National League - FAAB - 7/14/13
Scott Baker, Cubs - Baker, who is recovering from Tommy John surgery, will finally begin a rehab stint Sunday and Low-A Kane County. This comes on the heels of him completing a bullpen session Thursday and he figures to be held to a low pitch count. Baker signed for $5.5 million over the winter and was expected to return a month or two into the season, but he suffered a setback this spring in his first game and has endured a lengthy recuperation period. His stay in the minor leagues figures to be a lengthy one, spanning multiple outings and affiliates. Look for him to make his Cubs debut at some point in August, assuming he endures no further setbacks along the way. Baker appeared poised for a strong 2012 season after he was striking out batters at the best rate of his career (8.5 K/9) in the first half of 2011 before elbow issues sidelined him in the second half of the season and all of 2012. Mixed: $3; NL: $9 (early spec bid, which will rise slightly as he gets closer to coming back).
Brandon Beachy, Braves - Beachy, profiled last week gets another mention, as he has finally started rehab appearances. He gave up three hits, one walk and surrendered two runs (both earned), while striking out one while throwing 45 pitches (29 for strikes) for Triple-A Gwinnett. Beachyis working his way back from Tommy John surgery, and after a clean start Tuesday, look for Beachy to undergo a few additional rehab assignments before returning to the Braves some time after the All-Star break. The question is whom does he replace in the rotation, though that will have to work itself out in the next few weeks. 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: $3; NL: $9 (upped early spec bid, which will rise as he gets closer to coming back).
Chris Capuano, Dodgers - Capuano, who was recently moved to the bullpen, started Thursday's game against the Rockies due to Stephen Fife landing on the DL with a shoulder injury. Capuano, coming off two poor starts that landed him in the bullpen, threw 6.1 shutout innings, allowing six hits and striking out eight without a walk to earn the win Thursday. His struggles may have accelerated the process of acquiring Ricky Nolasco, with Nolasco taking Capuano's spot in the rotation before Fife was hurt. If Fife remains sidelined and with Ted Lilly likely to pitch out of the bullpen when he returns, Capuano may get another shot at the rotation. Mixed: $1; NL: $4.
Chris Carpenter, Cardinals - Carpenter, who was profiled last week, gets another mention as it's now clear when he will start the rehab clock. Carpenter, recovering from a nerve condition in his right shoulder, will begin a rehab assignment with Double-A Springfield on Monday after he threw another simulated game this past week. Carpenter will likely need all 30 days in his minor league rehab assignment, and there is still the possibility that he suffers another setback, which could sideline him for good. While it was once thought that he'd only be a reliever if he returned, Carpenter seems to be headed towards a spot in the starting rotation. Mixed: $1; NL: $4 (early spec bid).
Tom Gorzelanny, Brewers - Gorzelanny was profiled last week when he made what looked like to be his second spot start of the season, stepping in for Wily Peralta (hamstring) against the Mets on Sunday. He was impressive in that start and followed it up with another solid outing on Friday. Brewers manager Ron Roenicke said Saturday that Gorzelanny is "in the conversation" to remain in the starting rotation. Marco Estrada (hamstring) and Alfredo Figaro (oblique) both appear relatively close to returning from the DL, but Gorzelanny's performances of late have the Brewers kicking around the idea of keeping the left-hander in a starting role. Gorzelanny hasn't given up an earned run in his last two starts, and he was a starter up until last season, but the team could opt to move him back to keep the bullpen balanced. Mixed: $1; NL: $4 (slightly upped bid).
Carlos Martinez, Cardinals - Martinez, profiled last week, gets another mention as he was recalled Friday to give the Cardinals another arm in the bullpen, likely in long-relief. Martinez was named the Cardinals' minor-league pitcher of the month Tuesday. He has looked sharp while starting for Triple-A Memphis, going 3-2 with a 1.98 ERA, 1.24 WHIP and a 35:16 K:BB across 41 innings in eight starts. Martinez could very likely be the next in line should the Cardinals have a spot open up in their rotation, though Joe Kelly is filling that role now. He mixes a high-90s heavy fastball that generates lots of groundballs along with that developing changeup and curveball that was first used in the pen by St. Louis when he was called up in May. Mixed: $1; NL: $4 (up if he starts).
Sean O'Sullivan, Padres - O'Sullivan was recalled from Triple-A Tucson on Friday and is the next to take his chance on filling the role as San Diego's fifth starter. He owns a 6.13 ERA in the majors, but posted respectable numbers down at Triple-A Tucson this season (7-4, 3.88 ERA and 7.9 K/9 in 18 starts) to earn the call up. Robbie Erlin had filled in as No. 5 starter in recent weeks, but he was demoted after a couple of rough starts to begin July, and the team will now give O'Sullivan a chance to show he belongs at the highest level. If he falters, Tim Stauffer, who has pitched well out of the bullpen for the Padres, could be the next in line. O'Sullivan gave up two runs on six hits and three walks with four strikeouts over five innings against the Giants on Friday, so he should get at least one more turn in the rotation. Mixed: $0; NL: $2.
