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FAAB Factor - NL: Many Happy 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 - 8/18/13

Starting Pitching:

Jake Arrieta, Cubs - Arrieta, who came to the Cubs along with Pedro Strop for Scott Feldman on July 2, was called up again from Triple-A Iowa, likely to stay this time. In seven outings at Iowa, Arrieta posted a 2-2 record, 3.56 ERA, 1.582 WHIP, and 11.57 K/9IP in 30.1 innings. He tossed six innings of one-run ball in his first start with the Cubs on July 30 and upped that Friday, surrendering zero runs on just two hits and two walks with seven strikeouts in seven innings. With Chicago looking to the future, Arrieta should stay in the rotation the remainder of the season, as Carlos Villanueva has been moved to the bullpen. Mixed: $4; NL: $11.

Scott Baker, Cubs - Baker, rehabbing from Tommy John surgery, threw a bullpen session Monday and once more during the week before resuming his rehab assignment at High-A Daytona on Saturday. Baker's last three rehab starts have been rained out, relegating him to throwing bullpen sessions instead. He'll return to Daytona for a new, 30-day assignment before eventually returning to the Cubs. Baker has not pitched in the major leagues in two years, but the 31-year-old posted a 3.14 ERA for the Twins in 134.2 innings in 2011. Mixed: $0; NL: $3 (early injury return spec, to be upped as he gets closer).

Trevor Cahill, Diamondbacks - Cahill, sidelined with a right hip contusion since July 1, was activated and started Saturday. Prior to being sidelined, Cahill struggled with his mechanics all season, posting a 3-9 record, but he was especially brutal in June, where in six appearances, he sported a record of 0-5 with an ERA of 9.85 before getting shut down. Cahill, who made three rehab starts for Triple-A Reno, gave up four runs on seven hits and one walk, while striking out four over five innings in a win over the Pirates on Saturday. It was by no means a great outing for Cahill, as he served up two long balls in the third inning, but the offense provided more than enough run support to get the right-hander the win. He is risky fantasy bet moving forward, but if healthy, he will remain in the Arizona rotation. Mixed: $4; NL: $13.

Tyler Cloyd, Phillies - Cloyd will likely be recalled from Triple-A to take John Lannan's rotation spot, at least for the time being. Lannan left his start Wednesday with a knee injury and is likely headed for surgery. Cloyd is 5-9 with a 4.89 ERA at Triple-A this season, but he has been much better over the second half of the season, with a 1.58 ERA in 40 innings of work. His hold on a rotation spot may be short-lived, as both Roy Halladay and Jonathan Pettibone are expected to rejoin the Phillies by September, if not sooner. Mixed: $0; NL: $2.

Roy Halladay, Phillies - Halladay, profiled last week and sidelined after undergoing shoulder surgery to repair his labrum and rotator cuff in mid-May, gets another mention as he made a rehab start Thursday. His fastball was around 85 to 87 mph during his rehab start, where he allowed three runs on 87 pitches in six innings, for the Phillies' Gulf Coast League team on Thursday. Halladay should see his velocity increase as he builds up arm strength, but he'll be a risky play in fantasy leagues if he is working in the mid-80s when he returns to the majors. He'll throw a bullpen session Saturday, and then the Phillies will decide where to send him for his next rehab start, during which he could be asked to come close to 100 pitches. If that outing does come at Triple-A Lehigh Valley and he has some success, he could receive clearance to return to the big-league rotation. Mixed: $7; NL: $18 (early slightly upped possible stretch run spec bid).

James McDonald, Pirates - The Pirates could use McDonald, who has been sidelined due to shoulder woes since May, as a reliever/spot starter in September. With a bullpen session last Sunday under his belt, McDonald will look ahead to throwing a simulated game next week. McDonald has become a forgotten pitcher in the organization after a disastrous performance over the last calendar year, so his quickest path back to semi-relevance may be in the bullpen. Mixed: No; NL: $0 (early injury return spec bid).

Ross Ohlendorf, Nationals - Ohlendorf, who has been on the disabled list since August 4 with right shoulder inflammation, made a rehab start for High-A Potomac on Friday, allowing three runs in four innings. As Ohlendorf has already made one other rehab start, giving up one run over three innings with Triple-A Syracuse, he should be ready to rejoin the Nationals after Friday's outing. With Taylor Jordan landing on the DL on Saturday, Ohlendorf should slide into his rotation spot. Mixed: $1; NL: $4.

