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FAAB Factor - NL: Cozart Debuts

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 Pitching:

Ross Detwiler - Detwiler, who was an uninspiring 6-6 with a 4.53 ERA and 63:32 K:BB ratio in 87.1 innings for Triple-A Syracuse, was promoted and started Tuesday for Washington. Detwiler held the Cubs to two runs on four hits in 5.1 innings Tuesday, though he struggled his third time through the order, to pick up the win in his season debut. That start may earn him some addition looks as Washington may look for ways to limit Jordan Zimmermann's innings, though Zimmermann is getting the nod on Sunday even though Detwiler would have been on turn. Detwiler, the Nationals top pick in 2007, hasn't panned out like expected but could remain in the rotation if Washington decides to go with six-man rotation. Mixed: $0; NL: $2.

Aaron Harang - Harang, out for nearly a month with a foot injury, was activated and started Saturday against the Dodgers in place of the injured Clayton Richard. Harang made a rehab start Monday and manager Bud Black named him over Anthony Bass and Wade LeBlanc to make the start Saturday. Harang threw 70 pitches in Monday's rehab start and was allowed to throw 95 on Saturday. He struck out six and walked three over his 95 pitches in six, no-hit innings, and the foot injury should not be a concern moving forward. Mixed: $4; NL: $11

Clay Hensley - The Marlins are building up the pitch count for Hensley, who has been out with a right shoulder sprain since June 3, and it seems likely that he'll join the rotation sometime after the All-Star break. This surprising change was announced this past week, but it would provide the Marlins with an internal option to take the place of Josh Johnson as Johnson continues to try and work his way back onto the mound before the end of the season. Hensley threw 55 pitches Saturday for High-A Jupiter, striking out two over his four innings of work and should next pitch for Double-A Jacksonville. Hensley was a starter before being converted to relieving, where he seemed to be best suited, but Florida needs someone to take Johnson's place and have turned to Hensley. Mixed: $0; NL: $2

Chien-Ming Wang - Wang, who has not pitched in the majors since early-2009 due to a shoulder injury - pay attention Johan Santana owners - had another strong start Thursday, tossing five shutout innings for Double-A Harrisburg. He generated plenty of ground balls with a sinker that topped out at 92 mph. He sat comfortably in the 88-90 mph range, which is still a few mph slower than he was in his prime with the Yankees (the years he won 19 games in back-to-back seasons, his average fastball was 93.1 and 92.7), but might be good enough to get him back to the majors. This was his third rehab start, as he made one each at High-A Potomac and Low-A Hagerstown, and there's a very good chance Wang could be promoted by the end of July. Mixed: $1; NL: $5 (speculative bid)

Dontrelle Willis - Willis will be called up by the Reds to start against the Brewers on Sunday. Willis, who missed almost a month with groin and ankle issues and just recently returned to action, posted a 5-2 record with a 2.63 ERA at Triple-A Louisville this season. Perhaps the best indication that he may have finally stopped throwing randomness from the mound is that Willis has posted a 1.21 WHIP and 67:20 K:BB ratio over his 75.1 innings of work. He could pay good dividends if he's able to maintain the control he's shown in the minors, though that is something he has failed to do the past several seasons. Mixed: $2; NL: $7.

Carlos Zambrano - Zambrano, on the DL since July 1 with a back injury, made a rehab start for Low-A Peoria on Friday. Assuming everything goes well during his rehab start, Zambrano will rejoin the Cubs after the All-Star break and toe the rubber July 16 against the Marlins. (just an FYI as likely still owned in all formats)

Relief Pitchers:

Luke Gregerson - The Padres activated Gregerson (oblique) from the DL prior to Tuesday's game. Gregerson, who missed nearly a month with the injury, struck out two in a perfect inning in his final rehab appearance, and he should immediately return to his setup role. Mike Adams is likely next in line if/when Heath Bell is moved at the trading deadline, but Gregerson, who has a sold 2.37 ERA and 1.220 WHIP, could factor in the mix. Mixed: $1; NL: $4

LaTroy Hawkins - Hawkins worked a scoreless eighth inning in Wednesday's win over the D-Backs. Kameron Loe has been heavily used recently (and ineffective), so it's possible that manager Ron Roenicke is going to give Hawkins an opportunity to lock down the eighth-inning setup role in front of closer John Axford. Keep in mind, however, that Takashi Saito is back from the DL and could be an option for setup duty as well. Mixed: $1; NL: $4.

