Where did this come from, Murph? (USAT)
Pitcher streaming is something we discuss regularly in this space, but batter streaming is also important on those in-between days. With a modest nine games on the slate for Thursday, let's look at some possible rentals - be it for one day or potentially longer.
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• Donnie Murphy is a journeyman all the way, a 30-year-old infielder who carries a career .214/.280/.410 slash. Normally you'd move along quickly, but for some reason he's clocked seven homers in 14 games with the Cubs this month. It doesn't make any sense, but for a short tire-kick, we can get on board. You pick up a pair of positions in the mix, too (second base, third base). Murph is good to go in 90 percent of Yahoo! leagues.
• Nate Schierholtz is another Cubbie making good, posting an 18-homer season without any real fanfare. His game has been particularly robust of late, hitting .304 with seven homers over the past month. His best form shows against righties (.879 OPS) and at home (.896 OPS), so let him take some cuts against Strasburg on Thursday. Schierholtz is still unowned in about two-thirds of the Yahoo! community.
• There aren't many Cardinals who fly under the wire - they're a successful club and a visible club - but Jon Jay is a rare exception. The understated center fielder is on a .327/.384/.487 run since the break with excellent production stats (14 scored, 18 knocked in). Jay has to face a lefty on Thursday, but there's nothing intimidating about soft-serve Paul Maholm. You can point-and-click on Jay in 77 percent of Yahoo! leagues.
• Emilio Bonifacio has just one thing to offer us, you know that by now. But the Royals are letting the jackrabbit run whenever he wants - Bonifacio already has four steals in six games with his new club. The Lorenzo Cain injury frees up time, and the Royals are also using him in the infield. If you need a specialty steals play, Bonifacio is out there in 84 percent of Y! leagues.
• Brian Dozier has become a pet player in this column, a sneaky category juice contributor who's also getting leadoff work in Minnesota. Dozier has 12 homers and eight steals since the beginning of May - that plays in any format - and his plate discipline stats are also on the improve. Throw in dual eligibility up the middle (second, short) and this is a handy player. You can still add Dozier in about 60 percent of Yahoo! leagues. He'll work at Detroit on Thursday, finishing out that series.
• Darin Ruf might turn you off with his batting average and strikeout totals, but with six homers in 18 August games, let's see the plus side of the argument. He's especially been a treat at home, posting a .280/.407/.573 slash over 23 games there (again, with six homers). Chad Bettis pitches for Colorado, and he comes in with a mediocre set of stats (three homers over 18.2 innings, more walks than strikeouts); nothing to fear there. Ruf qualifies at first and the outfield and he's unclaimed in 85 percent of Yahoo! leagues.
• So you missed out on Chris Davis this year? Get in on the cheaper version, Milwaukee's Khris Davis. The Brewer basher has six homers and a couple of steals over his first 67 at-bats, showing surprising pop for someone in a 5-11, 195-pound frame. He also clocked 13 homers in 69 games at Triple-A Nashville. Davis can't help us Thursday - the Brewers are off - but a weekend in homer-friendly Cincinnati could be fun. Crash the party in 92 percent of Yahoo! leagues.
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