Carlos Torres, Mets - Torres was profiled last week but he gets another mention as he started in place of Matt Harvey (finger) on Saturday and is slated to remain in the rotation for Shaun Marcum, who is out for the season with thoracic outlet syndrome. He hadn't started a major league game since 2010, but did an excellent job in a middle and long relief role for the Mets this season. Prior to his start Saturday, Torres posted a 0.51 ERA and 0.85 WHIP, with 15 strikeouts and just two walks through 17.2 innings. He also made 12 starts for Triple-A Las Vegas this season, with a 3.89 ERA with 67 strikeouts over 71.2 innings in the minors. He allowed one run on five hits with five strikeouts Saturday against the Pirates. Mixed: $1; NL: $4.
Duane Below/Michael Bowden/Brad Brach/Luis Garcia/Gonzalez Germen/Tom Koehler - This week's middle reliever call ups/acquisitions were in Miami, Chicago, San Diego, Philadelphia, New York and Miami. None except for Below have major fantasy value. Below has excelled since moving into the rotation at Triple-A New Orleans. In his last seven starts in the minors, he posted a 3-1 record and only allowed nine earned runs over 42.2 innings pitched since his demotion. He will likely provide an extra arm in the bullpen, but has the capability to make a spot start if necessary. All - Mixed: No; NL: $0; Below - Mixed: $0; NL: $2.
Josh Collmenter/David Hernandez/Brad Ziegler, Diamondbacks - The Arizona closer role has seemingly been a revolving door all year, and now it clearly will be a closer-by-committee. J.J. Putz, Heath Bell, and David Hernandez have all had their shots at the role this year and struggled, with Bell and Putz the main culprits. Collmenter and Ziegler have pitched the best, though none of them on paper profile as full-time closers, so look for manager Kirk Gibson to mix-and-match with those two and the aforementioned three. Collmenter is 4-2 with a 2.58 ERA and a 1.10 WHIP through 25 appearances this season, seeing time in both short- and long-relief. He was solid as a starter in 2011 and reliever last year and has continued that success into 2013. Ziegler leads the NL in appearances, making 50th of the year Saturday. He is 4-1 with a 2.44 ERA and a 1.04 WHIP and saves in three of his last five appearances including Saturday. If he continues to succeed, Gibson could make him the interim closer; a role he filled in the past in Oakland. Hernandez, who had been struggling mightily, notched the save Friday, tossing the situation into complete upheaval. Collmenter - Mixed: $1; NL: $4; Hernandez - Mixed: $2; NL: $7; Ziegler - Mixed: $3; NL: $9 (I think Ziegler should get run at the spot, but up and lower bids based on your preference).
Ross Ohlendorf, Nationals - Ohlendorf was sharp in relief of Stephen Strasburg on Friday, tossing four shutout innings, while allowing just one hit and two walks to go with four strikeouts. Ohlendorf now has a 1.74 ERA and 15:5 K:BB ratio in 20.2 innings since being called up. Still, there's been no talk of moving him into the rotation on a permanent basis, and the Nats seems content with him as their long reliever/swing man. However, if injuries continue to beset the pitching staff or Dan Haren can't turn things around, though he pitched well Saturday, Ohlendorf may get his chance in the second half. Mixed: $0; NL: $2.
Covered last two weeks - Santiago Casilla, Giants - Out since late-May after having a cyst removed from his right tibia. Activated off the DL on Saturday. Will serve as set-up man for Sergio Romo. Mixed: No; NL: $0 (up if you use holds).
Rob Johnson, Cardinals - Johnson was called up from Triple-A Memphis on Tuesday. In his time at Memphis, Johnson hit .231/.312/.390 with seven home runs, 32 RBI, and 27 runs scored. Nevertheless, Tony Cruz will earn most of the reps behind the plate, if in fact Molina requires a DL stint. Mixed: No; NL: $0
Corky Miller/Devin Mesoraco, Reds - Miller was added to the 40-man roster and called up with Ryan Hanigan (sprained left wrist) landing on the disabled list. Miller will back up Mesoraco, who also has been dealing with an injury (back), though he is not expected to miss any time. Miller - Mixed: No; NL: $0; Mesoraco - Mixed: $2; NL: likely owned, but if not, $7.
Covered last week - Evan Gattis, Braves - Went on the disabled list with a strained right oblique on June 18. He will begin an injury assignment Friday with Triple-A Gwinnett and play the first of at least three and up to six minor league games before possibly being activated July 19 against the White Sox. Mixed: $3; NL: $9 (likely still owned, but bids are an early spec one if not).
