RotoWire Partners

FAAB Factor-AL: Resurgent Captain

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:

Erik Bedard, Rays - Over his last nine starts Bedard has a 3.09 ERA (3.30 FIP) with 40 strikeouts and 17 walks over 46.2 IP. Only one of those starts was truly a disaster, though he has gotten roughed up in two of his last three starts. Still, he's been palatable in AL only formats this season because of the helpful ERA and strikeouts. This upcoming week he has two starts at home, one against the Orioles and the other against the Astros. The latter was his team a season ago and can no longer be considered a doormat offensively, so most owners will want to avoid him this week. Mixed: $1; AL: 6.

Wei-Yin Chen, Orioles - Chen has been fantastic this month with a 1.45 ERA (3.14 FIP), 17 strikeouts, and just one walk over 18.2 IP in three starts. Overall for the season though he has pitched much like his 3.99 career ERA suggests, which is to say inconsistent. This coming week he gets a tasty matchup against the Rays on the road, followed by a road start against the Yankees. The start against the Rays is reason enough to consider starting him the full week in mixed leagues, as the Rays have scored the fewest runs in the AL this season. In AL only formats, he's likely already owned, though possibly under appreciated. Mixed: $2; AL: Owned.

John Danks, White Sox - Danks is looking like a better and better option in mixed leagues these days, as he continues to lower his ERA and pick up a few wins in the process. Over his last four starts he has a 1.53 ERA (3.39 FIP) with 17 strikeouts and six walks over 29.1 IP. His command still leaves much to be desired, but he's limiting the home runs, for the most part, and at least worth starting in all AL only formats. He might go off the rails again soon, but for now he's built up enough trust that those in mixed leagues might want to trot him out there this week when he gets the Giants at home and Twins on the road. Mixed: $2; AL: Owned.

Felix Doubront, Red Sox - Rubby De La Rosa's days in the majors might be numbered, as he has now had back-to-back poor outings after his terrific debut. Doubront is likely to take his spot, as he is making his last rehab start this Sunday at Triple-A Pawtucket. After that, he should be back in the rotation, either at the expense of De La Rosa or Brandon Workman, who has a 3.27 ERA (3.63 FIP) as a starter in four games this season. Doubront will come back to a 5.12 ERA (5.03 FIP) over nine starts this season, so don't expect much when he does return. Mixed: No; AL: $4.

Derek Holland, Rangers - Holland isn't likely to be back until after the All-Star break at this point, as the team has backed off of sending him on a rehab assignment recently. He hasn't had a setback; rather the team seems to be taking a cautious approach, which seems apt, considering the rash of other injuries that have plagued the team this season. Last season he had a 3.42 ERA (3.44 FIP) with 189 strikeouts and 64 walks over 213 IP. Continue to stash him in AL only and deep mixed league formats. Mixed: $6; AL: $18.

Zach McAllister, Indians - McAllister is expected to rejoin the Indians rotation this week, after dealing with a back injury on the DL. His last rehab start is scheduled to be this Sunday, upon which he should be ready to return to the majors. He'll be taking the rotation spot of T.J. House who had mixed results in the few starts he made. McAllister will return to a 5.89 ERA (3.85 FIP) over 47.1 IP. His secondary numbers say he should have had better results than that, as he's suffered through a 58.5 percent strand rate. This coming week, he should get the Angels at home, where most owners will want to sit him. Mixed: $3; AL: $12.

Alex Meyer, Twins - Meyer had one of his worst starts in the minors this past week, as he lasted only two innings and gave up three earned runs with only one strikeout. That's now two poor outings out of his last three and likely pushes back his timetable to join the major leagues. He'll likely need to string together a series of impressive starts, before he gets the call. Still, he remains a player worth stashing in AL only formats. This season he has a 3.62 ERA (3.41 FIP) with 76 strikeouts and 30 walks over 64.2 IP at Triple-A Rochester. Mixed: $3; AL: $12.

Taijuan Walker, Mariners - Walker (shoulder) was activated from the DL this week and optioned to Triple-A Tacoma, as he continues to ready himself for a promotion back to the majors. The extra time at Tacoma makes sense, as he never looked sharp in his rehab assignment outings, giving up seven earned runs over 10 innings at Triple-A. Owners should continue to hold onto him in at least AL only formats, as he's an elite prospect capable of helping owners down the stretch this season. Last season between Double-and Triple-A he had a 2.93 ERA with 160 strikeouts and 57 walks over 141.1 IP. Mixed: $6; AL: $20.

