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FAAB Factor-NL: Mike Olt!

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 - 4/27/14

Starting Pitching:

Brandon Cumpton, Pirates - Cumpton, called up from Triple-A Indianapolis to start Thursday against the Reds in place of the injured Wandy Rodriguez, allowed just two runs on four hits and a walk with five strikeouts in seven innings. That start built off the success Cumpton had in the minors; where he was 2-0 with a 1.42 ERA in three starts, as well as his six starts for Pittsburgh last season. His fine outing Thursday earned him at least one more turn in the Pirates' rotation. If that one goes well, he could be - hat tip to Jeff Erickson - straight outta Cumpton (ed note: I stole it from Liss) to stick in the rotation for as long as Rodriguez (knee) is sidelined. Mixed: $0; NL: $3.

Jason Hammel, Cubs - After a solid first season in Baltimore in 2012, Hammel looked more like the pitcher who had tough luck in Colorado, but his results last season were due to a major regression in his numbers across the board. Now back in the NL, Hammel has gotten off to a red-hot start on the North Side of Chicago. His BABIP will rise from .134, as will his 0.69 WHIP, and his 4.65 FIP is a full two runs above his current ERA, so expect some regression, but if he can continue to limit walks and post a solid K/9, he still should be a fairly effective pitcher for the Cubs. Mixed: $5; NL: owned.

Yusmeiro Petit, Giants - Remember when Petit was a pretty good Mets prospect? Yeah, me too, but his career hasn't panned out how many thought it would. That said, with Ryan Vogelsong struggling once again and Petit pitching well enough to warrant a switch in roles, manager Bruce Bochy may have to consider one if the current performance of each continues. If Petit can continue to display his solid control and keep the ball in the yard, which was an issue until last season, Bochy's hand may be forced. Mixed: $0; NL: $2.

Injury activation/update - Jake Arrieta, Cubs - Arrieta, profiled last week, made what should be his final rehab appearance throwing two innings for Double-A Tennessee on Saturday. Assuming he has no setbacks, Arrieta, who had tightness in his right shoulder when spring training began and did not pitch in Cactus League games, likely will replace Carlos Villanueva in the Chicago rotation beginning either Wednesday or the next series against the Cardinals. Mixed: $1; NL: $4. Jhoulys Chacin, Rockies - Chacin made his third rehab start Thursday, this one for Triple-A Colorado Springs. He allowed four runs, two earned, on five hits and a walk while striking out four over 80 pitches in 4.2 innings. Chacin, who suffered a right shoulder strain at the beginning of spring training, threw 52 strikes and hit 91 mph with his fastball. He may only need one more rehab start before he rejoins the Rockies, where he will replace Jordan Lyles or Franklin Morales in the rotation. Mixed: $3; NL: $9. Doug Fister, Nationals - Fister profiled last week, continues to make steady progress towards returning to the Nationals. He threw a 40-pitch bullpen session Thursday, two days after tossing 44 pitches over three innings in an extended spring training game Tuesday, and will make his first rehab start Sunday, likely throwing four innings or 60 pitches at High-A Potomac. Fister, who had elbow inflammation this spring and appeared to be 100% when he suffered a strained right lat late in spring training hat landed him on the DL, may only need one more rehab start after Sunday to join Washington, possibly on May 7. Mixed: $5; NL: $14 (slightly upped bid from last week). Gavin Floyd, Braves - Floyd, returning from Tommy John surgery, will make one more rehab start Tuesday before rejoining the Braves. He pitched for Triple-A Gwinnett on Thursday, allowing two runs on five hits and three walks with one strikeout in 86 pitches over 5.1 innings, fanning one and giving up two runs on five hits and three walks against Columbus on Thursday. Floyd is likely to replace David Hale in the Atlanta rotation, though Mike Minor will likely take a spot, likely Aaron Harang or Alex Wood is replaced rather than Floyd. Mixed: $1; NL: $4, (early spec bid). Jacob Turner, Marlins - Turner, sidelined since April 9 with a strained right shoulder, made his rehab start this week for High-A Jupiter. Look for him to make one or two more rehab outings, and as long as he has no setbacks, rejoin the Marlins' rotation sometime next week. Turner will replace Kevin Slowey when he comes back. Mixed: $1; NL: $4.

