FAAB Factor - NL: Rehabbing Outfielders

FAAB Factor - NL: Rehabbing Outfielders

This article is part of our NL FAAB Factor series.

National League - FAAB - 5/26/13

Thanks to David for more than ably filling in for me last week. Happy birthday to my daughter Kyra (Monday) and anniversary to my wife Rachel (Wednesday).

Starting Pitching:

Archie Bradley, Diamondbacks - Bradley went six scoreless innings in Friday's 6-2 win over Double-A Mississippi. He yielded just two hits, struck out five and walked five, while lowering his ERA to a ridiculous 0.69. Bradley improved to 4-0 on the season with Double-A Mobile. Through 10 games between High-A Visalia and Double-A Mobile, he has been absolutely filthy, striking out twice as many batters as hits allowed. As long as he continues to pitch like this, there is no way the Diamondbacks can keep him from at least moving up to Triple-A Reno. The Diamondbacks have stated that they would like to give Bradley another full year in the minors before bringing him up but that may be tough, especially if one of Arizona's current starters falter. He throws a mid-90s fastball along with a devastating curveball and changeup and has proven capable of getting a significant number of his outs on the ground (1.82 GO/AO) and subsequently, keeps the ball in the park (0.45 HR/9). Keep Bradley on your radar come July and August because he is a special talent that could make an immediate impact to your fantasy team. Mixed: $1; NL: $4 (very early speculative bid and go much, much higher in keeper leagues).

Nathan Eovaldi, Marlins - Eovaldi,

National League - FAAB - 5/26/13

Thanks to David for more than ably filling in for me last week. Happy birthday to my daughter Kyra (Monday) and anniversary to my wife Rachel (Wednesday).

Starting Pitching:

Archie Bradley, Diamondbacks - Bradley went six scoreless innings in Friday's 6-2 win over Double-A Mississippi. He yielded just two hits, struck out five and walked five, while lowering his ERA to a ridiculous 0.69. Bradley improved to 4-0 on the season with Double-A Mobile. Through 10 games between High-A Visalia and Double-A Mobile, he has been absolutely filthy, striking out twice as many batters as hits allowed. As long as he continues to pitch like this, there is no way the Diamondbacks can keep him from at least moving up to Triple-A Reno. The Diamondbacks have stated that they would like to give Bradley another full year in the minors before bringing him up but that may be tough, especially if one of Arizona's current starters falter. He throws a mid-90s fastball along with a devastating curveball and changeup and has proven capable of getting a significant number of his outs on the ground (1.82 GO/AO) and subsequently, keeps the ball in the park (0.45 HR/9). Keep Bradley on your radar come July and August because he is a special talent that could make an immediate impact to your fantasy team. Mixed: $1; NL: $4 (very early speculative bid and go much, much higher in keeper leagues).

Nathan Eovaldi, Marlins - Eovaldi, profiled two weeks ago, began a rehab assignment Saturday with High-A Jupiter where he struck out five over five innings. He posted mediocre results including a 4.15 ERA and 1.47 WHIP over his first 56.1 innings pitched for LA last year before being shipped to Miami in the Hanley Ramirez trade. Eovaldi showed flashes over the second half with the Marlins, but struggled with his command to the tune of a 44:27 K:BB that accompanied a 4.43 ERA and 1.54 WHIP for his new club. Like Henderson Alvarez, Eovaldi was penciled into the Miami rotation, but he too landed on the DL just before the same with a shoulder injury that was supposed to keep him out a month. He will need to increase his pitch count gradually over the course of what will likely be a lengthy rehab assignment, but a return by late June still seems like a possibility. Mixed: $1; NL: $4 (early speculative bid).

