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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 - 6/1/14

Starting Pitching:

Josh Collmenter, Diamondbacks - Collmenter is coming off back-to-back stellar starts, including a three-hit shutout Thursday against the Reds, lowering his ERA to 3.34. He has a mediocre K/9 ratio at 5.5 and can be a dangerous option at Chase Field, due to his flyball tendencies, though he has induced more groundballs this year. In addition, his start Thursday came at home, and with Archie Bradley not yet back from his injury, Collmenter's spot in the Arizona rotation is fairly secure for now. Mixed: $1; NL: $4.

Jorge de la Rosa, Rockies - Despite his big year last season, de la Rosa got little fantasy love in many leagues. Whether it was because he pitched at Coors, the drop in his K rate or lack of belief that he could repeat that season again, his 16 wins, 3.49 ERA (3.76 FIP) and 2.9 WAR were pushed to the background. Boy, how wrong we were. After a slow start, he has won last six decisions, giving up only given up three-plus runs in one of his last seven starts while upping his K rate. Now that he is another year removed from Tommy John surgery, jump on board, if you haven't yet. Mixed: $18; NL: owned.

Daisuke Matsuzaka, Mets - Matsuzaka will start Wednesday against the Cubs following Rafael Montero's demotion the minors. Dice-K lost out on his bid to open the season in the rotation to Jenrry Mejia and began the season in the minors. Since rejoining the Mets, he has mainly pitched out of bullpen, though was solid in a spot start against Arizona last Sunday. This season, he has posted a 2.45 ERA in 29.1 innings, including an inning Saturday, so we will need to see if that impacts his start Wednesday. Mixed: $1; NL: $4.

Yusmeiro Petit, Giants - Petit made his fifth start of the season Saturday in place of the injured Matt Cain. He gave up one run on two hits while striking out five and walking one against the Cardinals in a losing effort Saturday. Prior to that outing, Petit, 3-2 with a 5.08 ERA, had struggled as a starter since tossing six scoreless innings in his first start of the season, posting an ERA of 7.08 in that role compared to 2.89 in 10 relief appearances. Cain is expected back Friday, but if he is scratched for some reason, Petit should once again stand in for him. Mixed: $0; NL: $2.

Injury activation/updates:

Chad Billingsley, Dodgers - Billingsley's journey back from Tommy John surgery was interrupted by a bout of elbow tendinitis that has sidelined him since early April. He is inching his way back, throwing a simulated game Thursday. Billingsley will either throw another sim game or advance right to a rehab assignment. With all five starters in the Los Angeles rotation pitching well, Billingsley may be used as a reliever when he rejoins the team. Mixed: $0; NL: $2 (early spec bid).

Andrew Cashner, Padres - Cashner, who landed on the disabled list on May 17 with soreness and inflammation in his elbow, tossed another pain-free bullpen session Friday. In this one, as opposed to his first one Tuesday when he threw just fastballs, Cashner added in sliders. Cashner is slated to throw a simulated game Monday, and as long as he has no setbacks, he will be activated without making any rehab starts. He has altered the grip on his slider - the pitch that caused the discomfort in his elbow - and so far so good. The big tests will be when he pitches in the simulated and then regular season game, but it looks as if he may have averted a major injury. Mixed: $5; NL: $14 (in case he was waived due to the injury).

Mat Latos, Reds - Latos continues to progress in his road to recovery from the strained flexor mass in his pitching arm. He went 4.2 scoreless innings in a Triple-A rehab start Friday, tossing 81 pitches and topping out at 95 mph. Latos is throwing all of his pitches, fastball, sliders and change-ups and will make another rehab start this week. After which, he may be activated to face the Dodgers in the second week of June.Who he replaces is up in the air, but Tony Cingrani could be the odd man out if Alfredo Simon continues to pitch well. Mixed: $4; NL: $11 (upped early spec bid, to go higher as he inches closer to returning).

Relief Pitchers:

Vic Black/Arquimedes Caminero/Buddy Carlyle/Justin de Fratus/Dana Eveland/Shae Simmons - This week's middle reliever call ups/activations were in New York, Miami, New York, Philadelphia, New York and Atlanta. None, save for Black, has any significant fantasy value. If Black, who had a 1.45 ERA and eight saves but an 18:17 K:BB ratio in Triple-A Las Vegas, can improve his control, which has been an age-old issue for him, he could be a decent source of strikeouts and maybe holds setting up Jenrry Mejia. All except for Black - Mixed: No; NL: $0; Black - Mixed: $0; NL: $3.