Matt Adams, Cardinals - Adams, profiled two weeks, could get a boost in playing time if Matt Holiday's strained hamstring lands him on the DL. The plan for now is for Holiday is to return after the All-Star break, though hamstring injuries can linger. If that happens, Adams, who is filling in for Holiday, would play first base with Allen Craig moving to the outfield. Adams has hit well this season, seeing most of his time against righties and .369 BABIP, which is high but he has historically posted a high BABIP in the minors, so the number isn't that much of an aberration. Mixed: $3; NL: $9 (likely still owned, but rise in value).
Covered last two weeks - Darin Ruf, Phillies - Called up last week due to injury to Ryan Howard that is expected to keep him out 6-to-8 weeks. Has been seeing consistent PT. Gets a spike in value with injury to Revere as John Mayberry and Laynce Nix will fill in there, opening p first even more for Ruf. Mixed: $4; NL: $11 (upped bid).
Injury activation - Yonder Alonzo, Padres - Out since June 1 with a fracture of the metacarpal on his right middle finger. Completed a rehab assignment and was activated Friday. Mixed: $3; NL: likely still owned, but bid of $9 as an early spec one if not.
Kensuke Tanaka, Giants - Tanaka, who played both second base and left field at Triple-A this season, had his contract was selected by the Giants on Tuesday. In his first season in the U.S. playing baseball, he has hit .330/.392/.394 with 20 stolen bases for Triple-A Fresno. He will likely be used primarily in left field whenever a righty is on the on the mound, sitting against lefties for Jeff Francoeur, with an occasional start at second whenever Marco Scutaro needs rest. Mixed: $1; NL: $4.
Injury activation - Jedd Gyorko, Padres - (Groin) Gyorko was activated from the disabled list after a short rehab stint on Friday. Just an FYI as should be owned in all leagues.
Clint Barmes/Josh Harrison, Pirates - Barmes is seeing an increase in playing time with Neil Walker on the DL, though given how poorly Barmes has done at the plate that is not a good thing for the Pirates. With Walker out, Jordy Mercer is seeing time at second base while Harrison has been promoted. On the season at Triple-A, Harrison hit .317 with four home runs and 34 RBI to go along with 19 stolen bases. He is capable of playing both middle infield positions as well as in the outfield and third base in a pinch. Barmes - Mixed: No; NL: $2; Harrison - Mixed: No; NL: $0.
Jeff Bianchi, Brewers - Bianchi has started just three games since June 2, but he could see a temporary bump in playing time while Aramis Ramirez (knee) is on the disabled list. Juan Francisco may see most of the time at the hot corner with Ramirez on the DL, but he rarely plays against left-handers, and Bianchi may get the nod over Yuniesky Betancourt with the latter hitting just .132 since the beginning of June. Just how much playing time Bianchi sees over the next few weeks will ultimately depend on how long it takes Ramirez to return, though Betancourt did start three games this week, but his struggles at the plate continued. Mixed: No; NL: $0.
Injury activation - Troy Tulowitzki, Rockies - Out since June 13 with a broken rib. Completed a brief Minor League rehab assignment and was activated Thursday. He should suit up as the starter at shortstop to play in the All-Star Game. Just an FYI as should be owned in all leagues.
Joe Terdoslavich, Atlanta - Terdoslavich, who was having a monster year in his second season at Triple-A, batting .318 with 18 home runs in 85 games, had his contract purchased from Triple-A Gwinnett on Thursday. He was named Atlanta's minor league player of the year in 2011 after he hit .286/.341/.526 with 20 home runs and 52 doubles for High-A Lynchburg and skipped Double-A Mississippi to start 2012 but was sent back after struggling. Tedoslavich regained his stroke in Mississippi and carried that forward into this year to earn the call up. With Chris Johnson batting .328 this season, Terdoslavich isn't viewed as a threat to usurp him of starting duties, but the Braves figure to find creative ways to get his bat in the lineup. Expect him to be used similarly to how Evan Gattis was after Brian McCann returned from the DL, receiving a start or two per week while seeing regular pinch-hitting opportunities. In addition, he played the outfield Saturday due to the injuries to both Uptons and Jason Heyward. Mixed: $1; NL: $4 (up in keeper leagues).
Charlie Blackmon, Rockies - Blackmon was called up from Triple-A Colorado Springs on Monday with Roy Oswalt landing on the DL. He appeared in 12 games earlier this season for Colorado, notching six hits, including a home run, in 25 at-bats. He hit .288/.376/.428 with 40 RBI in 68 Triple-A games this season. Blackmon started two straight games for the Rockies, manning the leadoff spot and playing center field. However, with Dexter Fowler having returned from the DL on Thursday, it looks like Blackmon is falling back into a fourth-outfielder role going forward, which will torpedo his fantasy value. Mixed: No; NL: $0
Jose Constanza, Braves - The Braves called up Costanza from Triple-A Gwinnett on Friday. With both Uptons banged up, Constanza has seen time in the outfield over the remainder of the weekend. He is batting .260 with 17 stolen bases this season at Triple-A and can offer the Braves some speed in the lineup. When Justin, B.J. and/or both are healthy, Costanza will be sent back down. Mixed: No; NL: $0.
