RotoWire Partners

FAAB Factor-NL: Bidding On Baez

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 - 8/10/14

Starting Pitching:

David Buchanan, Phillies - Buchanan, who made 10 starts for Philadelphia earlier this year, posting a 4.40 ERA, 1.28 WHIP and 39:17 K:BB over 59.1 innings, was called to fill the rotation spot of the injured Cliff Lee. Buchanan allowed three runs on nine hits while striking out five over 6.1 innings to pick up the win against the Astros on Wednesday and should remain in the rotation for at least a few more turns. Mixed: $1; NL: $4.

Anthony DeSclafani, Marlins - Miami called up DeSclafani for the fourth time this season Friday and was penciled into start Saturday for the Marlins. DeSclafani posted a 7.40 ERA and 1.48 WHIP over five previous starts in the big leagues this season; but had a 3.09 ERA and 1.15 in nine outings (eight starts) for Triple-A New Orleans after notching a 4.29 ERA and 38:10 K:BB in 42 innings for Double-A Jacksonville. DeSclafani, a sixth-round pick by the Blue Jays in the 2011 draft, could stick around for a while with Miami once again looking towards the future, but I have thought that in the past only to see him get sent back down. Mixed: $0; NL: $3.

Mike Fiers, Brewers - Fiers, called up to fill in for Matt Garza (15-day DL, August 4, oblique), allowed just one run on three hits while walking just one and striking out five in eight innings to earn the win against the Dodgers on Saturday. Fiers had a 2.55 ERA, 0.95 WHIP and 129:17 K:BB ratio over 102.1 innings in 17 starts at Triple-A Nashville but had to bide his time until a rotation slot opened. He doesn't overpower hitters, but changes speed and eye level effectively to keep batters off-balance. Fiers will start against the Cubs on Thursday and with Garza's expected to miss more than 15 days, he should get at least 1-2 more outings after that. Mixed: $1; NL: $4.

Roberto Hernandez, Dodgers - Hernandez gets another mention due to his move from Philly to LA. His overall record is just 6-8 with a 3.87 ERA. But he has a quality start in six of his last seven outings, allowing 15 earned runs in 47.2 innings and is 3-0 with a 1.88 ERA in his last four starts. Hernandez doesn't strike out many, but he has been good enough to provide solid innings lately and gets a boost with his moves to the Dodgers. Mixed: $3; NL: $9.

Shelby Miller, Cardinals - Miller, who had struggled and was moved to the pen, has come back with a vengeance since rejoining the Cardinals' rotation. Prior to the demotion, in 109 innings as a starter, Miller posted a 4.29 ERA and a 1.48 WHIP. In his three starts since coming back to the rotation, Miller has allowed five runs in 18.2 innings with a 12:1 K:BB to lower his ERA to 3.99 on the year, though he has allowed three home runs. Miller looks like the pitcher who got off to such a good start last year, so ride the wave while he is hot. Mixed: $11; NL: owned, but go $27 if not (though I admit I may be biased as own him in four leagues).

Franklin Morales, Rockies - Morales, who was moved back to the bullpen, rejoined the rotation to start Sunday against Arizona in the wake of Brett Anderson needing an MRI on his ailing back. The numbers you need to remember for Morales are his 5.08 ERA and 1.59 WHIP. Mixed: No; NL: $0.

Brad Penny, Marlins - Penny was called up to start Saturday with Henderson Alvarez on the disabled list with shoulder inflammation and Jacob Turner DFA'd and traded to Cubs. Penny allowed two runs (one earned) on four hits and four walks with three strikeouts to get the win over the Reds. Penny, who hasn't pitched in the majors since he was a reliever with the Giants for 22 games in 2012 (0-1, 6.11 ERA), went 2-2 with a 2.28 ERA and 1.287 WHIP in five starts and 27.2 innings at Triple-A New Orleans this season. This may be a one-time start for Penny, as Jarred Cosart (oblique) might be back Tuesday and Alvarez on Thursday, so monitor the status of those two pitchers closely. Mixed: $1; NL: $4.

