May 08, 2009

Here's your weekly look at fantasy players to consider.

Jon Niese, New York Mets: Niese, 22, was recalled to take Oliver Perez's spot in the rotation. He doesn't throw hard so he needs to be sharp to win but he is a decent prospect. He does throw in the low-90s sometimes with a good curve and a changeup, with pretty good control. He got hit hard in three September starts with the Mets last year though.

Jeremy Sowers, Cleveland Indians: Sowers, 25, was recalled to join the rotation and might be worth a flier for teams desperate for starters. He is 1-1 with a 2.25 ERA in four starts at AAA Columbus. He had 22 strikeouts, five walks and 23 hits in 24 innings. The opposition is hitting .240 against him. But he got bombed in his first start so there is some risk here.

Dontrelle Willis, Detroit Tigers: Willis will rejoin the rotation next Wednesday at Minnesota with Zach Miner going to the bullpen. Willis had been placed on the disabled list March 29 with anxiety disorder, but he has a 3.55 ERA in two rehab starts with AAA Toledo. Jim Leyland is excited but you should be tentative. Willis struggled terribly last year a variety of injuries, control problems and the anxiety disorder.

George Sherrill's hold on the closer role in Baltimore is tentative. His backup is Chris Ray, who is getting hammered so far. Danys Baez and Jim Johnson, the Orioles' two most consistent relievers this year, are also under consideration. Ray is working on his mechanics while regaining his form following Tommy John surgery.

Matt Capps will miss a few games with some "minor discomfort" in his elbow so John Grabow could be the temporary replacement in Pittsburgh.

Joe Beimel was activated in Washington and Manny Acta said that he initially would be used in the committee of closers with Julián Tavárez and Kip Wells but the manager hopes that Beimel steps up and claims the role.

Chris Coghlan, Florida Marlins: Coghlan, 23, was recalled to perform in a utility role for now. He was batting .348-3-22 at Triple-A. In his last 10 games, he was 20-for-36 (.556) with three homers and 16 RBIs. He plays 2B-3B but this week played left field. Watch how they use him.

Laynce Nix, Cincinnati Reds: Nix, 28, has passed Chris Dickerson for the left field job for now. Dickerson is hitting .218 overall but was hitting .363 over his last four games. Nix is hitting .323 but is not expected to keep up that pace. He has some power (23 homers in 104 Triple-A games last year) but is very streaky and strikes out a lot. This could easily change again.

Juan Pierre, Los Angles Dodgers: Pierre, 31, will play left field for now replacing Manny Ramirez and is worth a pickup if you need speed. He stole 40 bases in part time duty last year while hitting .283. He has no power though. Outfielder Xavier Paul was recalled to replace Manny on the roster. Paul is hitting .344-2-14-8 in 96 at-bats for AAA Albuquerque. If Pierre struggles, Paul could get a shot.

Colby Rasmus, St. Louis Cardinals: Rasmus, 22, will play center field for now with Rick Ankiel on the DL. He is batting .262 in 70 at bats this year but is too young to be counted on for solid production just yet. He batted .251-11-36-15 for AAA Memphis last year.

Clete Thomas, Detroit Tigers: Thomas, 25, played his first two games in left field since his recall and produced but he is not a top prospect and cannot be counted on for consistent production. He batted .234 at Triple-A but has a little value for his speed. He stole 29 bases in the minors lastyear.

Josh Whitesell, Arizona Diamondbacks: Whitesell, 27, was recalled to hopefully add some punch to a struggling lineup. He is hitting .356/.477/.552 for AAA Reno with six doubles, one triple and three home runs in 87 at-bats. Since July 1 of last season, he is hitting .388 with 24 doubles, one triple and 13 home runs in the PCL. He was one of the club's better offensive players in spring training as well.

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