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FAAB Factor - NL: Replacing Strasburg

Jan Levine

Jan Levine

Levine covers baseball, basketball and hockey for RotoWire. In addition to his column writing, he's the master of the MLB and NHL cheatsheets. In his spare time, he roots for the Mets.

National League - FAAB - 9/9/12
 
Starting Pitching:

Andrew Cashner - Cashner, who was profiled last week when he was activated off the DL, gets another mention, as he started Friday, giving up two runs on four hits with no walks and five strikeouts over five innings against the Diamondbacks. Cashner, sidelined since July 4 with a strained right lat muscle, made three recent rehab starts, going 0-1 with a 2.60 ERA, 1.11 WHIP, and 8:2 K:BB ratio across nine frames. He started the year in the bullpen, posting a 3.81 ERA in 27 games, before moving to the rotation, where he made three starts and suffered the injury. Cashner has never been a full-time starter in the majors, but has awesome strikeout potential with a fastball that approaches 100 mph. Mixed: $4; NL: $11 (assuming he can stay healthy)

Anthony Cingrani - Cingrani was promoted to the majors Tuesday. Cingrani's done nothing but dominate since the Reds drafted him in the third round of the 2011 MLB Draft out of Rice University. He struck out 172 batters over 146 innings at the High-A and Double-A levels this season, and will finish the year with a minor league ERA of 1.73. Cingrani, whose main pitches are an upper-90s fastball and slider along with a developing change-up, is expected to pitch out of the bullpen for Cincinnati over the final month of the season, but could be on the list of candidates to make a spot start if necessary. Mixed: $1; NL: $4 (more value in keeper leagues)

Jorge de la Rosa - De La Rosa, profiled last week, gets another mention as his rehab from last June’s Tommy John surgery took another step forward this week. De la Rosa threw three shutout innings Wednesday for Grand Junction. His fastball was consistently in the low-90s and topped at 94 mph while allowed three hits and striking out five. He likely will need a few more rehab starts, which begins Monday at High-A Modesto, but could make an appearance or two in the majors. De la Rosa never boasted pinpoint control, so it may take him a bit of time after the surgery to get back to where he was in his 2011 (career-low 3.36 BB/9IP). If he can make it back to the majors this year, it will be a successful season for de la Rosa, despite all the stops and starts in the rehab process. Mixed: $1; NL: $4 (spec bid).

Zach Duke - Duke was called up from Triple-A Syracuse on Monday. Duke was 15-5 with a 3.51 ERA, 1.32 WHIP and 91:39 K:BB ratio over 164.1 innings (26 starts) this season at Syracuse. He, along with recent call-up John Lannan, are the likely candidates to enter the Nats' rotation now that Stephen Strasburg is officially shut down for the year. Duke was a 2009 All-Star, but his career has gone in the wrong direction the past few years. His solid season in the minors could get him a look see with another organization next spring, if he does not return to the Nationals.  Mixed: $0; NL: $2

Jeurys Familia - Familia, profiled last week, gets another mention as he was promoted this past week. Familia hit a bit of a rough patch in late July, but he seems to have recovered well from it with a 35:9 K:BB over his last five outings. Familia finished 9-9 with a 4.73 ERA in 28 starts for Triple-A Buffalo. When he is on, Familia mixes a late moving, mid-90s fastball with a developing slider and changeup. His strikeout potential is huge, but he's going to have to learn to limit the walks he allows. Once Familia’s control is a little stronger, he could do some serious damage in the majors.  Familia could see a spot start but is currently working out of the pen for the Mets. Mixed: $0; NL: $3.

Edgar Gonzalez - Gonzalez, making his first big league start since Sept. 27, 2009 while with the A's, earned a victory for the Astros on Monday against the Pirates as he pitched 5.1 innings and allowing one run, five hits and one walk to go along with five strikeouts. Houston is trying to decide what players they will move forward with next season, but Gonzalez is going to have to put together a strong September to make a case to be with the team in 2013. His 14-25 record with a 5.90 ERA mark at the big league level doesn’t lend itself to confidence in his ability to do so. Mixed: No; NL: $2.

