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Second Half Sleepers - Cincinnati Reds

The Roto Authority would like to start off with a note about the Seattle Mariners pitching rotation.  Aaron Sele's much-needed demotion in addition to Ryan Franklin's steroid suspension today means a spot is wide open for 19 year-old Felix Hernandez.  We've spoken about him many times before, so go pick him up if he's out there.  We're not alone in our enthusiasm - blogger Zachary Geballe considers the promotion of King Felix to be "the most anticipated debut in team history."  Thursday should be an interesting day at Comerica to say the least.

On to our Cincinnati Reds Second Half Sleepers.  What to make of the team's crowded outfield?  Dan O'Brien refuses to alleviate the logjam with a trade.  Sean Casey is a nice guy and all that, but he needs to go.  The Reds made the mistake of extending Casey's contract through '06, so barring a winter trade Adam Dunn won't be shifting to first anytime soon.

Dunn and Ken Griffey Jr. will continue to play every day.  Perhaps the Reds expected the problem to fix itself with a Griffey injury, and we wouldn't bet against that.  Only keep Griffey on your team as a fifth outfielder, and don't pay anything to get him.  He's just too brittle.  Dunn is a franchise player and a star, but his batting average won't impress you in fantasy baseball.  It's not a problem in real life as Dunn gets on base frequently.  In fantasy, you have to decide if the 45 homers are worth the .250 average.

How does a fantasy baseball owner deal with Austin Kearns and Wily Mo Pena?  He acquires Pena and doesn't let go. Kearns had a resurgent July, but it was only 33 at-bats.  He's injury prone and the .315 average he flashed in 2002 was an aberration. 

Wily Mo Pena sits at .263-13-35, and now is the perfect time to acquire him if you're playing for 2006.  Pena looks like a young Albert Belle at age 23, and he just needs a touch of seasoning and some playing time to realize his potential.  He has keeper written all over him - don't miss the boat.

On the pitching side, only Aaron Harang is worth considering.  Besides the lack of wins, there's nothing not to like about Harang's 2005.  And the wins are certainly no fault of Harang's.  The only cause for concern is an impending injury.  Harang has some elbow issues last year, and this will be his first 175 inning season.  He's a solid guy for the back of your rotation but don't rely on him.

Rock N' Roto:  Looking for the perfect summer album you've never heard?  Pick up Caviar's self-titled album from 2000.  This Chicago group will make you chuckle with clever lyrics and rock you with eleven tracks that all could've been smash radio hits.  Cutting guitars, samples, and electronica make for a very original and fun rock album.  Check some choice lyrics from "Goldmine" over at Under The Radar if you don't believe me.




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