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FAAB Factor - NL: Chaos In Dodgertown

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 - 6/2/13

Starting Pitching:

Brandon Beachy, Braves - Beachy (Tommy John surgery), who has made two rehab starts, is scheduled to make three more rehab starts before rejoining the big club and starting on June 18. The original plan had him making six or seven starts before coming back so this is close to in line with that. Despite coming up primarily as a reliever in the minors, Beachy has only started for Atlanta since being called up. He has made 44 career starts with a 3.07 ERA and 3.25 FIP. It's unlikely he will post a 2.00 ERA, as he did last year when he returns, but he should still be an above-average starter with the possibility of much more. Mixed: $4; NL: $11 (speculative early bid)

Robbie Erlin, Padres - Erlin was called up from Triple-A Tucson and started Saturday's game for the Padres, allowing two runs on eight hits with four strikeouts in 6.2 innings in notching the win. The move was necessitated after the Padres and Blue Jays locked horns for 17 innings Friday, which included Saturday's scheduled starter, Clayton Richard, pitching the final two frames for the eventual victory. In eight starts at Triple-A Tucson this season, Erlin in 4-0 with a 3.79 ERA, 1.471 WHIP, and 37:13 K:BB ratio in 40.1 innings in the hitter-friendly PCL. Erlin, who missed three months last with a strained elbow but is healthy now, only throws in the low-90s along with a change up and curveball but relies many on his stellar control and mound presence. Right now, he is only slated to make the one start but he has value in keeper leagues.Mixed: $1; NL: $4.

Jeff Francis, Rockies - Francis, who was sidelined with a groin injury on May 14 during his best outing of the season, has an updated rehab schedule after he took a line drive off his left ankle Tuesday. After Monday's start, he will make another June 8 for Colorado Springs, with the Rockies likely to activate him from the DL thereafter. When he does return, the question is where will he fit? Tyler Chatwood, who replaced Francis in the Colorado rotation, has pitched very well, so maybe he replaces Jon Garland, but Roy Oswalt could be promoted by then, forcing Francis to the bullpen. Mixed: No; NL: $0.

Chad Gaudin, Giants - Gaudin has been confirmed as the starter for Sunday's game against the Cardinals. He will take the rotation spot vacated by Mike Kickham, who surrendered four runs over 2.1 innings as a spot starter for the injured Ryan Vogelsong. Gaudin has posted a 28:14 strikeout-to-walk ratio over 30.2 innings as a long reliever for the Giants this season. He has had experience as a starter in past, but his last start dates back to 2009 with the Yankees. Mixed: $0; NL: $3.

Dan Hudson, Diamondbacks - Hudson (Tommy John surgery) will make two rehab starts for Double-A Mobile before being reevaluated. Manager Kirk Gibson indicated there's a chance Hudson, who has made great progress from TJS, could be activated from the DL by mid-June, if all goes well in his upcoming rehab starts. Those starts are scheduled for Tuesday and June 10. Last year, he made just nine starts, first sidelined with shoulder impingement and then with the elbow injury that required TJS. In 2011, he was solid, though not as good as he was in 14 starts in 2010. He profiles as a #2 starter, but may not fill that spot in a deep Arizona rotation, including the arms in the minors. Mixed: $2; NL: $7 (speculative early stash bid)

Nathan Karns, Nationals - Karns was called up from Double-A Harrisburg to start Tuesday against the Orioles with Ross Detwiler on the disabled list. He left after 4.1 innings with a no-decision, allowing five hits (two home runs) and three earned runs but will get another start Sunday. Karns has posted strong ratios throughout his minor league career, but prior to the promotion, he had made only nine starts at Double-A, where he had posted a 4.60 ERA with a 55:18 K:BB ratio in 45 innings. Karns lost the first two seasons of his pro career to shoulder woes, but after getting his feet wet in rookie ball in 2011, he exploded onto the prospect scene last year with a 148:47 K:BB ratio in 116 innings between Low-A and High-A. He has a fastball that can creep up to 95 mph, a curve so sharp it gets mistaken for a slider every now and then, and the makings of a pretty good changeup, but his high-effort delivery and intermittent control could see him eventually ticketed for the bullpen in the majors. Sunday will likely be his last start with the Nationals, as Detwiler (oblique) is expected to return next week, though he could remain in the majors if Stephen Strasburg's strained lat muscle lands him on the DL. Mixed: $1; NL: $4

