Sam Fuld (Yahoo! 0%, ESPN 0%, CBS 1%) barely received any playing time this week, putting the fan-favorite into an at-bat-less reality he’ll have to accept while the rest of the Rays outfield enjoys good health. If injury strikes, Fuld should be a useful AL-only player, but until then, it’s safe to forget him.

Good for Domonic Brown (Yahoo! 4%, ESPN 1%, CBS 23%), who is finally getting hits at the major league level. Unfortunately for fantasy owners, though, none have gone for home runs, and he’s yet to even attempt a steal. Playing full-time and batting second should keep Brown useful in NL-only leagues, but in mixed leagues his line comes up a bit too empty for use.

Hanging Around
Mike Carp (Yahoo! 7%, ESPN 10%, CBS 10%) wasn’t able to pop one over the Yankee Stadium right field porch, but he did get five hits last week and remains a fixture in the Mariners lineup. The M’s face five righties in their next six games, so look for Carp to receive the playing time to display his power potential.

I was surprised to see that Nate Schierholtz’s (Yahoo! 2%, ESPN 1%, CBS 5%) ownership rates barely budged in the past week, given that he was recently promised full-time at-bats. So far Charlie Manuel has been a man of his word, penciling Schierholtz into his lineup every day. Unfortunately, the Phillies face two lefties this week, but regardless, Nate should be in the lineup and worth starting in 14-team mixed leagues and deeper.

Early in the season, Andy Dirks(Yahoo 7%, ESPN 7%, CBS 21%) great play forced him into the Tigers lineup. Then he abruptly suffered an Achilles injury, and his .328/.379/.515 slash line was frozen for 55 games. Finally, Dirks returned this week, and he has picked up where he left off, slapping nine hits in his first five games back while forcing his back way into the Tigers lineup. In some leagues Dirks has been stashed on the DL all this time, but in many leagues he was dropped and is available to be scooped up. He won’t hit for much power or steal many any bases, but he can hit for a solid .280s-.290s average, and the run and RBI opportunities should be plentiful in that coveted two-spot in the Detroit lineup (if he can wrestle it from Omar Infante). Even in 12-team mixed leagues, I’d have no problem adding Dirks.

David Murphy (Yahoo! 11%, ESPN 11%, CBS 28%) will no longer split time in the Rangers outfield since manager Ron Washington no longer wants to “worry about match-up stuff.” For fantasy owners, this is good news; Murphy is now someone mixed league owners can consider using. He’s an all-around solid player capable of a .280s average and around five homers and steals over the final third of the year. I’d check quickly to make sure Murphy isn’t sitting on waivers in any league.

AL-only VP
‘Out with the old (Johnny Damon) and in with new’ is the motto these days in Cleveland. And in this case, the new is 25-year-old Ezequiel Carrera (Yahoo! 1%, ESPN 0%, CBS 6%). Carrera has played well in his third go-round at Triple-A, batting .294 with 26 steals in 100 games. Now he’s in the majors looking to keep that production up while facing mostly righties and hopefully stealing the occasional start against a lefty. I say hopefully because, of course, the Indians face three lefties in the next four days. Looking more long-term though, Carrera should be a decent speed option down the stretch in AL-only and deeper mixed leagues.

NL-only VP
While Michael Cuddyer waits for an oblique to mend, the now-27 year old Eric Young (Yahoo! 2%, ESPN 0%, CBS 2%) is playing nearly every day in the Rockies outfield. By now you should know the story with Young: a speed-only guy who can be valuable if he keeps his average up. For those of you who value five game samples, Young has multiple hits in four of his last five, so he’s hot at the moment. For those who need steals now, Young makes for a good option.

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In a league that counts AVG-HR-RBI-Runs-NetSB-2B3B, would you drop Wil Venable, Domonic Brown, Justin Ruggiano or Delmon Young for Andy Dirks?
No problem, it makes my articles look more popular ;). I encourage the drop of Brown for Dirks. If average is more important than steals to you, I'd even do Venable. Delmon Young and Dirks' values are intimately related, if Dirks does become an everyday player, Young's value could really be hurt. The Detroit lineup is one to follow between Dirks, Quintin Berry, and Young.
(sp)Will Venable
drat, still messed up the link...sorry for wasting Comment space.
Will Venable
Isn't Murphy just terrible against lefties though?
He is batting .381/.438/.452 against them in 42 at-bats this year. And even though that is above his career average, that career average is still a solid .264. He seems to lose his power stroke rather than his ability to hit altogether against lefties. And keep in mind we're only talking about 500 at-bats over six seasons, there's a lot unknown.
Like Paul said, it can be hard to make that kind of assessment by looking at the numbers. There's tons of noise in platoon splits: