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NL FAAB Factor: Rubby, Rubby, Rubby, Rubby!

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.

Starting Pitchers:

Rubby De La Rosa - De La Rosa, who Andrew profiled last week when he was promoted to fill a bullpen role, gets a second mention as he will move into the Dodgers' starting rotation Tuesday at Philadelphia in place of the injured Jon Garland. De La Rosa took a major step forward last season and was named the Dodgers' minor league pitcher of the year after posting a 2.37 ERA and 94:38 K:BB in 110 inning at two levels. When he is on, De La Rosa mixes a mid-90s fastball that can touch triple digits along with a solid changeup and developing slider. De La Rosa continued his 2010 success into this year, notching a 2.93 ERA, 1.225 WHIP and 52:19 K:BB in 40 innings over eight starts for Double-A Chattanooga. The keys for De La Rosa are the consistency of his release point and arm slot as well as retaining the command over his pitches. It's unclear how long De La Rosa will remain in the rotation as Garland's shoulder injury seemingly came out of the blue, but his upside makes him worth a look in most formats. Mixed: $2; NL: $7 (up the bid if you think he will stay in the rotation).

Matt Garza - Garza, out since May 17 with an elbow bone bruise, threw "really well" in a bullpen session Friday and will be activated from the disabled list to start Monday's series opener in Cincinnati. It's not a great place to return from an injury, but it looks like Garza will be good to go Monday. Prior to the injury, Garza had been racking up the strikeouts, punching out 68 batters in 55.2 innings while being up-and-down in his first year in the NL after coming over to Chicago this offseason. (just an FYI as he should be owned in all formats)

Jeff Karstens - After some initial struggles when first moving into the Pirates' starting rotation for the injured Ross Ohlendorf in mid-April, Karstens has been consistently solid. On Friday, Karstens may have had his best performance of the season, allowing just one run over seven innings in a no-decision against the Phillies. For the second straight year, Karstens has increased his strikeout rate, now up to 6.59 K/9IP for the year and has lowered his already excellent BB/9IP from 1.98 to 1.73 this season. If Karstens, who only struck out two Friday, can maintain his strikeout rate, he may able to maintain his 3.30 ERA and not inch closer to his 4.68 FIP ERA that is being driven by the 1.57 HR/9IP he allows. Mixed: $2; NL: $7.

Lance Lynn - Lynn, who lost out to Kyle McClellan in spring training for the final St. Louis rotation slot, was called up this week to replace the injured McClellan (hip). Lynn allowed five runs on four hits with no walks while striking out five over 5.1 innings in his major league debut against San Francisco on Thursday. He cruised early but struggled in the fourth and sixth, where he was removed from the game. Lynn went 5-3 with a 4.06 ERA and a K:BB ratio of 54:21 in 62 innings over 10 starts with Triple-A Memphis to earn the promotion. He has a low-90s fastball along with a curveball and changeup and the keys for him are improving his command and K/BB ratios. Lynn projects to be a No. 3-4 starter down the road and should remain in the rotation while McClellan, who is working on tweaking his delivery to alleviate the pressure on his injured hip, is sidelined. Mixed: $1; NL: $4.

Yunesky Maya - Maya, who was called up to start last Sunday's game against the Padres in place of the injured Tom Gorzelanny, surrendered four runs on six hits and two walks while striking out three over 4.2 innings. He followed that up by allowing four earned runs off six hits and three walks through 4.1 innings to take the loss Friday against the Diamondbacks. Maya had shown good control at Triple-A Syracuse this season (45:12 K:BB), along with a 3.79 ERA and 0.998 WHIP in 59.1 innings this year. With Gorzelanny possibly missing only one more start, Maya's stint in the majors may be brief. Mixed: No; NL: $0.

Chad Reineke - Reineke was promoted this past week from Triple-A Louisville and allowed six runs (five earned) on five hits in 6.1 innings against the Brewers on Tuesday to take the loss in his Reds debut. He displayed good control at Louisville, but he walked five and allowed two home runs in his first MLB start since 2009. Reineke could stick in the rotation for another turn because of the injury to Homer Bailey and demotion of Edinson Volquez. Mixed: No; NL: $0.

