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FAAB Factor-AL: Walker Gets His Shot

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 Bassitt, White Sox - On the low-end of starters you'd consider for this week is Bassitt, who gets the Tigers on the road and possibly the Royals at home to end the season. In his three starts since coming up, he's pitched 16 innings with nine earned runs, 11 strikeouts, and 10 walks, which translates to a 5.06 ERA. Only consider him this week, if you don't care about your ratios and are just looking for counting stats to help put you over the top. Mixed: $1; AL: $4.

Lisalverto Bonilla, Rangers - In his two starts since joining the Rangers rotation, Bonilla has pitched 11 innings with four earned runs allowed, seven strikeouts, and eight walks. Fortunately for him, those were two wins and against decent competition, as he was at home against the Braves and on the road against the Angels. This coming week he'll get the Astros at home, a team that has scored the fewest runs in the AL this month. At Triple-A Round Rock this season, he had a 4.10 ERA (3.35 FIP) with 92 strikeouts and 25 walks over 74.2 IP. If you're looking for streaming options, you could do worse than Bonilla this week. Mixed: $1; AL: $4.

Alex Colome, Rays - Colome got a chance to start this past week against the Yankees at home and came through with no earned runs allowed over 6.2 innings, four strikeouts, and one walk. This coming week he should get the ball again, this time to Red Sox on the road. At Triple-A Durham this season he posted a 3.77 ERA (3.10 FIP) with 73 strikeouts and 30 walks over 86 IP. Colome could get a shot at starting next season, so now is a nice chance for him gain some more experience playing in the majors. It's not a great spot start option this week, but at least the Red Sox have been cold lately, as they're tied for the second fewest runs scored in the AL the last two weeks. Mixed: $1; AL: $4.

Nick Martinez, Rangers - Martinez gets two starts this week, as he'll face the Astros and A's at home. Neither opponent has been even league average at scoring runs this month, as the Astros show themselves to be a decent home team, but one that struggles on the road, while the A's look to complete their second half offensive swoon. Martinez has pitched effectively over his last four starts with a 2.74 ERA (4.43 FIP), 13 strikeouts, and eight walks over 23 IP. The strikeouts and walks there, along with the FIP, tell a different story from his ERA, so some caution is needed here. Still, it's the last week of the season, so no reason not to roll Martinez out there, if you're in need of a two-start starter. Mixed: $1; AL: $4.

Ricky Nolasco, Twins - In Nolasco's last three starts he has a 1.35 ERA (2.58 FIP) with 15 strikeouts and two walks over 20 IP against the Angels, Indians, and Tigers, which is impressive. I understand not trusting Nolasco, but to his credit he has had a 4.03 ERA (3.67) in the second half of the season. This coming week he gets two starts, one against the Diamondbacks at home and the other against the Tigers on the road. Again, still very difficult to trust him, but at least he's not walking batters and has found some recent success against tough opponents. Mixed: $1; AL: $4.

Nick Tropeano, Astros- In his two MLB starts, Tropeano has pitched 10 innings with nine strikeouts, four walks, and three earned runs. A September call-up, at Triple-A Oklahoma City this season he had a 3.03 ERA (3.31 FIP) with 120 strikeouts and 33 walks over 124.2 IP. With that sort of ability to miss bats, he's worth trotting out there for just one start this week, against the Rangers on the road. Because the Astros are using a six-man rotation, he'll only get that one start. You could do worse for a streaming option this week in AL only formats. Mixed: $1; AL: $4.

Taijuan Walker, Mariners - With Roenis Elias dealing with an elbow injury, Walker got a chance to make a start against the Astros on the road on Friday. Considering he wasn't stretched out, as he'd been in the bullpen, since being called up, he did well to pitch 5.2 innings with two earned runs, seven strikeouts, and two walks. This coming week he'll get the Blue Jays on the road, where he's a fair streaming option. He's dealt with injuries, rehab, the minors, being sent back to the minors, and being used out of the bullpen this season, so his numbers are scattered. What you need to know though is that last season between Double-A and Triple-A, he had a 2.93 ERA with 160 strikeouts and 57 walks over 141.1 IP. If you're in a keeper league, make sure he's on your team heading into the off-season. Mixed: $2; AL: $8.