Matt Magill, Dodgers - Magill may be promoted and start Sunday with Hyun-Jin Ryu dealing with a bruised left foot. Magill had a 5.50 ERA and a 19:13 K:BB over 18 innings in four starts in the majors and now has a 2.16 ERA with a 31:17 K:BB over 25 innings in Albuquerque following his stellar start last Thursday. He struck out 168 batters in 146.1 innings with Double-A Chattanooga last season and has shown he likely deserves a spot in the LA rotation, though right now, one is not available. As such, Magill will probably be on the shuttle between Albuquerque and Los Angeles for the duration of the season, serving as LA's go-to guy should they need a spot start or injury replacement, which is the case Sunday. Mixed: $0; NL: $2.

Collin McHugh, Mets - McHugh, replacing an injured Jon Niese (shoulder) allowed four runs on six hits and three walks with one strikeout in four-plus innings Saturday against the Marlins. Niese is only expected to miss this one start with the left shoulder tendinitis, which means that McHugh should return to the bullpen. McHugh had only pitched three innings in his two weeks in the majors, so it's not surprising that he struggled in this outing. In eight starts for Triple-A Las Vegas, McHugh posted a 2.74 ERA and 36:9 K:BB ratio in 49.1 innings. When he is returned to the bullpen, look for McHugh to see work in the middle innings, though he is a candidate to be sent down when Zack Wheeler is promoted. Mixed: No; NL: $0.

Roy Oswalt, Rockies - Oswalt, who signed a minor-league deal with the Rockies in early-May and had been pitching in extended spring training, was dominant over six innings in his second start for Double-A Tulsa on Thursday, striking out six and allowing just one run. His fastball was around 93 miles per hour during the outing, while his change-up and curveball were on point as well. Once the Rockies believe Oswalt has thrown enough innings to be called up, he should slide into the Colorado rotation, likely replacing Jon Garland. Once cautionary number is that Oswalt's 44.9 percent groundball rate with the Rangers last season may not make him a particularly great starting option in the high elevation of Denver, but he is a smart enough pitcher to adapt as needed. Mixed: $2; NL: $7 (early spec bid)

Tyler Skaggs, Diamondbacks - Skaggs was profiled last week when he was called up and started this past Monday's first game of a doubleheader with the Rangers. Ian Kennedy was expected to get the start for Game 1, but he was pushed back after developing a lacerated index finger in his most recent outing, opening the start for Skaggs. Skaggs was dominant in that start, throwing six shutout innings, yielding just three hits and striking out nine. Out of the nine, six-came way of a 75 mph curveball that scouts have said is by far his best pitch, and he showcased it Monday. He was sent back down, but is expected to be recalled and start Tuesday in place of Brandon McCarthy, who landed on the DL with a shoulder injury. It's possible Randall Delgado, who was called up to replace McCarthy on the active roster, gets the start but it looks like Skaggs will get the nod. Skaggs received six starts for the D-Backs last year and failed to earn a rotation spot this spring. He has struggled at Triple-A but put it all together in his last start, and built on that in his major-league debit this year. Mixed: $3; NL: $9 (upped bid from last week since he will get more than one start).
 
Jacob Turner, Marlins - Turner was called up from Triple-A New Orleans to start Friday's game against the Mets. He provided a sparkling performance in his 2013 major league debut, hurling seven shutout innings, allowing just five hits, walked one, and struck out three while throwing 51 of 81 pitches for strikes. Turner was the centerpiece of the trade that sent Anibal Sanchez to the Tigers last season, but he hadn't been pitching particularly well at New Orleans, where he owned a 4.47 ERA and just a 35:14 K:BB ratio after 10 starts (56.1 innings). That said, he had been pitching better recently and carried that success into his start against the Mets, though since it is the Mets, it has to be discounted somewhat. Turner was once an elite prospect, but has struggled to translate his raw stuff, including a 91 mph fastball complemented by a solid curve as well as a slider and a changeup, into tangible results. His fine start Friday would seem to earn him at least another start or two, and if so, his next outing would be against the Phillies in Philadelphia. Mixed: $2; NL: $7.