Mike Fiers/Alfredo Figaro, Brewers - Fiers has been used out of the bullpen since being recalled May 12, but he jumped back into the rotation and started Saturday for the first time since April 6 with Kyle Lohse missing the start due to inflammation in his right elbow. Fiers has posted a 3.11 ERA this season as a reliever, but he struggled as a starter for the big club dating back to last year. Those struggles continued on Saturday, as Fiers lasted just four innings against the Pirates, allowing four runs on five hits, including three homers, and no walks while striking out five in the loss. Lohse is expected to miss just one start, but it's possible that Fiers, despite the so-so outing, could end up filling in for the injured Hiram Burgos' next turn in the rotation after Tuesday's start. Figaro will start Tuesday against the Twins if not needed in relief before then. Unless the Brewers are forced to use Figaro out of the bullpen in the coming days, the right-hander will toe the rubber Tuesday in place of Hiram Burgos, who hit the DL on Friday with a shoulder impingement. Figaro, who last started in the majors with Detroit in 2010, went a season-high 3.1 innings in his last appearance, so it's hard to imagine him going beyond five innings Tuesday, but the team had little choice with Fiers already filling in for Lohse on Saturday. Fiers -Mixed: $1; NL: $4; Figaro - Mixed: No; NL: $2.

Joe Kelly, Cardinals - Coming into Saturday's game, Kelly had struggled in 2013, allowing 24 hits and 12 earned runs in 14.2 innings pitched while not pitching since May 18. That changed Saturday, as Kelly relieved John Gast, who lasted just six batters before leaving with shoulder tightness. Kelly had his longest outing of the year, allowing two runs on five hits and a walk while striking out six in 62 pitches over three innings. Kelly started 16 games for the Cardinals last year and threw eight in relief, where he was far more successful. In 91.1 innings as a starter, he had a respectable 3.74 ERA but a not-as-respectable 1.41 WHIP and 59:32 K:BB. Meanwhile, as a reliever, he threw 15.2 innings and finished with a 2.30 ERA, 1.21 WHIP and 16:4 K:BB ratio. Manager Mike Matheny may not have a choice but to start Kelly since Trevor Rosenthal is not stretch out, Tyler Lyons is already up and the team may not be ready to promote Michael Wacha. Mixed: $1; NL: $4.

Mike Kickham, Giants - Kickham is one of the candidates to take Ryan Vogelsong's (hand) spot in the rotation Tuesday. The big lefty hasn't put up great numbers at Triple-A Fresno this year (4.33 ERA, 1.48 WHIP, 54:22 K:BB), but the organization feels that he is the closest to being ready to face major league hitters right now. Kickham was drafted in the sixth round of the 2010 MLB draft and sports a plus fastball (92-94 MPH), a plus slider, a curveball, and a change. His main flaw is the lack of command of his pitches. There is still no official word on who will take over the Giants' fifth starter spot, but it is safe to say that Kickham is being strongly considered. Mixed: $0; NL: $3.

Ted Lilly, Dodgers - Lilly, who made two starts before being sidelined with tightness in his back in late-April, was activated off the DL and started Saturday. He allowed just two runs - one earned - on two hits with three strikeouts over 5.1 innings. Before injuring his shoulder last year, Lilly had a 3.14 ERA, though given the regression in both his strikeout (5.7 K/9) and walk rates (3.5 BB/9) compared to 2011 (7.4 and 2.4 respectively), it's possible he was hurting before hitting the disabled list. He has posted an ERA under four the past four years and should benefit from once again pitching at Chavez Ravine, as he did last year before he was sidelined. Mixed: $3; NL: $9

Jeff Locke, Pirates - Locke improved his record on the year to 5-1 with six shutout innings against the Brewers on Saturday. He allowed three hits and three walks while striking out seven. Since taking the loss to the Dodgers back on April 7, Locke has come out on top in his last five decisions. The 25-year-old left-hander is now riding a 13-inning scoreless streak, and opponents are batting just .209 against him for the season. Locke, using his 94 mph fastball, did post a 2.48 ERA and 131:43 K:BB ratio for Triple-A Indianapolis in 2012 but struggled in his stint with the parent club. As seen above, that has not be the case this year and he seems to have locked down a rotation spot even though Charlie Morton and Jeff Karstens will be back soon. Mixed: $4; NL: $11 (in case he is available).

