NL FAAB Factor: Waiver Pickups of the Week

NL FAAB Factor: Waiver Pickups of the Week

This article is part of our NL FAAB Factor series.

This is our weekly look at National League free agents. We have two goals for this article:

1. Identify likely free agents and discuss their strengths and weaknesses.
2. Estimate how much of your $100 starting free-agent budget you should bid on them.

This year, we're incorporating grids into the FAAB articles, so users can easily see at a glance how certain players stack up against others and how much they should command in a variety of formats.

The grids, which are sortable by column (click on the header), include a very basic "player grade" column. This serves as a reflection of a player's skills and role on an A-E scale. Dansby Swanson would have been an "A" grade player last year -- that mark will be reserved for similar high-impact prospects stepping into an everyday role.

As always, if there is a player that was not discussed in the article that you would like to know about, feel free to ask about the player in the comments.

PLAYER TEAM POS GRADE $ (12-Team Mixed) $ (15-Team Mixed) $ (NL-Only)
Tim Adleman CIN SP E No No 2
Chase Anderson MIL SP C 2 7 11
Tyler Beede SF SP E No No 2
Ty Blach SF SP E No No 0
Zach Eflin PHI SP D 1 5 9
Brandon McCarthy LA SP D 2 7 11
Alex Wood LA SP E 0 1 5
Shelby Miller ARI SP C 8 16 Owned
Wily Peralta MIL SP D 6
This is our weekly look at National League free agents. We have two goals for this article:

1. Identify likely free agents and discuss their strengths and weaknesses.
2. Estimate how much of your $100 starting free-agent budget you should bid on them.

This year, we're incorporating grids into the FAAB articles, so users can easily see at a glance how certain players stack up against others and how much they should command in a variety of formats.

The grids, which are sortable by column (click on the header), include a very basic "player grade" column. This serves as a reflection of a player's skills and role on an A-E scale. Dansby Swanson would have been an "A" grade player last year -- that mark will be reserved for similar high-impact prospects stepping into an everyday role.

As always, if there is a player that was not discussed in the article that you would like to know about, feel free to ask about the player in the comments.

PLAYER TEAM POS GRADE $ (12-Team Mixed) $ (15-Team Mixed) $ (NL-Only)
Tim Adleman CIN SP E No No 2
Chase Anderson MIL SP C 2 7 11
Tyler Beede SF SP E No No 2
Ty Blach SF SP E No No 0
Zach Eflin PHI SP D 1 5 9
Brandon McCarthy LA SP D 2 7 11
Alex Wood LA SP E 0 1 5
Shelby Miller ARI SP C 8 16 Owned
Wily Peralta MIL SP D 6 Owned Owned
Nick Pivetta PHI SP E No 0 2
Cody Reed CIN SP D 1 4 7
Clayton Richard SD SP D 2 7 12
Julio Urias LA SP B 7 11 18
Matt Garza WAS SP E No 0 4
Seth Lugo NYM SP D No 0 2
Steven Matz NYM SP B Owned 5 Owned
Luis Perdomo SD RP E No 0 3
Jacob Barnes MIL RP D 1 4 7
Koda Glover WAS RP C 2 7 11
Shawn Kelley WAS RP C 8 16 22
Hector Neris PHI RP B 9 18 24
Trevor Rosenthal STL RP D 1 4 7
Mauricio Cabrera ATL RP D 0 1 5
Carter Capps SD RP C 1 4 7
Jeurys Familia NYM RP A Owned Owned Owned
Tyler Lyons STL RP E No 0 3
Jett Bandy MIL C D 5 11 16
Austin Hedges SD C C 5 11 Owned
Devin Mesoraco CIN C C 2 7 11
Eric Thames MIL 1B B Owned Owned Owned
Chris Taylor LA 2B E No No 2
Chase Utley LA 2B D No 1 4
Greg Garcia STL SS E No No 3
Jedd Gyorko STL SS C 8 16 22
David Freese PIT 3B D 4 11 Owned
T.J. Rivera NYM 3B E 1 4 7
Martin Prado MIA 3B D 2 7 11
David Wright NYM 3B E 1 4 7
Albert Almora CHI OF E 0 3 9
Aaron Altherr PHI OF C 3 9 14
Daniel Nava PHI OF D No 0 6
Brock Stassi PHI OF E No No 2
Michael Conforto NYM OF C 4 11 16
Juan Lagares NYM OF E No 2 7
Brett Eibner LA OF E No No 2
Adam Frazier PIT OF C 3 9 14
John Jaso PIT OF E No 0 4
Jose Osuna PIT OF E No No 3
Mike Morse SF OF E No No 4
Mac Williamson SF OF E No 2 7
David Dahl COL OF C Owned/11 Owned/22 Owned/33
Ian Desmond COL OF B Owned/18 Owned/35 Owned/45
Franklin Gutierrez LA OF E No 0 2
Matt Kemp ATL OF B Owned Owned Owned


