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FAAB Factor-NL: Reunited - Will It Feel So Good?

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.

National League - FAAB - 7/20/14

Starting Pitching:

Jake Peavy, Giants - The Giants acted quickly to replace Matt Cain, who landed on the disabled list this week with elbow inflammation, by acquiring Peavy from the Red Sox for Edwin Escobar and Heath Hembree. Peavy had his last good season nearly five years ago when he was with San Diego and had posted a 4.72 ERA and 1.43 WHIP through 20 starts this season for Boston. He should benefit from pitching at AT&T Park and move back to the National League, where he posted a 3.29 ERA, as opposed to his 4.13 ERA in the American League, where he has pitched since 2009. Mixed: $8; NL: $22.

Injury activation/updates:

Gerrit Cole, Pirates - Cole, who landed on the disabled list in June with a strained lat and returned too quickly only to land back on the DL in early-July, is being treated with kid gloves this time around. He has slowly progressed from side to bullpen sessions, then to a 70-pitch simulated game Wednesday and will start for Triple-A Indianapolis on Monday, throwing 80-85 pitches. Cole will then throw a bullpen session Wednesday and could need 1-2 more rehab starts before rejoining Pittsburgh's rotation, though there is the possibility he goes directly to the Pirates following his start Monday.

Jordan Lyles, Rockies - Lyles, out with a fractured left metacarpal suffered while covering the plate on June 4, was supposed to begin a rehab assignment on July 18 at Double-A Tulsa but instead finally started one Saturday at High-A Modesto. He progressed from fielding groundballs to throwing live batting practice, showing that he is able to catch balls with his bad hand, and the a successful bullpen session Tuesday before getting clearance to make the start. Lyles, who was 5-1 with a 3.52 ERA and 1.30 WHIP in 12 starts before being sidelined, will only make one more rehab start on July 31, likely at Triple-A Colorado Springs before rejoining the Rockies on August 5. Mixed: $1; NL: $4.

Michael Wacha, Cardinals - Wacha, out with a stress reaction in his right shoulder since June 17, finally received some good news this week. An MRI on his pitching shoulder gave Wacha clearance to hopefully start a throwing program in about two weeks, and he plans increasing his strength exercises over that timeframe. If all goes well for Wacha he might be able to return to the Cardinals in early September. Wacha got off to a great start, but clearly was hurting before he was sidelined, posting a 4.24 ERA in June. St. Louis will be cautious with Wacha, given how much he means to their future, but could be back in about five weeks to help the Cardinals in their playoff push. Mixed: $1; NL: $4.

Relief Pitchers:

Phillippe Aumont/Jeremy Jeffress/George Kontos/Nick Masset/ Kevin Siegrist - This week's middle reliever call ups/activations were in Philadelphia, Milwaukee, San Francisco, Colorado and St. Louis. None have any substantial value. All - Mixed: No; NL: $0.

Kevin Quackenbush, Padres - Quackenbush, who bounced up and down between Triple-A El Paso and the majors in May before sticking with the parent club, has started to be used in most late-inning situations. Since allowing two runs on June 13, Quackenbush has allowed just one run on seven hits and three walks with 16K in 13.2 innings. His future status depends on if Joaquin Benoit, now closing, is dealt like Huston Street. If that happens, Quackenbush, who has a low-90s fastball and slider with a deceptive delivery, could be in line to close for the Padres. Mixed: $1; NL: $4.

Injury activation/updates:

Kyuji Fujikawa, Cubs - Fujikawa, who lasted only 12 innings before his elbow gave out, requiring Tommy John surgery last-June, could end up rejoining the Cubs in August. He has moved his rehab from rookie ball team to Low-A Kane County and now up to Triple-A Iowa. Fujikawa has notched nine strikeouts over his 5.2 innings of rehab and could serve as a set-up man or possibly see some savew chances when he is promoted. Mixed: No; NL: $0.


A.J. Pierzynski, Cardinals - The Cardinals, in dire need of a catcher with Yadier Molina out, signed Pierzynski on Friday. Pierzynski, who hit.254/.286/.348 in 72 games with the Red Sox before getting released, gives St. Louis a veteran presence behind the plate, but it remains to be seen what offense he will bring. That said he is an upgrade over Tony Cruz and George Kottaras, who was waived to make room for Pierzynski. Mixed: $3; NL: $9.

J.T. Realmuto, Marlins - Realmuto, who was promoted June 1 when Jarrod Saltalamacchia landed on the disabled list with a concussion, saw 21 plate appearances before he was demoted. He continued to rake at Triple-A, batting .301/.368/.474 with six home runs and 46 RBI in 71 games. The Marlins are in Houston this weekend, and with Jarrod Saltalamacchia serving as the DH on Friday as well as struggling defensively behind the plate, Miami opted to call up Realmuto to see some time with Jeff Mathis behind the plate. It may just be a short-term move, but in keeper leagues, grab Realmuto, as he looks to have a bright future, though it may take a while as Salty has a three-year deal with Miami. Mixed: $0; NL: $3.

