While the All-Star break is fast approaching, it’s not break time yet. I’ll look at some news from around the league and how it will impact fantasy baseball in the second half.
As those of you who’ve been reading me since April know, I am a pretty big fan of Philip Hughes—all Mets allegiances aside. After two major league starts, Hughes was placed on the disabled list and has been MIA since then. Hughes will be making his first rehab start on Monday and could rejoin the Yankees during the first week of August. Time to put Hughes back on your radar, folks. If you have an empty DL slot, it might be worth stashing him now. He should be an above-average fantasy starter while he’s healthy.
Bill Hall left today’s game with an apparent high ankle sprain. Hall could be out up to two months, which would devastate his fantasy value. It would, however, help a few other Brewers. Corey Hart is the one I’m most excited about. If he can log a few games in center field, he will become eligible there in certain leagues. His already solid value would get a boost from being eligible at all three outfield positions. If Hart does play some center, Kevin Mench should expect to see more at-bats. Tony Gwynn Jr. could get called back up and might have a little value in NL-only leagues, and Gabe Gross might pick up a few more ABs as well.
Nick Johnson, at one time expected to return in the middle of June, still does not have an expected return date. Had he been healthy to start the year, he would been one of my favorite sleepers. It’s a shame to see him still experiencing pain in his leg, and he’ll be seeing a specialist this week for it. Keep watching him, but it’ll be tough for him to have much value this year unless he gets some good news fast.
Another former Yankee, Juan Rivera, is also on the mend. He could be back by the end of the month and should be a decent fantasy option for the final two months of the season. I’ll examine him more closely as his return approaches.
Al Reyes was placed on the DL by the Devil Rays. He’ll be eligible to return on July 18. Until then (or until they realize he’s not very good), Gary Glover will serve as closer. The D-Rays don’t have a lot of better options, so Glover will have to do. Hopefully, though, he won’t have to do for your fantasy team. His line so far: 5.14 K/9 | 3.00 BB/9 | 1.17 K/BB | 40% GB.
The Devil Rays have created only 28 save opportunities so far this year—tied for seventh worst in baseball. I normally say that all closers deserve to be owned in all leagues, but Glover might be an exception when you combine his few opportunities with his poor skills. Because of his few opportunities, though, even if he blows a few saves and gives up some runs it shouldn’t impact your team’s stats much. I’ll still give the green light on owning him in all leagues, but be aware he might provide a bit of negative value.
Mark Teixeira is getting close to returning. He could begin a rehab assignment next week and could be back with the team by next weekend. If you still can buy low on him, it might be a good idea. He could be traded though and, depending on where he goes, might lose a little value.
Rich Harden is expected to rejoin Oakland’s rotation Saturday. Keep a close watch on his control. It was poor last year as he went on and off the DL, although pretty good in his three starts this year. He’ll rack up the Ks, and Harden should be owned in all leagues, if he isn’t already. I wouldn’t recommend trading for him simply because he is so injury prone. There are better buy low options.
I’ll be back tomorrow with the Waiver Wire.