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FAAB Factor - AL: Second Chances

Andrew Martinez

Andrew Martinez

Andrew Martinez writes about baseball and football, in addition to hosting the award winning RotoWire Fantasy Sports Today on Sirius XM radio. He is a native Texan and roots for the Astros, Texans, Rockets, and Rice Owls.


Starting Pitchers:

Jarred Cosart, Astros - Cosart is getting closer and closer to receiving a promotion to the majors as he improves his control at Triple-A Round Rock. In his last two starts he has walked just one batter, which is encouraging, as he's battled his control for much of the season. Overall he has a 2.94 ERA with 107 strikeouts and 56 walks over 110.1 innings at Round Rock, between 2012 and 2013. Some scouts think he's destined for a reliever role, but the Astros will surely try him out as a starter in the majors, before making a final determination. Only 23 years old, he's considered one of the Astros top pitching prospects and is someone worth stashing for the second half, if you're in an AL-only format. Mixed: $1; AL: $3.

John Danks, White Sox - Danks allowed one earned run to the Mets over 7.1 innings with seven strikeouts and no walks this week. He now has 32 strikeouts and four walks over 42.1 innings to go with an ugly 4.68 ERA. His rate stats and underlying numbers say his ERA should be better than that, but he's hurt himself, giving up 10 home runs over seven starts. Home runs have been a problem in the past for him and his home park will do him no favors, so it's tough to say just how much upside there is here. The team is looking to rebuild and Danks could be someone on the move, despite the five-year extension he signed last year. If this were to happen, a park like that of the Padres or Giants could really help mask some of his flaws. As is, expect his HR/FB rate to regress some and his ERA to drop as well. This week he faces the Orioles at home and the Rays on the road. Mixed: $4; AL: Owned.

R.A. Dickey, Blue Jays - Dickey had his best start of the season this week as he pitched a complete game shutout against the Rays with six strikeouts, one walk, and just two hits allowed. He had some of his best velocity on his knuckleball in that start, which is encouraging. This was also the fourth start he's made this season with Josh Thole back behind the plate as his personal catcher, like he was last season with the Mets. This information is not to suggest that Dickey is about to turn his season around, but rather to inform you that in his most recent start, he had many of the ingredients in the mix that made him so effective last season. I personally cut him before this start in a 14-team mixed league and instantly regretted it, after seeing his velocity tick up. If you're in a mixed league and he's on your waiver wire, keep tabs on him. This week he faces the Tigers and Twins at home. Mixed: $5; AL: Owned.

Kevin Gausman, Orioles - Gausman was called back up this week from Triple-A Norfolk to help fill in for the injured Wei-Yin Chen and give the bullpen a boost. He made a relief appearance on Saturday and did quite well with 4.1 shutout innings that included three hits, no walks, and four strikeouts. He'll potentially take T.J. McFarland's spot in the rotation this week and face the White Sox on the road or the Yankees on the road. Some owners might be scared off by Gausman's previous five starts, in which he posted a 7.66 ERA and their fears are not without merit as few pitching prospects come up and find success right away. Still, Gausman hold immense potential and is still an elite prospect, one worth gambling on in all AL only and deep mixed league formats. Mixed: $3; AL: $11.

Kyle Gibson, Twins - Gibson made his MLB debut on Saturday as he pitched six innings against the Royals allowing two earned runs with five strikeouts and no walks. He showed a mid-90s fastball with a slider and change-up. He had Tommy John surgery back in September of 2011 and missed much of the 2012 season. I'm bearish about just how much Gibson can help owners this season because while the talent is there, he's going to be on an innings cap of around 130-to-150 this season because of his TJ surgery. He's already pitched almost 100 innings this season, leaving him with at most 50 innings left in the tank or about eight starts, if he were to pitch six innings a start. This means he likely won't make it to the end of August still starting games for owners. The team could opt to space out his starts, but that hurts owners more than it helps them. He posted a 3.11 ERA with 79 strikeouts and 28 walks over 92.2 innings at Triple-A Rochester this season. Consider adding him in all formats, after taking into account his innings cap. This week he faces the Yankees at home. Mixed: $6; AL: $15.

