Mercury-rising temperatures both on land and sea are a reminder to Floridians activity in the tropics is heating up. With denizens in northwestern Florida bracing for the first land-falling tropical storm of the season, Claudette, residents off to the southeast are keeping a watchful eye on another dangerous tempest. Its name: Hurricane Chris.
Over the past month, the Marlins' Chris Coghlan(notes) has catapulted his way into the NL ROY conversation. Spurred by the trade deadline acquisition of Nick Johnson(notes), the versatile leadoff man has been nothing short of spectacular. Including Sunday's stellar 5-for-10 (1 HR, 3 RBI, 2 R) performance in a pivotal double-header split with fellow wild-card contender Colorado, he's batted .368 with five homers 18 RBIs, 20 runs and two steals since July 15th. Entering action, the offensive Cog ranked 39th overall and third among second baseman during that stretch per Yahoo! ratings. Despite the fact that Coghlan tallied a club record eight straight multi-hit games and 29 total base knocks this month, many owners continue to idiotically ignore the consistent juggernaut. Shockingly, he's owned in just 42 percent of Y! Plus leagues.
Of course, Coghlan was plucked off waivers in competitive leagues weeks ago, but if available in shallow formats, the lefty-swinger deserves immediate attention. As we first profiled back in early May, the 24-year-old's contagious enthusiasm, patient approach (11.3 BB%), excellent contact profile (83.9 CT%) and all-around abilities are the reasons why one scout declared he has "no downside." Simply put, the man is a multi-hit machine who can contribute positively in runs, homers, steals and especially batting average.
Occasionally, tropical systems can intensify rapidly overnight. Based on what we've seen recently from Hurricane Coghlan, his well-defined eye and surprising power have the rookie on the precipice of a ‘major' classification.
• Though the Rambo-inspired mane might be on permanent vacation, Magglio Ordonez(notes) continued his resurgence, clubbing his third homer since the break. Searing this month, the former consistency king has cracked a .355 average with two homers, five RBIs and five runs. His power production is still untrustworthy, but he will remain a robust BA source down the stretch.
• Garrett Atkins(notes), like Maggs, is another former dependable numbers source who's slowly crawling out of the grave. Used almost exclusively against lefties over the past several weeks, the maligned corner infielder will be deployed more often per Jim Tracy. Ian Stewart(notes) has batted a respectable .270 since the break, but has slowed significantly in the power department (2 HR, 10 RBIs in last 74 at-bats), which has opened the door again for Atkins. He shouldn't be reacquired in 12-team formats, but is an option of interest in deeper leagues.
• Donning the gear for DL displaced Jarrod Saltalamacchia(notes); Taylor Teagarden(notes) cracked his fifth homer of the season, a towering solo shot off Junichi Tazawa(notes). Expected to receive a bulk of the action over the next couple weeks, the preseason buzz sleeper is worth a look in deeper formats, especially for the power-starved. In his past 10 starts, the three-percent owned backstop has reached the bleachers four times.
• Brian Fuentes(notes) continued to travel down a rocky road as the erratic stopper conceded an earned run in the ninth against the O's, his fifth blown save of the season. After a horrific end to July, the Angels closer had righted the ship in his last three impeccable outings. However, Sunday's failed attempt rekindles unsettling feelings. For now, his job remains secure.
• Cincinnati's Justin Lehr(notes), who once was the Mr. Baseball of Korea's Doosan Bears, posted his third-straight quality start (4 ER in his last 21 IP), surrendering three earned over six innings against the surging Nationals. The 32-year-old journeyman is the antithesis of overpowering, but his commendable command and dependence on a hard-diving splitter have attracted ample weak contact (1.15 GB/FB). Facing the woeful Pirates twice in his next three turns, the 19-percent owned righty is a commodity to consider in deep mixed leagues.
Quick Hitters: Mike MacDougal(notes) polished off the rancid Reds for his seventh save this month. In other news, the Devil is shivering in hell. … Johnny Cueto(notes), plagued by persistent suckitis, will have his next start skipped. Since July 6th, he ranks dead last in fantasy production among qualifying pitchers per Baseball Monster (10.64 ERA, 2.18 WHIP, 0 W). When you're in the esteemed company of Joe Saunders(notes), Homer Bailey(notes) and Glen Perkins(notes), it's time to sever the cord. … Vladimir Guerrero(notes), who is hitting .357 this month with four homers, was scratched due to left leg stiffness. He is expected to return Monday. … David Wright(notes), a day after being nearly beheaded by a Matt Cain(notes) fastball, was placed on the 15-day DL. Per Jerry Manuel, it's possible he could be lost for the season. Fernando Tatis(notes), who is an intriguing waiver claim in deeper formats, will see routine at-bats in Wright's absence. … Struggling closer Frank Francisco(notes) logged his second save in his past three chances, tossing a 1-2-3 ninth against Boston. Ron Washington gave his troubled stopper a vote of confidence Saturday. Sunday's flawless performance only solidifies Francisco's standing as the Rangers' No. 1 option. … Rich Harden(notes), whose start was rained out today, will receive extended rest, pushing his next outing back to Thursday. … Though there were a number of magnificent lines in today's Angels/O's 37 hit slugfest, the most crooked tally goes to Erick Aybar(notes) - 6-2-3-3, 2 SB. Unbelievably, the switch-hitting shortstop is still available in 53 percent of Y! leagues.