Andrew Susac, Giants- The Giants called up Susac to take the roster spot of Hector Sanchez, who was placed on the 7-day concussion DL on Saturday. Susac will serve as a back up to Buster Posey and should start behind the plate when Posey plays first base or needs a day off. Susac was having a solid year at Triple-A Fresno, posting a .268/.379/.451 line with 10 home runs in 213 at-bats. Mixed: No; NL: $2

Injury activation/update:

Wil Nieves/Carlos Ruiz, Phillies - Nieves, sidelined with a quad injury, and Ruiz, out with a concussion, were both activated off the disabled list this week on Monday and Wednesday respectively. Nieves will serve as a backup, while Ruiz, sidelined after getting in the head with a pitch on June 26, will return to his starting role. Nieves - Mixed: No; NL: $0; Ruiz - Mixed: $8; NL: owned.

First Basemen:

Ben Paulsen, Rockies - Paulsen, a third-round pick for Colorado in 2009, was called up from Triple-A Colorado Springs to replace the injured Justin Morneau (neck) on the roster and at first base. Paulsen hit .291/.380/.524 with 15 home runs, 57 RBI and 62 runs in 347 at-bats and represented Colorado Springs in the Triple-A All-Star Game. He should see most of the time at first base while Morneau is sidelined, though Kyle Parker and Charlie Culberson could also see some time there. Mixed: $2; NL: $7.

Darin Ruf, Phillies - Ruf has had an injury-plagued year, opening the year on the disabled list with an oblique injury. After coming back in mid-May and getting a cup of coffee in the majors, he missed about a month with a small fracture in his left wrist and knee laceration before rejoining Triple-A Lehigh Valley in early July. Ruf, who has played just 23 games at that level, was surprisingly promoted with John Mayberry landing on the disabled list, and at a minimum, will be used in a platoon with Ryan Howard at first base, playing against left-handed pitching. If Philly can move Howard, Ruf could play daily at first, until the team calls up Maikel Franco. Mixed: $1; NL: $4.

Injury activation/update:

Yonder Alonso, Padres - Alonso, out since June 17 with a right wrist injury, was activated Saturday. He began a rehab assignment with rookie-level Arizona last Friday before moving to Triple-A El Paso on Monday. Prior to being injured, Alonso had hit just .210/.250/.341 with five home runs in 69 games, but while he was out, neither Tommy Medica nor Jake Goebbet grabbed the job. When Alonso is ready to return, look for him to see the majority of the playing time at first base due to lack of better options. Mixed: $1; NL: $4.

Second Base:

Tony Abreu/Dan Uggla, Giants - Uggla, who was released by the Braves last week, signed a minor-league deal with the Giants on Monday that included an opt-out clause should he not be in the majors by August 1. That date proved not to be a worry, as San Francisco called up Uggla on Friday with Marco Scutaro (back, neck) landing on the disabled list, Ehire Adrianza (hamstring) already there and Joe Panik nursing an ankle injury. Don't expect that much from Uggla as this post from a RotoWire update Monday when he signed says it all: "Since the start of the 2013 campaign, he (Uggla) boasts a .175 average, 65 RBI, 73 runs, and an 87:211 BB:K in 578 at-bats across 184 games." Abreu, who was also called up due to all the injuries, will back up Uggla. Abreu - Mixed: No; NL: $0; Uggla - Mixed: $1; NL: $4.

Arismendy Alcantara, Cubs - Alcantara will be the Cubs' starting second baseman moving forward with Darwin Barney designated for assignment. Initially, he was seeing time at second and center field, but he now will man the keystone spot. Prior to his call up two weeks ago, Alcantara hit .307/.353/.537 with 10 homers and 21 steals in 89 games with Triple-A Iowa and was named a Pacific Coast League All-Star. Alcantara has continued his fine hitting in the majors, blasting two home runs already and driving in seven runs, but needs work on his plate discipline, which also was an issue for him in the minors, given his propensity for striking out. Despite that, his power/speed skills and spot in the batting order make him an excellent middle infield option the rest of the way. Mixed: $22; NL: owned.

