Mike Leake - Leake was brought up to take the place of the recently demoted Edinson Volquez this week. In his start against Atlanta on Friday, he allowed one run on seven hits and three walks with two strikeouts. Prior being recalled, he had a 5.70 ERA in 36.1 innings with 32 strikeouts in 36.1 innings. The long ball has been something of a problem for him as he's given up five homers with the Reds and three in just 7.1 innings at Triple-A Louisville. It's unknown how long it'll take Volquez to work through his issues, but with Homer Bailey out with a sprained shoulder, owners shouldn't be worried about Leake losing his spot any time soon. Mixed: $2; NL: $5.
Jordan Lyles - Wandy Rodriguez was placed on the DL with fluid in his elbow on Saturday, thus prompting Lyles' promotion from Triple-A. Lyles is the top pitching prospect in the Astros system, but isn't viewed as an elite level talent. In 59 innings this season he had a 3.20 ERA with a 6.25 K/9 and 2.44 BB/9. In addition, he's done a good job of avoiding the long ball. At 20 years old, he's moved rather quickly through the ranks. Don't expect him to come up and dominate as he doesn't miss bats at a frequent enough rate. Given what the Astros staff has produced this season and the uncertainty surrounding Rodriguez's injury, Lyles could hang around for the majority of the season. He's expected to make his first start on Tuesday against the Cubs. NL players will want to add him to their staff in hopes of good rate stats, while mixed leaguers should take a wake and see approach. Mixed: $3; NL: $9.
Rodrigo Lopez - Lopez was traded this week from the Braves to the Cubs and was thought to give the club another option out of the pen. The team has decided that they will instead have Lopez start on Monday against the Astros. Lopez was lights out for the Braves at Triple-A this season with a 2.59 ERA and 3.14 K/BB in 59.0 innings. Unless there's some fundamental change in his mechanics or addition of a new pitch (I found neither), you can probably chalk those numbers up to him being a man amongst boys, as he is after all 35 years old. He was last seen in the majors giving the Diamondbacks 200.0 innings of 5.00 ERA ball in 2010. Considering how Doug Davis and Casey Coleman have underperformed this season, it's hard to blame the Cubs for kicking the tires on Lopez. Unless you're in a similar situation, you're probably better off not rostering Lopez. Mixed: No; NL: $1.
Mike Minor - Minor came up from Triple-A Gwinnett this week to make a spot start against Pittsburgh in place of Tim Hudson as he deals with back stiffness. Minor pitched 5.2 innings with one earned run on seven hits and two walks with five strikeouts. He's expected to make another start on Tuesday, this time in place of Brandon Beachy (oblique), before the team decides what to do with him. One line of thinking is that he'll be sent back down as the team doesn't need a 5th starter in the immediate future. The other is that he'll stay with the team until Beachy is back around mid-June. This uncertainty makes it tough to recommend him as anything more than a short-term play in most non-keeper leagues. In terms of skill, Minor has shown outstanding command with a 3.86 K/BB this season at Triple-A. His 2.73 ERA in 52.2 innings there should inspire confidence that when he is with the big league squad, he's going to be someone you want on your team. Mixed: $2; NL: $7. Much more in keeper leagues if he's available
Greg Reynolds/Juan Nicasio/Aaron Cook - Jorge De La Rosa's torn UCL has him sidelined for the remained of the season and has the Rockies looking for someone to step up and take his spot in the rotation. Greg Reynolds was the pitcher that came in for De La Rosa in the game in which his injury occurred. He threw 3.2 innings with one earned run on three hits and one walk with two strikeouts for the win. He's got decent control, but has shown no real ability to miss bats, be it in the minors or with the big league club. He's a swing man more than anything else and will probably not factor into the rotation moving forward. Juan Nicasio came up Saturday and was impressive with 7 innings of 1-run ball. He's coming up from Double-A Tulsa where he was lights out with a 63/10 K/BB and 2.22 ERA in just 56.2 innings. It must be stressed that this was in Double-A and that those were his first ever starts above the High-A level. It's highly unlikely that he makes the leap from there to the bigs and gives the team consistent quality innings, although crazier things have happened. Aaron Cook is on the comeback trail right now as he tries to put a shoulder injury behind him. He made his final rehab start on Saturday with 6 runs allowed in 7.2 innings. It's highly likely that he takes De La Rosa's rotation spot and Nicasio is sent back down, at some point. Last season in 127.2 innings Cook had a 5.08 ERA with almost as many walks (52) as strikeouts (62). At his best, he's a 4.00 ERA pitcher, so don't expect miracles. Reynolds - No; Nicasio - Mixed: No; NL: $1; Cook - Mixed: $1, NL: $4.