Bobby Parnell - Parnell, who opened the season as Francisco Rodriguez's set-up man, only to lose control and command over his fastball and slider and get demoted to Triple-A Buffalo, is back on the beam. Parnell had been scored on in just two of his last 14 outings, lowering his ERA to 2.66 and WHIP to 1.310, prior to giving up a run Saturday. As the command and control of his high-90s heat and slider continue to improve, look for manager Terry Collins to possibly use him more in the eighth inning instead of Jason Isringhausen. Plus, K-Rod, who could be dealt before the trading deadline, has intimated in recent post-game comments that Parnell should be the one to take over for him as closer if he is moved. Mixed: $2; NL: $7 (speculative early possible future closer bid)

Fernando Rodriguez - The Astros recalled Rodriguez from Triple-A Oklahoma City on Tuesday. Despite posting a 2.87 ERA and 22:5 K:BB ratio in 15.2 innings with the big club, Rodriguez was sent down in late June so the Astros could add another catcher to the roster. However, an injury to Fernando Abad (shoulder) landed him on the disabled list and opened the door for Rodriguez to reclaim his spot in the Astros' bullpen. Rodriguez has resumed pitching in middle relief for the Astros. Mixed: No; NL: $0.


Rod Barajas - I profiled Barajas, who has been out since June 19 with a sprained right ankle, last week when it looked like could begin a minor league rehab assignment over the weekend. He had been taking BP, throwing and participating in other baseball activities, but the key was how well he could crouch behind the plate and run on the ankle, which he started to do that Friday. Unfortunately the ankle responded slower than expected, but he finally started a start his rehab assignment on Thursday with an eye towards returning to the lineup on July 15. Once activated, likely for A.J. Ellis, he will regain his starting catching job. Mixed: $3; NL: $9.

Jesus Flores - With Ivan Rodriguez landing on the disabled list due to his strained oblique muscle, Flores was promoted to replace him on the Nationals' roster. Flores is hitting .234/.252/.378 with five home runs and 30 RBI in 209 at-bats in the minors. Before injuries derailed his career in 2009, Flores had become the Nationals' everyday catcher and a promising piece of their future, but he is behind Wilson Ramos, who should see most of the action with Pudge out and gets a mild uptick in value, and possibly Derek Norris in the catching pecking order. Mixed: $0; NL: $3.

Gerard Laird - Laird's broken right index finger finally healed enough for him to complete a short minor-league rehab stint and be activated this past week by the Cardinals. Laird, who was hitting .214 (9-for-42) with five doubles and four RBI in 15 games and out since May 22, regains his backup role behind Yadier Molina, which likely will eventually result in the demotion of Tony Cruz to Triple-A Memphis. Mixed: No; NL: $0.

Luis Martinez - The Padres called up Martinez from Triple-A Tucson as Nick Hundley's elbow finally forced him to the DL, creating the roster space for Martinez. Martinez was hitting .313 at Tucson, but had a 32:8 K:BB ratio along with zero home runs in 131 at-bats. With San Diego also carrying Rob Johnson and Kyle Phillips, Martinez's playing time likely will be minimal. Mixed: No; NL: $0

Humberto Quintero - Quintero, out since he suffered a severe high-ankle sprain in a home-plate collision May 27 that was basically ignored in the wake of a similar collision to Buster Posey, was activated from the disabled list Thursday. In a surprise move, the Astros optioned J.R. Towles, and not Carlos Corporan, to the minors. Quintero, who was batting .248 in 32 games when he was sidelined, should slot in immediately as the team's starting catcher. Mixed: $1; NL: $4.