Carlos Zambrano, Phillies - Zambrano, who signed a minor-league deal with the Phillies on mid-May, threw 4.1 scoreless innings in a start Tuesday with High-A Clearwater. He will likely need another start to get stretched out. Zambrano's chances of earning a roster spot with the Phillies may hinge on the health of John Lannan, who is working his way back from an injury. He went 7-10 with the Marlins last season with a 4.49 ERA and a 1.50 WHIP with 95 strikeouts in 132.1 innings but was not signed by any team this offseason. Zambrano has a clause in his contract that allows him to ask for his release if he is not on the Phillies' roster by July 1. If he is ready by then and not promoted, Zambrano likely will hook on with another team. Mixed: $0; NL: $2 (early speculative bid).

Covered last week - Michael Wacha, St. Louis - called up this week to make his major-league debut. He was the 19th overall pick last year and mixes a high-90's fastball with a plus change up and show-me curveball. He will need to develop that curve to get through lineups for a second and third time but has ace material. Mixed: $7; NL: $18.

Relief Pitchers:

Keith Butler/Manuel Corpas/Erik Davis/Randall Delgado/Dan Jennings/Victor Marte/Peter Moylan/Blake Parker/Zach Putnam/Joe Savery/Rob Scahill/Jordan Walden/Alex Wood/Mike Zagurski - This week's middle reliever call ups/acquisitions were in St. Louis, Colorado, Washington, Arizona, Miami, St. Louis, Los Angeles, Chicago (2x), Philadelphia, Colorado, Atlanta (2x) and Pittsburgh. The only ones on this list to have some fantasy value are Delgado and Walden. Delgado could start in place of the injured Brandon McCarthy. However, Delgado posted a 26:16 K:BB and 5.34 ERA over his last six starts at Triple-A Reno, meaning that Tyler Skaggs is likely to get the nod. Walden, with Eric O'Flaherty and Jonny Venters out, could set up Craig Kimbrel, meaning he should end up with several holds. All except Delgado and Walden - Mixed: No; NL: $0; Delgado - Mixed: $0; NL: $2, Walden - Mixed: $1; NL: $4.

Rex Brothers, Rockies - Brothers was profiled last week when he converted his first save of the season, filling in for Rafael Betancourt, who was sidelined with a strained groin. Betancourt returned to action last Saturday, but has now landed on the DL with the groin injury, opening the door for Brothers to close for the Rockies. Brothers has been stellar this season, making 23 scoreless appearances in posting a 0.36 ERA along with 25 strikeouts and 12 walks in 24.2 innings. Colorado is off to a strong start, which has halted the rumors that Betancourt will be dealt. If that does occur, Brothers is now the likely replacement for him, as he was a few years ago. Mixed: $5; NL: $14.

Luke Gregerson, Padres - Gregerson will likely close with Huston Street landing on the 15-day disabled list with his sore left calf, the same injury that sidelined him last season. Despite 11 saves this season, Street has struggled with his control, notching a 4.43 ERA, 1.23 WHIP, and 13:8 K:BB ratio in 20.1 innings. Gregerson is having a stellar campaign, with a 1.11 ERA and 0.59 WHIP, even after giving up a run on three hits while notching the save Saturday, along with a 18:6 K:BB ratio in 24.2 innings. His .126 BABIP is unsustainable and his velocity has dropped over a mile per hour from last year, but he has made up for that by posting a 1.83 GB:FB ratio, which bodes well for continued success, though likely not at the same level he has enjoyed to date. Mixed: $5; NL: $14 (spike in value).

