Here's your weekly look at fantasy players to consider.
Antonio Bastardo, Philadelphia Phillies: Bastardo, 23, looked good in his first start and will remain in the rotation for now. He was 3-2 with a 1.89 ERA in 11 games, seven of the starts with AAA Lehigh Valley and AA Reading.
He throws a low-90s fastball, slider and changeup (his best pitch). Keep an eye on him
Kelvim Escobar, Los Angeles Angels: Escobar will be activated to start Saturday in Detroit despite struggling in his rehab. He gave up five runs in five innings for AAA Salt Lake on Monday after two starts for Class-A Rancho Cucamonga. The good news is that he was throwing at 93-94 mph throughout.
Tommy Hanson, Atlanta Braves: Hanson, 22, will be recalled from AAA Gwinnett to start Saturday against Milwaukee. He has a 1.49 ERA and .169 opponents' batting average, with 90 strikeouts and 17 walks in 66 innings.
He throws four pitches for strikes (fastball, curve, slider, changeup) and was chosen to start over veteran Tom Glavine who was released. Hanson throws in the low-90s but still needs a bit of work on his command. NL-only leagues should grab him, especially those in a rebuilding mode.
Luke Hochevar, Kansas City Royals: Hochevar, 25, was recalled again to join the rotation. He went 0-2 with a 10.80 ERA in three starts in an earlier recall so you'll have to be careful with him. He was 5-1 with a 1.50 ERA in eight starts for AAA Omaha. He posted a 5.51 ERA in 22 starts for KC last year, but claims he has better focus this season. He throws hard with a good slider and improved mechanics that helped his command. He was the No. 1 overall in 2006.
Matt Maloney, Cincinnati Reds: Maloney, 25, will be recalled to start on Saturday. He is a finesse lefty with a decent curve and change but has to be sharp to win. He is also a flyball pitcher. He is 4-3 with a 2.00 ERA and 58 strikeouts in 67 innings at AAA Louisville. Not a top prospect but could win a few games if he maintains his command. Watch him.
Vin Mazzaro, Oakland Athletics: Mazzaro, 22, looked good in his first start and will remain in the rotation for now. He was 2-2 with a 2.38 ERA in 10 games, including nine starts, with 44 strikeouts and 17 walks in 56 2/3 innings. He is a sinker-slider pitcher but his secondary stuff is marginal.
Keep an eye on him.
Gordon Beckham, Chicago White Sox: Beckham, 22, hit a combined .326 with 23 doubles, four home runs and 25 RBIs in 45 games this season with AAA Charlotte and AA Birmingham. "If we were completely solid with what we were getting offensively and defensively, we wouldn't have made the move," GM Ken Williams told reporters. Drafted as a shortstop, he was moved to third base several weeks ago, which is where he will play for the Sox according to manager Ozzie Guillen. Grade B+
Carlos Gonzalez, Colorado Rockies: Gonzalez, 23, was hot at AAA Colorado Springs (.339 with 10 home runs, 12 doubles, seven triples and 59 RBI) and will see action at all three outfield spots. He should play enough to be considered in NL-only leagues. He batted .242-4-26-4 with Oakland last year.
Ryan Spilborghs and Seth Smith will lose the most playing time for now.
Andrew McCutchen, Pittsburgh Pirates: McCutchen, 22, was recalled to play center field after the trade of Nate McLouth. He has leadoff skills and should be good for some stolen bases. He has a strong work ethic and the Bucs think he'll develop 15-home run power as he matures. He hit well for AAA Indianapolis (.30-4-20-10 with 10 doubles, 8 triples) and should be considered in most formats.
Will Venable, San Diego Padres: Venable, 26, was recalled from AAA Portland but it is unclear how much playing time he will receive. He was batting .260-12-30 in 200 at-bats but is not a top prospect. He hit .264 with two homers in 110 at-bats for the Padres last year while playing center field.
Dennis LePore is the head writer and editor of the Sandlot Shrink, a group of sportswriters with a direct pipeline to general managers, managers, coaches, players and scouts in Baseball, Football and Basketball. LePore's columns have appeared in several national newspapers, web sites and magazines over the years. At the Shrink site, he combines scouting reports and statistical data to develop his player rankings and dollar values. LePore is also the author of the Shrink's two annual books, the Fantasy Baseball Insider and the Fantasy Football Insider.