Chris Volstad - With a 5.46 ERA this month, you're probably wondering why we're talking about Volstad. The reason is because of the step-up in his command he's shown lately with 23 strikeouts to just 7 walks for his best K/BB (3.29) for any month in his career. A .341 BABIP and small sample size has his ERA running high, but there could be real talent here. He's gone to a slider 18.5% of the time this season per PitchFX, which is a much higher rate than in any season previous. This development in part helps explain the rise in his strikeout rate (6.66 K/9). He's a former first round pick and only 24 years old, so there's still time for him to try and capture some of that hype and praise that he received coming out of high school. He's not someone you should rush out to add in NL leagues, but rather someone to consider when looking for a semi-precious stone in the rough. Mixed: $1; NL: $4.
Randy Wells - Wells came back from a forearm injury on Saturday to start against the Pirates. He pitched only 4 innings with 5 earned runs on 5 hits and 3 walks with 7 strikeouts. Last season in 194.1 innings he had a 4.26 ERA with a 2.29 K/BB rate. His injury was one of the muscles around the forearm and did not relate to the ligaments, thus this was something he was able to rehab from in a matter of weeks. He's taking the rotation spot left behind from Matt Garza as he deals with a bruised elbow. When Garza returns, which should be Friday, Doug Davis should get booted from the rotation, although it could be the recently added Rodrigo Lopez. Assuming he doesn't experience any more pain in his elbow, which is iffy considering his start on Saturday, Wells should go back to being a decent option in NL leagues and a fringe starter in mixed leagues as his career 3.61 ERA suggests. Mixed: $4; NL: $13.
Jose Contreras - Contreras was activated from the DL this week, following his recovery from an elbow injury. He's expected to play a setup role to Ryan Madson as he re-establishes himself. He did close games for the team earlier in the season, but it's not likely he goes back to that role, unless Madson has a fall from grace (it's happened before). In 56.2 innings last season he had a 3.34 ERA with a 9.05 K/9 and 2.54 BB/9. He has yet to allow a run this season in his 10 innings of work. If you're in a league that counts holds, he's worth an add. Mixed: $1; NL: $4.
Rubby De La Rosa/Javy Guerra - With the Dodgers bullpen an utter mess, De La Rosa was called up this week to help fill in. He's a big time prospect within the system and has a big time arm. Working as a starter in Triple-A he posted a 2.93 ERA with a 11.70 K/9 and 4.28 BB/9 in just 20 innings. Despite his lack of experience, he's already factoring into late game situations with the team. It's entirely possible that he takes the closer's role and runs with, just as it's possible that Vicente Padilla comes back soon and reclaims the role. It's really anyone's guess as to who the closer is from game to game. Javy Guerra registered a save this week in De La Rosa's debut and nailed it down. He, like De La Rosa, is inexperienced as he only has 6 innings to his name at the major league level and those were his only innings above Double-A in his career. This season at Double-A he had a 1.06 ERA with a 7.94 K/9 and 2.65 BB/9 in just 17 innings. Like all relievers with such a small sample size, take his stats with a grain of salt. De La Rosa has the best stuff out of anyone left in the Dodgers bullpen, so he's the best bet to at least help your rate stats out, if he doesn't get you any saves. It's worth mentioning that he could at some point factor into the team's rotation, but given the team's pressing need for arms in the pen, it's likely that he stays here for the immediate future. De La Rosa - Mixed: $3; NL: $9. Guerra - Mixed: $1; NL: $4.
