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FAAB Factor - NL: Carpenter Returns

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 - 9/23/12
 
Starting Pitching:

Chris Carpenter - Carpenter, who was profiled last week, gets another mention as he was activated off the 60-day disabled list and made his first start of the season Friday. He allowed two earned runs on five hits and a walk with two strikeouts in 77 pitches over five innings against Chicago. With Jake Westbrook suffering a setback with his oblique injury, Carpenter, who was out with thoracic outlet syndrome in his pitching shoulder, will likely remain in the rotation and make two more starts. Last year, Carpenter gave up more than a hit an inning for the first time since 2002 - but he still posted a 3.45 ERA and 191:55 K:BB ratio in 237 innings. He will be 37 next season, but given his previous track record and willingness plus desire to pitch, he still should be a solid starter and post good numbers on a solid team. Mixed: $5; NL: $14. (more value in keeper leagues).

Jorge de la Rosa - De La Rosa, profiled two weeks ago, gets another mention as like Carpenter, he was activated off the disabled list and made his first start of the season. Unlike Carpenter, he struggled, allowing five runs on seven hits and a walk while striking out just one in 3.2 innings Thursday. De La Rosa's fastball was a shade below 90 mph, three MPH less than last year, when he went 5-2 with a 3.51 ERA and a 1.186 WHIP before being forced to undergo Tommy John surgery. The lack of velocity is a bit surprising as he seemed to have more life on his fastball in the minors, and usually, velocity after TJS is not the issue, command is. Colorado will likely give de la Rosa a few more starts this year, since he will be a free agent after the season and they have to determine if it's worth trying to re-sign him. Mixed: $1; NL: $4

Stephen Fife - Fife, who started last Sunday in place of Clayton Kershaw (hip), held the Reds to two runs on five hits over five innings Saturday, but he still suffered his second loss of the season. Fife struck out four and only allowed one extra-base hit (a Jay Bruce solo home run), but the Dodgers offense was unable to do much of anything against opposing starter Mat Latos. Fife, who allowed two runs on five hits with nine strikeouts in his first start, could move into the rotation on a more permanent basis if the Dodgers nix the rest of Kershaw's starts. Mixed: $1; NL: $5

Travis Wood - Wood has a pair of decent starts this week, allowing three runs in 5.2 innings Monday against Pittsburgh and three runs - two earned - in five innings Saturday versus St. Louis. Since August 17, Wood hasn't allowed more than three earned runs in any of his starts, walking nine while fanning 39 in 44 innings pitched IP. More importantly, he's only allowed 2 homers in those outings. As things line up now he's slated to pitch in Arizona on Friday and again on the final day of the season against the lowly Astros. Mixed: $2; NL: $7.

Relief Pitchers:

John Axford - Axford closed out a 4-2 Milwaukee win over Washington on Friday with a scoreless inning of work. After struggling June-through-August, Axford has settled down in September, allowing just three earned runs in 11.1 innings while going 10-for-10 in saves, giving him 32 for the year. He is still a bit erratic at times, seen in his 5.23 BB/9 and 1.24 HR/9 ratios, but he is able to get out of trouble at times, due to his 11.57 K/9 ratio. For now, he has solidified his claim to the closer's role and should ether spring training next year in that spot. Just an FYI as should be owned in all formats.

Jonathan Broxton - Broxton, profiled last week when it looked like he would split save chances with J.J. Hoover, gets another mention, as he was the main ninth-inning option in Cincinnati while Aroldis Chapman was out with a fatigued left shoulder. Broxton struggled when he first came to Cincinnati from KC, but he has really righted the ship, making 13 straight scoreless appearances. Broxton went 23-for-27 in saves for the Royals and recorded four saves with Chapman out, Chapman made a successful return Saturday, but the Reds may limit his outings down the stretch now that they have clinched, so Broxton could see more work as the closer. Mixed: $4; NL: $13 (slightly upped bid)

Kenley Jansen - Jansen, sidelined since the end of August with an irregular heartbeat, returned to action this week. He has made two appearances, retiring one batter Thursday and the tossing a clean inning Friday. Jansen should now be able to reclaim the closer role from Brandon League. Jansen posted a 2.54 ERA with 25 saves and 87:19 K:BB ratio in 56.2 innings before he was sidelined. He is off blood-thinners and is expected to need offseason surgery, but is viewed as healthy enough to pitch for LA as they try and make a postseason push. Mixed: $12; NL: $35 (in case he was waived when first sidelined).

Bobby Parnell/Jon Rauch - With Frank Francisco sidelined with right elbow tendinitis and Josh Edgin now shut down, Parnell and Rauch will get a chance to close. The good money is Parnell remaining as a set-up man and getting the occasional save, with Rauch, who has been the Mets' most consistent reliever, getting most of the save chances. Rauch got a shaky save Saturday, relieving R.A. Dickey with two on and none out, and after allowing a three-run home run to John Buck, he was able to shut the door. Parnell - Mixed: $1; NL: $5; Rauch - Mixed: $3; NL: $9.

Sergio Romo - Romo looks to be the main choice in the Giants' closer-by-committee, as he notched his 12th save Monday. For the season, Romo owns a 1.92 ERA, 0.871 WHIP and has posted a dominant 59:10 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 51.2 innings pitched. For a while, it looked Javier Lopez might be the main closer, but Romo has been stellar for the past six weeks, basically locking up the closer role. Mixed: $12; NL: should already be owned.
 