STARTING PITCHER

Tim Adleman, Reds - Adleman, who made 13 starts for the Reds last year, started Friday against the Cubs due to several injuries to the team's rotation. He was promoted last week and made his season debut Sunday, tossing four innings allowing just one run. That solid effort prompted the Reds to demote Sal Romano, who started that game, and give the rotation spot to Adleman. He is at best an average pitcher and just a stopgap until the team gets healthy or Robert Stephenson is moved to the rotation. Adleman allowed two runs on four hits and two walks while striking out seven in six innings Friday and will make another start Wednesday against Milwaukee. 12-team Mixed: No; 15-team Mixed: No; 12-team NL: $2

Chase Anderson, Brewers - Anderson posted an ERA no lower than 4.01 and WHIP of at least 1.30 his first three seasons in the majors. Through three starts, he is far exceeding those numbers, excelling in each of his three outings. Anderson has been aided by an 88.2 percent strand rate and .257 BABIP, so expect a healthy amount of regression. But his fastball is up a tick, resulting an improved swinging-strike rate, and he is doing a better job of throwing first pitch strikes, leading to a decline in BB/9. 12-team Mixed: $2; 15-team Mixed: $7; 12-team NL: $11

Tyler Beede/Ty Blach, Giants - Matt Cain "beat" out Blach to earn the fifth-starter spot in San Francisco. Blach made the team as reliever and was expected to replace Cain if his spring issues and decline that began in 2013 continue. Now, Blach will get the first chance to fill the huge hole left by Madison Bumgarner, who is sidelined 6-8 weeks following a dirt bike accident that left him with bruised ribs and a Grade 1 or 2 left AC sprain. Blach doesn't have exceptional stuff, relying on location and a plus-changeup to retire hitters. If he falters, Beede, the giants' top pitching prospect is next in line. Beede saw the velocity on his straight four-seam fastball spike at 98 mph last year and also throws a power sinker, a curveball and a mid-80s changeup. His increased walk ratio and drop in K rate are concerning, so temper expectations if he is promoted. Beede - 12-team Mixed: No; 15-team NL: No; 12-team NL: $2; Blach - 12-team Mixed: No; 15-team NL: No; 12-team NL: $0.

Zach Eflin, Phillies - Eflin was promoted to pitch against the Mets on Tuesday, replacing the injured Clay Buchholz, who had surgery to repair a torn flexor tendon in his right forearm and will miss 4-6 months. Eflin pitched five innings in a no-decision against the Mets, giving up two runs on three hits and three walks with four strikeouts. Eflin was acquired from the Dodgers in the trade for Jimmy Rollins in December 2014. He had double knee surgery last fall to address tendinitis (patellar tendinopathy) that has plagued him since childhood. Those operations have given Eflin additional leg strength, which might result in a uptick in fastball velocity. With Buchholz out long term and the Phillies looking to the future, Eflin, who opened the season with two five-inning starts in the minors, should get an extended chance to keep a rotation spot. 12-team Mixed: $1; 15-team Mixed: $5; 12-team NL: $9.

Brandon McCarthy/Alex Wood, Dodgers - McCarthy won one of the last two rotation spots for L.A., beating out Wood. McCarthy would have been ill suited for a bullpen role, for which Wood was a much better fit, but his injury history made him a risky bet. When healthy, McCarthy contributes across the board, making him worth a flier. So far, so good, as the 33-year-old right-hander hasn't allowed more than two runs in any of his three starts. As usual, McCarthy is generating a ton of groundballs while his BABIP is in his normal range. He has benefitted from a better than expected strand rate, but for McCarthy, the key is health. Wood replaces Rich Hill, sidelined once again with a blister on his pitching hand, in the rotation. He has fared well as a spot starter and Wood might just be a placeholder until either Hill returns or Julio Urias is ready for a promotion. Wood allowed four runs on seven hits and a walk while striking out six in 4.2 innings Friday against the Diamondbacks. Despite the so-so start, Wood might make at least one more start for Hill, though Urias could slot into that spot. If Wood does start, his stuff warrants a look. McCarthy - 12-team Mixed: $2; 15-team Mixed: $7; 12-team NL: $11; Wood - 12-team Mixed: $0; 15-team Mixed: $1; 12-team NL: $5.

