Back in the circle of trust? (USAT)
To own Rickie Weeks is to be frustrated by Rickie Weeks. Sometimes it's the inconsistency that gets you, sometimes it's the injuries. But we all see the category juice potential at play, which means sometimes we get tied to the story despite the reservations.
In June of 2013, Weeks isn't the problem. The man who's driving us crazy in Milwaukee is manager Ron Roenicke.
Weeks is doing his best to fix his messy season, going on a .429 tear this month with five homers. The latest two round-trippers came in Tuesday's rout of the Cubs, and he added a double for good measure. Here's some video for your consumption - look at Weeks using the entire ballpark.
Alas, Roenicke has locked Weeks into a time-share for most of the month, making the veteran split the second-base job with unheralded Scooter Gennett. Weeks has 42 at-bats in June, while the lefty Gennett has 41. And it's not like Gennett has done a thing with his opportunities (.220/.256/.366).
Weeks has started the last three games (with two of those starts coming against righties) so perhaps the team is finally waking up and accepting reality. The upside player is Weeks, not Gennett. And with this in mind, it's time for fantasy owners to step back on board, too.
Obviously Weeks's seasonal numbers are still in a bad place, but keep in mind what he did in the second half of 2012 (.261-51-13-34-10). That's the type of production that can push the needle in a fake baseball pennant race. Weeks is available in 44 percent of Yahoo! leagues.
• We're always on the lookout for another offensive toy from Arlington, but somehow Leonys Martin has fallen through the cracks. Martin is up to five homers and 12 steals for the Rangers (he went deep twice in Tuesday's loss at the Bronx), and he's been adequate in the field. Texas has needs for the trading deadline, but the center field post seems locked up.
Martin showed category juice in Triple-A last year (12 homers, 10 steals over 55 games) but didn't do much in a brief Texas trial. He's clearly more comfortable this year, making better contact and running more aggressively in The Show. You'll find him free to grab in 86 percent of Yahoo! leagues
• If you're a Steve Cishek owner, you love how he's pitching right now. The sidewinder has eight saves in June, alone with 11 strikeouts and dazzling ratios (0.90 ERA, 0.60 WHIP). But it's possible Cishek might be pitching too well for fantasy comfort - with every clean inning, it draws attention from interested contenders and visiting scouts.
Would Cishek be good enough to close for a winning ballclub? It's debatable. While he's a lockdown reliever against righties (career .189 average), lefties are a different story (.251/.348/.375). It might be a good time to look into a roto trade, seeing if you can sell Cishek at a peak. Maybe you can execute it, maybe you can't. The Marlins probably won't be shopping Giancarlo Stanton this summer, but everything else in the ballpark is available for a price.
• Let's hear it for Chris Perez - he finally found some Single-A batters he could get out. Perez worked a clean inning Tuesday, with one strikeout, which means he'll probably come off the disabled list this week. Vinnie Pestano came through in his last four save chances, though none of them were easy (he allowed 10 baserunners in those conversions, dancing in and out of trouble). If Perez is healthy enough to pitch, the Indians will probably get him back in the ninth inning soon enough.
• Roto owners are finally getting a few breaks in the middle infield, with Aaron Hill (hand) returning to action Tuesday and Jose Reyes (ankle) set for a Wednesday comeback. Hill steps back into the No. 2 slot in Arizona's lineup (in front of Paul Goldschmidt, yes please), and his first game was a productive one (two hits, one walk, two runs). Reyes will be the leadoff man for the resurgent Jays, and he was running aggressively during his rehab assignment. If I were shuffling the middle infielders right now, I'd put Reyes around $20-21 and Hill into the high teens.
• Kris Medlen has been letter-perfect for most of June, perhaps inspired by the looming Brandon Beachy situation. Medlen scored his fourth victory of the month in Tuesday's win at Kansas City, and look at the rest of the picture: 2.14 ERA, 1.07 WHIP, 2 BB, 28 K. If the Braves push Medlen out of the rotation at any point in 2013, they're probably making a grave error. Beachy (elbow) remains out indefinitely; he'll throw a bullpen session at some point this week, but he's not expected to rejoin the Braves until some point after the All-Star break.
Speed Round: Although Alexei Ramirez has collected 12 errors on the season, the White Sox don't plan to bench him. Perhaps they're in tune with the advanced metrics that give Ramirez a plus grade in the field. Roto owners are just in it for the numbers and Ramirez is solid there, with a .277 average and a surprising 17 steals . . . It's unlikely Evan Gattis (oblique) will be ready to come off the DL on July 3, when he's first eligible . . . The Cubs finally admitted Carlos Marmol is untradable: they designated him for assignment Tuesday . . . Bronson Arroyo's soft serves haven't been fooling AL hitters this year. The Athletics hit a slew of rockets against the guitarist Tuesday (7 H, 7 R), and the Indians went for eight hits and five runs at the end of May. Thankfully, Arroyo doesn't pitch in the Arlington series this weekend . . . The Rockies should have Rafael Betancourt (groin) back Friday, which eventually pushes Rex Brothers back into a complimentary role . . . Melky Cabrera is hitting fifth for the Blue Jays on Wednesday, making room for Reyes at the leadoff spot . . . Nate Schierholtz went 2-for-4 with a homer Tuesday. He might be an interesting trading target for a contender . . . Matt Garza owners would love to see a trade as well, with the Dodgers and Padres reportedly two of the interested teams.
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