D.J. Short

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Ready, Wilin and Able

Thursday, August 30, 2012


Jimmy Paredes 3B, Astros (Yahoo: 0 percent owned, ESPN: 0.1 percent)

Paredes isn't exactly a new name around these parts, as he finished last season as the starting third baseman with the Astros. However, he was moved to the outfield about a month ago in the minors and will get his feet wet in the big leagues down the stretch. The 23-year-old batted .318/.348/.477 with 13 home runs, 59 RBI, 37 stolen bases and an .826 OPS in 124 games at the Triple-A level this year. His plate discipline needs work and I don't expect him to replicate those power numbers outside of the Pacific Coast League, so those in NL-only leagues are mostly grabbing him for his speed and the promise of semi-regular playing time.

John Lannan SP, Nationals (Yahoo: 0 percent owned, ESPN: 0.4 percent)

All indications are that Stephen Strasburg will indeed be shut down in September. It will be impossible to replace him, but Lannan is considered the favorite to take his rotation spot. Aside from two spot-starts with the Nats earlier this year, the 27-year-old southpaw has spent the entire season with Triple-A Syracuse, compiling a 4.58 ERA over 23 starts. Lannan doesn't strike out many batters (4.7 K/9 career), so he's not an exciting option in mixed leagues, but he owns a 3.99 ERA in the majors. Worth a stash.


Mauro Gomez 1B/3B, Red Sox (Yahoo: 1 percent owned, ESPN: 0.1 percent)

You may have missed it, but the Red Sox traded Adrian Gonzalez, Josh Beckett, Carl Crawford and Nick Punto to the Dodgers over the weekend. Anyway, what we're left with in Boston is a platoon of James Loney and Gomez at first base. Gomez turns 28 next week, so he's hardly a "prospect "at this point, but he was recently named the International League MVP after batting .310/.371/.589 with 24 homers and a .960 OPS in 100 games with Triple-A Pawtucket this year. He hits right-handed, so he will likely be on the short-side of the platoon, but he could provide enough pop to have value.

Franklin Gutierrez OF, Mariners (Yahoo: 1 percent owned, ESPN: 0.3 percent)

Gutierrez returned from the disabled list this week after missing the past two months with a concussion. The 29-year-old center fielder just hasn't had any luck on the injury front lately, appearing in just 107 games over the past two seasons while compiling a miserable .228/.271/.292 batting line to go along with three homers and a .564 OPS. There's obviously risk involved here given his recent injury history, but remember that Gutierrez had 12 homers and 25 stolen bases in 2010 and 18 homers and 16 stolen bases in 2009. Take a chance on the upside.

Dylan Axelrod SP, White Sox (Yahoo: 0 percent owned, ESPN: 0.1 percent)

Axelrod came up big for the White Sox on Wednesday night, limiting the Orioles to one run on three hits over 7 1/3 innings while striking out five and walking four. The 27-year-old right-hander isn't a hard-thrower and had a 5.63 ERA over his previous nine appearances with the White Sox this year, so let's not go crazy here, but at least he has a history of good control and keeping the ball on the ground. He should be a fine option in AL-only leagues until Gavin Floyd returns from an elbow injury.

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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