Clay Hensley - Hensley came off the DL this week from a shoulder blade injury and has gone back to being used to setup Leo Nunez. In 14.2 innings this season he has a 3.07 ERA, but 8 strikeouts to 9 walks. If this sounds a bit erratic it's because it is. He couldn't register an out in his appearance on Friday and could get passed in the pecking order if his command doesn't come around. Still, he proved himself last season with a 2.16 ERA, 9.24 K/9, and 3.48 BB/9 in 75.0 innings last season with the team. Mixed: $1; NL: $3.
Evan Meek - Meek came off the DL this week, after dealing with a shoulder issue. He should immediately go back setting up Joel Hanrahan and figure into late game situations that don't involve save opportunities. In his first appearance back he struck out the side, thus putting to bed most concerns about his health. If the team chooses to trade Hanrahan, Meek could find himself as the team's closer, but we're not at that point in the season yet. Leagues that count holds will find him valuable. Last season in 80.0 inning he had a 2.14 ERA with a 7.88 K/9 and 3.49 BB/9. Mixed: $1; NL: $4.
Tony Cruz - Cruz was brought up this week to serve as Yadier Molina's back up, while Gerald Laird deals with a broken finger. In 95 at-bats at Triple-A this season he hit .232/.295/.389 with 4 homers and 16 RBI. He's 24 years old, but not considered a prospect by any stretch. In his debut he had 3 hits, which is nice, but at most will lead to him playing slightly more than Laird did, while he was healthy. Laird is expected to miss around 2 months with his injury, so Cruz could be up for a while. Mixed: No; NL: $0.
Nick Hundley - Hundley is set to go on a rehab assignment in the coming days as he makes his way back from an oblique injury. Prior to the injury he was hitting .263/.336/.421 with 3 homers and 12 RBI. That might not sound like much, but he really was one of the team's hotter hitters for the early part of the season and at one point he even hit 4th in the lineup. Rob Johnson and Kyle Phillips have stepped in for him, but done nothing that to stand in the way of Hundley reclaiming his starting job. The early part of June sounds like a realistic goal for his return date. Mixed: $5; NL: $15.
Geovany Soto - Soto was activated from the DL on Saturday, after he dealt with a groin injury. He had gotten off to a slow start, hitting .226/.322/.387 with 3 homers and 12 RBI in 206 at-bats, before he had to miss time. His power potential at such a power depleted position makes him someone owners need to stay patience with even if his struggles continue. He should be owned in all leagues, so this is just a FYI to make sure he's active for the coming week. Mixed & NL: Taken. Bid the max if available.
J.R. Towles/Robinson Cancel - Friday night Humberto Quintero suffered a sprained ankle on a play at the plate that was not all that different from the one that involved Buster Posey. However, Quintero's ankle did not suffer a fracture. Towles should take over the everyday job, which is scary considering he just got over an 0-32 slump. On the season he's hitting .229/.325/.371 with 2 homers and 5 RBI. At 27 years old, keeping his batting average above the Mendoza Line would be considered a success. Cancel was brought up to share the backstop duties with Towles. In 99 at-bats this season at Triple-A, Cancel hit .333/.389/.444 with 2 homers, 11 RBI, and 3 steals. At 35 years old, he's never really spent any significant time up in the majors and that probably isn't about to change now. There's no silver lining here, avoid this situation. Towles - Mixed: No; NL: $2. Cancel - Mixed & NL: No.
Eli Whiteside/Chris Stewart - Sadly, Buster Posey's ankle injury will likely keep him out for the remainder of the year, thus Eli Whiteside and Chris Stewart will be asked to take over the everyday catching duties for the Giants. Whiteside is a career .230/.281/.361 hitter who has no real offensive skills. His value lies in the fact that he'll be the starting backstop on most days and he plays adequate defense. Last season in 126 at-bats he had 4 homers with 10 RBI and 19 runs to go with a .238 batting average. Stewart was called up from Triple-A to take Posey's roster spot and serve as Whiteside's back up. In the minors this season he had a .221/.312/.274 batting line with no home runs and just 10 RBI in 95 at-bats. He's 29 years old and has passed through the White Sox, Rangers, Yankees, and Padres systems with little fan fair and even less offensive success. Of the two, add Whiteside if you truly must. Whiteside - Mixed: No; NL: $3. Stewart - Mixed & NL: No.
