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FAAB Factor-NL: Cardinals Reshuffle

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 - 8/3/14

Starting Pitching:

David Buchanan, Phillies - Buchanan, who made 10 starts for Philadelphia earlier this year, posting a 4.40 ERA, 1.28 WHIP and 39:17 K:BB over 59.1 innings, is likely to be called to the rotation spot of the injured Cliff Lee. Buchanan pitched for Triple-A Lehigh Valley on Thursday and is lined up on the same day Lee, making it a seamless, albeit with a major drop in talent, switch. Mixed: No; NL: $2.

Jarred Cosart, Marlins - Houston continued their move to build towards winning the World Series in 2017, if you believe Sports Illustrated, by dealing Cosart, Kike Hernandez and Austin Wates to the Marlins for Colin Moran, Jake Marisnick, RHP Frances Martes and a compensation pick. Cosart, a Houston native, came to the Astros as part of the Hunter Pence trade with the Phillies in 2011. He rose through Houston's minor league system, making his debut in July 2013 while having excellent numbers in 10 starts last season in the majors. This season Cosart, who has struggled the past month, has a 4.41 ERA, 1.46 WHIP and 75:51 K:BB over 116.1 innings. He immediately slides in as one of Miami's top-three starters, especially with Henderson Alvarez sidelined with shoulder inflammation, and should benefit from a move to the NL and better pitchers' park than he had at Minute Maid Park. Mixed: owned; NL: $14.

Felix Doubront, Cubs -Doubront, acquired from the Red Sox for a player to be named later, was placed on the 15-day DL Thursday with a right calf strain. He is eligible to return on August 13, at which point he will either get a chance to start or work out of the bullpen. Doubront had thrown 59.1 innings over 17 games (10 starts) for the Red Sox, going 2-4 with a 6.07 ERA. GM Theo Epstein, who as Doubront's GM in Boston, hopes that Doubront will benefit from a chance of scenery and leagues, though that remains to be seen. Mixed: $0; NL: $3.

Roberto Hernandez, Phillies - Hernandez continued his hot pitching Friday, giving up just an unearned run on five hits and a walk while striking out three in 94 pitches over eight innings. His overall record is just 6-8 with a 3.87 ERA. But he has a quality start in six of his last seven outings, allowing 15 earned runs in 47.2 innings. Hernandez doesn't strike out many, but he has been good enough to provide solid innings lately.Mixed: $2; NL: $7.

John Lackey, Cardinals - The Cardinals bolstered their starting rotation, acquiring Justin Masterson and then Lackey, who came over with Corey Littrell from Boston for Allen Craig and Joe Kelly. Lackey, who signed in 2009 with Boston, slumped in 2010 and 2011 before missing all of 2012 following Tommy John surgery. He turned back the clock to his Angels days last season and continued that this year, posting a 3.60 ERA, 1.23 WHIP and 116:32 K:BB ratio in 137.1 innings. Lackey makes his first appearance in the National League, where he should benefit from facing the pitcher as opposed to the DH and in front of a solid lineup behind him. Mixed: owned; NL: $55.

Justin Masterson, Cardinals - Before St. Louis acquired John Lackey, they traded James Ramsey to Cleveland for Masterson, hoping he gets a boost from moving to the National League and to the Arch City. Masterson has alternated bad and good years since 2010 and this year is a bad one, notching a4-6 record, 5.51 ERA and 1.65 WHIP but with 93K in 98 innings, but offset by 56 walks. The Cardinals hope his 4.15 FIP is more indicative of how he will pitch. Masterson, who is returning from a knee injury, started Saturday, allowing five runs in six innings, and slots in as the team's fifth starter but it may come down to him or Shelby Miller when Michael Wacha is finally able to return, likely in early-September. Mixed: $5; NL: $14.

Brad Penny, Marlins - Penny might be an option for the open spot in the Marlins rotation after Henderson Alvarez landed on the disabled list with shoulder inflammation. Penny, who hasn't pitched in the majors since he was a reliever with the Giants for 22 games in 2012 (0-1, 6.11 ERA), made his fourth start for Triple-A New Orleans on Wednesday and went six innings, giving up only two earned runs. He's gone 1-2 with a 2.91 ERA in four starts for the Zephyrs and might end up starting over Jacob Turner, who was expected to lose his rotation spot following Jarred Cosart's acquisition. Mixed: $0; NL: $3.