Sonny Gray, A's - If you saw Jarrod Parker near the end of his start on Saturday, you saw a man writhing in pain on the ground as he dealt with cramps in his hamstring. On Sunday he said he felt a little sore, but more will be known if he can make his next start, after he throws a bullpen session on Tuesday. Should he be scratched from his start on Thursday, Gray might be called up to help fill in. This season Gray has a 3.02 ERA with 98 strikeouts and 32 walks over 95.1 innings at Sacramento. Scouts were down on him to start this season because of his diminished strikeout rate at Double-A Midland, but this season it has ticked right back up, while maintaining his control. If Parker does not miss his start, then it'll likely take more disaster starts from Dan Straily to get Gray into the team's rotation. Either way, he makes for an interesting stash for the second half of the season in AL only formats. Mixed: No; AL: $2.

Michael Pineda, Yankees - Pineda pitched six shutout innings with only two hits allowed, two walks, and four strikeouts at Double-A Trenton this week, as he continues his rehab assignment. He reportedly hit 94 mph on the radar gun and showed a good change up. He likely has a couple more rehab starts lineup, before he'll rejoin the Yankees, but this is encouraging news that owners should act on by seeing if he's still available in their AL only or deep mixed league. Given how poorly David Phelps has pitched lately and that Phelps has experience in the bullpen, Pineda seems like a natural replacement to him after the All-Star break. In 2011 with the Mariners, he posted a 3.74 ERA (3.53 xFIP) with 173 strikeouts and 55 walks over 171 innings. He is currently rehabbing as he tries to come back from a tear in his labrum in his shoulder he suffered early last season. Mixed: $3; AL: $12.

Erasmo Ramirez, Mariners - Mariners GM Zack Zduriencik stated on Friday that the team is expected to call up the Eraser "shortly."  He didn't give a timetable or speak to what role Ramirez would have with the club once he came back up, but this is enough information to act on for fantasy owners. Currently he is finishing his rehab assignment in Triple-A Tacoma, where he has made six starts with a 2.82 ERA, 38 strikeouts, and eight walks over 38.1 innings. Last season with the M's he produced a 3.64 ERA (3.52 xFIP) as a starter with 41 strikeouts and eight walks over 47 innings. Add him now in all leagues, if he's still available. Mixed: $8; AL: $24.

Dan Straily, A's - Straily is currently at Triple-A Sacramento bidding his time, until the A's need another fifth starter. That moment is likely to arrive this coming week on Saturday, when the A's travel to KC. In his most recent start at Sacramento he pitched six innings with two earned runs allowed, six strikeouts, and one walk. He also gave up nine hits and four other runs that were not earned. This is not the most encouraging start for him, but really shouldn't do too much damage to hurt his chances of being called back up. In the majors this season has a 5.00 ERA with 53 strikeouts and 20 walks over 66.2 innings. This sounds bad because it is, but there were also starts where Straily showed real potential by holding the opposing team to two or less runs for multiple starts. He needs to be picked back up in AL only and deep mixed leagues, while those in shallower formats can likely take a wait and see approach. Mixed: $3; AL: $9.

Relief Pitchers:

Jose Cisnero, Astros - Astros manager Bo Porter has commented recently about how he trusts Cisnero in any situation because of how well he's pitched this season for the club. The team's current closer Jose Veras is likely to be moved at the trade deadline to help further bolster the organization's farm system and help them build for the future. If this does happen, expect Cisnero to be the team's new closer for the last two months of the season. On the season Cisnero has a 2.14 ERA (3.68 xFIP) with 30 strikeouts and 11 walks over 33.2 innings. He won't light up the radar gun, but has decent command and hasn't shown a propensity to give up many home runs this season or during his time in the minors. If you're speculating for saves, Cisnero is worth considering for the stretch run. Mixed: $1; AL: $4.

Jesse Crain, White Sox - With a 0.74 ERA over 36.2 innings this season, Crain's services are likely to be in demand as the trade deadline approaches. He could help a team as a setup man or possibly even a closer, depending upon where he lands. It's that second scenario that makes him someone worth speculating on for saves in the second half of the season. Either way, he's going to help owners, as he's adept at missing bats, not walking batters, and keeping home runs to a minimum. Mixed: $1; AL: $3.

