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FAAB Factor - AL: Finally Time for Allen?

Kyle McKeown

Kyle McKeown

Kyle McKeown is the Managing Editor of NBA Content for RotoWire.com. He hosts the Fantasy Basketball Podcast and writes about fantasy basketball. Kyle used to run an after school program and approaches his work as an editor with teaching in mind. He genuinely cares about helping others win their fantasy basketball leagues, which seems really dorky when it's written in the third person. kyle@rotowire.com

STARTING PITCHERS

Garrett Richards, SP, LAA - Richards was called up by the Angels on Wednesday and made his major league debut against the Yankees. He threw five innings in his debut, giving up six earned runs. It's believed he could stay in the majors for at least a few more starts, making him worth consideration in AL-only leagues. Through 141 innings at Double-A this season, Richards posted a 3.06 ERA, 1.14 WHIP, and 100:40 K:BB ratio, but there's not a lot of short-term upside here given the mediocre strikeout rate. Mixed: $0; AL: $1.

Henderson Alvarez, SP, TOR - Alvarez was called up by the Blue Jays on Tuesday and made his major league debut against the Athletics on Wednesday. He threw 5.2 innings in his debut, giving up three earned runs and striking out four. Alvarez is just 21 years old and saw the majority of his action at Double-A New Hampshire this season, where he posted a 2.86 ERA, 1.11 WHIP, and 66:17 K:BB ratio through 88 innings. He's taking Carlos Villanueva's (arm) spot in the rotation, and there's a good chance he could keep the job the rest of the season. AL-only players will want to consider adding him as a live arm with some upside, but mixed league players probably won't have much use for Alvarez this season. Mixed: $0; AL: $1.

David Huff, SP, CLE - Huff was recalled to make a couple spot starts for the Indians while Carlos Carrasco (elbow) is on the DL. If you're desperate for a starter, Huff will be a live arm for a few weeks. He's quietly compiled a 15:4 K:BB over three spot starts for the Tribe this season, but a career 5.42 ERA over 41 big league starts suggests taking a very cautious approach with him. Mixed: $0; AL: $1.

RELIEF PITCHERS

Mike Adams, RP, TEX - Adams picked up the save last Sunday, filling in for Neftali Feliz, because Feliz had pitched the three previous days. He's already next in line to get saves on his new club. Keep that in mind if you're hawking for saves at the end of the season. Properly speculating on the next-in-line setup men can pay huge dividends down the stretch. AL-only players most likely grabbed and stashed Adams when he was traded to the Rangers a couple weeks ago. Mixed players will want to make sure they're making just as heady of moves if any closers get injured in the final weeks of the season. Closer watch, set-up men.

CATCHERS

Salvador Perez, C, KC - Perez was called up by the Royals on Wednesday to make his major league debut. He's started four straight games, and it appears the Royals are planning on giving him the bulk of the catching duties for the rest of the season. At just 21 years old, he's an interesting young prospect. The Royals signed Perez out of Venezuela in 2007. They promoted him to Triple-A in July and decided that the .333 he hit there justified giving him a call up to the majors for the rest of the season. He doesn't have a lot of power, but Perez makes contact and gives himself a chance to get on base at a good clip. AL-only players will want to add this kid, and mixed league players will want to watch his progress. If you're playing in a mixed keeper league, you'll want to consider adding Perez with an eye towards next season, even if you already have a decent catcher on your roster. Perez saw most of his action at Double-A this season, posting a .283 average with nine home runs, 43 RBI, and 35 runs scored through 286 at-bats. Mixed: $0; AL: $5.

Tyler Flowers, C, CHW - Flowers has promising power potential, particularly playing half of his games in U.S. Cellular Field. He started at catcher for the White Sox on Saturday and Sunday with A.J. Pierzynski nursing a sore wrist. Pierzynski is expected to return to the lineup Tuesday, but the news that his wrist is still sore means the White Sox may put off his return. If Pierzynski's injury turns out to be more serious, Flowers could be a huge addition at catcher. It might be worth taking a cheap flier on him for the next week until it's determined just how injured Pierzynski is. Through 222 at-bats at Triple-A this season, Flowers hit .261 with 15 home runs. Mixed: $0; AL: $1.

CORNER INFIELDERS

Justin Morneau, 1B, MIN - Morneau (neck/wrist) was activated from the DL Friday. His ownership is down due to him spending a large chunk of the season on the DL, but Morneau has the potential to be a top-20 fantasy player. Make sure you have him active in your lineups for the coming week. Injury update.

Brandon Allen, 1B/OF, OAK - Allen has been featured here in the past, but he was since traded and demoted to Triple-A. Now that his new team's front office staff, the Athletics, have taken their collective heads out of the sand and called him up to the majors, we could see Allen finally get a chance to play every day. You'll want to probably wait and see how much he's being used before adding Allen, but this is the flag being waved to let you know he's back in the majors. Through 345 at-bats at Triple-A this season, Allen hit 21 home runs. He has legit power, but he also strikes out at a prodigious rate. The Athletics should give him action in the outfield and at first base. There's a good chance they'll tiptoe around giving him full-time job and slate him into a platoon role. Due to his power, I'm taking a flier on him in AL-only and some deeper mixed leagues. Unfortunately, I don't have a lot of faith the Athletics will get him the plate appearances he'll need to be of use. Mixed: $0; AL: $1.