Edinson Volquez - Manager Dusty Baker said Friday that there is a good chance Volquez's next start will come with the major league team. Volquez has allowed just three earned runs in 14.1 total innings over two minor league starts, which apparently was enough to convince team management that he is ready to return to the big leagues. Volquez just started Thursday, so if he indeed starts with the Reds the next time through the rotation, he will start one of the three games in the team's upcoming series against the Cubs that runs June 6-8. However, keep in mind that it looks like the control issues that plagued him in Cincinnati - 38 walks in 51 innings - only improved mildly in Louisville, as he walked six in 14.1 innings, so temper your expectations. Mixed: $5; NL: $14.

Relief Pitchers:

Rex Brothers - The Rockies promoted Brothers to the majors Saturday. The 2009 first-rounder advanced quickly through the Rockies' system and will get the call after posting a 2.89 ERA and 45:15 K:BB ratio in 28 innings this season. Brothers would benefit from allowing fewer baserunners (44 in his 28 IP), but his strikeout rate is indicative of the stuff he has. Brothers will add a power arm to the Rockies' bullpen and figures to open in a middle-relief role and could be a consideration to close if Colorado elects not to re-sign Huston Street after his contract expires following the 2012 season. Mixed: $1; NL: $4.

Brandon Lyon - Lyon, out since early-May with biceps tendinitis and a partial tear of his rotator cuff, will begin a rehab stint Sunday at Triple-A Oklahoma City. Lyon threw about 20 pitches to hitters during a simulated game Thursday, which he described as a step in the right direction. He's slated for at least two rehab games (Sunday and Tuesday), but likely will need at least a few more. Even when does return, the fine performance of Mark Melancon likely means that Lyon won't be stepping back into the closer role. Mixed: $1; NL: $4.

Vicente Padilla - Padilla, sidelined since May 17 with a forearm injury, completed a brief minor-league rehab stint Thursday and is on track to be activated Friday. While manager Don Mattingly wouldn't commit to using him as a closer, don't be surprised if that ends up being the case as Padilla had successfully moved into that role prior to being sidelined. Mixed: $8; NL: $22 (if for some reason he was let go when he was hurt).


Dustin Brown/Chris Snyder - The injury to Ryan Doumit, which is a non-displaced fracture in his left ankle with no significant ligament damage that is supposed to sideline him a month, opened up a spot at catcher that the Pirates filled by calling up Brown. Brown, who was hitting .263 with six home runs and 19 RBI with Triple-A Indianapolis, should be the backup behind the plate. Chris Snyder is the primary beneficiary of Doumit's absence, as he should see most of the playing time while he looks to continue his recent hot streak at the plate. Brown - Mixed: No; NL: $0; Snyder - Mixed: $3; NL: $11

Nick Hundley - Hundley, who has been on the disabled list since May 6 with a strained right oblique, was slated to catch six innings Saturday for Triple-A Tucson as he begins his rehab assignment. He should progress to catching a full game over the next two days, assuming there are no setbacks. Hundley remains on target to return early next week, and while he had cooled after a hot start to the season, the Padres will more than welcome their starting catcher back to the roster and lineup. Mixed: $4; NL: $14

First Basemen:

Mark Hamilton - The Cardinals called up Hamilton prior to Friday's game against the Cubs. Hamilton spent a month with the team earlier this season, hitting .200 in 15 at-bats. He's done much better at Triple-A this season, hitting .391 with two home runs and 22 RBI in 87 at-bats. Hamilton will provide some power off the bench for St. Louis, but he's unlikely to have a significant role. Mixed: No; NL: $0.

Brad Hawpe - Hawpe, who as of April 24 was batting a miniscule .098, has upped his average since then to a somewhat more robust .247. That bump is only part of the reason as to why he appears in this week's column. On Friday, it was reported that Hawpe has been taking flyballs in right field for the past 2-3 weeks in preparation for Anthony Rizzo's upcoming promotion. Prior to moving to first this year, Hawpe played seven years in right field for Colorado, so he should be able to get re-acclimated to the position fairly quickly. Moving to right will keep his bat in the lineup, albeit at the expense of Chris Denorfia. Mixed: $6; NL: $19 (bump up in NL-only leagues as it looks like he will remain in the lineup even when Rizzo is promoted).

