Fantasy baseball hitter stocks

Fantasy baseball hitter stocks

By David Ferris
CSNChicago.com

Buy

Carlos Gomez, OF, Brewers: He's still swinging from his heels like he's the second coming of Jose Canseco, but after a sizzling July (.274, five homers, 11 steals), we'll leave him alone. Gomez can take a bag almost any time he likes (he's 19-for-23 on the year) and the Brewers are letting him bat in the No. 2 slot, even with his lack of patience. Power and speed combos are wonderful rotisserie finds, no matter how much batting-average risk you might be taking on.

Travis Snider, OF, Pirates: Get out the post-hype sleeper file, it's time for another entry. Snider was considered a Top 10 prospect as recently as 2009, but let's not call him a bust today - he's still just 24. We saw Snider mashing Triple-A pitching over the last few years (a .333.412.565 slash gets your attention) and the Bucs are going to use him every day and perhaps slot him leadoff as well. Sometimes a change of scenery is all a young player needs to get over the hump.

Ryan Ludwick, OF, Reds: He's cracked 13 homers over the last two months and yet he's unowned in over 85 percent of Yahoo! leagues. A home address in hitter-friendly Cincinnati is a good start for Ludwick, and his average actually jumps 57 points on the road. You can buy in and trust him as a regular, Dusty Baker already has. Swing for the fences.

Sell

Marco Scutaro, Utility, Giants: San Francisco should have realized the pitfalls of Scutaro - his home OPS is 245 points higher this season, a clear residual from Coors Field. The Giants will welcome Scutaro's versatility and professionalism, but they shouldn't be using him near the top of the lineup.

Pedro Ciriaco, Utility, Red Sox: The .348 average and six steals sound nice, but Ciriaco is the type of hack-first batter that tends to get figured out quickly by opposing pitching staffs. Ciriaco only had six walks in 289 plate-appearances at Triple-A this year, and he spent eight seasons in the minors for a reason. There's nothing long-term to grab onto here.

Anthony Gose, OF, Blue Jays: The 21-year-old hasn't done much in his first go-round, just 5-for-28 since joining the club (with 12 strikeouts). He's flashed elite speed at every minor-league level, but there's still no way to swipe first base in this game. When Jose Bautista is ready to play again, Gose probably slides to the bench (or to the minors).

Hold

Eric Hosmer, 1B, Royals: Despite a static line-drive rate and KBB ratios, Hosmer has dropped 62 BABIP points this year. His HRFB clip is down three percent as well. This has fluke written all over it, and it's a perfect time to quietly make an inquiry for Hosmer in your keeper league.

Delmon Young, OF, Tigers: His fundamentals are all over the place, but at least he's been more selective of late (a season-high six walks in July). And Young's connections have also been fun: five homers last month, and strong run-production stats in the middle of Detroit's deep lineup. Young can't play the outfield to save his life, but the Tigers DH him about 75 percent of the time. Not a bad support bat for the end of your roster.

Carlos Rodon plays catch but timeline for return still uncertain

Carlos Rodon plays catch but timeline for return still uncertain

Carlos Rodon played catch in front of Don Cooper on Monday afternoon but only added to the intrigue surrounding his health when he declined to talk to the media.

On the 10-day disabled list with a biceps strain, the White Sox said Rodon continues to make progress in his rehab program. Cooper said the third-year pitcher felt and looked fine as he played catch in left field. But neither he nor manager Rick Renteria offered many more details on when Rodon may return or even when he could throw off a mound.

"He looked like he played catch good," Cooper said. "His throwing program is progressing. He felt fine. He threw the ball fine. That's kind of where we are at. He threw fine and move on to the next."

Rodon is in town for several days to be observed by the White Sox. On Friday, general manager Rick Hahn described the visit as a "routine follow-up visit." But other than making sure they're cautious with Rodon, the club hasn't been able to offer a specific timetable for their prized pitcher.

"I can't tell you in detail what the program is," Renteria said. "I know it involves throwing and making sure he's getting treatments and making sure it's taken care of, the issue he had with his biceps. We know it's getting better."

But the improvement hasn't made the situation any easier to deal with. When they started him on a delayed program this spring, the White Sox had Rodon pegged for 33 starts and 200 innings. As of now, there's no certainty when he'll make his first turn and the calendar is nearing May.

"He's frustrated," Cooper said. "He wants to get through this, through all of it. We are just there to try to make sure he's doing things right and there's progression.

"Well, I mean we've already taken a lot of caution. He's important to us now and in the future. We wouldn't rush with him or anybody."

SportsTalk Live Podcast: Can Bulls bounce back against Celtics?

jimmy-butler-0424.jpg
USA TODAY

SportsTalk Live Podcast: Can Bulls bounce back against Celtics?

In the latest edition of the SportsTalk Live Podcast, CSN's David Kaplan is joined by the Chicago Tribune's David Haugh and the Chicago Sun-Times' Adam Jahns to discuss the Bulls falling to a 2-2 series tie with the Celtics.

The guys predict how the first-round playoff series will end and talk about how Isaiah Canaan will fare as the starting point guard in Game 5.

Then, the panel discusses whether Matt Davidson should be in the White Sox lineup more and who will still be playing on the South Side when the White Sox rebuild is done.

Finally, the panel discusses a couple of contract extensions for Pat Fitzgerald and Chris Collins at Northwestern.

Take a listen to the episode below: