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31 Jul

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Kobe Bryant (knee) said on Sunday if he gets a clean MRI next week he'll do more then just ride a bike in rehab.

It is not real news until he does more than a ride bike. Keep stashing him for now. However, I would be trying to trade him for a player that can produce now. ANALYST: Mark Kaplan

Chris Taylor was optioned to Triple-A Tacoma

The Mariners are expected to call up top prospect Ketel Marte to help fill in for the injury Robinson Cano. There is nothing official about Marte's call up to the bigs but he was pulled from Tacoma's lineup in El Paso on Thursday. The Mariners are also expected to recall Jesus Montero for the departed Dustin Ackley.  Analysis: Drew Phelps

Adam Duvall and Keury Mella were traded to the Reds in exchange for Mike Leake

Duvall is a 26-year old who is enjoying 26 home runs in 443 plate appearances at Triple-A with a career-best.269 ISO. Mella is considered one of the top pitching prospects in the Giants system. It's a bit of a steep price to pay for a rental, but this is what going for it is all about. Maybe Duvall gets a late-season look in the outfield but he's not supplanting Todd Frazier or Joey Votto anytime soon. Analysis: Howard Bender

Jose Abreu went 1-for-4 with a two-run home run on Thursday night against the Red Sox.

While Abreu is well off his rookie pace of 36 home runs, he is still on line to hit 28, and it wouldn’t be surprising to see the hefty slugger to go on a run for a couple of weeks to put him right back on a 35+ pace. Keeping in terms of last season production pace, his .295 average is adequate and his pace of 92 RBI remains a bit below par. Even if the 28-year-old Cuban cant keep up with the 2014 version of himself, still consider it a great season if he finishes with a .295 average, 28 home runs, and 92 RBI (his current 162 game pace).  Analysis: Dom Murtha

Rusney Castillo went 2-for-4 with a home run on Thursday night against the White Sox.

So long as Mookie Betts remains on the shelf with a concussion issue (7-Day DL), the Cuban defector, Castillo should continue to start in the outfield for the Red Sox. Translation… Castillo is a nice stopgap while Betts is injured, but within a week or so, Castillo should relinquish his starting OF gig back to Betts.  Analysis: Dom Murtha

David Ortiz went 3-for-3 with a double and three RBI on Thursday night against the White Sox.

The average is slowly but surely climbing for ole’ Big Papi, and a 3-for-3 night will certainly help out that cause. After a near disastrous first half of the season, Ortiz seems to have his game back on track, finally justifying his staunchly inflexible fantasy positional status as a DH. His power swing seems to be fully operational, and now he is finally striking the fear of death back into opposing pitchers. Expect a stronger second half from Big Papi.  Analysis: Dom Murtha

Chris Sale went five innings, allowed seven runs, on 12 hits, and struck out seven in a loss on Thursday night against the Red Sox in Boston.

The lanky lefty didn’t appear to be himself on Thursday night in Fenway, as he allowed a near season high seven runs, and only lasted five innings. Even his strikeout total of seven was low by his standards, so it appears to be back to the drawing board for Sale, who will look to rebound against the Rays next Tuesday night (Aug 4th).  Analysis: Dom Murtha

Steven Wright went seven innings, allowed two runs, and struck out eight batters in a win on Thursday night against the White Sox.

Great outing for Boston’s makeshift starter on Thursday night, as he not only gave them great length at a low run total, but he also registered eight punch outs, becoming one of the top performers of the night. Fantasy owners should keep an eye on Wright if he plans on stringing together some more outings like this one.  Analysis: Dom Murtha

Mike Leake was traded to the Giants on Thursday.

Coming back to the Reds are minor leaguers Keury Mella and Adam Duvall. Leake has had himself a solid season with nine wins, a 3.56 ERA and 90 strikeouts over 136 2/3 innings (21 starts) and has now tossed seven quality starts in his last eight outings. Before you get too worked up about the move to a much more pitcher-friendly park, keep in mind that he's a ground ball pitcher, so it's all about the defense behind him. Is the move an improvement? Yes. But his numbers are unlikely to be much better than where they are at now. Analysis: Howard Bender

Yoenis Céspedes went 3-for-5 with a two-run home run, three RBI, and two runs scored on Thursday night against the Orioles.

Just when you think that he’s going to cool off, Céspedes comes back with a multi-hit game and keeps the roll going. It seems as though he’s been in a season long groove, and now that his power stroke has been ignited (four homers in his last six games, five in his last ten), there is no stopping him now. Expect the physical specimen from Cuba to finish his breakout season in grand style whether he gets traded or not, as the season chugs along into the dog days of summer.  Analysis: Dom Murtha

Chris Davis went 2-for-4 with a two-run home run and four RBI on Thursday night against the Tigers.

Davis has been on a tear of late, homering six times in his last nine games, while recording 10 hits during that same span. Not only has his power game been on point of late, but as a fantasy player, his flexibility makes it just too hard to keep him out of the lineup, as he’s likely eligible at first base, third base, DH, and RF in all formats. Consider him an excellent play going forward now that his power stroke it back in action.  Analysis: Dom Murtha

Adam Jones went 1-for-3 with a two-run home run, two walks, and three runs scored on Thursday night against the Tigers.

Jones has been steadily good all season long, and while many are concerned with his just above-average play, feel confident in the fact that he is still on pace for 26 home runs and 75 RBI. His .287 average stands on its own, so all in all, good work so far from Adam Jones.  Analysis: Dom Murtha

Alex Wilson picked up his first save of the season on Thursday night against the Orioles.

Wilson picked up his first save of the season, and while it is tempting to rush to the waiver wires and pick him up, it is still unclear if he will be the sole closer or is just a part of a committee. Until manager Brad Ausmus makes a definitive decision, hold your horses on picking up Alex Wilson.  Analysis: Dom Murtha

Miguel Gonzalez went 3 2/3 innings, allowed five runs, on 10 hits, and one walk, while striking out one on Thursday night in a loss against the Tigers.

Gonzalez was bad on Thursday night, there’s just no way around it. He failed to make it through four innings by allowing five runs on 10 hits, while striking out only one batter. He hasn’t been great all season long, but typically he can get the job done when needed in a deep fantasy format.  Analysis: Dom Murtha

Alfredo Simon went 5 2/3 innings, allowed four runs, on two hits, and three walks, while striking out one in a victory over the Orioles on Thursday night.

Simon did just enough to get the job done on Thursday night, as he managed to pick up his 10th win of the season, despite giving up four runs and five base runners across 5 2/3 innings. He only allowed two hits, which is encouraging, but his three walks almost cost him the game, despite his seven run lead. When all was said and done, Simon somehow came away with the victory, but still did not impress in the fantasy realm due to his low strikeout total and mediocre overall performance.  Analysis: Dom Murtha

Ryan Rua went 2-for-3 with a solo home run against the Yankees on Thursday.

Rua is of no fantasy value with a .216/.237/.446 line with four homers and seven RBI. Rua doesn't get enough time in the field to be considered a viable option. Analysis: Zack Carpenter

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