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FAAB Factor-AL: Many Happy Returns

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:

Chris Capuano, Yankees - Three starts in with the Yankees and Capuano has a 2.84 ERA with 17 strikeouts and five walks over 19 IP against the Blue Jays, Red Sox, and Tigers, which is pretty impressive. This coming week he's at Baltimore and at Tampa Bay, which makes him a viable option in deeper mixed leagues. Last season with the Dodgers as a starter, he had a 4.46 ERA (3.68 FIP) with 74 strikeouts and 23 walks over 101 IP. You could certainly do worse in AL only formats right now than to roll Capuano out there. Mixed: $3; AL: $10.

T.J. House, Indians - House gets two starts at home this coming week, one against the lowly Diamondbacks and the other against the Orioles. With Danny Salazar out of the rotation, House's spot is safe for now. He needs to work on pitching deeper into games though, as he's only pitched more than five innings once in his last four starts. In those last four starts he has a 3.92 ERA with 19 strikeouts and eight walks over 20.2 IP. The strikeouts are nice, but he's far too hittable as his 1.60 WHIP in his last four starts suggests. Mixed: $2; AL: $7.

Ubaldo Jimenez, Orioles - Jimenez (ankle) returned from the DL this week to face the Cardinals, against whom he pitched six innings with three earned runs, five strikeouts, and three walks. On the season he has a 4.51 ERA (4.79 FIP) with 93 strikeouts and 63 walks over 105.2 IP, which isn't close to the 3.30 ERA pitcher we saw last season with the Indians. Unless his command really starts to take a distinguished step forward, it's hard to recommend him in anything but AL only formats. This coming week he gets the Indians on the road. Mixed: $2; AL: $8.

Joe Kelly, Red Sox - In his debut for the Red Sox, Kelly pitched seven innings and gave up just one earned run with four walks and two strikeouts against his old team, the Cardinals. This coming week he gets two starts, one against the Reds on the road and the other against the Astros. It's almost as if he's still pitching in the NL Central. On the season he has a 3.86 ERA (3.99 FIP) with 27 strikeouts and 14 walks over 42 IP. He doesn't miss enough bats, but he does get ground balls and last season had a 2.69 ERA (4.01 FIP) over 124 IP. At this point he needs to be owned in all AL only formats. Mixed: $3; AL: $10.

Trevor May, Twins - May made his MLB debut on Saturday against the A's and was promptly greeted with a patient lineup that had no problem watching pitches go by for balls, as he walked seven batters and lasted only two innings while giving up four earned runs. There's really no silver lining here as the walks were a problem for him in the minors, though he cleaned that issue up somewhat at Triple-A Rochester this season. First game jitters aside, he should have much more value moving forward. He had a 2.93 ERA (3.17 FIP) at Rochester with 91 strikeouts and 37 walks over 95.1 IP. This coming week he gets the Royals at home. Don't be scared off by his debut in AL only formats. Mixed: $1; AL: $5.

Tommy Milone, Twins - With Kevin Correia in LA now, Milone will be brought up from the minors this coming week to make two starts for the Twins. He was with the A's earlier this season, before being dealt before the trade deadline. On the season he has a 3.55 ERA (4.42 FIP) with 61 strikeouts and 26 walks over 96.1 IP. He was much better at home than on the road with the A's, which actually might translate to the Twins, as their park is spacious enough to knock down many fly balls for outs. This coming week he gets the Astros on the road and Royals at home. Mixed: $3; AL: $10.

Brett Oberholtzer, Astros - Oberholtzer threw seven innings and allowed two earned runs with one walk and four strikeouts against the Rangers this week, in a no-decision. He quietly has pitched 162 innings between last season and this one as a starter with a 3.33 ERA (3.56 FIP), 103 strikeouts, and 35 walks. He has never really been a part of the Astros future plans, but it's tough to argue with the results, as he's been very consistent for them. He needs to be owned in all AL only and more mixed leagues right now. This coming week he gets the Twins at home. Mixed: $5; AL: $18.