Kenley Jansen, Dodgers - It's time again for your bi- or tri-weekly post about Jansen. Jansen pitched a perfect eighth inning in Los Angeles' win over Colorado on Friday, and with Brandon League blowing another save in the ninth, Jansen could be in line to close games soon. Though we all have been saying that a lot this season, yet manager Don Mattingly has not yet made the switch. Jansen had a couple hiccups in May but has now tossed 4.1 consecutive scoreless and walk-less innings. For the year, he has a sparkling 37:6 K:BB ratio along with a 3.04 ERA and 1.05 WHIP in 26.2 innings while League continues to struggle - a 10:5 K:BB ratio and 5.31 ERA are not recipes for success. Last year, Jansen recorded 25 saves, 99 strikeouts, and checked in with a 2.35 ERA and impressive 0.85 WHIP. Jansen had offseason surgery to correct a heart ailment and should be able to get through a full season this year without a recurrence. He lost his job late last year to League, who signed a three-year, $22.5 million deal with LA this offseason to serve as their closer. Mixed: $5; NL: already owned, but possibly value spike, though I have said that before with little success.

Vin Mazzaro, Pirates - Mazzaro worked 1.2 scoreless innings Thursday against Detroit and did not give up a run in 14.1 innings in May. He extended that scoreless streak by an inning on Saturday against the Reds, lowering his ERA to 1.99 for the season. Manager Clint Hurdle is looking for more options later in games outside of closer Jason Grilli and Mark Melancon and may turn to Mazzano, enabling him to see the occasional save opportunity. The one negative with Mazzano is that he is not a strikeout pitcher, as he has posted just a 14:5 K:BB ratio in 22.2 innings. Mixed: $1; NL: $4.

Catchers:

Tim Fedorowicz/Ramon Hernandez, Dodgers - Federowicz was recalled from Triple-A Albuquerque on Thursday to be the third catcher along with A.J. Ellis and Ramon Hernandez. Federowicz was simply obliterating Triple-A pitching prior to his call-up, posting a .418/.500/.848 batting line over 98 plate appearances after batting a solid .294/.371/.461 there last year while showing solid defensive skill. On the flip side, Federowicz was just 3-for-22 with three singles in the majors this season, though that is obviously a small sample size, which proved to be the case when he went 2-for-5 with his first career home run, double and three RBI on Saturday. Ellis is battling a strained left oblique, which could result in a DL stint. If not, Fedorowicz will likely be sent down. Until Ellis returns, Hernandez will see time at catcher as well. Fedorowicz - Mixed: $0; NL: $2; Hernandez - Mixed: No; NL: $0.

First Basemen:

None noted

Second Base:

Logan Forsythe, Padres - Forsythe, sidelined since spring training with plantar fasciitis in his right foot, began a rehab assignment at Triple-A Tucson on Wednesday. Forsythe is playing second base rather than serving as the DH, a sign that his plantar fasciitis has greatly improved. If he doesn't suffer any setbacks, Forysthe could be activated early this week and serve as a utility infielder. Mixed: No; NL: $0.

Cesar Hernandez, Phillies - Hernandez was called up from Triple-A Lehigh Valley on Wednesday. In 48 games at Lehigh Valley this season, Hernandez slashed .308/.383/.432 with two homers, 18 RBI, 28 runs scored, and 14 stolen bases over 185 at-bats. He has acted as the team's primary second baseman the past four games, going 5-for-15, with Freddy Galvis moving over to third while Michael Young (personal) is away from the Phillies. Hernandez is considered a slick fielder and he has shown some speed on the basepaths during his time in the minors. His upside with the bat is limited due to his lack of power, but he looks like he should at least have a future as a solid utility infielder. Hernandez is expected to be sent down when Young returnsbut should be back in the majors later this year. Mixed: No; NL: $0.