Anthony Rizzo - I profiled Rizzo in the beginning of May based on early speculation that he might be called up. That didn't occur, but there are some strong signs that a promotion could be forthcoming shortly. The Padres have had Brad Hawpe take flyballs in right field the past 2-3 weeks, while Rizzo returned to Triple-A Tucson's lineup Friday after aggravating a bruised left hand on Tuesday, swatting his 16th home run and raising his batting average to .377. Just as - or more important - he is close being at the point where the Padres would no longer risk an extra year of "Super Two" salary arbitration by promoting him. Rizzo's stellar overall numbers, the extra year before arbitration for San Diego and Hawpe's ability to shift back to right field, where he played for Colorado, all point to a sooner rather than later promotion for the big-time prospect. Mixed: $4; NL: $13. (speculative bid for now, bump up higher if think he will be up very soon)

Second Basemen:

Allen Craig - We have mentioned Craig a few times this year and his current hot streak along with an increase in position eligibility coupled with injuries in St. Louis warrant another mention. Craig has hit safely in eight of his last nine games, going 12-for-26 with eight RBI over that span and batted .350 with 12 RBI in May. Craig had been playing primarily at second base, where he has eight games played this year, but he's been see time in left field over the last few games due to Matt Holliday's (quad) DL stint. Craig, who always hit when he was in the minors, could end up seeing a few more at-bats per game because he had been frequently replaced in late innings when playing in the infield. Once Holliday returns, Craig should continue to see time at second at the expense of Skip Schumaker and could end up as the starter there. Mixed: $8

Blake DeWitt - DeWitt saw another start in left field Wednesday. It's pretty odd that he essentially took third place in the second-base sweepstakes this spring, and now he's starting in left field. If Tyler Colvin can hold down center (an iffy proposition), DeWitt could see regular at-bats in left in the near term while Alfonso Soriano (quad) is sidelined. If Colvin can't hold down that spot, Tony Campana will play center with Colvin shifting to left, moving DeWitt to a reserve role again. Mixed: $2; NL: $7 (due to 2B eligibility).

D.J LeMahieu - LeMahieu, a second-round pick by Chicago out of LSU in 2009, was called up to replace Jeff Baker, who was placed on the 15-day disabled list with a left groin strain. LeMahieu, who compiled a .358/.386/.492 line over 50 games at Double-A Tennessee this season, is backing up Darwin Barney at second and Aramis Ramirez at third base. Mixed: No; NL: $0.

Aaron Miles - The oblique injury to Rafael Furcal means that Jamey Carroll shifts from second base to shortstop, opening second for Miles. Miles won't give you tremendous production, but should at least be able to provide you with a decent batting average and runs scored. Mixed: $1; NL: $4.


Jamey Carroll/Ivan DeJesus Jr. - Carroll started at shortstop and batted leadoff Saturday against the Reds. Carroll has been seeing time at second base and moving around the batting order since Rafael Furcal returned a couple weeks ago, but with Furcal back on the DL due to an oblique injury, Carroll figures to slide over to shortstop again and assume the leadoff role. Expect Carroll to pick up the pace, in terms of runs scored, with him back atop the order for a couple more weeks. DeJesus was called up Saturday to take Furcal's roster spot. DeJesus was on the major league roster earlier this season when Furcal was on the DL, but he only started eight games over his five-week stint with the team. Expect him to play a similar role this time around, with Jamey Carroll again serving as the regular shortstop. Carroll - Mixed: $9; DeJesus - Mixed: No; NL: $0.

Osvaldo Martinez - Martinez, who was up with the Marlins earlier this season but received just eight at-bats in 10 appearances, was recalled from Triple-A on Friday. He'll help provide depth off the bench and could see some time at shortstop with Hanley Ramirez still out with inflammation in his back. That injury is likely why Florida opted to call up Martinez as opposed to a reliever with Clay Hensley going on the 15-day DL. Mixed: No; NL: $2.