Sean O'Sullivan, Phillies - O'Sullivan, who made one start for the Phillies in late-June and then was outrighted to the minors, got the call again this week when Roberto Hernandez was traded to LA. O'Sullivan started against Houston on Thursday, allowing five runs on seven hits and two walks with four strikeouts in six innings. With Cliff Lee possibly done for the year and Hernandez on the left coast, O'Sullivan could stick as the Phillies' fifth starter and will stay in the rotation for at least one more turn Tuesday. Mixed: $0; NL: $3.

Tsuyoshi Wada, Cubs - Wada has pitched well in four of his five starts since getting promoted from Triple-A Iowa on July 8, notching a 3.25 ERA, 1.23 WHIP and 8.1 K/9. With the acquisition of Jacob Turner, there is a logjam in the Cubs' rotation with six starters for five spots. Turner could go to the bullpen, or Chicago might move Travis Wood or Edwin Jackson, as neither has pitched well, but Wada - who allowed more than two runs in just of his five outings - should remain as one of the five starters. Mixed: $3; NL: $9.

Vance Worley, Pirates - Worley continues to roll, throwing another quality start Friday, which upped his record to 5-1 with a 2.30 ERA in his 9 starts. His numbers look even better after the All-Star Game, as he has posted a 0.96 ERA, 1.00 WHIP and 17:5 K:BB ratio in those four starts over 28 innings. There has been much speculation as to if Worley will keep his rotation spot when Gerrit Cole eventually returns, but given how well he has pitched, it would be very difficult to remove Worley, despite his lack of strikeouts, from the rotation. Mixed: $7; NL: $19.

Injury activation/updates:

Christian Bergman, Rockies - Bergman, who broke a bone near his thumb in late-June when he was hit by a line drive during a start, made his first rehab start on July 29. He made two starts at Double-A Tulsa and moved to Triple-A Colorado Springs, where he was capped at 90 pitches in his outing Friday. Bergman pitched well enough in the minors - 3.84 ERA, 1.16 WHIP, 5.8 K/9 - to get a promotion but had a 7.20 ERA in his three starts before getting injured. However, with Franklin Morales and Yohan Flande filling out the bottom two spots of the Rockies' rotation, and Colorado looking towards the future, Bergman should get a call up before too long. Mixed: $0; NL: $2.

Andrew Cashner, Padres - Cashner, on the 15-day DL with right shoulder soreness and who last started on June 19, made his first rehab start Friday at High-A Elsinore. He struck out three batters, didn't walk anyone and allowed one hit over two scoreless innings. Cashner threw 19 of his 24 pitches for strikes, though that pitch count is lower than expected, as it was first thought he might toss 30-40 pitches. He will continue his rehab Wednesday in Triple-A El Paso and likely will need one more rehab start after that before possibly rejoining the Padres on August 23.Mixed: $4; NL: $11.

Gerrit Cole, Pirates - Cole, who landed on the disabled list in June with a strained lat and returned too quickly, only to land back on the DL in early-July, made his first rehab start Monday, tossing five scoreless innings for Triple-A Indianapolis. He was supposed to make his second and final rehab start for Indy on Saturday but was scratched to work on some things in the bullpen. Cole made a rehab start for Indy on Tuesday, allowing five runs on 10 hits and a walk, while striking out three over 4.1 innings, The good news Cole will stay on turn starting Sunday, which might enable him tio rejoin the Pirates on Friday, though that could depend on how he pitches Sunday.

Felix Doubront, Cubs -Doubront, acquired from the Red Sox for a player to be named later and on the 15-day DL with a right calf strain, threw 88 pitches in a side session on Wednesday and could begin a rehab assignment next week. He is eligible to return on August 13, at which point he will either get a chance to start or work out of the bullpen. Doubront had thrown 59.1 innings over 17 games (10 starts) for the Red Sox, going 2-4 with a 6.07 ERA. GM Theo Epstein, who as Doubront's GM in Boston, hopes that Doubront will benefit from a chance of scenery and leagues, though that remains to be seen. Mixed: $0; NL: $3.

