April 30, 2010

It's a long season; let us guide you through all of the potential names on the wire who can help your team.

Brad Bergesen, Baltimore Orioles -- Bergesen, 24, will be recalled to start Saturday in Baltimore. His sinker has improved working with Norfolk pitching coach Mike Griffin at AAA, so he might be worth watching. His fine rookie campaign (11 wins, 4.12 ERA) ended last July when he was nailed on the left shin by a line drive. He also strained a shoulder muscle over the winter. He's not a big strikeout pitcher but gets a lot of ground ball outs and doesn't give up many homers. He relies more on a sinker-slider-changeup combo with a good feel on the mound. Grade B

Trevor Cahill, Oakland Athletics -- Cahill, 22, gets a lot of groundball outs, but he doesn't strike out a lot of batters and needs to reduce the home runs allowed. He was sent down to work on his mechanics but gets the call here with Brett Anderson disabled. He throws in the low-90s with sinking action and a good curve and slider but still needs to improve his changeup. He had 10 wins and a 4.57 ERA for the A's last year. Excellent pick for the future. Grade B

Jhoulys Chacin, Esmil Rogers, Colorado Rockies -- Both pitchers have joined the rotation because of injuries. Chacin (pronounced cha-SEEN) has a very good sinker, slider and changeup and throws strikes. He still needs to tweak the curve and slider but is the better prospect of the two. Rogers, 24, throws in the low-90s with a good curve but still needs to improve his changeup and command. Chacin, 22, was 3-0 with a 1.69 ERA in four starts at Colorado Springs, with 21 strikeouts and 11 walks in 21 1/3 innings. Rogers posted a 2.25 ERA in three appearances before being sent down on April 16. He has an 0.90 ERA in two starts, with seven strikeouts and one walk in 10 innings at Colorado Springs. Pitching in Coors Field hurts these pitchers of course. Grade: C+

John Ely, Los Angeles Dodgers -- Ely, 24, was called up from AAA Albuquerque to start on Wednesday as John Link was sent back down, but Ely was hit hard. Both players were acquired in the Juan Pierre deal last December. Ely was 2-1 with a 3.00 ERA for Albuquerque. He is a finesse guy who relies on location and a pretty good changeup, so he has to be sharp to win. Ely allowed five runs in six innings in his first start on Wednesday. Another Dodger to watch is Rule 5 right-hander Carlos Monasterios who will make his first career start on Saturday and had a great spring. He hadn't pitched above Class-A ball before this year, but in 10 2/3 innings he has a 1.69 ERA in relief. Grade: C

Rhyne Hughes, Baltimore Orioles -- Hughes was recalled to possibly platoon with the struggling Garrett Atkins. Hughes, 26, was hitting .353 with three homers in 51 at-bats for AAA Norfolk. "He is here because he was our hottest hitter in Triple-A and obviously we need a little boost offensively," manager Dave Trembley said. "We are hoping he will contribute to that." Hughes has been a bit more selective at the plate this year but don't expect a high batting average given his history of strikeouts in the minors. Grade C+

Austin Kearns, Cleveland Indians -- Kearns, 29, seems to have rediscovered his old stroke after playing with injuries the past couple of years. He played with a bad right thumb, loose bodies in his right elbow and a stress fracture in his left foot. He had surgery on the thumb last August. Overall, he's hitting .368 (14-for-38) with four doubles, one homer and five RBIs in 11 games. He should continue to get playing time because Matt LaPorta is struggling at the plate and splitting time between the outfield and first base. Grade B

Chris Narveson, Milwaukee Brewers -- Narveson, 28, takes over Jeff Suppan's spot in the rotation despite some struggles in the bullpen this year. The left-hander finished strong last season (2-0, 2.48 ERA in 12 games, four starts) and had a solid spring, which is why he's getting the chance. A former top prospect in the Cardinals chain, he suffered through shoulder problems and also Tommy John surgery, which has dropped has stock. Grade C

Alfredo Simon, Baltimore Orioles -- Simon, who had Tommy John surgery last May after beginning the season in the O's rotation, will get some saves in the wide-open Birds bullpen. The 28-year-old right-hander throws in the mid-90s with a nasty slider and is fearless on the mound. They need to see if he can pitch out of the stretch to work out of a jam and do it on back-to-back days. Jim Johnson, Alberto Castillo and Cla Meredith are also in the closer's mix. Opening Day closer Michael Gonzalez isn't on a throwing program, so there is no timetable there yet. Other relievers waiting begind struggling closers include Evan Meek and Joel Hanrahan (Pirates), Carlos Villanueva and LaTroy Hawkins (Brewers) and Frank Francisco (Rangers). Grade: B-

Eric Young Jr., Colorado Rockies -- Young, 24, was hitting just .228 in the minors but hit safely in his last five games and could provide a spark in the lineup. Jim Tracy said he would be used as a backup at 2B-OF as well as pinch running and pinch hitting duties and is worth a pickup in 4x4 leagues if you need some speed. Grade: B

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