Shelby Miller, Diamondbacks - Miller completely fell apart last year, losing his rotation spot after Arizona was fleeced in a deal with Atlanta, giving up Dansby Swanson and others. Miller didn't have a great spring but beat out Archie Bradley for a rotation spot. He wasn't great his first two starts, but handled the Padres easily Tuesday, making it into the eighth inning for the first time since October 2015. Miller's fastball velocity is up two mph over last season, which bodes well for a possible return to his 2013-15 form. 12-team Mixed: $8; 15-team Mixed: $16; 12-team NL: owned.

Wily Peralta, Brewers - Peralta carried forward a horrible 2015 into the first part of 2016, going 4-7 with a 6.68 ERA through 13 outings resulting in a demotion. When he returned, he finished the season with seven quality starts in 10 outings, a 2.92 ERA and 51 strikeouts in 61.2 innings. As we noted in our preseason outlook, "Stuff has never been the problem for Peralta, whose heavy mid-90s fastball has good movement and can be paired with a vicious, albeit wild, slider to fuel his groundball-first approach." He has continued that late-season success in 2017, first in spring and then beginning the year 3-0 with a 2.65 ERA through three starts. But he hit a major speed bump Friday, allowing six runs on nine hits and a walk with no strikeouts in just four innings against the Cardinals. When writing this column Friday, I noted: "like Anderson, Peralta has benefitted from a solid strand rate and low BABIP, but he too has seen his fastball velocity rise and is generating a ton of groundballs to get outs. Peralta will see a bit of a regression, but I believe his success is more sustainable than Anderson's." However, be careful not to overrate. 12-team Mixed: $6; 15-team Mixed: owned; 12-team NL: owned

Nick Pivetta, Phillies - Pivetta, who mixes a decent fastball and above average breaking pitches, doesn't get the hype of some of the Phillies' other pitching prospects. But he has allowed just two runs and 12 hits over his first three starts at Triple-A this season with a 24:2 K:BB in 19 innings. Pivetta has gotten better as he has moved up the ladder and could be next in line if the Phils need a starting pitcher. 12-team Mixed: No; 15-team Mixed: $0; 12-team NL: $2.

Cody Reed, Reds - What I wrote last week has occurred sooner than expected: "Reed is working out of the bullpen but it might not be too long before he is in the Reds' starting rotation." That took less than a week, as Reed started Saturday against the Cubs with Rookie Davis (forearm) and Brandon Finnegan (shoulder) landing on the disabled list this past week. Reed, who struggled mightily after his promotion to the majors last year, pitched well until his last spring start and has carried that success into the season, tossing eight scoreless innings out of the bullpen. But, he allowed seven runs on four hits and five walks while striking out three in two innings Saturday against the Cubs and it remains to be seen if he stays in the rotation of goes back to the bullpen.12-team Mixed: $1; 15-team Mixed: $4; 12-team NL: $7

Clayton Richard, Padres - Richard, who pitched well in his nine starts after coming over to San Diego, has carried forward that fine pitching in 2017. He is 2-2 with a 3.04 ERA this year, relying on a strong GB:FB ratio and cut in his BB/9 ratio to help retire hitters. Richard's pitch-to-contact style, injury history and weak supporting cast should temper your enthusiasm, but ride the wave for as long as he is pitching well. 12-team Mixed: $2; 15-team Mixed: $7; 12-team NL: $12

Julio Urias, Dodgers - Urias was sent down to Triple-A to begin the year so that Los Angeles can limit his innings early in the season to keep him fresh. The Dodgers likely will allow Urias to pitch 135-150 innings in the big leagues this season, so he originally was expected to be up sometime in late-May. That timeframe could be moved up with Rich Hill (blister) on the disabled list. The Dodgers start a four-game series with the Giants on Monday, and Urias could start Wednesday in place of Alex Wood, who is filling in for Hill, who may move to the bullpen when he returns. Urias last started Friday for Triple-A Oklahoma City, tossing 5.2 innings, so Wednesday would be his normal day to pitch. Urias has a 1.93 ERA, 1.21 WHIP and 15 strikeouts in 14 innings at Triple-A, but he has also walked nine over that span. He has major upside, due to his talent and stuff. 12-team Mixed: $7; 15-team Mixed: $11; 12-team NL: $18 (more if he remains in the rotation).

