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AL FAAB Factor: Third Time's a Charm

Kyle McKeown

Kyle McKeown is the Managing Editor of NBA Content for He hosts the Fantasy Basketball Podcast and writes about fantasy basketball. Kyle used to run an after school program and approaches his work as an editor with teaching in mind. He genuinely cares about helping others win their fantasy basketball leagues, which seems really dorky when it's written in the third person.


Phil Coke, SP, DET - Coke (ankle) is expected to return from the DL Wednesday and start against the Rangers. He posted a 3.81 ERA, 1.23 WHIP, and 30:16 K:BB through 52 innings before going on the DL. Andrew Oliver will likely be sent back down to Triple-A when Coke is activated. Coke's numbers are respectable, but he's had his fair share of struggles on the mound this season. Someone might have dropped him out of frustration in an AL-only league when he went on the DL, but otherwise, nothing's really changed with his situation during the course of his DL stint. Mixed: $0; AL: $1.

Alex Cobb, SP, TB - Cobb will remain in the rotation until Jeff Niemann (back) is ready to return later this month. This will keep Andy Sonnanstine in a permanent bullpen role. Cobb's first two starts with the Rays were rough (10.2 innings, seven earned runs), but the work he did at Triple-A this season (50:10 K:BB, 1.14 ERA, and 1.10 WHIP over 47.1 innings) has convinced the Rays to let him continue getting action in the majors. He's worth an add in most leagues for the next couple weeks based on his strikeout rate and high potential. After a couple starts to shakeout the jitters, the 23-year-old rookie may be ready to settle in and do some damage. Mixed: $4; AL: $6.

Felipe Paulino, SP, KC - Paulino has looked good in his first two appearances for the Royals, and they've opted to move him into their starting rotation. In his first start against the Angels, Paulino threw five innings of shutout ball. He's struck out 21 batters over 24 innings this season and should be a hot pickup in AL-only leagues this week based on his potential to post strikeouts in bunches. As long as he performs, the Royals should keep him in the rotation. Paulino will likely post a high ERA and WHIP when all is said and done, but his ability to strikeout batters makes him worth starting in most leagues. Further, his flyball tendencies won't be as problematic in Kansas City as they've been in hitter-friendly Colorado and Houston. Mixed: $2; AL: $6.

John Lackey, SP, BOS - Lackey will be activated from the DL Sunday. Make sure you have him in your lineups for the upcoming week.


Thomas Hottovy, RP, BOS - Hottovy is a 29-year-old rookie who started the season in Double-A and quickly pitched his way to the majors. With Rich Hill (elbow) going on the DL and expected to miss the rest of the season, Hottovy will have an opportunity to serve as a lefty specialist for the Red Sox the rest of the season. Mixed: $0; AL: $0.

Chris Jakubauskas, RP/SP, BAL - Jacobim Mugattu will work out of the bullpen initially, but he could eventually join the Orioles' rotation. He had a terribly pedestrian 4.05 ERA and 1.50 WHIP through 20 innings at Triple-A this season, and there's been little in his track record, beyond a favorable stretch at Triple-A in 2008, to suggest he'll ever be effective enough to contribute positive stats in fantasy. Mixed: $0; AL: $0.


Jarrod Saltalamacchia, C, BOS - Salty has been getting the job done at the plate lately. The 26-year-old backstop hit just .220 in May, but he found his power stroke and posted a complimentary .756 OPS to put his work at the plate in a respectable light. After failing to homer in the first month and a half of the season, Salty has hit five home runs since May 10. He has enough power to hit upwards of 15 home runs in a full season, a feat only nine catchers accomplished last season. Salty is producing enough now to be of use in standard mixed leagues, but he'll need to continue hitting for power to maintain that level of usage. He's currently owned in only 10 percent of Yahoo! leagues. Mixed: $4; AL: $8.


Derrek Lee, 1B, BAL - Lee (oblique) returned from the 15-day DL Saturday and was slotted right back into the Orioles' starting lineup. He batted fifth Saturday, to take some of the pressure off him in his first game back. Manager Buck Showalter usually bats Lee third. He's a tough play this week, because he's slated to miss at least Thursday and Friday to attend his grandfathers' funeral in California. Lee is owned in only 28 percent of Yahoo! leagues. Though the 35-year-old first baseman has regressed some the last two seasons, he's still worthy of rostering at the corner infield or utility slot in most leagues. Before going on the DL, Lee was hitting a disappointing .231 with four home runs and 14 RBI, but it was just two years ago that Lee slugged 35 home runs and drove in 111 RBI for the Cubs. Don't shy away from him just because of his age. Lee still has some pop in his bat, and batting in Camden Yards' comfy confines should payoff at some point this season. He's probably only available in mixed leagues, but regardless of his age, Lee remains a high-potential bat that should be owned in the majority of leagues.Mixed: $16; AL: $25.