Dallas Keuchel - Keuchel was recalled from Triple-A Oklahoma City on Monday. Keuchel was sent to the minors on August 30 after posting a 1-7 record, 5.54 ERA, 1.52 WHIP, and 30:31 K:BB ratio in 12 starts (66.2 innings) with the Astros. Keuchel will return to the team’s rotation Monday. With Houston going to a six-man rotation, an innings limit will not be a large concern. Mixed: No; NL: $2.

John Lannan - Lannan, who was recalled from Triple-A Syracuse last Saturday, will start in place of the recently shut-down Stephen Strasburg on Wednesday. Lannan has started 24 games at Triple-A this year, going 9-11 with a 4.30 ERA, 1.44 WHIP, and 87:50 K:BB ratio over 148.2 innings. Lannan, who made two starts for the Nats this year, gets the first chance to fill the Nats’ ace’s shoes, but if he struggles, Chien-Ming Wang could be next in line. Mixed: $0; NL: $2.

Ted Lilly - Lilly (shoulder) threw a simulated game on Wednesday and reported feeling "fine." He could return in a bullpen role later this month, though his fastball is only topping out at 85-86 mph. Lilly could be used as a LOOGY, and if healthy for next season, he could get a chance to return to starting. Mixed: No; NL: $0 (but some value in 2013)

Jennry Mejia - Mejia was promoted from Triple-A Buffalo on Tuesday. Though Mejia's long-term future is likely as a reliever, he's seen success since being moved back to a starting role at Triple-A Buffalo in early-August. Mejia, who returned from Tommy John surgery this season and failed in his conversion to relieving, is working out of the Mets’ bullpen for the time being, but will start September 19 against the Phillies. When he is on, Mejia uses a low-to-mid 90s cutting/sinking fastball, plus-changeup and work-in-progress curveball. Mixed: $0; NL: $3

Shelby Miller - Miller, who was profiled last week, gets another mention as he was promoted this week and could see some spot starts down the stretch. Miller had a very up-and-down season but righted the ship lately. Miller has a 36:4 K:BB ratio his last 24.1 innings to help restore his status as the Cardinals” #1 pitching prospect, though Carlos Martinez is close behind. Miller struck out 150 batters in 130.2 innings at Triple-A Memphis. When he is on, he mixes a mid-90s fastball with late-life and movement along with a curveball, change and solid control. Miller has had some off-the-field issues the past two seasons, which have raised some make-up questions about him, but he seems to be on the beam now. Miller made his major-league debut Wednesday, allowing a hit but striking out four over two innings against the Mets. Mixed: $2; NL: $7 (value mainly in keeper leagues)

Wily Peralta - Peralta was promoted to the Brewers to take Mark Rogers' spot in the rotation. Rogers was shut down to lessen the workload on his surgically-repaired right arm after throwing 44.1 innings last season, opening the way for Peralta. After a rough start, Peralta finished the season at Triple-A Nashville on a high note, going 2-3 with a 3.97 ERA with 64 strikeouts in 56.2 innings. He got the win in his first big-league start Wednesday, giving up three runs on five hits but with a 3:4 K:BB ratio in six innings against Miami. Peralta's a high-talent arm, so expect the Brewers to give him the rest of the season to start earning a spot in next year's rotation and work on his shaky command. Mixed: $1; NL: $5

Chris Rusin - Rusin was recalled from Double-A Tennessee before Tuesday's tilt at Washington. He proceeded to last a single inning, giving up five runs on eight hits and a walk while striking out one. Despite that lousy start, Rusin is slated to take the hill Sunday at Pittsburgh as Chicago plays out the string of another disappointing season. Mixed: No; NL: $0

Josh Stinson - The Brewers called up Stinson from Double-A Huntsville on Tuesday. Stinson, claimed off waivers from the Mets on April 4, went 11-9 with a 3.16 ERA in 29 games with Huntsville. Stinson, who pitched in 14 games for the Mets last season, throws five pitches - fastball, sinker, curveball, slider and change-up - but usually relies on his fastball as a reliever. He will likely get appearances out of the Brewers' bullpen, and perhaps a spot start here and there. Mixed: No; NL: $1.