Relief Pitchers:

Jake McGee, Joel Peralta, & Juan Carlos Oviedo, Rays - After getting torched for five earned runs in an inning last Sunday, Rays closer Grant Balfour now finds himself in a closer-by-committee situation. He then went out and pitched 2.1 perfect innings this week against the Cardinals, earning a save in the process. His latest outing surely helps him regain some of the ground he lost in his previous disaster outing, but doesn't have him out of the woods yet. The likely alternatives to Balfour, should he lose the job for good, are McGee, Peralta, and Oviedo. When Balfour has been bad, he's been awful this season, so much so that his ERA is a nightmarish 5.88. The fact that he has nearly as many walks (20) as strikeouts this season (22) likely has a big role in that. Of the three options to replace him Oviedo is the least likely, as he has been used in the sixth and seventh innings of games. Peralta has a respectable 3.94 ERA and has been scored upon in one game over the last month, but he has been setting up McGee, who is your likely replacement. Though a LHP, McGee has actually been better against RHB for his career, so that shouldn't hold him back, if a change is made. His numbers indicate he should take to the job, as he has a 1.52 ERA with 34 strikeouts and seven walks over 29.2 IP. I think Balfour keeps the job a while longer, but he can't keep imploding like this. McGee is the guy to own, even if he doesn't get the job in title for a while. McGee Mixed: $3; AL: $10. Peralta & Oviedo Mixed: $1; AL: $3.


Francisco Cervelli, Yankees - Cervelli is set to come off the DL early this coming week, after dealing with a hamstring injury. He is currently on a rehab assignment and expects to rejoin the team on their upcoming home stand, which starts Tuesday against the Blue Jays. For his career he's a .269/.340/.364 hitter with eight home runs and five stolen bases over 640 PA. He'll resume his role as backup to Brian McCann, when he gets back. Mixed: No; AL: $2.

Eric Fryer, Twins - With his playing time dwindling, the Twins decided to send Josmil Pinto back to the minors to get him regular at-bats and called up Fryer to take his spot. The 28-year old hit .252/.323/.333 with five stolen bases over 125 PA at Triple-A Rochester this season. Don't expect him to get much playing time, behind starter Kurt Suzuki. Mixed: No; AL: $2.

Jesus Montero, Mariners - Montero was brought back up from Triple-A Tacoma this week, after Michael Saunders hit the DL with a shoulder injury. At Tacoma he hit .270./345/.455 with eight home runs over 255 PA, so it's not like this promotion wasn't earned. Still, he has much work to do, if he is to restore any of the goodwill he had, when he first joined the Mariners. Earlier this season he was the butt of many jokes for showing up to spring training noticeably overweight and out of shape, so much so that the organization publicly questioned his motivation to continue playing baseball. Saunders isn't likely to need much time on the DL, so unless Montero starts hitting right away, he might find himself back at Tacoma soon. At 24-years old, his window to become a respectable hitter in the majors is closing quickly. Mixed: $1; AL: $4.

Corner Infielders:

Logan Morrison, Mariners - Morrison came off the DL this week, after dealing with a hamstring injury and finds first base open, as Justin Smoak just hit the DL with a quad injury. Last season with the Marlins he hit .242/.333/.375 with six home runs over 333 PA. He's battled through injuries all season long, though is now finally healthy and might be able to help fantasy owners. His power isn't special and he has never hit for a respectable batting average, so he's really only an AL only play for now. If he gets hot or keeps the job beyond when Smoak returns, he might be of some use in deeper mixed leagues, but we're not there yet. Mixed: $3; AL: $10.

Eduardo Nunez, Twins - Trevor Plouffe was put on the DL on Sunday morning with a left oblique injury that is likely to sideline him for a while, meaning that Nunez figures to see some extended run at third base while he is gone. The only problem with that is Nunez tweaked his hamstring on Saturday and might need some time off as well. If he is healthy enough to take the field don't expect much, as he has hit .279/.312/.403 with five home runs and nine stolen bases across 311 PA over the last calendar year in the majors. The speed is there, but he just might now show it. If you're in desperate need to fill Plouffe's spot on your team, you're likely better off looking outside of the Twins. Mixed: No; AL: $4.

Brad Snyder, Rangers - Snyder is your new starting first baseman for the Rangers, after Mitch Moreland (ankle) was put on the DL. Snyder hit .284/.350/.573 with 18 home runs and three stolen bases over 260 PA at Triple-A Round Rock this season. He has bounced around a handful of different organizations in his career, but almost always hit for power in their minor league affiliates. This will likely be his first real taste of major league action, which while exciting for him, isn't likely to be all that helpful to owners, considering he's already 32-years old. The team doesn't really have any other options right now; so at least Snyder should get some real playing time. Mixed: $1; AL: $5.

Nick Swisher, Indians - Swisher (knee) came off the DL this week, but finds himself without a defensive position, as Lonnie Chisenhall has secured third base, thus forcing Carlos Santana over to first. He figures to DH most nights, but there is still Ryan Raburn to battle for playing time there. On the season, he has really struggled, hitting .206/.306/.312 with only three home runs over 222 PA. At 33-years old, he should be better than that and perhaps his knee injury has affected him at the plate more than we know, but at this point he's more of an AL only option than anything else. Pick him up if you're in a deep mixed league though, as has a good track history of hitting for power, even if he's yet to show it this season. Mixed: $4; AL: Owned.

