Scott Carroll, White Sox – This past week, Carroll faced the Red Sox and Indians on the road, totaling 11.2 IP with no earned runs, only three hits, three walks and eight strikeouts. He left his start on Saturday against the Indians early because of a stiff lower back, but that doesn't sound serious. Since he rejoined the White Sox rotation late last month, he’s had a 3.97 ERA (3.79 FIP) with 14 strikeouts and eight walks over 22.2 IP. He’s had trouble pitching deep into games, but it’s hard to argue with the results in AL-only formats, where he’s a useful starter right now. He should continue to hold down the fifth starter spot in the rotation after the break, assuming his back is fine. Mixed: $2; AL: $7.
Shane Greene, Yankees – Greene made two starts for the Yankees this past week in Cleveland and in Baltimore came out on the other side smelling like roses. In total, he pitched 13.1 innings with 11 strikeouts, two walks and only two earned runs. Most impressive was his start on Saturday against the Orioles, as he punched out nine batters. After this sort of debut in the rotation and the unfortunate elbow injury to Masahiro Tanaka, the Yankees will have no choice but to run Greene back out there after the break. Considering he had a 4.61 ERA (3.42 FIP) with 57 strikeouts and 26 walks over 66.1 IP this season at Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre earlier this season, his debut is all the more surprising. Add him in all AL-only formats where he’s available. Mixed: $2; AL: $7.
Derek Holland, Rangers – Holland (knee) is set to make his first rehab start on July 23 at Triple-A Round Rock. After that, he should only make a couple of more starts in the minors before he’s back. He’s set to throw 35 pitches in this upcoming start, but we’ll see about that, as Holland has already said he wants to go deeper in his rehab debut and has been throwing much longer in bullpen sessions. This isn’t surprising, as Holland has been chomping at the bit asking for a rehab assignment, clearly eager to get back out on the mound. The most optimistic timetable has him returning around the second week of August – about a month from right now. If you can stash him, do so, as he had a 3.42 ERA (3.44 FIP) with 189 strikeouts and 64 walks over 213 IP last season. Mixed: $5; AL: $15.
Zach McAllister, Indians – McAllister and not Danny Salazar was called up this weekend from Triple-A Columbus to take the rotation spot of Justin Masterson (knee) for the Indians. In his start on Saturday against the White Sox he pitched well, as he allowed three earned runs over seven innings with two walks and two strikeouts with only four hits allowed. At Columbus he had a 2.23 ERA (2.79 FIP) with 34 strikeouts and seven walks over 36.1 IP, showing he was deserving of another look. Last season he had a 3.75 ERA (4.03 FIP) with 101 strikeouts and 49 walks over 134.1 IP, and was a very useful option for owners in AL-only formats. Masterson should be back later this month, so McAllister might not last too long in the rotation. Still, T.J. House was optioned to the minors on Friday, so the team could add some relievers, before the break, but there’s no assurance he’ll get his job back after he posted a 4.40 ERA (4.82 FIP) in the first half. For now, add McAllister in AL-only formats and wait to see what happens next. Mixed: $2; AL: $8.
Alex Meyer, Twins – With teammate Trevor May (calf) on the DL and unable to perform in the Futures Game, Meyer has taken his spot on the roster for the U.S. team. This comes on the heels of his most recent fantastic start at Triple-A Rochester, in which he pitched six innings, allowed two earned runs and struck out 10 batters. He did, however, walk four batters, which is part of why he only lasted six innings. The walks are nothing new, as he’s battled command issues for much of this season even while posting high strikeout totals. After the break, don’t be surprised to see the Twins go to him, considering they’ve already gotten rid of Ricky Nolasco in the rotation and given guys like Yohan Pino and Kris Johnson a shot at starting with less-than-ideal results, though Pino's had his moments. Meyer has a 3.43 ERA (3.77 FIP) with 103 strikeouts and 43 walks over 89.1 IP at Rochester. Mixed: $1; AL: $4.
Brett Oberholtzer, Astros – Oberholtzer pitched 6.1 innings against the Red Sox on Saturday and gave up two earned runs with no walks and three strikeouts. He’s been up and down from Triple-A Oklahoma City lately, but in his last three MLB starts, he’s pitched 19 innings with a 3.79 ERA (3.44 FIP), 11 strikeouts, and five walks against the Red Sox, Angels and Tigers – not exactly a bunch of soft lineups. Right McHugh is on the DL with a finger injury, so Oberholtzer should get at least one more start. It might be more than that, though, if he continues to go out and be effective. On the season, he has a 4.50 ERA (3.60 FIP) with 51 strikeouts
and 17 walks over 70 IP. Mixed: $1; AL: $4.
