Welcome to another edition of Gearing Up for the upcoming National League week.
News and Notes: Injury Division
Scott Rolen. Rolen is expected back in the lineup tonight for the Reds, in time for the big series with the Cardinals. You can activate him, barring an injury set-back over the weekend.
Carlos Ruiz/Brian Schneider. Ruiz is back from the disabled list just in time to take Schneider’s place on the roster, as Schneider is now on the D.L. due to a pulled hamstring. If you are a Ruiz owner, you should activate him. If you are a Schneider owner, well, it is time to find another back-up catcher.
Roy Oswalt. Oswalt is being pushed back again from his scheduled start on Tuesday. It is better to leave him on your reserve/injured list for now. Here is some feedback about his rehab start.
Ike Davis/Fernando Martinez. Davis, suffering from a bone bruise and a sprain, had to be put on the disabled list; he is only expected to be out for the minimum time. In the meantime, Fernando Martinez is up to provide something off the bench. I think it is telling that the Mets did not recall Martinez when Pagan went down with injury. In fact, Terry Collins wanted to call up a first baseman, but Lucas Duda and Zach Lutz are hurt and Nick Evans stinks (my words, not Collins’).
Geovany Soto. Soto got some good news when the MRI of his groin showed only a mild strain. He is expected to be out for the minimum time. If you play in an NL-only, you know what you are looking at in terms of back-up catchers; query whether it is better to have the dead spot.
Logan Morrison. Morrison is back on the active roster for the Marlins and should be activated in all formats.
Potential Minor League Call-Ups
Brett Jackson. Jackson is putting up very impressive numbers for the Cubs in AA. Jackson is repeating AA, but he is also showing the dominance you would expect. The .420 OBP catches my eye – the walk rate is up considerably. Unfortunately, Tennessee just put him on the disabled list with a strained ligament in his pinky. He is not expected to miss much time, however, and he should likely be on your distant radar screen. I think he will need a stop at AAA, but could see time in the Cubs outfield depending on injuries and performance.
Rex Brothers/Matt Daley. Brothers is striking out 16.5 hitters per 9 innings at AAA, and Daley is striking out over a batter per inning with a miniscule WHIP. Both are potential call-ups, though Jim Tracey seems to be leaning against bringing Brothers up at this point because “he hasn’t fallen off the bike at AAA yet.” Well, that is sound reasoning Jim. In the meantime, in leagues that reward strikeouts, these are both potentially interesting acquisitions. Brothers is generally considered to be the Rockies’ closer of the future.
Wily Mo Pena. It is only a matter of time before Pena is called up to the Diamondbacks. The real question is: what time will it be? Pena is right-handed, and in the words of Kevin Towers, “has significant defensive limitations.” Nonetheless, once the Diamondbacks begin moving pieces to other teams, I think Pena will get a look, if only to showcase him as a designated hitter for an American League team. He could provide instant value in the power department.
Domonic Brown. Brown is tearing up AAA and will likely be back with the major league club soon. He just missed a couple of days with a jammed thumb, but it should just be a blip on the radar screen. John Mayberry has been work-able for the Phillies, but it would be nice to have Brown back on the bench. If anyone waived him in your league, it might be a good time to pick him up and stash him.
Free Agent Pick-Ups
Catchers. I thought I would just list catchers as a generic category. The pickings are slim. Rob Johnson just cannot hit a lick, and he is in PETCO Park. Welington Castillo has showed some pop in the minor leagues in the past, but was striking out about 36% of the time in AAA prior to his call-up. Henry Blanco and Gerald Laird just do not play enough to warrant a pickup.
Mark DeRosa. DeRosa is back from his trip to the disabled list. It is rare you see a starter in the free agent pool in NL-only, so he should get some play. On the other hand, he is 0-6 so far this week, and was not hitting the cover off the ball before his injury. Whatever play is made, it should be a relatively small donation of FAAB.
Fernando Martinez. See above. Again, since he is going to be sent down relatively soon, and since his .295 average at AAA is relatively empty, any bid should be of minimal FAAB.
Ryan Vogelsong. Pending his Saturday start against Doug Davis and the Cubs, I am going to go out on a limb and say that he should get a look against the Dodgers in Los Angeles next week. The 7.40 K/9 and 3.05 BB/9 say that he is league average or slightly better, so he is certainly worth a look if you need a starting pitcher this week.
Honorable Mention Relievers: There are currently 16 pitchers sporting K/9 over 10.00. Unfortunately, many of those pitchers are suffering from poor WHIPs due to a large number of hits or a large number of walks. Among those with a considerable number of innings, a good K/BB or both are: Randy Choate (6 IP, 16.50 K/9, 5.50 K/BB); Jose Veras (16.7 IP, 12.96 K/9, 4.80 K/BB); Guillermo Mota (21.7 IP, 7.89 K/9, 6.33 K/BB); Brandon Kintzler (14.7 IP, 9.20 K/9, 5.00 K/BB); Mitchell Boggs – yes, I waived him (18.7 IP, 9.116 K/9, 6.33 K/BB).