Jonathan Petitbone, Phillies - Pettibone, on the disabled list since Aug. 2 with tightness in his right arm, went five innings in his first rehab start with Double-A Reading on Thursday.  He allowed three runs on five hits and a walk while striking out four. Petitbone will be promoted to Triple-A Lehigh Valley to start Tuesday. If the Phillies decide they have indeed seen enough after Tuesday's outing, there's a chance the team could activate Pettibone next Sunday to slide into John Lannan's rotation spot. Mixed: $1; NL: $4

Wandy Rodriguez, Pirates - Rodriguez, who received a PRP injection July 1 for his injured forearm, threw another bullpen session Wednesday and then threw a simulated game to hitters on Friday. He appeared to be in no pain during the Wednesday outing, mixing fastballs and changeups over his 35 pitches. Rodriguez was slated to add the curveball to his repertoire Friday. The window for him to play in rehab games is closing, as the minor league season ends the first week of September, but the Pirates are holding out hope that Rodriguez will be able to complete at least a short assignment. The left-hander has been building up strength with bullpen sessions for more than a week now, and he progressed to facing live hitters Friday. When/if he returns, the Pirates will likely use Rodriguez as a starter but could also make him a long reliever. Mixed: $1; NL: $4 (early injury return spec, to be upped as he gets closer).

Carlos Torres, Mets - With Jenrry Mejia leaving Saturday's game due to right elbow discomfort. Torres may be thrust back into the starting rotation. Mejia was slated to have bone chips removed after the season, so the Mets may opt to shut him down and do that now. Torres worked as a starter during the back half of July but moved back to the bullpen in early-August. He will have to be stretched back out, but with few great options at Triple-A, Torres could get the call again. Mixed: $1; NL: $4
 
Injury activation/news - Yovani Gallardo, Brewers - out since July 30 with a strained left hamstring, was activated from the disabled list and started Saturday against the Reds, tossing 6.1 shutout innings to get the win. (just an FYI as still should be owned in all leagues, but of waived due to slump, go 4/15).

Relief Pitchers:

Rafael Betancourt, Rockies - Betancourt, who was profiled last week and had appendectomy surgery on July 20, is expected to retain his closing role when he returns to the Rockies on Saturday. Rex Brothers has been solid since Betancourt was sidelined but manager Walt Weiss has decided to restore the bullpen back to their usual order prior to Betancourt being out. With the Rockies seemingly out of contention and Betancourt set to become a free agent after the season, there's a chance he could be placed on waivers in an attempt to work out a trade to a team in need of relief help, so don't dump Bothers just yet. Mixed: $3; NL: $9 (upped bid, but keep in mind he could be traded and end up in a set-up role).

Arquimedes Caminero/Tyler Lyons/Eury de la Rosa/B.J. Rosenberg - This week's middle reliever call ups/acquisitions were in Miami, St. Louis, Arizona and Philadelphia. None have any major value. All - Mixed: No; NL: $0.

Brian Wilson, Dodgers - Wilson, who pitched just two games last season and was out all of this year after undergoing Tommy John surgery in April 2012 before signing a minor-league deal with the Dodgers, could be activated Sunday. He made four minor league rehab appearances, allowing just one base runner in 4.1 innings and threw a simulated game Friday, which was the last hurdle before he was promoted. Wilson, whose fastball is topping out at 94 mph and cutter has good movement, likely will not see opportunities for saves with Kenley Jansen locked in as closer but could rack up some holds setting him up. Mixed: $1; NL: $4.

Catchers:

Travis d'Arnaud, Mets - d'Arnaud, who was sidelined from April 17 with a broken foot and returned to action a few weeks ago, was promoted to the Mets on Saturday to take the place of John Buck, who was placed on paternity leave. d'Arnaud hit .304/.487/.554 in just 19 games for Triple-A Las Vegas, as the injury likely cost him a mid-season promotion. Buck is only slated to miss three games, at which point d'Arnaud could be sent down. However, GM Sandy Alderson left open the possibility of keeping him in the majors rather than sending him or 10 days until September 1. Even if d'Arnaud is sent down, look for him to see most of the playing time in September. Mixed: $5; NL: $14 (go higher in keeper leagues and if you believe he is not sent down when Buck returns).

Injury activation - Yadier Molina, Cardinals (out since July 31 with a knee injury, he missed just the minimum and was activated Thursday. Just an FYI as should be owned in all formats).