Tyler Thornburg - The Brewers called up Thornburg from Triple-A Nashville on Tuesday. This will be Thornburg's second stint with the big league club this year. He has pitched 14 innings over the course of five games, allowing 17 hits and nine earned runs, including seven homers. He pitched as a starter in the minors but projects to be a reliever in the majors. Mixed: No; NL: $0.

Chien-Ming Wang - Wang, who was activated from the DL Tuesday with a hip injury, is likely to stay in the bullpen but could be in line for starts as the season winds down and with Stephen Strasburg removed from the rotation. Manager Davey Johnson came away raving after he monitored Wang's bullpen session Friday. There doesn't seem to be room for Wang in the rotation, but if John Lannan has a bad start once he slides into Stephen Strasburg's spot that could change before making a decision on what role he'll fill on the pitching staff. Mixed: $0; NL: $3

Relief Pitchers:

Jason Berken/Brad Boxberger/Jaye Chapman/Rafael Dolis/Edgmer Escalona/Charlie Fick/Christian Garcia/Cory Gearrin/Justin Hampson/Dan Jennings/Brandon Kintzler/Tom Koehler/Victor Marte/Dan Otero/Yusmeiro Petit/Elvin Ramirez/Todd Redmond/Steven Rodriguez/Dan Runtzler/Rob Scahill/Miguel Socolovich/Julio Teheran/Pedro Villareal/Josh Wall - This week’s batch of middle relief promotions and activations took place in Chicago, San Diego, Chicago (2x), Colorado, Houston, Washington, Atlanta, New York, Miami, Milwaukee, Miami, St. Louis, San Francisco (2x), New York, Cincinnati, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Colorado, Chicago, Atlanta, Cincinnati and Los Angeles. All of them will pitch in middle relief for their respective teams. The only one who could have some value is Teheran, who might see a start for Atlanta before the end of the year and could start for the Braves in 2013. All except Teheran- Mixed: No; NL: $0. Teheran - Mixed: $0; NL: $2.

Kenley Jansen - The Dodgers announced this week that Jansen, sidelined since the end of August, should be ready to return to action during the team’s series against the Nationals on September 18-20. Again, that is predicated on him not having any setbacks between now and then with his irregular heartbeat, requiring another cycle of blood-thinning medication. Until then, Brandon League and Ronald Belisario will continue to split the closing duties for LA. If Jansen is able to return to action then, he should go right back to closing and build on the stellar numbers he had posted before being sidelined. Mixed: $12; NL: $35 (in case he was waived when first sidelined).

Alejandro Ramos - Ramos was called up Tuesday and later that day, he became the first Marlin in franchise history to strike out the side in his major league debut. He had 21 saves, a 1.44 ERA and 89 K's in 68.2 Double-A innings before being called up, so the ability to miss bats isn't a big surprise. If Steve Cishek falters as the Miami closer, Ramos, who has a mid-90s fastball, hard slider and change-up and was drafted in the 21st round in 2009 out of Texas Tech, could work his way into the saves picture despite his inexperience. Mixed: $1; NL: $4.

Catchers:

Rob Brantly - Brantly, who was traded to Miami in late-July and called up in August, has turned it on after a slow start. Brantly is hitting .344 (11-for-32), including his first two home runs over his last 10 games. He was mainly valued for his defense but has shown a better than expected eye and good contact at the plate, which gives some hope to his developing into a full-tome starter down the road. For now, he will continue to split time with John Buck, but if he continues to progress, he could eventually hit 15 home runs with a decent average and be a starter, possibly as early as next season. Mixed: $3; NL: $9.

