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Beltre Back With Something to Prove

Adrian Beltre

Now that the Major League trade deadline has come and gone, most of us have just started to take our fingers off the ice packs. Ask any doctor, there’s only so much refreshing of a website that one’s fingers can take. This is why I have trained to use all of my fingers to click a mouse. Yes that’s right, I am ambidigitrus, which means that I can comfortably use all 10 fingers to click the mouse button and you would be wise to acquire these 10 players off your waiver wires before it’s too late. That, right there kids, is what we in the journalism business call a transition. Crappy? Yes, but effective nonetheless.

Forgetting about what you just read, here is my list of ten players (one at each position) who you can acquire on the cheap and will help you make that push to make the playoffs in the final weeks of your fantasy baseball seasons.

Ten Players to Acquire

Ryan Doumit (C), Pirates

If you have a need at catcher why not take a flier on Doumit? Chances are he is owned in your league, but he cannot be that expensive to get with a .245 batting average. I see a guy who is a .300-caliber hitter with decent power who could have a solid last two months once he shakes the cobwebs off after being on the DL since April 19.

Adam Laroche (1B), Braves

Laroche went from hitting rock-bottom on the Red Sox to being fantasy relevant again. Now on the Braves with a full-time job, Laroche can continue his trend of amazing second half performances and should be an immediate pickup if you have a spot on your bench for a backup 1B or utility player.

Nick Johnson (1B), Marlins

Johnson’s value increases after being traded to a contending team. He now will hit in front of Hanley Ramirez and is an on-base machine. So look for him to contribute solid numbers in batting average, on-base percentage, and runs.

Howie Kendrick (2B), Angels

The rejuvenated Kendrick seems to have broken out of a season-long slump. In the past month, he has hit .387 with 15 RBI and a .981 on-base plus slugging percentage. Always known for his high batting average, he would provide great insurance for Ian Kinsler owners as he battles a hamstring injury.

Yunel Escobar (SS), Braves

He’s a little banged up, but now could be the best time to grab him because before he got hurt, Escobar was hitting well. In the last month, he posted a .347 batting average with four home runs and 18 RBI. The shortstop position is the shallowest position by far this season, so get this guy for your stretch run.

Adrian Beltre (3B), Mariners

Beltre is slated to return from the disabled list tomorrow and we all remember what he was doing before he went down with a shoulder injury (.319 June BA). The last time Beltre was in a contract year he hit 48 homers so look for him to impress in his final two months.

Matt Laporta (1B, OF), Indians

The Indians are in sell-mode, which means they will give all their young players a shot in the final two months of the season. Laporta is clearly their best young prospect and was hitting .297 with 13 homers in 283 Triple-A at-bats. This guy has legit 30-homer power and the Indians should bring him up soon to showcase it.

Kendry Morales (1B, OF), Angels

It is ridiculous that he is only owned in 67% of Yahoo! fantasy leagues. The guy is coming off a July where he batted .356 with nine homers and 26 RBI and is having one fine season. It’s time owners took notice and action.

Brett Anderson (SP), Athletics

Anderson started the season a little shaky, but put together a very impressive July (1.87 ERA, 0.86 WHIP, 33:9 K:BB). The Athletics are not going anywhere this year, so they have nothing to lose by letting their southpaw pitch for the last two months. He is probably best used as a spot starter, but if your team is in need of some back-of-the-rotation pitching, then Anderson is a good fit. There is no reason why he can’t keep this up for the rest of the season.

Phil Hughes (RP), Yankees

Has anyone noticed what Phil Hughes has done since the Yankees put him in the setup role? All he has done is pitch 28 1/3 innings and posted a 0.95 ERA, 0.78 WHIP and 34:7 K:BB ratio. He will not pick up many saves because of Mariano Rivera, but Hughes has been lights out and can help your staff in every other category.

Falling Fast

C.C. Sabathia (SP), Yankees (and my slap bet)

You all remember how I made a slap bet that C.C. Sabathia would beat Dan Haren in ERA, WHIP and BAA in an effort to emphasize my point that Haren will slump in the second half. While I was right about Haren’s second half slump (3.50 ERA, 1.22 WHIP, .222 BAA), Sabathia hasn’t really helped in the bet aspect.

Since the All-Star break he has posted a 4.39 ERA, 1.43 WHIP and .310 BAA. The Yankees haven’t reported any injuries with their ace so the struggles are quite the head scratcher. Sabathia is notorious for his great second half performances and I am still holding onto hope that he will turn it around soon. However, a couple more bad starts and it might be time to start preparing for a slap in the face.

On the Mend

Jose Reyes (SS), Mets

Man has it been a bad season for the Mets. To name a few, they have lost Reyes, Beltran and Delgado for an extended amount of time to injuries. It appears that the first player back may be Reyes as he has started running drills, which is the last step to his recovery from a calf injury. He has already been doing batting and fielding drills. He still feels some tightness, but manager Jerry Manuel has said that we could see the speedy star back in the lineup in 10-14 days. How effective he will be once he returns is a different question.

Down on the Farm

Chris Davis (1B, 3B), Rangers – 24 G, .320 BA, 4 HR, 20 RBI, 21 K and 10 BB

Don’t look now, but since the Rangers demoted Chris Davis he has been raking in Triple-A. The strikeouts are still a little high and until he improves his vision at the plate I do not think the Rangers will bring him up, but it is something to take notice of. His competitor, Justin Smoak, has been struggling since his arrival in Triple-A batting just .214 with two homers in 27 games. All it could take is one injury and Davis is back in the majors. We all remember what he did last season in the second half right?

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