By Ian Kay
With eight weeks of regular season remaining, I think we can officially declare it CRUNCH TIME 2010.
You know your team’s strengths and weaknesses. Here are some widely-available dudes (listed in the order I’d claim them) who can help with the latter and won’t cost much more than a roster spot. We’ll look at power sources today, then speed and pitching later in the week.
- Check if Adam LaRoche (62 percent owned in Yahoo! leagues) is still hanging around your waiver wire. He’s LaRaking .339 with five homers and 15 RBIs in his last 16 games and has a career .301/.363/.547 line after the All-Star break.
- Pat Burrell (3 percent) loves him some National League. The outfielder is hitting .283/.378/.493 in 164 at-bats with the Giants and is now batting fifth or sixth regularly.
- Matt LaPorta (11 percent) has a career .563 Minor League slugging percentage. He’s going to start hitting home runs at some point. With a pair of dingers in his last four games, this could be that point.
- Third trade’s a charm for Brett Wallace (4 percent). A hot streak could land him regular at-bats from the Astros’ three-hole and the third base eligibility is a bonus. Expect 6-8 home runs with an average that won’t kill you.
- Hey, the Royals are finally giving Kila Ka’aihue (1 percent) and his .521 career Triple-A slugging percentage a big league shot. Leis for everyone!
- Mike Morse (2 percent) is very quietly batting .316 with eight homers and 20 RBIs in 114 at-bats for the Nationals this season. He’ll hit sixth behind Zimmerman, Dunn and Willingham while Nyjer Morgan is on the DL.
- Mitch Moreland (0 percent) looks more like an average/doubles hitter than a true masher, but all bets are off in Rangers Ballpark and that lineup. He’ll see regular at-bats as the left-handed side of a first base platoon with Jorge Cantu.
- Dan Johnson (0 percent — don’t all jump on the bandwagon at once!) hasn’t seen regular Major League playing time since ’07 and spent last year hitting .215 in the Japanese Central League. He’s probably not very good. Even so, he hit second on Saturday and cleanup Sunday, and that should lead to some runs and ribbies on the days when Tampa Bay manages more than one hit.