Injury activation/updates:

Andrew Cashner, Padres - Cashner, on the 15-day DL with right shoulder soreness and who last started on June 19, threw his second bullpen session Wednesday and will begin a rehab assignment, tossing 30-40 pitches at High-A Lake Elsinore on Friday. It has been a slow return process for Cashner, who likely will need a few rehab starts before rejoining the Padres, likely the third week of August. Mixed: $3; NL: $9.

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, made his first rehab start Monday, tossing five scoreless innings for Triple-A Indianapolis. He was supposed to make his second and final rehab start for Indy on Saturday but was scratched to work on some things in the bullpen. Cole was to rejoin the Pittsburgh rotation either August 7 or 8but that date likely will be pushed back until he makes another rehab start.

Jordan Lyles, Rockies - Lyles, out with a fractured left metacarpal suffered while covering the plate on June 4, made his first rehab start, tossing 70 pitches in 3.2 scoreless innings for High-A Modesto last Saturday, giving up four hits and two walks while striking out four. That outing had been pushed back a week but he showed no ill-effects of that. Lyles made his second and what be final rehab outing, tossing 4.2 scoreless innings and 66 pitches for Triple-A Colorado Springs on Thursday. Lyles, who was 5-1 with a 3.52 ERA and 1.30 WHIP in 12 starts before being sidelined, will rejoin the Rockies to start against the Cubs on August 6. Mixed: $2; NL: $7.

Michael Wacha, Cardinals - Wacha, out with a stress reaction in his right shoulder since June 17, will undergo another MRI on Monday, and if the results are positive, he will begin a throwing program shortly thereafter. This MRI will be two weeks after the prior one, which enabled him toincrease his strength exercises. If all goes well Wacha, might be able to return to the Cardinals in early-September, though it remains to be seen if that will be as a starter or reliever, following the acquisitions of John Lackey and Justin Masterson. Wacha got off to a great start, but clearly was hurting before he was sidelined, posting a 4.24 ERA in June, but could be back in about a month to help the Cardinals in their playoff push. Mixed: $2; NL: $7.

Relief Pitchers:

Juan Jaime/Dan Jennings/Cesar Jimenez/Paco Rodriguez/Bo Schultz - This week's middle reliever call ups/activations were in Atlanta, Miami, Philadelphia, Los Angeles and Arizona. None have any substantial value. All - Mixed: No; NL: $0.

Injury activation/updates:

Kyuji Fujikawa, Cubs - Fujikawa, who lasted only 12 innings before his elbow gave out, requiring Tommy John surgery last-June, may rejoin the Cubs this week. He moved his rehab from rookie ball team to Low-A Kane County and then to Triple-A Iowa, where he has tossed six scoreless innings in six appearances through Friday. Fujikawa could serve as a set-up man or possibly see some save chances when he is promoted. Mixed: $0; NL: $2.


Jordan Pacheco, Diamondbacks - Pacheco gets a second chance to show he can be a full-time starter. In Colorado, Pacheco received that opportunity behind the plate when Wilin Rosario landed on the disabled list in May but he failed to make the most of it and was designated for assignment. Since he was claimed by and joined Arizona on June 12, Pacheco has mainly been on the bench. But with Martin Prado dealt to the Yankees, Pacheco will get a chance to man the hot corner in the desert, at least until Jake Lamb is called up from Double-A Mobile and he got off to a good start, going 2-for-4 Thursday. Pacheco has added value, since in most leagues he qualifies at catcher, having played 19 games this year. In addition, with Paul Goldschmidt sidelined with a fractured left hand, Pacheco may see time at first with Andy Marte at third. Mixed: $4; NL: $11.