First Basemen:

Brandon Belt, Giants - It was just a few weeks ago that it looked like Belt had lost his hold on the first base job in SF to Brett Pill. Well, Belt has responded to that challenge, reeling off a season-best 11-game hitting streak that ended Saturday. Belt batted 19-for-46 with four home runs and nine RBI during the stretch, doing most of his damage from the three-hole. That hot streak should firmly plant him in the lineup daily for the near-term. Mixed: $9; NL: $25 (in case he was waived when Pill got hot).

Juan Franciscxo, Brewers - The free-swinging Francisco doesn't offer much in terms of batting average or speed, but the power is definitely real. In 58 games with the Brewers this season, he has smacked a total of 13 homers and shown mild improved discipline at the plate (66:21 K:BB ratio). Francisco qualifies at both first and third, adding to his value, and he sees most of his at-bats against righties. Those in need of power should grab him, if for some reason he is still available, to be used in a strict platoon. Mixed: $11; NL: owned.

Casey Kotchman, Marlins - Kotchman, sidelined since June 9 with a strained oblique, went 3-for-4 with a double, RBI, and two runs scored in a rehab game with High-A Jupiter on Thursday. Kotchman has played in six rehab games in his assignment with High-A Jupiter and has been finding his swing at the plate. Over the past three outings, he has gone 7-for-12 with two doubles and three RBI. A specific return date to the Marlins has not been outlined, but with this performance, he could return in a short time to backup Logan Morrison at first base. Mixed: $0; NL: $3 (early injury return speculation).

Second Base:

Phil Gosselin, Braves - The Braves called up Gosselin on Friday.  Gosselin's offensive numbers actually improved after his promotion to Triple-A Gwinnett, but he still slashed a rather underwhelming .277/.326/.343 in 47 games. He doesn't bring much power or speed to the table, but the Braves decided to bring Gosselin up for infield depth with Tyler Pastornicky (knee) going down after he was called up to replace Dan Uggla (eye) on the roster. Mixed: No; NL: $2.

Kolten Wong, Cardinals - The Cardinals promoted Wong on Friday. The 22-year-old is making the logical jump to the majors, after posting a thoroughly impressive .303/.369/.466 line with 10 home runs and 20 stolen bases in 412 at-bats at Triple-A Memphis this season, including 13-for-34 with two home runs over his last nine games. Moreover, his presence before September 1 implies the Cardinals' desire for Wong to be a part of the postseason roster. It remains to be seen, though, if he'll hold down a spot in the lineup on a daily basis. Matt Carpenter is locked into the lineup, which means that David Freese could be the odd man out. If that's the case, Carpenter figures to man the hot corner when Wong plays second base. Wong is a lefty-hitting line drive machine, who is solid in the field and should be regular for years to come. Mixed: $5; NL: $14 (go higher in keeper leagues and if you believe he sees consistent playing time).

Shortstops:

Willie Bloomquist, Diamondbacks - Bloomquist, out since July 6 with two broken bones in his left hand, similar to what Aaron Hill dealt with, could begin a rehab assignment at the end of the week. Bloomquist comes back the way he did after his first disabled list stint this season, he'll make an immediate impact. He could definitely see some time at shortstop when he returns, but the Diamondbacks may ease him back into things given his age and the fickle nature of the injury. It will be important to see how well he responds to a rehab assignment. Mixed: $0; NL: $2 (early injury return spec).

Paul Janish, Braves - Janish will serve as the Braves' primary second baseman while Dan Uggla (eye) is on the DL. Janish represents a huge upgrade over Uggla in the field, but offers virtually nothing to get excited about on the offensive end, essentially limiting his fantasy value. The Braves could look to acquire a player via trade if Janish's poor hitting remains unpalatable. Mixed: $0; NL: $3.

Third Basemen:

Matt Davidson, Diamondbacks - Davidson was promoted last Sunday in response to Eric Chavez's (knee/hip) move to the disabled list. He was hitting .278/.348/.444 with 16 home runs and 68 RBI at Triple-A Reno, but has struggled somewhat recently when he was called up. Davidson will continue to serve as a backup as long as the Diamondbacks still have a shot at the playoffs, seeing some time at third when Martin Prado plays the outfield. The idea of backing up Paul Goldschmidt at first base is apparently an option, so that opens up a little more potential playing time for him too. Mixed: $3; NL: $9 (up in keeper leagues).

Injury activation - Aramis Ramirez, Brewers (out since July 7 with a sore left knee, was activated and started Tuesday. He was removed late in the game for Jeff Bianchi at third base, which is something that could happen some nights over the next couple weeks as the Brewers have no reason to overexert the veteran slugger down the stretch. Mixed: $9; NL: $25 (if waived due to poor season and injury).