Tyler Lyons, Cardinals - Lyons picked up a win in his major league debut, tossing seven innings of one-run ball while striking out seven against the Padres on Wednesday. Lyons was called up to start in place of Jaime Garcia (shoulder), who is done for the year. He needed just 81 pitches to get through seven innings Wednesday. It was expected that he would be sent back down with Jake Westbrook (elbow) returning soon. However, Westbrook had a setback during his bullpen session Wednesday, so he may not be returning after all, and Chris Carpenter is having the pace of his possible return slowed after a setback as well. That news, coupled with this strong performance will likely earn Lyons, who posted a 4.47 ERA at Triple-A Memphis, the opportunity to make another start, which would come next Tuesday against the Royals. Mixed: $1; NL: $4.

Brandon McCarthy, Diamondbacks - McCarthy continued his recent resurgence by giving up just one run on five hits and two walks with two strikeouts over seven innings to beat the Padres on Friday. Coming into the game, he had a 17-inning scoreless streak, which was stopped at a career-best 18 after he allowed an RBI single to Yonder Alonso in the second, but that turned out to be the only blemish on the night. He has now thrown four consecutive quality starts, allowing only 1 earned run in his last 24 innings, although with just 12 strikeouts. That subpar K:IP and high contact rates make this type of success unsustainable, but he still should be a solid, mid-tier starter. Mixed: $5; NL: $14 (in case he was waived during his early-season struggles).

James McDonald, Pirates - McDonald, out with shoulder inflammation since May 1, completed a successful side session Friday and is expected to make a rehab start Monday at Double-A Altoona. It should only take one rehab start for McDonald, who produced a 5.76 ERA and 25:20 K:BB in six starts before he was sidelined, to be activated from the DL and returned to the rotation. He reported that the ball came out of his hand well during Friday's session and continues to progress well from the injury. Mixed: $2; NL: $7.

Charlie Morton, Pirates - Morton (TJS) will make two rehab starts (Sunday and again on May 31) before replacing Jeanmar Gomez in the Pirates' rotation. Before getting injured last year, Morton registered a 4.65 ERA and 1.45 WHIP in 50.1 innings. When he's on top of his games, the right-hander utilizes a sinking fastball that seemingly coaxes groundballs at will. The problems are that he does not record a lot of strikeouts and he at times struggles with his command, leading to a high-walk total. Mixed: $0; NL: $3 (bid to rise slightly when he returns).

Chris Narveson, Brewers - Narveson, sidelined since April 8 with a sprained left middle finger, will be stretched out as a starter when he begins his rehab assignment next week. After facing live hitters Friday for the first time since his injury, Narveson plans to throw one more extended mound session Monday before embarking on a rehab assignment. The decision to start Narveson in the bullpen this season was meant to protect the left-hander's surgically repaired shoulder, but recent injuries to the Brewers' rotation led the team to decide to stretch him back out into a starter. It will be a process, and Narveson, who made just two starts last year before suffering the shoulder injury, is still weeks away from a return to big-league rotation, but he'll get started with two innings in his first rehab start next week. Mixed: $1; NL: $4 (early speculative bid).

Jimmy Nelson, Brewers - Nelson struck out seven batters and allowed two earned runs over seven innings in a game with Double-A Huntsville on Thursday. Nelson recovered from a poor start his previous time out with a strong effort Thursday. Through 10 starts this season he is 5-3 with a 2.98 ERA, 1.10 WHIP, and 55:12 K:BB ratio in 54.1 innings. Nelson has not been going very deep into games, but with several of the Brewers' starters struggling, and the team's best options at Triple-A doing the same, consider Nelson a dark horse candidate for a spot in the big league rotation at some point this summer. Nelson took a major step forward last year at High-A Brevard County and Huntsville and has clearly built off that success this season. (a name to keep in mind)

Ricky Nolasco, Marlins - Nolasco's fine season has likely been lost in what has been a nightmarish season to date for the Marlins. Nolasco held the White Sox to one run on eight hits over 7.2 innings Saturday, lowering his ERA to 3.65 for the year, but he did not factor into the decision. He struck out six of the 30 batters he faced without walking a man, but the Marlins' offense could not eke out a run against opposing starter Jake Peavy until the ninth inning. Nolasco has thrown at least seven innings in three of his five May starts, and he boasts a 35:5 K:BB on the month. In the past, Nolasco was viewed as a sabermetrics darling but his stats did not match the hype. This year, he has raised his K rate and lower his BB rate while also having a FIP lower than his ERA for the fifth straight season. Mixed: $11; NL: owned but believe in the performance as it's not just a mirage.