Injury activation/updates:

Matt Garza, Brewers - Garza (strained right groin) pitched well - five innings, two hits and one run allowed - in his first start April 12 at Triple-A Colorado Springs. He wasn't nearly as good in his second rehab start April 17, which was a Low-A Wisconsin, allowing four runs in 5.2 innings. Garza had no setback in either start and will be activated Monday replacing Tommy Milone, who was filling in for the injured Junior Guerra (calf) in the Brewers' rotation. Garza had a solid first year in Milwaukee in 2014 but fell off a cliff in 2015 and wasn't that much better last season. He is in a contract year, so maybe that spurs resurgence, but don't bet on it. 12-team Mixed: No; 15-team Mixed: $0; 12-team NL: $4.

Seth Lugo/Steven Matz, Mets - Lugo (partial UCL tear) and Matz (strained flexor tendon) began throwing Wednesday at the Mets' spring training complex in Port St. Lucie, Fla. Each will need about four to six weeks to build up arm strength and then several rehab assignments before rejoining the team. Of course, that timeframe assumes no setbacks, which has been an issue for both pitchers. Lugo likely will used as a swingman out of the bullpen while Matz should move back into the starting rotation as the only lefty in the Mets' starting five. Lugo - 12-team Mixed: No; 15-team Mixed: $0; 12-team NL: $2 (early spec bid); Matz - 12-team Mixed: owned; 15-team Mixed: $5 (early spec bid); 12-team NL: owned.

Luis Perdomo, Padres - Perdomo, sidelined with shoulder inflamation, is scheduled to start Sunday against the Marlins. He will fill the rotation slot of Jarred Cosart, who was placed on the 10-day disabled list Wednesday with a right hamstring strain, the injury that forced him from Tuesday's start. Perdomo showed he was ready to return by tossing 50+ pitches in a Wednesday bullpen session. Perdomo has some upside, especially in NL-only leagues, thanks his mid-90s fastball, slider and changeup. 12-team Mixed: No; 15-team Mixed: $0; 12-team NL: $3.

RELIEF PITCHER
 
Jacob Barnes, Brewers -
Barnes has gotten off to a tremendous start this year, posting a 0.00 ERA, 0.68 WHIP and 12:4 K:BB in 10.1 innings over 10 games. That hot beginning has earned Barnes a more prominent role in the Milwaukee bullpen, as he notched holds in four of his last six appearances along with a save. Corey Knebel is likely next in line for saves behind Neftali Feliz, but if Barnes continues to impress, he could surpass Knebel in the bullpen pecking order. 12-team Mixed: $1; 15-team Mixed: $4; 12-team NL: $7.

Koda Glover/Shawn Kelley, Nationals - Hold your surprise, as there has been a change in the Washington closer. Blake Treinen earned the job with a brilliant spring, but he posted a 7.71 ERA and 2.53 WHIP the first two-plus weeks of the season. Manager Dusty Baker on Wednesday said Glover and Kelley would share the closer role. Kelley was successful in notching the save Thursday, and on Friday, Baker said Kelley will be first option to close for now, with Glover getting opportunities when Kelley is unavailable. Kelley struggled his first three outings of the season, but has righted the ship his last five appearances. Glover was brilliant early in spring training but tailed off late to lose the job to Treinen. Now, he will be second in line behind Kelley. Glover still has value in leagues that use holds and should rack up a healthy amount of strikeouts and the occasional save, as he did Saturday, but Kelley is the one to own for now. Glover - 12-team Mixed: $2; 15-team Mixed: $7; 12-team NL: $11; Kelley - 12-team Mixed: $8; 15-team Mixed: $16; 12-team NL: $22.