Brandon Belt - Belt was recalled this week to help the Giants struggling offense. His first tour of duty in the majors didn't go as planned as he hit .192/.300/.269 with 1 homer, 4 RBI, and 2 stolen bases in just 52 at-bats. He went back down to Triple-A and mashed with a .337/.470/.525 batting line and 4 homers with 21 RBI. He should have been back up earlier, considering how poorly Aubrey Huff, Pat Burrell, and Cody Ross have all been hitting this season. Then again, they're veterans and Belt is still just a rookie, a rookie who happens to be the team's best hitting prospect and needs everyday at-bats as he continues to develop. Sadly, manager Bruce Bochy commented that Belt will primarily be used as a bench player this time around. Such actions would do nothing to further Belt's development, nor help a team starved for run production that just lost one of its best hitters for the season. Belt should already be owned in NL leagues and is a possible add in mixed leagues, depending upon how often he's able to find his way into the starting lineup and the depth of your league. Mixed: $15; NL: Owned.
Todd Frazier - Frazier was called up this week and then sent right back down by the Reds. The thinking was that he would serve as a utility player at 3B and possibly LF. Considering Scott Rolen is currently healthy and that even Chris Heisey is struggling to find at-bats in the outfield, his promotion seems short sighted in retrospect. Frazier was and is doing well at Triple-A hitting .293/.368/.575 with 11 homers, 33 RBI, and 6 stolen bases. This is a vast improvement from where he was last season, when the team didn't even give him a September Call-Up. For his development, he's best served playing everyday in the minors right now, though a trade would likely do him and his prospect value a world of good. Mixed & NL: No.
Melvin Mora - Mora was activated from the bereavement list this week for the Diamondbacks. Ryan Roberts and recently Sean Burroughs have started at the hot corner and supplemented him in playing time. On the season Mora has batted .272/.286/.326 with 0 homers and 14 RBI in 92 at-bats. At 39 years old, it's probably in the team's best interest to see what Roberts brings at the position and allow Mora to come off the bench. Thus Mora's value is limited to deep NL leagues. Mixed: No; NL: $1.
Mike Morse - This week Adam LaRoche was placed on the DL with a tear in his labrum with possible damage to his rotator cuff. This move has allowed for Morse to start at first base for the Nationals. In that time he has proven himself very worthy with homers in four straight games with 9 RBI. It's unknown just how long LaRoche will be out, but it's in the team's and Morse's best interest to see what they have with the young (29 years old) slugger. Last season in just 266 at-bats he had a batting line of .289/.352/.519 with 15 homers and 41 RBI. He's an obvious NL add and possible mixed league play depending on the depth of your league. It’s entirely possible that he takes the job and runs with it to a 30 homer and 90 RBI season. It's not all roses as his strikeout rate is running toward 30% and he walks at a 3% rate, but with pitching dominating the landscape this season, he's worth more than a flier. Mixed: $10 NL: $30.
Alfredo Amezaga - The Rockies made significant changes to their major league roster this week and one of them was to bring Amezaga up. This season at Triple-A he hit .363/.408/.530 in just 66 at-bats with 1 homer and 1 steal. Don't let the 1 steal fool you, he has speed as he showed in 2006 with Marlins, when he stole 20 bases. He can play short and has the speed for centerfield, but won't see real playing time, unless an injury occurs. He's best used by the team as a pinch runner and utility player and thus has little fantasy impact. Roster him if you're in a deep NL league and speculating on stolen bases.. Mixed: No; NL: $3.
