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FAAB Factor - AL: Kipnis Looks Like a Keeper

Kyle McKeown

Kyle McKeown

Managing Editor of NBA Content kyle@rotowire.com

Starting Pitchers

Duane Below, DET - Below was called up and made his major league debut Wednesday. Heíll get another turn in the rotation Monday, but the Tigers have reportedly been trying to find another rotation piece on the trade front. Whether the Tigers pull off a deal before the deadline, or Below struggles Monday, the rookie simply doesnít seem long for the big leagues. Watching his debut Wednesday, he didnít have the presence you typically see from a regular major league pitcher. Though that may have been his nerves showing through, Iím going to opt for prejudice instead of statistical analysis here (Iím a D-Town boy) and suggest that Below gets sent below the border to Toledo after his start Monday. If youíre bullish on him because he looks like he could grow a mean beard, feel free to take a $1 flier on the live arm in AL-only leagues. In fact, if heíd commit to growing a wicked beard like that dude* from the baseball game commercials who has lumberjacks living in his beard, Iíd be willing to go max or better on him. (Please note the sarcasm there. I donít want any complaints in my e-mail saying I lead you astray and you wasted all of your budget on Below.) Mixed: $0; AL: $0.

Alexander Cobb, TB - Cobb was recalled from Triple-A on Monday and will be a part of a six-man rotation with the Rays for the next few weeks. Even with Wade Davis returning from the DL, the Rays are going to keep Cobb up. Through 67.1 innings at Durham this season, he posted a 1.87 ERA, 1.15 WHIP, and 70:16 K:BB ratio. He has the talent to be of great use to fantasy owners, but his first action in the majors has been a little bumpy. Cobb has struggled with his control some, a common occurrence for young pitchers getting amped up in their first taste of the bigs, and it has resulted in him posting a 22:16 K:BB ratio through his first 35.0 innings with the Rays. If he could get the walks in check, Cobb could be of use in most leagues. Until then, heís only of use in extremely deep leagues. Mixed: $0; AL: $2.

Fausto Carmona, CLE - Carmona was activated from the DL Monday. Given his 5.63 ERA and the fact he has struck out just 63 batters in 110.1 innings, he should not necessarily be in your lineup for the upcoming week.

Scott Baker, MIN - Baker returned from the DL Saturday. Make sure heís in your lineup for next week.

John Danks, CHW - Danks returned from the DL last week. Make sure heís in your lineup for the upcoming scoring period.

David Huff, CLE - Huff was called up by the Indians and started Monday. He was supposed to start again Saturday, but his turn was skipped after the game was rained out. The Indians still believe Huff can develop into a regular in their rotation, but he has a track record of giving up too many hits. Iím taking a flier on him in some AL-only leagues, but Iím not expecting much and wouldnít be surprised if he were optioned back soon. Mixed: $0; AL: $1.

Wade Davis, TB - Davis returned from the DL last week, so make sure heís in your lineups for the upcoming week. The Rays will be going with a six-man rotation to keep Alex Cobb up in the majors. This will limit the opportunity for the Rays to provide many two-start opportunities for the next couple weeks. Iím not wasting money on Davis in standard mixed leagues right now since heís posted just 50 strikeouts in 109 innings, but players in AL-only leagues and deeper mixed will want to consider bidding on him if he is still available. Mixed: $0; AL: $4.

Relief Pitchers

Alexander Torres, TB - Torres was called up by the Rays on Monday to replace Adam Russell in the bullpen. I wouldnít expect him to be used in a lot of high-leverage situations, but the Rays threw him into the fire by giving him his debut in the ninth inning of a tied game with the Yankees. Torres walked three batters and earned the loss after giving up the winning run. With the Rays fading in the playoff race, we could see the team become sellers and start to give their younger arms plenty of action. Mixed: $0; AL: $0.

Troy Patton, BAL - Patton was called up to work out of the Oriolesí bullpen last Sunday, but he only made one appearance in the last week. Though heís had success in the minors this season, there isnít a lot of buzz around Patton. Heís simply taken longer to develop than it was believed heíd take. Patton wonít be in line to get much fantasy-relevant work at first. Mixed: $0; AL: $0.