Brett Lawrie, 3B/2B, TOR - Lawrie's (hand) callup is believed to be imminent. Several news sources were reporting last week that the Jays were planning on bringing him up from Triple-A during their current series against the Orioles, but that debut was postponed after Lawrie took a mid-90s heater off his hand in a minor league game earlier this week. He's been out of the lineup the last three days, but he's expected to start playing in games possibly as early as Sunday. After he shows the hand is healthy and that he's still able to be effective at the plate, Lawrie could earn his callup to the majors. I've seen him disappearing off the free-agent pile in a lot of my leagues this week. If you're hoping to strike gold with him this season, the hype machine has made it necessary to grab him now before the official announcement of his callup. Grab him this week, or you simply may not be able to grab him at all. I'm recommending a slightly cheaper bid price on him, because he hasn't been called up yet. Don't be surprised if he goes for a lot more. Through 52 games (223 at-bats) at Triple-A Las Vegas this season, Lawrie has hit .354 with 15 home runs, 11 steals, 19 doubles, four triples, 49 RBI, and 51 runs scored. Yes, those stats are real.Mixed: $8; AL: $14.

Adam Lind, 1B/DH, TOR - Lind returned from the DL Saturday. Make sure he's in your lineups for the upcoming week.

Adam Everett, 3B, CLE - Everett is starting at third for the fourth time in five days Sunday as Jack Hannahan continues to miss time with a sore hamstring. He's worth grabbing as a speculative pickup as a possible live bat for the upcoming week. Everett doesn't have any power, but he won't kill your batting average either. Mixed: $0; AL: $1.

Danny Worth, 3B, DET - Worth should get the majority of starts at third with Brandon Inge (mononucleosis) on the DL, and when Don Kelly gets the start at third some days, Worth can slide over to second. He could get 4-5 starts per week while Inge is out. Worth hit .270 with three home runs, 19 RBI, and four steals in 115 at-bats for Triple-A Toledo this season. If he can hit for a good average, he'll be just as good, or better, than Inge was at third so far this season. His value will be contingent on his ability to produce enough to stay in the lineup, but there are openings at third and second for Worth to try and claim over the next couple weeks. He's a decent speculative add in deep-deep-mixed leagues and AL-only formats. Mixed: $1; AL: $2.


Luke Hughes, 2B, MIN - Hughes was recalled by the Twins on Friday with Jason Kubel (sprained left foot) and Jim Thome (strained left quad) both being placed on the 15-day DL Thursday. He'll be in the mix at second, but he was so mediocre in his callup earlier this season, that there are reduced expectations for him this time around. Mixed: $0; AL: $1.

Robert Andino, 2B, SS, BAL - Andino has been a consistent part of the Orioles' lineup this season, seeing the majority of his playing time starting in place of injured teammates. With J.J. Hardy out earlier this season, Andino filled in at shortstop, and with Brain Roberts (concussion) currently on the DL, he's been starting at second. Though he's largely mediocre at the plate, Andino continues to find his name in the lineup, making him a surprising source of regular at-bats to use in AL-only leagues. Roberts will be re-evaluated Tuesday, but the latest news there is that he's still dealing with concussion symptoms and no return date is in sight. If you need middle-infield help, Andino has a lot of value as a regular in AL-only leagues, and they've been batting him leadoff against lefties, increasing his opportunity for at-bats and runs. Mixed: $0; AL: $3.

Adam Kennedy, 2B, SEA - Kennedy has seen time at first and second base this season. He started four of the Mariners' last five games at second. Through 137 at-bats this season, he's posted a .299 average with five home runs, 17 RBI, and five steals. If you need help at middle infield, Kennedy is a quality bat that's available in most leagues. He has the potential to steal 20 bags and hit over 10 homers over the course of a full season. Mixed: $1; AL: $5.

Reid Brignac, SS, TB - Brignac started three of the Rays' last five games at shortstop, but his struggles at the plate have persisted. If you need a live bat at middle infield, he's getting somewhat regular playing time. That may change though once Elliot Johnson is ready to return late in the coming week. Mixed: $0; AL: $1.

Howie Kendrick, 2B, LAA - Kendrick was activated from the DL Saturday. Make sure he's in your lineup for the upcoming week.


Greg Halman, OF, SEA - Halman was called up by the Mariners on Friday and Michael Saunders was optioned to Triple-A Tacoma. He's a 23-year-old rookie who missed 48 games with a broken hand at Triple-A this season. Through nine games at Tacoma, Halman posted a .257 average with one home run and two steals. He won't see much action, but the team opted to bring him up instead of Mike Carp. Halman can help back up Franklin Gutierrez in center. He hit 33 home runs at Triple-A last season but had just a .243 average. Such a low average in the minors doesn't breed a lot of confidence in Halman having much success in the majors. Until he starts seeing action, or Carlos Peguero gets sent down, I'm not buying him. Mixed: $0; AL: $0.