Injury activation/update:

First Basemen:

Travis Ishikawa, Giants - Ishikawa started his career with the Giants before bouncing to several teams the past three teams. He started 2014 with the Pirates but was let go in April, whereby he signed inked a minor league deal with San Francisco. Ishikawa hit .271/.349/.446 with 11 homers and 45 RBI in 71 games with Triple-A Fresno to earn a promotion this week. His stint in SF looks like it is lasting past Brandon Belt's concussion, as he is sticking as a bench bat. Mixed: No; NL: $0.

Injury activation/update:

Brandon Belt, Giants - Belt, sidelined with a concussion since July 20, was activated off the disabled list Saturday without going out on a short rehab stint, as was first speculated. Injuries have limited Belt to just 46 games this year, but he is not back and will be in his usual first base spot daily.

Justin Morneau, Rockies - Morneau, having a turn back the clock year with the Rockies, returned this week after missing just the minimum 15 days with a strained neck. He picked right back up from where he left off, driving in two runs in his first game back.

Second Base:

Matt Duffy, Giants - The great and short-lived Dan Uggla experiment by the Bay ended Thursday, when Uggla was designated for assignment. In his stead comes Duffy, who batted .332/.398/.444 with three homers and 20 steals (24 attempts) in 97 games with Double-A Richmond. Joe Panik has not grabbed a hold of the second base job and with Uggla gone as well as Ehire Adrianza and Marco Scutaro hurt, Duffy will start against left-handed pitchers with Panik seeing time against righties at second base for San Francisco. If Panik continues to struggle, Duffy could see more playing time.Mixed: $1; NL: $4.

Chris Valaika, Cubs - Valaika, hitting .278/.344/.423 in 102 games for Triple-A Iowa, was called up by the Cubs on Friday following the trade of Emilio Bonifacio on Thursday. Vaikala had major-league stints with the Reds (2010-11) and Marlins (2013), seeing time at all four infield positions. He will fill a similar role in Chicago. Mixed: No; NL: $2.

Injury activation/update:

Cliff Pennington, Diamondbacks - Pennington, who underwent surgery for a torn ligament in his thumb on June 4, began a rehab assignment last Saturday. Prior to being injured, he was batting .243 with six RBI in 83 at-bats over 33 games. When Pennington is activated, he will battle Didi Gregorius and Nick Ahmed for playing time at shortstop while Chris Owings is still out. Mixed: No; NL: $2.

Brandon Phillips, Reds - Phillips, on the disabled list after having surgery July 11 to repair a torn ligament in his left thumb, took ground balls Thursday for the first time since having the operation, and he got through it with no issues. The original estimated absence for Phillips when he was first hurt was 8-12 weeks but that was cut down to closer to six weeks and he hopes to back by the end of the month, which would be around that timeframe. Phillips, who is wearing a brace on that thumb, has stayed in shape despite the injury, so once he gets clearance to swing the bat, which will likely be in about two weeks, he might be back 10-14 days after that. Mixed: $2; NL: $7.


Asdrubal Cabrera, Nationals - Cabrera is switching leagues and positions, as he was dealt Thursday to the Nationals where he will play second base, in exchange for Zach Walters. Cabrera is having a so-so year but still has nine home runs, 40 RBI, seven steals and 54 runs scored. He will be an upgrade over Danny Espinosa at second base for Washington with Anthony Rendon locked into third base in place of the injured Ryan Zimmerman. Mixed: owned; NL: $18.

Wilmer Flores, Mets - Flores, who hit .323/.367/.568 with 13 home runs in 44 games at Triple-A Las Vegas this season, has seen minimal time since getting called up two weeks ago. Manager Terry Collins has given Ruben Tejada a long leash, but that could be on the verge of changing, as Tejada continues to slump at the plate. Flores got the start Saturday and contributed a two-run double, possibly opening the door for him to get more playing time. Mixed: $2; NL: $7.

Enrique Hernandez, Marlins - Hernandez came over to Miami as part of the six-player deal that also brought Jarred Cosart to the minors. Hernandez, drafted by the Astros in the sixth round in 2009, was called up a month ago to Houston, where he was seeing time at shortstop and in the outfield, posting a 284/.348/.420 with seven extra-base hits in 81 at-bats. He will see time at second and short, putting pressure on Jordany Valdespin (more likely) and Adeiny Hechavarria (less so), while also possibly seeing some reps in left field.Mixed: $1; NL: $4.