Mark Worrell, BAL - The Triple-A closer was called up Monday to give the Orioles an extra arm while Alfredo Simon was away from the team. It was thought heíd get sent back to Triple-A, but heís stayed with the team thus far and fared much better in his last two appearances than he did in his season debut. Worrellís work as the closer in Triple-A makes him a little more interesting than someone like Patton, but heís still unlikely to be of use in most fantasy leagues at this time. Mixed: $0; AL: $0.

Casey Janssen, TOR - Janssen was activated from the DL Tuesday and fell right in line with the erratic tendencies of the Blue Jaysí bullpen. He earned the win in his first appearance, and then he went out and blew a save in his next outing. Thereís a chance he could be a part of the closing mix in Toronto, but his track record of mediocrity doesnít instill much confidence. Mixed: $0; AL: $0.

Catchers

Robinson Chirinos, TB - Chirinos was called up last week after Jose Lobaton landed on the DL. Heís backing up Kelly Shoppach at the moment, but when Lobaton or John Jaso is ready to return from the DL, Chirinos will probably be sent back to the minors. Heís started four of the last five games for the Rays. Itís encouraging that theyíre giving the 27-year-old backstop a good look, but his future with the club is a tentative thing. If you want to take a flier on him, I wouldnít waste more than a minimum bid. Mixed: $0; AL: $0.

Corner Infielders

Chone Figgins, SEA - Figgins lost his job at third after the Mariners called up Kyle Seager a couple weeks ago, but with Seager being sent back to Triple-A, Figgins will have another chance to claim the starting job at third base. Heís been beyond terrible this season, but Figginsí ability to steal bags in bunches has always made him relevant in fantasy. Mixed leaguers shouldnít waste any time with him, but AL-only players will want to watch how much playing time Figgins gets over the coming week. Mixed: $0; AL: $1.

Chris Davis, TEX - Davis has done well in limited action with the Rangers this season. Through his 55 at-bats, he hit .273 with three home runs, five RBI, and seven runs scored. Unfortunately, heís also struck out 18 times over that span. Some people donít understand why the Rangers continue to give Davis action in the majors, but the .368 average, 24 home runs, 66 RBI, and 1.229 OPS heís posted at Triple-A this season should help clear things up. This kid has destroyed minor league pitching in his career, and his level of success there suggests heís capable of being a better than average power bat in the majors. If he could just get all the pieces to fit together consistently, Davis could be a regular in even shallow mixed league rosters. With Adrian Beltre landing on the DL with a Grade 1 hamstring strain, Davis is expected to share the third base duties with Michael Young for the next two or three weeks. Take a flier on him, and see if he sticks. Mixed: $1; AL: $3.

Mike Carp, SEA - I pimped this kidís stats when he was called up earlier this year, but the Mariners decided to send him down shortly after his call-up. They were dead set on giving Carlos Peguero as many opportunities to strike out as possible. Eventually, someone came to their senses and sent Peguero back to the minors to clear room for Carp to return to the bigs and get regular at-bats. Carp has started four of the Marinersí last five games, going 6-for-18 with two home runs, two doubles, and four RBI. Through 251 at-bats at Triple-A this season, Carp hit .347 with 21 home runs, 64 RBI, and six steals. He wonít swipe any bags in the majors, but he has a Travis Hafner power lefty thing going for him. Though the Marinersí ballpark is historically known for sapping power, Carp has the kind of prodigious swat that wonít stopped by deep fields in Seattle. Take a flier on the guy for a week or two, and hope that he continues to mash. The opportunity is there for him to be in the lineup every day as long as he continues to produce. Mixed: $4; AL: $7.

Josh Bell, BAL - Bell was recalled by the Orioles this weekend and started at third base Saturday, with Mark Reynolds shifting to DH for the day. This could be a common lineup for a few days, but Vladimir Guerrero (hand) is supposedly close to returning from the DL. When that happens, Reynolds will shift back to the third, and Bell will probably be optioned back to the minors. Mixed: $0; AL: $0.

