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FAAB Factor - AL: Brantley's Chance

Jeff Erickson

Jeff Erickson

Jeff Erickson is a co-founder of RotoWire.com and the only two-time winner of Baseball Writer of the Year from the Fantasy Sports Writers Association. He roots for the Reds, Bengals, Red Wings, Pacers and Northwestern University (the real NU).

STARTING PITCHERS

Erik Bedard - Bedard should make his 2010 debut on Tuesday against the Royals after spending the first half of the season nursing his shoulder injury. The first start comes in a bit of a sweet spot (home against the Royals), but be aware that his second start this week will be against the Yankees, albeit in Safeco Field. He'll initially be held around 90 pitches, and for Bedard, that occasionally means no longer than five innings if a team is willing to work the count against him. This is essentially going to be a 4-to-6 start audition for other teams looking to add a starter at the trade deadline. Teammate Cliff Lee is the prime trade bait, but Bedard has a pretty good chance of going elsewhere if he can prove healthy. Mixed: $3; AL: $12.

Omar Beltre - Beltre became eligible to play in the states at the same time as teammate Alexi Ogando and he's been a little more under the radar so far. Though he's a rookie, he's not young (28), so there's less concern about rushing him to the majors after a short stint in Triple-A. He's going to get one more start on Tuesday, but with Derek Holland and Rich Harden due back, and Matt Harrison eligible to return from his Triple-A stint, this will probably be the extent of his run. It's not a bad spot start though, going against an Indians lineup that's without Shin-Soo Choo. Mixed: No; AL: $0.

Felix Doubront - Doubront will probably make his second spot start of the season, this time replacing Clay Buchholz on Tuesday against the Rays. He hasn't allowed a homer all season and has excelled at both Double- and Triple-A this year, posting a combined 72:26 K:BB in 69.2 innings. Doubront will probably be one-and-done with the All-Star break approaching, given that the Red Sox have an off-day next week. Mixed: No; AL: $0.

Jacob McGee - Jeremy Hellickson (justifiably) has gotten more pub, but remember that before his Tommy John surgery, McGee was the high-profile prospect. He's rounding into form at Double-A Montgomery, having two big strikeout games the last two starts, giving him a 71:26 K:BB in 61.2 innings there, along with a 3.65 ERA. The Rays take their time in promoting their prospects, particularly pitching prospects, so I don't suspect we'll see McGee before September, absent a string of circumstances forcing a promotion. Once he does get there, if he even does in September, it'll probably be in long relief, as there's no room in the inn. Mixed and AL: Keeper league $0 spec.

Clayton Mortensen - Mortensen filled in for the injured Dallas Braden on Saturday, and I get the idea that Braden's elbow might keep him out for more than the minimum 15 days. He was part of the compensation from the Matt Holliday trade and first got his shot last season, getting hit pretty hard. His experience at Triple-A Sacramento has been a little better, posting a 3.58 ERA and 77:31 K:BB in 98 innings. He's never going to be a big strikeout guy, Saturday's seven K's against the Tribe notwithstanding, but spotting him in Oakland and against other select opponents might have some viability. However, job security is going to be an issue, even if Braden doesn't come back soon. Brett Anderson is on his way back, meaning that either he or Vincent Mazzaro (who pitched well on Sunday) will be out. Mixed: No; AL: $0.

RELIEF PITCHERS

Chris Perez - Kerry Wood's recent run of success is actually good news for Perez's owners. The Indians would love to trade Wood before the deadline, as he's almost certainly as good as gone this offseason, given their austerity program. If he can put together another strong week, that makes it that much more likely that they can flip him for something, anything, and move Perez into the closer's role, rather than having to showcase Wood further. Perez has been fantastic since April, making it pretty likely that the job is all his once Wood is dealt. Try to trade for him now before he gets the job back if you can. Mixed: $3; AL: $10.

Ryan Perry - Perry is back from the DL and could take over a major part of the set-up role for the Tigers now that Joel Zumaya is out for the year and possibly his career. Jose Valverde has made it pretty clear that absent an injury there's no chance of Perry picking up saves, however, so his value lies more in sim leagues or those select 4x4 leagues where his lack of innings won't hurt as much. Mixed: No; AL: $0.

Dan Schlereth - Schlereth cooks with gas (45 K's in 35 innings at Triple-A Toledo), but his control problems (26 BB's) are going to be a constant, I'm afraid. He might work his way into a late-inning role, but probably only as a specialist, and not as a full-time set-up guy. Mixed: No; AL: $0.

CATCHERS

Josh Bard - Bard is back from an extended stay on the DL with a leg injury. Rob Johnson is nominally the starter, but Bard's defense is good enough that he'll play more than a typical backup. Keep in mind, though he's keeping the seat warm until the Mariners deem Adam Moore ready for the prime time. Moore probably was up at the big league level too soon to begin the year, but he's clearly the catcher of the future for the Mariners. Mixed: No; AL: $0.

