D.J. Short

Baseball Daily Dose

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Worth Waiting on Weeks?

Tuesday, June 04, 2013

After watching Rickie Weeks struggle his way through the first two months of the season, the Brewers called up prospect infielder Scooter Gennett from Triple-A Nashville on Monday while manager Ron Roenicke announced plans to utilize a "loose" platoon at second base moving forward. Coincidence or not, it didn't take long for Weeks to make a compelling case to keep his job.

Weeks homered and tripled in Monday's loss to the Athletics. He nearly had two homers on the night, but one was overturned after video review. Either way, Weeks finished with his first home run since May 15 and his first multi-hit game since way back on May 2. Not bad for someone who could only muster three extra-base hits for the entire month of May. Message received?

Even after the big day, Weeks is batting just .192/.293/.313 on the year. One game isn't going to change anything and Roenicke still plans to go with Gennett on Tuesday with right-hander A.J. Griffin. Still, there's no question that Weeks offers more upside. While Gennett was a .300 hitter in the minors, he's known more for his line drive approach than his pop. He also doesn't take many pitches and offers only average speed. Slumps are nothing new for Weeks, but this is someone who has reached 20 homers in each of the past three seasons while averaging double-digit stolen bases. I wouldn't give up on him yet in deeper mixed leagues and the looming threat of a platoon may make him an ideal buy-low candidate if you are willing to roll the dice.

Check out Matthew Pouliot's top 300 for June, and be sure to follow Rotoworld_BB on Twitter.

Opportunity Knocks For Skaggs

While it comes in an unfortunate circumstance after Brandon McCarthy's shoulder injury, left-hander Tyler Skaggs will get an opportunity to fill his spot in Arizona's rotation.

Diamondbacks manager Kirk Gibson confirmed Monday that Skaggs will be called up to start Tuesday's game against the Cardinals. Just how long he'll stick around is unknown. McCarthy was scheduled to undergo an MRI on Monday to determine whether he's dealing with another stress fracture in his shoulder. We'll know more when the results are available.

Skaggs is a logical choice as McCarthy's replacement, as he's coming off a career-high nine strikeouts in six shutout innings in last Monday's doubleheader against the Rangers. Six of his strikeouts ended with his nasty curveball. While the 21-year-old owns an underwhelming 5.23 ERA over nine starts this year with Triple-A Reno, he was much better over his last three outings and compiled a solid 54/17 K/BB ratio in 51 2/3 innings overall. He was also pitching in the hitter-friendly Pacific Coast League, so it's difficult to take those numbers at face value. Just know that he is one of the top left-handed pitching prospects in the game.

The Cardinals aren't an ideal matchup from a fantasy perspective, but Skaggs is someone to monitor closely in mixed formats. His next two outings are projected to be against the Giants (possibly without Pablo Sandoval) at home and the Padres in San Diego, so he could be worth a matchup play in certain formats.

Tick-Tock, Tick-Tock For Wheeler

The wait is almost over. While the Mets resisted calling up top prospect Zack Wheeler to start in place of Jon Niese on Saturday, he is inching ever-closer to making his major league debut.

According to Mike Puma of the New York Post, the Mets are targeting their next homestand as the time to call up Wheeler, most likely for the weekend of June 14-16 against the Cubs. The Mets have projected the Super Two cutoff date to be June 9, so if all goes according to plan, it would set Wheeler up to be arbitration-eligible for the first time after 2016 as opposed to after 2015. Perhaps the Mets would have been more inclined to promote him earlier if they were in contention, but since they aren't, there's an obvious financial incentive to wait.

Wheeler was a bit shaky in his first start back from some soreness in his AC joint, but he was excellent against the Giants' Triple-A affiliate on Saturday, allowing one run on six hits and one walk over six innings while striking out six. The 23-year-old right-hander now has a 3.86 ERA and 59/24 K/BB ratio in 58 1/3 innings through 11 starts with Triple-A Las Vegas this season. And in a pretty tough environment for pitchers, to boot. He has great stuff, so there's the potential for him to be an impact starting pitcher right away. I like the Cardinals' Michael Wacha somewhat better because of his control and the quality of the team he plays for, but Wheeler is worth stashing in most fantasy formats.