Catchers:

Alex Avila, Tigers - Avila is eligible to come off the DL on Tuesday this coming week, after dealing with a forearm injury. Before he got hurt, he hit a paltry .172/.271/.288 with five homers over 188 PA. As more time passes, it seems that his 2011 breakout season was an outlier as it was partially fueled by a .366 BABIP, which is well above his career BABIP of .313. This season his BABIP is .225, which suggests that he's been somewhat unlucky and should he continue to hit like he has in the past, his numbers should revert more to his career levels, than where they have been this season. However, his contact rate this season has dropped to a career low 70.9 percent, which is concerning and might be the underlying reason that his BABIP is so low. Likely owned in all AL only formats, Avila makes for a low-end option in most mixed leagues that use two catchers. Mixed: $2; AL: $6.

Josh Phegley, White Sox - Phegley gets a little bit of love this week as he was named to the Futures Game roster. The likelihood and timing of him getting called-up to the majors is uncertain, but it's worth noting that going into Friday, White Sox catchers have hit .222/.244/.407 this month and have hit .211/.271/.371 this season. Meanwhile Phegley has hit .250/.306/.411 this month and .308/.366/.579 this season. The team might want him to get hot again, before he gets a promotion, but then again that didn't stop the Mariners from promoting Mike Zunino, who was slumping at the time he got the call. He's likely to split time with Tyler Flowers when he does come up, which should be factored into any bid made on Phegley. In AL only formats, he's someone to consider stashing for the second half, especially in keeper leagues. Mixed: No; AL: $2.

Stephen Vogt, A's - Vogt was brought up from Triple-A Sacramento on Tuesday to help give the A's some extra depth at catcher, as John Jaso deals with a hand injury. He started three consecutive games for the team this week with one hit, a home run, and is now 1-for-35 for his career. Jaso has not gone on the DL and the team still has Derek Norris, so don't expect Vogt to get much playing time or have much value moving forward. At Sacramento this season he hit .325/.393/.541 with nine homers over 262 PA. Mixed: No; AL: $2.

Corner Infielders:

Lonnie Chisenhall, Indians - Chisenhall hit three doubles and a homer this week as he has started to heat up, after being promoted from Triple-A Columbus almost two weeks ago. With Nick Swisher healthy again, Mark Reynolds has been forced to move around the diamond defensively, while Chisenhall has remained locked in at third base. He's a former top prospect within the team's system, so the organization will likely give him a longer leash with which to prove himself, but that might not be needed if he keeps hitting like this. Already owned in the majority of AL only formats, he deserves consideration in most mixed leagues. Mixed: $7; AL: Owned.

Jose Iglesias, Red Sox - With the demotion of Will Middlebrooks this week to Pawtucket, Iglesias is officially the Red Sox starting third baseman. In 133 PA at Pawtucket this season Iglesias hit .202/.262/.319 and in 133 PA in Boston this season he has hit .417/.466/.550. The reason for this jump is partly a .476 BABIP, but he's also raised his contact rate from 84.9 percent at Pawtucket to 89.3 percent in the majors. Last season at Pawtucket over almost 350 at-bats his contact rate was 87.0 percent, so there's some reason to believe that this isn't all smoke and mirrors. Still, he's highly unlikely to keep up this torrid pace for much longer. When he does regress, it's difficult to say just what he offers owners, as he possesses no power and little speed. If he's still available in your AL only or deep mixed league format, good luck squeezing any more value out of the streaking Iglesias. Mixed: $4; AL: Owned.

Alex Rodriguez, Yankees - Forget what GM Brian Cashman said about A-Rod, the facts are he's excited about getting cleared by the doctors to resume baseball activities and on Friday he did just that, running the bases, fielding some grounders, and taking some at-bats. A rehab assignment hasn't been set at this time, but it's clear that he's at least on the path to rejoining the Yankees, sometime after the All-Star break. Last season with the team he was the subject of much controversy, but still turned in a batting line of .272/.353/.430 with 18 homers and 13 steals over 529 PA. The Bigogensis case has cast a shadow over him and other players, but no suspensions have been announced yet and any that are will be appealed by the players union, so there's a chance no players, A-Rod included, will be affected this season. If you're in an AL only format or deep mixed league, check on his status and monitor his progress, as he's someone worth stashing for the last two months of the season. Mixed: $3; AL: $10.