First Basemen:

Freddie Freeman - Freeman had been having an okay rookie season but he has exploded of late. He had four home runs along with seven RBI in the four-game set against the Rockies, giving him 13 and 43 on the year. His recent upswing has moved his OPS up to .809 and batting average from .267 to .274 in a week, even after his 0-for-5 Saturday. Freeman will cool down a bit but he should easily surpass 20 taters, and his current performance should be associated with a rise in his mixed ownership. Mixed: $15

Second Base:

Clint Barmes - Barmes overall numbers do not stand out, but he has been hot of late. Barmes is now on an 18-for-45 tear, over which he has seven extra-base hits and four RBI. He qualifies at short and second, adding to his value, and while he likely will revert back to prior form, ride him while he is hot. Mixed: $3; NL: $9 (in case he was dropped due to his so-so overall numbers).

Mike Fontenot - Fontenot, who had been on the DL since May 26 and then re-injured his groin June 10 at Triple-A Fresno, finally was activated Friday. Fontenot was not in the lineup for Friday's game, however. Brandon Crawford has settled into the starting shortstop role and Miguel Tejada is also seeing time there, but Fontenot should also get some time at second base. The roster spot for Fontenot was opened when Bill Hall was placed on the disabled list with a laceration to his left leg, so it will be interesting to see who remains once Hall is ready to return. Mixed: No; NL: $0

Omar Infante - Infante's performance at the plate has been inching its way up (he hit .272/.333/.340 in June) since a weak April. In addition, with his three-hit game Wednesday, Infante had five multi-hit games in an 11-game stretch. From 2008-2010, Infante recorded 991 AB and averaged  .309/.353/.410, while in 2011, those numbers have dropped substantially to just .257/301/.317, so a move up to his averages could be forthcoming. Infante's multi-position eligibility - he qualifies at second, third and outfield in most, as well as shortstop in other, formats add to his value. Mixed: $4; NL: $11 (in case he was dropped after his poor early start).

Pete Orr - Orr was recalled to the big leagues Friday after the Phillies placed Shane Victorino on the disabled list with a thumb sprain. Orr is currently hitting .264 with a .692 OPS at Triple-A Lehigh Valley. He'll stick with the club through the All-Star break until Victorino's thumb sprain has healed. Mixed: No; NL: $0.

Martin Prado - I profiled Prado, who has been out since June 8 with a staff infection in his right calf, when he started to hit off a tee two weeks ago. He took batting practice and was cleared to begin full baseball activity in early-July as his incision that was made to clean out the infection was completely healed. Prado began a minor-league rehab assignment with Triple-A Gwinnett on Wednesday and should be activated right after the All-Star break. When that occurs, he should go back to see most of his action at third base, as Chipper Jones will be sidelined 3-4 weeks following surgery to repair a meniscus tear in his right knee. (just an FYI as still should be owned in nearly all formats)

Eugenio Velez - The Dodgers purchased Velez's contract from Triple-A Albuquerque on Monday. Velez is serving as a reserve infielder for the Dodgers, but is finding playing time hard to come by with both Aaron Miles and Jamey Carroll swinging the bat well off the bench. In addition, he got a start in left, though that should not be a regular occurrence. Mixed: No; NL: $0.


Geoff Blum - Blum, out all season to date with a knee injury, could be activated from the disabled list Friday. He's been playing his rehab games at Triple-A Reno and should have a limited bench role, possibly seeing action at each spot in the infield, upon returning to the D-Backs' roster next week. Mixed: No; NL: $0.