Tyler Skaggs, Diamondbacks - Skaggs will be called up and start Monday's first game of a doubleheader with the Rangers. Ian Kennedy was expected to get the start for Game 1, but he will now be pushed back after developing a lacerated index finger in his most recent outing, opening the start for Skaggs. Since he's likely to be the team's designated 26th player during the doubleheader, Skaggs figures to be sent down immediately following the Monday start. Skaggs received six starts for the D-Backs last year and failed to earn a rotation spot this spring. He has struggled at Triple-A but put it all together in his last start, and since he would be on turn, he gets the call up. If Kennedy's finger sidelines him longer than the one start, Skaggs could stick around. If not, as mentioned above, he will get sent back down. Mixed: $0; NL: $3 (go slightly higher if believe he gets more than one start).

Zack Wheeler, Mets - Wheeler returned after missing one start due to inflammation in the AC joint in his shoulder and was eased back into action. Following the start, news filtered out that Wheeler could be called up to the majors after making 2-3 more starts at Triple-A Las Vegas with June 12 a possible target date, though that could depend on when the Super Two arbitration cut-off date is. Wheeler has not delivered amazing results (3-1, 3.91 ERA) this season, but by all accounts, he possesses the sort of stuff that is ready for the big leagues. His fastball was clocked at up to 100 miles per hour during his most recent start, allowing him to strike out over a batter per inning this season. Wheeler usually has a mid-90s fastball that tops out at 98 along with a mid-80s slider and developing changeup. In addition, he has a nasty and bulldog mentality on the mound. When he is called up, Wheeler will join Matt Harvey and Jon Niese in the Mets' rotation, and his upside is one reason why their fanbase is hopeful for the future. Mixed: $3; NL: $9 (early spec bid to rise as he gets closer to promotion).

Covered last week - Tyler Chatwood, Rockies - called up last week to fill in for the injured Jeff Francis and dominated in two starts against the Giants. He is now 3-0 but his peripherals other than GB ratio are weak, but he is still worth a look if available in your leagues, Mixed: $2; NL: $7.

Injury activation - Clayton Richard, Padres - (intestinal virus, should start Monday)

Relief Pitchers:

Mike Adams/Rafael Dolis/Tom Gorzelanny/Donovan Hand/Tom Layne/Manny Parra/Sandy Rosario/Michael Stutes - This week's middle reliever call ups/acquisitions were in Philadelphia, Chicago, Milwaukee (2x), San Diego, Cincinnati, San Francisco and Philadelphia. The only one on this list to have some fantasy value is Adams, who should notch holds setting up Jonathan Papelbon. All except Adams -Mixed: No; NL: $0; Admas - Mixed: $0; NL: $2.

John Axford/Mike Gonzalez/Francisco Rodriguez, Brewers -Jim Henderson, who had been stellar since taking over as closer for Axford, left Friday's game with a strained right hamstring that will sidelined him for several weeks. Rodriguez was summoned instead of Axford and earned the save while Brandon Kintzler and Gonzalez combined for a scoreless eighth. Axford lost the closer role with some abominable pitching but has been better lately, making five straight scoreless appearances but he is not that far removed from his prior meltdowns. Gonzalez's overall WHIP of 1.71 is not pretty, but he too has been better of late and also has closer experience. K-Rod doesn't have the fastball he used to have, as he now tops out around 90 mph, and has shown he can close. In terms of pecking order, it's likely Rodriguez, Axford and then Gonzalez, if a lefty is at the plate. Axford -Mixed: $2; NL: $7; Gonzalez - Mixed: $0; NL: $3; Rodriguez - Mixed: $3; NL: $9.

