The Sandlot Shrink: Grab Buchholz if you have room
Here's your weekly look at fantasy players to consider.
Clay Buchholz, Boston Red Sox: Buchholz, 24, will be recalled to start Friday against the Jays and then be sent down again. He is 7-2 with a 2.36 ERA and a 0.98 WHIP for the Pawsox. After a rough season last year, he concentrated on improving his delivery in the Arizona Fall League and it's paid off. He is also using his fastball and changeup more, and not relying on his excellent curveball as much. Good pickup if you have room on your reserve roster.
Mike Burns, Milwaukee Brewers: Burns, 31, was again recalled from AAA Nashville to join the rotation with Dave Bush still out. The veteran right-hander is 7-2 with a 2.55 ERA in the minors and went 2-2 with a 5.54 ERA in five games (four starts) in an earlier stint with the Brewers. He is not a strikeout pitcher but doesn't walk many either.
Mat Latos, San Diego Padres: Latos, 21, will be recalled to join the rotation. The right-hander, their top pitching prospect, went 3-0 with a 0.36 ERA for Class-A Fort Wayne and then skipped Class-A Lake Elsinore. He is 5-1 with a 1.91 ERA in nine starts for AA San Antonio with 46 strikeouts and nine walks in 47 innings. The team likes his maturity and improvement this year. He throws in the low-to-mid 90s with a hard curve and decent change. Grade B for the future.
Pedro Martinez, Philadelphia Phillies: Martinez, 37, was signed to join the rotation on July 30 against the Giants. He will make a couple of rehab starts in the minors and then be activated. The 37-year-old went 5-6 with a 5.61 ERA in 20 starts for the Mets last year so there are no guarantees here.
Garrett Mock, Washington Nationals: Mock, 26, was recalled to take Ross Detwiler's place in the rotation. Mock was 5-1 with a 2.65 ERA for AAA Syracuse. He posted a 6.92 ERA in 13 relief appearances in an earlier stint with the Nats. He can start or relieve and served as the Chief's closer at the beginning of the year but is certainly nothing special. He also posted a 4.18 ERA out of Washington's bullpen last year.
Tim Stauffer, San Diego Padres: Stauffer, the fourth overall pick in the 2003 draft, made his first start since 2005 and allowed two runs, four hits, walked one and struck out seven in seven innings. Prior to this start he had a major league record of 4-7 with a 6.37 ERA while battling shoulder problems the last few tears. He began the year in the AA San Antonio bullpen with 1.89 ERA in 19 innings. He then joined AAA Portland's rotation and went 2-1 with a 2.35 ERA in four starts.
Rick VandenHurk, Florida Marlins: VandenHurk, 24, will be recalled to be the fifth starter. He is 4-1 with a 2.96 ERA in eight starts for AAA New Orleans. He spent time on the disabled list with elbow soreness but is healthy now. He has made 21 starts the previous two years with the Marlins and pretty much got hammered so you'll have to be careful here. He has good stuff but needs to stay healthy and harness his control. He had elbow problems last year as well.
Bobby Cox said that Mike Gonzalez (elbow tendinitis) would not be available for several days. He had some inflammation in his lower arm prior to the All-Star break so they will be careful with the injury-prone closer. He actually has been pitching with discomfort in for the past few weeks and has a 10.80 ERA in his last eight games. "I wasn't helping anybody out," he told reporters. "I didn't know where the ball was going. I had no feeling in my fingertips." Rafael Soriano will likely close games over the weekend.
Josh Whitesell was again recalled from AAA Reno. He is batting .214 in 56 at-bats with the Diamondbacks but manager A.J. Hinch said he seems a lot more relaxed now. The team wants to see what they have in him, as the first base position will be wise open in training camp next spring.
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