Jordan Lyles, Rockies - Lyles, out with a fractured left metacarpal suffered while covering the plate on June 4, made two first rehab starts and was activated to start Wednesday against the Cubs. He allowed four runs on six hits and a walk while striking out five over six innings in picking up the win. Lyles, who was 5-1 with a 3.52 ERA and 1.30 WHIP in 12 starts before being sidelined, should remain in the rotation the rest of the way, especially since it looks like Brett Anderson will be sidelined the remainder of the season. Mixed: $3; NL: $9.

Michael Wacha, Cardinals - Wacha, out with a stress reaction in his right shoulder since June 17, underwent another MRI on Monday, and the results must have been positive, as he began a throwing program Tuesday. This MRI came two weeks after the prior one, which enabled to increase his strength exercises. Wacha, who was placed on the 60-day DL, is eligible to and might return to the Cardinals in early-September, though it remains to be seen if he will be a starter or reliever following the acquisitions of John Lackey and Justin Masterson. Wacha got off to a great start, but clearly was hurting before he was sidelined, posting a 4.24 ERA in June, but could be back in about a month to help the Cardinals in their playoff push. Mixed: $3; NL: $9.

Relief Pitchers:

Pedro Baez/Andrew Chafin/Kevin Correia/Carlos Frias/Nick Greenwood/Juan Nicasio/Edgar Olmos/Matt Thornton - This week's middle reliever call ups/activations were in Los Angeles, Arizona, Los Angeles, St. Louis, Colorado, Miami and Washington. None have any substantial value, though Correia could get a few starts if Roberto Hernandez falters or the Dodgers decide to give any of their other four starters some rest down the stretch. All but Correia - Mixed: No; NL: $0; Correia - Mixed: $1; NL: $4.

Injury activation/updates:

Kyuji Fujikawa, Cubs - Fujikawa, who lasted only 12 innings before his elbow gave out, requiring Tommy John surgery last-June, rejoined the Cubs this week. He moved his rehab from rookie ball team to Low-A Kane County and then to Triple-A Iowa, where he tossed six scoreless innings in six appearances before getting activated. Fujikawa, who will need to prove he can pitch on consecutive days to stick in the majors, will serve as a set-up man and could possibly see some save chances. Mixed: $0; NL: $2.


Tucker Barnhart, Reds - Barnhart was called up for his fourth stint with the Reds with Brayan Pena dealing with hamstring tightness. Barhart, who went just 5-for-33 (.152 average) with one homer in 12 games during his prior three stints, will back up Devin Mesoraco while Pena heals. Mixed: No; NL: $0.

Injury activation/update:

First Basemen:

Ryan Howard, Phillies - Howard appeared on his way out of the City of Brotherly Love after getting benched for three straight games in late-July, but he has received a reprieve. Instead, it looks like Howard will be in the lineup nightly and won't be subject to a platoon. In addition, GM Ruben Amaro Jr. said he expects Howard to be the team's first baseman in 2015. Of course, part of that may be due to no team having interest and Howard having three years plus a $10 million buyout in 2017 left on the five-year, $125 million extension he signed in April 2010. Whatever the reason for the playing time, Howard could end up finishing his career as a lifelong Phillie.Mixed: $9 (in case he was waived); NL: owned.

Second Base:

Javier Baez, Cubs - The youth movement in Chicago continued Tuesday with the promotion of Baez, who should man second base the rest of the season. Baez, sitting at just .176 in May, turned it around at that point and finished at .260/.323/.510 with 23 home runs, 80 RBI and 16 steals in 104 games at Triple-A Iowa to earn the promotion following the trade of Emilio Bonifacio to the Braves. He improved in the final weeks at Iowa, reducing his errors at short and second while his bat was best when at the keystone spot, where he hit.339 with seven homers in 59 at-bats in 16 games. The one negative of Baez is his lack of plate discipline, as he struck out 30% of the time this year in the minors, a number that has risen the past several seasons. Expect lots of power but a healthy dose of strikeouts, which has been the case so far in the majors, but his middle infield eligibility greatly enhances his value.Mixed: $27; NL: $60.

