We are (unfortunately) back from the FSTA Summer Tech Conference in San Francisco, California and it is time to get back to the daily work. Fantasy baseball didn't stop while we were away, and there is plenty of news to get to. Another one of baseball's top young players will find his way to the big leagues this weekend, so you better check that out. A hot young pitcher is going to miss a start, and one of the hottest waiver wire pickups this year is also injured. The game's greatest player gets extra eligibility today, and of course we have random observations from tonight's games. Don't miss the pitching streamer to finish it off in tonight's Rounding The Bases.
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In the boxscore on Friday you will find a new name in it for the Seattle Mariners, and that will be prized prospect Dustin Ackley who has finally been called to the majors. He has been doing a great job at AAA Tacoma as he had a .303 batting average with nine homers, seven steals, and 35 RBI in 66 games. Ackley isn't going to come in and hit 60 home runs or steal 60 bases, but what he should bring your fanttasy team is consistent production. He isn't flashy or dominating in any one category, but the guy fills them all up. He has an outside shot at finishing this season with 15 homers and 15 steals, and grabbing someone two and a half months into the season at a middle infield position like that is fantasy gold. Take a look at your roster to see if you could use him, chances are you can.
Tommy Hanson is going to miss his next scheduled start due to tendonitis in his right shoulder. For now it seems as if the team is trying to avoid putting him on the Disabled List, but we will have to monitor the situation to see if that indeed happens. Hanson has been rolling this year with eight wins and a very good 2.48 ERA, so hopefully this is the only start he misses.
Jed Lowrie left tonight's game with a shoulder injury, the same one that has been bothering him for the better part of a month. The Red Sox have performed an MRI that has come back clean, but Lowrie still is complaining of pain and you can clearly tell that it is affecting his play. Lowrie is now 0-15 in this recent stretch and is a shell of the guy we all loved six weeks ago. At this point I am almost hoping they disable him so he can rest and get back healthy again.
Albert Pujols was at third base again for the Cardinals, and I believe that is the magic number of five starts at the position so he should be gaining 3B eligibility in the very near future. Pujols owners everywhere CELEBRATE!
Brett Gardner didn't get the start in today's game, but he still came in and made an impact. Entering the game for Andruw Jones, Gardner came in and had two hits and drove in a rare run. That is his fifth two hit game in his last five folks, we told you that Gardner would heat up. On June 3rd this guy was hitting just .244, but after this performance, just under two weeks later he is up to a very nice .286 and he has stolen four bases this month. Gardner is going to be one of the elite base stealing threats in the second half of the season so if you have him you can expect those to start rolling in.
J.J. Hardy is still pounding the baseball as he hit his seventh home run of the year, and he has only been active for May 10th. That was his fifth home run this month, and he is a guy that I fully expect to continue to hit and be successful. I have found that Hardy is still available in a vast number of leagues, so if you have a hole at your middle infield, Hardy could be a guy that could help you out. I don't fully expect him to keep his batting average at the .299 level it is at right now, but I wouldn't be shocked to see him hang around .280 which combined with the chance at 20 home runs makes Hardy an attractive option.
Every year at some point, Kosuke Fukudome goes on a hot streak and I have to take time in an article to tell you to avoid him. Well, today is that day. Fukudome had three hits including his third home run and first triple, on his way to driving in four runs. PLEASE don't fall into this trap. Fukudome is not talented enough to be in the major leagues, although somehow he continues to hold down a job. He is a disaster as a fantasy player as he really helps you in absolutely no categories, so don't take a look at this and get excited at all. There is no reason to add Fukudome at all.
I have been getting more and more emails about how legitimate a player Melky Cabrera is. Allow me to answer as clearly as possible. I know he had two hits today and drove in his 42 run of the season, but I relate his first half to something like Brennan Boesch's first half last season. Yes it was impressive, but does anyone really expect this to continue? I certainly don't. He is still a fairly young player at just 26, but he has never flashed power or skills like this in his major league career, and he never projected to be a major bopper or huge statistical contributor. If you own Cabrera, I would certainly be looking to sell high on this guy, but if you are looking at him on the waiver wire I would not grab him unless you are looking for a "get me over" option for a week or two. If you are going to rely on him to be a regular player on your team I would look elsewhere.
Speaking of Brennan Boesch, he had another three hits on Thursday to raise his season's batting average to .290. He hit his ninth home run of the year last night, but I still think that Boesch is going to pull a mulligan of what he did last year and fade in the second half. I would certainly try to make this guy part of a deal if that is at all possible to see if you can capitalize on tihs. I don't think you will be able to trade him straight up for someone good, but if it has to be a two for two, see what you can get for Boesch before it is too late and he gives you the shaft again this year.
Taylor Teagarden is back in the majors for the Rangers for what seems like the millionth time, and we will again see if the one time shining star can put it together in the major leagues. He has had mixed results in the minor leagues, but has shown flashes of great things that have had the Rangers hoping for a long time that he is their future at catcher. He did have one hit today for Texas against the Yankees, but was hitting .326 with nine homers and 18 RBI in just 24 games for AAA Round Rock. Do not add Teagarden right now, but if you are desperate for help at catcher, watch him over the next few days to see if he gets playing time, and what he does with it.
Nick Blackburn didn't allow a run over eight innings of work for the Twins against the White Sox, but it is hard to call his outing dominating when he struck out just one batter and allowed seven hits. Blackburn might be getting the attention of fantasy players after his winning record and his recent string of success, but I caution you against him. He has been in the majors for quite a while and only has minimal success in short bursts. Blackburn is going to be a guy who isn't going to win you a lot of games, and when he is bad he is going to really kill you because he doesn't even get a lot of strikeouts. For a spot start here or there he could be worth it, but don't put too much stock into Mr. Blackburn.
Matt Capps had been struggling of late and hadn't recorded a save in ten days, so it was nice to see him come in and strikeout two batters on the way to his ninth save of the year. I had a lot of confidence in Capps when he was anointed the closer, and while I can't say that I think he is about to be replaced, I do think he needs to continue to pitch well to solidify his role. But the Twins struggles aren't helping his cause either, making Capps a lower tier closer unless Minnesota can some how figure this out.
Rubby De La Rosa vs. Wandy Rodriguez (HOU) -- De La Rosa has been decent, not great since his call up to the majors, and he does get a decent number of strikeouts. Couple that with the fact that the Astros offense sucks something awful and Wandy can't pitch on the road. It might be risky, but I'm saying that Rubby has a good game on Saturday.
Tuesday's result: Tim Wakefield (BOS) -- 7 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, 5 BB, 2 K (L)
Want to read more? Check out our Fantasy Alarm in-season fantasy baseball coverage complete with nightly fantasy baseball recaps, two start pitchers, best waiver pickups, injury reports and in-depth minor league baseball coverage.
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