Relief Pitchers:

Carter Capps/Jose Dominguez/Jared Hughes/Brandon Kintzler/Chris Martin/Neil Ramirez/Zach Rosscup/Brian Schlitter - This week's middle reliever call ups/activations were in Miami, Los Angeles, Pittsburgh, Milwaukee, Colorado and Chicago (3x). Of the lot, all Capps could have value, since if he pitches well, he could factor into the late-inning mix in Miami and notch some holds. All but Capps - Mixed: No; NL: $0; Capps - Mixed: $0; NL: $2.

Daisuke Matsuzaka, Mets - Yes, that was none other than Matsuzaka notching the save Thursday. It was his first in the big leagues and first overall since 2000 when he was with the Seibu Lions. Manager Terry Collins indicated that he might use Dice-K to close a game and that chance came Thursday with Kyle Farnsworth unavailable. Collins saved after the game that Farnsworth is his closer but he might use Matsuzaka when Farnsworth is unavailable. That could be more often than expected as Farnsworth has had velocity issues and been seen holding and shaking his arm in the locker room, though he says he is fine. Dice-K is not all that enamored with closing, so it's possible that Collins next turns to Carlos Torres, who is one of four Mets with a save this year. In 5.1 innings of relief, Matsuzaka has allowed just one run on two hits with an uncharacteristic (given his control issues of the past) 8:2 K:BB. Keep a close eye on the situation, since any of Farnsworth, Matsuzaka or Torres could get the call when a save chance arises, with Farnsworth the first choice. Mixed: $2; NL: $7.

Mark Melancon/Tony Watson, Pirates - Thursday, I wrote the following for Melancon - “… if Jason Grilli's recent stretch of blown saves continues, Melancon could possibly see some save opportunities. Grilli has blown three saves, including back-to-back ones last weekend, thanks to Ryan Braun home runs on consecutive nights, manager Clint Hurdle could turn Melancon, who closed while Grilli was sidelined via injury last season…." Come Friday, Hurdle had little choice but to turn to Melancon, as Grilli landed on the 15-day DL, backdated to April 21, with a strained left oblique (of course I own him in the RotoWire Staff League). It's possible that Grilli misses the minimum, but oblique injuries are tricky, and since Hurdle knows he has someone who can fill the closer role in Melancon, along with others that can step up and pitch the eighth inning, so the Pirates can give Grilli as much time as he needs to heal. Watson, who notched a few saves and 22 holds last year, may be in the mix when a left-hander is needed out of the pen. Melancon - Mixed: $7; NL: owned, but if not, bid $18 now that he is closing, at least for the short-term; Watson - Mixed: $1; NL: $4.

Alex Torres, Padres - Torres quickly has become the main lefty in the pen for the Padres. With Huston Street and Joaquin Benoit ahead of him, Torres won't see many save chances, but he should be a nice source of holds with decent counting stats. Walks, which were an issue in the past but seemed to clear up when he was moved to the pen last year, has been a bug-a-boo this season, but that is the only chink in his armor right now. Mixed: $0; NL: $3.


Tucker Barnhart/Brayan Pena, Reds - Devin Mesoraco, one of the hottest hitters in the league, strained his left hamstring landing him on the DL. In his stead, the Reds called up Barnhart, who started the year in Cincy while Mesoraco was working his way back from his oblique injury. Pena, who had a nice season last year in Detroit, should see the majority of the time behind the plate while Mesoraco is sidelined. Barnhart - Mixed: No; NL: $0, Pena - Mixed: $1; NL: $4.

Yasmani Grandal, Padres - Grandal, profiled the first week of the season, is close to earning the full-time job behind the plate for San Diego. Grandal had a 2013 to forget, first starting the year with a 50-game suspension for PED use and then after playing 28 games he tore his ACL in July. Once he shows he can catch daily, that job will be his. He is still working his way back from ACL surgery in August, so it may take a few more weeks, but eventually the job will be his. How long he keeps that job will depend upon when uber-prospect Austin Hedges is viewed as being ready. Mixed: $3; NL: $9.