Zach Cozart/Edgar Renteria - Cozart was profiled a few weeks ago when it looked like the Reds would call him up, but that did not happen until Thursday, when Cincinnati promoted him from Triple-A Louisville, Cozart is up to give the Reds something, anything offensively from the shortstop position, as after a slow start, the former second-round pick was hitting .310/.357/.467 with seven home runs and 32 RBI in 77 games at Louisville before the promotion. Those numbers continue the growth he showed last year when he blasted 17 HR while driving in 67 runs to go with a .255/.310/.416 line. The one negative was his 107:40 K:BB ratio This year, Cozart had made strides in his contact rate, upping it from .81 to .84, which helped him post a 51:23 K:BB ratio, which translates to a .45 BB:K rate compared to .37 last year. Cozart went 1-3 in his debut scoring a run, is 4-for-11 through three games, and figures to get the majority of playing time at SS going forward, though Edgar Renteria could factor in the mix as well as Cincinnati may elect to ease Cozart into full-time action. Renteria, whose bat showed some signs of life the past week, started and batted second Friday, though he left the game with a sore left arm after being hit by a pitch earlier in the contest and did not play Saturday. Cozart - Mixed: $3; NL: $9; Renteria - Mixed: $0; NL: $3

Chase d'Arnaud - After starting out very slowly, D'Arnaud is 7-22 in his last five games for the Pirates. With Ronny Cedeno out indefinitely with a concussion, d'Arnaud is and will continue to start at shortstop and could remain as the starter if he shows he is able to hit. D'Arnaud has already made four errors in 13 games and probably shouldn't get too comfortable as a starter. Still, he's swiped five bags already and hasn't looked overmatched at the plate. If the team does send him back to Triple-A after the All-Star break, at least he's proven himself as a potential second-half commodity. Mixed: $1; NL: $4.

Third Basemen:

Pedro Alvarez - I profiled Alvarez last week, but now that it looks he may back right after the All-Star break, I am running it again. Alvarez, who was out since May 21 with a quad injury, started a rehab assignment in early-June before suffering a setback and getting shut down. Alvarez resumed game activities on Monday, and so far, he has showed no sign of the injury, blasting his first home run last Friday and then moved up to Triple-A Indianapolis. He can stay out on his rehab assignment until July 17, but no longer and likely will be held out until after the All-Star break and return on the 16th or 17th. Prior to getting injured, Alvarez was off to a horrific start, both at the plate and in the field, so he should benefit from the extra work and attention down in the minors. On Saturday, Pittsburgh activated Alvarez from the disabled list and optioned to Triple-A. Alvarez will be able to play in a few games over the All-Star break in order to get back on track, though by sending him down, a promotion is no longer a given. Mixed: $7, NL: $18 (if you believe he will be promoted).

Brandon Hicks - Hicks was recalled from Triple-A Gwinnett on Saturday with Chipper Jones having surgery to repair a meniscus tear in his right knee. Hicks will likely get sent down when Martin Prado is activated off the disabled list after the All-Star break. Mixed: No, NL: $0

Ian Stewart - Stewart, who seems to be turning into a 4-A player, has been called up again from Triple-A Colorado Springs. He tampered with his stance and swing during his time in the minors, which could have played a part in his early success after his demotion to Triple-A Colorado Springs in May. Stewart tailed off a bit, but still averaged a home run every 12 at-bats and had 41 RBI in 167 at-bats. Colroado will likely give him every chance to succeed at third base, but if he shows no signs of progressing, they can easily turn back to Ty Wigginton, who did a solid job at the plate but was so-so with the glove at the hot corner. Mixed: $2, NL: $7


Mike Cameron - Cameron, who was designated for assignment at the end of June by the Red Sox, was dealt this past week to the Marlins for a player to be named later. Injuries and ineffectiveness plagued Cameron's Red Sox career, so he will head to Florida to get a new start. Cameron hit just .149 this season with the Red Sox, but if his legs can handle it, he could be a nice pick-up for a Marlins team that has been giving Emilio Bonifacio regular at-bats in center field. His role with the team has not been fully decided, but Marlins president of baseball operations Larry Beinfest sees the outfielder getting starts to give Logan Morrison, Bryan Petersen and Mike Stanton days off. Cameron, who figures to share the center field duties with Bryan Petersen for the time being, started and hit sixth Thursday against Houston. Mixed: $2; NL: $7.

