As we slog through the dog days of August, we're seeing that some players are wearing down and are less able to play through injuries, as well as a fresh batch of call ups this week. Let's get to them...
Paul Konerko - Konerko was activated off the 7-day concussion DL and appears to be ready to go. Plug him in.
Pablo Sandoval - Sandoval makes yet another return from the DL and should provide a big boost to the Giantslineup that is really hurting after Melky Cabrera's suspension. The Giants will need him to have a big 6 weeks to compete in the NL West.
Ian Desmond - The nominal all-star returns, and should provide a shot in the arm for fantasy owners during the stretch run. I don't expect him to continue to produce at his previous pace, but I would have said that with an injury or without.
More after the jump...
Trevor Plouffe - Another regression candidate, Plouffe's has real power, but not this kind of power. The in-season add of the year is back and should be in all lineups in the unlikely case he continues at his current pace.
Yasmani Grandal - Grandal's second stint in the majors was a rousing success until he injured his oblique. He wasn't overly successful during his rehab assignment, but if he feels healthy, he's a worthwhile add as he was providing impressive production from the catcher spot.
Rob Brantly - Brantly introduced himself to many a fantasy owner in the 2012 Futures game where he went 1-3. He subsequently was dealt from Detroit to Miami in the Anibal Sanchez deal and produced even more for Miami than he did for Detroit (in the minors). Miami has called him up, and his battery mate and fellow tradee Jacob Turner won't be far behind. I wouldn't expect much from him immediately but he has a nice offensive profile for a catcher. I snagged him off waivers in my 20-team dynasty league as a long term asset.
Johnny Giavotella - This oughta make Rany happy. Giavotella isn't much of a second baseman defensively, but he profiles nicely at the position and the Royals are right to see what they have in him as opposed to knowing what they have in Chris Getz. Giavotella could be a nice little player at a position with scarce production, providing a solid average and little else that could hurt you. He's a nice placeholder.
Melky Cabrera - We all know the story by now. Instead I'll link you to an article I really liked on the situation.
Mike Napoli - Napoli has been a serious disappointment outside of a nice 10 day run he had sometime around May (based off of memory, sorry if the dates are wrong). That said, it's never helpful when you lose someone with his potential for offensive production this late in the game. Hopefully landing on the DL gives him time to cure what ails both his body and his bat.
Will Middlebrooks - Another major inseason addition for many a contending team, Middlebrooks went down due to an errant pitch that resulted in a broken wrist. He could return this season, but wrist injuries are often a drain on powers numbers even after a player in healthy.
Andrew Bailey - Bailey makes his long-awaited return, but I don't see him challenging Aceves as closer just yet. They're still going to be careful with the brittle Bailey, and ease him in. I could see him getting a few save chances, but it doesn't do the Red Sox any good to restore his "value" since he's a FA at the end of the season.
Tommy Hanson - Hanson has had an up and down year, never really looking like the guy he used to be. Rumors of a serious shoulder issue persist and he's had flashes of brilliance and bouts of wildness throughout the year. I wouldn't trust him if I could avoid it and would try foisting him off on someone else even at a discount, if your league still allows trading.
Roberto Hernandez - Speaking of people you can't trust, here's Fauxsto Carmona himself. The new Roberto Hernandez should probably mean as much to you as the old one did. While he didn't walk anyone in his debut, he didn't strike anyone out, and if I had to guess the walks could outnumber the strikeouts this year. Avoid avoid avoid.
CC Sabathia - The reliably healthy Sabathia has been anything but this year, landing on the DL for a second time on the year. It's a doubly hard blow for fantasy owners as he generally gets stronger as the year goes on. David Phelps is replacing him in the rotation and isn't a horrible replacement option in the short-term, as he should post decent strikeouts and have a chance to win every time out.