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Insider

Bits: Luke Scott flying under the radar

4/19/2012

&#8226 Tampa Bay Rays outfielder Luke Scott clubbed his third home run in five games Wednesday, a ninth-inning grand slam, and now has 12 RBIs in nine games. Scott, owned in a mere 3.5 percent of ESPN standard leagues, has had legit power for years; his career slugging percentage is .496 and he averaged 25 home runs from 2008-10, the homers reachable again. He's deserving of mixed league attention.

&#8226 However, Toronto Blue Jays right-hander Brandon Morrow got tuned up by the Rays Wednesday, allowing three home runs and six runs overall in six ugly innings. Morrow is owned in every league and could very well top 200 strikeouts again, but those in daily leagues beware the home/road splits. Last year Morrow's home ERA was 6.31. The trend continued Wednesday.

&#8226 What's gotten into Chicago White Sox catcher A.J. Pierzynski? The veteran homered again Wednesday, his fourth in nine games. Last season, Pierzynski hit eight home runs, and he had nine in 2010. Those in ESPN standard leagues dealing with Geovany Soto, J.P. Arencibia or Wilson Ramos should add Pierzynski, perhaps the AL version of Omar Infante for surprising power, while he's hot.

&#8226 Milwaukee Brewers third baseman Aramis Ramirez hit his first home run of a difficult April on Wednesday and raised his batting average to .140. Ramirez out of Wrigley Field shouldn't be this bad. Note that last season Ramirez homered once in April and once in May and still finished 2011 with 26 long balls. Be patient with a streaky veteran likely to hit 25 home runs again.

&#8226 Cincinnati Reds right-hander Mat Latos struggled for the third consecutive outing, as the St. Louis Cardinals earned eight runs off him on nine hits and three walks in 5 2/3 innings. Don't blame the absence of Petco Park for this start, but don't panic and drop him, either; Latos dealt with a calf injury in March, which hopefully explains his performance. Bench him if you can, but better times are ahead.

&#8226 Atlanta Braves right-hander Tim Hudson tossed five solid innings for Triple-A Gwinnett Wednesday, allowing an unearned run on two hits. Hudson, working his way back after back surgery this offseason, is expected to make one more rehab start and could start for the Braves April 29 or 30 against the Pittsburgh Pirates. Add him in advance and prepare to activate him against a weak offense.