'Beach umbrella in late afternoon sunlight' photo (c) 2006, Loren Sztajer - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/2.0/

I'm in Washington DC this week, before I saunter on over to St. Louis mid week. It's a ton of fun getting a chance to spend some quality time with the great folks I work with at Sirius XM Fantasy Sports Radio. To the last person, a class act group. But I gotta tell ya, this heat is killing a kid. As a California born and raised boy, 90 is pushing the limits of my heat tolerance. As you are all likely aware, there is a historic heat wave hitting the east coast right now. The other night at Camden Yards in Baltimore, and it's a spectacular place to view a ball game, it was 102 degrees at first pitch. I know your thinking that's super hot for a day game, but the problem is it was 102 degrees at 7:05 PM. It's almost too hot to live. Thank goodness there were copious amounts of beer available because what's better when it's hot than continuing to dehydrate yourself with booze?

This past weekend saw the HOF induction of Bert Blyleven and Roberto Alomar take place. While I have some doubt about the efficacy of Blyleven, there is no doubt whatsoever that Alomar was worthy of induction, a fact that I covered in The 2011 Hall of Fame Class. If you ask me, Alomar is one of the five greatest second basemen of all time so I can't understand why he wasn't inducted in his first year of eligibility. I've also written a few other pieces about the HOF, and two of them are What is a HOF Closer?, and Innocent Until Proven Guilty if you have some time to kill.

Now on to a Mailbag question...

I’ve been holding onto Desmond Jennings and now I can finally get him in my lineup. I need someone to sit between Coco Crisp, Delmon Young, Eduardo Nunez and Magglio Ordonez. Weekly lineup. Steals is not an issue for me, but in a race for R, RBI, HR still. -- Vinny

Desmond Jennings is an elite talent that I profiled back in The Prospect Trinity (the piece also discussed Dustin Ackley and Brett Lawrie, the other two arms of the Trinity). Jennings has taken forever to get to the big league level. The Rays were reluctant to start his arbitration clock early, and then he suffered an injury down on the farm. However, he's making up for lost time rather quickly as he he killed it since being called up to The Show going 4-for-6 with two runs and two steals making him pretty much a must add in all formats.

Looking at your group, here's what I would suggest doing.

Magglio Ordonez is hitting .322 in July. He still isn't showing any power, and he has no speed, but his bat should play as a 5th outfielder type in mixed leagues as long as he's healthy.

Eduardo Nunez is hitting .333 in July, and he has stolen four bases each of the past three months. However, you say speed isn't a big need for you which mitigates the main value add of Nunez.

Delmon Young is hitting over .300 his last 34 games, but he has only two homers and 26 RBI in over 250 at-bats.

Coco Crisp has only one steal in his last 10 games, but he's up to 27 thefts on the year and it's pretty hard to say adios to production like that.

I'd add Jennings and let go Mr. Nunez if you have your infield covered. If you have outfield depth, there's really no reason to keep the limited upside of Ordonez.

By Ray Flowers




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About Ray Flowers

The co-host of The Drive on SiriusXM Fantasy Sports Radio (Sirius 210, XM 87: Mon-Fri 7-10 PM EDT), Ray also hosts his own show Sunday night (7-10 PM EDT). Ray has spent years squirreled away studying the inner workings of the fantasy game to the detriment of his personal life. Specializing in baseball, football and hockey, some consider him an expert in all three.

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