Joel Hanrahan, RP (WAS): The Washington Nationals traded closer Jon Rauch to the Arizona Diamondbacks this week, which opened up a new role for Hanrahan. Hanrahan will now become the closer and he's worth adding if you need saves. He has never closed in his career, but he's been one of the better arms in the bullpen lately. He has a 1.80 ERA in his last 13 appearances. Rauch had 22 save opportunities and 17 saves despite the Nationals' struggles, so Hanrahan should have the opportunity to contribute decent fantasy stats.
Josh Johnson, SP (FLA): Johnson is an intriguing fantasy prospect. He is a young pitcher with the Florida Marlins who was expected to come into his own this year after recovering from Tommy John surgery. You might recall that Johnson was 11-5 as a starter with a 3.03 ERA in 2006. Johnson is finally back with the team and he has pitched 11.2 innings while allowing five earned runs, 13 hits, three walks and 10 strikeouts in two starts. He's worth keeping an eye on.
Chris Carpenter, SP (STL): Carpenter made his first rehab start on Sunday, so now is the time to start adding him if you really want him (depending on how deep your league is). The former Cy Young pitcher allowed only one hit in four innings. He is still a little bit of time away from the majors, but this note is mostly to remind you to keep your eye on him.
Scott Baker, SP (MIN): It's probably been three weeks or a month since I wrote about Baker but I still don't understand why he isn't owned in virtually all leagues. He is 6-3 with a 3.26 ERA and a 1.09 WHIP. He has struck out 76 batters in 91 innings pitched. His numbers are even better over his past nine starts since he returned from the DL. In those starts, his ERA is 2.79 and his WHIP is 1.06. Unless you are in a league that penalizes pitchers for home runs, this guy should be universally owned. According to ESPN leagues, he's only owned in 39% of leagues.
Oliver Perez, SP (NYM): Fellow starters like Mike Pelfrey and John Maine have received more fantasy attention lately, but Perez has been stellar in July. Over his last 26 innings pitched, Perez has given up only four earned runs while striking out 27 batters in the process. His WHIP is also down to 1.19 in those four starts, which is much lower than his season average (1.43). He's worth a ride right now as long as the Mets can stay hot.
Paul Maholm, SP (PIT): Talk about under the radar, Maholm -- the guy who pitched to Billy Crystal in exhibition play this year -- has been doing very well for fantasy owners lately. He is 4-1 in his past five decisions and -- not counting one bad start in Colorado -- Maholm has allowed only 11 earned runs in his past 44 innings pitched. He's only walked 11 batters in that span and his WHIP is 0.97. Overall, his numbers on the year (3.92 ERA, 1.26 WHIP) are solid. In 12-team leagues, he is worth considering.