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For fantasy players, the Pirates' dealings on Tuesday may open up as many opportunities for players not involved in the deals as the players who were traded.
The trades create more playing time for Delwyn Young in right field for the Pirates. Young has performed well when not reduced to a pinch-hitting role, and he's hit .318 with a .392 on-base percentage this season. The 27-year-old also has found a little more pop in his bat that he may start tapping into. Pittsburgh also called up 28-year-old minor league journeyman Garrett Jones, and indications are that he could be given a chance to win at least a share of the job in left field, especially as Brandon Moss has been underwhelming this year. He hit .308 with 12 homers and 14 steals at Triple-A, and spent a few years being blocked in the Twins organization before almost winning a job with the Pirates out of spring training. Jeff Salazar will also be called up on Wednesday to serve as a backup outfielder.
Milledge, now with his third team, gets another chance at a fresh start, after stints with his previous two clubs were clouded with immaturity and off-field issues, and shoddy defensive play. He's been rehabbing a broken index finger in rookie-level ball and is expected to continue his rehab at Triple-A in about a week. If he performs well, expect the Pirates to keep him there just a short time because he likely wouldn't be coming up to sit. A player who put up 14 homers and 24 steals last season would certainly be of interest in fantasy leagues if that happens again.
Hanrahan, who lost his job as Washington's closer twice this year, isn't in line for saves in Pittsburgh with Matt Capps entrenched in the role. However, he could compete with lefty John Grabow for some late-inning setup work.
For the Nationals, Morgan will be in the lineup every day in center field, and should continue to do what he's been doing. Elijah Dukes will now need to share outfield time with a hot-hitting Josh Willingham, limiting his fantasy utility, and Willie Harris will see a lot more time on the bench. Although the Nats expect to use Burnett in a middle-relief role, there is talk they could convert him back to starting.
Hinske is expected to be a bench bat in the Bronx, with his versatility allowing him to step into the corner infield or outfield positions as needed.
• Adrian Gonzalez left Tuesday's game with a strained right knee suffered on a slide into third. The Padres' first baseman remained in the game for a few pitches before exiting, and will be re-evaluated Wednesday. "It's too soon to tell," manager Bud Black told the team's Web site. "We'll see how it resolves overnight. There's some soreness. He tweaked some muscles around the knee. We'll see how it sets up over night." Expect Kyle Blanks to see more playing time if Gonzalez is sidelined for an extended period.
• Mark DeRosa felt a "little tweak" in his wrist during an at-bat on Tuesday, and told the Associated Press, "It just didn't feel right." He is going to be re-evaluated on Wednesday, and manager Tony LaRussa suggested he might have a sprain. It doesn't sound too serious for now, but it is something that may cause him to miss a few games. Stay tuned to see how this plays out. DeRosa is hitless in nine at-bats since being traded to the Cardinals.
• Martin Prado went 4-for-5 with 4 RBIs for the Braves on Tuesday, and manager Bobby Cox told the AP after the game that as long as Prado's groin injury doesn't flare up, he'll continue to be the starting second baseman ahead of Kelly Johnson. Prado can hit for average, but not much else, if he gets regular playing time.
• Ichiro Suzuki stole three bases on Tuesday, giving him 16 for the season, but that was the second-highest total of the night. Rangers' shortstop Elvis Andrus swiped four. Andrus is now 15-for-16 on the base paths this season, and has bumped his average up to .269. He's still unowned in more than 40 percent of ESPN leagues.
• Scott Richmond hurled a quality start in a loss to Matt Garza (who turned in yet another good outing), and Richmond's ERA stands at 3.69 and WHIP at 1.20 while striking out better than seven batters per nine innings. Unlike Garza, he's still out there in 80 percent of ESPN leagues.
• For the first time all year, Scott Baker has his ERA under five after allowing one run over five frames in a win on Tuesday. Baker has steadily been bringing his ERA down recently. He had a 3.41 mark and a WHIP under one in the month of June.
• Mike Hampton held the Padres to four hits and one run in six innings in his return from the disabled list with a groin injury, and he retired eight of the final 10 batters that he faced. The Astros, wanting to keep Felipe Paulino as a starter, have announced they will go with a six-man rotation for now.
• Grady Sizemore likely needs elbow surgery after the season, which could put his availability in jeopardy later in the season. With the Indians out of it, the team, and Sizemore, may eventually decide to have the surgery sooner rather than later and shut him down early. That's just speculation, but it is at least a possibility.
• Carlos Beltran got some good news. The second opinion on his right knee confirmed the diagnosis of a bone bruise, not something that would require microfracture surgery. There is still no timetable for his return, as he will rest until he is pain free, but it does give some hope for his availability at some point in the second half.