Danny Espinosa/Zach Walters, NationalsRyan Zimmermann landed on the disabled list with a strained right hamstring this week that likely will sidelined him 6-8 weeks. His injury seemingly opened the door for Espinosa to play daily at second base with Anthony Rendon at third, however, that might not always be the case. Walters started Friday and Espinosa's extreme platoon split (.274/.361/.466 hitting right-handed, but just .190/.249/.307 left-handed) could open the door for him to get some starts against right-handed pitchers. However, Espinosa is an excellent defender which bolsters his case to play most of the time. It's possible that Walters could play against right-handed starters, though most of the Nationals' starters are extreme groundball pitchers, so it helps Espinosa's case more. EspinosaMixed: $5; NL: $14; Walters - Mixed: No; NL: $2.

Phil Gosselin, Braves - Gosselin was called back up from Triple-A Gwinnett, flip-flopping spots with Tyler Pastornicky to back up Tommy La Stella. Gosselin had a one-day, cup of coffee with the Braves earlier this month, but is likely to stick longer this time. He had a .344/.379/.487 line in 96 games for Gwinnett and is known for his strong contact, which is similar to La Stella. Mixed: No; NL: $2.

Skip Schumaker, Reds - Schumaker was activated off the 7-day concussion DL last Sunday. With Brandon Phillips still sidelined due to his thumb injury, Schumaker should handle the keystone spot along with Ramon Santiago while also possibly seeing some time in center field when Billy Hamilton needs a day off as well as in left. Schumaker got off to a slow start but had been better before the concussion and should benefit from consistent at-bats. Mixed: $1; NL: $4.

Yangervis Solarte, Padres - The Yankees dealt Solarte and Rafael De Paula to the Padres in exchange for the Chase Headley. Solarte rode an impressive spring to make the Yankees' Opening Day roster and carried that fine play into the beginning of the season. He was strong in April and May, but regressed thereafter and was demoted in July. When he was sent down, Solarte had posted a .254/.337/.381 line with six home runs, 31 RBI and 26 runs in 252 at-bats over 75 games. He hit well in his five games in the minors and gets a new start in San Diego, where he will play second and third, mostly at the hot corner, daily until Jedd Gyorko (plantar fasciitis) returns. When that happens, Solarte will likely play third unless Gyorko is moved there, but either way he should be in the lineup close to daily. Mixed: $4; NL: $11.

Injury activation/update:

Jedd Gyorko, Padres - Gyorko, out since June 6 with plantar fasciitis in his left foot, could rejoin the Padres on Monday. He began a rehab assignment with Triple-A El Paso last Friday after ramping up his rehab two weeks prior. Gyorko, who struggled in his sophomore campaign before being sidelined, is an upgrade over Alexi Amarista, Irving Falu, Jace Peterson, Brooks Conrad and Chris Nelson, who filled in for him at second base. He likely will man second while Yangervis Solarte plays third, though it's possible the two flip-flop spots. In addition, Taylor Lindsay, who came to San Diego as part of Huston Street trade, will be a factor at second in the future. Mixed: $3; NL: $9.


Wilmer Flores, Mets - Flores, who was hitting .323 with 13 homers in 55 games with Triple-A Las Vegas, was called up after Ruben Tejada was hit in the helmet with a 94-mph fastball Wednesday. Tejada passed all the concussion tests and was in the lineup Friday but the Mets are keeping Flores up in the majors to give them a back up at shortstop. In addition, look for Flores to see some time backing up second and third base to give Daniel Murphy and David Wright a day off. Mixed: $0; NL: $2.

Alex Guerrero, Dodgers - The Dodgers decided this spring that Guerrero, who they signed to a four-year, $28 million deal this past winter, needed some minor-league seasoning. Guerrero was making the most of it in the minors, batting .376/.417/.735 with 10 home runs in 117 at-bats for Triple-A Albuquerque, but his season took an odd turn on May 20. His ear was displaced after it was bit by his teammate Miguel Olivo in a dugout incident, sidelining him until the second week of July. He rejoined Albuquerque this weekend. If Hanley Ramirez continues to be hampered by injuries, Guerrero could be promoted to fill in for him at shortstop, or he may get called up to fill in at second and short in August. Mixed: $1; NL: $4.

Josh Rutledge, Rockies - Troy Tulowitzki landed on the disabled list with a strained left hip flexor earlier this past week, opening the door for Rutledge to see near-everyday time at short for the Rockies. Rutledge saw action when Nolan Arenado was sidelined but recently has been a bench option. Now, he is manning Tulo's position while batting second in the order. Rutledge showed in 2012 he could handle a full-time role, but he slumped last season. He has rebounded strongly this season, but may only play for as long Tulo is out, which might be only 15-days, That said, if he is hot, it's possible Rutledge plays over DJ LeMahieu at second base. Mixed: $2; NL: $7.