Brandon Snyder, Red Sox - Snyder was called up from Triple-A Pawtucket on Tuesday to give the Red Sox some added depth between first base and the outfield. So far he has only appeared in one game, on Friday, and he went 0-for-2 with a strikeout and run. At 26-years old, he is not a prospect and holds a .258/.319/.407 batting line across 1,522 PA over five seasons at Triple-A with the Orioles, Rangers, and Red Sox. Until his playing time increases, his value is minimal in most leagues. Mixed: No; AL: $2.

Brett Wallace, Astros - Wallace was brought up this week from Triple-A Oklahoma City to give the Astros some added depth at first and third base. Considering that Matt Dominguez has hit .238/.271/.425 this month and .239/.268/.414 this season, the team might start to give him some time off and see what Wallace can do to help the team offensively. Wallace is someone that has come up a couple of times before and holds a career batting line of .243/.316/.367 batting line with 16 homers over 826 PA. His numbers are not that far off of those of Justin Smoak, who has also disappointed since reaching the majors. If you're desperate for a corner bat in an AL only format, Wallace is worth considering. Mixed: $1; AL: $4.

Middle Infielders:

Dustin Ackley, Mariners - Ackley was recalled this week from Triple-A Tacoma, after he tore through the PCL with a .365/.472/.500 batting line over 126 PA. He's being asked to help out in center field as Franklin Gutierrez deals with another injury (least shocking development this season). Ackley played in the outfield in college and recently while in Tacoma, so this shift defensively should not affect his game offensively. He sprained his thumb Saturday, but X-rays came back negative, so he should be fine moving forward. Offensively, we've seen him flame out before and with a .236/.306/.343 career batting line over 1,219 PA in the majors, owners are right to be pessimistic about how he can help their teams. Still, he's only 25 years old and was the No. 2 draft pick in 2009, so he shouldn't be written off as having no upside. If he can start making more contact, he might be a serviceable middle infield option in AL only formats in the second half of the season. Mixed: $2; AL: $7.

Xander Bogaerts, Red Sox - Stephen Drew is currently day-to-day with a hamstring injury and has not yet been placed on the DL or returned to the lineup. Should he land on the DL, the Red Sox will have a decision to make as to how they want to hand the left side of their infield. Jose Iglesias can shift over to shortstop and Brandon Snyder or Jonathan Diaz, both called up this week, can fill in at third base or another option is to call-up Bogaerts and let the fun begin. Bogaerts is only 20 years old and is hitting .220/.292/.424 with four homers and two stolen bases through his first 15 games at Triple-A Pawtucket, but he's skilled enough, to where this wouldn't be a huge stretch to bring him up, much the way that the Orioles did last season with Manny Machado. If Drew's injury proves to be minor then we might not see Bogaerts until September, at the earliest, but if it's something serious, then the all owners need to be on alert of Bogaerts possibly getting the call. Stash him, if you can, until we know more about Drew's hamstring and what the team plans to do. Mixed: $1; AL: $4.

Jacob Elmore, Astros - Elmore was brought back up this week from Triple-A Oklahoma City to platoon with Ronny Cedeno at shortstop for the Astros. At OKC he hit .300/.383/.434 with five homers and 16 stolen bases over 309 PA. Being the RHB in the platoon, he will see the minority of at-bats with Cedeno and thus has diminished value. Elmore hit RHP to the tune of .291/.376/.401 this season at OKC, so there's potential for him to keep the job, should Cedeno falter or Elmore get hot and manager Bo Porter want to give him more playing time. He has speed as he stole 32 bases last season in Triple-A in the Diamondbacks organization. It's tough to see Elmore having value in the immediate future, but if he can shake Cedeno and play full-time, he might be of use to owners in mixed leagues after the All-Star break. Mixed: No; AL: $3.

Johnny Giavotella, Royals - Giavotella was recalled this weekend take over second base duties from Elliot Johnson, who is currently in an 0-for-19 slump and batting .219/.248/.297. This is after; Johnson was given the job, when Chris Getz could not hold it down earlier this season. Giavotella is someone we've seen before in the majors and has been shown to have a skill set offensively that is not all that different than that of Johnson. He does make more contact though, so the batting average should drain should not be as much of a concern. In the minors, Giavotella had a .320/.391/.464 batting line at Triple-A Omaha over three seasons with 1,251 PA. He's 25 years old, so there might still be some room for growth as far as his power is concerned. Unless you're in a deep mixed league or AL only format, there's not much upside here. Mixed: $3; AL: $10.

