With Yankees ace CC Sabathia placed on the DL with elbow inflammation, long-reliever rookie David Phelps slips into the Yankees rotation with a great shot of giving fantasy owners some spot starts while flashing a high K-rate and with an elite offense behind him.

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In the midst of a season-crushing month of July, Mets fans were losing hope.  Sure, they were heading into a rebuilding season and expectations were low to begin with, but monster first halves from David Wright and R.A. Dickey propelled the Mets into an unforeseen race.

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How does Oakland do it?  I know the stadium is ideal and I know that Moneyball tactics help set the precedent, but how does Oakland churn out no-name pitcher after no-name pitcher that end up having success in the Majors?

Before the start of the season, the pitcher under-the-radar in Oakland that had all the buzz was Brad Peacock, but a 6.17 AAA ERA thus far is keeping him from the Majors. 

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Looking at his name, I would certainly think it’s pronounced more like “fears,” but it’s actually pronounced “fires.”  Infinitely cooler, and certainly appropriate for his immensely successful rookie campaign.

With a Brewers starting rotation dealing with an early season-ending injury to Chris Narveson, then Marco Estrada pulling his quad rounding first, Michael Fiers, the Brewers 2011 minor league pitcher of the year, finally got his call up after an inconsistent stint to start his 2012 campaign in AAA.

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After an up-and-down four-inning debut, then a real stinker against the Padres, Arizona’s prized pitching prospect Trevor Bauer was in dire need of a positive outing in his third start heading into the All-Star break.  With the Diamondbacks hoping to push for a Wild Card berth, and with Bauer on top of many pitching prospect lists, he has a lot of eyes on him to deliver a solid rookie season.

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Heading into this fantasy season, Carlos Zambrano had all the momentum of three red bulls and a pot of coffee. Flashing a high K-rate in Spring Training and a change of scenery to the flamboyant Marlins Park had a lot of sleeper buzz going around the water cooler.

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Nothing makes fantasy owners more excited than a pitcher with K-binges.  Every time a pitcher flashes a huge K rate with sub-par ERAs and WHIPs, everyone goes rushing in drafts the following year trying to pick them up.

Think about it. 

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Pretty much all I got from the Ace Ventura sequel was a hilarious scene with a robotic rhino and what guano was.  Jim Carrey is such a teacher.

Just as Ace Ventura cornered the pet detective racket, so has Dr. James Andrews the Tommy John surgery profession. 

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Where in the world did Ryan Vogelsong come from?  No, no, I don’t want the birds and the bees, the stork, or the miracle of life answer (at least, definitely not the latter).

After a five-year absence from the majors, Vogelsong had a huge season in 2011, going 13-7 with a 2.71 ERA, 1.25 WHIP and a 6.96 K per 9. 

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What better way to commemorate Memorial Day than a Communism pun?  Hey, at least McDonald didn’t pitch against Brandon McCarthy.

And just like we pounded down the Berlin Wall (well no, we didn’t, but go with it), James McDonald is pounding the strike zone. 

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