- Eric Karabell, ESPN.com Senior Writer
Milwaukee Brewers right-hander Mike Fiers entered Monday having allowed seven earned runs in his past nine outings covering 61 innings, and with a 1.80 ERA, and then the Colorado Rockies pounded him for eight runs in two innings. Fiers' ERA rose to 2.63. Fiers, owned in 99.2 percent of leagues at game time, remains worth owning. He was obviously overachieving, but Monday's performance at Coors Field was an aberration.
New York Yankees right-hander David Phelps threw five innings of two-run ball against Texas Monday, lowering his ERA to 2.53 in 57 innings. Phelps has posted a strong strikeout rate and should make a few more starts in place of CC Sabathia, if not others that are struggling. Consider Phelps in deeper leagues. If choosing between Phelps and Derek Lowe, who earned a four-inning save Monday, take Phelps.
Texas Rangers right-hander Ryan Dempster, meanwhile, was lit up for eight runs against those Yankees, his second brutal outing in three starts in the AL. Forget about his fine work for the Chicago Cubs this season; Dempster has allowed five home runs in those three outings, though he has faced the Yankees, Red Sox and Angels. Dempster's next start is scheduled in Toronto, and he's not a good play there, either.
Minnesota Twins infielder Trevor Plouffe was hitless in four at-bats Monday, his first action in nearly a month due to a thumb injury. Plouffe has 19 home runs in less than a half season of at-bats, and he will play regularly at third base. The power is legit and he's available in more than half of ESPN's standard leagues.
Cubs outfielder Brett Jackson was hitless in four at-bats Monday, striking out twice and dropping his batting average to .125. Jackson struggled to make contact in the minors and so far in 24 at-bats since his recall he's fanned 14 times, and doesn't have any extra-base hits. Jackson is raw and will improve, but it's hard to imagine him helping fantasy owners this season.
San Diego Padres right-hander Dale Thayer earned his sixth save Monday, tossing a 1-2-3 ninth inning at Atlanta. Thayer, whose five previous saves this season came in a two-week stretch in May, is again filling in for injured closer Huston Street (calf). While Street could return in two weeks, anyone needing saves should add Thayer anyway.