Hector Neris, Phillies - Neris notched the save with a clean inning Thursday and added a second despite allowing a home run Friday but has not yet been named the sole closer. Manager Pete Mackanin said he would use Neris and Joaquin Benoit as co-closers. But Benoit blew a save last Sunday on a three-run bomb by Bryce Harper, while Neris has been perfect so far this season. Jeanmar Gomez, who broke camp as the Phillies closer, had a very shaky save on Opening Day, allowing a two-run home run before securing the win. Manager Pete Mackanin expressed concern about Gomez's outing after the game and then turned to Benoit after Gomez continued to struggle. Neris, who had a dominant year out of the bullpen last year with 102 strikeouts in 80.1 innings and 28 holds due to increase use of his splitter and less reliance on his slider, is sharing the closer role and could get the job full-time sooner rather than later. 12-team Mixed: $9; 15-team Mixed: $18; 12-team NL: $24.

Trevor Rosenthal, Cardinals - Rosenthal, profiled last week, gets another mention, as he notched a save this week, showing he clearly is next in line to Seung Hwan Oh, who took over as closer last year due to Rosenthal's injury and a mechanical flaw in his delivery. He was to be stretched out as a starter this spring but a lat issue set him back, resulting in a change in that approach. Oh struggled early this season, though he had saves Friday and Saturday and likely has earned a bit of latitude after his performance last season. But Rosenthal looks like he has regained his prior form, and if Oh continues to struggle, a change could happen. 12-team Mixed: $1; 15-team Mixed: $4; 12-team NL: $7.

Injury activation/updates:

Mauricio Cabrera, Braves - Cabrera, who missed the last 10 days of spring training with elbow soreness, threw live batting practice Tuesday at extended spring training in Lake Buena Vista, Fla., and pitched in a game there Friday. He could begin a rehab assignment at Triple-A Gwinnett next week. Once he rejoins the Braves, Cabrera will join Arodys Vizcaino in setting up Jim Johnson. Cabrera had baseball's second-highest average fastball velocity (100 mph) while posting a 2.82 ERA and six saves in 41 appearances, but needs to limit his walks, as he had 19 versus 32 strikeouts in 38.1 innings. 12-team Mixed: $0; 15-team Mixed: $1; 12-team NL: $5

Carter Capps, Padres - Capps, returning from Tommy John surgery, has made two rehab appearances for Triple-A El Paso after making a pair for High-A Lake Elsinore. He could rejoin the Padres this week, and once Capps is back, he should begin his role as Brandon Maurer's setup man. Capps has elite stuff, mixing his high-90s fastball, nasty slider and pitching motion that draws major ire since he doesn't stay on the rubber when he releases his pitches, making him a closer in waiting. The only question is how long will that wait be. 12-team Mixed: $1; 15-team Mixed: $4; 12-team NL: $7 (same as prior three weeks).

Jeurys Familia, Mets - Familia completed his 15-game suspension for violating MLB's domestic violence policy and rejoined the Mets on Thursday. He pitched for High-A St. Lucie on Saturday and Double-A Binghamton on Monday, throwing a pair of scoreless innings. Familia pitched the eighth inning Thursday to "get his feet wet" and has been moved back into his closer role, shifting Addison Reed, who has been closing for Familia, to his usual setup role. (Just an FYI as should be owned in all leagues.)

Tyler Lyons, Cardinals - Lyons, sidelined after offseason knee surgery, was activated Thursday and after posting a 1.29 ERA, 0.93 WHIP and 14:2 K/BB ratio in 14 innings with Triple-A Memphis. He missed the final two months of 2016 when he was diagnosed with a stress reaction to his right knee. After it didn't heal, Lyons had knee surgery in early November. Now finally healthy, Lyons, who posted a 3.38 ERA, 1.02 WHIP and 46:14 K:BB ratio in 48 innings over 30 outings last year, will serve as a long reliever and could rack up some counting stats. 12-team Mixed: No; 15-team Mixed: $0; 12-team NL: $3

CATCHER
 
Jett Bandy, Brewers -
Bandy, who opened the season as the Brewers' starting catcher as Andrew Susac began the year on the DL due to neck/back stiffness, has gotten off to a hot start. Bandy homered for the third straight game Thursday and is slashing .314/.368/.714. That should make him the clear starter, but Manny Pina has been nearly as good when he has been in the lineup. Both catchers have played so well that Susac was sent to the minors after he was activated. Bandy has pop in his bat while Pina is a Punch-and-Judy hitter, making Bandy the one to own. 12-team Mixed: $5; 15-team Mixed: $11, 12-team NL: $16

Austin Hedges, Padres - As I wrote in the first column of the year, Nick Hundley's departure from San Diego opened the door for Hedges era to begin. There has never been any question about Hedges' defense, his bat though … Hedges dispelled some of these questions with a monster 2016 at Triple-A El Paso, and after a slow start to spring, has really picked it up at the plate. In his last six starts through Friday's game, Hedges batted .350 while launching three home runs, raising his batting average from .037 to .170, and homered again Saturday. 12-team Mixed: $5; 15-team Mixed: $11; 12-team NL: owned.

