Mar 4, 2012; Bradenton, FL, USA; Pittsburgh Pirates rookie center fielder Starling Marte (64) hits the ball to left field during the game against the Toronto Blue Jays at McKechnie Field. The Blue Jays defeated the Pirates 8-5. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-US PRESSWIRE
Another busy week for injured players and prospect call ups. Let's take a look at the most important ones:
Starling Marte - A less heralded prospect call up than Matt Harvey, Marte homered on the first pitch he saw as a major leaguer. He has both power and speed in his repertoire, but lacks plate discipline and struggles to identify pitches. He could provide nice numbers but struggle in average/OPS.
Jon Lucroy - Lucroy has healed from the suitcase falling on his hand, and looks to continue his torrid start. Let's hope he gets someone else to pack his bags for him.
More after the jump...
Justin Morneau - Morneau was activated from the DL and might not be long for the Twins roster. He's mashed against righties, but his performance against lefties has dragged down his overall line. If you can employ him as a platoon player do so, otherwise he might not be worth his name.
Mike Carp - Carp replaces Justin Smoak after an unimpressive rehab performance. He has produced in his last few games though and has had productive stretches in the past. He's best left alone in all but deeper leagues.
Vernon Wells - No. Just no.
Ian Desmond - Nominal all-star Ian Desmond was said to have an oblique injury while continuing to play at an all-star level. Turns out they weren't kidding as he had to head to the disabled list with a torn left oblique. Oblique injuries are rarely returned from quickly, so you'd best be looking for alternatives. Marco Scutaro should be available and should have a starting job in San Francisco.
Alex Rodriguez - By now you know the details. Rodriguez was hit by a Felix Rodriguez pitch and broke his hand. He will be out 4-6 weeks. Rodriguez has proven to be a quick healer in the past, and could be back at the early end of that timetable.
Erick Aybar - Aybar broke his toe and had the Angels waiting to see whether he would need to be placed on the DL. He did indeed and his immediate replacement was shipped off as part of the package for Zack Greinke. That leaves Andrew Romine (brother of Austin) to fill the void along with Maicer Izturis. If I had to pick one, I'd go with Izturis.
Justin Smoak - This was a long time coming, and teammate and starcrossed prospect Dustin Ackley might not be far behind. Smoak was demoted in favor of a thoroughly mediocre Mike Carp (who has had some nice games of late). We will see if he can right himself in Triple-A, though he's going to need to get better at identifying breaking pitches. If all he does is hit Triple-A fastballs then he won't succeed at the next level. He's only worth holding if your league employs a minor league system.
Luke Scott - A surprise to me that it was an oblique injury and not "ugly beard" that landed Scott on the DL, he had recently begun to hit and hit well before coming down with this injury. Oblique injuries take on average 34 days to heal, so for those of you in shallow leagues, it would make sense to drop Scott altogether, as he likely won't be back before September.
Steve Pearce - Hopefully affecting only those of you in deep leagues, Pearce made some noise as a Pirates prospect, but had not been able to translate that success to the majors. He'll likely get another look at some point, but for now, he's been DFA'd.
Dan Haren - Haren finally relented to his back injury and took some time to rest. Upon his return last night he pitched very effectively and seems safe to plug in to all lineups.
Matt Harvey - Harvey had a stellar professional debut, notching 11 strikeouts in 5.1 innings, and going 2-2 at the plate to boot. He looks to stick in the Mets rotation for now, but 3 straight poor starts could send him back to the minors. He's worth grabbing in all formats for his strikeout upside, but beware of the risk involved as well.
Chad Billingsley - Billingsley is consistently frustrating, but perhaps we just need to recalibrate our expectations. He is another who will mix in a few good starts and a few clunkers with consistently mediocre performance. Billingsley had a good one in his first start back from the DL, and is tossing against SF tonight in a positive matchup. I find it best to just close my eyes and use his solid numbers at the end of the year, because watching start to start will make you cringe.
*UPDATE* - Note that Meek was sent down to accommodate Starling Marte's spot on the active roster. Thanks to comment JW4 for the note.
Johan Santana - Santana suffered a sprained right ankle and should return by mid-August, as he's already throwing.