Fantasy Articles
Just a quick personal note.  I’m back and will be taking over the column once again for the rest of the season.  I’ll be making a few changes to the format and the details which will be covered.  Feel free to e-mail me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with your suggestions and comments on what you’d like to see covered in this column.

Well the All Star Break rolls around this this week and truncates the number of games we usually get to see.  For many players this is a week to recouperate from minor injuries, finish rehab, or just finally get some rest.   It aslo signals that there is only a little over two weeks left to the trading deadline, so its a time that General Manager meet, talk and deal.

Due to the All-Star game there will be no two start pitchers for this weeks.

No teams play seven games
but the A’s, Blue Jays, Devil Rays, Mariners, Mets, Orioles, Red Sox, Reds, Tigers, Twins, White Sox, Yankees all play 4 time.  Everyone else plays three.

At Pitchers Parks this week:
Turner Field (Atlanta): 3 Games v. Pirates
Petco Park (San Diego): No Games.
Busch Stadium (St. Louis): No Games.
Minute Maid Park (Houston):No Games.
Tropicana Field (Florida): 3 Games v. Nationals

At Hitters Parks this week:
Fenway Park (Boston):  4 games v. Blue Jays
Great American Ballpark (Cincinnati) No Games.
Kaufman Stadium (Kansas City): No. Games.
Yankee Stadium (New York):  No Games.
U.S. Cellular Field (Chicago):  No Games.

Ratchet them up!

Mike Jacobs (1B, Marlins):
  If you are looking for a player who is somewhat under the radar and offers help with power numbers, RBIs and runs you need only look at the Marlins cleanup hitter.  His numbers look puny at this point in the season but thats due to his limited at bats since coming back from injury.

Andruw Jones (OF, Braves):  It looks like Jones is finally beginning to wake up and hit the baseball.  His average is still dreadful, but it looks like the upswing has begun.   He’s a really good player to buy low if you can convince long suffering owners to part with him.

Lyle Overbay (1B, Blue Jays):  The very effective Overbay should be back right after the All-Star break.  Get him back in the lineup.

B.J. Upton (2B, 3B, OF, Tampa Bay):
  Will be back this week.  Activate him.

Mark Teixeira (1B, Rangers):
  May be back immediately following the All-Star break, but waiting until next week is probably smarter.

Eric Gagne (RP, Rangers): 
Expect Gagne to be closing rather than setting up somewhere by the end of the month as the Rangers are getting ready for a fire sale come the july 31st trading deadline.  He’s a great stash and wait option at this point.

Chris Carpenter (SP, Cardinals):  After missing most of the season due to elbow surgery Carpenter hasn’t fared well in a minor league rehab stint.  Still if he’s half the pitcher he was before surgery he’ll be a solid second half pick up but he’s another stash and wait guy rather than someone to throw right into your lineup.

Manny Corpas (RP, Rockies):
  Corpas is making a case for continuing in the closers role as time goes by.   Certainly with Brian Fuentes struggling and an muscle issue possibly slowing his return to form Corpas is a very good option for the next few weeks.

Milton Bradly (OF, Padres):
  Love him or hate him because he’s incosistant, a headcase, or even because of his attitude about the game, Milton when he gets at bats makes things happen.  He’s got speed, he’s got power and he’s about to get regular playing time.  Thats good - at least until the next suspension.

Gary Glover (RP, Devil Rays):  Is likely to get save chances next week and probably the week after while Al Reyes is on the DL.  Take that for what you will, he’s not a good option.

Octavio Dotel (RP, Royals):  Octavio is on the block and should be closing elsewhere by the end of the month.  Unless he ends up as a set up man in NY his value should seriously go up by months end.  Stash him away if you can.

Reed Johnson (OF, Blue Jays):
The Jays are looking to get a big offensive boost from Reed Johnson who’s been on the DL since April when he underwent back surgery.  I’m a little leary of anyone, let alone someone over 30 who’s just had disc surgery but Johnson is a good leadoff hitter and if he’s healthy could be a solid pickup.

Ty Wigginton (2B, 3B, Devil Rays):
  The return of B.J. Upton doen’t mean the end of playing time for Wigginton as Upton is likely to take over in centerfield for the time being. 

Mike Sweeney (1B, Royals):  May be back this week, but waiting another week or two would be smart.

Ratchet them down!

Josh Hamilton (OF, Reds):  A wrist injury suffered on the seventh is likely to slow down the stellar season that Hamilton has been having up until this point.  Even if it doesn’t cool his jets entirely it’s likely to take some power out of his swing for at least a couple of weeks.

Rich Harden (SP, A’s):  Harden didn’t look very good in pitch count limited start on Saturday giving up 4 earned runs in 2.2 innings.  Obviously something isn’t right so keep him on the bench until you see that he’s throwing like the fantasy ace he should be.

Ryan Dempster (RP, Cubs):  Isn’t likely to be back before late July and even then his effectiveness will probably be limited due to a oblique strain - a very slow healing injury.

Neifi Perez (IF, Tigers):
  You shouldn’t have had him in the first place, but if you did, missing him during his 25 game suspension for stimulants shouldn’t effect your stats at all.

Randy Wolf (SP, Dodgers):
Was placed on the 15 day DL with shoulder soreness, he could miss a lot of time.

Jarrod Saltalamacchia (C, Braves):
  Took a baseball off the temple on Friday and got his cage rattled a bit.  The Braves aren’t likely to rush him back unless he’s ready and fears of a concussion have passed.

John Smoltz (SP, Braves):   Was placed on the DL with shoulder inflamation and could miss a significant amount of time.

Bill Hall (OF, Brewers):
  was placed on the DL with a sprained ankle.  He’ll probably be back before the end of the month, but he’s won’t be back in the next 2 weeks.

Nick Johnson (1B, Nationals): 
Johnson isn’t likely to be back anytime soon due to complications and recurring hip pain.

Carlos Gomez (OF, Mets):  Broke a hamate bone in his left hand.  He’ll be out at least 6 weeks.

Randy Johnson (SP, Diamondbacks):
  Went back on the DL with a bad back.  So what else is new?  He’ll miss at least two weeks.

Cliff Floyd (OF, Cubs):
  Probably will not get much in the way of playing time this week, but even if he does, the elbow he hyperextended last week will probably not offer a lot of power.

Ian Kinsler (SS, Rangers):  Will miss at least three weeks with a broken left foot.

Oliver Perez (SP, Mets):
  Was placed on the 15 day DL with stiffness in the cak.  He’ll probably be back the week after the break.