Gordon Beckham, White Sox
There were some rumblings that Beckham's lineup spot might be in jeopardy if he didn't step up this week. It's not likely anymore after Beckham's second straight three-hit night, this one coming with a homer, two RBIs and two runs scored. Beckham has 10 hits in his past five games, raising his average almost 100 points to .267, and insuring his spot in the lineup.
Jason Marquis, Rockies
Marquis continued his remarkable run with a two-hit shutout against the Dodgers, issuing no walks and striking out three to win his 10th game and drop his ERA to 3.87. Sure, he's not quite this good, and the strikeout rate isn't anything special, but he probably needs to be owned in more than 27 percent of ESPN leagues.
Tuesday night's win over the Red Sox was the largest comeback in Orioles' franchise history. Baltimore trailed 10-1 entering the home half of the seventh inning before winning 11-10. The nine-run answer from the Orioles was also the biggest ever comeback by a last-place team over a first-place team, and obscured the fact that Rich Hill now has a 10.42 ERA in his last five starts.
• The Red Sox placed Mike Lowell on the DL with his ailing hip, and the hope is that he will be ready to go when he becomes eligible right after the All-Star break. Even then, expect him to get regular rest over the duration of the season. Kevin Youkilis will shift to third with Mark Kotsay and Jeff Bailey manning first base for the time being.
• Mariners third baseman, Adrian Beltre, officially went on the DL as he underwent surgery Tuesday for a bone spur in his shoulder. He is expected to be sidelined six to eight weeks. Chris Woodward is expected to see more time in the lineup as a result, but is not a fantasy asset.
• The Mariners also made the expected promotion of new acquisition Ryan Langerhans, who is expected to see time at the corner outfield spots and first base. Langerhans is a career .233 hitter with 24 homers in 474 games, so he shouldn't be of interest to fantasy players.
• The Diamondbacks activated Chad Tracy from the DL after he missed a month with an oblique injury, and he is expected to see regular at-bats at first against right-handed pitching. He could still have some decent value the rest of the year in NL-only leagues.
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AJ Mass: Well, they're both mighty valuable. If this is a keeper league for just one year, it's closer; if it's a keeper league for multiple years, I'm easily saying Upton. The difference between them, obviously, is speed, which makes me answer Upton anyway. But Bay is going to make himself a whole lot of money this winter, and he'll deserve it.
-- Full chat transcript
Brendan Roberts: I don't think he will. I think he'll be tentative and not as aggressive on the basepaths, which is the primary reason you have him. He probably won't be 100 percent until next season, especially given his history of hammy troubles. People tend to forget he missed a ton of games early in his career with major hamstring problems. He had a run of good health then, and people forgot. I didn't. I fear these hamstring pulls might become recurring and/or more serious in nature when they do happen.
-- Full chat transcript
Tuesday's fantasy chat schedule:
Tristan H. Cockcroft, 11 a.m. ET
Eric Karabell, 3 p.m. ET
• Cardinals third base prospect Brett Wallace went 3-for-4 with his second homer in three games. He continues his hot run after a slow start upon being promoted to Triple-A. Wallace is now hitting .291 in 44 games since moving up a level, but has hit .447 (17-for-38) in his past 10 contests. The trade for DeRosa would mean the Cards don't have to rush Wallace -- provided that DeRosa's wrist checks out OK -- but at the very least, Wallace looks like he's on track to be their starter at the hot corner on Opening Day in 2010.
• Speaking of hot bats at Triple-A, Cameron Maybin's stick has started to catch fire after a rough beginning when he was demoted earlier this season. Maybin went 3-for-4 with a steal on Tuesday, and has hit .382 in June to bring his average up to .331 on the season. He's only hit one homer and stolen just five bases in 40 games, so he's not quite the full package of fantasy goodness just yet.
• Did you know that Josh Beckett has allowed zero earned runs in four of his five starts this month? Granted, he allowed six in the other outing, but still that's an impressive run of pitching he takes into a matchup with the Orioles as the Sox seek to bounce back from a blowing a nine-run lead on Tuesday. In fact, Beckett has allowed zero earned runs in five of his last seven trips to the mound, showing that sometimes we can't put too much stock in April numbers; Beckett had a 7.22 ERA at the end of that month.
• Beckett will be opposed by a pitcher who has been quietly effective recently, Baltimore's Brad Bergesen, who has four wins, a 2.23 ERA and a 0.88 WHIP over his past six starts. You'll take those numbers in any league. It took a little bit for the righty to find his command at the big league level, but the results have been worth the wait. He's owned in less than 4 percent of standard ESPN leagues.
• For more on Wednesday's games, check Daily Notes.