Andrew Albers, Twins - With Scott Diamond's removal from the Twins rotation, Albers was brought up from Triple-A Rochester to take his spot. At Rochester he had a 2.86 ERA with 116 strikeouts and 32 walks over 132.1 innings. He's not a highly regarded prospect within the Twins minor league system, but has shown great control and command in the minors. This week he faces the Royals and White Sox on the road, who aren't the toughest challenges for a rookie making his debut. Until he proves himself, a fair amount of skepticism is warranted. Mixed: $1; AL: $5.
Danny Duffy, Royals - Duffy is close to being brought back up to the majors, after striking out 29 batters with six walks over his last three starts at Triple-A Omaha. He'd likely already be up, if it weren't for Wade Davis, who has had back-to-back quality starts recently. Davis is likely best served being in the bullpen, much like he was with the Rays last season. Until he cools off though, Duffy will have to wait his turn. He's coming off of Tommy John surgery and only pitched 27.2 innings last season, so the team will likely be monitoring his innings and may not even allow him to pitch in September, if they're out of the playoff hunt. Mixed: $1; AL: $4.
Colby Lewis, Rangers - Lewis is close to returning to the Rangers rotation, after going five innings in each of his last two rehab starts. Alexi Ogando has looked shaky since returning to the rotation and has experience in the bullpen, so a spot may be opening up for him sooner than expected. Lewis is coming back from a forearm injury and pitched only 105 innings last season. At his best, he has good command, but still struggles with home runs, which his home park has something to do with. In 2012, he was having maybe his best season yet with a 3.43 ERA and 93 strikeouts to just 14 walks. Expect some rust, when he does come back, which should be fairly soon. Mixed: $3; AL: $10.
Brett Oberholtzer, Astros - With Bud Norris now in Baltimore, Oberholtzer got his shot to step into the Astros rotation this week and impressed with seven shutout innings against the Orioles. He struck out six batters with no walks and only allowed three hits. At Triple-A Oklahoma City earlier this season he had a 4.37 ERA with 72 strikeouts and 25 walks. He had trouble with the long ball in the minors, so there's some reason for caution here. This week he'll get the Red Sox and Rangers at home, both of which should be tough tests. If he can get through these two starts relatively unscathed, he might be worth another look. Mixed: $1; AL: $4.
Andre Rienzo, White Sox - Rienzo was brought up this week, when Jake Peavy was close to being traded and now that he's in Boston, Rienzo figures to hang around and stay in the White Sox rotation for the time being. In his debut he struck out six Indians batters with three walks and no earned runs over seven innings. At Triple-A Charlotte he had a 4.06 ERA with 113 strikeouts and 46 walks over 113 innings. Even in the talent starved White Sox minor league system, he's not considered a highly thought of prospect, so expectations shouldn't be very high. Still, he struck out a fair amount of batters in the minors, so there's some room for profit here. This week he faces the Twins at home. Mixed: $3; AL: $10.
Jose Cisnero, Wesley Wright, & Chia-Jen Lo, Astros - With the trade of Jose Veras, the Astros are looking for someone to step up and claim the closer role at the back end of their bullpen. Cisnero was thought to be the front-runner for said position, but was curiously used in the 8th inning in the team's most recent save situation and promptly blew a one-run lead. Wright is another option, but was only used to get one out in that same game. Lo, who was just called up this week, was the one that manager Bo Porter turned to get the save, but was unable to do so. With a 5.16 ERA, the Astros have the worst bullpen in the majors and the loss of Veras will only further prove that point. Of all the options listed above, Cisnero still seems like the most likely option because of his low home run rate, but it seems like anyone's guess right now as to who Porter will turn to. Avoid this situation, if at all possible. Cisnero - Mixed: $5; AL: $15. Wright - Mixed: $3; AL: $10. Lo - Mixed: $1; AL: $5.
Charlie Furbush & Yoervis Medina, Mariners - Tom Wilhelmsen blew a lead in epic fashion this week against the Red Sox and has temporarily been removed as the team's closer. The best options to replace him are Furbush and Medina, both of whom have pitched very well for the Mariners this season. Furbush has a 12.42 K/9 strikeout rate, which is much higher than that of Medina's 8.79 K/9, but that doesn't necessarily mean he's the better option as he's a LHP and Medina is a RHP. Interim manager Robby Thompson is leading the team right now, so it's tough to tell which way he may lean, but Medina figures to be the most likely option. He gave up two runs in back-to-back outings recently, but has been lights out other than that. Wilhelmsen was able to eventually reclaim his job and may do so again, but it's going to be difficult for him with the poor command he's shown this season. Furbush Mixed: $2; AL: $9. Medina Mixed: $5; AL: $15.
Geovany Soto, Rangers - Soto hit two homers and a double this week as he continues to serve as a backup catcher for the Rangers. Over the last 30 days he has hit .286/.390/.600 over 35 at-bats, which shows how little he has been used, but also how productive he can be in small doses. On the season he has a poor batting average, which is not surprising, but has hit for more power than some may realize with a .200 ISO. Keep him in mind, as a second catcher in AL only formats. Mixed: No; AL: $2.
