D.J. Short

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Will Dom Deliver?

Thursday, August 02, 2012


Patrick Corbin SP/RP, Diamondbacks (Yahoo: 1 percent owned, ESPN: 0.1 percent)

After failing to add a starting pitcher at the trade deadline, the Diamondbacks decided to remove Josh Collmenter from the rotation and replace him with Corbin. So far, so good. The 23-year-old left-hander allowed just two hits and two walks while striking out five over six scoreless innings in a win over the Dodgers on Wednesday. Corbin throws strikes, works in the low-90s with his fastball and his slider and changeup are both average or better pitches. Trevor Bauer and Tyler Skaggs may have more long-term upside, but Corbin is a must-own in NL-only leagues as long as he has a rotation spot.

Welington Castillo C, Cubs (Yahoo: 0 percent owned, ESPN: 0 percent)

The Cubs traded Geovany Soto to the Rangers this week, so Castillo and Steve Clevenger figure to share playing time behind the plate the rest of the way. Clevenger won the backup catcher job during spring training, but Castillo was probably better off playing every day in the minors, anyway. The 25-year-old slugged eight homers in 49 games between Double- and Triple-A this year and had 15 in 61 games last year, so his pop could be pretty useful down the stretch. Castillo bats right-handed, so he could be at a disadvantage if Dale Sveum uses a strict platoon, but he's worth adding in two-catcher leagues.

Brett Wallace 1B, Astros (Yahoo: 1 percent owned, ESPN: 0.1 percent)

I was a bit surprised that Wallace wasn't called up from the minors immediately following the Carlos Lee trade early last month, but better late than never, I suppose. The former top prospect went 3-for-4 with a pair of homers in Wednesday's loss to the Brewers and should get regular at-bats moving forward. We obviously have to take Pacific Coast League numbers with a grain of salt, but the 25-year-old had 16 home runs in 86 games with Triple-A Oklahoma City this season. NL-only owners can afford to see if there's some kind of post-hype breakout going on.

Josh Vitters 3B, Cubs (Yahoo: 0 percent owned, ESPN: 0.1 percent)

With Cubs general manager Jed Hoyer indicated earlier this week that Vitters will likely be called up from Triple-A Iowa in the near future. Ian Stewart is done for the season following wrist surgery and Luis Valbuena has been terrible, so it's a logical move as the Cubs evaluate potential long-term pieces. Vitters isn't a strong defender at third base, but he's hitting .296/.351/.502 with 16 home runs and an .853 OPS in 107 games with Triple-A Iowa this year. And while he's hardly a patient hitter, he has already drawn 30 walks this year, his most in a full season in pro ball. It's not much, but it's progress. Go ahead and stash him away.


Casey McGehee 1B/3B, Yankees (Yahoo: 5 percent owned, ESPN: 1.9 percent)

McGehee landed in a pretty good situation this week, as he was traded from the Pirates to the Yankees in exchange for reliever Chad Qualls. He's currently filling in at first base while Mark Teixeira nurses a wrist injury and should eventually split playing time with Eric Chavez at third base until Alex Rodriguez is ready to return from a fractured hand. Of course, Chavez is no iron man, so there's real opportunity here. McGehee's production has fallen off dramatically over the past two seasons, but his pop makes him worth owning in AL-only leagues.

George Kottaras C, Athletics (Yahoo: 1 percent owned, ESPN: 0.1 percent)

Martin Maldonado impressed while Jonathan Lucroy was sidelined with a fractured hand, so the Brewers designated Kottaras for assignment last week. However, it didn't take long for him to find a new home, as he was traded to the Athletics just a couple of days later. Only Clint Barmes has a lower OPS than Kurt Suzuki (.536) among player with at least 250 plate appearances this season, so Kottaras figures to see a good amount of playing time down the stretch. His patience and pop should be useful in two-catcher formats.

Eric Thames OF, Mariners (Yahoo: 1 percent owned, ESPN: 0.3 percent)

Thames and Travis Snider battled for the Blue Jays' starting left field job during spring training, but now both of them have landed with new organizations. The 25-year-old flopped with the Jays earlier this year, but he collected 47 extra-base hits in just 95 games last year. Sure, Safeco Field isn't exactly the best home hitting environment, but at least it's more favorable for left-handed batters than right-handed batters. In fact, it's not far off from Rogers Centre in that respect. Thames should get a long look in the Mariners' outfield, so he's worth a flier.

Johnny Giavotella 2B, Royals (Yahoo: 1 percent owned, ESPN: 0 percent)

What else does this guy have to do to get another shot in the majors? After hitting .368 with five home runs and 28 RBI at Triple-A Omaha in July, the 25-year-old second baseman went 2-for-4 with three RBI on Wednesday. Sure, he batted just .247 with a .649 OPS in 46 games with the big club last year and underwhelmed during a brief stint earlier this season, but Yuniesky Betancourt and Chris Getz aren't doing much to stand in his way. Let's hope the Royals come to their senses soon.

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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