Injury activation/update:

Everth Cabrera, Padres - Cabrera, sidelined with hamstring tightness since late-June, was activated Tuesday after completing a rehab stint at Triple-A El Paso. Prior to being sidelined, Cabrera struggled, hitting just .256 with a poor .290 OBA. In addition, his value is mainly in stolen bases, where he had a weak 13-for-20 success rate this season, starkly reducing what he brings to your fantasy team. With San Diego playing out the string, Cabrera should be in the lineup daily and he has gotten off to a strong start since coming off the disabled list. Mixed: $4; NL: $11.

Third Basemen:

Andy Marte, Diamondbacks - Marte, who was hitting .330 with 13 home runs for Triple-A Reno this season, was called up Thursday following the trade of Martin Prado to the Yankees. Marte will see some time at first and third, especially in the wake of Paul Goldschmidt's fractured left hand, but don't expect much given his .219 career major-league average. Mixed: $1; NL: $4.


Abraham Almonte, Padres - Almonte was traded by Seattle along with Stephen Kohlscheen to San Diego for Chris Denorfia. Almonte was given a chance to play daily for the Mariners earlier in the season, but was demoted in early May after posting a dismal .198/.248/.292 line in his first 27 games. He was better at Triple-A, batting .267/.333/.390 with six homers and seven steals in 72 games with Tacoma. Many believe Almonte is the epitome of a Quad-A player, but he will get another chance to show he belongs in the majors, as he splits time with Will Venable in center until Cameron Maybin (suspension) returns. Mixed: $0; NL: $2.

Ender Inciarte / David Peralta, Diamondbacks - Inciarte and Peralta get a boost with Geraldo Parra gone to the Brewers and Martin Prado to the Yankees on Thursday. Inciarte, who was splitting time in center, should play almost daily until A.J. Pollock is back, while Peralta should be the starting right fielder daily. Inciarte, who has a 243/.278/.308.line over 206 at-bats, is batting leadoff and could be a decent source of runs and steals.  Peralta, who has come out of his recent slump the past few games, including a 3-for-5 performance Saturday, is now batting .319/.354/.479 with four home runs, 25 runs scored, 22 RBI, and three stolen bases over his first 188 at-bats. He will bat lower down in the lineup, and with Paul Goldschmidt out he may counted on to be a source of RBI for Arizona. Inciarte - Mixed: $3; NL: $9; Peralta - Mixed: $6; NL: $17.

Roger Kieschnick, Diamondbacks - Arizona traded Geraldo Parra to Milwaukee, opening up a spot for Kieschnick to make his third appearance this year in the desert. Kieschnick has 11 home runs, 34 runs batted in and a .268/.333/.468 line in 74 games for Triple-A Reno and will see some time in left field. Mixed: No; NL: $2.

Alfredo Marte, Diamondbacks - Marte was called up for his second stint within a week and fourth stint with the big club this season, replacing Paul Goldschmidt (fractured left hand) on the active roster. In 78 games with Triple-A Reno this season, Marte has hit an impressive .319/.407/.519 with 11 homers, but his playing time will likely remain limited given the number of outfielders in Arizona. That said, if Mark Trumbo is moved to first (better option) or third (less likely), that could give Marte a chance at playing time, Mixed: No; NL: $2.

Juan Perez, Giants - Do they offer frequent flier or train miles between Fresno and San Francisco? Perez made that trip one more time, as he was promoted Tuesday.  The Giants called up Perez and Travis Ishikawa up from Reno sending Tony Abreu and Adam Duvall down to the minors. Perez will provide outfield depth until Angel Pagan (back) is ready to go. Mixed: No; NL: $0.

Jason Pridie, Rockies - Carlos Gonzalez's sprained ankle may sideline him a few days and possibly result in a stint on the disabled list, so to prepare for that, the Rockies called up Pridie on Saturday. In 87 games at Triple-A Colorado Springs this season, Pridie, who has bounced around the majors and minors for several teams the past five seasons, has hit .275/.341/.426 with 10 homers and 22 stolen bases (in 28 attempts) across 338 at-bats. Pridie will back up all three outfield spots. Mixed: No; NL: $2.

