The Fantasy Report: Coming Down The Stretch

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NEWS YOU NEED NOW

  • Mark Prior is going to be shutdown for at least three weeks. Cubs placed Prior on the 15-day disabled list, retroactive Aug. 11, with rotator cuff tendinitis. Although Prior’s not feeling any pain, a recent MRI showed that Prior has tendinitis. Any surprise here?
  • Troy Glaus who has been having a great season so far, hurt his knee while swinging at a Brad Radke pitch this weekend. No status has been reported yet on the severity of the injury. Fantasy Owners need to keep on eye on any results on Glaus’s knee.
  • Brian McCann, the rookie catcher for the Atlanta Braves has followed up his terrific July by batting .447 with three homers and 11 RBI in 10 games this month.
  • Alfonso Soriano on Sunday hit his 200th HR off the Mets’ Steve Trachsel. Soriano has six homers already in August and now has 38 on the season, one shy of his career high from 2002. He just might finish the year with 50 homers and 40 steals. Soriano a free-agent after the season, is due a huge paycheck for 2007.
  • Braves activated third baseman Chipper Jones from the 15-day disabled list. Jones starting at third base and batted third on Sunday.
  • Ichiro Suzuki is batting .143 (7-for-49) in August. He also hasn’t walked once this month, and his last RBI came on July 22. Ichiro hasn’t struggled like this since joining the Mariners. Suzuki is still a must start.
  • Willy Aybar has a broken left hand and will go on the disabled list. Aybar actually hurt the hand in his first game with the Braves on July 30, but he was able to play through the pain until coming out of Friday’s game. Aybar probably won’t be back until rosters expand.
  • Carl Crawford may be moved to the 3rd spot in the batting order according to Tampa Bay Devil’s Manager Joe Maddon. Maddon said of Crawford, “He could be a solid No. 3 hitter, no doubt.” Maddon went on say, “He’s got all the ability to do that: power, RBI potential, and look at his numbers with runners in scoring position, they’re very good. He can be almost anything; he’s that talented.” If Crawford is moved to the 3rd spot, that could mean an increase in RBI but the possibility of less steals.
  • Scott Rolen once again is having back spasms. Rolen was kept out of the three game series against the Pittsburgh Pirates this weekend. Rolen is slated to make his return this Tuesday but Fantasy Owners should keep a close eye on how Rolen’s feeling.
  • Braves placed LHP Horacio Ramirez on the 15-day disabled list, retroactive to Aug. 8, with a partially torn ligament in his left middle finger. Ramirez, a once promising pitcher, has been spending plenty of time on the DL this year.
  • Twins placed outfielder Rondell White on the 15-day disabled list, retroactive to Aug. 10, with a strained left hamstring. White, who was hot after coming off the DL a month ago, will have to wait until at least the 25th before he can get back in the lineup.
  • I told Fantasy owners to watch Roger Clemens have a great second half of the season, and he’s not disappointing so far. After his win this week, his record is now 4-4, and with the Astros playing well, look for Clemens to continue his winning ways.
  • An MRI showed that Francisco Liriano has a mild chronic strain of his ulnar collateral ligament, and a clinical exam revealed weakness and stiffness in his shoulder that is causing the soreness in his forearm near his elbow. His status for the rest of the season is uncertain. Liriano who was leading the league in ERA this year is likely out for the year. A super star in the making or a Mark Prior fall out?

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Who’s Hot

Mark DeRosa has been a utility player his entire career, and playing for the Texas Rangers this year he’s played 1B, 2B, SS, 3B, and all three OF position. The difference this year, compared to previous years, is DeRosa is producing like an everyday player. Whether it’s playing in that terrific offensive lineup the Rangers have, or that he’s playing more regularly, DeRosa is enjoying his best offensive season of his career. But, that doesn’t make you the winner of the Who’s Hot award. DeRosa hit 4 HR’s, had 15 RBI, scored 7 runs, and batted .414. this week. Not bad numbers for a utility player. With stats like that, he’s a must start in mixed and AL only leagues.

