Tyler Flowers has started to swing the bat better over the last week. He has seven hits over his last 19 at-bats with four RBI. His power should come in spurts, and the Braves will give him close to full time at-bats with A.J. Pierzynski out for the season.
Tampa Bay turned to Bobby Wilson over the last week. He’s started nine of the last 13 games with a bump in success over his last three games played (4-for-9 with a HR and two RBI). The backend free agent pool remains weak especially in deep leagues so Wilson may work as a short-term replacement.
Many Fantasy owners have kicked Mark Teixeira to the curb long ago. His bat turned the corner over his last week. Mark has a four-game hitting streak (6-for-18) with three runs, a HR, and five RBI. Teixeira has a long resume of success and the Yankees are starting to hit as a team.
The Pirates called up Josh Bell this week with Jung Ho Kang placed on the DL. This will shift David Freese back to third base clearing the door for solid at-bats as long as John Jaso doesn’t get in the way. Bell started six of the last seven games with seven hits over 21 at-bats with three RBI and five walks. He appears to be seeing the ball well, and Pittsburgh should give him solid at-bats going forward. Over 421 at-bats at AAA, Josh hit .295 with 14 HRs and 60 RBI.
Jedd Gyorko remains in the free agent pool in many 10 and 12 team leagues. He continues to get better than expected at-bats. Over his last 26 at-bats, he has eight hits with three HRs and five RBI plus the Cardinals have moved to him second in the batting order in some games. Jedd has seven HRs over his last 56 at-bats with 13 runs and 13 RBI.
Chase Utley missed a couple of games this week, but he still scored nine runs with one HR and four RBI while hitting .320. He’s on pace for 85 runs, 14 HRs, and 54 RBI, which makes him no more than a flash player with some value in runs and possible HRs if he continues to swing the bat well.
The Angels called up Kaleb Cowart this week to cover Yunel Escobar who landed on the DL with a concussion issue. Kaleb has a six-game hitting streak (7-for-23) with three runs, one HR, and three RBI. His success should keep him in the starting lineup even when Escobar returns pushing someone to second base with Cliff Pennington being shifted to the bench. Cowart hit .280 at AAA in 2016 with nine HRs, 58 RBI, and 18 SBs.
Trevor Plouffe has found his power stroke over the weekend when he hit a HR on back-to-back days against Toronto. Trevor has seven hits in his last 21 at-bats with four runs, two HRs, and four RBI. His path in 2016 (.257 with nine HRs and 39 RBI over 273 at-bats) looks to be on pace with his success in 2015 (22 HRs and 86 RBI) if he played a full season.
Asdrubal Cabrera has found his swing in a big way over the last five games. Asdrubal has 11 hits over his last 21 at-bats with five runs, three HRs, and eight RBI. Even with many miss games with an injury, Cabrera is still on pace for 20 HRs and the Mets bumped him to second in the batting order, which will help his run production.
I mentioned earlier this week in a write up for the daily baseball games that Orlando Arcia looked ready to become Fantasy relevant. Arcia has a five-game hitting streak (7-for-15) while hitting his first major league HR on August 26th. Arcia is an upside player with a 10/30 skill set.
Nick Markakis continues to swing a hot bat. Over his last 31 at-bats, Nick has four runs and seven RBI. He’s hitting .302 over the last month with four HRs and 24 RBI. Markakis should be an asset in batting average going forward, but he needs to continue to hit for power to be of value in the Fantasy games.
Over the last week, Scott Schebler has 11 hits over his last 27 at-bats with three HRs and 10 RBI. During this stretch, Scott only has two Ks. Over 289 at-bats over at AAA in 2016, Schebler hit .311 with 13 HRs and 43 RBI. He has a solid 20/80 skill set as long as he can keep his strikeouts under control.
Brandon Drury has looked better over the last week. He has seven hits in his last 20 at-bats while starting three of the last four games. His last HR came on August 8th, and he only has one HR since June 6th. Drury has talent with sneaky upside if he can find his power stroke and maintain full-time at-bats.
The Rays should call up Alex Cobb over the next week or two after throwing the ball better in his last start in the minors (one run over four innings with one K). He worked his way to 81 pitches in his start in August 22nd while dropping back to 58 in his last start. Cobb has a 6.85 ERA over 21 innings in the minors with batters hitting .348 so I would temper your expectations until he puts some good innings under his belt.
The Pirates should call up Steven Brault or Drew Hutchinson this week to replace Gerrit Cole in the starting rotation. Brault is 2-7 at AAA in 2016 with a 3.70 ERA and 86 Ks in 75.1 innings. Over his last five starts, Steven allowed 19 runs and 38 baserunners over 21 innings, so Brault doesn’t look to be in form. Hutchinson has 3.71 ERA over 128.2 innings in the minors with 132 Ks. Drew has struggled as well over his last 26.2 innings (16 runs and 40 baserunners). Both pitchers may surprise over the short term if given a starting opportunity in the majors.
The Mets will call up Rafael Montero next week. He has a poor ERA (5.15) and WHIP (1.59) over 127.2 innings at AAA in 2016, but his arm has gain some value over his last eight starts in the minors (1.71 ERA with 38 Ks over 47.1 innings) with no runs allowed over his last 12 innings. Rafael will be a short-term flier with a short leash.