Carlos Carrasco, Indians - In his two starts since rejoining the Indians rotation Carrasco has pitched a total of 12 innings with no earned runs, only five hits allowed, no walks, and nine strikeouts. It's pretty tough to argue with those results, though his track record as a starter says otherwise, as he has a 5.39 ERA (4.39 FIP) over 258.2 IP. For now, he's an intriguing option that should be owned in all AL only formats. This coming week he gets the Astros at home, a team that strikes out more than the average AL only opponent. Those in mixed leagues can take a more wait and see approach. It's worth noting that his velocity was much higher in his last two starts (around 96 mph) in comparison to when he was a starter earlier this season (around 93 mph). Mixed: $3; AL: $12.
Derek Holland, Rangers - Holland won't be back up until rosters expand in September. Frustrating as that is, it's not exactly like he's ready to rejoin the team right now, as he hasn't yet reached four innings in a start yet in the minors. In his last start, which came at Triple-A Round Rock, he threw 3.2 innings with four strikeouts, two walks and one earned run. Hopefully he's built up his pitch count, so by the time September comes around he can be eligible for some wins when he joins the Rangers. Last season he had a 3.42 ERA (3.44 FIP) with 189 strikeouts and 64 walks over 213 IP. Mixed: $1; AL: $4.
Brett Oberholtzer, Astros - Do you own Oberholtzer in your mixed league? You should. Between last season and this one, he's pitched 169 innings with a 3.25 ERA (3.57 FIP), 107 strikeouts, and 35 walks as a starter. The strikeout rate isn't impressive, but the control is and it's tough to argue with the results, as he has a 2.84 ERA (3.36 FIP) over his last 10 starts. This coming week he gets two starts, one against the Yankees and the other against the Indians, both on the road. Mixed: $8; AL: Owned.
Michael Pineda, Yankees - Pineda returned to the Yankees rotation this week, after dealing with a back injury. He went five innings with one earned run on two hits, no walks and four strikeouts. It wasn't a quality start by the definition, but all things considered, an outstanding return performance. On the season he has a 1.82 ERA (2.48 FIP) with 19 strikeouts and three walks over 24.2 IP. His velocity still isn't back up to the high 90s like it was when he was with the Mariners, but that may never happen again after his shoulder injuries. For now, he's pitching around 92 mph and looking to go deeper into games. This coming week he gets the Astros at home. Mixed: $6; AL: $20.
Robbie Ray, Tigers - With Anibal Sanchez (chest) landing on the DL, Ray was called up from Triple-A Toledo this week to start against the Pirates on the road and he delivered five innings, allowing four earned runs on six hits, two walks and five strikeouts. At Toledo this season he had a 3.72 ERA (3.97 FIP) with 71 strikeouts and 40 walks over 96.2 IP. He's tough to recommend after his rough start and he doesn't appear to be fairing any better this Sunday against the Mariners. Still, he's on a team battling for a playoff spot with a good offense behind him, so he might be of some value in AL only formats, until Sanchez is back or someone like Buck Farmer is brought back up and takes his spot. This coming week he'll get the Twins on the road. Mixed: $1; AL: $4.
Danny Salazar, Indians - Salazar is set to rejoin the Indians rotation this Sunday after spending 10 days down in the minors. He'll be facing a feisty Orioles lineup, one that is sure to give him a nice test. When he was up last, around late July to early August, he made four starts with a 3.68 ERA (3.27 FIP), 22 strikeouts, and six walks over 22 innings. The strikeouts are no surprise and he won three of those games, but he overall needs to show more consistency from start to start. This coming week he faces the Astros at home. Mixed: $6; AL: $20.
Taijuan Walker, Mariners - Since going back down to the minors after his last major league start on July 23, Walker has looked bad, awful, fantastic, and then great. His roller coaster season is on a high note right now, coming off those last two starts, where he pitched a combined 13 innings with 22 strikeouts and four walks with only two earned runs allowed. Despite the dominance, he needs to pitch deeper into games overall. Still, with these two recent performances under his belt, it won't be long before he's back in the majors. There are no clear spots for him open in the rotation as of today, but when that changes, we'll see Walker. If nothing else, he will certainly be with the team in September. Mixed: $1; AL: $5.
Wade Davis, Royals - Greg Holland admitted that he's been dealing with fatigue as of late, which is concerning for the AL leader in saves. He's pitched in back-to-back games twice in his last four outings; all save opportunities he's converted. There's no worry, at least not yet, that he'll need any time off, but it would make sense for the team to give him some extra rest if possible. In the short-term Davis could see some extra save opportunities, as he has an excellent 0.84 ERA (1.35 FIP) with 82 strikeouts and 20 walks over 53.1 IP this season. I wouldn't go rushing to the waiver wire to get Davis in a mixed league; it's just something to consider if you're a Holland owner or speculating for saves. Mixed: $1; AL: $5.
