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Closing Time: Luke Scott, temporary power to go

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It's been a strange year so far for American League power. Go back to your March projections, see what you expected from Paul Konerko, Ty Wigginton, Jose Bautista, Alex Gonzalez and Andruw Jones. Auction bucks have been trumped, at least temporarily, by waiver luck.

With that theme in mind, let's talk about Luke Scott(notes). I'm not going to promise you anything long-term on this stock, but we've seen him go on power runs before and he's smoking hot right now.

Scott knocked a pair of homers at Camden Yards on Tuesday, giving him seven in 45 May at-bats. He wasn't picking on a scrub pitcher here; the taters came against Kansas City ace Zack Greinke(notes). And both of the home runs were absolute rockets; the first one was more the towering type, while the second one left the park almost instantly.

Scott is never going to get into the All-Star Game without a ticket, but he's not a bad power source in certain circumstances. He's got 36 career homers over 521 career at-bats at Camden Yards. He's a career .504 slugger against right-handed pitching. And he's one of those notorious streak hitters; perhaps you remember the late May tear he went on last season (eight homers in 10 days). He's not a perfect player, but if you need a power boost, there's a case to be made for Scott.

The Orioles don't have any home games left this week, but Scott still offers some short-term cachet. He's a decent play at Texas the next two days (up against a pair of right-handed starters), and Scott should get some good hacks in against Washington's Craig Stammen(notes) on Saturday (the Nats throw lefties Friday and Sunday). Scott has been successful in both of these stadiums, albeit in small samples: he's got two homers in 30 career at-bats at Arlington, and he's gone deep twice in three games at Nationals Park.

If you're looking for a National League version of Scott, how about Cincinnati's Jonny Gomes(notes)? The hack-tastistic Red is on a 20-for-49 binge this month with three homers and 13 RBIs, and he's got some nice matchups coming up (Kenshin Kawakami(notes) on Wednesday, and three games at Cleveland this weekend). Gomes is available in 93 percent of Yahoo! leagues as we go to press, while Scott is 88-percent available. Give these guys a tryout over the rest of the week.

Shaun Marcum(notes) kept the sweet music coming Tuesday against Minnesota, working seven sharp innings (5 H, 1 R, 2 BB, 3 K) and recording his third win. He's got a 2.61 ERA and 0.97 WHIP on the year, and he's made a positive roto contribution in all nine of his starts. You, the Arcade readers, were right – I didn't rank Marcum optimistically enough in last week's Shuffle Up and Deal. Marcum works at Arizona this weekend, not that anyone can bench him now.

Josh Beckett's(notes) Tuesday start in New York was a microcosm of his season – good stuff at times, bad luck at times, a few misplaced fastballs, and a physical issue on the way out (tweaked back). His final line looked like this: 4.2 IP, 5 H, 5 R, 3 ER, 3 BB, 6 K. It wouldn't be the worst thing in the world if he missed the Phillies this weekend.

Matt Kemp(notes) is doing plenty of things right – he's got a respectable .285 average with eight homers, and he's on a pace to score a ridiculous 141 runs. He's striking out more than ever but he's also tweaked his walk rate; bottom line, you're getting first-round production from your first-round outfielder. But what the heck is going on with Kemp on the bases? He was thrown out Tuesday, making him 6-for-14 on the season.

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So much for the Carlos Zambrano(notes) relief experiment; Lou Piniella waved the white flag on the shift Tuesday. The Cubs will get Zambrano stretched out over a few more relief stints, then return him to the rotation. "I don't know how long it will be," Piniella told the Chicago Tribune. "Let's see how long he needs. We'd like to get him two or three appearances out of the bullpen stretched out." Zambrano's control improved in his new role (not that we want to take too much out of 9.2 innings of work), but otherwise it's been a messy time: 15 hits, six runs. The most encouraging thing we can say about Big Z is that he's got 35 strikeouts over 29 innings this season.

It will be interesting to see who gets bumped when Zambrano is ready to start in a week or two. Ted Lilly(notes) and Ryan Dempster(notes) aren't going anywhere, Randy Wells(notes) should be safe as the No. 3 man, and to this point Carlos Silva(notes) and Tom Gorzelanny(notes) have exceeded expectations. You get the idea that the Cubs will probably get bamboozled by Silva's 5-0 record and ignore the warning signs under the hood; Gorzelanny has outpitched Silva by most secondary metrics but if there's a team that would misinterpret a 1-4 record, it's the Cubs.

Injury Blog: Adam Dunn(notes) has been dealing with flu-like symptoms for a couple of days, and he returned to DC on Tuesday to have a "minor procedure" that's "nothing of significance" according to the Washington Post. Curious story. Jim Riggleman says Dunn might be able to rejoin the team Wednesday in St. Louis; in the meantime, Adam Kennedy(notes) masquerades as a first baseman. … Andre Ethier(notes) (broken pinkie) went on the disabled list as expected Tuesday; he'll be out anywhere from 2-6 weeks. Xavier Paul(notes) has been recalled from Triple-A; he'll jostle for playing time along with Reed Johnson(notes) and Garret Anderson(notes).Grady Sizemore(notes) (knee) has missed the last two games and is headed for an MRI. … Kyle Blanks(notes) (elbow) didn't start against the Giants. … J.D. Drew(notes) (leg) was forced out of Tuesday's rainy Bronx game in the eighth inning. … Ryan Theriot(notes) (elbow) was back at it Tuesday and went 2-for-5. … Jorge Posada(notes) has a bruised foot and didn't play the last two days. … Huston Street(notes) (groin) did some throwing and long-toss Tuesday according to beat reporter Troy Renck. There's no specific timetable on the closer yet.

Speed Round: I don't know that anyone wants to get long-term invested in Corey Patterson(notes), but he's had a nice week (8-for-26, eight runs, two homers, two steals, four walks). … Kurt Suzuki(notes) looks back in form, rapping out four hits over the last two days. … Chris Heisey(notes) started in place of Drew Stubbs(notes) Tuesday and came through with a hit, two walks, and two runs scored. … Dexter Fowler(notes) has become the odd man out in Colorado of late, seeing just five at-bats over the last week. Seth Smith(notes) can't run like Fowler, but he's definitely a better hitter. … Forget Andruw Jones's(notes) power for a second; I can't believe this guy actually has seven stolen bases. … Felix Hernandez(notes) has been oddly hittable of late (3.95 ERA, 1.46 WHIP), and the Mariners have lost each of his last five starts (King Felix has two no-decisions over that run). The strikeouts are still there, but he's giving out more walks and allowing more homers thus far in 2010. … Mariano Rivera(notes) (loss) and Jonathan Papelbon(notes) (messy save) were off their games at Yankee Stadium, though they both were bitten by defensive lapses and unearned runs. … Homer Bailey(notes) didn't get the win against Milwaukee, but he held up nicely (7 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 2 BB, 4 K); way to make Albert Pujols(notes) proud. Bailey faces Cleveland and Houston in his next two turns. … It could be a long Wednesday afternoon; although all 30 MLB clubs are in action, there aren't any day games on the schedule. Pace yourself, amigos.

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