Rex Brothers, Rockies - Brothers converted his first save of the season Wednesday filling in for Rafael Betancourt, who was sidelined with a strained groin. Betancourt returned to action Saturday, but blew the save, allowing a two-run inside-the-park home run from Angel Pagan. It's possible he is still dealing with injury and if that's the case, Brothers should see more closing opportunities. Even if he doesn't, Brothers has been stellar this season, posting a 0.42 ERA along with 21 strikeouts and eight walks in 21.1 innings. Colorado is off to a strong start, which has halted the rumors that Betancourt will be dealt. If that does occur, Brothers is now prominently in the mix to potentially replace him, as he was a few years ago. Mixed: $2; NL: $7.

Mike Dunn/Chad Qualls/A.J. Ramos/Ryan Webb, Marlins -Steve Cishek has struggled this year, prompting manager Mike Redmond to remark earlier this past week that he will use all of his relievers to close out games for the near future. That said, Cishek did not pitch in the Marlins extra-innings loss to the White Sox on Friday. The non-appearance is notable due to the fact that Redman deployed Ramos, Dunn, Qualls and Webb in relief with the game tied on the road. The usage pattern suggests that, even with his recent struggles, Cishek remains the most trusted arm in the Marlins closer committee. Had a save opportunity emerged on Friday evening, Cishek, in all likelihood, would have gotten the ball. That said, if Cishek struggles again, one of the aforementioned relievers could get the call with Dunn pitching the best this year, Qualls having prior closing experience, Ramos with the most future upside and Webb scuffling a bit lately after a very hot start. Dunn -Mixed: $1; NL: $4; Qualls - Mixed: $0; NL: $3; Ramos - Mixed: $1; NL: $4; Webb  - Mixed: $0; NL:$3.


Erik Kratz/Humberto Quintero, Phillies - Kratz will see the majority of the starts behind the plate for the Phillies over the next three to four weeks while Carlos Ruiz is sidelined with a Grade 2 strain of his right hamstring. Kratz started most of the first month of the season while Ruiz was fulfilling his 25-game suspension for taking Adderall. He did not due much with that playing time; so don't expect massive numbers this time. Quintero was called up from Triple-A Lehigh Valley to replace Ruiz on the active roster and will back up Kratz. Kratz - Mixed: $1; NL: $4; Quintero - Mixed: No; NL: $0.

Covered last week - Yasmani Grandal, Padres (returns from 50-game PED suspension on Tuesday, Mixed: $4; NL: $13)

First Basemen:

Corey Hart, Brewers - Hart, profiled three weeks ago, gets another mention as he could begin a rehab assignment the first week of June. He was able to run and take batting practice earlier this week, and is hoping to increase his participation in pregame workouts over the next week or so. While Hart will not be ready to come off the disabled list when first eligible May 30, it is possible he could head out on a rehab assignment shortly after that. He is anticipating a 10-day minor league stint before being ready for big league action, so if all goes according to plan, he is on track to join the Brewers sometime in mid June. Hart, who moved from right field to first base in May after Mat Gamel was injured, tallied 30 home runs last season and finally settled into the fifth spot in the batting order, where he is ideally suited. Hart has averaged 29 home runs the last three seasons, and while he does not provide speed like he did in the past, he is a good bet to produce in the power categories again, especially playing for another big contract in 2014. Mixed: $5; NL: $14 (bid to rise substantially as he gets closer to returning).

Zach Lutz/Josh Satin, Mets - With Ike Davis suffering through a nightmarish campaign and seemingly constantly on the verge of a demotion, the big question is who would replace him at first base. Lucas Duda's name has come up, but the Mets want him to play left field daily, rather than shifting back and forth between first and the outfield. In addition, with the Mets outfield struggling to produce, moving Duda won't help that position. Daniel Murphy, who has been tearing it up since moving to the leadoff spot and has played first in the past, has been mentioned as well. Shifting him there would allow Jordany Valdespin to play second daily, but given how comfortable Murphy is now at second base and how hot he has been at the plate, that options seems remote as well. Justin Turner has played some first base but he is not a true first baseman or long-term option. Andrew Brown could get a look but he is not a first baseman, which leaves Lutz and Satin. Lutz has shown he can hit but has been injury-prone, which has retarded his development. He is more of a third baseman but could fill in at first and is on the 40-man roster. Satin, who is not on the 40-man roster, has been playing first base nearly every day and is posting a solid line in the minors. Wilmer Flores saw a game at first earlier this week, so he is not a consideration. If you are handicapping it, look for the Mets to add Satin to the 40-man roster and call him up, but if they opt not to, then Lutz will get the call. Lutz - Mixed: $0; NL: $2; Satin - Mixed: $1; NL: $4.