Middle Infielders:

Pedro Florimon, Twins - With Trevor Plouffe (oblique) landing on the DL on Sunday, Florimon was recalled from Triple-A Rochester to take his roster spot. He's likely to serve a utility role on the team, giving him very limited value in most leagues, though he might see some time at third base if Eduardo Nunez needs time off because of his hamstring. Last season with the team, he hit .221/.281/.330 with nine home runs and 15 stolen bases over 446 PA. His speed might be helpful to owners, but the batting average and sporadic playing likely aren't worth the cost. Mixed: No; AL: $3.

Jonathan Herrera, Red Sox - Stephen Drew is dealing with an oblique injury that has kept him out of the last six games, but shouldn't require a trip to the DL. In his place Herrera has started and gone 4-for-20 with one triple and one run or more commonly known as nothing. Drew is in the starting lineup on Sunday, so he shouldn't be giving up any more at-bats because of injury, but if he does, Herrera will likely be the stopgap replacement. Mixed: No; AL: $2.

Derek Jeter, Yankees - Over his last six games, the Captain has gone 9-for-24 with a double, two stolen bases and five runs scored, which qualifies as a hot-streak for him. On the season he's hitting .270/.328/.318 with one home run over 256 PA and certainly looks like a player that needs to retire. Two seasons ago he had one of his best years with 15 home runs, 99 runs, and a .316 batting average, but injuries have set in since then. Healthy now, he might be hitting his stride this season and of some use to owners in mixed leagues as a middle infielder. The power seems gone for good, but he still hits second in the Yankees lineup, so he should help out in the runs department. Mixed: $5; AL: Owned.

Eugenio Suarez, Tigers - I discussed Suarez last week, when he had just made his debut and since then he has continued to hit and make owners take notice. He is now 8-for-20 with a double, triple, three home runs, and eight runs scored in his eight games in the majors. Earlier this season between Double-A Erie and Triple-A Toledo, he hit .288/.360/.510 with eight home runs and nine stolen bases over 222 PA. He's hitting ninth in the Tigers lineup, but that's not necessarily all bad, as he has a very good top of the lineup to knock him in. Find a place for him on your AL only team if he's still available, and in mixed leagues he's worth adding to see if he can keep any of this up. Mixed: $4; AL: $16.


Mookie Betts, Red Sox - Now at Triple-A Pawtucket, Betts is a prospect that those even in single-season leagues need to take note of. He tore through Double-A hitting .355/.443/.551 with six home runs and 22 stolen bases over 253 PA, mostly as a second baseman. He is now being used in the outfield too, as a means of getting his glove ready for when he reaches the majors, as Dustin Pedroia blocks second base at the majors. While not as red hot as he was at Double-A, he's hitting at Triple-A going 10-for-36 with one home run so far in nine games. If he can show the challenge of Triple-A isn't enough for him, he might find himself in the majors by the end of summer. In mixed leagues he can likely be ignored, but in AL only formats, he's someone you need to seriously consider stashing for later this season. In keeper leagues, he needs to be owned everywhere. Mixed: $1; AL: $4.

Sam Fuld, Twins - After missing over a month with a concussion and symptoms related to his injury, Fuld finally came off the DL this week to rejoin the Twins outfield. Between the A's earlier this season and Twins, his current team, he has hit .233/.290/.384 with one home run and four stolen bases over 94 PA. The lack of power is typical for him, as he's more of a speedy outfielder known for his glove more than anything. Last season with the Rays he stole eight bases over 200 PA with a .199 batting average. AL only owners desperate for speed might find some use for him, but it's doubtful. Mixed: No; AL: $3.

Kevin Kiermaier, Rays - I discussed Kiermaier last week in this spot, when he had just gotten called up and hit the ground running with a few productive games. Since then, he has continued to hit and is now up to a .362/.422/.707 batting line with three home runs and one stolen base over 64 PA this season. He has been up and down from the minors to majors earlier this season, but figures to stick for good now that Wil Myers is on the DL for an extended period. This past week Kiermaier had four doubles, which shows the home runs he's collected might not be a fluke. If he's still available in your AL only league, get him on your team. Mixed: $4; AL: $15.

Daniel Nava, Red Sox - Like Kiermaier, I mentioned Nava's return last week, when he got recalled and since then he too has started to produce for owners. Over his last six games he has gone 7-for-18 with two doubles, showing he might be over his early season woes. Last season against RHP, he hit .322/.411/.484 with 10 home runs over 397 PA. He needs to start showing a better eye at the plate, but at least he's hitting right now. Expect him to continue finding playing time, as the team phases Grady Sizemore out of their plans. Mixed: $4; AL: $15.

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