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The Wire Troll: Yasmani Grandal’s Breakthrough

July 1, 2012 | By Tim McLeod | comment on this post
Andrew Cashner has moved into the rotation for the San Diego Padres.
Andrew Cashner’s return to the rotation has gone brilliantly.

Did anyone have a hotter bat in June than Jose Bautista? He finished the month with 14 homers — one shy of the record — and has been a huge factor in keeping the Jays afloat while they struggle to find some pitching help. At the other end of the spectrum, the entire Dodgers team hit six homers in June while getting shut out in five of their past six games. Do you think they might be longing for Matt Kemp’s return?

We’re celebrating some rather important birthday’s this week. It’s time to party as on Sunday Canada turns 145. Happy Canada Day! South of the border, our American friends celebrate Independence Day on Wednesday. Here’s wishing all a safe and happy holiday week.

Without further ado, let’s give this week’s Troll selections the once over.

Andrew Cashner, SP/RP, San Diego Padres (CBS: 42 per cent owned, ESPN: 5 per cent): Cashner’s ownership levels jumped from 12 to 42 per cent in CBS Leagues last week and he rewarded his owners Thursday with a great return to the Padres rotation after returning from getting stretched out in the minors. He held the ‘Stros hitless through six innings and left after 6 1/3 IP, having allowed just a pair of hits, a walk and two runs with nine punchouts. Cashner’s huge strikeout potential warrants spending some of that FAAB cash in all formats this weekend.

Mike Leake, SP, Cincinnati Reds (CBS: 32 per cent owned, ESPN: 7 per cent): Leake has gone at least seven innings in each of his past three starts, including a complete game gem Saturday against the Giants. One of the keys to his successful run has been his ability to limit the free passes. Leake gets the free-swinging and anemic Dodger offense next, so his hot streak should continue.

Adam Lind, 1B, Toronto Blue Jays (CBS: 37 per cent owned, ESPN: 24 per cent): Lind has finally returned from the purgatory that was banishment to Triple-A. He absolutely killed it in Vegas, but who doesn’t? What was surprising was that Lind actually smoked southpaws to the tune of a .429 BA. Since his recall, he’s only fanned twice in 14 at-bats and although that’s a very small sample size it shows promise. Lind’s two-homer game on Friday against the Halos served to remind us all that his power potential is such that he should be rostered in all formats.

Michael Fiers, SP, Milwaukee Brewers (CBS: 16 per cent owned, ESPN: 6 per cent): In Fiers’ past three starts covering 20 1/3, he’s allowed a scant 11 hits and six walks while whiffing 22 — 10 of which occurred in the Brewers drubbing of the D-Backs Saturday. Toss in the two wins and the fact that he’s allowed only one earned run during this hot streak and you have the makings of one very solid waiver wire acquisition.

Bobby Parnell, RP, New York Mets (CBS: 33 per cent owned, ESPN: 41 per cent): Frank Francisco has hit the DL — what a shocker. Parnell has a chance to step up and shine and make us forget about his follies when presented with this same opportunity in 2011. If successful, he could be in for an extended stay as the stopper for the Mets.

Yasmani Grandal, C, San Diego Padres (CBS: 12 per cent owned, ESPN: unowned): The Padres finally tired of Nick Hundley and his .166 BA and shipped him off to Triple-A Tucson. In a memorable first start Saturday, Grandal became the first player in the history of the game to homer for his first two big league hits from both sides of the plate. That effort is guaranteed to drive his value through the roof in this week’s FAAB runs and should solidify his role in San Diego.

Other Options

Yuniesky Betancourt, 2B/SS, Kansas City Royals (CBS: 4 per cent owned, ESPN: 4 per cent): Betancourt has slugged two homers and driven in 17 runs in the past two weeks. Is a healthy Chris Getz really that much of a threat to his playing time?

David Phelps, RP, New York Yankees (CBS: 2 per cent owned, ESPN: unowned): He can’t fare any worse than Adam Warren, can he?

Peter Bourjos, OF, Los Angeles Angels (CBS: 14 per cent owned, ESPN: 9 per cent): Bourjos has one homer, five RBI, and three runs scored in the past four games. It’s a start.

Carlos Villanueva, RP/SP, Toronto Blue Jays (CBS: 3 per cent owned, ESPN: 1 per cent): As we’ve seen in the past, Villanueva can be effective in short bursts.

A.J. Griffin, SP, Oakland Athletics (CBS: 8 per cent owned, ESPN: unowned): Anyone that can hold the vaunted Texas offense to only two hits in six IP in Arlington is worthy of a look.

Luke Hochevar, SP, Kansas City Royals (CBS: 32 per cent owned, ESPN: 14 per cent): Hochevar’s run of three quality starts came to an end in Minnesota Saturday, but even in that rather poor effort he kept the walks down, allowing only one. In deeper leagues there is still hope for the former No. 1 overall draft choice.

Ben Revere, OF, Minnesota Twins (CBS: 35 per cent owned, ESPN: 65 per cent): Revere was second to only Mike Trout in both hits and stolen bases in June. Way too many Fantasy teams missed out on a great month.

Martin Perez, SP, Texas Rangers (CBS: 15 per cent owned, ESPN:1 per cent): The 21-year-old southpaw earned his first big league win Saturday. Triple-A wasn’t smooth sailing this year, but that strong first effort will keep Perez in the rotation for at least one more start.

Rex Brothers, RP, Colorado Rockies (CBS: 5 per cent owned, ESPN: unowned): Since being recalled June 2, Brothers has allowed six hits, three walks and one earned run while fanning an incredible 21 batters in 13 2/3 IP. He should be owned in all leagues using holds.

Luke Gregerson, RP, San Diego Padres (CBS: 4 per cent owned, ESPN: unowned): What are the odds of Huston Street remaining in San Diego past the trade deadline? Grab the heir apparent for saves now and beat the rush.

Luis Valbuena, 2B/3B, Chicago Cubs (CBS: 1 per cent owned, ESPN: unowned): He’s no Ian Stewart. And that’s a good thing.

Aaron Cook, SP, Boston Red Sox (CBS: 2 per cent owned, ESPN: 1 per cent): Best left for 4X4 formats, but we hope you took RotoRob’s advice in last week’s Podcast when he said that Cook could be a sneaky play Friday against Seattle.

Chris Carter, 1B, Oakland Athletics (CBS: 3 per cent owned, ESPN: unowned): Carter got the call Friday and all he’s done in two games has gone deep twice. He will hit for power, but how long will he stay in the lineup with those high strikeout rates?

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