Cliff Pennington, Diamondbacks - With Eric Chavez landing on the disabled list with a small tear in his oblique and Aaron Hill still sidelined with his hand injury, Pennington should continue to see time at second base as the recent activated Willie Bloomquist will likely see time at third with Martin Prado. Chavez is out 3-to-5 weeks with the injury while Hill took 40 swings off a tee Saturday and may face live pitching by next weekend, but there are still concerns he may need surgery on the hand. Pennington hasn't done much with that playing time, but his multi-position eligibility and fairly consistent PT give him some value. Mixed: $2; NL: short-term value spike.

Skip Schumaker, Dodgers - With Matt Kemp landing on the DL with his hamstring injury, Schumaker started in center field Friday and Saturday. Schumaker had started just four games since May 15, but he will get the first shot to play center field in place of the injured Kemp. With the Dodgers preferring to play Carl Crawford in left field, Schumaker will have a chance to see extra action over the next couple weeks as the only true center field option currently on the roster. Mixed: $2; NL: $7.

Covered last week - Donovan Solano, Marlins (expected to begin a rehab assignment this week as he looks to return from his strained oblique, Mixed: $1; NL: $4)

Shortstops:

Jeff Bianchi, Brewers - Bianchi missed all of April and started just once the first few weeks of May, but he has seen a recent bump in playing time with Aramis Ramirez just getting back to 100 percent physically and Rickie Weeks struggling to make contact. He is a line drive hitter with a modicum or pop and speed while also able to play multiple positions. Mixed: $0; NL: $3

Luis Cruz/Nick Punto, Dodgers - Cruz is splitting time at shortstop with Nick Punto until Hanley Ramirez (hamstring) returns, as Dee Gordon was optioned back to the minors. Neither one are worthwhile options, and with Ramirez starting a rehab stint and back next week, they should be avoided. Both - Mixed: No; NL: $0.

Ed Lucas, Marlins - Lucas was called up from Triple-A New Orleans on Wednesday. He was sporting a nice line at New Orleans this season - .300/.351/.450 with five homers, 14 RBI, 25 runs scored, and two stolen bases in 180 at-bats. Lucas took the roster spot of Nick Green, who was designated for assignment Wednesday. He will function as a backup infielder for the Marlins until Donvoan Solano (oblique) is ready to return. Mixed: No; NL: $2.

Chris Owings, Diamondbacks - Owings went 3-for-4 in Triple-A Reno's 7-0 loss to Triple-A Las Vegas on Friday. The Aces' shortstop raised his average to a sweltering .349 after his second consecutive three-hit night. Owings has been on fire the past 10 games, going 16-for-42 with six runs scored, four RBI and a home run. Although his power numbers have consistently declined over the past two seasons between High-A Visalia and Double-A Mobile, which is somewhat concerning, he has always shown the ability to hit for a high average. With the injuries to Eric Chavez (oblique) and Aaron Hill (hand), the D-Backs may come calling for the youngster to provide some infield depth, especially with the way Owings has played for Reno this season. Mixed: $0; NL: $2 (early speculative bid).

Omar Quintanilla, Mets - Quintanilla was recalled from Triple-A Las Vegas on Thursday when Ruben Tejada was placed on the DL, and he has immediately gotten his chance to make an impact at the major-league level, starting all three games since his promotion. In 47 games for Triple-A Las Vegas, Quintanilla hit .333 with a .903 OPS, though those numbers are a bit inflated considering the ideal hitting conditions he was playing. Quintanilla hit .243 with a .693 OPS in 190 plate appearances last year between the Mets and Orioles, but he will get a chance to play almost daily for the Mets, just don't expect that much. Mixed: $0; NL: $3.

Covered last week - Willie Bloomquist, Diamondbacks - activated Friday after being sidelined with a strained oblique. Played four games on a rehab assignment and should see time at second and third base, especially with Eric Chavez out 3-to-5 weeks with a slight tear in his oblique, Mixed: $2; NL: $7.
 