Orioles Left Field (Luke Scott, Nolan Reimold, Felix Pie) - With Derrek Lee (oblique) returning from the DL Saturday, the Orioles now have a logjam in left field. Scott can no longer get his at-bats at first, so he'll need to get the majority of them out in left field. That means the two-man (lefty/righty) platoon of Reimold and Pie could become a one-man lefty monotoon. Scott should start in left whenever there's a right-hander on the mound, and Reimold (batting .412 against southpaws) should get the start against all lefties. That leaves Pie to find at-bats as a pinch-hitter and sub. All three players are losing at-bats in the short-term. What will be interesting is to see who Showalter hits leadoff against righties if Pie isn't in the lineup.

Brent Lillibridge, OF, CHW - Lillibridge started four of the White Sox' last five games, but he's been capitalizing on Adam Dunn's slumping bat against left-handed pitchers and Paul Konerko's (wrist) absence from the lineup. Dunn has looked terrible at the plate, so Lillibridge may continue to get starts in right field against lefties, but Konerko returned to the lineup Sunday. That will limit his opportunities to get at-bats going forward. If you're making daily matchup switches on your team and looking for a bat to slide in, Lillibridge has been displaying some mind-bending heroics this season. In just 73 at-bats, he's hit .301 with seven home runs, 12 RBI, and five steals. Three of his home runs have come in his last seven games, and the power surge should get him some extra starts this week. Lillibridge is owned in only three percent of Yahoo! leagues, and his recent production with a heavier workload makes him a great speculative add for the coming week. Buy him with the hope that the Sox find ways to get him in the lineup every day in the coming week, but don't be surprised if he sees spotty action with Konerko's return. Mixed: $1; AL: $2.

Travis Buck, OF, CLE - Buck was in the starting lineup for four of the Indians' last five games, but he was left on the bench Saturday with Grady Sizemore playing in the field. He's been getting enough at-bats lately to warrant a speculative pickup for the upcoming week. As long as the Indians continue to use Sizemore at DH, Buck should get starts in the outfield. And the team has given him 14 at-bats as the DH, so he could get time there with Travis Hafner on the DL. Buck is hitting .269 with two home runs, eight RBI, and a steal in 78 at-bats. He's no Brent Lillibridge when it's come to spot production this season, but Buck's increase in playing time lately makes him a live bat for AL-only leagues. Make a cheap buy on him if you're looking for outfield help. Just don't be surprised if he loses playing time as the Indians get everyone healthy. Mixed: $0; AL: $2.

Tigers Left Field (Andy Dirks, Casper Wells, Brennan Boesch) - Dirks and Wells are battling each other for at-bats right now. Wells has been with the team since Opening Day, and Dirks recently got the callup when Magglio Ordonez (ankle) was put on the DL. When Ordonez returns and reclaims his starting right field job this week, left field will become more crowded as Boesch shifts over there. Dirks or Wells could get sent down to Triple-A. Both are great high-potential guys, but neither has made a mark in the lineup deep enough to claim any real estate. Boesch has been a fringe player in mixed leagues all season, but the cut in at-bats coming for Dirks and Wells will cut their value sharply going forward.

Ben Revere, OF, MIN - Revere has started the last three games for the Twins with Jim Thome and Jason Kubel being on the DL. Since being called up at the beginning of May, Revere has hit .289 with two RBI and three steals in 45 at-bats. He's a speed demon, can draw walks, and hits for a good average. Manager Ron Gardenhire has given some praise to Revere, and the team is going to give him enough run over the next couple weeks to see if he's got the stuff to stay with them the rest of the season. If you're looking for an outfielder with speed to plug into your lineup the next couple weeks, and possibly longer, Revere is a good guy to bid on this week. Just don't expect him to knock many balls over the fence. That's not his forte. Mixed: $2; AL: $6.

Brian Dinkelman, OF/2B, MIN - Dinkelman is a 27-year-old rookie. He was called up this week and made his debut in left field Saturday. He'll serve in a utility role for the Twins, but he's unlikely to see much action. Mixed: $0; AL: $0.

Carlos Peguero, OF, SEA - Peguero has started four of the Mariners' last five games in left field. He's a feast-or-famine player. Either he grabs hold of a pitch and sends it over the fences, or he swings right through it. Through 69 at-bats since his callup, Peguero has hit .203 with four home runs, 12 RBI, and a 3:25 BB:K ratio. While the 24-year-old's power is intriguing, his free-swinging ways at the plate make him hard to roster in most leagues. If you're desperate to make a power grab and aren't worried about average, Peguero could be a cheap add. Mixed: $0; AL: $2.