Carlos Corporan/Anthony Recker/Ali Solis- The parade of back-up catcher call-ups continued this week in Houston, Chicago and San Diego. None of them will see extended time and will be used to give the starters a break as well as a pinch-hitter. All - Mixed: No; NL: $0.

Carlos Ruiz - Ruiz, sidelined with plantar fasciitis in his left foot since August 4, was activated off the disabled list Friday. Ruiz was a beast (.335 average, 14 homers, 58 RBI), propelled by a high BABIP, line drive and HR/FB ratios,before his plantar fasciitis sent him to the DL. It's hard to imagine the career .275 hitter continuing to hit so consistently over the rest of the season given the reasons stated above, but it's certainly possible. Ruiz is available to pinch-hit initially before gradually working his way into starting behind the plate, likely every fourth day or so, which allows Erik Kratz to retain a good portion of his value. Mixed: $3; NL: $9 (go higher in keeper leagues as value dampened by cut in PT initially).
 
Kurt Suzuki - Suzuki homered Thursday and now has three long-balls in just 83 at-bats with the Nationals after going deep just once in 262 at-bats while a member of the Athletics. He's been on a tear in general during the early stages of September, going 8-for-20 (.400) with a pair of homers and seven RBI in six games. Suzuki seems to be taking over for Jesus Flores, but keep an eye on his status, as he was scratched before Saturday’s game with no reason given. Mixed: $4; NL: $11.

First Basemen:

Jeff Clement - The Pirates recalled Clement last Monday. Clement, who was sent to Bradenton on Friday, returns to the big club, where he went hitless in six at-bats over five games with the Bucs in the month of August. Mixed: No; NL: $0.

Matthew McBride - The Rockies called up McBride on Tuesday. McBride was named to PCL All-Star team and finished the season with a .344 batting average. He went 4-for-20 in a brief stint with the Rockies in August and at 27, he doesn't seem to figure into the team’s long-term plans. McBride should see pinch-hitting opportunities as well as the occasional start at first base. Mixed: No; NL: $0.

Second Base:

Pete Orr - The Phillies called up Orr from Triple-A Lehigh Valley this week. Orr isn't likely to see much playing time but he will give the Phillies some additional infield depth with Placido Polanco out for the rest of the season. Mixed: No. NL: $0.

Donovan Solano - Solano had two more hits Saturday and has racked up eight hits in his last four games. After hitting .302 in August, he's at 11-for-35 in September. Solano has performed at a surprisingly high level since being handed an everyday spot in the lineup, mainly at third base, following the departure of Omar Infante and Hanley Ramirez. He's now batting a commendable .296 while chipping in seven steals, though his zero home runs on the season severely inhibit his fantasy value. Look for Solano to have a significant role with the Marlins next season. Mixed: $2; NL: $7.

Dan Uggla - Uggla went 3-for-3 with two walks and three runs scored in Saturday's 11-3 win over the Mets. After being demoted to a part-time role just a few days ago, Uggla has earned four starts in a row due to his hot hitting. He's registered six hits over his last 14 at-bats and has seen his average rise from .206 to .214 during that time. (just an FYI, as likely still owned as demotion occurred this week. If not, grab him while on hot streak)

Jordany Valdespin - The Mets called up Valdespin from Triple-A Buffalo on Tuesday. Valdespin gets another chance in the majors after being sent down to Triple-A a little over a week ago. With Daniel Murphy seemingly over his rotator cuff problem, Valdespin will likely only see occasional starts at second base. However, the 24-year-old provides the Mets some flexibility, as he can play the outfield as well. He hit .242/.282/.453 with eight homers, 26 RBI and seven steals in 75 MLB games this season but just .174 after July 24. Mixed: $0; NL: $2.
 