Tony Sanchez/Chris Stewart, Pirates - Russell Martin's lower leg woes of late finally landed him on the DL with a hip injury. To replace him, the Pirates promoted Sanchez, the fourth overall pick in 2009, and will go with him and Stewart behind the plate. Stewart is known for his defense while Sanchez has shown some decent flashes at the plate though don't expect much power. If betting on someone, go with Sanchez for the upside. Sanchez - Mixed: $2; NL: $7, Stewart - Mixed: No; NL: $2.

First Basemen:

Neftali Soto, Reds - Soto started Saturday against the Braves with Todd Frazier sidelined with leg tightness. Frazier was back in the lineup Sunday, so barring a setback this was a one-time start. Soto was originally a first baseman and hit 31 home runs in Double-A in 2011 before getting move across the diamond because Joey Votto blocked him. His inability to make consistent contact has dimmed his prospect status, but he does have some power potential. Mixed: No; NL: $2.

Second Base:

Alexi Amarista, Padres - Amarista is the primary beneficiary with Chase Headley's right calf injury landing him on the DL. Headley injured the same calf this spring training, sidelining him for a month, but this time he is only projected to miss 2-3 weeks. Look for Amarista, who in most leagues currently qualifies at second and in left, to play against righties and sit versus most lefties with Jedd Gyorko moving from second to third. Mixed: $1; NL: $4.

Charlie Culbertson, Rockies - Culbertson was called up this week to take the place of the injured Michael Cuddyer (hamstring) on the Rockies' roster. He will see time as a reserve middle infielder and possibly in the outfield while also getting the occasional pinch-hitting opportunity. Mixed: No; NL: $0.


Clint Barmes, Pirates -Jordy Mercer's slow start could cost him playing time to Barmes. Not that Barmes is a great option himself, but Pittsburgh doesn't have many options as Alen Hanson is only at Double-A Altoona and is not ready for a promotion. Maybe Pittsburgh can kick the tires and sign Stephen Drew to fill their gaping hole at shortstop, but that seems unlikely given their inactivity in the free agent market this offseason. Mixed: No; NL: $2.

Jeff Bianchi, Brewers - Bianchi is in line for a short-term bump in playing time after Jean Segura was accidentally hit in the head by Ryan Braun's bat while Braun was warming up in the dugout Saturday. As of now, Segura is not expected to land on the DL, but he will miss a few days at a minimum. Bianchi's best asset is his versatility - not his bat - so don't expect that much from him while he replaces Segura. Mixed: No; NL: $2.

Alex Guerrero, Dodgers - The Dodgers decided this spring that Guerrero, who they signed to a four-year $28 million deal this past winter, needed some minor-league seasoning. So far, so good for Guerrero, who has hit .467/.568/.900 his first nine games at Triple-A Albuquerque. With Dee Gordon posting a solid OBA and stealing bases and Juan Uribe also off to a hot start, Guerrero will need to bide his time in the minors, working on his defense. If he continues to rake, LA will find a place for him. Mixed: $1; NL: $4 (early spec bid).

Jace Peterson, Padres - Peterson was promoted to take the place of the injured Chase Headley on the Padres roster. It's a bit of a surprising move, as Peterson just started at Double-A this season, but he has shown a nice mix of speed and power in the minors, but speed is his best attribute. Peterson - a second round pick in 2011 - will mainly serve as a utility infielder, but if Alexi Amarista struggles, San Diego could elect to play Jedd Gyorko at third and possibly try Peterson at second base, even though he normally is a shortstop. Mixed: $0; NL: $2.

Injury activation/update - Rafael Furcal, Marlins - Furcal, profiled last week, gets another mention due to a mild change in his status. He opened the year on the DL - big surprise - due to a hamstring injury and is using all 20 days of the injury rehab stint. Furcal played his first contest at High-A Jupiter on April 14 and has progressed to Double-A Jacksonville on Monday. Furcal missed all of 2013 recovering from TJS and has struggled with his bat in the minors, prompting the full use of the 20 days. Miami could use his defense, as Derek Dietrich has done an excellent job filling in for Furcal at the plate but has had his difficulties in the field. Miami could give Dietrich time at third if Casey McGehee slows to make room for Furcal, who should start at second. Be aware that he left Friday's game with tightness in his right groin and did not play Saturday. Mixed: $1; NL: $4, early spec bid.

