As we head into mid-August, clubs continue to look for help from their farm systems. Teams looking for a spark either on the field, or added excitement to drive the box office.. We can expect a dozen or more players called up on the first of September with normal roster expansion, but what help could be on the way sooner? We take a look at possibilities with each franchise, continuing now with the American League Central.
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Jhan Marinez P Chicago White Sox- Another power arm on the way for the ChiSox bullpen. Acquired from the Marlins along with shortstop Osvaldo Martinez for Manager Ozzie Guillen, Marinez has averaged more than ten strikeouts per nine innings in the minors. Marinez was called up in mid-July, but only made one appearance before getting optioned back to Charlotte. Marinez has an ERA of 3.27 & 1.12 WHIP over 33 appearances, covering 55 innings. Jhan has allowed only 35 hits, while striking out 57. Expect him to get the call again soon.
Scott Barnes P Cleveland- Acquired from San Francisco in 2009, health is all that stands in the way of Barnes and a major league roster spot. Barnes has bounced back and forth between Columbus and the major league club this season, getting knocked around pretty good to the tune of nine runs in ten innings of work. The 6'4" left hander has performed well in Triple-A with an ERA of 3.21, 1.16 WHIP and 51 strikeouts in 42 innings of work. There is always space for left handers in major league bullpens and the Tribe are no different.
Nick Castellanos 3B Detroit- With Mike Olt up wth the Rangers, Castellanos is the next Major League ready third baseman on the horizon. A high school shortstop, Castellanos has developing power and projects at the hot corner. With Miguel Cabrera adjusted to third, Castellanos is getting a crash course on right field. Castellanos has nine home runs and 52 RBI at two minor league levels this season. The 20-year old blasted a three run homer on his way to MVP honors in the Futures Game last month.
Wil Myers OF Kansas City- How about 33 home runs in 110 games? That is what Myers has across AA and AAA this season. Myers has driven home 93 RBI. hitting well over .300. Many expected the Royals to move right fielder Jeff Francouer by the deadline to make room for Myers, but it hasn't happened..... yet. A converted catcher, Myers is ranked #28 by Baseball America and is still fine tuning his outfield skills. Once Myers gets the call, he will be in KC to stay.
Joe Benson OF Minnesota- The Twins have high hopes for the athletic, powerful Benson. A September call up in '11, Benson has been working his way back from wrist surgery this season. Benson returned from the injury middle of last month, so '12 may be more about rehabbing in the minors than another call to the bigs. Minnesota believes Benson has 20-20 potential and has an outside chance of handling center field. The former 2nd round pick needs to cut down on his strikeouts, but has a good eye drawing walks.
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We wish you the best of fantasy luck this weekend as football arrives on the scene. Next week, another edition of Waiver Flavor, so you can take advantage of those distracted by the NFL!
Tom Blaz is a writer for Fantasy Alarm and co-owner of The Recruiting Eagle a website focusing on Auburn University Athletics.
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