National League Quick Hits: Jason Heyward hit his first home run since April 16th in Monday's win over the Pirates … Hanley Ramirez (hamstring) is expected to be activated from the disabled list Tuesday … Marlins manager Mike Redmond said Monday that Giancarlo Stanton (hamstring) has progressed to doing baserunning drills … Yasiel Puig went 2-for-4 in his major league debut Monday and made an amazing throw from right field to double-off Chris Denorfia at first base for the final out of the game … Carl Crawford was placed on the disabled list Monday with a strained left hamstring … Jim Henderson (hamstring) is "real confident" he'll return from the disabled list when he's first eligible on Saturday … Kris Medlen notched his second win of the season Monday by holding the Pirates to an unearned run in seven innings … Yadier Molina was suspended for one game and fined an undisclosed amount for his actions during Sunday's game, though the ruling is waiting on an appeal  … Domonic Brown connected for his ninth home run in his past 10 games Monday … Carlos Beltran (fatigue) went 3-for-5 with a two-run homer and three RBI in his return to action Monday … Hyun-Jin Ryu (foot) made it through a bullpen session Monday with no issues and expects to make his next start … Lance Lynn held the Diamondbacks to one run in seven innings Monday for his eighth victory of the season … Kyle Kendrick allowed two runs in a complete game victory over the Marlins … Jon Niese (shoulder) is expected to return Saturday against the Marlins … Marco Estrada left Monday's outing with a strained hamstring and is questionable for his next start … Bronson Arroyo tossed eight shutout frames in Monday's win over the Rockies … Chris Carpenter (shoulder, neck) threw 40-plus pitches Monday in live batting practice … Tyler Chatwood left Monday's game with right triceps soreness, but still hopes to make his next start … The Brewers acquired infielder Juan Francisco from the Braves for left-hander Tom Keeling … Mets prospect catcher Travis d'Arnaud (foot) received clearance Monday to begin limited workouts …

American League Quick Hits: Adrian Beltre has a minor strain of his left hamstring and could return to action as soon as Tuesday … Mark Teixeira launched a grand slam in Monday's win over the Indians … Austin Jackson (hamstring) will attempt to resume baseball activities Tuesday … Salvador Perez is expected to return from the bereavement list Tuesday … Asdrubal Cabrera left Monday's game with a strained quad and is likely headed for the disabled list … Coco Crisp homered and reached base five times Monday against the Brewers … Mike Morse (quad) hopes to rejoin the Mariners' lineup by the middle of the week … Tom Wilhelmsen allowed a run on a hit and a walk Monday against the White Sox, but held on for his 13th save ... Tommy Milone allowed two runs in seven innings Monday in a win over the Brewers … Paul Konerko (neck) went 1-for-4 in his return to action Monday … Andy Pettitte (strained trapezius) allowed four runs in four innings Monday in his return from the disabled list … Joe Blanton reached double-digit strikeouts Monday for the first time since 2009, but was handed his ninth loss of the season … Zach McAllister will have his next start pushed back due to an irritated finger … Wei-Yin Chen (oblique) is set to resume a throwing program Tuesday … Lyle Overbay made his first career start in right field Monday … Orioles prospect right-hander Dylan Bundy (elbow, forearm) will resume a throwing program on June 10 …  Gordon Beckham (hand) was hitless in three at-bats Monday in his return from the disabled list… Justin Maxwell (hand) will begin a minor league rehab assignment Tuesday and is expected to return as the Astros' starting center fielder … Astros prospect first baseman Jonathan Singleton is expected to be promoted to Double-A Corpus Christi 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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