Phantasy Philes: A Comeback, a Call-Up and More

It sounds too good to be true, but Pat Burrell has his average above .200. Is this just a fluke hot streak or is it really time to get him back in those fantasy lineups? We'll try and figure that out in this week's edition of the Phantasy Philes. In addition to that, we have to explore the topics of who's been pitching in the ninth, the impact of a Chase Utley call-up, and what to do with Jimmy Rollins. Plus, there's the non-Phillie of the week to help you in the all-important final stretch.

Over the last week, Burrell has been on fire, hitting .400 with a double, triple, 2 homers, and 5 RBIs. Burrell's improvement has been in development for longer than just the last seven days however. Since the All-Star break, Burrell has hit .258, which is obviously isn't great, but still much better than his pre break .192. Considering the fact that this is one of his best hot streaks of the season, if not the best (sad isn't it?), one would have to think that this really could be the turn around we've all been waiting for. The confidence gained from actually hitting the ball for a change can only have a positive effect on how Pat does from here on out. If you have Burrell on your bench right now, activate him quickly, and if he's on the waiver wire in your league, you may want to go ahead and grab him in hopes that this is just the beginning of good things to come.

Although there hasn't been a save chance since the announcement that Jose Mesa would be taking a break from the closing duties, we might be able to predict who will get those meaningful saves when the time comes by who Bowa has trotted out for the ninth inning over the last few games. Two relievers that seem to be getting more late game work would be Turk Wendell and Terry Adams, which makes sense since, as we discussed last week, both have a significant amount of experience in the closer's role. Mike Williams has been pitching better of late, but it seems as if Bowa wants to get him in a nice groove pitching those middle innings before moving him back into position to finish games. Should a save opportunity arise in the next few days, I'd be willing to bet that Wendell or Adams will be in there for it. Those of you in NL only leagues looking for a spare save may want to grab one of those two on a temporary basis just incase they find themselves replacing their zeros for this season in the save column.

Well, former first round pick Chase Utley finally got recalled to the big club from Triple-A Scranton while David Bell continues to ache on the DL. In his brief stay with the Phils earlier this season, Utley hit .200 with a homer and four RBIs, playing in just six games. This time Chase could be here for good, depending on Bell's situation and how well the young infielder can play. Since Utley has some positional flexibility, as he is able to play second or third base, we have reason to believe he'll find his way into the batting order more often then not. For now, I would only recommend adding him in NL only leagues or large ML universe leagues, but that could change should be produce like he did at Scranton this season.

Did someone forget to tell Jimmy Rollins that he was supposed to be good? Instead of improving every year like a talented young player should, Jimmy seems to be getting worse. Since Rollins is no longer the leadoff man, can't hit for average (.257), and can't steal bases anymore (just 16 in 27 tries), that makes three strikes against him. In my book, a guy on my fantasy roster with three strikes like that is out. Anyone with a team looking to make a championship push just might want to cut their losses with Jimbo and search the wire for a more productive shortstop.

This week's non-Phillie is meant for owners in need of a quality starter. I'm sure many fantasy owners forgot about Brad Radke since he was pretty mediocre all of last year and the first half of this year, but now that he's getting his act back together, jumping back on his bandwagon doesn't sound like such a bad idea. Since the All-Star break, Brad is 3-0 with a 3.38 ERA, which is reason enough to think about adding the Twinkie should your team require a new starter. His ERA for the season is still just over five, so you'll probably be able to grab him without much competition. Radke could end up being a second half stud as the Twins make their run for the AL Central pennant.

Well, that'll do it for this week folks. If you have any questions or comments for me, send them to qwaz21@aol.com with "PBN" in the subject line. Until next time, I'm out like David Bell and his messed up back/hip.


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