Brock Holt, Red Sox - Holt was called up from Triple-A Pawtucket this week, after the trade of Jose Iglesias to the Tigers. He's been starting at third base and will likely continue to do so, until the team decides what to do with Will Middlebrooks and Xander Bogaerts. At Pawtucket Holt hit .264/.328/.293 with one homer over 269 PA. He has almost no power and little speed, so it's tough to see him holding the position for an extended period of time. Still, he's getting playing time and until that stops, he has value in AL only formats and deeper mixed leagues. Mixed: $2; AL: $5.
Chris Nelson, Angels - Nelson was brought up from Triple-A Salt Lake this week, after Alberto Callaspo was traded to the A's, and will now serve as the team's starting third baseman. Formerly with the Rockies and Yankees this season, he doesn't hit for much power and has very little speed. At Salt Lake he hit .328/.361/.545 with six homers and four stolen bases over 144 PA. Grant Green, whom the team received in the trade of Callaspo, may come up at some point later this season and unseat Nelson, but until that happens, Nelson should continue to receive regular at-bats. Mixed: $1; AL: $4.
Xander Bogaerts, Red Sox - Bogaerts has been playing at third base some at Triple-A Pawtucket as the team prepares him for what looks to be a promotion. He's a shortstop by trade, but much like Manny Machado, can play third base if asked to. He's been a quick riser through the Red Sox minor league system and at 20 years old is an elite prospect with in both real and fantasy baseball. At Pawtucket he has hit .276/.372/.471 with eight homers and two stolen bases over 196 PA. Of all the minor league prospects yet to reach the majors this season, Bogaerts may have the most upside offensively. If you still have some FAAB dollars saved away, consider using them on Bogaerts as he may be up shortly. Mixed: $5; AL: $20.
Jayson Nix, Yankees - Nix was activated from the DL this week and figures to see the majority of starts at third base for the Yankees, baring another turn in the A-Rod/Biogenesis story. On the season he has hit .233/.298/.298 with two homers and 11 stolen bases over 276 PA. The speed is a surprise, but the power and batting line are not, as Nix has never been a good hitter. Considering he was on the DL with a hamstring injury, owners shouldn't be expecting the speed to pick back up right away, if at all. His previous career high in stolen bases is 10 with the White Sox back in 2009. Bid on him, if you're in need of a filler at corner-infield. Mixed: $2; AL: $5.
Ryan Roberts, Rays - Roberts was brought up from Triple-A Durham on Wednesday to give the Rays some added depth in their infield. A career .245/.321/.393 hitter, he has some power and speed, but neither has surfaced this season. If he were to see some real playing time, he'd likely be of some use to owners, but as is, his value is very limited. Expect him to see most of his playing time against LHP, of whom he owns a .269/.344/.448 batting line against. Mixed: No; AL: $2.
Adam Rosales, Rangers - Rosales was claimed off waivers this week by the Rangers. He'll serve as depth between second base and shortstop, but likely won't play over Jurickson Profar, which makes his addition to the team suspect. A career .220/.289/.334 hitter, he has little power and almost no speed. Don't expect him to see much playing time. Mixed: No; AL: $2.
Ramon Santiago, Tigers - With Omar Infante still out and the newly acquired Jose Iglesias likely to fill in for Jhonny Peralta, who is likely to be hit with a suspension, Santiago figures to see most of the starts at second base for the Tigers in the coming days. He has hit .205/.282/.286 this season over 127 PA with no home runs or stolen bases. Though the batting average is low, this is pretty typical for Santiago, who is a utility infielder. Don't expect much, other than a handful of runs, until Infante is back. Mixed: $2; AL: $7.
Oswaldo Arcia, Twins - With Aaron Hicks demoted to Triple-A, Arcia is back in the majors as the Twins starting left fielder. He was up with the team earlier this season and has hit .265/.325/.419 with six homers and one stolen base over 234 PA. Considering the team's other options, Arcia is one of the better outfielders offensively. At 22 years old, he's a highly thought of prospect within the Twins system and should continue to receive playing time through the end of the season. He has some power, but is still learning how to hit in the majors, so expect the batting average to remain a work in progress. Mixed: $4; AL: $15.
Craig Gentry, Rangers - If Nelson Cruz does not appeal his impending suspension, expect Gentry to be the player likely to see the most playing time in his spot. Gentry has hit .233/.327/.346 this season with one homer and 10 stolen bases over 154 PA. He has very little power, but enough speed to be of help to owners in AL only and deeper mixed league formats. Jeff Baker figures to eat into some of his playing time and has more power than Gentry, but not nearly as much speed. Mixed: $2; AL: $9.
L.J. Hoes, Astros - Traded to the Astros this week from the Orioles, Hoes figures to see extended playing time in left-field. At Triple-A Norfolk he hit .304/.406/.403 with three homers and seven stolen bases over 430 PA. At 23 years old, he doesn't have much power, but he does have some speed. He has a good eye at the plate, but is just now getting his first taste of the majors, so struggles are to be expected. Consider him a low-end option among outfielders in all formats. Mixed: $2; AL: $8.
Note: If you have anyone else you'd like me to discuss, just drop a line in the comments section.