Injury activation/updates:

Devin Mesoraco, Reds - Mesoraco (hip) remained on his rehab assignment with Double-A Pensacola at least through the weekend. He has struggled hitting in the minors, so will benefit from additional at-bats. Mesoraco had a breakout season in 2014, during which he had 25 HR and 80 RBI, prompting the Reds to sign him to a four-year, $28 million extension in January 2015. Since then, hip and shoulder injuries and surgeries have limited Mesoraco to just 39 games in two seasons. If Mesoraco is healthy, look for Cincinnati to ease him back into game action, increasing his playing time during the season. 12-team Mixed: $2; 15-team NL: $7; 12-team NL: $11

FIRST BASE
 
Eric Thames, Brewers -
Thames was profiled in the first column of the year after he returned from a three-year stint with the NC Dinos of the Korean Baseball Organization (KBO) to play for the Brewers. He tore up the KBO after posting middling numbers in the majors. Thames didn't hit for power this spring, but posted a solid OBA, as he transitioned back to the MLB. He clearly was saving that power for the regular season, homering eight times in his first 17 games. If you missed out on getting him, that window is likely slammed shut and bolted. (Should be owned in all formats.)

SECOND BASE
 
Chris Taylor/Chase Utley, Dodgers -
Logan Forsythe's toe injury will sideline him two weeks rather than the projected 4-6 weeks, as it is a fracture rather than an break. Utley, against righties, and Taylor, versus lefties, will fill the second base spot for L.A. while Forsythe is out. Utley got off to a horrific start, and maybe consistent at-bats will wake his bat. Taylor hasn't had much success in the majors, so don't expect much. If both struggle, maybe Kiki Hernandez gets a chance at second while Forsythe is out. Taylor - 12-team Mixed: No; 15-team Mixed: No, 12-team NL: $2; Utley - 12-team Mixed: No; 15-team Mixed: $1, 12-team NL: $5.

SHORTSTOP

Greg Garcia/Jedd Gyorko, Cardinals - Gyorko was originally slated to back up at second, short and third last year. But Jhonny Peralta's thumb injury changed that plan and Gyorko opened the season as the starting shortstop. Aledmys Diaz took over at short, making Gyorko a super-utility player. He hit 30 home runs last year in that role and was filling a similar role with Peralta playing third, Diaz short, Kolten Wong at second and Matt Carpenter at first. Gyorko was struggling but had taken over at third base mainly because Peralta was even worse. Now, Peralta is on the DL with an upper respiratory infection, opening close to full-time play for Gyorko. When the Cardinals face a tough righty, look for Garcia, whose main value is getting on base, to get the nod at the hot corner, with Carpenter also a potential option for at-bats at third base if Gyorko and/or Garcia aren't hitting. Garcia - 12-team Mixed: No; 15-team Mixed: No, 12-team NL: $3; Gyorko - 12-team Mixed: $8; 15-team Mixed: $16; 12-team NL: $22 (due to power potential).

THIRD BASE

David Freese, Pirates - Freese was profiled in the first column of the year, as Jung Ho Kang is unlikely to play in the U.S. because he has been denied a work visa due to his DUI hit-and-run charge in Korea. With Kang out, Freese, who parlayed a one-year spring training deal a year ago into a two-year, $11 extension, is seeing most of the action at third base. Like last season, he has gotten off to a strong start, batting .333 with three home runs and eight runs batted in along with a 10:6 K:BB ratio. With Starling Marte out, Josh Bell might move from first base to the outfield with Freese shifting to first where he played 58 games last season. 12-team Mixed: $4; 15-team Mixed: $11, 12-team NL: owned.

T.J. Rivera, Mets - Rivera broke camp with the team thanks to solid spring, continuing his usual pattern of hitting well at all levels. His main issue is a lack of walks, but Rivera consistently puts the ball in play, resulting a high BABIP. Rivera didn't get off to a strong start in limited action, resulting in his demotion last week, Lucas Duda (hyper-extended elbow) and Wilmer Flores (knee infection) landed on the 10-day DL, paving the way for Rivera's return. With Asdrubal Cabrera dealing with a hamstring injury, Jose Reyes will see time at short, opening third base for Rivera, who will also to see time at first and second. 12-team Mixed: $1; 15-team Mixed: $4, 12-team NL: $7.