Ben Revere, Phillies - The Midnight Ride of Ben Revere has been calling all fantasy players to pay attention and light the lamps for him. After losing his job as the starting center fielder, Revere has been red-hot lately, earning back that spot as well as his role as the Phillies' leadoff hitter. Through Thursday, Revere was 12-for-26 in his last seven days; 18-for-47 in his last 14 and 39-for-106 in his last 30 days with eight steals, upping his season line to .306/.326/.366 with 30 stolen bases. One caveat is that Revere is still dealing with pain in his surgically repaired ankle, which has screws in it that will need to be removed after the season and could result in him getting shut down early with Philly out of contention. Mixed: $35 (though likely owned); NL: owned.

Shane Robinson, Cardinals - St. Louis reached down to Triple-A Memphis on Friday to call up one of their favorite back up outfielders in Robinson. With Allen Craig now in Boston, Oscar Taveras will take on primary duties in right, opening up a spot for a fourth outfielder, which is the role Robinson fills. Mixed: No; NL: $0.

Grady Sizemore, Phillies - Sizemore was profiled when he joined the Phillies a few weeks ago, but his hot play warrants another mention. He was hot his first seven games with the Phillies, slumped the next seven and now seems to be back on the beam. Overall, he is 22-for-64 with a home run, six runs batted in, nine runs and a steal in 17 games for the City of Brotherly Love after hitting just .216/.288/.324 in 185 at-bats for the Red Sox and getting released on June 18. Sizemore, who can play all three outfield positions, has batted sixth while mainly playing left field, taking over for Domonic Brown, as Ben Revere is entrenched again in center field. Mixed: $5; NL: $14.

Oscar Taveras, Cardinals - Taveras was already seeing most of the time in right field for St. Louis but the trade of Allen Craig (and Joe Kelly) for John Lackey seems to lock him into that position. Matt Holliday plays every day in left field, John Jay gets a mild bump since he no longer has Taveras and just Peter Bourjos to contend with in center and Taveras will have the number 9 next to his name, as he plays right field daily. Taveras has not set the world on fire, but should benefit from knowing he will be in the lineup each and every game, as he tries to prove his top-prospect status heading into the season. If he fails, Bourjos as well as Stephen Piscotty and Randall Grichuk, even after the trade of James Ramsey for Justin Masterson, await in the minors. Mixed: $11; NL: $35.

Injury activation/update:

Michael Cuddyer, Rockies - Cuddyer, out with a fractured shoulder since June 6, took light batting practice Friday. He will increase his baseball activities over the next 7-10, at which time it will be decided if he's ready for a rehab assignment. If this timeframe holds true, look for Cuddyer to rejoin the Rockies the third week of August, about a week beyond the mid-August return he was targeting. Cuddyer, who is in the final year of the three-year, $31.5 million contract he signed with Colorado in December of 2011, could be dealt before August 31, if he shows he is healthy when he returns. Mixed: $4; NL: $11.

A.J. Pollock, Diamondbacks - Pollock, who had successful surgery on June 2 to repair his broken hand, which occurred when he was hit by a Johnny Cueto pitch, began a rehab stint with the Diamondbacks' rookie-level affiliate on Thursday. He was originally expected to miss 10-12 weeks and said before starting his rehab assignment that he hoped to be back with the team on August 15, which would fall right in that outage range. Before going to the DL, Pollock was batting .316/.366/.554 with six homers and 15 RBI in 52 games. Mixed: $4; NL: $11.

Angel Pagan, Giants - Pagan, out since June 14 with a bulging disk in his back that causes nerve issues in his leg, went through a full workout Tuesday and began a rehab assignment. Pagan made slow progress, as last week, he finally started taking swings this week, first off a tee and then soft-toss batting practice. That progress came after Pagan received an epidural injection in early-July following a setback while running. Pagan, who had Pagan had a .307/.356/.411 slash line with 11 steals in 63 games prior to the back injury, should be back with the Giants sometime during their upcoming road trip that lasts to August 10. Mixed: $5; NL: $14.