Third Basemen:

Freddy Galvis, Phillies - Galvis, profiled last week, continues to garner steady playing time in the Philly infield. With Cody Asche still struggling, Galvis started three straight games at third and then played Thursday at short to give Jimmy Rollins a rest and make the most of Galvis' strong defense. Galvis got another start at third Saturday but the downside is that Galvis' hitting is worse than Asche's, as he is down to .034 on the year. If Asche wakes or Maikel Franco gets hot, Galvis will resume his role as a utility infielder. Mixed: No; NL: $2.

Mike Olt, Cubs - Manager Rick Renteria said Tuesday evening that Olt will be the regular third baseman. Olt has shown power, but his contact skills leave a lot to be desired, making him a boom-or-bust player. In 2012, Olt looked like the next big thing at third, but that inability to make consistent contact, leading to lots of strikeouts has hampered him as he has moved up the ladder. Luis Valbuena is nothing special either, so if Olt slumps and Kris Bryant continues to rake, the Bryant-era could start in the near-term. For now, Olt will get a chance to show his power is real at this level. Mixed: $4; NL: $13 (upped value in NL-only leagues).


Bobby Abreu, Mets - Abreu, who signed a minor-league deal with New York on March 31, was called up from Triple-A Las Vegas on Monday after hitting .305/.489/.579 in 38 at-bats over 15 games for the 51s. He will be used as a lefty bat off the bench while seeing occasional starts in right field for the Mets, as he did Saturday when he contributed a home run. Mixed: No; NL: $2.

Brandon Barnes/Corey Dickerson, Rockies - Barnes gets his first mention, while Dickerson, profiled last week, gets another one as Michael Cuddyer's injured hamstring landed him on the DL. Barnes started two of the first three games with Cuddyer out while Dickerson went 3-for-4 in his first start and will likely see most of the time in right against righties with either Barnes or Drew Stubbs starting against lefties. If Carlos Gonzalez's knee tendinitis forces him out, Barnes, Dickerson and Stubbs all will see more time. The three would rotate at the two corner outfield spots and providing a power/speed combination. Barnes - Mixed: $0; NL: $3, Mixed: $2; NL: $7 (upped bid with Cuddyer on the DL and will start against righties, giving him edge).

Tony Campana/Cody Ross, Diamondbacks - With Mark Trumbo landing on the DL and out six weeks due to a stress fracture of the third metatarsal of his left foot and A.J Pollock dealing with a neck injury, Campana and Ross are in line for a lot more playing time. Campana could be a short-term source of steals, playing center with Geraldo Parra shifting to right for as long as Pollock is out. Ross, who was just activated off the DL last week after being out with a hip injury, could start daily in left field, unless Martin Prado pays there and Eric Chavez starts at third, which is a less likely possibility. Campana - Mixed: $1; NL: $4 (up a bit if Pollock lands on the DL); Ross - Mixed: $4; NL: $11.

Kevin Frandsen/Nate McLouth/Steve Souza, Nationals - With Bryce Harper landing on the DL due to his injured hand and Scott Hairston still working his way back from his injury, Frandsen, McLouth and Souza will likely split the playing time in left field. McLouth, seen in his splits last year, should be the primary option against righties while Frandsen will play versus lefties. Souza has a nice power and speed combination, seen in his 15 homers and 20 steals in 273 at-bats last year at Triple-A. If targeting one, grab McLouth, who has shown that he can make the most of additional playing time and is a decent source of stolen bases. Second for upside, might be Souza. Frandsen - Mixed: $0; NL: $2, McLouth - Mixed: $3: NL: $9, Souza - Mixed: $1; NL: $4.

Elian Herrera, Brewers - Ryan Braun's strained intercostal muscle likely means an uptick of playing time for Herrera, who should man right field with Logan Schafer on the DL. Herrera hasn't done much in the majors but put up some decent numbers in the offensively inflated PCL when a member of the Dodgers. Mixed: No; NL: $2.