Khris Davis, Brewers - Davis was recalled following Thursday's game by the Brewers and will be with the team in time for Friday's game. With Ryan Braun being placed on the bereavement list, Davis could only be with the team through the All-Star break as a reserve outfielder. Davis is hitting .250 with 11 home runs at Triple-A this season. Over his last 10 games, he has been hot at the plate, hitting .343 with two home runs and five RBI. If the Biogenesis case results in suspensions after the All-Star break, as has been rumored, then Davis could stick in the majors, but appeals will likely be filed and no suspensions served in the near-term. Mixed: No; NL: $0.
Jeff Francoeur, Giants - The Giants added Francoeur, who was waived by the Royals and then signed to a minor-league deal on Tuesday by SF, to the active roster Saturday. Frenchy will now be deployed in a platoon in left field with Kensuke Tanaka, with Tanaka drawing a larger share of the starts as the left-handed batter. Francoeur was miserable with the Royals this season (.208/.249/.322), and his addition simply speaks to the undesirable options the Giants have in their organization to replace the injured Angel Pagan. Perhaps his return to the National League will help Francoeur get back on track after struggling the past two years in Kansas City. Mixed: $0; NL: $2.
John Mayberry/Laynce Nix, Phillies - Ben Revere broke his right foot Saturday and is expected to miss a month with the possibly that he could be sidelined the rest of the season. Revere was putting together a very strong season, posting a .338 OBP to go along with 37 runs and 22 stolen bases, however his foot injury forces the Phillies to likely turn to Mayberry and Nix as their consistent options to start in center field. Both Mayberry and Nix have seen minimal time lately, but the injury to Revere opens the door for each of them. Mayberry has lots more experience playing CF, as Nix has only seen minimal action there, but Nix as a lefty-batter, could see time against righties. The Phillies may give Mayberry the first shot to hold down the position and then turn to Nix if he struggles. Mixed: $4; NL: $11; Nix - Mixed: $1; NL: $4.
Cameron Maybin, Padres - Maybin, who injured the PCL in his left knee trying to make a diving catch on June 9, is progressing well in his rehab. He ran this week for the first time since suffering the injury. In addition, Maybin has been doing some upper-body workouts almost every day while mixing in lower-body routines three to four times a week. He was expected to miss 6-to-8 weeks with the injury, which occurred about five weeked ago, and if he comes back at the latter end of that timeframe, which looks lilely, he could be back by the beginning of August. Maybin also missed time due to a wrist injury, limiting him to just 14 games. Will Venable and Chris Denorfia have ably stepped in for him in center field. Mixed: $1; NL: $4 (early spec bid)
Jose Tabata, Pirates - Tabata was activated off the DL and immediately given a shot to fill the right field spot in Pittsburgh. Prior to him getting sidelined, he racked up just 81 at-bats across 36 games, with a .272/.337/.407 line to his name. But with Pirates' RF batting just .227/.292/.656, all of which ranked last in the National League, Tabata was given another shot at the job. Since returning, he is 11-for-26 with four RBI and a solid 4:3 K:BB ratio, so he should have a decnt hold on the job for now. Mixed: $2; NL: $7.
Scott Van Slyke, Dodgers - Van Slyke got another turn on the Albuquerque-LA shuttle as he was recalled from Triple-A on Monday to take Matt Kemp's (shoulder) spot on the 25-man roster. He'll be the fourth true outfielder in Los Angeles, and although Skip Schumaker and Jerry Hairston are both capable of playing in both the infield and outfield, Van Slyke should see lots of playing time with Kemp out. Van Slyke went just 9-for-54 (.167 BA) at the plate in his first major league action last season, but he owns a .241/.307/.544 batting line in 72 at-bats this year on the strength of six home runs and six doubles. Mixed: $0; NL: $3.
Injury update - Ryan Braun, Brewers (hand) Was activated off the DL this week but placed on the bereavement list for the weekend. The Biogenesis case is starting to rear its ugly head again, so a suspension could be forthcoming for Braun shortly, though with appeals, he likely wouldn't serve any time until next year. Just an FYI as still should be owned in all formats; Adam Eaton, Diamondbacks - Out all season with an elbow injury, was activated off the DL on Tuesday. He will spilt time initially, but could end up the full-time starter. Mixed: $4; NL: $11; Dexter Fowler, Rockies - Out with a hand injury, activated off the DL on Thursday. Just an FYI as still should be owned in all formats.