Injury activation/update:

Reid Brignac, Phillies - Brignac, who sprained his left ankle on June 19 landing him on the disabled list, was activated Monday after a short rehab stint at High-A Clearwater. Prior to being sidelined, he posted a .258/.329/.409 slash line over 66 at-bats, and will once again serve as a utility infielder in Philly. Mixed: No; NL: $2.

Everth Cabrera, Padres - Cabrera, sidelined with hamstring tightness since late-June, began a rehab assignment Monday at Triple-A El Paso. It's possible that Cabrera, who took a while to begin baseball activities, is activated early this week. Cabrera has struggled this season, hitting just .256 with a poor .290 OBA. In addition, his value is mainly in stolen bases, where he has a weak 13-for-20 success rate this season, starkly reducing what he brings to your fantasy team. Mixed: $2; NL: $7.

Third Basemen:

Adam Duvall, Giants - Duvall, who had a one-week cup of coffee earlier in the month, was promoted with Brandon Belt landing on the disabled list due to a concussion. Duvall had a .303/.361/.626 line with 26 HR and 79 RBI for Triple-A Fresno and should see most of the action at first base while Belt is sidelined, though Mike Morse and Buster Posey could also see action there. In addition, with Pedro Sandoval a free agent after the season, Duvall could be auditioning to fill the role next season. Mixed: $1; NL: $4.

Jack Hannahan, Reds - The Reds activated Hannahan (shoulder) from the DL on Sunday even though his shoulder hasn't healed enough to allow him to play third base. Instead, he'll get spot starts at first base while Joey Votto is on the DL and pinch-hit occasionally. Mixed: No; NL: $0.

Brent Morel, Pirates - Morel, who was up for two days in May, was promoted again with Pedro Alvarez dealing with some knee soreness and Starling Marte landing on the 7-day concussion DL. Morel hit .246/.318/.342 with three home runs and 15 RBI in 198 at-bats at Triple-A Indianapolis, so it's not as if he was overly deserving of a call up. At one point, Morel was the starter at the hot corner for the White Sox, but that was a few years ago, and now, he will just a fill in until Alvarez is 100 percent. Mixed: No; NL: $2.

Luis Valbuena, Cubs- Valbuena should see most of the action at the hot corner for the Cubs following the demotion of Mike Olt to Triple-A Iowa this week. Valbuena is hitting .248/.334/.426 with seven home runs in 282 at-bats through Friday but is just a place holder until Kris Bryant is finally promoted. Mixed: $2; NL: $7.

Injury activation/update:


Jeff Francoeur, Padres - Frenchy is back in the majors. Cameron Maybin received a 25-game suspension for violating MLB's Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment program after twice testing positive for Amphetamine, stemming from his attention deficit disorder, opening a spot in the Padres' outfield. San Diego filled that spot by recalling Francoeur, who spent spring training with the Indians but was released during the final week of camp and signed a Minor League deal with the Padres. Frenchy hit just .196 in April, but batted .307 or better in each of the past three months, to finish with a  .294/.325/.465 line along with 15 home runs and 60 RBIs in 98 games at Triple-A El Paso. Francoeur had a good 2011 with Kansas City, but his lack of late discipline caught up with him again, resulting in his release and trip to the minors. He won't start daily but should see solid time as a fourth ouffielder while Maybin is out. Mixed: $1; NL: $4.

Alfredo Marte, Diamondbacks - Marte, who had 11 home runs at Triple-A, was called up on Tuesday. He was 1-for-2 with a pinch-hit grand slam in a losing effort against the Phillies on Friday night. The big bomb was the first of the season for Marte, who was just recalled from Triple-A Reno three days ago when Cody Ross went on the disabled list. This is his second stint with the Diamondbacks this year, and he was hitting well in the minors with 11 homers and a .947 OPS. However, there may be limited at-bats available in the corner outfield spots.

Injury activation/updates:

Michael Cuddyer, Rockies - Cuddyer, out with a fractured shoulder since June 6, suffered while diving for a groundball while playing third base, underwent an MRI that showed improvement in the fractured shoulder. The hope now is that Cuddyer might be back by mid-August, slightly ahead of the eight-week prediction when he was first injured. Cuddyer, who is in the final year of the three-year, $31.5 million contract he signed with Colorado in December of 2011, is a candidate to be dealt, but may have to show he is healthy in August before that occurs. Mixed: $3; NL: $9.

Angel Pagan, Giants - Pagan, out since June 14 with a bulging disk in his back that causes nerve issues in his leg, finally started taking swings this week, first off a tee and then at soft-toss batting practice. He started making progress after receiving an epidural injection earlier this month following a setback while running. Pagan hopes to be back with the Giants sometime during their upcoming road trip that lasts August 1-10. When he does come back, he will resume his role as the team's starting center fielder and leadoff hitter. Mixed: $3; NL: $9.