Allen Craig - Craig, out since June 7 with a bruised right knee that turned out to be a broken right kneecap, has suffered some atrophy in his right quadriceps because he went so long without running on it. But Craig said he has begun hitting and running as he rebuilds strength in the leg and is hoping for an injury rehabilitation assignment sometime after next week's All-Star break. Once Craig returns, the question will be where he plays, now that St. Louis' starting outfield is healthy and John Jay has done a solid job as the fourth outfielder. There is a decent possibility that Craig could see most of his action at second base, where he had started playing before he was sidelined. Mixed: $2; NL: $7. (on assumption he sees time at second base).

Nick Evans - Evans, who was added to the active roster earlier Thursday, was in the starting lineup -- playing first base and batting seventh -- against the Dodgers on Thursday. With lefty Clayton Kershaw on the hill, Evans got the nod over Lucas Duda. When the Mets faced three righties in their upcoming series against the Giants, Evans moved back into a pinch-hitting role. Evans had a 19-game hitting streak recently at Triple-A Buffalo, but to date he has not been able to translate that success to the majors as he is 0-for-15 this season. His stint may last until David Wright is ready to come off the disabled list. Mixed: No; NL: $0

Cole Garner - Garner, who was hitting .340/.376/.567 in the minors, rode the Colorado-Colorado Springs shuttle this past week. He was called up when Carlos Gonzalez got hurt, sent down to make room for Ian Stewart and then promoted again due to Charlie Blackmon's injury. Garner's numbers are skewed somewhat because he plays at Colorado Springs, but the numbers he posted warrants some attention. Mixed: $0; NL: $3.

John Mayberry - Mayberry, who opened the season in Philly but was sent down when Shane Victorino came off the DL in early-June, was called back up again this week with Victorino dealing with a bruised thumb. Mayberry started in center field and hit eighth Wednesday against the Marlins, slugged a pair of homers and drove in three in the extra-inning loss. Mayberry should continue to see some time in center field with Victorino landing on the DL with the injury. Mayberry has some power and speed, with five HR, 15 RBI and five SB through 88 games, so he could help in the short term. Mixed: $1; NL: $4.

Nate Schierholtz - Schierholtz has been profiled a few times this year, and his current performance warrants another mention. Schierholtz has been on fire at the plate, going 20-for-53 since June 25 to up his average from .248 to .280. In addition, during that span, Schierholtz has three home runs and 10 RBI, giving him seven and 30 on the season. He has done a solid job making contact, posting a 6:5 K:BB ratio during his recent hot stretch while upping his contact rate to .85 for the year. Schierholtz was mainly known for his defense, and while he doesn't have great speed or power, he is making the most of his talents while starting nearly every day in right field. Mixed: $5.

Ryan Spilborghs - Spilborghs could be the primary beneficiary if Charlie Blackmon's fractured foot. Blackmon had already cooled off considerably after a fast start and while Carlos Gonzalez was out four starts with his recent injury, Spilborghs had been seeing occasional starts in the outfield. Now with Blackmon out for a long period of time, Spilborghs could potentially see regular at-bats to try and work through his struggles, though Colorado may also use Ty Wigginton in left for as long as Ian Stewart is given another shot at third base. Mixed: $3; NL: $9 (up more if you think he reverts back to 2010 form).

Will Venable - Venable has battled his way to a platoon in right field with Chris Denorfia. Since being recalled from Triple-A on June 9, Venable has gone 16-for-59 with a .800+ OPS, while Denorfia is 18-for-78 with a .700 OPS that span. There is not a lot of difference in plate appearances over that span, as Denorfia has faced his share of right-handed pitching. That may change, however, as Venable is clearly the better player right now, which could limit Denorfia to playing time only against southpaws. Mixed: $3; NL: $9.