Chris Nelson - Nelson was activated by the Rockies on Sunday, replacing Alfredo Amezaga on the roster. Nelson has a decent bat for a middle infielder; his glove, however, may not continue to play there in the majors. He will see occasional action given the number of other options Colorado has in the infield. Mixed: No, NL: $0.

Juan Uribe - Uribe, out since May 20 with a left hip flexor injury, started a rehab assignment Thursday at High-A Rancho Cucamonga. The expectation was that he would play 2-3 games there before returning to the Dodgers, though he did leave Saturday's game after getting hit on the left hand with a pitch that could delay his return. Uribe has struggled his first year in Los Angeles, batting just .220 with three homers and 20 RBI, 11 of which came in a five-game span. That said, his multi-position eligibility, second, third and short, along with power potential - 24 HR, 85 RBI last year - make him a valuable fantasy commodity. Mixed: $10 (likely still owned in NL-only formats).

Third Basemen:

Matt Carpenter - The Cardinals called up Carpenter on Friday, where he will provide depth at third base for the squad. He's hit .283 with two home runs, 23 RBI, and two steals through 173 at-bats at Triple-A this season. St. Louis has mixed-and-matched at third base since David Freese went down with a fractured hand May 1, so Carpenter could see some time at the hot corner until Freese returns in about a month. Mixed: $1, NL: $4.

David Freese - Freese took grounders Friday, the first time he has done so since he fractured his hand May 1. Freese could start a rehab assignment in a couple of weeks and be back by late June or early July. Prior to getting injured, Freese was off to a tremendous start to the year. With St. Louis seemingly using a cast of thousands to fill in for him at the hot corner, Freese will regain his starting position when he does return, which looks to be on the lower side of the 9-to-12 week estimate that was given when he was sidelined. Mixed: $12, NL: $35 (early bid suggestion even though he may not be back for another month).

Conor Gillaspie - San Francisco recalled Gillaspie from Triple-A Fresno on Saturday to take the roster spot of Brandon Belt, who was placed on the disabled list with a broken wrist. Gillaspie will act as a reserve infielder and he could be sent back down when Pablo Sandoval comes off the DL. Mixed: No, NL: $0.

Josh Harrison - Harrison isn't a high-ceiling prospect, but he was having a really nice campaign at Triple-A Indianapolis, hitting .321/.361/.455 there with eight stolen bases in 13 attempts. He was spending most of his time at third base, and has been doing so since getting called up by Pittsburgh with both Steven Pearce and Pedro Alvarez out. Harrison, who has been hitting second, should continue to do while Alvarez is sidelined and could see time at second and short once Alvarez returns. Mixed: $1; NL: $4

Pablo Sandoval - Sandoval, on the disabled list since April 30 and recovering from hamate bone surgery, began his rehab assignment Friday with High-A San Jose. After two games there, he will move on to Triple-A Fresno for 3-5 more before being activated sometime over the upcoming weekend. Kung Fu Panda was off to a tremendous start, batting .313 with five home runs, 14 RBI and .904 OPS, prior to getting hurt. His absence from the Giants' lineup is tangible as the team was averaging 3.80 runs in the 26 games Sandoval played, and until a recent hot stretch at the plate this week, they were averaging just 3.15 runs per game. Sandoval reportedly added a few pounds while he was sidelined, so he will need to get back in shape along with regaining the strength in his hand, but San Francisco will gladly welcome him back to their lineup. Mixed: $16; NL: $41.


Jason Bourgeois - Bourgeois, out since May 7 with a strained left oblique, was slated to begin a rehab stint at Triple-A Oklahoma City this weekend. He made an earlier than expected return, playing center field Thursday for the Red Hawks while going 2-for-4 with a walk and then went 3-for-5 Friday. Prior to getting injured, Bourgeois had been on fire, with a .407 average along with 12 steals in 28 games. The question, now that he returned to active duty for Houston on Saturday, is where he plays? Jeff Keppinger has returned from his injury and played all six games at second, where Bourgeois could play, while Michael Bourn is entrenched in center field. Keppinger could move to third, opening up second for Bourgeois, but Chris Johnson seems to be waking up while Carlos Lee could move to first, opening left field, but Brett Wallace is still hitting well. Look for manager Brad Mills to try and mix-and-match his fielders, giving Bourgeois at least 3-4 games a week. Mixed: $3; NL: $11.