Outfielders:

Kyle Blanks, Padres - Blanks, profiled last week and on the DL since July 12 with Achilles tendinitis, ran on a treadmill for the second straight day Friday and also shagged fly balls in the outfield. Blanks has not played in a game since July 11, posting a 256 batting average with eight home runs and 34 RBI in 219 at-bats, could possibly be back with the Padres sometime in early September. Mixed: $1; NL: $4 (early injury spec bids).

Tony Campana, Diamondbacks - Arizona called up Campana on Wednesday. Campana had spent all but two games at Reno this season, flashing his tremendous speed on the basepaths with 32 steals in 40 attempts. Additionally, he's been steady at the plate, slashing .293/.354/.368 with one homer, 29 RBI, and 65 runs scored in 351 at-bats. He'll supply outfield depth now that Cody Ross (hip) is out for the season and could be a decent source of cheap speed, especially in NL-only leagues. Mixed: $0; NL: $3.

Sean Halton, Brewers - The Brewers called up Halton on Friday. Halton hit just .200/.217/.311 in 19 games for the Brewers earlier this season, but the team was desperate for a bat with Carlos Gomez (knee) injured Thursday. An MRI on Gomez's knee was returned negative, but Halton figures to fill a reserve roll until Gomez is cleared to play. If Halton is sent down shortly, look for him to be back up September 1. Mixed: No; NL: $0.

Reed Johnson, Braves - Johnson, sidelined since July 29 left Achilles' tendinitis, has been throwing and taking batting practice for nearly a week, so it seems that running is the only thing keeping him from a minor league rehab assignment. He is due to receive custom orthotics with the hope that it will aid his recovery process and allow him to progress from walking to jogging in the next few days, but the injury probably won't fully heal unless Johnson is rested extensively. When/if Johnson does return, he will resume his role as 4th/5th outfielder for the Braves. Mixed: No; NL: $0 (early injury return spec bid).

Cameron Maybin, Padres - Maybin, who injured the PCL in his left knee trying to make a diving catch on June 9, will resume his rehab stint with Triple-A Tucson within "a day or two" after suffering a setback last week. He was expected to miss 6-to-8 weeks with the injury, and if he returns on about another 7-10 days as expected, he will have missed almost three months with the injury. Maybin suffered a right wrist impingement on April 17 that cost him 45 games, and after just recently returning to action, he injured his knee. Maybin has had just 51 at-bats this season, as he has been limited to 14 games. Will Venable and Chris Denorfia have ably stepped in for him in center field. Mixed: $3; NL: $9 (early injury return spec bid).

Angel Pagan, Giants - Pagan, who was profiled last week, gets another mention, as he began his rehab assignment Friday with the Giants' rookie-level squad. Pagan had a damaged tendon in his left hamstring and underwent surgery to repair it back on June 25. The Giants will ease Pagan back into action, as he'll only play three innings in his first game. As a result, his rehab assignment could require the entire 20-day limit, making his expected return date sometime around late-August or early September. That would be right in the heart of the 10-12 week estimate that was given when he was first sidelined. When/if Pagan, who was hitting.262/.314/.374 with three homers, 24 RBI and 30 runs at the time of his injury, does return, he will send Gregor Blanco and Andres Torres to the bench. Mixed: $2; NL: $7 (upped early spec return bid since he started a rehab stint).

Shane Robinson, Cardinals - Robinson was placed on the DL on July 31 with a right shoulder strain. He began a rehab assignment last weekend and his return from the injury came after he was sidelined just the minimum 15 days. In order to make room for him on the roster, the team optioned Jermaine Curtis to Triple-A Memphis. Robinson will back up all three outfield spots in St. Louis. Mixed: No; NL: $0.

Scott Van Slyke, Dodgers - Van Slyke got another trip on the Albuquerque-Los Angeles shuttle Friday, making his fourth trip back to the big leagues. While Andre Ethier (calf) is expected back in the lineup Friday, the Dodgers decided to bring up a reserve outfielder in Van Slyke to be safe. Mixed: No; NL: $0.

Injury news - Brian Bogusevic, Cubs - (out since July 18 with a strained left hamstring, he is expected to join Triple-A Iowa to continue his rehab, and he could be activated soon. When he does return, he will again fill the role of a 4th/5th outfielder. (Mixed: No; NL: $2).