Middle Infielders

Jason Kipnis, CLE - Kipnis was called up by the Indians and made his major league debut against the White Sox on Friday. Heíll share the workload at second base with Orlando Cabrera for the immediate future, but as long as heís able to put in good at-bats, Kipnis shouldnít have trouble claiming the second base job all to himself after the trade deadline. Through 341 at-bats at Triple-A this season, Kipnis hit .279 with 12 home runs, nine triples, 15 doubles, 55 RBI, 12 steals, and a 44:72 BB:K ratio. Coupling his triples and doubles with his good home run pop, Kipnis has shown how dynamic of a hitter he can be. Unfortunately, Saturdayís game was rained out, and he isnít starting Sunday due to Cabreraís favorable matchup numbers against White Sox starter Edwin Jackson. Cabreraís presence will limit Kipnisí action for the next few weeks at least. However, if given regular at-bats, Kipnis could prove to be one of the more productive call-ups this season. Iím big on this kid, and a lot of that is born from an irrational blind love of versatility. Itís amazing to me that he has hit so many triples, doubles, and home runs, and it gets me excited to think that this kid could put up Curtis Granderson-type numbers while playing second base. Though I donít expect other people to be as high on Kipnis as I am, Iím bidding higher on him, because I donít want to lose out on adding him to my roster. If you decide to make a play for him, understand that he may not be very productive for a couple weeks. You have to be willing to stash him for two weeks before getting a real chance to evaluate him. Mixed: $12; AL: $19.

Mike Aviles, KC - Aviles was recalled by the Royals after Wilson Betemit was traded to the Tigers earlier last week. He should rotate between second, third, and short in a utility role. Expect him to get 2-to-4 starts a week while filling in for the regulars. Mixed: $0; AL: $0.

Outfielders/Utility

Desmond Jennings, TB - Jennings was called up to the Rays on Saturday and went 2-for-3 with a double, triple, steal and RBI in his 2011 debut. He hit .275 with 12 home runs, 68 runs scored, and 17 steals in 338 at-bats at Triple-A Durham this season. If youíre buying Jennings, itís because you need speed, though he could help some in the power department. The Rays should play him every day the rest of the season. Jennings will either be the regular in left, or the team will move him to center following a B.J. Upton trade. He should bat leadoff and be a great source of runs and steals. If youíve been waiting for him to get called up all season, donít bite at the corners on your bid this week. Itís going to take a good chunk of change to get this top prospect. Mixed: $24; AL: $32.

Ezequiel Carrera, CLE - Carrera was expected to be sent back down to Triple-A last Sunday, but the team kept him around. And then Grady Sizemore got injured again, and Carrera is suddenly looking like a pretty darn good pick-up in fantasy. Through 326 at-bats at Triple-A Columbus this season, Carrera posted a .288 average with two home runs, 63 runs scored, and 35 steals. The Indians have had him batting leadoff in each of their last four games. As long as heís hitting there, Carrera should be a good source of steals and runs. Mixed: $7; AL: $10.

Vladimir Guerrero, BAL - Guerrero (hand) could be activated from the DL as early as Tuesday, but the Orioles have not announced when heíll be rejoining the team. As a result, Iím holding off on adding him to my active roster. Leave him on the bench for one more week.

Carl Crawford, BOS - Crawford was activated from the DL Monday, and he has been in the lineup every day. Make sure you havenít left him sitting on the DL or bench.

Jason Kubel, MIN - Kubels-N-Bits returned from the DL Friday. Make sure heís in your lineup for the upcoming week.

Peter Bourjos, LAA - Bourjos was activated from the DL this weekend, but the Angels chose to keep Mike Trout in the majors and option Alexi Amarista. This could mean we see both players stay with the team the rest of the season and rotate in center field, which would certainly hurt both of their values. Until Bourjos earns back a starting role, Iím keeping him benched in most leagues.

*If youíve gotten this far and youíre just going to rip into me about the fact that I donít know who ďthat dude from the baseball game commercialsĒ is, let me assure you, Iím well aware of who Sergio Romo** is. I write about the Orioles*** here all the time.

**Brian Wilson.

***Giants.