Tony Campana/Tyler Colvin/Brad Snyder - Andrew profiled Campana last week, but now with Reed Johnson joining Marlon Byrd on the DL, Campana gets an upgrade as he is and should see most of the playing time in center field for the Cubs. Campana's main value is in his speed along with a good average and probably some runs, but don't expect any power from him. If Campana continues to get playing time, he should be a good source of stolen bases. Colvin opened the year with the parent club but struggled mightily and had a hard time finding playing time before he finally was emoted in mid-May. Alfonso Soriano's quad injury opened the door for a recall of Colvin, that he may not have really deserved as he hit .260/.283/.500 with a 2:13 BB:K at Triple-A Iowa following his demotion. Colvin could see time in center along with Campana and left field with Luis Montanez due to Byrd, Johnson and Soriano being sidelined. Snyder, who has was called up last Sunday, should see spot and pinch-hit duty. Snyder's minor-league line (.342/.374/.568) looks good, but his .422 BABIP and 8:37 BB:K suggest he could be overmatched at the major-league level. Campana - Mixed: $2; NL: $7; Colvin - Mixed: $3; NL: $11; Snyder - Mixed: No; NL: $0.

Aaron Cunningham - The Padres recalled Cunningham from Triple-A Tucson on Wednesday where he joined the team's outfield crew with Cameron Maybin (knee) on the disabled list. It's not clear how much he will play, as Blake Tekotte has been seeing much of the time in center with Maybin out, but fantasy owners should be aware that he knocked in 42 runs and posted an .850 OPS in 50 games with Tucson. Mixed: No; NL: $2.

Nate McLouth - McLouth, on the DL with a strained oblique, is hopeful he can return from the DL when eligible June 7. He'll need to go on a minor league rehab assignment and he has yet to swing at bat, so his return will take more than 15 days. However, it sounds like he could return faster than usual for an oblique injury. That takes of the injury, but a bigger question is whether he will get his center-field job back when he returns. Jordan Schafer has done a good job of getting on base and handling the position defensively, but he - like McLouth - has struggled the past several seasons, so nothing is written in stone here. Mixed: $3, NL: $9

Laynce Nix - Nix didn't start Saturday with lefty Joe Saunders on the hill, but notched a pinch-hit single to extend his hitting streak to seven games. He has - and should continue to see most of his action against right-handed pitching, since he has torched them to a .318/.348/.598 line. The move of Mike Morse to first in place of the injured Adam LaRoche, enabled Nix to remain in the lineup even with the recent return of Rick Ankiel, who likely will cut into Roger Bernadina's playing time. Nix has been aided by a .363 BABIP, but he posted a .361 BABIP last year, so there is some precedent for his luck in that regard, and while a regression may occur, his power potential should allow him to see solid action going forward. Mixed: $7.

Nate Schierholtz - Manager Bruce Bochy has stated Schierholtz will start receiving more playing time. Schierholtz started in right field Thursday, Friday and Saturday, moving Cody Ross to left and Pat Burrell to the bench. Schierholtz is hitting fifth in the lineup and provides terrific defense in the outfield. With Brandon Belt landing on the disabled list with a hairline fracture in his left wrist, Schierholtz should continue to see solid playing time. Mixed: $3, NL: $9

Matt Young - Young was recalled Tuesday from Triple-A Gwinnett, where he was hitting .276/.364/.333 with eight stolen bases. It's hard to see him getting much playing time, with Eric Hinske, Joe Mather, Martin Prado and Jordan Schafer, who should be back in the next day or two from his facial injuries, already splitting time in the outfield, but he has speed if he gets on base. Mixed: No, NL: $0