Grant Green, A's - Green is currently hitting .320/.379/.509 at Triple-A Sacramento with 11 homers and four stolen bases over 357 PA. Over his last seven games he's had six doubles with three homers, thus the reason we're discussing him. He is someone that has moved around the diamond a fair amount looking for a home defensively and seems to have settled at second base for now. At the major league level the A's could really use his bat as starting second baseman Eric Sogard is hitting .255/.373/.345 this month and .266/.345/.339 on the season with no home runs. At 25 years old, Green is no longer thought of as an elite prospect as he once was when he was the 13th overall pick in 2009. Still, he has enough power and speed that he would be an immediate upgrade over Sogard for the A's and is someone worth stashing in AL only and deep mixed formats. Mixed: No; AL: $3.

Derek Jeter, Yankees - Jeter is back on the road to rejoining the Yankees, after dealing with an ankle injury for the first three months of the season. He was on this path in early May, but suffered a setback in mid-April and was forced to use a walking boot for almost a month. He has since shed that walking boot, run in drills, and taken live batting practice. The team will predictably be deliberate with his rehab, as they do not want another setback. There is no set date for him to begin a rehab assignment, but he should be back before the end of July. I'm optimistic about what Jeter can offer owners for the last two months of the season, seeing as how the position has been so shallow this season. He's 39 years old, but holds a career batting line of .313/.382/.448. Don't forget about him in mixed leagues. Mixed: $3; AL: $10.

Brad Miller, Mariners - Miller was called up from Triple-A Tacoma on Friday to try and give the M's offense some life. Between Double-A and Triple-A he hit .319/.399/.521 with 12 homers and six stolen bases over 297 PA. He hit all throughout the minors and got on base well too, showing a good eye at the plate. Neither his power, nor speed is special for a middle infielder, but then again, he's only 23 years old. Scouts have nicked him for his defensive skills, but that shouldn't matter much to fantasy owners. I'm bullish on Miller's ability to help fantasy owners in all formats because of how shallow the position is overall and the fact that guys like Tulo and Cabrera are hurt. By comparison, I'd rather take my chances in a mixed league with Miller than someone who is a known commodity like a Brandon Crawford or Andrelton Simmons, neither of which have shown much upside this season offensively. With none of the pedigree or name cachet of someone like a Nick Franklin, Miller shouldn't be overly expensive to bid on in most leagues. Mixed: $6; AL: $18.

Brian Roberts, Orioles - Roberts is set to come off the DL this Sunday, after being out with a hamstring injury since early April. Ryan Flaherty has been hot at the plate over the last two weeks, but figures to cede his job to Roberts, once he's activated. Roberts appeared in just three games this season, before getting hurt, which should come as no surprise as he's played in just 118 games since 2009 because of injuries. In the past Roberts has been a dynamic speed threat that can hit for average and get on base well, but considering the litany of injuries he's suffered, it's tough to tell just how sharp his skills are and moreover, he's 35 years old now. If you're in a mixed league, it would be wise to wait until Roberts shows he can string together a few productive games, before investing. Mixed: $2; AL: $9.

Outfielders:

Engel Beltre, Rangers - Beltre was brought up from Triple-A Round Rock this week to give the Rangers some added depth in the outfield with Craig Gentry and Jeff Baker on the DL. At Round Rock he hit .300/.360/.406 with four homers and 13 stolen bases over 331 PA. His speed can be a real difference maker in fantasy leagues, if given enough playing time, but that seems doubtful seeing as how he's the fourth outfielder on the team and that's not including Profar, who is expected to start logging some time in the outfield as a means to keep his bat in the lineup. Until a starting spot opens up for him, he's nothing more than a placeholder for Baker and Gentry. Mixed: No; AL: $2.