Joe Mahoney/Logan Morrison, Marlins - Mahoney, out since April 29 with a strained hamstring, had his rehab stint moved to Triple-A New Orleans this past weekend, He lasted less than two weeks on the Marlins' roster after beginning the season on the DL with an oblique injury. Morrison, currently on the 60-day DL rehabbing from offseason knee surgery, is likely to move his rehab assignment to Double-A Jacksonville on Monday. Last year, Morrison hit .310 in April before sputtering through the summer and eventually being forced to the DL with a knee injury that required the September surgery; the same knee that gave him trouble down the stretch in 2011. The expectation is that Morrison will start at first base while Mahoney fills a bench role. That could change as the Marlins have the option of playing LoMo in left field, shifting Juan Pierre to center, sitting the slumping Justin Ruggiano and playing Mahoney or Casey Kotchman at first, but that is an unlikely scenario. Mahoney - Mixed: No; NL: $2; Morrison - Mixed: $3; NL: $9 (bid to rise slightly when he returns).

Brett Pill, Giants - Pill was recalled from Triple-A Fresno on Tuesday. Pill was optioned back to Fresno last Saturday, but upon his return, he supplies depth at first base, with the possibility of manning left field. In 137 at-bats at Fresno this season, he slashed an impressive .365/.407/.679 with nine homers, 47 RBI and 27 runs scored. Mixed: No; NL: $2

Second Base:

Freddy Galvis/Michael Martinez, Phillies - Galvis has taken over starting duties at second base with Chase Utley on the disabled list with a rib/oblique injury. Utley will miss at least two weeks of action allowing Galvis to get regular at-bats. He is hitting .275 with three home runs and a stolen base in 69 at-bats this season seeing time at second, third, short and the outfield. Martinez was called up from Triple-A Lehigh Valley on Thursday to replace Utley. In 31 games primarily played at the shortstop position this season with Triple-A, Martinez has hit .226/.297/.274 with 12 RBI and three stolen bases. In addition to playing both middle infield spots he also has experience at third base and has spent limited time in all three-outfield spots, which will be his role in Philadelphia.  Galvis -Mixed: $2; NL: $7 (rise in value); Martinez - Mixed: No; NL: $0.

Aaron Hill, Diamondbacks - Hill, out since mid-April with a broken left hand, could begin a strengthening program as early as next week. The Diamondbacks second baseman is expected to see a team physician Monday or Tuesday and if all goes well, Hill could begin a strengthening program by next week. This would be a big step in the rehab process and could lead to a Triple-A assignment by the end of May and return by mid-June. Until Hill returns, the Diamondbacks will continue to use the trio of Martin Prado, Josh Wilson and Cliff Pennington to cover his second-base duties. (Just an FYI, as still should be owned in all leagues.)

D.J. LeMahieu, Rockies - Following the demotion of Josh Rutledge to Triple-A Colorado Springs on Wednesday, LeMahieu has assumed regular starting duty at second base. LeMahieu proved to be an exceptional defender at second base last season, a far cry from the somewhat erratic Rutledge, a converted shortstop. While he doesn't have the power and speed upside of Rutledge, LeMahieu matured as a hitter late last season and carried that approach over to Triple-A to begin 2013, batting .364 over 143 at-bats before earning his call-up. Nearly all of his fantasy value will reside in his batting average. Mixed: $1; NL: $4.