Injury activation/updates:

Martin Prado, Marlins - Prado, sidelined with a Grade 1 right hamstring strain suffered March 15 against Team USA in the World Baseball Classic, was activated Monday, joining the Marlins in Seattle, after a short rehab assignment. Derek Dietrich, who was manning third in Prado's absence, returns to a bench role. As noted previously, Prado's value is more real than fantasy life for Miami. That's not to say that he doesn't contribute to fantasy teams but other than a solid AVG and OBA, the counting stats are just average at best compared to others at the position. 12-team Mixed: $2; 15-team Mixed: $7; 12-team NL: $11.

David Wright, Mets - Wright began a full slate of baseball activities this past week at Citi Field. He fielded groundballs and lightly tossed with an overhand motion Friday, taking another step forward. Discomfort in his lower back, as well as a case of the flu, forced Wright to shelve much of his progress in his rehab from a right shoulder impingement. He recently was moved to the 60-day DL, meaning he won't be back until June at the earliest, and even that timeframe might be optimistic. Consider a Wright a longshot to return to active duty and an even longer shot to be an effective player, at least this year. 12-team Mixed: $1; 15-team Mixed: $4; 12-team NL: $7 (very, very early spec bid).

OUTFIELD

Albert Almora, Cubs - Manager Joe Maddon said when the season started that Almora "will get the opportunity to play a little more often" in 2017. That has been the case, but Almora is still splitting time with Jon Jay and Jason Heyward. If Almora had a clear path to playing time, his value would rise substantially. But his semi-regular playing status, largely against southpaws, limits his use to DFS on days he plays and NL-only leagues. 12-team Mixed: $0; 15-team Mixed: $3; 12-team NL: $9.

Aaron Altherr/Daniel Nava/Brock Stassi, Phillies - Howie Kendrick landed on the 10-day DL this week with a strained abdomen. In his absence, manager Pete Mackanin will use all three players, but Altherr and Nava should see most of the action in left field with Altherr the main recipient of additional time. Altherr's work with hitting coach Matt Stairs to lower his hands at the plate paid dividends this spring and has carried over into the season. He is seeing time at all three outfield spots and should continue to all season. Nava peaked in 2013 and has bounced around the majors since. He has gotten off to a solid start this season, repeatedly reaching base and will be spotted in by Mackanin, seeing time in left. Stassi is a nice story, parlaying a big spring into his first stint in the majors. Most of his action will come as a pinch hitter. Altherr - 12-team Mixed: $3; 15-team Mixed: $9, 12-team NL: $14; Nava - 12-team Mixed: No; 15-team Mixed: $0, 12-team NL: $6; Stassi - 12-team Mixed: No; 15-team Mixed: No, 12-team NL: $2.

Michael Conforto/Juan Lagares, Mets - Conforto, profiled last week, gets another mention, as he is looking at increased playing time, as is Lagares, who just returned from a strained left oblique. Lucas Duda landed on the 10-day disabled list with a hyper extended elbow. To fill the hole at first base, Jay Bruce has moved from right field to replace Duda. In addition, Yoenis Cespedes is dealing with a hamstring issue that forced him from Thursday's game. Conforto will see time at all three outfield spots, but mainly in left field while Yo is out. Lagares likely will start in CF with Curtis Granderson shifting to right. Once Cespedes is back, Conforto should start against righties and Lagares against southpaws. Conforto - 12-team Mixed: $4; 15-team Mixed: $11; 12-team NL: $16; Lagares - 12-team Mixed: No; 15-team Mixed: $2; 12-team NL: $7.

Brett Eibner, Dodgers - Eibner was called up Wednesday to take the place of Rob Segedin, who was placed on the 10-day disabled list with a toe injury. He earned the promotion by going 11-for-32 (.344) with three homers and eight RBI through 12 games at Triple-A Oklahoma City. Eibner started in center field Wednesday and could see some starts against lefties in place of Joc Pederson. 12-team Mixed: No; 15-team Mixed: No, 12-team NL: $2.