Nick Castellanos, Tigers - Andy Dirks has hit .247/.295/.288 this month with one extra base hit and is someone the Tigers should consider upgrading from offensively. Castellanos meanwhile has improved his walk rate and hit .371/.447/.600 this month with nine doubles and five homers at Triple-A Toledo. The swap makes sense on paper, but is something that might not happen right away, as there have been rumblings that Castellanos might be dealt in a trade to get help for the Tigers woefully thin bullpen. If this is something the team is considering, it serves them best to not expose Castellanos to major league pitching and keep his perceived value highest, by allowing him to continue to hit in the minors. Either way, Castellanos is someone to consider stashing, as he's not far off from helping some major league team for the second half of the season. On the season he's hitting .303/.379/.492 with 11 homers over 369 PA. Mixed: $3; AL: $10.

Rajai Davis, Blue Jays - With Melky Cabrera on the DL with tendinitis in his knee, Davis is back starting in the outfield for the surging Blue Jays. Davis' speed is reason enough for owners to consider him in all leagues as he has stolen four bases over his last two games and 18 on the season with a .314/.354/.397 batting line over 131 PA. He has stolen more than 40 bases three of the last four seasons (34 in the season he did not) and seems poised to make it four out of five, given his health and increased contact rate, that is helping him reach base more often than he has in the past. Owned in all deep leagues, consider Davis if you're short on speed in shallower mixed leagues and certainly in head-to-head formats as he can win the stolen base category by himself. Cabrera should be back as soon as he's eligible, but even after that Davis will continue to be used as a fourth outfielder and pinch runner, thus maintaining much of his value as a runner. Mixed: $6; AL: Owned.

Aaron Hicks, Twins - Hicks should come off the DL this week, after being on a rehab assignment to help get over a hamstring injury. Considering he's only 3-for-19 on said assignment at Triple-A Rochester, the team will likely want him to start hitting, before he's activated. When he does return, he'll find a .179/.249/.326 batting line with six homers and four stolen bases over 211 PA waiting for him. He's only 23 years old, so he's still developing, but it's hard to see him hitting for average or getting on base much this season, when he does return. He essentially skipped Triple-A, on his way to the majors and the transition offensively has been a rough one for him this season. Ideally he'll steal a few bases, while on his assignment to show everyone his legs are fine, but he has yet to do that. There's no rush to activate him because the team isn't going to contend this season and Clete Thomas is holding his own, in place of Hicks for the time being. If you need speed, he's worth bidding on in most leagues. Mixed: $3; AL: $12.

Jimmy Paredes, Astros - Paredes is back with the team, after Justin Maxwell was put on the 7-day DL with concussion-related symptoms on Sunday. Concussions are a serious matter and can be tricky to overcome, so Maxwell's absence may last longer than the initial seven days. With the recent addition of Brett Wallace, the team can play Chris Carter in left field and J.D. Martinez in right, so it's tough to say where exactly Paredes fits in right now. He was up with the team almost two weeks ago and struggled with a .190/.242/.272 batting line over 92 PA. He's a low-end option for AL owners looking for a fifth outfielder. Mixed: No; AL: $2.

Nolan Reimold, Orioles - Reimold is set to come off the DL and rejoin the team on Tuesday in Chicago, after dealing with a hamstring that kept him out of action since the middle of May. He's currently on a rehab assignment at Double-A Bowie, where he's hit .190/.255/.238 with no homers over 47 PA. Before he got injured, he had hit .188/.257/.327 with four homers over 113 PA with the O's. He's shown good power in the past, but swings and misses too much and doesn't have a very refined eye at the plate. As far as fifth outfielders go in AL only formats, owners could do much worse. Expect him to share time in the outfield and at DH with Chris Dickerson. Mixed: $2; AL: $8.

J.B. Shuck, Angels - Peter Bourjos fractured his right wrist on Saturday and will be out for two to three weeks, thus making Shuck the team's starting left fielder once again. Shuck has hit .297/.351/.373 this season with two steals over 178 PA. He has zero power and while quick with his feet, hasn't shown a great deal of potential to be a stolen base threat in the majors. He does however make contact well when he swings, so he shouldn't be a drain to owner’s batting average. With little upside, outside of a nice batting average, Shuck is a low-end option for owners in mixed leagues, but someone worth considering in AL only formats. Mixed: $2; AL: $7.

Note: If you have anyone else you'd like me to discuss, just drop a line in the comments section.