D.J. Short

Waiver Wired

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Jaime Time

Thursday, August 16, 2012




NL ONLY

Rob Brantly C, Marlins (Yahoo: 0 percent owned, ESPN: 0 percent)

Acquired from the Tigers as part of the deal that sent Anibal Sanchez and Omar Infante to Detroit, Brantly was called up from Triple-A New Orleans week and is expected to get semi-regular playing time down the stretch alongside the disappointing John Buck. The 23-year-old backstop is a .280/.336/.392 hitter over parts of three seasons in the minors. He lacks patience at the plate, but has some pop and a knack for making contact. The Marlins didn't call him up to sit him on the bench, so he's at least worth grabbing in two-catcher formats.

Tyler Greene 2B/SS/OF, Astros (Yahoo: 1 percent owned, ESPN: 0.6 percent)

Greene ran out of chances with the Cardinals, but Astros manager Jeff Luhnow was happy to take him off their hands last week, acquiring him for a player to be named later. Luhnow ran the Cardinals' farm system prior to coming to the Astros and selected Greene 30th overall in the 2005 draft, so he's well acquainted with the 28-year-old infielder. Greene owns a .224/.297/.340 batting line over 575 plate appearances in the majors, so he's been a pretty big disappointment until this point, but he has enough pop and speed to remain interesting. With Jed Lowrie still sidelined due to a nerve issue in his right leg, he should get a chance to prove what he can do.

Gregor Blanco OF, Giants (Yahoo: 2 percent owned, ESPN: 2 percent)

Blanco was pushed to the bench after last month's acquisition of Hunter Pence, but he should get most of the playing time in left field now that Melky Cabrera will miss the rest of the season after testing positive for Testosterone. The 28-year-old started the season red-hot, but now owns a mediocre .236/.331/.346 batting line and a .677 OPS. On the bright side, he is 19-for-22 in stolen base attempts, so he should have fantasy value the rest of the way. It's just hard to get excited about him outside of NL-only leagues.

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

Martinez was called up last week following the demotion of team RBI leader J.D. Martinez. Aside from a concussion in June, the former top prospect has managed to remain healthy and productive this season, batting .314/.367/.507 with 13 home runs and an .875 OPS in 373 plate appearances with Triple-A Oklahoma City. If you include his limited time in the majors this season, he has already appeared in more games than in any of his other previous six pro seasons. Still only 23 years old, he's worth owning down the stretch as the Astros evaluate whether he'll be part of the future.

AL ONLY

Brent Lillibridge 1B/3B/OF, Indians (Yahoo: 1 percent owned, ESPN: 0 percent)

After functioning as a spare part with both the White Sox and Red Sox this season, Lillibridge has landed in a pretty good spot with the Indians. The 28-year-old utility man has already made starts at second base, shortstop, third base and left field while collecting two homers, two doubles, three RBI, two stolen bases and nine runs scored in 14 games. Lillibridge managed 13 home runs and 10 stolen bases in just 97 games with the White Sox last year, so he could surprise if he continues to get chances.

Justin Smoak 1B, Mariners (Yahoo: 7 percent owned, ESPN: 3.1 percent)

Smoak was demoted to the minors late last month after hitting just .189 with a .573 OPS over his first 90 games this season. The former top prospect wasn't much better during his time with Triple-A Tacoma, batting .242 (16-for-66) with zero homers and a .754 OPS over 20 games, but the Mariners were forced to bring him back up this week after Mike Carp was placed on the disabled list with a hip injury. Smoak is clearly running out of chances in Seattle, so this recommendation doesn't come with much enthusiasm, but there's a pretty good chance he'll run into a few home runs down the stretch. He's worth a look if he was dropped.

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

I mentioned Lavarnway in Waiver Wired back on July 19 as Kelly Shoppach was mentioned in some trade rumors. Shoppach ended up staying with the Red Sox past the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline, but he was dealt to the Mets this week after being claimed on waivers. It was a necessary move for the Red Sox, who plan to evaluate Lavarnway over the next six weeks as they look toward 2013. The 25-year-old may not stick behind the plate in the long-term, but he has enough pop to be interesting in AL-only formats right now.

Josh Donaldson C/3B, Athletics (Yahoo: 0 percent owned, ESPN: 0 percent)

Brandon Inge was placed on the disabled list this week with a dislocated right shoulder. The A's are hopeful that he'll be ready to return right around when he's eligible, but Donaldson will hold down the starting third base job for now. The 26-year-old stumbled both offensively and defensively at the hot corner with the A's earlier this year, but he batted .335/.402/.598 with 13 homers and a 1.000 OPS in 51 games after his demotion to Triple-A Sacramento. Granted, those numbers were accomplished in the Pacific Coast League, but Donaldson won't have to do much to improve on his .173/.187/.279 batting line. He went 2-for-4 with a solo homer on Wednesday night against the Royals, so he's already off to a pretty good start in that regard. His eligibility at catcher could come in handy in the short-term.



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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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