The Sandlot Shrink

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Another week of trades, injuries and callups have made for a busy waiver wire. Let's check out the latest ...

Clayton Kershaw, Los Angeles Dodgers: Kershaw, 20, was again recalled to join the roattion. If he maintains his command this time, he could stick. He got bombed in his first start back though. He was 0-2 with a 4.42 ERA in eight starts but was sent down in July. He made three starts for AA Jacksonville, going 2-0 with a 1.00 ERA. He throws in the mid-to-high 90s with a curve and change. Grade A for the future but could be risky this year.

David Purcey, Toronto Blue Jays: Purcey, 26, joins the rotation as the fifth starter. He improved his control and went 8-6 with a 2.69 ERA and 121/34 K/BB ratio for AAA Syracuse. He throws in the low-90s with a sharp curve but his changeup and control are iffy. He posted a 5.54 ERA in the minors the last two years. Risky.

Clayton Richard, Chicago White Sox: Richard, 24, has a 2.37 ERA in six AAA Charlotte starts after a promotion from AA. Overall, he is 12-6 with a 2.44 ERA at AA Birmingham and Charlotte. He throws a sinker in the high-80s with just an average curve and change but has very good control. He posted a 3.63 ERA in the minors last year. Risky.

Jeff Samardzija, Chicago Cubs: Samardzija was recalled. He is 4-1 with a 3.13 ERA in six starts since a promotion to AAA Iowa. He also has 40 strikeouts and just 16 walks in 37 1/3. he throws in the low-90s with a curve and change but all of his pitches can be erratic at times. He could go in the rotation but that hasn't been decided yet. Risky.

Rick VandenHurk, Florida Marlins: VandenHurk, 23, began the season in the rotation but was demoted after two terrible starts (11.81 ERA). He has been pitching better at Carolina, where he is 3-3 with a 4.22 ERA. He throws in the low-90s but his command and secondary stuff still need a little work.

Joel Hanrahan, Washington Nationals: Hanrahan, 26, is the first choice as the new closer. He has a 3.94 ERA with 65 strikeouts in 59 2/3 innings but needs to improve his control. In the past four weeks, he has a 1.80 ERA in 13 appearances. He's worth grabbing. Luis Ayala, Jesus Colome and Saul Rivera all could be options if Harahan fails. He posted a 6.00 ERA in 51 innings for the Nats last year.

Carlos Marmol, Chicago Cubs: Marmol will close with Kerry Wood out a week or so.

The Diamondbacks acquired reliever Jon Rauch from Washington as insurance for Brandon Lyon. He'll likely pitch setup relief for now with Tony Pena and Chad Qualls also in the mix. Rauch had 17 saves in 22 chances, posting a 2.98 ERA in 48 1/3 innings for the Nationals. The tallest pitcher in major-league history at 6-foot-11, he throws a low-90s fastball with a slider, curveball and change-up. He will likely close when Lyons leaves via free agency next year, if not sooner.

Cleveland's bullpen is a mix of struggling youngsters so they might have to go outside the organization to find a closer over the winter. Rafael Perez struggled earlier but is back to last year's dominant form, but the Tribe would rather he pitch setup. Rafael Betancourt is still struggling with his confidence and command, and Jensen Lewis has yet to rediscover his velocity and command from last season. Masa Kobayashi is 6-for-8 in save situations, but has been inconsistent.

The Rays think that hard-throwing Grant Balfour has the stuff to be groomed as the team's future closer. Balfour, 30, went 4-for-4 in save chances this season and leads all major-league relievers in strikeouts per nine innings (13.89) and opponent batting average (.130).

The Padres' Clay Hensley says he's got his sinker and slider back from his successful season in 2005. He had a procedure last September to repair a slight tear in his labrum and the pain returned a few months ago -- luckily just from scar tissue. He rejoined AAA Portland and had no other setbacks. The Padres moved him into the starting rotation later in the year.

Jamie D'Antona, Arizona Diamondbacks: The 26 year-old C/1B/3B was hitting .367 at AAA Tucson and will be used in a reserve capacity. In 92 games for Tucson, he hit 31 doubles, 17 home runs and 67 RBIs.

Mitch Maier, Kansas City Royals: Maier, 26, was batting .316-9-41 in 85 games for AAA Omaha. The left-hand hitting former prospect will play center field and is worth a pickup in AL-only leagues.

Alex Romero, Arizona Diamondbacks: Romero, 24, will play right field with while Justin Upton's out but he doesn't have a lot of power. He batted .310 with five home run s at AAA last year. Worth a flier in NL-only formats.

Ian Stewart, Colorado Rockies: Stewart, 23, will play mostly at third base while Garrett Atkins moves to first. Stewart is a streaky, unpredictable hitter with power. He batted .218 with three home runs in 56 previous at bats with the Rockies. He was then sent down when he struggled to make contact (28 strikeouts). "I am trying to quiet everything down and use my hands more," he said. "I am excited to get in there at my natural position." He was hitting .281-12-43 for AAA Colorado Springs. Worth a pickup in most formats.