D.J. Short

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Shake the Sheets

Thursday, July 19, 2012


Josh Rutledge SS, Rockies (Yahoo: 1 percent owned, ESPN: 0.4 percent)

The Rockies were reluctant to rely on Marco Scutaro everyday at shortstop with Troy Tulowitzki on the disabled list, especially with the 36-year-old floating in trade rumors, so they called up Rutledge from Double-A Tulsa last week. The 23-year-old has played well in a limited sample thus far, batting .300 (6-for-20) with two doubles, one triple, two stolen bases and an .848 OPS through six games. Rutledge was a .320/.374/.496 hitter over 211 minor league games and has flashed some speed and pop, so he's a strong buy in NL-only formats at the moment.

Logan Forsythe 2B/3B, Padres (Yahoo: 1 percent owned, ESPN: 1.1 percent)

Forsythe doesn't have a clear path to playing time at the moment, but he's doing his best to force Bud Black's hand. The 25-year-old has hit safely in seven out of his last eight games and while he was hitless in three-bats on Wednesday against the Padres, he did draw a pair of walks. Forsythe's patience is his best attribute, as he has compiled a .414 on-base percentage and 285/229 K/BB ratio over parts of five seasons in the minors. He's worth owning while he's swinging a hot bat, but he could be a nice find if the Padres end up trading Chase Headley before the deadline.

Chris Snyder C, Astros (Yahoo: 0 percent owned, ESPN: 0 percent)

Jason Castro was placed on the disabled list with what the Astros are calling right knee effusion. He's dealing with meniscus damage, but hopes to put off surgery until after the season. Snyder will be tasked with carrying the load behind the plate for now. The 31-year-old backstop is a .227 career hitter and is batting just .182 with 43 strikeouts in 137 at-bats this season, so there is some risk involved, but remember that he clubbed 15 home runs as recently as 2010 between the Diamondbacks and Pirates. Give him a flier in two-catcher formats.

Marwin Gonzalez SS, Astros (Yahoo: 0 percent owned, ESPN: 0.1 percent)

Jed Lowrie's chance at a breakout season hit an unfortunate snag this week as he was diagnosed with a nerve issue in his leg and is expected to miss four to six weeks. Gonzalez, who was acquired from the Red Sox after being selected in December's Rule 5 Draft, should see most of the playing time at shortstop during his absence. The 23-year-old switch-hitter doesn't bring a lot to the table offensively, but he has a knack for making contact and could surprise by swiping a few bags. Let's be honest, sometimes playing time is king in single-league universes, so he's worth a look if you're really hurting for a MI (middle infielder) option.


Sam Fuld OF, Rays (Yahoo: 0 percent owned, ESPN: 0 percent)

The legend of Sam Fuld continues. When the 30-year-old outfielder underwent right wrist surgery in early April, the Rays weren't sure whether he would be able to contribute at all this season. However, he progressed well ahead of schedule and is currently on a minor league rehab assignment with Triple-A Durham. If all goes as planned, he should rejoin the Rays later this month. Remember that Fuld stole 20 bases in 105 games with the Rays last season, so his speed could give him some value in deeper leagues down the stretch, even in a reserve outfielder role.  

Ryan Lavarnway UTIL, Red Sox (Yahoo: 0 percent owned, ESPN: 0 percent)

There have been a number of rumors in recent days that the Mets are targeting Kelly Shoppach in a possible trade, so those in AL-only leagues would be wise to secure his potential replacement. Lavarnway has struggled a bit this month, but still has a respectable .294/.383/.447 batting line to go along with eight homers and an .830 OPS in 74 games with Triple-A Pawtucket this season. The 24-year-old may end up as first baseman/DH-type in the long run, but his power makes him worth stashing.

Ben Francisco OF, Blue Jays (Yahoo: 0 percent owned, ESPN: 0 percent)

Francisco has been completely irrelevant in fantasy leagues this season, but Jose Bautista's wrist injury should pave the way for some additional playing time in the short-term. Top prospect outfielder Anthony Gose was called up from Triple-A Las Vegas this week and should start regularly against right-handed starting pitchers, but Francisco figures to see at-bats against southpaws. The 30-year-old has shown a bit of pop and speed in the past, so he makes sense if you need an outfielder and can make daily lineup changes.

Dan Straily SP, Athletics (Yahoo: N/A, ESPN: N/A)

These days, it's rare that a prospect comes out nowhere to surprise us. However, that's exactly what has happened with Straily in 2012. The 23-year-old right-hander wasn't included among the A's top 30 prospects by Baseball America coming into the season, yet he has a 2.64 ERA and a minor-league leading 162 strikeouts through 126 1/3 innings. This includes a microscopic 1.10 ERA and 54/10 K/BB ratio over 41 innings since being promoted from Double-A Midland to Triple-A Sacramento. Pretty impressive for the Pacific Coast League. With a low-90s fastball, slider and changeup in his arsenal, Straily should get his first taste of the big leagues later this summer. Stash in keeper leagues and put him on your watch list in AL-only formats. 

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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