Michael Martinez/Jayson Nix, Pirates - Neal Walker's back looks like it will land him on the disabled list, creating a huge hole at second base. Nix is starting at second base Sunday after Martinez got the nod Saturday, though Josh Harrison figures to see time at the position as well. If Harrison starts there, that means Travis Snider will likely be in the lineup daily with Andrew McCutchen still out and Starling Marte manning center. If looking at one of the two, go with Nix, though don't expect that much from him as well. Martinez - Mixed: No; NL: $0; Nix - Mixed: $0; NL: $2.

Joe Panik, Giants - Panik was promoted in late-June and was expected to be the starter moving forward for the Giants, He had moved quickly up the ladder, progressing from Low-A to Triple-A in just four seasons. Panik hit .321/.382/.447 with five home runs and 45 RBI over 293 at-bats with Triple-A Fresno this season to earn the promotion. Unfortunately, he struggled at the plate in the majors and lost his job to Dan Uggla and then looked to be in a platoon with Matt Duffy, who was called up on August 1. Duffy was sent down but brought back up when Brandon Belt landed on the DL, but Panik, who has been hot lately, should see all the action against righties, making him a viable, middle infield option. Mixed: $3; NL: $9.

Donovan Solano, Marlins - Solano, making his second start in four games at second base, went 1-for-3 with a run batted in Saturday and was in the starting lineup again Sunday. Jordany Valdespin seemed to have a hold on the keystone job, but is 1-for-his-last-16, opening the door for Solano to see some time. Mixed: $1; NL: $4.

Injury activation/update:

Cliff Pennington, Diamondbacks - Pennington, who underwent surgery for a torn ligament in his thumb on June 4, was activated off the disabled list Wednesday following a short rehab stint. Prior to being injured, he was batting .243 with six RBI in 83 at-bats over 33 games. Pennington is seeing time at shortstop with Didi Gregorius while Chris Owings is out and could see the occasional game at second and third, where he played Wednesday and Saturday, despite the callup of Jake Lamb. Mixed: $1; NL: $4.

Brandon Phillips, Reds - Phillips, on the disabled list after having surgery July 11 to repair a torn ligament in his left thumb, was cleared to swing a bat Thursday. That clearance came exactly a week after Phillips took ground balls for the first time since having the operation. The original estimated absence for Phillips when he was first hurt was 8-12 weeks but that was cut down to closer to six weeks and he hopes to back by the end of the month, which would be around that timeframe. Phillips, who is wearing a brace on that thumb, has stayed in shape despite the injury, so once he gets clearance to swing the bat, which will likely be in about two weeks, he might be back 10-14 days after that. Mixed: $3; NL: $9.


Darwin Barney/Miguel Rojas, Dodgers - Hanley Ramirez's side tightness landed him on the DL, leaving a hole at shortstop. Rojas and Justin Turner will likely see time at short with Barney backing up at second and short, where he has been playing at Triple-A since getting acquired by the Dodgers. We have seen what Barney and Rojas can do at the plate; so don't expect much from either of them. Barney - Mixed: No; NL: $0; Rojas - Mixed: $0; NL: $2.

Wilmer Flores, Mets - Flores, who hit .323/.367/.568 with 13 home runs in 44 games at Triple-A Las Vegas this season, will start to see more time at shortstop with the Mets looking towards 2015. Ruben Tejada season-long struggles continued in July, during which he has gone 16-for-85, has opened the door for Flores to get a chance at holding down the role.Mixed: $4; NL: $11.

Alex Guerrero, Dodgers - Guerrero moved steadily up the ladder in his rehab from the Miguel Olivo incident, ending up back at Albuquerque the last week of July. Hanley Ramirez's side tightness landed him on the DL, so Guerrero, who has 13 homers in 210 at-bats, could get the call to play shortstop. However, for now, Darwin Barney was called up, plus Miguel Rojas and Justin Turner will see time at short, leaving Guerrero in the minors for the time being. Mixed: $1; NL: $4.