Who’s not

Jorge Posada had the worst week of any hitter in the Majors this week. Posada, who didn’t have a hit all week, only produced 1 RBI for his Fantasy Owners. There’s nothing worst then one of the best offensive catchers in the game having a .000 batting average in a week for your team. With games against the Baltimore Orioles, and then a 5 game set against the Red Sox, Posada has a chance to break out of this horrific slump. Fantasy Owners, no need to worry, Jorge will be back. ***

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Start’em

  1. Jermaine Dye has a 10-game hitting streak heading into Sunday’s game, in those 10 games, he’s recorded 6 multi-hit games. With a four game series against the Kansas City Royals, one of the worst pitching staffs in the Majors, Dye will continue his hot hitting. Since the All-Star break, Dye has been leading the way for the Chicago White Sox with a .346 batting average. Dye is a must start this week, with seven games.
  2. Mark DeRosa, our Who’s Hot Player of the Week, has found his power stroke, and his Fantasy Owners are enjoying his recent power surge. First look at DeRosa’s schedule for the week, and a Fantasy Owner might be reluctant to start DeRosa. But, don’t be frightened by the Angels or Tigers pitching staff, the way DeRosa has been killing the ball, he’s a must start for all Fantasy Owners.
  3. Juan Rivera has found a home with the Angels. Over the last several weeks, Rivera has gained notice by Fantasy Owners. His power numbers have surged, and with a .301 batting average, Rivera is now a must start in all Fantasy Leagues. This week, Rivera heads to Texas and then he’ll be home against the terrible pitching staff of the Seattle Mariners. If Rivera is on your waiver wire, snatch him up now.
  4. Matt Holliday is enjoying another fantastical season with the Rockies. Holliday is at home early in the week against the Arizona Diamondbacks, where he’s hitting .362. At the end of the week, Holliday heads to the Big Apple to face the New York Mets. Holliday is batting .317 this month, with 2 HR and 5 RBI. Look for Holliday to enjoy a great week.
  5. Robb Quinlan, a relatively unknown to Fantasy Owners, has been stroken the ball all over the field lately. Quinlan is enjoying a seven game hitting streak, and is batting .423 in August. Like Juan Rivera, Quinlan will enjoy feasting on the Texas Rangers and Seattle Mariners pitching staff.

Sit’em

  1. Brad Wilkerson is one of the only Texas Rangers hitters who are not hitting this year. Wilkerson who’s hitting an awful .162 since the All-Star break has seen his playing time diminish and given to Mark DeRosa. Wilkerson should be on most leagues waiver wire, and this once promising outfielder, should be on yours too.
  2. Jacque Jones has a tough schedule this week. With games against the Houston Astros and St. Louis Cardinals, I don’t see Jones producing much. Since the All-Star break, Jones has been hitting a treacherous .212. On the bright side Jones has hit three HR’s already this week. But, with games against two strong pitching staffs, Jones should spend the week on your bench.
  3. Hank Blalock has been struggling all season against lefties (.220), and this week he’ll been facing three of them. With games against the Angels and Tigers this week, Blalock gets to face two of the best pitching staffs in the American League. If you have any other options at third base, you may want to replace Blalock until next week.
  4. Adam Kennedy is off to a horrific start in August. Hitting just .231, Kennedy, the soft hitting second baseman for the Angels, has seen his stock decline, and fast. Once a solid Fantasy second baseman, Kennedy finds himself flouting around the waiver wire. If you have Kennedy on your Fantasy roster, it’s time to move on, and get someone whose not offensively challenged.
  5. Geoff Jenkins is having one of his worst seasons since 2002. With only 10 HR’s up to this point, Jenkins has been a bust. Fantasy Owners might think Jenkins will be getting a break by facing the Pittsburgh Pirates, but Jenkins will have to face two lefties, if he gets the starts. After facing the Pirates, Jenkins then gets a treat, and faces the hot Houston Astros pitching staff. If you have Jenkins on your team, I’m sorry to say, you’re probably in last in your league. Trust me when I say there are more reliable outfielders in your league.

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Source by Paul Greco