Jason Grilli, Pirates - Grili, profiled two weeks ago, gets another mention as he has made a relatively seamless transition back to closing, Since getting activated on May 23, Grilli has pitched four innings without allowing a run, while notching three saves. Mark Melancon did a fine job replacing Grilli, as he did last year while he was injured, but manager Clint Hurdle has turned back to Grilli as his final link in the bullpen. Grilli should rack up save and strikeouts with a solid ERA and WHIP for Pittsburgh.Mixed: $18; NL: owned.

Injury activation/update -

J.J. Putz, Diamondbacks - Putz, on the disabled list since May 4 with right forearm tightness, threw 24 pitches in a simulated game Friday. He should throw another simulated game Monday and then appear in back-to-back games towards the latter part of the week. Assuming he has no setbacks, the next step would be a rehab stint, which would enable him to possibly rejoin Arizona in mid-to-late June where he could set up Addison Reed. Mixed: $0; NL: $2.

Catchers:

Drew Butera/Tim Fedorowicz, Doders - A.J. Ellis landed on the disabled list with a sprained right ankle suffered in the celebration of Josh Beckett's no-hitter due to Butera's discarded mask. In his absence, Butera and Fedorowicz will split time behind the plate with Butera likely to see most of the action. If Ellis' injury is revealed to keep him out long-term, the Dodgers could explore adding a catcher via trade, but for now, it will be a two-headed mediocre pairing at catcher. Butera - Mixed: $0; NL: $3; Fedorowicz - Mixed: No; NL: $0.

Jeff Mathis/J.T. Realmuto, Marlins - Jarrod Saltalamacchia landed on the disabled list Sunday with a concussion, leaving the catching duties in Miami to Mathis and Realmuto, who was called up to replace Saltalamacchia on the active roster. You know what you get out of Mathis, but Realmuto has regained some of the prospect status he lost last season, when he had a poor season at Double-A Jacksonville, batting just .239/.310/.353 over 416 plate appearances and seeing his power dip for the second straight season. Realmuto has hit .301/.364/.503 with 22 extra-base hits over 46 games with Jacksonville this season and should see some action behind the plate for the Marlins until Saltalamacchia is able to return. Mixed: $0; NL: $3.

Hector Sanchez, Giants - Sanchez started his fourth straight game Saturday with Buster Posey dealing with nerve-irritation in his lower back. The Giants haven't ruled out a DL stint for Posey, which would open up a couple weeks of playing time for Sanchez. He is been productive while in the lineup, driving in 21 runs in 98 at-bats, despite hitting just .227. Mixed: $0; NL: $3.

Injury activation/update:

Travis d'Arnaud, Mets - D'Arnaud was activated from the disabled list Thursday after missing about two weeks with a concussion. Prior to getting injured, he was hitting just .196/.274/.314, including 4-for-27 since May 2. The time off due to the injury hasn't helped him, as he has gone just 2-for-10 with an RBI and two strikeouts before sitting Saturday. D'Arnaud put up impressive Triple-A numbers but hasn't yet translated that success to the major leagues, as there are strong doubts about his ability to catch up to good fastballs due to the wrap in his swing. He still should see more time than Anthony Recker, but Kevin Plawecki could end up the Mets' catcher of the future. Mixed: $2; NL: $7 (in case he was waived due to his slump and injury and you believe he can turn it around).

First Basemen:

Nick Evans, Diamondbacks - Evans batted .335 with 11 homers and 44 RBI at Triple-A Reno, to earn a call up to Arizona this week. Before you get excited, he is blocked by Paul Goldschmidt and posted those numbers in the offensively inflated Pacific Coast League. Evans might see the occasional game at the corner infield or outfield spots, but don't expect much from him. Mixed: No; NL: $0.

Tommy Medica, Padres - Medica, who excelled last season, first with Triple-A El Paso and then with the Padres, opened the year in San Diego but hit just .161 in 31 at-bats with the team before he was sent to El Paso last month. He didn't do much there to earn a promotion, batting .213 with three home runs and 18 RBIs in 89 at-bats, yet was called up Sunday with Carlos Quentin dealing with a groin injury. The promotion seems to have woken up Medica's bat, as he is 8-for-12 with a pair of home runs and five RBI. If he stays hot, it's possible he gets rewarded with more time at first time. Mixed: $1; NL: $4.

Injury activation/update:

Mark Trumbo, Diamondbacks - Trumbo, out since April 23 with a stress fracture to his third metatarsal in his left foot, was supposed to be back the first week of July. The good news is that Trumbo is making better than expected progress and could be back the third week of June. Trumbo is playing catch and taking swings off a tee and will look to escalate his baseball activities this week. (Just an FYI as still should be owned in all leagues, if not, bid high on him due to the power).