Third Basemen:

Chris Johnson, Braves - With Juan Francisco being designated for assignment Thursday, Johnson is likely to see an increase in playing time at third base for the Braves. Johnson has hit the ball well in 2013, posting a .336/.368/.478 slash line in 41 games. Removing Francisco from the roster will give Johnson an opportunity to receive more at-bats in a crowded Braves lineup and potentially solidify his role as an everyday third baseman. Mixed: $7; NL: already owned but gets a spike in value

Covered last week - Jerry Hairston Jr., Dodgers - activated off the disabled list last Sunday. Mixed: No; NL: $0); Hanley Ramirez, Dodgers - will begin his rehab assignment from his injured hamstring Friday at High-A Rancho Cucamonga. He'll likely play three games with Rancho Cucamonga before being activated from the disabled list early next week, Mixed: $22; NL: $55; Anthony Rendon, Nationals - moved up to Triple-A Syracuse this weekend and there are strong rumors his stint there may not be long before he is called up to the majors. Mixed: $2; NL: $7 (early spec bid).

Outfielders:

Kyle Blanks, Padres - Blanks has seen consistent playing time lately, starting six of the past eight games. His splits show that he is markedly better versus southpaws, so at worse, he should see playing time against lefties. If he is able to remain hot at the plate, the Padres could enable him to see action against righties as well, playing either at first base, left or right field. Blanks possesses a decent eye and has good power, even at Petco Park, so he is one to target for the future. Mixed: $3; NL: $9.

Chris Coghlan, Marlins - Coghlan started five straight games with the Marlins playing in American League parks, where they were able to use the DH. Even with Miami returning home, Coghlan has remained in the starting lineup, mainly due to his hot bat. Coghlan has hit safely in eight straight, going 13-for-33, and reached base in 14 straight games, solidifying his starting spot. Coghlan doesn't have much power or speed, especially since tearing up his knee a few years ago, but he can provide some BA and OBA along with counting stats. Mixed: $2; NL: $7 (likely owned, but mild uptick in value).

Alex Presley, Pirates - The Pirates decided to send utility man Josh Harrison down and bring Presley up for some added outfield depth. In 41 games with Triple-A Indianapolis so far this season, the 27-year-old Presley has hit .281/.373/.425 with four homers and nine steals. As you can see by his OBA, Presley, whose biggest problem in the past had been plate discipline, has been much better in that regard posting a 21:30 BB:K ratio 179 plate appearances. With Starling Marte in a mini-slump of sorts, Presley could see more playing time in the short-term but likely will still be a reserve going forward. Mixed: No; NL: $0.

Yasiel Puig, Dodgers - Puig was profiled last week but gets another mention because was pulled from the lineup at Double-A Chattanooga on Saturday as a precaution with the status of Carl Crawford (hamstring) uncertain. Puig, who LA signed for $42 million out of Cuba this past June, was optioned to Double-A Chattanooga late in spring training. The value of giving Puig everyday at-bats appeared to be the most important factor in the decision to send him down, as he tore the cover off the ball during spring training and showed signs of being nearly major league ready at the plate. Puig has continued to rake, posting a .983 OPS in the minors, so if Crawford needs a DL stint, Puig should make his major-league debut. Mixed: $3; NL:$9 (slight spike from last week and raise bid substantially if he gets promoted).

Scott Van Slyke, Dodgers - Van Slyke was 2-for-5 on Friday against the Rockies and is now batting .262/.326/.667. Van Slyke is still batting just .231 against righties and .357 versus southpaws, so he's probably going to be a platoon guy long-term. Still, with Matt Kemp (hamstring) out and Andre Ethier sporting a .719 OPS, Van Slyke should still get plenty of playing time, especially if Carl Crawford lands on the DL as well. Van Slyke got the team's attention in a big way by delivering a .397/.503/.733 line through 34 games, including nine home runs and 30 RBI to earn a promotion a few weeks ago. Those numbers build off what he did in the minors the past two seasons - .346/.425/.593 in 2011, .327/.404/.578 last year. Given his first taste of major league pitching last year, Van Slyke hit just .167 in 54 at-bats, seeing time at the outfield corners and at first base. This offseason, he worked on shortening his leg kick and making his swing more compact, which paid dividends at the plate. Mixed: $1; NL: $4.