Drew Storen, RP, WAS - Making his seventh consecutive scoreless appearance, Storen earned the save against the Marlins on Sunday while Tyler Clippard was unavailable after pitching on three straight days. Nationals manager Davey Johnson indicated that Storen is done with the ?in-season rehab? that has limited his workload in recent weeks, but a shared closer role may be the status quo at least temporarily. As we have seen from the Nats in recent seasons, Johnson is more than willing to mix and match his relievers based on recent performance, game situations and workload patterns. Still, in leagues where a handful of saves between now and October could be worth a couple of points in the standings, Storen offers value even as a part-time ninth-inning option.
Dan Straily, SP, OAK - Picking up Straily off the waiver wire has been borderline impossible in my leagues, which is hard to believe when you consider that this time last year he was a 22-year-old member of the rotation at High-A Stockton. Prior to being called up by the A's on Friday, Straily led all minor league pitchers with 175 strikeouts this season, while he's carried an 11.4 K/9IP between Double-A Midland and Triple-A Sacramento, while demonstrating good control and an ability to keep the ball in the park. In many ways, Straily's path to Oakland is similar to that of Brandon Beachy in Atlanta at the end of the 2010 season. Entering the year, Straily failed to crack the top-30 in Baseball America's organizational ranking of the A's farm system. A 24th-round pick from Marshall University, Straily is in position to stick with the A's after holding the Blue Jays to one run on five hits over six innings while striking out five and walking one in his season debut Friday night.
Jean Segura, SS, MIL - The Brewers are getting a look at their shortstop of the future sooner rather than later, as Segura was recalled Monday after Milwaukee parted ways with Cesar Izturis. Just 22, Segura has shown a reliable ability to make contact and draw the occasional walk in the minors, while his greatest asset for fantasy owners will be the damage done on the basepaths. After stealing 50 bases in 130 games at Low-A Cedar Rapids in 2010, Segura added 18 steals in 44 games at High-A last season before going 37-for-49 at Double-A in 2012. Eventually, he may receive consideration to fill the Brewers' leadoff role, which will also make him asset in the runs scored department with Ryan Braun, Aramis Ramirez and Corey Hart following him in the order. Manager Ron Roenicke is easing Segura into the mix by using him eighth in his Brewers debut Monday night.
Chris Johnson, 3B, ARI - Poor plate discipline took the helium out of Johnson's impressive debut with the Astros in 2010 (.308/.337/.481, 15:91 BB:K in 341 at-bats) and a 70-point drop in BABIP helped the believers quickly write him off last season when he hit .251/.291/.378 in 107 games. At 27, Johnson should be approaching his power peak and the shift from Minute Maid Park to Chase Field could pay nice dividends, especially since the D-Backs have little in the way of big league options to push him for playing time down the stretch. Johnson's numbers have rebounded this season to .285/.335/.453, and underneath there is an increase to a career-high 6.4% walk rate. Further, the batted ball profile has rebounded with a trade of groundballs (down from 46.3% in 2011 to 39.4%) for extra line drives and flyballs. In short, the seemingly inflated .387 BABIP from Johnson's rookie season may be a bit less inflated than we initially thought, and his chances of sustaining an average in the .270-.280 range are subsequently better.
Justin Maxwell, OF, HOU - With 12 homers in 186 at-bats, Maxwell continues to show impressive raw power when given the opportunity. The Astros have done an admirable job of clearing the decks in recent weeks, unloading their veterans and opening the door for a number of unproven players to see prominent roles. The wart here is right-handed pitching, as Maxwell has a .235/.283/.487 line in 119 at-bats against righties this season with a 6:44 K:BB. As a result, Maxwell may only see a handful of starts each week when he slumps, making him a more viable power specialist in leagues that allow frequent (daily) lineup adjustments.
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