LOS ANGELES, CA - JULY 29: Matt Kemp hits a two-RBI single to center field against the Arizona Diamondbacks in the fourth inning of the game at Dodger Stadium on July 29, 2011 in Los Angeles, California. Kemp has five RBI's through four innings. (Photo by Jeff Golden/Getty Images)
The All Star Break has made this a bit of a weird week, with not a ton of action but some very big names coming off to begin the second half of the season, including the two first round outfielders below.
Jacoby Ellsbury - Our long
national northeastern nightmare is over as Ellsbury was activated before last nights game. You don't sit your first round picks, so get him in all lineups.
Matt Kemp - Kemp has returned for a second time from his hamstring injury, and he's convinced he's good to go this time. We'll see how much it affects his fantasy value as common sense tells us he is unlikely to run as much given the hamstring woes he's had this year. We'll see how much reckless abandon he plays with upon his return. The Dodgers and fantasy owners need to see as much as possible. Get him in all lineups.
More after the jump
Nick Markakis - Markakis is perennially disappointing to fantasy owners as he has never fulfilled the promise he was heading towards after his first couple years in the bigs, but he's a solid player in his own right. He was right on the solid path when he got hurt, posting a 786 OPS.
Lorenzo Cain - Ah, someone on the Royals that's worthwhile. Cain had some hype heading into the season and he only got through about six games before injuring himself. He's been activated and will get major time in centerfield. He has a little pop and good speed and is worth a speculative add if you can spare the roster spot.
Ryan Kalish - Kalish wasn't able to effectively establish himself in his brief time with the injury ravaged BoSox since recovering from his own injury, but he's still someone who could be a useful outfielder in fantasy given the playing time, as he has a little pop and a little speed. Given the Red Sox luck this year, it's likely we see him again, but he'll have to wait as Jacoby Ellsbury has returned and Carl Crawford isn't far off.
Taylor Green - I was hopeful Green could be a useful piece for the Brewers and fantasy owners alike when Mat Gamel went down. Unfortunately he's been worse than bad, and Milwaukee has put us all out of our misery and optioned him to Nashville.
Ryan Dempster - Dempster is back from the DL just in time to get traded to another team. His first start off the DL went well as he logged 5 innings, yielding only 4 hits, and notching 4 K's. He's a plug and play.
Derek Holland - Holland returned from the DL to make a start shortly before the ASB. He was average in his return, though he did get a quality start, giving up 3 runs over 6 innings with a 4/2 K/BB. As inconsistent as he is, I'd feel more comfortable rostering him and then starting him in favorable matchups or when he gets on a roll.
Tyler Thornburg - Thornburg was discussed in previous Seesaw Reports as someone who is talented but due to his small stature struggles to get plane on his fastball and is thus susceptible to home runs. If you can spare the ERA and need strikeouts he's worth a look.
Matt Capps - Capps has returned to seize the oh-so-productive Minnesota closing job. We'll see if Minnesota can move him before the deadline but if you have him, you gotta plug him in and hope for the best.
Justin Grimm - The rookie struggled in his spot starts but he showed potential and has been returned to the minors to work on his craft. He's a name to file away for later.
Brian Fuentes - The greatest thing Fuentes has ever done is spawn the Dirty Fuentes drop on the 06010 podcast. Potentially the second greatest thing he's done is finally get released so we can stop even thinking about him as a dark horse candidate for closer on bad teams. He's supposedly garnering interest as a free agent, so perhaps he lurks on. Ole!