Fantasy baseball: Pickups of the week

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After a great weekend of baseball, it's time to get your mind back into fantasy mode and start sifting through the waiver wire for that extra arm or bat for your lineup.

We're here to help, so here are the guys you might want to take a look at when you're spending your time at work on fantasy baseball instead of work itself.


Joel Piniero - St. Louis Cardinals (SP)
3.86 ERA, 2-3, 34 K, 1.24 WHIP

He didn't pick up the victory against the Boston Red Sox on Sunday, but Piniero certainly did enough to give the Cards' a chance. Somehow Tony LaRussa is making all the right moves and Piniero is just the latest example. On a team that has consistently defied the odds at every turn, Piniero could be an extremely solid fifth starter for your rotation and should be available in the majority of your leagues.

Sidney Ponson - New York Yankees (SP)
3.88 ERA, 4-1, 25 K, 1.56 WHIP

Chances are you probably can't even pick Ponson up in your league because he's still in the minors after signing a contract with the Yankees last week. Manager Joe Girardi sounds like he will be making a call to the big right-hander due to the injuries that have seemed to pop up almost daily amongst his pitching staff.

Ponson was pitching well for the Texas Rangers, but was booted after a string of questionable behavior. Everyone knows he's got the stuff to be a quality starter for any team, now it's just a matter of keeping it together. As soon as you hear the news that Ponson is getting the call up to the big-show, snag him immediately. With that powerful Yankees offense providing run support, Ponson could possibly give you a very nice second half of service.

Aubrey Huff - Baltimore Orioles (DH/1B)
.271 AVG, 14 HR, 42 RBI, .342 OBP, .500 SLG

It's not too often that I reccomend picking up players from the Orioles outside of second baseman Brian Roberts. But in the case of Aubrey Huff I'll make an exception. If you're in a very deep league, Huff may already be putting up respectable power numbers for one of your foes. But if he's not, I'd take a long hard look at a guy that has been consistently hitting for power and driving in runs this season.

In April he had five homeruns, May he had four and so far in June he's hit five more. Huff is just going about his business while remaining a very valuable fantasy threat and could do wonders if you're in need of a replacement DH or first baseman.

Eric Hinske - Tampa Bay Rays (RF)
.258 AVG, 12 HR, 39 RBI, .339 OBP, .510 SLG

The 2002 Rookie of the Year has seemingly found a home in Tamp Bay and you fantasy baseball players out there should take notice. Up until his oh-fer performance yesterday against the Houston Astros, Hinske was on a seven game hitting streak in which he drove in eight runs and swiped a pair of bases.

It's imperative to have good outfielders in fantasy baseball and if you got stuck on the short end of the stick in this particular area it's time you start making some moves here. Take a flyer on Hinske and stop waiting for guys like Minnesota Twins outfielder Delmon Young to produce. Talent doesn't do anything for you in fantasy baseball, production does. Time to take notice.

Hong-Chih Kuo - Los Angeles Dodgers (RP)
1.76 ERA, 3-1, 55 K, 1.00 WHIP, 46 IP

It's tough to find good bullpen help these days. Everyone knows who the good ones are and once they're gone it basically becomes a crap shoot.

But now the guy you need to know about is Hong-Chih Kuo.

In the past 28 innings Kuo has pitched, he's given up a miniscule three earned runs while posting a eye-popping 0.96 ERA. If it wasn't for a terrible outing against the Reds back in late April (3.2 IP, 5 ER), Kuo would have a grand total of four earned runs and an ERA of 0.84 for the season.

Better yet, he's owned in 16-percent of ESPN fantasy baseball leagues and I can almost guarantee he'd be available in yours.

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Matt Wood is a web editor for suntimes.com and editor of CenterstageChicago.com. He is also a contributor for satirical sports publication The Heckler. Have a fantasy question? E-mail him.

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Matt Olsen published on June 23, 2008 1:17 PM.

Sunday's best and worst of fantasy baseball was the previous entry in this blog.

Tuesday links: so is Sabathia getting traded or what? is the next entry in this blog.

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