John Ely Ely made a spot start for the Dodgers on Saturday, giving up three earned runs over six innings against the Astros. He struck out four and walked one, in what was his first start since July 10th. With Vicente Padilla possibly sidelined for the remainder of the season, Ely could pick up a few more starts down the stretch. In 79.2 innings this season, he has a 4.63 ERA and 2.36 K/BB ratio. With a 6.67 K/9, he's a spot-starter at best for fantasy owners. Mixed: No; NL: $1.
Carlos Silva Back from an irregular heartbeat, Silva made a start against the Astros last week. He allowed six earned runs over five innings and had a 4:1 K:BB ratio. He has a 4.22 ERA in 113 innings with an 80:24 K:BB ratio this season. Tom Gorzelanny's fractured thumb should provide the opening for Silva to finish the season out in the Cubs rotation. If you can, take a wait and see approach with Silva to see if he Is the pitcher from earlier this season or the one from seasons past. Mixed: $0; NL: $2.
Tim Stauffer Stauffer stepped up big for the Padres this week, pitching six shutout innings against the Giants. He struck out five, walked two, and scattered three hits in the win. After the game, the team announced he will stay in the rotation for the time being. In 52.1 innings prior to his start, Stauffer had a 1.72 ERA and 40:14 rate. His start this week is expected to come against St. Louis on the road, so keep that in mind. Mixed: $0; NL: $3.
Edinson Volquez Back from the bullpen, Volquez had a stellar performance against the Pirates Saturday night. He struck out 10, walked one, and allowed only one hit over seven shutout innings. We've seen this before from, only to have him disappoint later on. I'm not buying into his return until I see him do this against a quality opponent. Volquez is walking six batters per inning this season and no starting pitcher can survive with control like that. If you need to gamble on a starting pitcher to make a move up your standings, there might not be a bigger boom/reward pitcher available - just know you were warned. Volquezs next scheduled start is slated to come against Arizona at home, if that makes your decision any easier. Mixed: $3; NL: $6 - Only for the risk takers/those who don't care about WHIP.
Cristhian Martinez, Justin Berg/Jeff Samardzija, Mike Leake, Matt Daley/Edgmer Escalona, Jay Buente, Jon Link, Brandon Kintzler, Sean Green/Raul Valdes, Danys Baez/Mike Zagurski, Brian Bass/Steven Jackson/Brad Lincoln/Justin Thomas, Cesar Ramos, Joseph Martinez/Guillermo Mota, Collin Balester/Joe Bisenius This week's cast of middle reliever/end of bullpen fillers are in team order: Atlanta, Chicago, Cincinnati, Colorado (2x), Los Angeles, Milwaukee, New York (2x), Philadelphia (2x), Pittsburgh (4x), San Diego, San Francisco (2x), & Washington (2x). The only ones with some possible value are Samardzija, Leake, and Kintzler. Samardzija will be used out of the bullpen, but he could make a start for the Cubs in the coming weeks. In 111.1 innings at Triple-A this season, he has a 4.37 ERA and 1.52 K/BB rate. Even if he makes two or even three starts, his control is shaky enough (5.43 BB/9) that you should stay away. The Reds activated Leake from the DL last week. He was useful at times this season with a 4.23 ERA and 1.86 K/BB rate in 138.1 innings as a starter. The idea is that he will be used out of the bullpen, but with Edinson Volquez's shaky control and Aaron Harang already back in the bullpen, it's not inconceivable that he would see some action starting. The Brewers brought up Kintzler from Triple-A, where he had a 2.36 ERA and 21:6 K:BB rate in 26.2 innings this season. The Milwaukee bullpen is a mixed bag (see Trevor Hoffman), so it's possible that Kintzler could see action in late-game situations down the stretch. All - Mixed: No; NL: $0.
Jose Ceda The Marlins recalled Ceda last week from Double-A, where he had a 1.48 ERA and 44:20 K:BB rate in 30.1 innings. He's an interesting name to follow because of his live arm and the unproven nature of Clay Hensley, who is the temporary closer. Cedas chances of challenging for the job right away were dampened by his first two appearances, in which he gave up two earned runs. Still, don't be surprised if he factors into late-game situations for the Marlins down the stretch. Mixed: $0; NL: $1.
Ross Detwiler The Nationals activated Detwiller from the DL this week. He'll be used out of the bullpen for now, but could make a start or two down the stretch. In 75.2 innings last season, he had a 5.00 ERA and ugly 43:33 K:BB ratio. He's best left for others to take a chance on. Mixed: No; NL: $0.