Jose Peraza, Braves - There is some speculation that if Andrelton Simmons' ankle injury lands him on the disabled list, the Braves might promote Peraza from Double-A Mississippi. Peraza hit .342/.365/.454 with one homer, 27 RBI, 35 stolen bases and a 32:10 K:BB ratio over 304 plate appearances in 66 games with High-A Lynchburg while playing second base. Those numbers come on the heels of Peraza going 64-for-79 in steals along with a .341 OBA for Low-A Rome last year. Peraza was originally a shortstop but was moved to second due to Simmons. If he is not called up now, it's possible he will be a September promotion. Mixed: $1; NL: $4.

Injury activation/update:

Chris Owings, Diamondbacks - Owings, out since June 25 with a strained and slightly dislocated left shoulder, took 30-35 swings off a tee Thursday followed by 30 swings in the cage Saturday and is on track for a simulated game Friday. The additional good news is that Owings no longer was altering his swing to compensate for the injury, but was swinging normally. Owings, hitting .277 with six home runs before the injury, is likely at least a few weeks from returning, though no set timeframe for that has been established, but he looks to be headed in the right direction. Mixed: $1; NL: $4.

Troy Tulowitzki, Rockies - Tulowitzki, rehabbing a left hip flexor injury suffered July 19, went through a series of agility drills, working on his lateral movement, and took batting practice Friday. He felt no pain and was happy with his workout, continuing the progress he has made this last week. Tulo likely will need to show he can run with no discomfort and then could go out on a rehab assignment in about a week, though it's possible Colorado bypasses that altogether and just activates off the disabled list this week, though that appears unlikely.

Third Basemen:

Jake Lamb, Diamondbacks - Lamb, a sixth-round pick out of the University of Washington in 2012, was called up to the majors Thursday. When Martin Prado was traded on July 31, it looked like Lamb would be a September callup, but he beat that timetable by three weeks. Lamb batted .318/.399/.551 with 35 doubles, 14 homers and 79 RBI in 103 games at Double-A Mobile to earn a promotion August 1 to Triple-A Reno. He played just five games there before he earned the call up to the big leagues. Lamb looks to be the Diamondbacks' third baseman of the future, but for now, he may share time with Jordan Pacheco, though see the majority of the action at the hot corner. Mixed: $6; NL: $17.

Ed Lucas, Marlins - Lucas was called up for another stint in the Sunshine State. He takes the roster spot of and fills a similar role to Enrique Hernandez, who was optioned to Triple-A on Friday. Mixed: No; NL: $2.

Justin Turner, Dodgers - Turner, who has played all over the place in the infield, filled in at shortstop Friday after Hanley Ramirez left the game with side tightness. Miguel Rojas got the nod there Saturday, but Turner did pinch-hit and stay in the game at short, giving him 10 games there to go along with 12 at second and 41 at third. If Ramirez will be out a while, Alex Guerrero might get the call, though Turner will continue to see time at second, third and short. Mixed: $2; NL: owned.


Matt den Dekker, Mets - Den Dekker was recalled from Triple-A Las Vegas, where he was leading the Pacific Coast League in hitting, batting .334 along with superb defense in the outfield. He usually is a center fielder, but with Juan Lagares there, den Dekker will play left field in New York. The plan looks for to be for den Dekker to start against righties, who he torched to a .354/.416/.571 line with Las Vegas this season, while Eric Campbell or Eric Young Jr. will play against left-handed pitchers. Den Dekker will need to show that his improved strikeout and walk ratios are sustainable for him to have success in the majors. Mixed: $3; NL: $9.

Kirk Nieuwenhuis, Mets - With the Mets looking towards 2015, Nieuwenhuis, like Wilmer Flores, will start to see more playing time. Nieuwenhuis has shown he can be productive in spurts but has failed to string together a long-run of solid play. He gets another chance to prove he can be a cog in the lineup moving forward into next year, seeing time at all three outfield spots. Mixed: $1; NL: $4.