Neal Cotts & Neftali Feliz, Rangers – Considering the Rangers have the worst record in baseball, it’s not surprising that teams are calling about the availability of closer Joakim Soria. Should he get moved in a trade, his likely successor would be Feliz, at least after he gets his feet underneath him, as he did just get back to the majors last weekend. So far, Feliz has pitched six innings with three hits allowed, one earned run (on a homer), two walks and three strikeouts. His velocity is still noticeably down from where it was when he was blowing fastballs by everyone back in 2011. Until his velocity improves or he shows he can get by with good command, it’s likely that Cotts will be the next man up. He has pitched pretty effectively this season, with a 3.46 ERA (2.72 FIP), 45 strikeouts and 15 walks over 39 innings. He doesn’t throw hard and is a fly-ball pitcher, but his command has been great so far. Right now, a Soria trade is only a rumor, but there might be some actual substance to those rumors after the All-Star break, so keep an eye on both Cotts and Feliz. Both Mixed: $1; AL: $4.
Geovany Soto, Rangers – Soto remains on a rehab assignment at Triple-A Round Rock as he works his way back from a knee injury. His marijuana-related arrest this past week could have some affect on when exactly he is able to join the MLB team, as he could be placed in a treatment program that could delay his return. Expect him back later this month, though, as long as his knee rehab goes as planned. Last season, he hit .245/.328/.466 with nine home runs over 184 PA. Soto has enough pop that he could be helpful in AL-only formats down the stretch. Mixed: No; AL: $3.
Christian Vazquez, Red Sox – Vazquez was promoted from Triple-A Pawtucket this week after the reigning champs cut the cord on starter A.J. Pierzynski and designated him for assignment. At Pawtucket, Vazquez hit .279/.336/.385 with three home runs over 270 PA. In his second start of the season, he went 3-for-4 with two doubles, which is not a bad way to make a first impression. At 23 years old, he is not considered an elite prospect, and long-term, he’s really just filling in until Blake Swihart is ready to come up and take over as the franchise catcher. For now, though, he’s not likely to hit for much power and the batting average will likely be shaky, so don’t consider him an offensive upgrade from Pierzynski. Mixed: $1; AL: $5.
Chris Carter, Astros – Over the last week, Carter has gone 9-for-24 with five home runs, showing that while he swings and misses frequently, he still has great power to offer owners. At this point in the season, he’s got a batting line of .204/.280/.467 with 19 home runs over 300 PA. It’s tough to recommend him in many formats because his contact and on-base skills are so poor, but it wouldn’t surprise me to see him hit another dozen home runs the rest of the way, which could really help many owners. If you can stomach the average, give him a look after the break. Mixed: $4; AL: Owned.
Justin Smoak, Mariners – An oblique injury to Michael Saunders has him back on the DL and Smoak back in the majors after spending time in the minors recovering from a quad injury and then biding his time for a promotion. By now, most owners should know what to expect out of Smoak, which is not much. He’s a career .225 hitter with average power for his position who doesn’t run and has poor contact skills. He’ll likely get regular playing time between first base and DH, but again, don’t expect much offensive production out of him. Mixed: $2; AL: $6.
Yangervis Solarte, Yankees – Carlos Beltran landed on the 7-day concussion DL this week, opening the door for the Yankees to recall Solarte from Triple-A Scranton Wilkes-Barre. Solarte got off to a great start in New York this season, hitting close to .300 the first two months, but then he hit .164 in June and was sent back down. Now Zelous Wheeler is manning third base, so Solarte’s playing time is uncertain. When Beltran is back, don’t be surprised to see Solarte go back to the minors. On the ,season he’s hit .257/.340/.386 with six home runs over 286 PA. Mixed: No; AL: $3.
Yunel Escobar, Rays – Escobar was activated from the 15-day DL this week after dealing with a shoulder injury. He’s 3-for-7 since returning, but is batting .249/.329/.331 on the season with four home runs over 305 PA, numbers that leave much to be desired. His return could also mean a dip in playing time for Logan Forsythe, as Ben Zobrist will likely slide back over to second base, though it could also be Sean Rodriguez. Either way, Escobar is likely to find steady playing time at shortstop and thus warrants attention in AL-only formats. Mixed: $1; AL: $5.
Nick Punto, Eric Sogard, & Andy Parrino, A’s – Alberto Callaspo landed on the DL this weekend with a hamstring injury, and Punto and Sogard are the likeliest candidates to fill in for him. Punto has almost no fantasy value, as he’s hit .212 this season with one home run and three stolen bases over 178 PA. Sogard isn’t much better, as he’s hit .186 this season with no home runs and seven stolen bases over 173 PA. Parrino was called up from Triple-A Sacramento to take Callaspo’s roster spot and might be the best answer at second base. He's hit .302/.375/.432 with seven home runs and five stolen bases over 321 PA with Sacramento, but he’s also 28 years old. Still, he at least seems like he could be an upgrade over the other two, who offer no punch. Punto & Sogard Mixed: No; AL: $3. Parrino Mixed: $1; AL: $4.