Steve Lombardozzi, Nationals -Danny Espinosa has been playing with a small fracture in his right wrist since last month, and while no surgery is planned as of now, he will take several days off. In addition to the fracture, which is of most concern to the Nationals, Espinosa reportedly also has a bone chip in his right hand and a torn right rotator cuff. The broken wrist, which occurred when Espinosa was hit by a pitch from Atlanta's Paul Maholm in April, is not believed to require surgery, but the 26-year-old will cease baseball activities for a few days in hopes that he gets better. He is not expected to land on the DL, but in the meanwhile Lombardozzi will continue filling in at second and would see a major spike in value if Espinosa is placed on the disabled list. That said, Lombardozzi hasn't done much with the PT afforded to him by Espinosa's and Jayson Werth's injuries, so don't overrate. Mixed: $1; NL: $4

Donovan Solano, Marlins - Solano, out with a sore oblique since May 3, will report to extended spring training Monday. This will be the first part of a rehab process that should involve minor league action. Derek Dietrich has been a capable replacement at second for the past few weeks, but Solano would likely have priority on his old job. Mixed: $1; NL: $4.


Willie Bloomquist, Diamondbacks - Bloomquist, sidelined since the late spring training with a strained oblique, went 2-for-4 with four RBI and a run scored in his first start for Triple-A Reno on Friday. He was eligible to be activated on May 24th so a few more games like this and he should be back on the active roster by the first week of June. Playing time will be hard to come by with Didi Gregorius firmly entrenched at shortstop, however he could see some time at second base because both Cliff Pennington and Josh Wilson have struggled at the plate this season. Mixed: $0; NL: $3.

John McDonald - McDonald, out since mid-May with back/elbow injuries, will begin a rehab assignment with Triple-A Indianapolis on Monday. He will be reevaluated after playing in four games, two each at second base and shortstop. McDonald will likely work in a utility infielder role when he rejoins the Pirates. Mixed: No; NL: $0.

Hanley Ramirez, Dodgers - Ramirez is performing just about the full extent of baseball activities as he looks to return from his left hamstring injury, so it looks like he'll begin the rehab assignment beginning next week. While Ramirez has been positive about his recovery, Mattingly indicated that Ramirez's return wasn't "as close as it may look," so he may still be on his assignment by the time the calendar turns to June. When he was first sidelined in early-May, the estimated absence was pegged at 4-to-6 weeks, so Hanley's return should be towards the tail end of that. He lasted just four games in his return from his thumb injury, so look for the Dodgers to make sure he is 100% before activating him. After looking like he was on a pace to Cooperstown, Ramirez struggled the past two seasons, though he did go 24-21 with 92 RBI last season, though with a .322 OPS. A healthy and happy Ramirez should post big numbers when he returns. Mixed: $22; NL: $55 (in case he is still available due to landing back on the DL in his original return).

Third Basemen:

Jerry Hairston Jr., Dodgers - Hairston, on the 15-day DL since May 6 with a strained groin, began his rehab assignment on Friday with High-A Rancho Cucamonga. He figures to advance his rehab to either Double-A or Triple-A for a game or two and is a candidate to be activated from the DL at some point next week. Hairston figures to assume a utility role, seeing time all over the infield and in the outfield, when he returns to action. Mixed: $0; NL: $3.

Anthony Rendon, Nationals - While Rendon is currently not a candidate to play second base for the Nationals for the injured Danny Espinosa, if Espinosa's fractured right wrist sidelines him long-term that could change. Rendon was just moved to second base at Double-A Harrisburg earlier in the week, so Steve Lombardozzi will serve as the Nat' second baseman while Espinosa's on the mend. It's hard to ignore the video game numbers Rendon has posted (.330/.473/.635 in 148 plate appearances) since getting sent back down to Harrisburg, so if the Nats' offense continues to misfire, it wouldn't be a surprise to see the club find a way to get Rendon in the lineup. That will not happen right now, especially with Rendon out after recently having his wisdom teeth removed, but once he returns, if he shows he can second base, a call up could occur in June. Mixed: $2; NL: $7 (early spec bid)


Jordan Brown, Marlins - The Marlins purchased the contract of Brown from Triple-A New Orleans on Monday. With Matt Diaz placed on the 15-day DL with a bone contusion in his left knee, Brown took his spot on the big league roster. Brown posted a slash line of .246/.293/.316 in 114 at-bats for Triple-A New Orleans this season and will see minimal at-bats for the Marlins. Mixed: No; NL: $0.