Second Base:

Ehire Adrianza, Giants - Adrianza started back-to-back games this week and could be in line for more time against righties, as regular starter Brandon Hicks has done most of his damage versus lefties and is a poor defender. Adrianza, a switch-hitter, is know as a good-glove, no-hit player, so even if he does, don't expect much offensively. Mixed: No; NL: $0.

Irving Falu, Brewers - Falu was called up from Triple-A Nashville on Monday, taking the roster spot of Jeff Bianchi. Falu provides infield depth, mainly at second and third, as well as some speed off the bench for the Brewers. Mixed: No; NL: $0.

Cesar Hernandez, Phillies -Hernandez, profiled last week, and Reid Brignac will split time at third base while Code Asche (hamstring) is on the disabled list. The Phillies have decided not to promote Maikel Franco from Triple-A Lehigh Valley, believing that he needs more seasoning there. In addition, Asche is only expected to miss two weeks, and while he is out, look for Hernandez to see most of the playing time. When Asche returns, Hernandez will see time at second and third base. Mixed: $0; NL: $3.

Tommy La Stella, Braves - The Braves finally tired of seeing Dan Uggla and Tyler Pastornicky try to man second base, calling up La Stella this week. La Stella doesn't steal bases or hit for much power, but his 136:102 BB:K ratio in 1,196 minor-league appearances evidence how strong his plate discipline and patience are. He is a contact hitter who gets on base regularly, seen in his .322 batting average and .408 on-base percentage over his four seasons in the minors. Atlanta would be ecstatic if he could come close to those numbers in the majors and look for him to get a realistic shot at holding down the spot. Mixed: $2; NL: $7.

Shortstops:

Reid Brignac, Phillies - Brignac and Cesar Hernandez, profiled last week, will split time at third base while Cody Asche (hamstring) is on the disabled list. The Phillies have decided not to promote Maikel Franco from Triple-A Lehigh Valley, believing that he needs more seasoning there. In addition, Asche is only expected to miss two weeks, and while he is out, look for Hernandez to see most of the playing time, relegating Brignac to back up duty. Mixed: No; NL: $0.

Third Basemen:

Charlie Culbertson, Rockies - Culbertson, profiled last week, gets another mention, as it looked he would be the starter at the hot corner with Nolan Arenado out. It was initially thought that DJ LeMahieu would move over from second to third base in the wake of Arenado's absence, but that does not look to be the case with Culbertson starting seven straight games at third through Friday. However, he went just 4-for-22 in those starts and manager Walt Weiss started Michael Cuddyer at third base Saturday and Sunday. If this move sticks, it would allow Weiss to play Corey Dickerson and Drew Stubbs more in the outfield, and could open the door for Cuddyer to gain eligibility at another position. If this does happen, Culbertson will just be a bench player, but this shift is not set in stone and since Cuddyer hasn't played third since 2010 and was never a great fielder there, don't bail on Culbertson yet. Mixed: $3; NL: $11 (slightly upped bid from last week, though ignore if Cuddyer sticks at third).

Injury activation/update:

Aramis Ramirez, Brewers - Ramirez, out since May 11 with a strained left hamstring, is inching closer to returning. He is slated to begin a rehab assignment Sunday at Low-A Wisconsin, where he will also play Monday. Assuming he has no setbacks, Ramirez hopes to return to Milwaukee either Wednesday or Thursday. He will resume playing third base regularly upon his return, but Carlos Gomez has thrived in the cleanup spot in Ramirez's absence, so it remains to be seen where he will hit in the order, which could mildly, adversely impact his value. Just an FYI as should be owned in all leagues

Ryan Zimmerman, Nationals - Zimmerman, sidelined since fracturing his right thumb on April 12, started a minor-league rehab stint at Low-A Potomac on Friday. On Saturday, he played left field. During the remainder of his rehab stint, Zimmerman will play left field, first base and third base in preparation of him likely seeing time at all three spots when he rejoins the Nationals. Just an FYI as he should be owned in all leagues, but bid the max if he was waived for some reason.

Outfielders:

Bobby Abreu, Mets - Abreu has seen more action lately, making the most of it, improving his average to .320 by going 2-for-4 Saturday. With Chris Young struggling mightily and Eric Young, Jr. on the disabled list, manager Terry Collins has started Abreu five of the past seven games, during which he has gone 9-for-20 while also stealing the 400th base of his career. The Mets are desperate for offense, and even though Abreu has slowed a bit and struggles in the outfield, Collins will likely keep writing Abreu's name in the lineup. Mixed: $1; NL: $4.