Kevin Cash - Cash has gone from not being good enough to play for the Astros to starting for the Red Sox, thanks to the slew of catcher injuries in the organization and his familiarity with their system. He will catch more than just Tim Wakefield now, and that's a scary prospect for the Red Sox offense. Mixed: No; AL: $0.

Bengie Molina - Molina will benefit from being in a better ballpark and better lineup, but keep in mind that he's hitting lower in the order than he did in his best years with the Giants, so the RBI aren't going to be an automatic consideration. If you're a Victor Martinez owner, or worse, a Jason Varitek owner, yeah, sure, you have to bid aggressively because there's not much of a guarantee that a better opportunity will come along. Just don't be surprised if he keeps hurting your batting average despite moving to Texas. Mixed: $2; AL: $14.

Gustavo Molina - Even nepotism couldn't create a scenario where Molina was major league-viable. It instead took a plague of injuries, and even still, this Molina is a one-start per week type of catcher, even opposed to Kevin Cash. Mixed and AL: No.

CORNER INFIELDERS

Josh Bell - It's possible that the Orioles have called up Bell for just a short stretch, as they intend to recall Felix Pie and insert him as their leadoff hitter this week, and will need to send someone down to open up the spot. But they *should just keep Bell up and play him every day, and find someone else to send down and a veteran to be named later to sit if they were serious about where they are as a franchise. But this is an old rant at this point, so I won't belabor the point further. Mixed: $0; AL: $3.

MIDDLE INFIELDERS

J.J. Hardy - Hardy's experience illustrates just how difficult it can be for a hitter to return from wrist injuries. He's back after a second stint on the DL, hitting ninth each of the first two games back this weekend. There was some thought that he'd be a nice buy-low gamble after a rough 2009 season, but first he struggled then he got hurt. Given the lack of production, especially power production (quickie quiz - who leads all shortstops in homers this year? No peeking!), Hardy still has some value over the second half if he's finally fully healed. Clearly he's owned in AL leagues, but like Jim Thome below, there's a buying opportunity in mixed leagues. Mixed: $7.

OUTFIELDERS

Michael Brantley - So this is what it takes for Brantley to get a real chance - a season-ending injury to Grady Sizemore and a major injury to Shin-Soo Choo. Really, he should have been in there sooner, but the Tribe stuck with Austin Kearns for a long time after a hot start. Brantley will not give you any power whatsoever, but he's capable of hitting for average and of course steal more than a handful of bases, should he get on-base at a regular clip. The Indians inserted him back at the leadoff spot, which is encouraging in terms of whether they'll give him the green light. This could be a big bid if you're hurting for stolen bases - the suggested bid reflects the total package, but at this point of the season, pay more attention to the categories for your bid. Mixed: $8; AL; $25.

Gabe Kapler - The Rays have called up Joyce and cut ties with Hank Blalock, and still found room to activate Kapler from the DL to start against lefties. Kapler has more of a history with the team, making it less likely that they'll part ways as readily with him as they did with Blalock and Pat Burrell. Still, he has to be on notice with Desmond Jennings continuing to make noise at Triple-A (and for that matter, Dan Johnson). Mixed: No; AL: $1.

Jason Repko - Repko has gotten all of five at-bats since getting called up on June 24, so even with Michael Cuddyer getting more looks in the infield, he's not getting the resulting playing time. He'll probably be the first candidate for a demotion the moment the Twins need another roster spot. A horrific hamstring tear ended any chances of Repko having anything more than a Quad-A career with the Dodgers a few years ago, and since then he hasn't demonstrated that he merits further consideration. Mixed and AL: No.

Paul McAnulty - Juan Rivera's eye problems open the door for McAnulty to get a short trial with the Angels. He'll get the start against the Royals on Sunday night at DH. The Triple-A veteran was slugging away at Salt Lake City before his call-up, hitting .360/.390/.559 there after mashing at Double-A before that. Mixed: No; AL: $0.

Marcus Thames - Thames replaces Chad Huffman as the Yankees' fourth outfielder and part-time DH. As always with Thames, the more time he spends at DH and the less in the outfield, the better. At least he offers a power element that neither Huffman nor the cast of other fungible Quad-A OF-capable guys that the Yankees have fielded can. The question for them is whether they'll be satisfied with that, or look for reinforcements at the trade deadline. I still think that a trade is coming. Mixed: $1; AL: $5.

DESIGNATED HITTERS

Jim Thome - A lot has been made of the Angels' decision to sign Hideki Matsui over Vladimir Guerrero, and Guerrero's big series in Anaheim this week highlighted the difference pretty well. But it's worth noting that Thome also has been much better than Matsui so far, hitting .258/.388/.597 in limited playing time (124 at-bats). In fairness, Thome was unusable in interleague play and Matsui has played 14 games in the outfield. However, now that interleague play is complete, we'll see Thome in a more stable role, with the possibility of him playing even more. The Twins have occasionally played Michael Cuddyer at third base, even after the completion of interleague play, which eases the jam between Delmon Young, Jason Kubel and Thome. Obviously in AL-only leagues and many mixed leagues he's already owned, but in your 10-teamers, he still might be hanging around out there. Mixed: $5.

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