The Mitch Moreland breakout campaign has been a blast, but a sore hamstring puts the story on hold. Moreland landed on the 15-day DL on Thursday, and he's not going to test the hamstring for another 5-6 days. Let's look into the open seat in Texas.
Interesting prospect Chris McGuiness is up from Triple-A and slated to pick up most of Moreland's at-bats. McGuiness, 25, was MVP of the Arizona Fall League in 2012 and he's been productive at Round Rock this spring (.275/.382/.477, six homers). A lefty swinger, he'll probably fall into the heavy side of a platoon - and maybe face the occasional southpaw, too.
Journeyman Jeff Baker has a strong case for the other side of the platoon - he's been absolutely crushing lefties this year (.385/.489/.923, six homers in 39 at-bats). This isn't a new skill from Baker, he's always been a plus bat when enjoying the platoon advantage (.875 OPS). It will be interesting to see if this news filters down to Ron Washington.
If you're inclined to kick the tires on McGuiness, the schedule plays nicely for you. The Rangers face seven right-handed opponents over the next nine days, with two Mark Buehrle appearances breaking things up. Texas also starts a delicious 11-game homestand on Monday; Arlington is a fun place to be invested. In medium and deeper mixed leagues, see what's left in the FAAB piggy bank.
• There haven't been many happy days in Chavez Ravine this spring, so the Yasiel Puig emergence is a much-needed breath of fresh air. Puig clubbed a grand slam in Thursday's victory over Atlanta, in addition to a single, and is hitting a cool .438 through four days. Get your kicks on Route 66.
The Dodgers might not face any tricky outfield decisions for a while; skipper Don Mattingly says Carl Crawford's hamstring injury is "fairly serious" and the club expects Crawford to need more than 15 days on the shelf. Matt Kemp is also on the DL, of course, while scuffling Andre Ethier remains maddeningly healthy. The Dodgers obviously are keeping Kemp for the long haul, while Crawford and Ethier would be very difficult to trade given their bloated contracts. But those are concerns for another day.
• I understand the frustration with Cameron Maybin, a toolsy outfielder who's been more teaser than pleaser through the years. But a 15-percent ownership tag fees light, nonetheless. Maybe you'll want to give Maybin a tryout this weekend, watching him taking hacks at Coors Field. Maybin came off the DL list in style Thursday, reaching base three times (two hits, walk) and stealing two bases in three attempts.
He's returning from a wrist injury and you know the caveats there, but I can't seem to quit this guy. As long as we've been waiting for the breakthrough, Maybin is still just 26. Who's with me?
• You can say almost anything you want with arbitrary endpoints, but stick with us for a second. Ryan Doumit is trying to get your attention.
Minnesota's switch-hitting slugger was still under the Mendoza line as of May 6, but he's come alive since then (.278-15-8-24, including two homers in the just-completed Kansas City series). That stat grab makes Doumit fantasy's best catcher over the last month. Volume also comes with the territory here, as Doumit is a DH and outfielder in addition to an occasional catcher. He's still good to go in 54 percent of Yahoo! leagues.
• Adam Lind is another lefty swinger who likes the look of the upcoming schedule: Toronto faces seven righties over the next nine days. Lind enjoyed an 11-for-25 run over the recent road trip and is at .329/.411/.521 during his patience-sparked comeback year, with almost as many walks (21) as strikeouts (27). Don't fret the mere 14 RBIs, that's a fluke - and he's firmly established as the team's regular cleanup man. Lind is yours for the asking in 81 percent of Yahoo! leagues; so long as you can steer him from the occasional southpaw (which the Jays normally do), I'll sign off on this acquire.
Speed Round: The waiting game continues for Bryce Harper (knee) - he's going to visit with Dr. James Andrews on Monday. I'd be stunned if he came off the DL when eligible Tuesday . . . DJ LeMahieu wasn't a speed merchant before 2013 but maybe he's learning this aspect of the game. He was 8-for-10 as a thief in Triple-A, and he's already swiped five with the Rockies over 21 games . . . Give us a bowl of Daniel Descalso's cereal: he collected three more hits Thursday, pushing his average up to .274. He's chipped in three homers and four steals and qualifies at three Yahoo! positions, making him worth a bench spot in the deeper mixers . . . Domonic Brown stole a couple of bases Thursday, just to remind everyone what a boss he is . . . Mark Teixeira has three homers in his last four games . . . Mike Morse (quad) got back into the game, going 0-for-4 with three strikeouts. He might be limited to DH work for now . . . If you're not sure what to do with Matt Cain, check out this excellent piece from Eno Sarris . . . Drop date on Zack Wheeler might be a mere week away . . . The Pirates are hopeful Wandy Rodriguez (forearm) can avoid a trip to the disabled list . . . Yonder Alonso (wrist) won't swing a bat for 4-5 days, so there goes the Colorado series . . . Jason Heyward is on a nifty 8-for-18 run, with a homer and double. Any signs of progress, no matter how small, are encouraging to see . . . Chris Perez and his wife Melanie have been charged with misdemeanor drug abuse, the Cleveland Plain Dealer reports. According to the paper, the charge is a fourth-degree misdemeanor, indicating that the amount discovered by police was small. There are reports that the package contained 5.8 ounces of marijuana . . . If Will Middlebrooks doesn't hit in his minor-league rehab assignment, it's possible he might stick in Triple-A.