With two hits in four at-bats, Doug Fister has the highest wOBA on the Tigers. Miguel Cabrera checks in second at a cool .466 mark. Third place on the list is occupied not by Prince Fielder, but rather by Tuaisosopo at .435 (Fielder has a .390 wOBA and ranks fourth). Sure, Tuiasososopo has done it in just 75 plate appearances but with production like that, one has to wonder if he will start to eat into Andy Dirks’ playing time in left. Dirks edges Tuiasosopo in defense, but the Tigers aren’t known as a team that will keep a producing bat off the field for the sake of defense. Tuiasosopo doesn’t have an impressive minor-league résumé, with an average under .250 the past two seasons in Triple-A. But he has shown decent power, reaching 14 and 12 homers in those two years. His playing time is still too limited for mixed leagues, but I’d kick the tires on Tuiasosopo in AL-only leagues hoping the ride continues.
Due to a 25-game suspension and a hamstring injury, Ruiz hasn't had much of an opportunity to demonstrate whether or not his 2012 power breakout is even remotely sustainable. He should have a chance soon, though. Todd Zolecki of MLB.com reports that Ruiz hopes he'll be able to begin a rehab assignment next week, and then rejoin the Phillies on June 17.
Simply put, Tyler Flowers isn’t doing a good job of filling the void left by A.J. Piersynzki’s departure from Chicago. In his first full season, the 27-year-old Flowers is triple-slashing a disappointing .198/.271/.339 at the plate. Sometimes a catcher can justify his playing time with stellar defensive play, but Flowers hasn’t been up to par behind the plate either.
Morrison played in his first minor-league rehab game this season with High-A Jupiter on May 20. He has played in six games for Jupiter, and he served as a designated hitter in three of those games and played first base in the other three. He took the next step in his rehab assignment by moving up to Double-A Jacksonville on Tuesday. Morrison is recovering from surgery on the patellar tendon in his right knee, the second time he has undergone that type of procedure on it. In the spring, I wrote about him being worthy of a disabled-list spot. At the time, I was optimistic he'd be playing for the Marlins at this point, but alas, he is not. Morrison doesn't have an exact target date for his return, but Joe Frisaro reports that it could be around June 10.
Valencia has only been a productive major leaguer for half-a-season (in 2010), is now 28 years old, and doesn’t have a clear path to playing time. Sometimes, though, you just gotta take the chance on the guy who slugged his way to 11 home runs and 35 RBI in Triple-A regardless of age and situation. Right now Valencia, looks like he’s starting solely against lefties, limiting him to AL-only leagues. Perhaps he can convert his minor-league power into a few bombs in the big leagues and prove his AL-only worthiness.
Carlos Ruiz was placed on the disabled list on Monday with a Grade 2 hamstring strain, and he's expected to be out three to four weeks. While he is on the DL, Kratz will handle the starting catcher duties with Humberto Quintero serving as his backup. The 33-year-old backstop didn't do much with Ruiz serving a 25-game suspension to open the season, but he did hit three homers in just 92 plate appearances. He hits the ball in the air regularly (34.8 percent outfield fly-ball rate), and that will help his home-run power play up. He's not a catcher that should be rostered in most mixed leagues, even those in which teams start two catchers, but his steady playing time for the next month or so coupled with enough power to reach the seats a few times is reason enough to own him in larger NL-only formats.
Although he’s still not an everyday player, Rosales is finding his way into the lineup and producing enough to warrant consideration at middle-infield spots in mixed leagues. In 50 at-bats, he’s slashing an impressive .313/.400/.458 with a home run. And, as you may know, his homer total should really be two, given he was the batter victimized by the Angel Hernandez blown video-review call. It’s worth noting that the glass-boned Jed Lowrie and the ineffective Eric Sogard are currently limiting his playing time, meaning Rosales’ role could easily be expanded in the future. Rosales is currently filling the MI slot on my Tout Wars squad, a 15-team mixer, and could be a decent option for yours as well.
The thickly bearded, rocket-armed Josh Reddick has hit the disabled list with a wrist injury, prompting the veteran Barton to be recalled to Oakland. Barton’s past experiences in the majors aren’t pleasant ones, with replacement-level play forcing his demotion in the first half of both 2011 and 2012. Thus far in 2013, he has been playing well at Triple-A, batting .287 with three homers, 21 RBI, and a typical 19 percent walk rate. Barton figures to see playing time at first base when the A’s are facing a righty, but only for the couple of weeks Coco Crisp and Reddick are out. If you are in an AL-only league that uses OBP, he can be mildly exciting. Otherwise, there’s nothing to see here.