Curt Casali, Rays - Casali has started five of the last seven games behind the dish for the Rays. In doing so, he hit two doubles this week, as he went 5-for-18 with four runs. Overall, he hasn't done much since coming up a month ago, as you'll notice in his .186 batting average. Between Double-A Montgomery and Triple-A Durham earlier this season, he hit .261/.392/.381 with five home runs over 145 PA. Find a place for him in AL only formats, as he appears to be splitting duties, if not getting the majority of starts for the Rays right now. Mixed: $1; AL: $4.
David Ross, Red Sox - Ross is slated to come off the DL on Monday after dealing with an injured heel. He's been out of action since the start of this month and should go back to handling back-up duties behind Christian Vazquez upon his return. He comes back to a .192/.255/.384 batting line with six home runs over 139 PA. He's somewhat useful in AL only formats that use two catchers. Mixed: No; AL: $2.
Ryan Flaherty, Orioles - Flaherty has seen the most time at third base for the O's, now that Manny Machado (knee) is on the DL. Flaherty hasn't done much to inspire confidence in him offensively this season, as his batting line sits at a meager .197/.260/.308 and he has five home runs over 228 PA. Still, he appears to be in line to get a short-term bump in value while he picks up more at-bats. Fortunately for the Orioles, Machado isn't seriously hurt and should be back by the end of this month. Mixed: $1; AL: $4.
Nate Freiman, A's - Freiman was recalled from Triple-A Sacramento two weeks ago and since then has been pretty quiet, though he did hit his second home run of the season this week. As a RHB, he's slated to be in the lineup most nights against LHP, which plays to his strengths but leaves him out of the lineup often. For his career, he's a .288/.333/.463 hitter with six home runs over 192 PA against LHPs. In AL only formats he's someone to consider as a corner bat, but even then he'd need some sort of injury to have real value down the stretch. Mixed: No; AL: $3.
Zach Walters, Indians - Walters went 2-for-4 in two games this week, hitting a home run in each of them, as he continues to bounce around defensively. So far with his new team (previously with the Nationals), he's played in left field and hit DH, though he's also spent time this season at second, third and shortstop. He was called up last week to take the roster spot of Nick Swisher as he deals with a knee injury that has plagued him for much of the season. It's quite possible that Swisher will be lost for the remainder of the season, which would leave Walters with clearer path to consistent playing time. For now he needs to be owned in more AL only formats and in deep mixed leagues. This season between Triple-A Syracuse and Columbus, he hit .310/.361/.619 with 17 home runs over 292 PA. Mixed: $2; AL: $7.
Christian Colon, Royals - Colon went 3-for-4 in a game this week and stole the first base of his career in the same game. So far in 11 games he's been used sparingly, but has done well to hit for average, batting .385, and avoid striking out, with only two strikeouts in 26 at-bats. Consistent playing time has been hard to come by, but one figures he'll continue to show up in the lineup more often if he continues to hit. For now, he's an interesting middle infield option in most AL only formats. At Triple-A Omaha this season he hit .311/.366/.433 with eight home runs and 15 stolen bases over 388 PA. Mixed: $1; AL: $4.
Logan Forsythe, Rays - Forsythe has started three of the last five games at second base for the Rays as he has become a more and more common fixture in their lineup as of late. This week he went 3-for-4 with a home run in a game, as the Rays continue to look for offensive help, anywhere they can find it, as they continue to scrap for the second wild card spot in the AL. On the season Forsythe has hit .276/.328/.467 against LHPs with four home runs over 117 PA. He should continue to at least see playing time against them moving forward, which gives him some value in AL only formats as a semi-regular. Mixed: $2; AL: $7.
Francisco Lindor, Indians - We're not to September yet, but when we get there it's likely that we see Lindor up from Triple-A Columbus and given an audition to see what he can do at the MLB level. He's slated to be the team's shortstop of the future, so the promotion makes a fair bit of sense, though he has struggled at Columbus with a .238/.279/.343 batting line that includes three home runs and three stolen bases over 113 PA. In a redraft league he's worth keeping an eye on, as he should get some serious playing time, but in keeper leagues you'll want to really go after him, as he's the future of the franchise. For now, make a small bid on him, if you think you'll need his services down the stretch. At Double-A Akron this season he hit .278/.352/.389 with six home runs and 25 stolen bases over 387 PA. He's only 20 years old. Mixed: $1; AL: $4.