Brandon Crawford - Crawford was called up this week this week by the Giants to give them another option to Miguel Tejada at short. It's especially surprising that he was called up considering he was formerly in High-A hitting .322/.412/.593 with 3 homers and 15 RBi. Defensively, he should be fine, but he could really be exposed should he start to see real playing time offensively. The Giants have almost nothing to lose, considering Tejada's corpse has been out there on most days. Crawford did hit a grand slam in his debut, but this is almost surely beginners luck. Roster him if you're looking to take a flier on a middle infielder and your league counts defense (unlikely). Mixed: $0; NL: $2.
Logan Forsythe/Alberto Gonzalez/Eric Patterson - Orlando Hudson landed on the DL this week with a groin injury, thus opening up the second base spot for the Padres. Logan Forsythe was recalled to take his roster spot and can provide minimal offensive production. in 392 at-bat last season at Triple-A he hit .270/.388/.459 with 5 homers and 21 RBI. Alberto Gonzalez has bounced between second and short with less than helpful fantasy numbers. In his 64 at-bats he has produced a .203/.246/.266 batting line with 6 RBI. He has zero pop and should only be considered only as a warm body if he does manage more playing time. Eric Patterson is the most interesting of the group as he does offer some speed. In only 64 at-bat this season he has a .188/.284/.328 batting line with 2 homers, 7 RBI, and 5 stolen bases. O-Dog is not expected back after his 15 days, so the team is hoping someone steps up to fill the role. Your best bet is to roster Patterson and hope he gives you a couple of steals, while not hurting your average. Forsythe - Mixed: $1; NL: $3. Gonzalez - Mixed: No; NL: $2. Patterson - Mixed: $2; NL: $4.
Rafael Furcal - Furcal was activated from the DL this week, after he recovered from his thumb injury. It should come as no surprise that he was injured as has never been able to stay healthy since coming over from the Braves. Last season in 383 at-bats he hit .300/.366/.460 with 8 homers, 43 RBI, and 22 RBI. His speed is of value in NL leagues and he should already be rostered as such. Mixed: $15; NL: Taken.
Jeff Keppinger - Keppinger came off the DL this week from his foot injury and should figure into the Astros infield in some capacity moving forward. In an ideal world he'll see the majority of at-bats at second base and force Bill Hall to the bench. Last season in 514 at-bats he hit .288/.351/.393 and was one of the more productive members of the Astros infield. It's possible that he spends time at short and third in the coming day, so keep track of his position eligibility if that is of great concern to you. There are worse NL stopgaps for middle infielders out there. Mixed: $1; NL: $4.
Josh Wilson - Wilson was designated for assignment by the Diamondbacks this week and claimed off waivers by the Brewers. Last season in 361 at-bats he hit .227/.278/.294 with 2 homers and 25 RBI. He is not someone you should be eager to add to your roster as his batting line and counting stats indicate. He could eat into Yuniesky Betancourt's time at short, but even then he'd probably be exposed with too much playing time. Consider him in NL leagues where you're desperate for middle infield help. Mixed: No; NL: $2.
Rick Ankiel - Ankiel was activated this week, coming off of his wrist injury. The Nationals outfield has become somewhat interesting lately with the emergence of Laynce Nix, thus leaving centerfield as the spot where Ankiel should find the majority of his playing time. Roger Bernandina is currently there, but shouldn't stand in his way, should Ankiel's bat prove worthy. He's currently batting .207/.285/.270 this season in only 111 at-bats. Most likely, he'll split time with Bernadina and Nix as the three cover left and center, while Adam LaRoche (shoulder) is out and Mike Morse covers first base. Mixed: $2; NL: $7.
Luis Montanez/Reed Johnson/Tony Campana - Marlon Byrd's facial injuries have allowed Reed Johnson and Tony Campana to see time at centerfield for the Cubs, while Luis Montanez was called up and has seen time in right field. Johnson is currently dealing with a back injury and has given way to Campana at center. Prior to being called up, Montanez, 29, was hitting .369/.429/.573 at Triple-A with 5 homers and 43 RBI. He's not a prospect, but did floss some power at the Double-A level with Baltimore back in 2008 with 26 home runs. Campana is interesting in that he has hit for a decent average all through out the minors. This season in 120 at-bats in Triple-A he hit .350/.391/.450 with 0 homers, 9 RBI, and 8 stolen bases. Last season in Double-A he swiped 48 bags, so he brings speed with him. Johnson, as mentioned, is dealing with a back issue and at best will give owners a decent batting average with little else. If Campana is able to make the position his, he'd be worth an add in NL leagues based on his speed, but his hold on the job is tenuous. Montanez - Mixed & NL: No. Johnson - Mixed: $2; NL: $7. Campana - Mixed: $0; NL: $1.
