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FAAB Factor-AL: A Whiff of Success

Andrew Martinez

Andrew Martinez writes about baseball and football. He is a native Texan and roots for the Astros, Rockets, Texans, and Rice Owls.

Starting Pitchers:

Derek Holland, Rangers - It's time to start checking in on the availability of Holland in all leagues, as he's already deemed himself ready for a rehab assignment this week. The Rangers are taking a more cautious approach and letting him continue to rehab, but his eagerness to get back out on a mound is a good sign. He's currently working his way back from knee surgery, so it's understandable that the team would want him to take his time. Last season with the team he had a 3.42 ERA (3.44 FIP) with 189 strikeouts and 64 walks over 213 IP. He's a great player to stash in all formats. Mixed: $5; AL: $15.

Alex Meyer, Twins - The only thing that figures to stand between Meyer and the majors is service time and with Super 2 dates on the horizon, Meyer makes for a nice stash in AL only formats. This season at Triple-A Rochester he has a 3.55 ERA (3.53 FIP) with 54 strikeouts and 23 walks in 45.2 IP. He has twice had games this season where he punched-out 11 batters with three walks, showing the elite level dominance that he's capable of. Considering the current state of the Twins rotation, they'll likely welcome him with open arms, when he does get the call. Mixed: $3; AL: $12.

Vidal Nuno, Yankees - Nuno posted his second consecutive quality start this week, when he held the White Sox to three earned runs over seven innings with five strikeouts and one walk. Overall this season he has been less than impressive with a 5.49 ERA (4.76 FIP), 31 strikeouts and 17 walks over 41 IP. This week he gets the Twins at home, in a matchup where he should keep the good times rolling. Mixed: $2; AL: $8.

Taijuan Walker, Mariners - Walker is set to begin a rehab assignment this coming week at Triple-A Tacoma, showing that he is not that far away from making his way back to the majors. He's currently dealing with a shoulder injury, so there's a fair amount of caution that needs to be exercised by the team and owners here. Last season he tore through Double-A and Triple-A, before finally getting a cup of coffee in September. Still a very highly thought of prospect, he'll be immediately worth owning in all AL only formats and most deep mixed leagues. The main concern is how does his shoulder hold up and how does he adjust to life in the majors. For now, he makes for a great player to stash. Mixed: $5; AL: $20.

Chase Whitley, Yankees - Through two starts in his major league career, Whitley has given up only one earned run, though he hasn't made it through five innings yet, so he doesn't have a win to his name. At Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre he posted a 3.05 ERA with 160 strikeouts and 53 walks over 174.1 IP over three seasons there. He remains a fringe option, even in AL only formats, until he can go deeper into games. This week he gets the Cardinals on the road and Twins at home. Mixed: $1; AL: $5.

Brandon Workman, Red Sox - With Felix Doubront dealing with a shoulder injury on the DL, Workman was called up from Triple-A Pawtucket to take his spot in the rotation. At Pawtucket he has posted a 4.01 ERA with 68 strikeouts and 23 walks over 74 IP over two seasons. It's tough to see him finding much success in the majors right away, which makes him tough to start in even AL only formats. This week he gets the Rays at home. He's likely not worth the risk at this point. Mixed: No; AL: $2.

Relief Pitchers:

Ronald Belisario, Daniel Webb, & Jacob Petricka, White Sox - With Matt Lindstrom (ankle) out for the next three months, the closer role is up for grabs in the White Sox bullpen. The first guy to get a shot has been Belisario, who nailed down two saves this week before blowing his third opportunity. The fact that he's given up an earned run or more in each of those three outings is not encouraging. Still, manager Robin Ventura sounds like he'll stick with him a bit longer, though he's going to need to string together some clean outings, before his 5.14 ERA comes down to a respectable level and Ventura has some confidence in him. Webb and Petricka are looming, but both have had issues with their control this season and are currently walking far too many batters to be considered safe alternatives. They're worth bidding on though, as one more Belisario slip up might earn them a shot at the job. If I had to pick one guy to bid on though, after Belisario, it'd be Webb, as he didn't have these control issues last season. Belisario Mixed: $5; AL: $15. Webb Mixed: $4; AL: $12. Petricka Mixed: $3; AL: $10.