Shortstops:

Jeff Bianchi - Bianchi saw some extra starts at third base this week due to Aramis Ramirez’s back injury and also received some action at shortstop with Jean Segura struggling. Bianchi made the most of that playing time, hitting three home runs with eight RBI over his last 12 games. He's not a power hitter, so don't expect that to continue, but he's shown good contact ability in the minors. Mixed: $1. NL: $4.

Manny Burriss/Ryan Jackson/Andy Paririno - The parade of back-up shortstop call-ups began this week in San Francisco, St. Louis and San Diego. None of them will see extended time and will be used to give the starters a break and be used as a pinch-hitter. Mixed: No. NL: $0.

Brock Holt - Holt was profiled last week when the Pirates called him up from Triple-A Indy. This week, he gets another mention as he has made the most of playing time afforded him due to the absence of Neal Walker (back). Holt went 1-for-4 Saturday and is hitting .375 through his first seven games in the majors. The 24-year-old shortstop hit .322 in 382 Double-A at-bats before really lighting things up with a .432 batting mark in 95 at-bats with Triple-A Indy. In his last eight games before promotion, Holt had five three-hit performances and one two-hit game. With Walker still having no timeframe for returning, Holt should continue to start for as long as he remains hot. In addition, he could see work his way into the mix for 2013, especially with no clear-cut favorite at shortstop in Pittsburgh. Mixed: $2; NL: $7.

Jed Lowrie - Lowrie, out since July 15 with an ankle injury and a nerve injury in his right leg, took batting practice, ran and was able to do side-to-side drills. He went to Double-A Corpus Christi this Friday for a rehab assignment, but with that team now knocked out of the playoffs, Lowrie will now head High-A Lancaster, which is still alive in the playoffs, as he is not ready to return. It’s possible that he could be back playing for the Astros by the end of this week. Prior to getting hurt, Lowrie was second NL shortstops in HR with 14 and had a solid .343 OBA. Mixed: $7; NL: $17 (in case he makes it back the final few weeks of the season).

Andrelton Simmons - Simmons, out since July 9 with a fractured metacarpal on his right hand, will return to the Braves lineup Monday. Simmons played his third rehab game, this one with High-A Lynchburg, on Friday, and the team felt he was ready to return to the parent club. In 33 games with the Braves before the injury, Simmons hit .296/.336/.452 with three homers and 15 RBI. He should see frequent action, if not start daily, which would relegate Paul Janish back to the bench. Mixed: $3; NL: $9.

Troy Tulowitzki - Tulowitzki will return to the Rockies on Monday. He has been on the disabled list since May 30 with a strained left groin that required surgery June 21 to remove scar tissue. Tulo has worked his way back to playing a full contest after starting rehab appearances a little over two weeks ago. Tulo is trying to prove that he is not brittle since injuries have sidelined him for major parts of four of the last five years. Given his ability to get a hot and carry a fantasy team, run, don’t walk and grabbed Tulo on the hopes you get a full month from him in September. Mixed: and NL: Max bid

Third Basemen:

Juan Francisco - This one is mainly for those in keeper leagues. With Chipper Jones set to retire at the end of the year, the Braves have a hole at third base that could be filled for Francisco. Atlanta could sign or acquire someone this offseason or shift Martin Prado back to the hot corner, if not, Francisco might be next in line. Francisco has nine home runs and 30 RBI in 176 at-bats in part-time duty this year and could hit 20-25 HR with an okay batting average if he became the full-time starter. Mixed: $1; NL: $4 (value is mainly in keeper leagues)

Taylor Green - Green was recalled from Triple-A Nashville on Thursday. With Aramis Ramirez sidelined at the time with a back injury, Green was been recalled to provide some depth at the hot corner. Jeff Bianchi was seeing the majority of the starts, but Green will added a lefty option at the plate. Green hit .198 with two home runs and 10 RBI in 81 at-bats with Milwaukee earlier this year but batted .273 with seven home runs and 29 RBI in 77 games for Triple-A Nashville. Mixed: No; NL: $0.

