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Insider

Randy Wells completes strong August

8/30/2011

&#8226 Chicago Cubs right-hander Randy Wells became the latest to shut down the struggling San Francisco Giants, tossing a two-hit shutout Monday, fanning seven and winning his fourth consecutive decision. Wells finishes August with a 3.32 ERA and sub-1.00 WHIP, and he's not a bad spot start option this weekend in Pittsburgh. Meanwhile, continue to use most pitchers against the defending champs.

&#8226 Kansas City Royals catcher Salvador Perez hit his first big league home run Monday, one of three hits, and raised his batting average to .295 after 16 games. Perez, likely to be the team's starter behind the plate next season, has four multi-hit games in the past week; those in multi-catcher leagues should take note.

&#8226 Tampa Bay Rays outfielder Johnny Damon smacked a pair of home runs Monday, giving him 13 on the season to go with 12 steals. While Damon remains available in 30.3 percent of ESPN leagues, he's a top-40 outfielder for the season on the ESPN Player Rater, and likely overlooked due to his age.

&#8226 Cleveland Indians left-hander David Huff outdueled Oakland Athletics right-hander Brandon McCarthy Monday, but moving forward McCarthy is the wiser bet statistically. McCarthy fanned 10 Indians in eight innings, losing 2-1, but his 1.21 WHIP for the season isn't a fluke. He has pitched capably on the road, and possesses upside. Huff is less reliable.

&#8226 Philadelphia Phillies left-hander Cole Hamels came off the disabled list Monday and tossed six innings of two-hit, one-run ball. Hamels and his sore shoulder were held to 76 pitches, and certainly didn't appear rusty. Activate Hamels in fantasy for this weekend in Florida against the Marlins.

&#8226 Also coming off the DL Monday was New York Mets shortstop Jose Reyes; he singled and scored a run in four at-bats. Like Hamels, Reyes is accomplished enough -- and his team wouldn't risk further injury if he wasn't healthy -- for use right away. Note the Mets moved Ruben Tejada to second base, at Justin Turner's expense. Tejada had two hits, and is hitting .282. In deep leagues, he's middle-infield worthy.