|July 11th, 2008 JunkyardJake.Com|
Clay Buchholz, Boston Red Sox, SP
Clay Buchholz was rather disappointing in his first eight starts of the 2008 season, ending up with a 5.53 ERA before getting jettisoned back to the minors. However, there is ample reason to believe that the young pitcher we saw at the end of 2007 is the future pitching star that he actually represents, and the early 2008 version was just an evil imposter. The Red Sox are giving Buchholz a chance to redeem himself, and he is scheduled to make his next major league start this Friday. He may have some more kinks to work out, but on talent alone, he is worth picking up. Many scouts consider Buchholz a future ace by virtue of his top-notch curveball, which helped him tally an impressive 1.25 strikeouts per inning ratio in the minors. The rest of his repertoire isnt bad either, as he typically mixes in a 90-95 mph fastball, a slider, and a highly effective change-up.
Available in 31% of all CBSSportsline leagues.
Adam Jones, Baltimore Orioles, OF
Expectations were high for Adam Jones coming into the 2008 season, but after a disastrous month of May, where he batted .226 with 1 HR and 1 SB, the collective fantasy world couldnt drop him from rosters fast enough. During June, he has begun to shown signs that he has acquired a clue at the plate, hitting .326. and he has been able to continue his competent hitting into July with a .384 average. Jones has yet to show the 25 HR / 25 SB potential that many attributed to him, but as long as he continues getting regular at bats there is a good chance he might do enough damage in those categories to help your cause in the second half.
Available in 59% of all CBSSportsline leagues.
Masa Kobayashi, Cleveland Indians, OF
The release of Joe Borowski this week by the Indians raises two questions concerning the Cleveland closer situation - 1) What took the Indians so long to release Joe Borowski ? and 2) Who is expected to assume closer duties? On the first question, noone is really sure, but given the way Borowski was throwing this season, there is no doubt that Cleveland could have used Travis Hafner as closer and got about the same results. On the second question, it appears that Masa Kobayashi is the favorite to takeover as the Indians primary closer. Kobayashi certainly fits the profile of someone who should excel in this new role, he has good control, and throws a mid-90s fastball, a slider and split-finger fastball. Moreover, he has already had success as a closer in Japan. In fact, he is the only player ever to accumulate 20 saves in seven straight seasons for the Nippon Professional Baseball league, and finished his career with over 200 saves.
Available in 65% of all CBSSportsline leagues.
Jerry Hairston, Cincinnati Reds, SS,OF
After returning from his injury hiatus in late June, Jerry Hairston has pretty much continued his relatively obscure, but covertly productive fantasy contributions in the batting average and steals categories. As the favored leadoff hitter in the Reds lineup, Hairston has hit .333 over the last 12 games, and has added 3 SBs in the last seven games. He has finally gotten noticed again on the waiver wire over the past week or so, and should be a decent player to add if you are light in the steals department.
Available in 52% of all CBSSportsline leagues.
Damaso Marte, Pittsburgh Pirates, RP
As a left-handed who basically throws just two pitches (a 90-93 MPH fastball, and a decent slider) Dámaso Marte projects to be the type of closer that may cause that occasional nauseous feeling when he gives up 4 runs in two-thirds of an inning. Really, he is best suited as a lefty specialist, for example, last season right-handed batters hit .271, and left handed hitters were completely neutralized against him, with a .094 average. Nonetheless, with Matt Capps expected to be on the shelf until early September, if you are scrambling for saves, the Pirates secondhand closer might be looking like a decent addition to your fantasy squad.
Available in 67% of all CBSSportsline leagues.
Other Players To Consider:
Scott Olsen,Florida Marlins,SP
Available in 42% of all CBSSportsline leagues.
Nomar Garciaparra,LA Dodgers,1B,3B
Available in 77% of all CBSSportsline leagues.
Adam LaRoche,Pittsburgh Pirates,1B
Available in 49% of all CBSSportsline leagues.
Francisco Liriano,Minnesota Twins,SP
Available in 25% of all CBSSportsline leagues.
Kaz Matsui,Houston Astros,2B
Available in 72% of all CBSSportsline leagues.