Craig Kimbrel Kimbrel was recalled from Triple-A this week and is already factoring into high-leverage situations with the Braves. In his last two appearances, he has 4 strikeouts, zero walks, and one win. In 55.2 innings at Triple-A this season, he had a 1.62 ERA and an outstanding 13.53 K/9 rate. Closer Billy Wagner has said he plans to retire at season's end, so Kimbrel could factor into the closer mix next season. He is a name to watch in keeper leagues. Mixed: $1; NL: $3. - Higher in keeper leagues.
Ryan Madson Brad Lidge is dealing with a sore elbow, and Madson has stepped into the temporary closer's role. Lidge has declared himself ready to pitch, but has yet to see game action since Monday. If you are desperate for saves or a worried Lidge owner, adding Madson wouldn't be the worst idea. In 44.1 innings this season, he has a 2.64 ERA and 56:7 K:BB ratio. Mixed: $2; NL: $5.
Mark Rogers Rogers, the fifth overall draft pick from the 2004 draft, was recalled by the Brewers this week to work out of the bullpen. Shoulder injuries have kept him from reaching his full potential, but he's healthy now. In 112.2 innings at Double-A this season, he had a 3.71 ERA and 1.61 K/BB ratio. Rogers misses bats, as evidenced by his 8.98 K/9 rate, but his 5.58 BB/9 rate is scary stuff. Rogers could make a start or two in the coming weeks, so he might be worth a pick-up in daily leagues when that happens. Mixed: No; NL: $0.
Vance Worley Worley made a spot for the Phillies last week against the Marlins. He allowed two earned runs over five innings while striking out five and walking one. There was talk after his start that he might stay in the rotation and Kyle Kendrick would be moved to the bullpen, but that was squashed on Friday. Instead, Worley will pitch out of the bullpen and Kendrick will stay where he is. In 45.1 innings this season at Triple-A, he had a 3.77 ERA and 36:10 K:BB ratio. Mixed & NL: No.
Michael McKenry/Paul Phillips, and Jason Jaramillo All were called up last week and will serve as nothing more than depth at catcher for their teams Colorado (2x) and Pittsburgh. Mixed & NL: No.
Bobby Scales and John Lindsey Both were called up and will serve as nothing more than corner infield depth for their teams: Chicago and Los Angeles, respectively. Mixed & NL: No.
Russ Mitchell Mitchell saw some at-bats last week for the Dodgers because of his success against lefties (1.164 OPS in the minors), but he went 0-for-11. At Triple-A this season he hit .315/.363/.535 with 23 HR and 87 RBI in 505 at-bats. Mixed: No; NL: $0.
Chin-Lung Hu, Luis Cruz, Pedro Ciriaco, and Emmanuel Burriss All were called up and will serve as nothing more than middle infield depth for their teams, in order: Los Angeles, Milwaukee, Pittsburgh, & San Francisco. Mixed & NL: No.
Tyler Greene Greene was recalled last week and was given playing time at the expense of Aaron Miles for the Cardinals. Miles is one of manager Tony LaRussa's "guys," but Greene should see time at second, short, and third in the coming weeks. In Triple-A this season, Greene hit .284/.355/.456 with nine HR, 34 RBI, and 12 SB in 338 at-bats. He stole 31 bases last season at Triple-A, so he is worth a flier if you are speculating on speed. Mixed: $0; NL: $1.
Cole Gillespie, Sam Fuld/Brad Snyder, Jay Payton, Trent Oeltjen, Jesus Feliciano, John Mayberry, Brandon Moss/Alex Presley, Mike Baxter, Eugenio Velez, and Jim Edmonds All were called-up last week and will serve as nothing more than outfield depth for their teams, in order: Arizona, Chicago (2x), Colorado, Los Angeles, New York, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh (2x), San Diego, San Francisco, & St. Louis. Mixed & NL: No.
Emilio Bonifacio Bonifacio started almost every game last week for the Marlins and served as the leadoff hitter. He went 14-for-30, scored nine runs and stole two bases. Bonifacio has now played second, third, shortstop, and outfield this season, which makes him eligible at a few positions in most leagues. His .306 batting average is fueled largely by a .378 BABIP, so don't get too excited. If he continues to get playing time, expect a few steals but a poor OBP. Mixed: $1; NL: $3. - More if you are desperate for speed.
Luis Durango Durango was recalled last week by the Padres to serve as outfield depth. He started a couple of games and recorded two RBI and one stolen base. He could be of some value if he sees significant at-bats because of his speed, but for now he'll be relegated to pinch hitting and running duties. In Triple-A this season he hit .300/.378/.325 with 34 stolen bases in 363 at-bats. Mixed: No; NL: $0.