Michael Martinez - Martinez is making his third straight start at third base Sunday. Martinez is seeing increased playing time with Kevin Frandsen dealing with a stress fracture to his left fibula. Frandsen is considered day-to-day, so Martinez's playing time increase may be short term, though the injury could end up sidelining Frandsen longer than expected. Mixed: $0; NL: $2.

Outfielders:

Bobby Abreu/Corey Brown/Alex Castellanos/Adron Chambers/Fred Lewis - This week’s batch of fourth and mainly fifth outfielder promotions and activations took place in Los Angeles, Washington, Los Angeles, St. Louis, San Francisco and New York. All of them, save for Lewis, are depth players, who will either see pinch-hit or spot duty for their respective teams. The only one who could have some value is Teheran, who hit .294/.379/.482 with 26 doubles, 13 homers, 45 RBI and 25 steals in 108 games for Triple-A Buffalo this season. Lewis is a .267 career hitter at the major league level, and he should provide some offensive production and speed for the Mets in the final month of the season. All except Lewis- Mixed: No; NL: $0. Lewis - Mixed: $0; NL: $2.

Jose Constanza - Constanza, promoted last Saturday, has seen a few starts in left field since the promotion. However, those came either because Dan Uggla was struggling and benched and Martin Prado started at second, Chipper Jones was on the bench and Prado started at third or Prado started at short with Andrelton Simmons still out. Now with Uggla hot and Simmons back Monday, it will be interesting to see if Constanza plays, though he is expected to see some time against southpaws. Constanza is hitting .239 in 46 at-bats with the Braves this year, but hit .314 with Triple-A Gwinnett between stints with the big league club. Mixed: $0; NL: $2.

Adam Eaton - Eaton, who was profiled last week, gets another mention this week as he was called up to replace the injured Chris Young, who was out with a quad injury. Eaton has ably filled in for Young, going 8-for-21 with five runs in his four starts in center field while Young has been sidelined. Eaton was named the Pacific Coast League Rookie of the Year. For the second consecutive year, the award went to the Reno Aces' center fielder and leadoff hitter. Eaton began the season in Double-A but was quickly promoted in April where he posted a slash line of .379/.452/.536 with 117 runs scored, seven home runs, 45 RBI and 37 stolen bases. Equally impressive was his 9.3-percent walk rate and 12.4-percent strikeout rate. Strong defense, a high average and on-base percentage, great speed and efficiency on the base paths are Eaton's biggest strengths. If Eaton can continue this hot start, he may force Arizona to deal Young or Upton with Jason Kubel set in left and allow him to have a roster and starting spot next spring. Mixed: $5; NL: $14 (bid higher if think Young’s injury sidelined him a while longer).

Starling Marte - Marte, sidelined since August 19 with an oblique injury, was activated off the disabled list and started in left field Friday. He went 0-for-2 with a walk but had two errors and an overall poor game. The good news is that manager Clint Hurdle ran him out there again Saturday, though he went 0-for-3 with two strikeouts. Prior to being sidelined, Marte, who hit a homer on the first pitch he saw in the majors, had posted a .253/.287/.421 line with four homers, 10 RBI and four steals since his promotion. He went 2-for-12 during a quick, three-game rehab stint, including a 1-for-4 night with three runs scored Thursday for Triple-A Indy that made his overall minor-league numbers, .286 with 12 homers, 612 RBI and 21 steals over 388 at-bats. Marte, who batted leadoff in each of his first 22 starts with the Pirates after being promoted, will bat first or second with Brock Holt assuming the other spot. Mixed: $8; NL: $22 (in case he was waived when hurt or still available)

J.D. Martinez - Martinez was called up from Triple-A Oklahoma City on Monday. Martinez struggled initially following his demotion on August 10 but recovered nicely to bat 11-for-39 (.282) with five runs scored and four RBI over his last 10 games before the promotion. He will see some time in left field. Mixed: $1; NL: $4.