Nyjer Morgan - Morgan was activated this week, coming off his finger injury. He should see plenty of time at centerfield for the Brewers. He's currently hitting .361/.395/.556 in only 36 at-bats. He has speed to burn as evidence by his 34 stolen bases last season. Those worried about Carlos Gomez, should be, as Morgan is fighting to be the starter at the position. It is a bit concerning that Morgan has acknowledged that his finger injury is still bothering he works his way back. Mixed: $3; NL: $9.
Angel Pagan - Pagan was activated this week, coming off of his oblique injury and should immediately supplant Jason Pridie as the Mets main center-fielder. He's currently hitting .182/.270/.260 in 77 at-bats. Last season he was able amass 37 stolen bases as a main contributor to those in NL leagues and mixed, for those that found a spot for him. He's already taken in NL leagues and should be sought out in mixed leagues for those seeking speed. Mixed: $15; NL: Taken.
Wilkin Ramirez/Jordan Schafer/Eric Hinske/Joe Mather - Jason Heyward (shoulder) and Nate McLouth (oblique) were placed on the DL this week. This prompted the team to call up Wilkin Ramirez and Jordan Schafer. Ramirez was hitting .248/.294/.513 with 7 homers and 16 RBI in 117 at-bats at Triple-A, while Schafer was hitting .255/.308/.321 with 1 homer, 21 RBI, and 6 stolen bases. Schafer is a center fielder by nature and has naturally seen the majority of the at-bats at that position, while Ramirez has been on the bench. Eric Hinske is listed here as he has mixed in with Joe Mather at right field to fill in for Heyward. The best any owner will get out of Heyward's situation is some power out of Hinske, while sacrificing average. McLouth's situation is different in that oblique injuries are often tricky and can put a player out for an extended period of time. Schafer is an add for owners looking for stolen bases, as he showed mild speed (12 stolen bases) back in 2008 at Double-A. Mather hit lefties well in the minors and had 4 RBI in one of his games this week, but shouldn't be considered seriously unless Hinske (lefty) starts to lose at-bats against righties. Ramirez - Mixed: No; NL: $1. Schafer - Mixed: $2; NL: $7. Hinske - Mixed: $3; NL: $8. Mather - Mixed: No; NL: $2.
Blake Tekotte - Will Venable's demotion brought about Tekotte's arrival to the Padres this week. He was previously hitting .281/.410/.286 in Double-A with 6 homers, 24 RBI, and 14 stolen bases. It's likely he see at-bat at the expense of Cameron Maybin and the Chris Denorfia/Eric Patterson duo in right field. Tekotte's speed could help owners if he starts to see real playing time, but for now it's tough tell just how much that will be. Mixed: No; NL: $3.
Shane Victorino - The Flyin' Hawaiian is expected to come off the DL this week, after dealing with a hamstring issue. It should be late in the week, after he's gone through more rehab games and proven himself healthy, so owners probably won't want to activate him for the week coming up. His power has been a surprising asset this season with a .503 slugging percentage and 6 homers in just 155 at-bats. He's owned in NL leagues and should be taken in nearly all mixed leagues, so this is just a FYI. Mixed & NL: Taken.
Eric Young Jr. - The Rockies made some significant changes to their roster this week and calling up EY Jr. was one of them. He was hitting .363/.462/.544 in Triple-A with 17 stolen bases, prior to his call-up. Back in 2009 he finished with 58 bags at the Triple-A level, so he has some legit speed. The team is expected to give EY Jr. time in center field, until his bat proves he can't handle the responsibility. Considering he's already come up once and gotten on base at a .312 clip in 172 at-bats, he has work to do. Mixed: $2; NL: $9