Relief Pitchers:

Jared Burton, Twins - Twins closer Glen Perkins was shut down with a forearm strain this week, leaving Burton as the man for the job in the ninth inning for the remainder of the season. He hasn't had any save chances yet, but did pick up a win on Friday night, after getting two outs. With a 4.50 ERA (4.38 FIP) on the season and 5.68 ERA over the last month, it's tough to trust Burton, but then again it's the last week of the season and what options do you really have off the waiver wire? If every save matters to you, you need to add him to your team. Mixed: $3; AL: $10.

Zach Putnam, White Sox - Closer Jacob Petricka blew a save on Monday, giving up two earned runs in one inning of work. That may not have cost him his job, but Putnam did earn the save in that game and another save Friday night. Forget about reading the tea leaves here, if you need saves add Putnam, on the off chance that he gets another save opportunity in the last week of the season. Putnam had the job earlier this season, before getting injured, and has a 1.98 ERA (3.15 FIP) with 46 strikeouts, 20 walks, and six saves over 54.2 IP this season. Mixed: $3; AL: $10.

Catchers:

Bryan Holaday, Tigers - Starting catcher Alex Avila took a foul tip off his mask last Sunday and has been dealing with concussion related symptoms as a result this entire week. While he's been out, Holaday has been getting more playing time with James McCann backing him up. Avila is supposed to take batting practice Sunday, before he's reevaluated. If he cannot play or the Tigers clinch the division and choose to rest Avila, expect to see more of Holaday, who on the season had a .231/.269/.279 batting line with no home runs over 161 PA. Mixed: $1; AL: $4.

Stephen Vogt, A's - Vogt returned to the A's lineup on Friday, after missing almost two weeks with a left ankle injury. In that game he went 0-for-2 with two walks and a run scored. He's been very productive this season for owners, hitting .300/.345/.469 with nine home runs over 261 PA. If he was dropped in your league, he's worth adding back for the final week as a second catcher, as the A's continue to battle for a playoff spot. Mixed: $2; AL: $8.

Corner Infielders:

Jimmy Paredes, Orioles - Paredes continues to get semi-regular work at third base for the Orioles, while Chris Davis is suspended. This week he went 5-for-14 with a home run and two stolen bases. This season between the Royals and Orioles at Triple-A Omaha and Norfolk respectively, he hit .289/.317/.436 with eight home runs and 21 stolen bases over 420 PA. He's still losing some playing time to Ryan Flaherty here and there, but if you're desperate, Paredes is worth a look. Mixed: $2; AL: $8.

Adam Rosales, Rangers - While the counting stats don't really show it, Rosales has been on hot at the plate as of late, going 9-for-25 with a double this week and hitting .298/.377/.383 over the last two weeks. He's starting everyday for the Rangers at first base, despite his lack of power. If you're in a shallower AL only format or very deep mixed league, he's worth a look as he should be eligible at first base and shortstop. He has stolen three bases over the last two weeks, which somewhat makes up for the home runs he's not going to hit. Mixed: $2; AL: $8.

Christian Walker, Orioles - Walker has started the last three games for the Orioles at first base, as Steve Pearce deals with a wrist injury that has him day-to-day (aren't we all?). For Walker, he was just called-up from Triple-A Norfolk this week, after Pearce was injured. This season between Double-A Bowie and Triple-A Norfolk, he hit .288/.357/.489 with 26 home runs and two stolen bases over 599 PA. Only 23 years old, he's not considered a big time prospect, though he does have power, as his minor league numbers and his home run on Saturday against the Red Sox point to. If you're a Pearce owner, Walker is not a bad replacement for the last week of the season. Mixed: $2; AL: $8.