Relief Pitchers:

Joba Chamberlain, Tigers - With Joakim Soria (oblique) landing on the DL, Chamberlain is back to being the setup man for the Tigers. Closer Joe Nathan blew another save on Saturday night against the Blue Jays on two hits, two walks, and a wild pitch, while getting only one batter out. This would be a perfect situation for Chamberlain to possibly see some extra save opportunities, but he hasn't been to hot lately either with a 9.82 ERA over his last five games. Still, he's got a 3.13 ERA (2.94 FIP) over 46 IP this season. Tigers manager Brad Ausmus continues to publicly back Nathan as his guy, so we'll see how much more of this he can take, but at this point Chamberlain needs to be owned if you're speculating for saves. Mixed: $2; AL: $6.

Zach Putnam, White Sox - Back from the DL, after dealing with a shoulder injury, Putnam finds himself setting up Jacob Petricka, who is currently the White Sox closer. Before his injury, Putnam was vying for the job and had three saves to his name, so he needs to be monitored, for those speculating for saves. On the season he has a 2.29 ERA (3.38 FIP) with 32 strikeouts and 15 walks over 39.1 IP. And for those wondering about his shoulder, he pitched a clean inning in his first appearance back, so all appears to be fine. Mixed: $1; AL: $4.


Francisco Cervelli & Austin Romine, Yankees - Brian McCann was placed on the 7-day concussion DL on Saturday and in the meantime, Romine was brought up to take his spot from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, where he hit .252/.313/.374 with five home runs over 281 PA. He'll serve as depth behind Cervelli, who should start most days behind the dish. Cervelli has hit .298/.359/.452 this season with one home run over 92 PA. It's unknown if McCann will be ready to return on or after the 7-day DL is over, but for now his owners will need to make alternate plans. Cervelli Mixed: $1; AL: $5. Romine Mixed: No; AL: $1.

Caleb Joseph, Orioles - Joseph was red hot this week, as he clubbed a home run in each of his last four games for the O's. Since the start of July he's hitting .304/.338/.609 with six home runs over 75 PA. He hit for this sort of power and average last season at Double-A Bowie, but few would've predicted this last stretch he's had. Add where available to see if he keeps any of this up. Mixed: $4; AL: Owned.

Geovany Soto, Rangers - Soto was activated from the DL on Friday, after dealing with a groin injury. So far he's gone 1-for-7 with a run in two games. This has been a somewhat lost season for Soto, as he's already dealt with a knee injury that cost him the first half of the season. Skills wise, it's tough to see what Soto offers, as he hits for a poor average and his power is limited. Last season he hit .245/.328/.466 with nine home runs over 184 PA. Mixed: $2; AL: $7.

Corner Infielders:

Mike Carp, Rangers - After being let go by the Red Sox, Carp was scooped up by the Rangers this week. So far he's seen time at first base and in the outfield. He's dealing with groin tightness right now, so his availability may be limited in the coming days. This season he has hit .194, which is a far cry from the .296 he hit last season over 243 PA. A LHB, he is best suited in a platoon role, where he faces mostly RHPs. Considering the Rangers options these days, he should see fairly regular playing time. Mixed: $1; AL: $5.

Kelly Johnson, Red Sox - Johnson was activated from the DL this week, after dealing with a groin injury. He doesn't figure to have much fantasy value with his new team, as he'll serve as mostly a utility player in the infield and outfield. On the season he's hit .219/.304/.373 with six home runs over 227 PA. Only those looking for a stopgap in deeper AL only formats should give him a look. Mixed: No; AL: $3.

Joe Mauer, Twins - Mauer (oblique) should be back in action for the Twins on Monday. He's been out since the first day of July and returns to a .271/.342/.353 batting line, which is poor by his standards. He has only two home runs over 339 PA, which is low, even for him, and should serve as notice that we may not see the old Mauer back this season. Batting average wise, there's no reason he shouldn't get back to hitting over .300. If by some chance he's available in your mixed league on the waiver wire, snatch him up. Mixed: $18; AL: Owned.

Zach Walters, Indians - With Nick Swisher hitting the DL with a knee injury, Walters was brought up from the minors on Sunday. Between the Nationals and Indians, Walters hit .310/.361/.619 with 17 home runs at Triple-A this season over 292 PA. In the majors this season he's hit .205 over 43 PA, but he did chip in three home runs. It's a little unknown right now just how much playing time he'll get, but the power he offers is enough to take a chance on in AL only formats. Mixed: $1; AL: $5.

