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The Wire Troll: Justin Smoak is on Fire

July 21, 2013 | by Tim McLeod | Comments (0)
Matt Adams is going to get more PT for the St. Louis Cardinals.
Matt Adams has raked whenever he’s gotten a chance to play.

Now that the All-Star break is in the rear-view mirror we can cancel our plans for a rehab stint for withdrawal. A four-day break is simply too long and it was great to see the boys of summer back in action Friday. Hopefully we used that extra day at the break to formulate our plan of attack for the dog days of summer which are now upon us. Good fortunes to all in the second half!

Without further ado, let’s take a look at this week’s Troll options.

Matt Adams, 1B, St. Louis Cardinals (CBS: 33 per cent owned, ESPN: 11 per cent): In our last Troll article before the break we mentioned that Adams doesn’t play enough. So much for that situation, as Matt Holliday has found his way to the DL with a hamstring strain, so at-bats will be there for Adams for the short-term, and we know he can produce when he plays (see video below for more evidence). If you’re looking for a power boost, Adams’ seven homers in only 139 at-bats should have your attention.

Henry Urrutia, OF, Baltimore Orioles (CBS: 17 per cent owned, ESPN: unlisted): Talk about no respect — as of Sunday morning, Urrutia still isn’t listed in the player base at ESPN. Nolan Reimold is finished for the season with nerve inflammation in his cervical spine, so the opportunity is at-hand for lanky Cuban Urrutia to move into a full-time role for the duration of the season.

Christian Yelich, OF, Miami Marlins (CBS: 29 per cent owned, ESPN: unowned): Yelich was gaining momentum back in May and unfortunately found his way to the DL with a strained abdominal muscle. He’s now back and tearing the cover off the ball at Double-A Jacksonville, so he should be promoted to Miami in the next 2-to-3 weeks. This kid is the real deal and buying in a bit early is a sure fire-way to save some of that FAAB for the trade deadline moves that are just around the corner.

Rex Brothers, RP, Colorado Rockies (CBS: 27 per cent owned, ESPN: 41 per cent): Those owners that chose to drop Brothers after the return of closer Rafael Betancourt from his first DL stint might be kicking themselves right about now. Betancourt is back on the DL with appendicitis and once more the Rox will be turning to Brothers in the ninth. He’s a must own and start in all formats.

Justin Smoak, 1B, Seattle Mariners (CBS: 33 per cent owned, ESPN: 14 per cent): Smoak is on a tear this month, with three homers, 10 RBI and an outstanding .353 BA in 51 at-bats. He should be active and starting in all formats.

Other Options

Carlos Torres, RP/SP, New York Mets (CBS: 3 per cent owned, ESPN: 1 per cent): In his first start against the Pirates on July 13 , Torres pitched five solid innings, allowing five hits, no walks, and one earned run while fanning five in a no-decision. He should see a regular turn in the Mets rotation moving forward and is currently worthy of a roster slot in NL-only leagues.

Junior Lake, SS, Chicago Cubs (CBS: 1 per cent owned, ESPN: 1 per cent): A shortstop by trade, Lake is off to a great 4-for-7 start with a stolen base filling in as an outfielder for the Cubbies. David DeJesus is scheduled to return shortly so Lake will have to stay hot to ensure he’s not shipped back to Iowa.

Pedro Strop, RP, Chicago Cubs (CBS: 4 per cent owned, ESPN: 1 per cent): The trade to the Cubs has worked wonders for Strop. In 6 2/3 IP since moving to the NL, he’s allowed two hits, two walks, and no earned runs while whiffing eight. Kevin Gregg is likely to be moved at the trading deadline and Strop’s performance has vaulted him past Blake Parker into the front-runner position for saves should a move be made.

Brandon Workman, SP, Boston Red Sox (CBS: 5 per cent owned, ESPN: unowned): There is no doubt that Allen Webster isn’t ready and the BoSox have now turned to Workman. Workman pitched a very strong game against Oakland just prior to the break and is looking at a potential two-start week for those streaming starters.

Brandon McCarthy, SP, Arizona Diamondbacks (CBS: 22 per cent owned, ESPN: 12 per cent): McCarthy is finally heading out on a rehab assignment this week after being sidelined with shoulder woes since the beginning of June. Arizona and its depleted rotation will need a healthy McCarthy if it is to stay at the top of the NL West leaderboard.

Yonder Alonso, 1B, San Diego Padres (CBS: 45 per cent owned, ESPN: 5 per cent): Alonso is finally back in the lineup after spending six weeks on the DL with a fractured hand. We’re expecting a solid second half, so he should be a decent corner infield option in deeper formats.

Jonathan Villar, SS, Houston Astros (CBS: 1 per cent owned, ESPN: unowned): The ‘Stros shortstop situation is far from being settled, much like most of the positions on the Houston roster. Villar, who has 31 thefts at Triple-A Oklahoma City, is worth stashing on your bench in deeper leagues.

RotoRob’s Fantasy Baseball Weekly Podcast

Crave more in-depth Fantasy analysis? Then join us every Thursday at 9 p.m. EST for RotoRob’s Fantasy Baseball Weekly Podcast on Blogtalkradio. Tim McLeod and RotoRob will entertain and edify you for a half hour or more each week. We’ll be back in action on July 25. Tune in here.

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2013 Wire Troll Mid-Season All-Star Team

July 17, 2013 | by Tim McLeod | Comments (0)
Castro has made huge strides this season and is more than deserving to be selected for his first appearance in the mid-summer classic. At his current pace (12 homers, 31 RBI) Castro is set to vault into the top 10 at catcher in 2014.
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The Wire Troll: Josh Phegley Gets His Shot

July 7, 2013 | by Tim McLeod | Comments (1)
Since returning from the DL at the beginning of June, Beckham is accomplishing something that very few ChiSox bats have done lately — he’s actually making contact. The power is still a bit lacking, but in deeper leagues Beckham should be rostered and he should be on the radar in standard formats.
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The Wire Troll: The Return of Johnny Giavotella

June 30, 2013 | by Tim McLeod | Comments Comments Off
Meet your newest addition to the M’s outfield. Ackley is dealing with a thumb injury day-to-day, but he should be back by mid-week.
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The Wire Troll: Eric Young Jr. Gets New Life

June 23, 2013 | by Tim McLeod | Comments Comments Off
The trade from the Rockies to the Mets has given Young a new lease on life. The biggest question mark is whether he can get on-base enough to utilize his speed. The depleted Mets outfield should provide plenty of opportunities for Young to get his game on track (and he got off to a nice start as a Met as you can see in the video below). He did manage to steal 27 bases in only 198 at-bats in 2011, so there is reason for optimism.
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