Middle Infielders:

Stephen Drew, Yankees - With Martin Prado out, after his appendectomy, Drew is no longer sharing time with him and has the second base job pretty much to himself. In the last week Drew has gone 6-for-15, which is probably the most frequent contact he's made all season, considering his porous .166 batting average. Still, if you're desperate for a fill-in for a middle infielder, Drew is at least an option you know will get playing time. Mixed: $1; AL: $4.

Nick Franklin, Rays - Franklin was called-up from Triple-A Durham this week, to get some action in with the Rays, before the season ends. In his three starts he's gone 5-for-11 with a home run and stolen base. This season between the Mariners and Rays in Triple-A Tacoma and Durham respectively, he hit .272/.366/.412 with 11 home runs and 11 stolen bases over 446 PA. If you're in an AL only keeper league, Franklin is worth bidding on, if you can get him for dirt cheap, as he's likely to be part of the Rays 2015 plans. Last season with the Mariners he really struggled as a 22-year old in the majors with a .225 batting average, 12 home runs, and six stolen bases over 412 PA. He has some power and speed, as you can tell from the numbers, but he needs to improve his ability to hit for contact. Over the last week of the season, he'll get plenty of playing time, which is about all you can ask. Mixed: $2; AL: $8.

Andrew Romine, Tigers - Eugenio Suarez has started the last two games at shortstop for the Tigers, but prior to that Romine had started nine of the last 10 and should get the majority of starts there in the final days. Over the last two weeks Romine has hit .310 with five runs and three stolen bases. Meanwhile, Suarez in his last two starts has gone 2-for-7 with a run. I would expect to see Romine back in there, as soon as this Sunday starting again. Suarez had been the starter this season, but he has hit only .234 in the second half and as a result has seen his playing time dwindle. In shallower AL only formats and deeper mixed leagues, Romine is worth a look for middle infield help. Mixed: $2; AL: $8.

Outfielders:

Brennan Boesch, Angels - With Josh Hamilton still ailing and receiving a reported 12 cortisone shots in the last two weeks, Boesch has started to see time at DH and in the outfield. This week he went 6-for-16 with two home runs and a stolen base. He's hard to trust, but if he's going to get playing time in this offense, he's worth a look for the counting stats. This season at Triple-A Salt Lake he hit .332/.381/.636 with 25 home runs and 10 stolen bases over 407 PA. It's doubtful he turned a corner in the minors, but for this week, he just needs to keep stringing the hits together and stealing bases. Expect Hamilton to get more rest this week, as the Angels gear up for the postseason. Mixed: $1; AL: $4.

Rusney Castillo, Red Sox - Castillo made his MLB debut this week, going 1-for-4 in each of his first three games. With nothing else to play for this season and the need to get Castillo more at-bats here in the States, expect the Cuban import to play every day this last week. He's a bigger threat to steal a base than he is to hit a home run, but he can do both. He's still transitioning to America and his surroundings as he's jumped around in the minors, before coming to Boston. Still, he's the most talented player likely on your waiver wire this week. Mixed: $5; AL: $20 All that you have left.

Jake Marisnick, Astros - Marisnick has been red-hot at the plate this week, batting .409/.458/.591 with one home run and three stolen bases. Three of his last seven games have been multi-hit games. Since coming over to the Astros, from the Marlins, he's hit .272 with two home runs and six stolen bases over 160 PA. He's likely owned in all AL only formats, so give him a look in your mixed league, to see if he can keep up this hot streak. Mixed: $3; AL: Owned.

Jake Smolinski, Rangers - After dealing with a foot injury and coming off the DL this week, Smolinski has started the last five Rangers games between the outfield and DH and has come through with seven hits, two of which were home runs. Between Double-A Frisco and Triple-A Round Rock, he hit .267/.349/.459 with 10 home runs and six stolen bases over 341 PA this season. Expect Smolinski to see consistent playing time this week. Mixed: $2; AL: $8.

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