Wade Davis, Royals - While Greg Holland is in no danger of losing his job, Davis makes for a nice pickup in leagues as a solid middle reliever who can help your ratios. This season he's been a strikeout machine with 40 punch-outs over 22.1 innings with just nine walks. Now back to just being a reliever, as he was in his last year with the Rays, his velocity has ticked back up, as he's rearing back and firing darts. Pick him up in any leagues where you're looking for middle reliever help or in an innings cap league where his K/9 skills can really be of use. Mixed: $1; AL: $4.

Joel Peralta & Jake McGee, Rays - With Grant Balfour sporting a 5.59 ERA and more walks (18) than strikeouts (15) this season and his second blown save of the season this week, it's time to check in on the availability of Peralta and McGee in all leagues. Peralta would figure to get the first crack at the job, though he has a 4.64 ERA and has been far too homer prone this season. McGee is the better option, as he has posted a 1.21 ERA and kept the ball in the yard, while striking out more batters and walking less of them than Peralta. It's only two blown saves for Balfour, but all his other numbers point to danger, especially the walks. Peralta Mixed: $2; AL: $6. McGee Mixed: $3; AL: $9.


Robinson Chirinos & Chris Gimenez, Rangers - J.P. Arencibia was finally sent down to the minors this week, after hitting a paltry .133/.182/.233 this season with only one home run in 66 PA. Gimenez was called-up to take Arencibia's roster spot, though he figures to only play when Yu Darvish is on the mound, at least initially. At Triple-A Round Rock he hit .259/.352/.435 with four home runs over 125 PA. He likely won't carry that much power to the majors nor the ability to hit for that high an average. Considering Chirinos has hit .198/.263/.297 this season with two home runs over 101 PA, numbers only slightly better than those of Arencibia, it would make sense for the team to give Gimenez some run to see what he can do in the majors this time around. If you can avoid this situation, that's for the best, as neither catcher is likely to help your batting average or counting stats in a meaningful way. Chirinos Mixed: $1; AL: $4. Gimenez Mixed: $1; AL: $4.

Nick Hundley, Orioles - In a move that signals Matt Wieters may not be coming back this season, the O's traded for Hundley from the Padres this week. He should immediately take on the starter's role, pushing Steve Clevenger to the bench. A career .238 hitter, Hundley hit .271/.271/.373 with one home run over 59 PA with the Padres this season. He showed much better power last season with 13 home runs in 408 PA. The shift in ballparks should help him rediscover that power. In mixed leagues his value doesn't get much of a boost, but in AL only formats, he's worth bidding on, especially if you have Clevenger or Wieters. Mixed: $3; AL: $10.

Corner Infielders:

Mike Carp, Red Sox - Carp has been finding more playing time as of late with Mike Napoli dealing with a finger injury that should keep him out until at least Tuesday and Shane Victorino (hamstring) now on the DL. Last season he broke out with a .296/.362/.523 batting line and nine home runs over 243 PA, though he hasn't come anywhere near those number in 2014. A LHB, he is apt at hitting against RHP, something that should help bump him up the lineup, when he does start. Still, it's tough to see his value in anything but AL only formats, until he starts hitting like he did last season. Mixed: $2; AL: $8.

Lonnie Chisenhall, Indians - Chisenhall has started at third base for the Tribe in five of their last seven games, as Nick Swisher continues to slump at the plate and deal with a knee issue, moving Carlos Santana across the diamond, to DH, or back behind the dish. It's tough to argue with the results from Chisenhall, as his two hits on Saturday pushed his batting line up to .283/.443/.564 on the season over 124 PA. He still has only two home runs to show for his efforts, but the doubles have been piling up. A .463 BABIP indicates this might not last for much longer, but for the time being, he has shown enough to continue to get playing time, which is meaningful in mixed leagues. Mixed: $4; AL: Owned.

David Freese, Angels - Freese was activated from the DL this week, after dealing with a fractured thumb. Considering the loss of Ian Stewart (hand) to the DL, he should be safe for playing time, at least for the next week or so. After that though, all bets are off, as Freese has hit .198/.255/.281 with only two home runs over 106 PA this season. Those numbers are a far cry from his career .281/.350/.419 batting line, though the bulk of those numbers were put up, while he was with the Cardinals. Until he starts to hit more like his former self, his value is limited to AL only formats. Mixed: $2; AL: $8.

