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Is Miller likely to stick with Mariners?
Seattle shortstop expected to get a chance to impress
07/03/2013 9:08 AM ET
Upon promotion to Seattle, Miller was batting .319 with 12 homers in the Minors.
Upon promotion to Seattle, Miller was batting .319 with 12 homers in the Minors. (Ted S. Warren/AP)

Fantasy Focus is a regular MiLB.com feature in which we use a Minor League perspective to give you the edge in your fantasy league. Have a fantasy question? Tweet it to @MiLB or @AshMarshallMLB with the hashtag #fantasyfocus.

In this week's Fantasy Focus, we consider whether Brad Miller will stick in Seattle, why you need to keep one eye on Taylor Guerrieri's second half and why Matt Davidson's stock is down.

As always, there's a roundup of the most notable Minor League rehabs. This week we touch on Alex Rodriguez's first game back from injury and Carl Crawford's few days in Rancho Cucamonga.

Under the Radar

The one thing the Braves could use down the stretch is some pop, and perhaps the most likely source they'll be able to find it from is Joey Terdoslavich.

The team's No. 14 prospect has hit a sparking .322/.363/.574 with 18 homers and 58 RBIs in 84 games for Triple-A Gwinnett and could be something of a super sub for Atlanta, having done time in the outfield, first base and third base.

The team has proved to be creative in finding playing time for guys like Chris Johnson, Ramiro Pena and Evan Gattis, and if they do the same with Terdoslavich, NL-only owners could be rewarded with, at the very least, a nice helping of power.

Will He Stick?

I'll be honest -- this call-up came earlier than expected, although it wasn't a huge surprise considering how the Mariners season is going. Brad Miller started the year at Double-A Jackson and put up solid numbers (.294/.379/.471) before being called up to Tacoma, where he took off.

The 23-year-old shortstop owned a .356/.426/.596 slash line over 26 games with the Rainiers and had hit safely in the final 22 contests of his stay in the PCL. That was enough for the Mariners, who gave him the starting shortstop job over all-glove, no-hit Brendan Ryan.

Expect him to stick there for the time being as the Mariners look to give their prospects a chance to thrive at the top level. He's hit everywhere he's been in the Minors, and although it might take him some time to acclimate to the Majors, an average in the high .200s isn't out of the question.

If you're in desperate need of a shortstop, you could do much worse than taking a flier on Miller.

Rehabs of Note

Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez went 0-for-2 and played three innings in the field in his first rehab appearance with Class A Charleston on Tuesday night.

Recovering from hip surgery performed in January, Rodriguez is set to play for Charleston again Wednesday before moving up.

The Yankees are expected to move him up to Class A Advanced Tampa by Thursday, although it is unclear when he might rejoin the Major League team.

* * *

Carl Crawford went 4-for-10 with a double and three RBIs in three rehab games for Class A Advanced Rancho Cucamonga this week.

Recovering from a left hamstring strain, the Dodgers left fielder could rejoin the team as early as Saturday, MLB.com reported.

Once he returns, he will likely split time with Matt Kemp, Andre Ethier and Yasiel Puig. He was hitting .301 with five homers and 32 runs scored in 183 at-bats before his injury.

* * *

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Transaction of Note

Trade season is upon us, and the first real notable move came Tuesday when the Cubs shipped Scott Feldman and Steve Clevenger to the Orioles for Jake Arrieta and Pedro Strop.

Arrieta didn't do much in his time in Baltimore to inspire, but he'd done well for Triple-A Norfolk, and NL-only owners looking for starters might be well-served to keep an eye on him as he moves to the Pacific Coast League to pitch for Iowa.

Chicago's staff has worked out mechanical flaws in other pitchers, such as Jeff Samardzija, to get them to reach their potential and Arrieta -- who still has the same good stuff that made him a top prospect once upon a time -- could be the next successful reclamation project.

Stock Down

Listen, there's a lot to like about Matt Davidson. Just in the last week, he's been named both a Futures Game and Triple-A All-Star Game participant. Heck, he'll even be the starting third baseman later this month for the PCL side in his current home Reno.

But the reason I feature him here is his recent slump. Since June 18, he owns just a .154/.227/.205 with 12 strikeouts and just one walk in 44 total plate appearances. The best chance he had for a callup was last month when Eric Chavez missed most of June with a right oblique strain.

Instead they moved Martin Prado to the hot corner full time, but with Chavez back, the two will share duties once again while Davidson continues to rediscover his stroke in Reno. Chances are he'll do just that, but he might not find himself in Arizona until September at the earliest.

Keep an Eye On

Taylor Guerrieri was on a lot of radars -- albeit, non-fantasy radars -- as the Rays' No. 2 prospect entering his first full season in pro ball. He has yet to disappoint. The 20-year-old right-hander is 6-2 with a 2.08 ERA through 13 starts for Class A Bowling Green.

What's more, he's riding a 22-inning scoreless streak after tossing six shutout frames for the Hot Rods on Monday. He is a groundball specialist with a 3.1 groundout-to-airout ratio that ranks fourth among all Minor Leaguers. He does not issue a lot of free passes, just 11 in 65 innings for a 1.5 BB/9 rate.

Guerrieri admittedly doesn't strike out many batters -- 50 this season -- but if he can keep the ball on the ground, his repertoire should translate to the upper levels. He should be joining Class A Advanced Charlotte within the next month and has an ETA of 2015, although that could always be accelerated.

A Wild, Wild Whine

Ed. note: This section is on the lighter side of fantasy baseball, where staff writer Danny Wild bemoans his continued bad fortune as a fantasy owner. Shoot him an email if you can relate, or maybe some fantasy advice would be more appropriate.

I have previously mentioned Travis Hafner as an overachieving pickup for my team, but I recently dumped him in favor of Rajai Davis, who is described by CBS as "underowned" since he has a knack for getting on base and stealing a few more. Davis is batting .320 and has 21 steals (but little else), not too shabby for a free agent fantasy free agent.

Scott Feldman was traded from the Cubs to the Orioles, which is probably good for his win potential but not so good since he's moving to the American League East and another hitter's ballpark. Baltimore should provide him with some decent run support, though, so I'll take it.

I also released Ricky Nolasco, who has not pitched well lately amidst rumors he may be traded, as David Price returned from the DL. And Price actually pitched well (7 IP, 3 hits, 10 K), sort of like the ace I drafted him as. Except it's July 2.

And then there's Zack Wheeler, who was great in his debut (six scoreless innings) and then not-so-great in his next two outings (nine earned runs over 10 innings). Being slightly out of contention down in last place, I don't think it matters how short my leash is on Wheeler.

I'm a big Josh Hamilton fan, but -- come on -- I see stuff written about him "trying to get back on track." Really? It's almost the All-Star break and he's batting .223. At this point, the Angels' outfielder is on pace to finish with just 58 RBIs. Not what you want from a late-first round pick.

Ashley Marshall is a contributor to MiLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @AshMarshallMLB. Sam Dykstra and Jonathan Raymond contributed to this report. This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.
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