Adam Frazier/John Jaso/Jose Osuna, Pirates - Frazier was profiled the first two weeks of the year, as early season usage hints at increased value. That value has now spiked due to the 80-game suspension handed down to Starling Marte for testing positive for a performing-enhancing substance. Pittsburgh has moved Andrew McCutchen from right field back to his old spot in center, creating a hole in right. Frazier, along with Jaso, likely will see the most action there, as the Pirates do not appear inclined to promote Austin Meadows. Osuna, who had a big spring, was promoted last Sunday and could see time against southpaws, as he did Friday against CC Sabathia. If Frazier, Jaso and Osuna prove incapable of filling the spot and Meadows heats up, a change could occur, but that's a while off. Frazier - 12-team Mixed: $3; 15-team Mixed: $9, 12-team NL: $14; Jaso - 12-team Mixed: No; 15-team Mixed: $0, 12-team NL: $4; Osuna - 12-team Mixed: No; 15-team Mixed: No, 12-team NL: $3.

Gorkys Hernandez, Giants - Denard Span left Saturday's game against the Rockies after injuring his shoulder while making a catch at the wall. The original diagnosis is a sprained shoulder, which will be examined further and undergo X-rays. Hernandez made the Giants' as a fourth/fifth outfielder and saw action to start the year due to Span's hip injury. Span wasn't out long term, but it became clear Hernandez was the back up center fielder. If Span is sidelined again, Hernandez should start in center field. 12-team Mixed: No; 15-team Mixed: No, 12-team NL: $4.

Mike Morse/Mac Williamson, Giants - Jarrett Parker suffered a broken clavicle crashing into the wall while robbing DJ LeMahieu of a hit last Saturday against the Rockies. Parker likely will be sidelined at least six weeks if not longer, creating a hole in left field for San Francisco. In the short term, left field is occupied by some combination of Marrero, Hernandez and Hill, though none of three has been particularly good. Morse, who was sidelined with a hamstring injury late in the spring, kicked off a rehab stint at High-A San Jose this past week. His numbers have plummeted the last few years, but he did hit 16 home runs while playing 84 of his 131 games for the Giants in left field. Morse could be back in the majors this week. Williamson (quadriceps), who was injured last in the spring, was placed on the 10-day disabled list April 2. He went 1-for-3 in a rehab game with High-A San Jose on Wednesday and moved to Triple-A Sacramento on Friday. It looks to be a battle between Morse and Williamson, as to which player is activated and healthiest first gets a shot at the left field job. Morse - 12-team Mixed: No; 15-team Mixed: No, 12-team NL: $4; Williamson - 12-team Mixed: No; 15-team Mixed: $2, 12-team NL: $7 (due to more upside potential).

Injury activation/updates:

David Dahl, Rockies - An MRI on Dahl, sidelined with a stress reaction in his sixth rib, was encouraging and he was to begin hitting this weekend at extended spring training. He had increased his activity to throwing, running and weight training, but swinging the bat or any rotational activity wasn't allowed until after the MRI. Now that he has gotten a clear bill of health, Dahl will start to swing a bat and presuming no setbacks, go on a rehab assignment shortly. He could be back with the Rockies by mid-May. (Just an FYI as should be owned in all leagues, but if not, the bids should be $11/22/33)

Ian Desmond, Rockies - Desmond, sidelined since March 12 after taking a pitch to the hand, began hitting off a tee Friday. The next step for Desmond to hit soft toss and then on-field batting practice, after which, he should be scheduled for a rehab assignment. Presuming no setbacks, look for Desmond to rejoin the Rockies in late April or early May. Desmond likely will see most of his action at first base with some playing time possibly in left field as well. (Just an FYI as should be owned in all leagues but if not, the bids should again be $18/35/45).

Franklin Gutierrez, Dodgers - Gutierrez, sidelined since April 10 with a strained hamstring, is to be activated prior to the Dodgers' series against the Giants starting Monday. When the season started, Gutierez and Andrew Toles were to platoon in left field for the Dodgers with Andre Ethier (back) sidelined indefinitely. Gutierrez is on the shorter side of the platoon, batting against southpaws due to his success against lefties and issues against righties, while Toles faces righties. 12-team Mixed: No; 15-team Mixed: $0; 12-team NL - $2.

Matt Kemp, Braves - Kemp, who strained his left hamstring April 7, was activated from the 10-day disabled list as expected Thursday. Prior to the injury, Kemp was off to a hot start, going 8-for-16 with four doubles and two home runs. (Just an FYI as should be owned in all leagues).

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
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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