Matt den Dekker, Mets - Den Decker was promoted from Triple-A Las Vegas on Monday to replace Eric Young Jr., who landed on the disabled list with a pulled hamstring. Den Decker, who was hitting .269 at Triple-A Las Vegas with four homers and 26 RBI in 171 at-bats this season, is an excellent defensive outfielder but struggles with his plate discipline and contact ratio. He was mildly better this season and likely won't see much time in New York. Mixed: No; NL: $2.

Randall Grichuk, Cardinals - Grichuk, who went 3-for-21 in nine games with the Cardinals earlier this year, was recalled from Triple-A Memphis on Friday. St. Louis wasted little time getting back in the lineup, starting him in center field and batting him second later that day. Grichuk hit .315 with 10 homers in 41 games with Memphis to earn the second shot and figures to see time in center field as well as in right while Matt Adams (calf) is sidelined, relegating Peter Bourjos and Jon Jay to spot duty. Mixed: $2; NL: $7 (up the bid if you think he sticks this time).

Matt Kemp, Dodgers - Kemp, who had sat out five straight games, received a new leash on life due to the injury to Carl Crawford's ankle. The injury is expected to sideline Crawford “for a while,” meaning that Kemp should play daily in left field. Kemp last played the position his rookie year, but with his range and explosion not the same since his ankle surgery, left field is likely a better fit for him now. Prior to Crawford's injury, Kemp was batting .248/.310.427 with five home runs and five stolen bases in 157 at-bats, numbers that leave a lot to be desired. However, from April 30 to May 13, Kemp played pretty much every day and batted .345, so maybe the regular playing time will jumpstart his bat, though that was not the case his first three starts, but he went 2-for-4 with a run scored and pair of RBI on Saturday. Mixed: $8; NL: $22 (on the hopes he turns back the clock with regular playing time).

Juan C. Perez, Giants - Perez was promoted to make his third appearance with the Giants this year with Matt Cain (hamstring) landing on the disabled list. Perez, just 1-for-20 with the big club so far this season, likely will be sent back down when Cain is activated. Mixed: No; NL: $0.

Joc Peterson, Dodgers - Even though Jamie Romak got the call up with Carl Crawford landing on the disabled list, there is still a possibility that Peterson gets a look. Peterson has a .337/.443/.618 line with 15 home runs, 33 RBI and 13 steals for Triple-A Albuquerque. In addition, he's on the 40-man roster and plays a solid center field, so if Andre Ethier struggles and LA doesn't believe Matt Kemp could move from left to center, Peterson could get the call. Mixed: $1; NL: $4 (pure spec bid).

Jamie Romak, Dodgers - Romak was called up for the first time to the majors with Carl Crawford landing on the disabled list. Romak hit .272/.354/.578 with 13 homers and 30 RBI over 48 games at Triple-A Albuquerque, but he is only a bench bat with the Dodgers, as Matt Kemp is playing left field in place of Crawford. Mixed: No; NL: $0.

Nate Schierholtz, Cubs - Schierholtz got off to a horrific start but he shown signs of life lately. While he is hitting just .201, Schierholtz hit his first two home runs of the season this past week and could see consistent playing time, especially against right-handed starters. Mixed: $3; NL: $9.

Skip Schumaker, Reds - Schumaker started in left field both Friday and Saturday in place of the slumping Ryan Ludwick. No word has been given if this a permanent or even semi-permanent change, but as Ludwick hit just .219 with two extra-base hits in May, he may be relegated to the short end of a platoon with the left-handed-swinging Schumaker. That said, don't overrate your expectations from Schumaker. Mixed: No; NL: $2.

Oscar Taveras, Cardinals - Taveras, profiled by Jeff Erickson last week as a potential call-up, got the nod this week as Matt Adams's injured left calf landed him on the disabled list. Taveras was batting .325/.373/.524 with seven home runs and 40 RBI for Triple-A Memphis and had been particularly hot lately, batting .462 his last 10 games before the promotion. He hit sixth and played right field in his major-league debut, blasting his first career home run against Yusmeiro Petit. Taveras can also play center field, with Peter Bourjos landing on the bench, but should see most of his time in right while Allen Craig moves to first. If Taveras can stay hot, manager Mike Matheny will have a difficult choice to make when Adams is healthy enough to return as to who plays and if Taveras gets sent back down. For now, ride him, as he plays daily. Mixed: $8; NL: $22 (upped bid).

Injury activation/update:

Justin Ruggiano, Cubs - Ruggiano, sidelined with a Grade 2 strained left hamstring since April 23, was activated Monday. Hehad a big spring, hitting .300 and has a power-speed combination, but looks to be in a platoon once again in Chicago, sharing time with Junior Lake, Emilio Bonifacio and Nate Schierholtz in the outfield). Mixed: $1; NL: $4.