Roger Kieschnick, Diamondbacks - Kieschnick was called up Thursday to replace Mark Trumbo (stress fracture/plantar fasciitis in foot) on the D-Backs active roster. Kieschnick has not done much in the past in the majors, seen in his .202/.295/.226 in 95 at-bats for SF last year, but he hit well as he usually does in the minors, posting a .281/.343/.531 line in 18 games for Triple-A Reno to earn the promotion. If Cody Ross is not ready for full-time duty, Kieschnick could see decent time in the outfield. Mixed: $0; NL: $3.

Juan C. Perez, Giants - Perez was called up this week to replace David Huff (quadriceps) on the active roster. He will once again serve as a pinch-hitter and reserve outfielder for the Giants. Mixed: No; NL: $0.

Stephen Piscotty, Cardinals - Pisciotty, selected 36th overall in the 2012 draft, continues to rake at the plate, something he has done quite well since he was drafted. There were some questions when Piscotty was drafted if he would be able to hit for power, which is the main tool he lacks, but he has shown that he will hit for average with the ability to drive in runs despite that lack of power. Piscotty has advanced step-by-step through the Cardinals' system and has taken his advanced hitting approach to Triple-A Memphis, posting a .338/.378/.481 line through Friday's game. He does not have the pedigree of Oscar Taveras, but could beat his more heralded prospect to the minors, seeing time at both corner outfield spots. Mixed: $1; NL: $4 (early spec bid).

Gregory Polanco, Pirates - The Polanco Watch may be approaching Defcon 1 status, as Polanco has been tearing up the minors, which has been noted by manager Clint Hurdle. It seems to be a matter of when not if Polanco will be promoted to take over in right field from Jose Tabata and Travis Snider. Power has been the last of his five tools to come and he hit his fourth home run of the season Thursday for Triple-A Indianapolis. He has a .420/.460/.579 line in 81 at-bats after batting .285/.356/.434 with 12 HR, 71 RBI and 37 SB between two levels last year. Polanco has shown he can hit lefties coupled with solid plate discipline, which are two reasons why he is a top prospect in the game. Pittsburgh could wait until the Super-2 deadline passes to promote him, but all signs point to him joining the Pirates sooner rather than later. Mixed: $3; NL: $9 (early spec bid).

Injury activation/update - Scott Hairston, Nationals - Hairston, on the disabled list since April 6 due to a left oblique strain, took batting practice Wednesday and Thursday. The plan is for him to take early BP on Friday and then regular BP and outfield drills Saturday. If he has no setbacks, a rehab stint will follow shortly thereafter and return to the Nationals, where he would resume his role as a utility outfielder and right-handed power bat off the bench.Mixed: No; NL: $2.Juan Lagares, Mets - Lagares, sidelined with a hamstring injury, started running at the Mets' Port St. Lucie complex this week. He is expected to be back when eligible on April 30. His role though is up in the air despite his hot start, as Chris Young has been activated off the DL. Manager Terry Collins will need to juggle Lagares, Young, Eric Young Jr., Curtis Granderson and Bobby Abreu for three spots. Lagares is the best defensively, so that should earn him solid playing time. Mixed: $3; NL: likely still owned. Cameron Maybin, Padres - Maybin, profiled last week, deserves another mention as he was activated from the DL on Sunday. His latest in a long line of injuries was a ruptured left biceps tendon on March 2 forcing him out to start the year. Even when healthy, his best year of recent memory was 2011, when he came to SD, so don't overrate him even when he does return, though he could be a decent source of steals. Mixed: $2; NL: $7 (slightly upped bid). Darin Ruf, Phillies - Ruf, who suffered a strained oblique late in spring training, has begun taking swings off a tee. The injury was expected to sideline Ruf 4-to-6 weeks, putting him back with the Phillies sometime in early-May. Assuming he has no setbacks, Ruf should be able to start a rehab assignment within the next week and could see time backing up first and both corner outfield spots, though it's possible he gets optioned down to Triple-A when he is activated. Mixed: No; NL: $0.