Sandlot Shrink: Watch for Cecil, Frasor, Blanks, Downs and others
Here's your weekly look at fantasy players to consider:
• Brett Cecil, Toronto Blue Jays: Cecil, 22, was recalled to make a start or two in place of Roy Halladay. He was 2-1 with a 4.38 ERA in four starts last May for the Jays and 1-5 with a 5.69 ERA for Triple A Las Vegas. The 2007 second-round pick is an excellent prospect, but might be a bit young to count on right now. He went 8-5 combined in 108 innings in the minors last year with a k/bb 118/39 ratio. He is a sinker-slider pitcher with an improving changeup. Good pickup for the future.
• Alfredo Figaro, Detroit Tigers: Figaro, 23, will join the rotation for now. He throws a low-90s fastball, a decent curveball and a changeup but still has issues with his control. He was 5-2 with a 4.10 ERA in 68 innings for Double A Erie. He struck out 59 and walked 17. This is his first season above the Class-A level so he has to be considered risky but is a pitcher to watch in the future.
• Wade LeBlanc, San Diego Padres: LeBlanc, 24, was recalled to join the rotation. The one-time top prospect is a finesse lefty who got hammered in five appearances (four starts) for the Padres last year. He also bombed out in spring training when given a chance to win a spot in the rotation. He was 1-4 with a 4.08 ERA and 47/17 k/bb ratio at Triple A Portland. The changeup artist could have some short-term success if he can maintain that ratio. He has a tendency to give up home runs though.
• Brad Mills, Toronto Blue Jays: Mills, 24, is a smart finesse lefty with an excellent changeup and solid curve. He was recalled to join the rotation and has a 4.48 ERA in 13 starts for Triple A Las Vegas this season. He dominated in the minors last year. Watch him closely. In his first his first major-league start Thursday, he worked into the fourth inning, allowing six hits, four walks and four runs.
• Fernando Nieve, New York Mets: Nieve, who was just recalled last week, will remain in the rotation for now. The 26-year-old has decent stuff and was 3-0 with a 3.70 ERA in four starts with 42 strikeouts and 16 walks at Triple A Buffalo. He is about a year and a half removed form Tommy John surgery.
• Jason Frasor, Toronto Blue Jays: Frasor will close games with Scott Downs on the DL, possibly for a few weeks. Jeremy Accardo and B.J. Ryan are also in the mix. Accardo missed all last season with a forearm injury.
• Kyle Blanks, San Diego Padres: Blanks, 22, was recalled and will likely start in left field. The 6-foot-6, 285-pounder is still learning to play left, having moved there from first base last month. He is a good glove man but doesn't run very well. But he can hit. He was batting .283 with 12 home runs, nine doubles and 38 RBIs at AAA Portland. He is hitting .345 against left-handers and has drawn 39 walks in 274 plate appearances but with 63 strikeouts. He was named the Padres' Minor League Player of the Year last season after hitting .325 with 20 homers and 107 RBI for Double A San Antonio. Recommended if you need to take a chance on some power. Grade B+ for the future
• Mike Carp, Seattle Mariners: Carp, 22, was hitting .299-10-32 in 211 at-bats for Triple A Tacoma. He has power and draws walks but is not much of a defensive player. He was brought up because Russell Branyan missed Thursday's day game to attend his grandfather's funeral. So Carp could be sent back down soon.
• Matt Downs, San Francisco Giants: Downs, 25, was recalled to play second base while Manny Burriss gets his act together at Triple A. Downs is not a top prospect, but plays everywhere and has some pop. He was hitting .288 with six home runs, 38 RBIs and seven steals in 54 games for Fresno. Bruce Bochy described him as a hard-nosed player.
• Mitch Maier, Kansas City Royals: Maier, 26, will platoon in center field with Willie Bloomquist until Coco Crisp returns. He's considered a good gap hitter and an outstanding defensive outfielder.
• John Mayberry Jr., Philadelphia Phillies: Mayberry, 25, will likely see time in left field as long as Raul Ibanez is out. He has power, but also has trouble with inside fastballs. He was hitting .277 with eight homers in 37 games with Lehigh Valley. He hit .222 with one homer his first time around with the Phils. He was returned to the minors because the team wanted him to play every day.
• Delwyn Young, Pittsburgh Pirates: Young has been playing well for the slumping Brandon Moss, which may or may not be short-lived, depending on the two players produce. But with Delwyn Young batting .369 in his 17 starts in right field, Moss had better start hitting soon. Neither are top prospects.
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