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May 21, 2012 posted by Dan Stack

2012 Fantasy Baseball: Players to watch (Week 8)

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With the first installment of interleague games in the books, it’s back to the same routine as teams get set for playing games within their own league now.

As we approach June, a number of rookie call-ups will be given a look and one such player is highlighted on this list along with a closer about to get his long awaited chance.

So lets’ look at some hot, intriguing and trending names to watch this week.

Aroldis Chapman: Cincinnati Reds

Well, it took long enough but it appears Dusty Baker is finally relenting and making Chapman the Reds’ closer. Heck, did Dusty read my Facebook status on FP911.com’s page this week?

All I can say is it’s about time (as our many fantasy players), as Chapman has been nothing short of filthy this season. Chapman has yet to allow an earned run in 22.1 innings while fanning 39 batters in the process.

Chapman aced his first test in getting a save in Sunday’s win over the Yankees. Expect many more for the rest of the season. This week Chapman and the Reds face off against the Braves and Rockies at home.

Matt Adams: St. Louis Cardinals

With Lance Berkman headed for the DL again (boy, was that brief), this time the Cardinals didn’t pass up the chance to bring up uber-slugging prospect Matt Adams.

Adams has made himself quite a popular name in the minors for his prodigious power at the plate. We’ll get to see if that translates to the next level. Adams is already off to a fine start after going 2- 4 in Sunday’s game against the Dodgers.

This week Adams and the Cardinals will take on San Diego (Clayton Richard, Edinson Volquez and Jeff Suppan) and Philadelphia (Joe Blanton, Cliff Lee, Kyle Kendrick and Roy Halladay), with all games being played at home.

Kevin Youkilis/Will Middlebrooks: Boston Red Sox

As Kevin Youkilis gets set to come off the DL on Tuesday, it will be an interesting predicament Bobby Valentine finds himself in as he tries to make room for the tried and true vet in Youkilis while at the same time finding a spot for the surging youngster Will Middlebrooks as well.

With Adrian Gonzalez and David Ortiz  set at first base and DH respectively, either Youkilis or Middlebrooks will have to play out of position in the outfield. However, some reports suggest that Middlebrooks may be sent down in order to get regular playing time at third base, his natural position. The Red Sox ideally would like to trade Youkilis, but with the market dry right now that might be far-fetched idea.

This week the Red Sox will match up with the Baltimore Orioles (Tommy Hunter, Brian Matusz and Jake Arrieta) and the Tampa Bay Rays (Alex Cobb, David Price and Jeremy Hellickson).

Stephen Strasburg: Washington Nationals

Strasburg has his owners on edge right now, as he reported tightness in his bicep after his start on Sunday vs. Baltimore.

Strasburg claims that it’s nothing serious. We’ll believe that when we see him on the mound in his next start, which is scheduled for Saturday at Atlanta.

Ike Davis: New York Mets

Demotion Alert!

With the Blue Jays sending down Adam Lind and the Marlins demoting Gaby Sanchez, the Mets might be the next team to demote its slugging first baseman.

Aside from a few bombs here and there, Davis has been awful, batting just .160 for the year. Davis is now two for his last 26 with seven strikeouts.

Apparently the theory is the Mets will give him another week to fatten up on some less-than-intimidating righties in the Pirates’ James McDonald and Charlie Morton while ending the week with matchups against the Padres’ Anthony Bass and Edinson Volquez.

Johan Santana: New York Mets

There were major question marks surrounding Santana this year as he tried to recover from major shoulder surgery. Santana has not only come back healthy, but has flourished as well.

With a changeup that continues to keep batters baffled, Santana is striking out batters a great rate (46 K’s in 43.2 innings pitched) while limiting the base runners (1.17 WHIP).

With two starts against some of the weaker lineups in the league in the Pirates (away) and the Padres (at home), Santana has to be considered a must-start pitcher once again.

Madison Bumgarner: San Francisco Giants

While Santana is surprisingly getting a lot of strikeouts, Bumgarner has not been that lucky in getting  batters to whiff, as he has only 30 K’s in 52.1 innings pitched.

The lack of punch outs has been about the only blemish for Bumgarner thus far, as he still owns a solid 3.10 ERA and 1.11 WHIP (not to mention five victories). Eventually the strikeouts should come.

Hopefully they will come in bunches in his two starts this week, as Bumgarner and the Giants get set to go on the road to take on the Brewers and the Marlins.

Jerome Williams: Los Angeles Angels

It has been boom or bust for Williams this year, but the economical pitcher has delivered on most occasions so far(one excused hiccup was when he was thrust into a rain-delayed onslaught at Texas).

This week would be a good time to take a chance on this back-end starter as he has two decent matchups (albeit on the road) vs. Oakland and Seattle.

David Wright: New York Mets

Is there a hotter hitter in baseball than David Wright?

Well, when you lead the majors with a .412 batting average and .510 on base percentage, the answer is presumably no.

Wright can’t stop himself from getting on base these days and with the same matchups as Davis (plus a few matchups against lefties Erik Bedard, Eric Stults and Clayton Richard), Wright should be in for another stellar week.

Ryan Braun: Milwaukee Brewers

Braun, the reigning NL MVP, is heating up in a big way.

Braun is currently on a nine-game hitting streak, going 16 for his last 40 with two home runs while driving in eight runs and swiping four bags in the process.

Braun and the Brewers will be taking on the Giants (Bumgarner, Matt Cain and Barry Zito) and the Diamondbacks (Ian Kennedy, Wade Miley and Patrick Corbin) this week.

Follow me on Twitter @Stacdemon

My name is Dan Stack and I live in Nyack, New York, which is about 20 miles north of New York City. I am a writer/blogger who is passionate about many things, namely sports. I am also very passionate when it comes to fantasy sports, whether it be baseball, football or basketball. You can find me writing/blogging here at FantasyPros911.com, BleacherReport.com, Mets360.com, GiantsFootballBlog.com and WeAreDePaul.com. I have also been the Managing Editor of my county's weekly newspaper (Rockland County Times). I hold a BA degree in Journalism/Broadcasting from C.W. Post University in Brookville, New York. I have other passion besides sports as I am big in to music, pop culture, dogs and and other fun stuff. I love New York and all that it has to offer. You can often find me writing/blogging, watching TV, attending movies or at a ballgame. E-Mail if you have any questions or comments.
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