This was a BIG week for minor league call ups, so without delay, let's see who is available:
Manny Machado - Machado gets the call despite a seemingly pedestrian .266/.352/.438 slash line at Double-A. Factor in his age relative to his competition and that line gets a whole lot more impressive. While he played two games in his career at 3B, he had been working out there before games quite a lot recently. He introduced himself to the world last night with two home runs (and had a triple in his debut). I think he can be adequate at the major league level, but will be hard pressed to separate himself from other third baseman in all but the deepest of leagues. He's a must pick up for keeper/dynasty leagues though.
Evan Longoria - Longoria is back and while he's not 100% or playing third base at the moment, he is playing most of his games, which can only be a good thing for fantasy owners. Not like you need me to tell you, but get him in all lineups immediately.
Giancarlo Stanton - Back from the DL, I'd plug him in as soon as I could. Stanton is a favorite of mine but even I am beginning to be concerned about the problems he's had in both knees this year. He's produced a ton when healthy and when he feels good, but I'm starting to worry about how often that will be and wouldn't want to live with the constant concern that a knee could act up on him at any given time. If you're in a keeper or dynasty I would explore trading him after a hot streak. I wouldn't discount him but if someone is willing to pay full price, I would probably move him.
More after the jump...
Jean Segura - In a heavy week for callups, Segura almost got overlooked. The former Halos prospect arrived in Milwaukee in the Zack Greinke deal and put in a good week at Double-A Huntsville before receiving the call. Replacing the void left in the organization when Alcides Escobar was dealt is going to be tough task for Segura, but I think he can come close. He won't provide the defense, but he has a bit of pop and can run. I snagged him in a 16 team league to play the MI position, though my team is admittedly terrible there. I like him better for the future than I do as a contributor this year.
Brett Jackson - Jackson is the type of player that gets fans excited by his slash line but elicits a lot of concern from scouts. Jackson posted a 817 OPS in Triple-A this year while stealing 27 bases. This following an OPS north of 900 in a cameo at Triple-A last year, is enough to get anyone excited. The issue is both the offensive environments in Triple-A parks as well as his stunning K% of 33.8. That's an Adam Dunn-ian strikeout rate (and I mean the last two years of Dunn, not All-Star Dunn), and Jackson just doesn't have the power to back something like that up. We've seen his proclivity for the K come to fruition thus far in the majors, and I wouldn't expect it to stop anytime soon.
Josh Vitters - Owner of one of the sweetest right handed swings you'll ever see, Vitters shows you that swing often. Never one to walk much in the minors, Vitters doesn't have one in 15 at-bats thus far in the majors either. He was having a resurgent season at Triple-A, but if you'll notice a theme, the offensive environments there are conducive to resurgent seasons. He's a nominal third baseman, who can play the position adequately to slightly below, but would probably profile better defensively across the diamond. The issue is his bat would not play at first base as it barely plays at third. We'll see if Vitters can make enough contact to hit, but this is likely the Cubs just seeing what they have in him as opposed to making him their third baseman of the present and future. You're safe ignoring him in shallow and deep leagues alike.
Adeiny Hechevarria - Hechevarria has posted impressive numbers in the launching pad that is Las Vegas and has a reputation for being one of the better defenders at shortstop. He's filling in at third base for now though, and his bat is nearly ready for your fantasy lineups or the major leagues. He's safe to avoid in all leagues.
Carlos Ruiz - Chooch has plantar fasciitis in his left foot, which is a problem for anyone, but I imagine an even bigger one for a catcher. He's been a revelation this season, but this is an issue that tends to linger. I'd feel comfortable dropping him for a healthy backstop if you don't have the DL spot to carry him in.
Michael Cuddyer - A jack of all trades for your fantasy lineup, Cuddyer has a strained oblique and as I'm getting tired of writing and you're likely getting tired of reading, we know if often takes a little over a month for oblique injuries to heal, on average. Given how late we are in the season, I could see dropping Cuddyer in shallow enough leagues for instant production, but I would prefer to try to hold on to him. He has 2B eligibility in most leagues and that's usually tough to replace.
Brett Lawrie - On the Dl with an oblique injury, you know the refrain on that. His in house replacement is talked about above, but I would search elsewhere to get production at 3B.
Tony Campana - Finally an entry on this list who isn't hurt, Campana just plain isn't very good. He can run, and run fast, but he's an extra piece on the team and the Cubs are seeing what they have in the aforementioned Brett Jackson. This is a tough one for fantasy owners to swallow as they likely didn't care if Campana was good at baseball as long as he could go steal bases, but it makes sense from a real life perspective.
Brandon McCarthy - McCarthy was activated last night, and if he was on your team, you'd best be using him. If he's available on the wire I would use him in match up plays or until he proves he's right.
Matt Garza - The popular trade candidate was found to have fluid in his elbow shortly before the deadline and while the Cubs thought he could work through it, they held him out and rightly put him on the DL once he was found to have a stress reaction in his right elbow.
AJ Griffin - Griffin hits the DL with a strained right shoulder, and while he's not a hard thrower in the first place, you knew something was wrong when he pumped in an 83 MPH fastball in his last start. He's been mostly a matchup or home ballpark play, but it's tough to see any young pitcher get hurt. There should be options similar to Griffin out on most waiver wires.
Christian Friedrich - Friedrich wowed everybody with his first couple starts in the majors as people who hadn't heard of him were saying "who is this guy?" and people who had followed him closely were saying "who is this guy?" or "is it 2009? What just happened?" That's because Friedrich had been below average at best since a stellar 2009 season that his split between Lo- and Hi-A, and he was putting up numbers similar to that in his first two big league appearances. Well he's thoroughly been the pitcher he was in 2010-11 the rest of the way, dragging his overall ERA down (up?) to 6.17. He has a stress fracture in his lower back, so we wish him all the best.
I know I missed Jonathan Sanchez, but I don't think we can classify what he's been doing this year as "pitching," so there wasn't a category to put him in..