MIDDLE INFIELDERS

Reid Brignac, SS, TB - Brignac was recalled by the Rays on Wednesday, but the only action he's seen is as a pinch-hitter. Sean Rodriguez and Elliot Johnson are getting all of the starts at shortstop right now. It appears Brignac is only going to be used in a reserve role. It's worth making a mental note that he's back in the majors, but Brignac's poor production this season (.191/.232/.218), and his limited role, don't give him much value in most leagues. Mixed: $0; AL: $0.

Alexi Casilla, 2B/SS, MIN - Casilla returned from the DL Friday, but he aggravated his hamstring injury in his return. The Twins were forced to put Casilla back on the DL Saturday. They called up Trevor Plouffe to take his spot on the roster. Injury update.

Trevor Plouffe, 2B/SS/OF, MIN - Plouffe was recalled from Triple-A Rochester on Saturday and is in the starting lineup at second Sunday. He'll get an extended look at both second and short the rest of the season. The Twins are essentially out of the playoff picture, so it only makes sense for them to find out if Plouffe can be an everyday player for them next season. He's struggled through limited action in the majors this season, hitting just .202 with five home runs, 16 RBI, and a steal through 114 at-bats, but Plouffe excelled in the minors. Through 192 at-bats with Rochester, he hit .313 with 15 home runs, 33 RBI, and three steals. Plouffe's five home runs in the majors this season has shown that he can hit for power in the majors, but he'll need to hit for a decent average to be of use in standard mixed leagues. AL-only players will want to make sure to bid on him this weekend, and it'd be worth taking a flier on him in deeper mixed leagues as well. Mixed: $0; AL: $5.

Luis Rodriguez, SS, SEA - Rodriguez was recalled by the Mariners on Monday to help fill the void at shortstop with Brendan Ryan (shoulder) going on the DL. He's started the last three games, and he could be a decent short-term add in AL-only leagues as long as Ryan is on the DL. Only grab him if you're thin at the position. His value will only come from his status as a live bat. Mixed: $0; AL: $1.

Jed Lowrie, SS, BOS - Lowrie (shoulder) was activated from the DL Monday. He was shelved since June 16. Marco Scutaro is going to get plenty of starts at shortstop, so Lowrie will be limited to playing in a utility role for the Red Sox. He'll probably get 3-5 starts per week, making him of use in deeper AL-only leagues but not in many other formats. Lowrie got off to a torrid start at the beginning of the year, but he leveled off in dramatic fashion. Through 209 at-bats this season, he's hit .263 with four home runs, 26 RBI, and 27 runs scored. His lack of power this season, and his limited role, make Lowrie hard to justify owning in most mixed formats. Don't get too high on this kid just because he's hitting in the same lineup as Adrian Gonzalez. Mixed: $0; AL: $2.

Ryan Raburn, 2B/3B, DET - With Carlos Guillen (wrist) going on the DL Sunday, Raburn should get in the lineup most days. He's already been playing some games at third base, and manager Jim Leyland has been finding more opportunities for Raburn to get in the lineup. Since the All-Star break, Raburn has turned around his luck at the plate and hit .306 with two home runs, seven RBI, and only eight strikeouts through 49 at-bats. Will Rhymes was called up for infield depth, so it's not a given that Raburn gets most of the action at second. It's just a possibility, and he has more offensive upside than Rhymes or Ramon Santiago. Take a flier on him, if you're desperate for infield help. Mixed: $0; AL: $1.

OUTFIELDERS/UTILITY

Craig Gentry, OF, TEX - Gentry was activated from the DL Thursday. He was out with a neck injury since sliding awkwardly into a base on July 25. The Rangers will continue to use him in a reserve role in the outfield, but it may be harder for him to see regular action with David Murphy and Endy Chavez already being a part of the outfield rotation. Watch how much action he gets in the coming week before considering adding him in AL-only leagues. If Gentry starts getting a few starts per week again, he could be a decent source of steals in deeper AL-only leagues. Mixed: $0; AL: $0.

Shin-Soo Choo, OF, CLE - Choo returned from the DL Friday. He was out since June 24 with a thumb injury. He leadoff and played right field in his return. Make sure you have him in your active lineup for the week ahead. Injury update.

Wily Mo Pena, OF, SEA - Pena was called up by the Mariners on Saturday, and he could get some regular playing time as long as Justin Smoak (nose) is on the DL. Since signing a Triple-A contract with the Mariners last month, Pena hit .333 with four home runs and 14 RBI through 51 at-bats at Tacoma. He went 0-for-4 with two strikeouts as the DH Saturday, and all of his value will come from how much action he gets and the number of home runs he can slug. If you're buying him, it's the understanding that he's going to kill your batting average and give you plenty of home runs. I'm reluctant to add Pena in rotisserie scoring systems, but I'm adding him in head-to-head leagues where it's harder to hurt batting average from week to week. Mixed: $1; AL: $4.

Andy Dirks, OF, DET - Dirks has started four of the last five days in left field with Brennan Boesch nursing a sore finger. Over the last seven days, he's hit .364 with three doubles, two RBI, and three runs scored. He'll return to a reserve role when Boesch is healthy enough to return to the lineup, but if Boesch's injury ends up resulting in a DL stint, Dirks could develop some solid short-term value in AL-only leagues. Mixed: $0; AL: $0.

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