Xavier Paul, Diamondbacks - Arizona shuffled their bench Friday, calling up Paul while sending down Nick Ahmed. Paul hit.254/.316/.431 for Triple-A Norfolk but failed to get a promotion due to a crowded Baltimore outfield. He was released Sunday, signed with Arizona on Thursday and was added to the roster Friday, where he will be a backup outfielder. Mixed: No; NL: $0.

Steve Souza, Nationals - Souza, called up last Sunday to replace the injured Nate McLouth, could be one of the first outfielders off the bench, spelling Bryce Harper, Denard Span or Jayson Werth. Souza earned the promotion, posting a .352/.434/.599 line with 18 homers and 24 stolen bases, aided by a .393 BABIP but with excellent walk (12.7) and strikeout (17.7) ratios. On other teams, he might get a real chance at playing, but in Washington, he will just be a fourth or fifth outfielder. However, he injured his shoulder Friday and may land on the disabled list, replaced by Michael Taylor. Mixed: $0; NL: $2.

Michael Taylor, Nationals - Taylor hit .313/.396/.539 with 22 home runs and 34 steals for Double-A Harrisburg to earn a promotion to Triple-A Syracuse. Injuries to Steve Souza (shoulder) and Jason Werth (shoulder/ankle) will result in Taylor getting called up to the majors after just a week at Syracuse. Denard Span is locked into center field, so for now, Taylor could end up in right if Werth is sidelined. Span is a free agent after the season, so the Nationals might be getting an early look at the center fielder of the future, though Taylor needs to cut down his 29.5% strikeout rate from Double-A to succeed at this level. Mixed: $2; NL: $7.

Injury activation/update:

Michael Cuddyer, Rockies - Cuddyer, out with a fractured shoulder since June 6, suffered while diving for a groundball while playing third base, began a rehab assignment with rookie-level Grand Junction on Wednesday. The plan is for Cuddyer to play three games at that level, then move Double-A Tulsa, where he'll be slated to play in four more games. He will return to the Rockies around August 16-18, where he should play right field. Cuddyer, who is in the final year of the three-year, $31.5 million contract he signed with Colorado in December of 2011, could be dealt before August 31, if he shows he is healthy when he returns. Mixed: $5; NL: $14.

Cameron Maybin, Padres - Maybin, in the midst of a 25-game suspension for testing positive for amphetamines, will be eligible to play in five Minor League games before his suspension ends on Aug. 20. Following a solid 2011 campaign, Maybin has regressed since then, due to either poor play of injuries, which has been the case this season. Maybin has played just 62 games this season, batting just .247 with one homer, nine runs batted in and 18 runs. When he is eligible to come back, look for him to play center field almost daily, since he has two years remaining on the five-year, $25 million deal he signed in March 2012. Mixed: $1; NL: $4.

Angel Pagan, Giants - Pagan, out since June 14 with a bulging disk in his back that causes nerve issues in his leg, was activated off the disabled list Thursday, starting in center field while batting in his usual leadoff spot. He made slow progress, as he finally started taking swings two weeks ago, first off a tee and then soft-toss batting practice before advancing to a short rehab stint. That progress came after Pagan received an epidural injection in early-July following a setback while running. Pagan, who had a .307/.356/.411 slash line with 11 steals in 63 games prior to the back injury, should play daily, assuming he has no setbacks. Mixed: $11; NL: $27.

A.J. Pollock, Diamondbacks - Pollock, profiled a few weeks ago and who had successful surgery on June 2 to repair his broken hand, which occurred when he was hit by a Johnny Cueto pitch, began a rehab stint with the Diamondbacks' rookie-level affiliate on Thursday. He was originally expected to miss 10-12 weeks and said before starting his rehab assignment that he hoped to be back with the team on August 15, which would fall right in that outage range. Before going to the DL, Pollock, the team's starting center fielder, was batting .316/.366/.554 with six homers and 15 RBI in 52 games. Mixed: $4; NL: $11.