'Derek Jeter' photo (c) 2011, Keith Allison - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/

The Yankees get a boost, a much needed boost given how beat up the team has been this season, when the best shortstop in the history of the franchise returns to the field Thursday. This and other “returns” to prominence are discussed.

Derek Jeter, he of the .313 career average and 3,304 hits, will return to the Yankees lineup Thursday as his ankle is finally healed. He's obviously an immediate start in AL-only leagues. As for mixed leagues, the history is to significant here to ignore him – he should be on someones roster (he's only owned in 55 percent of leagues right now at Fleaflicker.com). Jeter hit .316 last year with 15 bombs in a rather remarkable season given his age and skill set, and that level of production simply shouldn't be expected in the second half. I would set my expectations to 2010 levels with Jeter when he hit .270 and posted numbers that would lead to the following line in 70 games played: .270-4-36-57. The question is will he be running? Last season was the first time he ever failed to steal 10 bases with nine. Add in the ankle issue and you had better set those expectations low, say five steals the rest of the way?

Mark Buehrle has gone 3-1 with a 3.00 ERA the past month. After the start he had to the year when it looked like he had finally lost “it,” he's back to beguiling batters with some of the most average stuff in the league.

Josh Hamilton has finally remembered how to hit. Only took half the season (what are you complaining about? LOL). Josh has a .326/.412/.698 slash line the past two weeks as he's gone deep four times leading to 12 RBIs. He's been so bad for so long though that on the year he's batting .229 with 14 homers and 39 RBIs for the Angels.

Brian McCann finally remembered that he was an All-Star the past few weeks. After a slow start in his return to action the Braves' backstop has caught fire batting .444 over his last 11 games. He's also scored nine times while driving in nine runs.

Manny Ramirez just might get a shot with the Rangers. Lance Berkman is beat up and David Murphy is struggling. The team would likely turn to Mike Olt, but the youngster with a bright future just can't seem to get on track this year. Manny could be a nice AL-only add, but thinking he will have mixed league relevance is a bit of a stretch. Even though I don't doubt that he can still hit a bit, the guy was last a productive big league hitter in 2010 and he is 41 years old. Just to point out how good he used to be. In 1998 he hit 45 homers with 145 RBIs and in 1999 he had 44 homers and 165 ribbies. Wow.

I watched Total Recall last night. How did that movie flop? OK, it wasn't great, but strong visual, inventive fight scenes, Colin Ferrall for the ladies and Kate Beckinsale and Jessica Biel for the men. Both ladies are hot, but Kate as the villain... speechless am I.

Alfonso Soriano has hit one homer the past two April's (46 games). Just like last year though he's really picked it up since the first month of the season. Soriano has hit .375 with eight homers, 17 RBIs and 14 runs scored in his last 12 games. Seriously. On the year he's gone deep 15 times with 10 steals. The last time he stole 10 bases was 2008. Who was expecting a 25/15 season? I'll answer for you. No one.

Nick Swisher, welcome back to respectability. Swisher is batting .368 the past 11 games with a sick .510 OBP. Bout time he got going since the Indians, and his fantasy owners, have been waiting for about two months.

C.J. Wilson is back on track for the Angels. Over his last six starts he's racked up five wins while posting a 2.04 ERA. One of the big keys is that he's throwing strikes as he's walked only 2.72 batters per nine, a batter below his norm.

And finally, why W-L records mean nothing point #9,593. Over his last five starts Chris Sale is 0-4. He's sporting a 12.75 K/9 mark, 3.00 ERA and 1.06 WHIP in that time.

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.

Ray Flowers on Twitter

yes. lol RT @maury_morris: I have a better shot of being with Shakira for the night than Espinosa does hitting .300 for the year correct?

RT @shidavidi: Neil Wanger on for Drew Hutchison, who goes: 6 IP, 6 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 9 Ks, to match career high #bluejays

RT @washingnats: Danny Espinosa is now hitting .323 this season. He is 3-for-4 against the Padres today. #Nats