Mitch Moreland, Rangers - With Prince Fielder lost for the season due to neck surgery; Moreland is now the Rangers starting first baseman. A career .255 hitter, Moreland has hit .271/.318/.415 this season with only two home runs over 131 PA. Last season he showed some of the best power of his career with 23 home runs over 516 PA, though that came with a .232 batting average. It's tough to see him having much value in a mixed league right now, though he did hit third in the lineup against the Tigers on Saturday. It might be best for the Rangers to employ a strict platoon with Moreland, where he only faces RHP, but even then it's not as if there are many other options for them at first base. Mixed: $4; AL: Owned.

Jonathan Singleton, Astros - Tick-tock… tick-tock… Service time is the only holding Singleton down, as he continues to slug his way through the minors. At Oklahoma City he has hit .278/.403/.556 with 12 home runs over 206 PA. He has shown an improved eye at the plate so far, striking out less this season than in the past at this level. Keep stashing him in AL only and deeper mixed league formats, as it's only a matter of time until he's up in the majors. Mixed: $8; AL: $30.

Danny Valencia, Royals - The Royals finally pulled the plug on Mike Moustakas this week, sending him back to the minors and giving the job to Valencia. A career .264 hitter, Valencia has hit .291/.355/.400 with one home run over 62 PA this season. Last season he showed the most power of his career with eight homers over just 170 PA, though that was with the Orioles. A career .230 hitter against RHP, Valencia isn't likely to be helpful in anything but AL only formats. Mixed: $2; AL: $8.

Middle Infielders:

Stephen Drew, Red Sox - Drew finally re-signed with the Red Sox this week on a one-year deal. Before he'll rejoin the active roster though, he'll spend time in the minors shaking off the rust, which is where he's at right now. The finger injury to Will Middlebrooks leaves a hole open for Xander Bogaerts to shift over and fill, allowing Drew to take his spot, once he's activated in about a week or so. A career .264/.329/.435 hitter, he doesn't have all that much power or speed, though he is only 31 years old. Last season he was able to slug out 13 home runs over 501 PA, which is the most power he's shown since his early days with the Diamondbacks. An average at best option at middle infield in most mixed leagues, Drew's re-signing is a much bigger deal in AL only formats. Mixed: $6; AL: $18.

Nick Franklin, Mariners - Recalled from Triple-A Tacoma this week, Franklin has played second base and shortstop, and hit from the DH spot in the lineup. At Tacoma this season he hit .376/.481/.633 with seven home runs over 133 PA. Last season he came up as a rookie and found some initial success, before ultimately struggling and finishing with a .225 batting average, 12 home runs, and six stolen bases over 412 PA. With the way that Brad Miller has struggled this season with a .156 batting average, it wouldn't be surprising to see Franklin given a shot at the starting shortstop job soon. Corey Hart (hamstring) landing on the DL should help him find his way to the lineup too. A former first round pick, the M's owe it to themselves to see if Franklin can hold his own this time around. Mixed: $3; AL: $12.

Omar Infante, Royals - After dealing with a back injury for the last two weeks, Infante is almost ready to come off the DL. He's currently on a rehab assignment at Triple-A Omaha, but is expect to be activated in time to play in the Royals' upcoming series against the Astros. Prior to getting hurt, Infante hit .267/.326/.392 with two home runs over 134 PA. A career .279 hitter, he's always been someone who can help owners in the batting average department with a little bit of power and speed, those neither are likely to plentiful at this point in his career. Already owned in all AL only formats, Infante should be scooped back up in the mixed leagues where he was dropped, as he's a serviceable middle infielder. Mixed: $5; AL: Owned.

