D.J. Short

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Grandal Entrance

Thursday, July 05, 2012



Starling Marte OF, Pirates (Yahoo: 1 percent owned, ESPN: 0 percent)

When the Pirates demoted the disappointing Jose Tabata to the minors last week, many thought it would pave the way for Marte's arrival to the big leagues. Instead, Gorkys Hernandez got the call. Still, it's likely just a matter of time. Marte, 23, is hitting .290/.349/.497 with nine homers, 50 RBI and 17 stolen bases through 80 games with Triple-A Indianapolis this season. He has mostly played center field in the minors, but his arm is strong enough for him to play right field in the big leagues. While his plate discipline is a work in progress, his modest power-speed combo makes him worth stashing in NL-only leagues right now.

Brett Wallace 1B/3B, Astros (Yahoo: 0 percent owned, ESPN: 0 percent)

One of the main beneficiaries of this week's Carlos Lee trade, Wallace should now get another shot at regular playing time at first base. The 25-year-old did a nice job filling in while Lee was on the disabled list in June, batting .333 (12-for-36) with two homers and three doubles, but the former top prospect still owns a lousy .701 OPS over 580 plate appearances in the big leagues. I'm not convinced Wallace will actually be part of the next winning team in Houston, but he should at least get the opportunity to prove his worth during the second half.

Jedd Gyorko 3B, Padres (Yahoo: 0 percent owned, ESPN: 0 percent)

While the trade winds fly in San Diego, Gyorko continues to produce in the minors. The 23-year-old is hitting .350 with 11 homers, 42 RBI and a .994 OPS through 46 games while Triple-A Tucson while splitting time between second base and the hot corner. Checking in at 5-foot-10 and 195 pounds, his line drive stroke should play quite nicely at PETCO Park. There would be an obvious opening for him at third base if the Padres end up dealing Chase Headley before the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline, but there's a good chance he makes his way to the majors during the second half regardless.

Ben Sheets SP, Braves (Yahoo: 0 percent owned, ESPN: 0 percent)

He's back. Sheets signed a minor league deal with the Braves over the weekend and made his first professional start in nearly two years on Wednesday night, allowing four runs over five innings with Double-A Mississippi. While his line wasn't all that impressive, he sat around 90 mph on the radar gun and retired the final 10 batters he faced. Now 33 years old, Sheets remains a tremendous injury risk, but he could join the Braves' rotation shortly after the All-Star break if all goes well. Take a flier.


Darnell McDonald OF, Yankees (Yahoo: 0 percent owned, ESPN: 0 percent)

Things were starting to get pretty crowded in the Red Sox outfield, so McDonald was designated for assignment over the weekend. However, the Yankees were happy to pick him up over waivers this week. The 33-year-old is hitting just .214 with two homers and a .678 OPS in 99 plate appearances, but he is capable of playing all three outfield positions and owns a .786 career OPS against southpaws. He could be a useful part-time player until Brett Gardner returns from the disabled list.

Chris Carter 1B, Athletics (Yahoo: 1 percent owned, ESPN: 0.5 percent)

Carter has delivered two home runs in three games since being called up from the minors last week. The 25-year-old still owns a .192 batting average and a 43/10 K/BB ratio over 125 at-bats in the majors, but the Athletics appear content to use him in a platoon with the hot-hitting Brandon Moss at first base. Carter will see less at-bats since he's right-handed, but his pop gives him a chance to have some value the rest of the way.

Chris Tillman SP, Orioles (Yahoo: 1 percent owned, ESPN: 1.4 percent)

Tillman was excellent in his season debut with the Orioles on Wednesday, taking a shutout into the ninth inning against the Mariners. He ended up allowing two unearned runs over 8 1/3 innings while striking out seven and walking just two. The 24-year-old right-hander has disappointed since coming over from the Mariners in the Erik Bedard deal, but he topped out at 97.2 mph on his fastball yesterday and averaged 95 mph. He had an average fastball velocity of 90.7 mph in his previous 37 major league starts. The O's sent him to Double-A after Wednesday's game to keep him on his regular turn, but he could be a nice sleeper for the second half.

David Phelps RP/SP, Yankees (Yahoo: 1 percent owned, ESPN: 0.3 percent)

Phelps made a statement for a rotation spot on Wednesday by holding the Rays to one run on two hits over 4 1/3 innings while striking out eight. The 25-year-old right-hander now has a 3.05 ERA and 42/17 K/BB ratio over 41 1/3 innings with the Bombers this season, including a 2.08 ERA over 13 innings in three spot starts. There will only be one rotation spot available after CC Sabathia returns from the disabled list, but Phelps has made a pretty good case to bump Freddy Garcia back to mop-up duty.

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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