This has been an interesting week for the Kansas City Royals. Alberto Callaspo is gone, traded to the Angels where he started his career. David DeJesus is done for the season. He will have surgery to repair a torn tendon in his right thumb. DeJesus was in many trade discussions, but it is now unknown if he would have remained with the Royals or not. This week the Royals host Minnesota for three games and Baltimore for a four game series.
Zach Greinke is on schedule to have two starts this week. He has pitched much better as of late. In his last seven starts, he is 6-1 with 47 strikeouts while issuing eight walks. Greinke pitched decently against Baltimore this year but not so well against Minnesota. Those two starts were before his recent turn around. Due to a two start week, Greinke should be active in all formats. Joakim Soria has continued to have a decent season. Even with rare save opportunities, he has been one of the best closers. The one thing I look for in relievers is if they average over a strikeout per inning pitched. Soria has 47 strikeouts in 40 innings pitched. He holds a 2.25 ERA and 1.20 WHIP and still remains a must start in all fantasy formats. Billy Butler has a .298 batting average against Minnesota and Baltimore in his career. If not for his .314 average, I would suggest sitting Butler. He does not have the overall number I am looking for from a first baseman but is worth starting in most formats. As of now, you know what you are going to get with Butler.
Jose Guillen has hit Minnesota and Baltimore very well this season with a .361 batting average in 11 games. He has the ability to hit for power and knock in a few runs. I would only start him this week if you need to fill a spot for an injury, other than that I would sit him. He is worth the roster spot in deeper mixed leagues and AL only formats. Scott Podsednik is one of those players that do great things during the game to help his team but as far as fantasy goes, there isn’t much there. For fantasy, he will help the batting average (.338 in July), give plenty of stolen bases, and throw in a few triples. He is worth a roster spot in deep mixed and AL only leagues.
Just called up:
Rick Ankiel is someone I would not even dream of picking up at the moment. He is not worth the roster spot until he can give some production. Alex Gordon on the other hand is worth picking up in deep mixed leagues. He tore apart Triple-A pitching this season. Even though Gordon has not lived up to the hype and high expectations put on him during college and minor leagues, he is still young enough to recover from a disastrous start in the Major Leagues. He is eligible to play third base so if you need help at that position, Gordon could be your answer.
Fantasy Minor League Profile of the week:
The Fantasy Profile of the Week is John Lamb. He was selected in the 5th round (No. 145 overall) of the June 2008 First-Year Player Draft. Lamb is currently a starting pitcher for the Single-A Wilmington Blue Rocks in the Carolina League. He has been a surprise this season while being one of the best pitchers in Single-A if not all of the Minor Leagues. In 6 games since June 17th, Lamb is 4-0, allowing only 2 earned runs in 35 2/3 innings pitched. He has struck out 46 while giving up 4 walks. Lamb is a pitcher on the rise and if available, I recommend picking up immediately. He is a terrific long term keeper since he most likely will not reach the Major Leagues until 2013 at the earliest.