Huston Street - Street, profiled last week and sidelined since August 11 with a strained calf, finally was activated Friday. Street was slated to be activated on September 2 but felt soreness in his calf while running the Friday before that, which shut him down for a bit. Luke Gregerson has done an excellent job filling in for Street, notching seven saves while he has been sidelined. Street took a 20.1-inning scoreless streak off the DL with him. He has not allowed a run since June 17 and is a perfect 21-for-21 in save chances with 45K in just 36IP this season. He has used his slider more, compensating for a one mile-per-hour drop in fastball velocity, which has resulted in more groundballs.Mixed: $8; NL: $22 (in case he is waived when sidelined)

Catchers:

Rob Brantly - Brantly, profiled two weeks ago, saw an eight-game hitting streak end this past week. It appears that Brantly, acquired from Detroit in the Anibal Sanchez deal, has unseated John Buck as the Marlins' starting catcher for now, as he's batted .320/.420/.493 with two homers since being called up in August. He was mainly valued for his defense but has shown a better than expected eye and good contact at the plate. If Brantly continues to progress, he could eventually hit 15 home runs with a decent average. Mixed: $4; NL: $11.

Yorvit Torrealba - The Brewers acquired Torrealba from the Blue Jays for cash Friday. The 34-year-old catcher has hit .233/.297/.339 with four homers and 14 RBI in 189 at-bats between Texas and Toronto this season. He'll act as insurance behind Jonathan Lucroy and Martin Maldonado as the Brewers fight for a wild card spot. Mixed: No; NL: $0.

First Basemen:

Mike Jacobs - The Diamondbacks called up Jacobs from Triple-A Reno this week. Jacobs served a 50-game suspension this season after testing positive for HGH, but he was moderately productive for Triple-A Reno once that was done. He has 2,117 major league plate appearances, and his career batting line of .253/313/.475 isn't bad. Jacobs hit .279 with 18 homers and 60 RBIs for Reno this season. The issue with Jacobs is that he can't play defense or hit lefties worth a lick. If he has any kind of future in the big leagues it will probably be as a pinch-hitter or a platoon designated hitter. For the time being, he isn't expected to have a role significant enough to warrant fantasy consideration. Mixed: No; NL: $0.

Second Base:

Dan Uggla - Uggla, profiled two weeks ago, warrants another mention as he continues to hit well. Uggla went through a 77-game stretch, during which he had seven home runs and 90K in 251 at-bats while batting .151. That stretch finally landed him on the bench from Sept. 2-4, at which point it looked as if he lost his job. Uggla rebounded from that to go 15-for-49 with two home runs and eight RBI in his past 14 games to regain his second base job. (just an FYI, as likely still owned. If not, grab him while on hot streak)

Shortstops:

Marco Scutaro - The move from Colorado to San Francisco has been a godsend for Scutaro, as he thrived out by the Bay. Scutaro is batting ,355/.380/.455 with two home runs, 38 RBI and 34 runs in just 53 games for the Giants. This on the heels of him batting.271/.324/.361 for the Rockies. Scutaro extended his hit streak to 13 games with three hits Saturday, the eighth time in 10 games he has multiple hits. He has gone 35-for-85 (.412) in the month of September and His 177 hits on the season have him trailing only Martin Prado and Andrew McCutchen in the National League. (just an FYI as likely owned in all formats)

Outfielders:

Norichika Aoki - Aoki continues to rake at the plate. He has been on fire in September, batting .346 with three home runs, 14 RBI, 15 runs and six stolen bases for the month. Overall, he is hitting .293/.361/.439 with nine home runs, 46 RBI, 72 runs, 28 stolen bases and 48:41 K:BB ratio in this his first year in the U.S. after seven years in Japan. He has given Milwaukee more than they could have expected when they signed him to a two-year deal this off-season. Mixed: $15; NL: already owned

Scott Cousins - Cousins was called up by the Marlins on Saturday to replace the injured Justin Ruggiano (shoulder). Cousins has appeared in 46 games in 2012, last seeing time in the majors in mid-August. He is hitting a paltry .167 on the season but stands to see playing time with Ruggiano and Giancarlo Stanton (oblique) nursing injuries. Mixed: No; NL: $2.

Michael Cuddyer - Manager Jim Tracy said there is a chance Cuddyer (oblique) could take batting practice Monday. Tracy added that he does not want to push Cuddyer back into action too quickly, citing the fact that Cuddyer only lasted three games between DL stints in August. There is a chance Cuddyer could play a few more games before the season is over, but we should learn more if he takes BP on Monday. (monitor the situation and pounce if he is activated)

John Mayberry - Mayberry has really taken advantage of the regular at bats since the Phillies dealt Shane Victorino and Hunter Pence. He has shown consistent power, while adding almost 30 points to his batting average since becoming an everyday player, and his prospects for the rest of this season and next season look much brighter. That said, Mayberry had a strong second half last year, going 46-for-149 with 10 homers, 34 RBI and a .959 OPS from July 10 to the end of the season but he struggled until Victorino and Pence were dealt. So Philly has to determine if his second halves the past two seasons are the fact or is Mayberry the player who struggled until August this year. If Philly is healthy next year, look for Mayberry to be a solid component behind Howard, Utley, Rollins, etc. Mixed: $15; NL: already owned.

A.J. Pollock - The Diamondbacks called up Pollock on Wednesday after Reno captured the Triple-A PCL championship. Pollock, a first round pick in 2009, hit .250 in his five previous stints in the majors this year. He posted a 318/.369/.411 line fwith three home runs, 52 RBI and 28 stolen bases for Reno. Pollock will see spot starts and serve as a pinch-hitter down the stretch. Mixed: No; NL: $0.