Owned in fewer than 50% of league polled
SP Michael Pineda, New York Yankees
Finally ready to debut in Pinstripes?
Remember this guy? The one the Yanks traded Jesus Montero for in January of 2012. Shortly after the swap, Pineda dealt with shoulder issues that later led to surgery for a torn labrum. He missed all of last season recovering.
The Seattle Mariners were quickly deemed the winners of that trade. Not so fast. Pineda's recovery is almost complete; he'll make his third rehab start in Florida today, where he'll throw around 80 pitches, and team brass is ecstatic that he's back in the mid-90s with his fastball.
Recovery from labrum surgery isn't easy and comes with no guarantees, but Pineda is young (24) and is showing excellent progress. Another three rehab starts could be all he needs before the Yanks deem him ready to return. When healthy, Pineda has the stuff to be an ace.
A full rebound might not come until next year, but Pineda can still deliver in the second half of 2013. He might already be owned in AL-only leagues, but start stashing him everywhere else.
1B Mitch Moreland, Texas Rangers
Moreland hasn't played since June 5 after suffering a Grade 1 right hamstring strain. He went on the disabled list the next day, but all indications are that he'll return this Friday after going 6-for-12 with a home run in three rehab outings with Double-A Frisco this week.
Ron Washington pledged to play Moreland more against lefties this year, and he's delivered, going 20-for-72 (.278) with a homer against them. He's solidified his plate approach, as well, and is putting the ball in the air more often. His penchant for solid contact should keep his average afloat near where he's at now (.288) for the remainder of the year.
Lance Berkman could steal some PT away from Moreland at first base now that Texas has decided to find Jurickson Profar a regular lineup spot with Ian Kinsler back, but it won't be enough to dissuade owners in mixed leagues from owning Moreland. A decent average with 25-home run power -- what's not to like?
About Keith Hernandez
Keith, an editor with KFFL, joined the team as a Hot off the Wire analyst in 2008 and has been playing fantasy sports since 2005. He is involved in MLB, NFL and NASCAR content. He graduated from the University of California-San Diego in 2005 with a B.A. in Communications and was a four-year starter as a member of the baseball program.
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