young, Jr. 2B/OF, Rockies (Yahoo: 1 percent owned, ESPN: 0 percent)

Despite starting only nine games and logging just 84 plate appearances this season, Young already has 10 stolen bases. He stole 27 bases last year, despite starting just 37 games and logging just 229 plate appearances. You get the drill. The speedy 27-year-old has a knack for making the most out of limited opportunities on the basepaths. The Rockies haven't given him a chance at second base yet this season, but one wonders if he could be worked into the mix with Marco Scutaro, Jonathan Herrera and Chris Nelson now that Troy Tulowitzki will likely be out until mid-August at the earliest. Just something to think about.

Tyler Skaggs SP, Diamondbacks (Yahoo: 1 percent owned, ESPN: 0 percent)

The Diamondbacks plan to move Josh Collmenter back into the starting rotation now that Daniel Hudson and Joe Saunders are both on the disabled list. Collmenter is probably already gone in most competitive NL-only leagues, so I'm willing to look ahead a little bit. Skaggs was ranked as the No. 13 prospect in the game by Baseball America coming into the season and has a solid 2.84 ERA and 71/21 K/BB ratio over 13 starts with Double-A Mobile. We probably won't see him prior to the All-Star break, but it shouldn't be much longer before he joins Trevor Bauer in the Diamondbacks' rotation.

Tony Gwynn, Jr. OF, Dodgers (Yahoo: 1 percent owned, ESPN: 0.6 percent)

Gwynn was already playing a lot due to Matt Kemp's hamstring injury, but his playing time should be even more secure now that Andre Ethier is sidelined with an oblique injury. The 29-year-old outfielder is a .248 career hitter and has seen his walk rate collapse over the past two seasons, so you're only picking him up for his speed at this point. Gwynn is just 10-for-16 in stolen base attempts this year, but he shouldn't have much trouble reaching 20 swipes for a second straight season.

AL ONLY

A.J. Griffin SP, Athletics (Yahoo: 0 percent owned, ESPN: 0 percent)

Griffin was pretty impressive in his major league debut Sunday against the Giants, allowing two runs on three hits over six innings while striking out four and walking just one. The 24-year-old doesn't have overpowering stuff, usually sitting around 90 mph on his fastball, but he averaged 8.7 K/9 and 1.7 BB/9 over parts of three seasons in the minors. Brandon McCarthy and Bartolo Colon are both on the disabled list, Tyson Ross has been very shaky and Brad Peacock is hardly knocking on the door for a promotion to the majors, so there's a chance Griffin could hold down a rotation spot for the rest of the year.

Brian Duensing SP/RP, Twins (Yahoo: 1 percent owned, ESPN: 0 percent)

Duensing returned to the Twins' rotation on Saturday against the Reds and gave up four runs over three innings. Considering that he hadn't logged more than three innings or thrown more than 45 pitches in his previous 30 appearances this season, we probably shouldn't look too much into those results. I still believe that Duensing is best utilized out of the bullpen, as he gets much better results against left-handed batters than righties, but the Twins simply don't have many quality options to run out there right now. The 29-year-old southpaw has good control and makes half his starts in a pitcher-friendly environment, so assuming he sticks, he could be worth using in certain matchups.  

Zach McAllister SP, Indians (Yahoo: 1 percent owned, ESPN: 0 percent)

The Indians demoted Jeanmar Gomez earlier this week, so McAllister will be called up from the minors to start Thursday against the Orioles. Acquired from the Yankees in 2010 as the player to be named later in the Austin Kearns deal, the 24-year-old right-hander had a 3.96 ERA and 22/6 K/BB ratio in 25 innings over four starts with the Indians last month. McAllister's upside is limited, but he has good command (2.3 BB/9 in the minors) and plenty of movement on his low 90s fastball. There's a chance he could have a future as a backend starter.

Leonys Martin OF, Rangers (Yahoo: 1 percent owned, ESPN: 0.2 percent)

I didn't recommend Martin last week because I expected his stay in the majors to be a brief one, but it appears he'll hang around for now. The 24-year-old center fielder has impressed in a small sample thus far, going 6-for-19 (.316) with three doubles, two triples, five RBI and a stolen base over six games. Playing time might be hard to come by with Josh Hamilton, Nelson Cruz and David Murphy all healthy and productive at the moment, but it's easy to see why the Rangers are excited about him.



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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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