Rob Refsnyder, Yankees – Between Double-A Trenton and Triple-A Scranton/Wlkes-Barre, Refsnyder has hit .333/.403/.547 with 12 home runs and eight stolen bases over 382 PA this season. He’s just 23 years old, but is not a highly regarded prospect within the Yankees organization. Still, he might get a look in the second half if the team decides to look internally for more offensive punch. You can hardly blame them when the likes of Brian Roberts, Brendan Ryan and Kelly Johnson are currently on the roster. Though he is a second baseman, don’t be surprised if Refsnyder comes up as an outfielder, as the club is preparing to use him as such in the minors with hopes of getting his glove ready for a utility role when he's ready for the call. Mixed: No; AL: $3.
Chris Dickerson, Indians – Dickerson was brought over from the Pirates this week in a trade to help give the Indians some depth in their outfield as they adjust to life without Michael Bourn (hamstring). So far, he’s gone 8-for-17 with a double while playing in left field. With Triple-A Indianapolis in the Pittsburgh organization, he hit .309/.407/.479 with seven home runs and 12 stolen bases over 280 PA, though he is 32 years old. Expect him to continue to find playing time until Bourn is ready to return. Mixed: $2; AL: $8.
Sam Fuld & Danny Santana, Twins – Fuld has been hot this week, going 8-for-20 with a double, home run, and three stolen bases. He’s been getting steady playing time since Danny Santana (knee) went down. Speaking of which, Santana is currently on a rehab assignment and should be back with the Twins shortly after the All-Star break. When he returns, it will be interesting to see who gets more playing time between these two. Before he hit the DL, Santana hit .328/.366/.448 with two home runs and six stolen bases over 143 PA, and was really starting to warm up offensively and make the center field job his. Of the two, Santana has more upside and should eventually take back the position. For now, though, Fuld looks like a decent play in deeper leagues where owners are looking for cheap speed. Fuld Mixed: $2; AL: $8. Santana Mixed: $4; AL: Owned.
Robbie Grossman, Astros – Grossman is back again, recalled to help fill the void that Alex Presley (oblique) left when he went on the DL. Sine returning, he's gone 5-for-14 with a double and a homer. He’s struggled with the Astros overall this year, batting .180 with three home runs and three stolen bases over 151 PA. His numbers have been much better in the minors, as he hit .337 with four home runs and 10 stolen bases over 199 PA at Triple-A Oklahoma City this season. Dexter Fowler is expected back by Friday this coming week, at which point Grossman will likely be fighting L.J. Hoes and Enrique Hernandez for time in left field, although the Astros could just get rid of Jesus Guzman, who remains on the roster for some odd reason. Mixed: $2; AL: $7.
Kevin Kiermaier, Rays – Over the last two weeks, Kiermaier has been hot at the plate, batting .339/.345/.661 with two doubles, two triples and four home runs over 56 PA. He went 3-for-4 with three RBI on Saturday, his third multi-hit game in the last week. Where all this power is coming from is still unknown, as he never showed much pop the minors. His .310 batting average makes more sense, as he posted high BABIPs in the minors. At 24 years old, perhaps he’s just hitting his physical stride. Whatever it is, owners should snap him up in whatever mixed leagues where he’s still available so they can ride this hot streak too. Mixed: $5; AL: Owned.
Jake Smolinski, Rangers – The bizarro Jusin Smoak? Smolinski was brought up from Triple-A Round Rock this week to help give the Rangers some added depth in the outfield, though he plays third and second base too. So far, so good, as he’s gone 8-for-14 with three doubles in his first four games. Between Double-A Frisco and Round Rock, he's hit .267/.349/.459 with 10 home runs and six stolen bases over 341 PA. At 25 years old, this is the most power he’s shown in his career in the minors. Expect him to continue to find playing time as long as Shin-Soo Choo fills in at DH. Mixed: $1; AL: $5.
Shane Victorino, Red Sox – Victorino (hamstring) should come off the DL sometime shortly after the All-Star break. He’s had some false starts in his rehab, so not seeing him return until the end of the month is still a possibility. He’s been out since late May and his recovery has been slow, so he’s likely available in most mixed leagues, as owners have forgotten about him or simply moved on. Before he left, Victorino hit .242/.276/.352 with one home run and two stolen bases over 99 PA. Don’t expect him to steal many bases upon his return, at least until he's fully over this injury and shows confidence in his legs again. For now, he’s a nice stash in all formats. Mixed: $6; AL: Owned.
Note: If you have anyone else you'd like me to discuss, just drop a line in the comments section.