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Insider

Bits: Jason Kipnis hits first home run

8/1/2011

&#8226 Cleveland Indians second baseman Jason Kipnis homered Sunday, the first of his big league career and third hit since his recall 10 days ago. Kipnis is struggling with a .136 batting average, but the Tribe should keep playing him with Orlando Cabrera having been dealt. Kipnis has power and speed, and should get better for those in deep leagues.

&#8226 The other Ohio team also saw a newly promoted infielder smack his first home run Sunday; Cincinnati Reds third baseman Todd Frazier has hit 32 home runs and stolen 31 bases at Triple-A Louisville the past two seasons. Scott Rolen hasn't been healthy or productive, so if the Reds fall out of the race, Frazier, who connected off Barry Zito on Sunday, might get more chances soon.

&#8226 Washington Nationals right-hander Jordan Zimmermann tossed six shutout innings Sunday, bouncing back from consecutive six-run poundings by the Marlins and Astros. Zimmermann, dropped from 100 percent owned to 91 percent in the past week, remains a sell-high option, as the last-place Nationals want to limit his innings.

&#8226 Toronto Blue Jays center fielder Colby Rasmus singled, doubled and knocked in two runs Sunday, his first productive results with his new team. Rasmus was hitless in 12 at-bats, with five strikeouts as a Blue Jay entering Sunday. He's owned in 92.6 percent of leagues, but he's going to hit well enough to warrant full ownership soon.

&#8226 Oakland Athletics right-hander Brandon McCarthy allowed three runs in six innings Sunday, fanning nine Minnesota Twins, and winning his third consecutive decision. McCarthy continues to be useful mainly in home games, where his ERA is considerably lower and his strikeout rate is better, so consider him for spot-starter duty.

&#8226 And finally, New York Yankees backup catcher Francisco Cervelli played two innings at second base Sunday, and he's already played third base twice this season. Cervelli isn't much of a hitter, and there's not much power upside, but in some leagues, the extra eligibility might come in handy.