Tomorrow, July 31, will mark the 24th anniversary of Nintendo’s original Game Boy being available in-stores in North America. The present author was not old enough to have one at the time of release, however he does have fond memories of playing on his Game Boy Color.
On today’s agenda:
1. B.J. Upton‘s looming return
2. The return of Michael Morse
3. A rough start for Brandon Beachy
4. Potential position change for Xander Bogaerts
B.J. Upton‘s looming return
There may not be a strict timetable for Upton’s return, but Atlanta Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez believes that Upton will begin a rehab assignment this week. This season has been a disappointing one for Upton owners, and his injury seems to have driven many owners away. Currently available in over 55% of ESPN leagues, 40% of CBS leagues, and 35% of Yahoo! formats, Upton is a prime buy low candidate.
You’ll have to excuse his poor batting average, however Upton is more than capable of making up his shortcomings there with his counting stats. He has the potential to grab both double digit home runs and steals upon his return. A 10-10 rest-of-season performance isn’t outside the realm of possibility for him. Of players widely available, there aren’t many, perhaps none, that can realistically make that claim. If Upton happens to be available to pick up in your league, grab him.
The return of Michael Morse
Yesterday the Seattle Mariners activated Michael Morse from the 15-day disabled list and designated Jason Bay for assignment to free up a roster spot. Morse figures to be the starting right fielder and with secure playing time could be a solid power play down the stretch. Since arriving in Seattle, Morse has been limited to just 56 games and 226 PA’s, though he has hit well in stretches. His home run per fly ball rate has seen a slight drop from his career average, but his 19.6% HR/FB% rates in the top 25 in baseball with a minimum of 220 PA’s.
Morse’s power is still playable in Safeco and he is eligible in the outfield as well as first base. In addition to his playing time and position flexibility, Morse is available in plenty of leagues. One can grab Morse in 35% of CBS leagues, 55% of Yahoo! formats, and 65% of CBS leagues. If anyone is looking for a potential late season power surge, Morse has more pros than cons.
A rough start for Brandon Beachy
In his first major league start since June of last year, Brandon Beachy failed to reach the fifth inning while throwing 84 pitches. He did generate 12 swinging strikes and claimed five strikeouts against just one walk. The trouble was that five of his eight hits allowed were for extra bases, including two solo home runs.
There was good news, as Beachy’s fastballs — both two and four-seam — averaged about 92 mph, basically right in line with his career average of 91.6 mph. It certainly wasn’t an awe-inspiring season debut for Beachy, but there is reason to hope for better results later. Beachy is still a good buy and is available in 50% of both Yahoo! and CBS leagues though just 20% of CBS leagues.
Potential position change for Xander Bogaerts
There have been countless words and pages discussing and debating a potentially needed position change for Xander Bogaerts, however yesterday the Boston Red Sox manager John Farrell may have shed some new light on the subject. Farrell mentioned that Bogaerts feels more comfortable at shortstop, as one would expect, but the possibility of moving him to third at the big league level remains in play. Yesterday marked the fifth time that Bogaerts started at third base in Triple-A. He is currently hitting for a strong .273/.377/.476 line as a 20-year-old. Now that Jose Iglesias has cooled off and with Will Middlebrooks still in Triple-A, Bogaerts may be the third baseman in Boston sooner rather than later. At this point a call up before rosters expand seems likely.
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