Three potential difference-makers have just been called up to the Majors from AAA – depending on how your fantasy league works you may be able to grab them already. Even if you can’t, you should probably be hovering over the waiver wire until they become available.
Jeff Clement, C/DH, Mariners – Although Clement has been blocked for years at catcher by the recent extension given to Kenji Johjima (to much gnashing of teeth and rending of garments), he is now going to get a shot to be the Mariners’ full-time DH, thanks to the utter suckiness of current Ms DH Jose Vidro ( .211/.269/.326). Some people are wondering if Clement is going to displace Vidro right away, but I say that he is – I just can’t see the Mariners calling up Clement (and releasing Greg Norton) just to have him ride the pine – and given Clement’s insane AAA line this year of .397/.535/.692, you have to take a chance on him if you at all have space on your roster.
Max Scherzer, SP, Diamondbacks – The DBacks are riding high with baseball’s best record, and had no particular plans or even need to call up Scherzer any time soon, but his insane performance at AAA so far this year – a 1.17 ERA and 38 K in 23 IP – forced them to call him up. Initially they were just going to use him as a reliever, but his stunning performance on Tuesday night, retiring all 13 batters he faced, 7 by strikeout, while hitting 98 mph on the gun, forced the Dbacks to take Edgar Gonzalez out of the rotation to make room for him. He will be starting on Monday, and should be good for strikeouts, and with the Dbacks’ offense, wins, right from the get-go.
Darrell Rasner, SP, Yankees – This may be a less obvious pick, given that Rasner has not been too exciting in previous major league tours, posting a career 4.13 ERA in 52.1 career IP. But with the Yankees finally finding a way to make Philip Hughes disappear (claiming an oblique strain in order to DL him), Rasner looks certain to get the call, and he has been pitching out of his mind this season at AAA Scranton, going 4-0 with a 0.87 ERA in 5 starts, while striking out 27 men in 31 innings. While he is certainly not going reproduce those numbers at the major league level, the 27-year-old hurler looks to have turned a corner this season, and with the Yankees offense behind him he should be good for wins, some strikeouts, and a decent ERA right away, and should be able to help almost any fantasy pitching staff at the back end.