Marc is on vacation, but wrote this week's edition of Don't Believe the Hype a few days early. His apologies for any out-of-date statistics, including ownership rates.
The moment we all picked up Franklin Morales, the Red Sox were all "lol jkjk" and removed him from the rotation. Keep an eye out for if he gets another chance, as Boston hasn't ruled it out, and he was fantastic in his first foray back into starting since 2009. Jair Jurrjens is doing his best to prove the idea that luck really is cyclical, as he's been destroyed for much of 2012, and now the Braves might be going out of their way to find a replacement for him in the rotation. It might not be Ryan Dempster, but it could be someone -- Jurrjens isn't safe until he's alone in that fifth spot late Tuesday afternoon. Feel free to drop either with the rest of the crowd for now.
As for the adds...
Josh Rutledge, SS (34 percent owned, +29 percent): With Troy Tulowitzki out due to surgery in late June, someone has to play shortstop in Colorado. (Read: take advantage of the altitude while at the plate.) The 23-year-old Rutledge has done just that, hitting .341/.364/.634 with a homer and eight extra-base hits in his first 11 games and 44 plate appearances.
Rutledge was a third-round pick in the 2010 draft, but has just killed the ball in High- and Double-A the last two seasons, posting a 931 OPS last year, and an 846 mark this season before his promotion to the bigs. He's unlikely to be some kind of huge start at short, but as a short-term solution who gets a bit of an inherent advantage over other shortstops simply based on his environment, Rutledge is an interesting piece to keep an eye on. As you can see, though he's already quite popular, all things considered.
Paul Maholm, SP (41 percent owned, +22 percent): Maholm is doing his best to make up for a poor start to the season, and his ownership rates have shot up recently because of it. His ERA is now down to 3.88, his K/BB up to 2.5, and it's all due to a July in which he's posted a 1.20 ERA for 30 innings. Now, granted, he's not going to pitch like this forever. But Maholm should have been a bit better in Chicago than he's been in Pittsburgh (at least, the previous, poor fielding version of Pittsburgh), and until recently, things hadn't worked like that. He's back to around where he should be, though, and in deeper leagues, that makes him worth a look.
Casper Wells, OF (19 percent owned, +16 percent): Wells' overall season isn't exactly awe-inspiring, but since his return to the majors on June 13, the outfielder has hit .271/.333/.466 in spite of Safeco's pitcher-friendly dimensions. He's finally back, rate-wise, to where his career numbers sit, but as good as he's been as of late, he's still just someone you want to be focusing on in very deep formats. You can do much better than this in your standard mixed formats.
Travis Snider, LF (17 percent owned, +11 percent): In the 17 plate appearances since his return to the big leagues, Travis Snider has been hitting, but the most important part of that statement comes during its first half. Snider has never hit very much in the majors for any kind of sustained time period, and his 2012 numbers at Triple-A Las Vegas don't inspire confidence on their own: Snider wouldn't be the first hitter to see some success in that joke of an environment, and he's mashed there before, too. We won't know what Snider has to offer until he has more of a chance to show us himself, and for that reason, you won't see me jumping on him just because his first week back went fine.
Matt Harvey, SP (28 percent, +11 percent): There's been some will they or won't they on the Mets and Matt Harvey the last couple of weeks, but he's here in the majors now after a pretty solid 100-plus frames in Triple-A. There's some concern about his control, as he walked nearly four batters per nine innings while in Buffalo, but he continued to show the swing-and-miss stuff that he's displayed since he was drafted. He was Baseball America's #54 prospect heading into 2012, and if your league waits until prospects are called up to pounce on them, this might be one worth checking out.
Steve Lombardozzi, 2B/3B/LF (8 percent owned, +3 percent): With Ian Desmond hitting the DL in Washington, Lombardozzi looks to get much more playing time in Washington. As AL- and NL-only veterans know, sometimes, playing time is enough. Lombardozzi hasn't hit very much at all, though, and has played in 76 games, so maybe that concept doesn't always fit.
Eric Chavez, 3B (4 percent owned, +1 percent): Chavez has been a part-time player, but unless the Yankees call-up or trade for a new third base option with Alex Rodriguez out with a broken hand, he'll be seeing a lot more playing time.