Cameron Maybin, Padres - Maybin, whop has been sidelined with an impingement to his right wrist since mid-April and was profiled two weeks ago, gets another mention as he began a rehab stint with Triple-A Tucson on Friday. Maybin's wrist has healed enough to allow him to resume swinging a bat, so he'll test himself in a few minor league games to ensure he's not still experiencing issues while batting. With Chris Denorfia and Will Venable providing serviceable production in center field for the most part in his stead, Maybin may be pushed for regular playing time when he comes back. Maybin, who was just 3-for-33 in his 10 games this season, had a so-so 2012, but was better in the second half after making a change in his batting stance, which enabled him to make better contact. Mixed: $3; NL: $11 (early spec bid)

Geraldo Parra/A.J. Pollock Diamondbacks - Parra will continue to benefit from the absence of Adam Eaton (elbow) and should continue to see plenty of leadoff at-bats for the Diamondbacks. Parra for his career has hit right-handed pitching much better than southpaws. However, this season he has for the most part held his own, batting .259 compared to .318 against right-handed pitchers. The good news for Parra is that he will continue to see leadoff at-bats as he is on the strong side of the platoon with Pollock, who will see most if his playing time against left-handed pitchers. Parra has done everything right this season, including showing a strong eye at the plate and contributing across the board, and will likely still be heavily involved even when Eaton eventually returns. For now continue to ride him because he will see plenty of opportunities to score runs hitting in front of Paul Goldschmidt and Eric Chavez. Pollock gets a slight bump since early indications were that he would be the one designated to Triple-A Reno once the Diamondbacks' activated Eaton from the DL. It looks like, at least for the immediate future, fantasy owners can breathe a sigh of relief as Pollock will continue to see regular starts in the Arizona outfield, both in left and center. Parra - Mixed: $9; NL: should still be owned but gets a spike in value; Pollock - Mixed: $5; NL: like Parra, should be owned but spike in value and grab if he was waived in anticipation of Eaton returning.

Joc Pederson/Yasiel Puig, Dodgers - Pederson and Puig have been discussed as potential call-ups according to manager Don Mattingly. Pederson has a .931 OPS in Double-A to go with eight homers and 13 steals, but Puig would seem to be the next guy in line should the struggling Dodgers feel they need a spark. Pederson was named the organization's 2012 minor league player of the year, as he broke out with a .313/.396/.516 performance for High-A Rancho Cucamonga. Pederson homered 18 times and stole 26 bases all while playing the entire year at age 20. He needs to improve against southpaws and could use more seasoning, but Pederson's star continues to rise and if he continues to progress, a 2013 promotion to the majors, where he projects to be a solid regular though not a star, could be in the offering. Puig, who LA signed for $42 million out of Cuba this past June, was optioned to Double-A Chattanooga late in spring training. The value of giving Puig everyday at-bats appeared to be the most important factor in the decision to send him down, as he tore the cover off the ball during spring training and showed signs of being nearly major league ready at the plate. Puig has been raking lately and has posted a .933 OPS in the minors while Mattingly has tired of Andre Ethier, so a move could occur sooner rather than later. Pederson - Mixed: $1; NL: $4 (very early spec bid, especially in keeper leagues); Puig - Mixed: $2; NL:$7 (bid to rise substantially if he gets promoted)

Giancarlo Stanton, Marlins - Stanton, sidelined since April 30 with a Grade 2 strained hamstring, appears to be making steady progress in rehab, including taking live BP on Wednesday. While the slugger is likely still several weeks away from a return, he will likely have some additional support in the middle of the lineup at some point in June with Logan Morrison (knee) also making positive progress in rehab. Stanton was warming at the dish prior to his injury, slugging three home runs in the three games prior to landing on the DL. (Run don't walk to grab him as an early spec bid if available, if there, go 12/30 now and up as he gets closer.)

Injury activation - Michael Cuddyer, Rockies - (bulging disc in neck, missed minimum 15 days, activated Friday).

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Jan Levine
Levine covers baseball and hockey for RotoWire. He is responsible for the weekly NL FAAB column for baseball and the Barometer for hockey. In addition to his column writing, he is master of the NHL cheat sheets. In his spare time, he roots for the Mets and Rangers.
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