Eric Sogard & Andy Parrino, A's - With Jed Lowrie (finger) landing on the DL on Friday, Sogard and Parrino are expected to share starts at shortstop in the interim. Sogard hasn't done much offensively this season, hitting .214/.298/.270 with one home run and 10 stolen bases over 245 PA. His stock really doesn't go up that much, as he was already getting semi-regular playing time and as you can tell from those numbers, not doing much of anything with it. As for Parrino, he got promoted from Triple-A Sacramento, where he hit .286/.363/.404 with seven home runs and seven stolen bases over 422 PA. He has taken Lowrie's roster spot and will likely steal playing time from Sogard, while he's up. Neither Sogard, no Parrino is a great option offensively, but for now Parrino seems like the lesser of two evils. Both Mixed: $1; AL: $4.
Michael Bourn, Indians - Bourn was activated from the DL on Friday after dealing with a hamstring injury that kept him out since early July. He did not play in the game on Friday, but did play Saturday with a walk and run scored in three plate appearances. He should go back to seeing regular time in center field, where he was Saturday, and hitting leadoff, where hit on Saturday, fairly soon, once he can show he's got his legs underneath him and can handle starting back-to-back games without any hiccups. On the season he's hit .265/.316/.376 with three home runs and seven stolen bases over 313 PA. He needs to be owned in all leagues and formats. Mixed: $6; AL: $20.
Avisail Garcia, White Sox - Thought to be lost for the season, Garcia was activated from the DL on Saturday after dealing with a shoulder injury that has kept him out since early April. In his first game back he went 2-for-4 with a double, RBI, and a run scored from the clean-up spot in the lineup. In his rehab assignment he hit .340/.377/.460 with one home run over 53 PA, so he appears ready to contribute right away. Last season with the Tigers and White Sox, he hit .283 with seven home runs and three stolen bases over 256 PA. The 23-year old needs to be owned in all leagues now that he's back healthy. Mixed: $6; AL: $20.
Robbie Grossman, Astros - Grossman has hit leadoff for the Astros in their last eight games, bumping up his value in mixed leagues, where he's likely still available. Over the last month, he's hit .253/.380/.374 with three home runs and 12 runs scored over 99 PA. The OBP makes sense to hit him leadoff, though it's still somewhat of a stretch, given his career .332 OBP. For now though, he should see increased opportunities to score more runs. Mixed: $4; AL: Owned.
Brandon Guyer, Rays - Guyer hit a home run and stole two bases this week, as he continues to be in and out of the lineup for the Rays. Over the last week, he's gone 5-for-17 with the home run, two stolen bases, and four runs scored. As a RHB, he's done great against LHP this season, batting .342/.405/.421 over 86 PA. It's a small sample size, but might lead to him being used against RHP more often, though that's Matt Joyce's territory. Mixed: $1; AL: $4.
Jake Marisnick, Astros - Marisnick went 10-for-28 this week with his first home run of the season and three runs scored. Since joining the Astros he has hit .293/.311/.397 over 61 PA. With George Springer (quad) still a couple weeks away from rejoining the team, Marisnick should continue to find steady playing time, even with Dexter Fowler back this week. At Triple-A New Orleans this season with the Marlins, Marisnick hit .277/.326/.434 with 10 home runs and 24 stolen bases over 377 PA. Mixed: $2; AL: $7.
Wil Myers, Rays - Myers is expected to rejoin the Rays sometime this coming week, as he finally puts his wrist injury behind him. He's at Triple-A Durham right now, where he has gone 5-for-17 with a double, home run, and three stolen bases over 22 PA. It's tough to say what owners should expect from him, since he wasn't producing earlier this season when he was healthy, as he hit .227/.313/.354 with five home runs and three stolen bases over 224 PA. The fact that he's already hit a home run on his rehab assignment is encouraging as a hitter's power can be slow to come back after suffering a wrist injury. He needs to be owned in all AL only formats and most mixed leagues. Only 23-years old, he was the AL Rookie of the Year last season, when he hit .293/.354/.478 with 13 home runs and five stolen bases over 373 PA. Mixed: $5; AL: $15.
Jordan Schafer, Twins - Schafer has been a kleptomaniac as of late, with six stolen bases over his last 10 games, all since joining the Twins. He has a .321/.387/.393 batting line with his new team, which has kept his bat in the lineup as he usually doesn't hit for such a high average, as his career .225 batting average shows. Until he stops hitting and stealing bases, he needs to be owned in all AL only and most mixed league formats. There's no reason he can't continue to steal bases, even if he's used as a pinch runner, once his bat cools. Mixed: $3; AL: $12.
Note: If you have anyone else you'd like me to discuss, just drop a line in the comments section.