Middle Infielders:

Micah Johnson, White Sox - The last month Gordon Beckham has hit .151/.170/.217 and has pretty much written his ticket to not being in the future plans of the White Sox. Johnson, meanwhile, has hit .289/.331/.390 with two home runs and 11 stolen bases over 277 PA at Triple-A Charlotte. He's gotten off to a slow start this month and we may not see him until September, but Johnson is the future second baseman of this team. If you can, stash him for September, as he should see a fair amount of playing time, when he comes up. Mixed: No; AL: $3.

Eric Sogard, A's - Between shortstop and second base, Sogard has started to see regular playing time as of late. He's done his best with it, going 6-for-14 with one home run and two stolen bases this past week. The A's lineup is one of the most productive in baseball, so as long as the playing time continues, he should pile up the counting stats. Over the last month he's hit .295/.436/.432 with one home run and four stolen bases over 55 PA. It's a small sample size of playing time to draw from, but he's not considered a regular so his playing time is always in flux. Mixed: No; AL: $3.

Chris Taylor, Mariners - Since coming up a couple weeks ago, Taylor has done well to make contact and get on base. In his 13 games, he has hit .372/.391/.465 though with no home runs in his 46 PA. It would be nice if he started to hit for some power, though he is only 23 years old. The counting stats are in short supply in this Mariners offense, so Taylor's value only extends so far, still he's doing his part to get hits. For now he needs to be owned in more leagues. Mixed: $2; AL: $6.


Collin Cowgill, Angels - Back from a nose injury, Cowgill returns to his fourth outfield role with the Angels. On the season he's hit .284/.354/.398 with five home runs and two stolen bases over 211 PA. It's tough to see him finding much playing time or value for owners as things currently stand, which limits his value to AL only and deep mixed leagues. Mixed: No; AL: $3.

Jordan Danks, White Sox - Danks came up from Triple-A Charlotte on Saturday, to take Adam Eaton's roster spot, while he deals with a strained right oblique. At Charlotte this season he hit .276/.357/.476 with 16 home runs over 384 PA. That's surprising pop for the 27-year old, as he hasn't really shown much power before, though this is fifth stint at Triple-A. He's likely to share time with Moises Sierra, who himself offers little value to owners. Don't expect Danks to hit for much contact, while he's up. Mixed: No; AL: $3.

Dexter Fowler, Astros - Currently on a rehab assignment, as he gets over a back injury, Fowler should be returning to the Astros in the next week or so. He'll return to a .270/.377/.396 batting average with six home runs and six stolen bases over 334 PA. Likely owned in all AL only formats, he's an uninspiring option for those in mixed leagues, as he should offer minimal help with the counting stats. Mixed: $7; AL: Owned.

Tyler Holt, Indians - With David Murphy (abdomen) landing on the DL on Sunday, Holt was called up from Triple-A Columbus, where he hit .311/.420/.405 with two home runs and 20 stolen bases over 267 PA. The speed is not in question with Holt, as he also stole 11 bases at Double-A Akron this season over 156 PA. Holt should be a fourth outfielder for now, though that may change if he continues to hit. Mixed: No; AL: $3.

Wil Myers, Rays - Myers (wrist) started a rehab assignment at Triple-A Durham on Sunday, where he is to remain for the next two weeks. At that point he should be ready to rejoin the Rays team. It's tough to say what owners should expect, as .227/.313/.354 this season over 224 PA, when he was healthy. Moreover, wrist injuries can zap a player's power, which makes Myers future value for this season even more uncertain. Still, he should be owned in all AL only and deep mixed formats for the last month of action. Last season he hit .293/.354/.478 with 13 home runs and five steals over 373 PA. Mixed: $5; AL: $15.

Alex Presley, Astros - Presley took batting practice on Saturday, his first action since landing on the DL with an oblique injury on July 8. He should be starting a rehab assignment soon and be ready to rejoin the Astros within the next week or so. Before he left, he had a .252/.391/.359 batting line with five home runs over 221 PA, which isn't anything to get excited about. Still, he should see playing time when he returns. Mixed: No; AL: $2.

Dayan Viciedo, White Sox - Quiet for most of the season, Viciedo broke out for four home runs this week, giving him 16 on the season. His batting average hasn't come around and overall he's been disappointing this season. Still, the power is part of his skill set, as we saw him hit 25 home runs in 543 PA in 2012. Give him a look in mixed leagues to see if this power binge continues. Mixed: $5; AL: Owned.

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