Rougned Odor & Louis Sardinas, Rangers - With Jurickson Profar suffering a setback in his shoulder rehab, Odor and Sardinas look to be the guys at second base for the Rangers for the foreseeable future this season. Sardinas had started four of the last six games at the keystone, going 6-of-23 with one double, going into Saturday. Considering he skipped Triple-A and only saw 231 PA at Double-A, it's tough to see him maintaining his initial success. It's more likely that Odor, who had two triples, a double, and a single on Saturday, starts to come around offensively and makes the job his for the duration of Profar's absence. Odor also skipped Triple-A on his way to the majors, though he did see an additional 50 or so PA at Double-A than Sardinas. It's also possible that both struggle and the Rangers never find a solid in-house solution to their hole as second base this season. For now though both need to be owned in all AL only and most deep mixed formats. Odor Mixed: $3; AL: Owned. Sardinas Mixed: $2; AL: $8.


Oswaldo Arcia, Twins - Arcia is likely to be recalled from Triple-A Rochester prior to Monday's game against the Rangers. He had been dealing with a wrist injury, but as late the team wanted him to show he was fully over that injury and ready to rejoin the team. After hitting .312 with five home runs over 85 PA, he looks more than ready. Last season he hit .251/.304/.430 with 14 home runs over 378 PA, showing has some power to offer, though he needs to improve his eye at the plate. He needs to be owned in all AL only formats and most mixed leagues, as the 23 year old should continue to improve. Mixed: $6; AL: Owned.

Kole Calhoun, Angels - Calhoun returned from the DL this week, after dealing with an ankle injury that put him out since the middle of April. On the season he's hit just .217/.260/.435 with three home runs and two stolen bases over 73 PA. Before he was injured, Calhoun was hitting leadoff most days. He has come back to find himself in the bottom half of the lineup however. If he can show a better eye at the plate, he should move up, though not necessarily back to leadoff. If he remains where he is now, it's going to be tough to pile up the counting stats, what with David Freese and Raul Ibanez hitting ahead of him. Mixed: $7; AL: $25.

Michael Choice, Rangers - With Prince Fielder (neck) out, Choice is looking at getting some extended playing time, as Mitch Moreland has shifted from DH to first base. Choice is going to need to pick it up though, as he's only hit .196/.288/.275 with two home runs and one stolen base through 118 PA. He hit leadoff back in late April when Shin-Soo Choo was hurt, but figures to hit in the bottom of the lineup, until his bat warms up. Last season at Triple-A Sacramento with the A's, he hit .302/.390/.445 with 14 home runs over 600 PA. He needs to seize this opportunity to show what he can do at the major league level. Mixed: $3; AL: $10.

Daniel Nava, Red Sox - Nava was recalled from Triple-A Pawtucket to take the roster spot left by Shane Victorino (hamstring) who is now on the DL. At Pawtucket he hit just .254/.347/.398 with three home runs and two stolen bases over 98 PA. Last season he was a key cog in the Red Sox offense with a  .385 OBP and 12 home runs over 536 PA. As a LHB, he has always hit RHP well, something he'll have to get back to, if he wants to hang around in the majors, after Victorino is ready to return. For now, Nava is strictly an AL only play, unless he starts to get more playing time or swing the bat like he did last season. Mixed: $3; AL: $10.

Grady Sizemore, Red Sox - Sizemore figures to see himself in the starting lineup fairly often, now that Shane Victorino (hamstring) has landed on the DL. The 31 year old has hit .211/.287/.320 with two home runs and three stolen bases over 143 PA. He looks like a shell of himself and the hitter that we saw in Spring Training and into the first week of the season. He has been especially weak against LHP and should be sat against them in almost every situation. Don't expect much from him with this bump in playing time, as he's likely to be further exposed as a player whose best days are clearly behind him. Mixed: $2; AL: Owned.

Josh Willingham, Twins - "The Hammer" is likely to be activated Monday, before the Twins game against the Rangers, along with Oswaldo Arcia. He's coming off a wrist injury that has kept him out since the first week of April. Last season with the team he hit .208/.342/.368 with 14 home runs over 471 PA. The dip in power and contact rate is troublesome, though not unexpected at 35 years old. His return will likely put an end to the Jason Kubel revival tour and could land Chris Colabello back in the minors. Either way, expect Willingham to get his job back, just don't expect a great deal of power to come with it, especially coming off of a broken bone within his wrist. Mixed: $5; AL: Owned.

Note: If you have anyone else you'd like me to discuss, just drop a line in the comments section.