This is our weekly look at National League free agents. We have two goals for this article:
1. Identify likely free agents and discuss their strengths and weaknesses.
2. Estimate how much of your $100 starting free-agent budget you should bid on them.
This year, we're incorporating grids into the FAAB articles, so users can easily see at a glance how certain players stack up against others and how much they should command in a variety of formats.
The grids, which are sortable by column (click on the header), include a very basic "player grade" column. This serves as a reflection of a player’s skills and role on an A-E scale. Dansby Swanson
would have been an "A" grade player last year -- that mark will be reserved for similar high-impact prospects stepping into an everyday role.
As always, if there is a player that was not discussed in the article that you would like to know about, feel free to ask about the player in the comments.
Eddie Butler, Cubs -
Butler failed to live up to his lofty draft status and one-time top-50 prospect rating in Colorado. The 46th pick in the 2012 draft, Butler went 2-5 with a 7.17 ERA and spent most of the season with Triple-A Albuquerque. He was designated for assignment in January before getting dealt to the Cubs. Butler posted a 3.07 ERA and 0.95 WHIP over 14.2 innings this spring, putting him on the radar in case Chicago needed a starter. With Brett Anderson
(back) on the DL, Butler, who had a 1.17 ERA and 1.13 WHIP in 30.2 innings over five starts for Triple-A Iowa, got the call. He allowed no runs on two hits and three walks with five strikeouts in six scoreless innings, averaging 95 mph on his four-seam fastball and topping out at 97. Those numbers are up from last year and coupled with his solid groundball rate and better team around him, Butler is worth a look. But keep in mind that Butler had a 6.50 ERA across three seasons (159.1 innings) in Colorado and struck out just 17 this year in the minors, so don't overrate him. In addition, Mike Montgomery
looms in the bullpen as a possible starting option. 12-team Mixed: $1; 15-team Mixed: $5; 12-team NL: $9.
Lisalverto Bonilla, Reds -
Bonilla made his first start in the majors since 2014 on Saturday, allowing three runs on six hits and two walks while striking out five in the eight-inning complete game against the Giants. Don't overreact to the outing; Bonilla has struggled as a starter and out of the bullpen the last several years in the minors. 12-team Mixed: No; 15-team Mixed: No; 12-team NL: $2.
Trevor Cahill, Padres -
Cahill has built off his successful stint in the bullpen for Chicago last year by getting off to a staring start in the Padres' rotation. He won his third straight decision in his last four games Monday, striking out seven while walking a season-high five but he allowed just one hit in 5.1 shutout innings. Coming into Saturday's start, Cahill had fanned at least six hitters in all six of his starts this season, notching 44K in 35.1 innings pitched with a 3.06 ERA and 1.16 WHIP. His 16 walks in 35 IP is actually a lower BB/9 than what he posted a year ago. Saturday against the White Sox, Cahill allowed four runs - three earned - on eight hits and a walk while striking out seven in six innings. Cahill benefits from pitching at Petco Park, seen in his wildly disparate home/road numbers, so he may just be a streaming option when at home until his road numbers improve. 12-team Mixed: $5; 15-team Mixed: $11; 12-team NL: $18 (should be owned)
Zack Godley, Diamondbacks - Shelby Miller
's Tommy John surgery has left a hole as the fifth starter in Arizona. Godley is the latest to get a chance to fill that spot and he allowed one run on four hits and a walk while striking out six over seven innings in his win over the Tigers on Wednesday. That outing, Godley's second spot start of the year, earned him the ball Monday against the Mets, Last season, Godley appeared in 27 games for the Diamondbacks, including nine starts in which he posted a 7.31 ERA, 1.67 WHIP and 34:17 K:BB in 48 innings. His stuff seemed to play much better out of the bullpen, but his two strong starts has given him the upper hand for now over Braden Shipley
, at least until Anthony Banda
is ready. 12-team Mixed: $0; 15-team Mixed: $1; 12-team NL: $5.
Jeff Hoffman, Rockies -
Hoffman, the centerpiece of the 2015 trade that sent Troy Tulowitzki
to Toronto, dominated the Dodgers on Thursday. He struck out a career-high eight in 5.1 innings and won his first big-league game in his seventh start but was rewarded with a demotion. Colorado, with several young starters pitching well, has no room in the rotation, but Hoffman is clearly next in line. He posted a 3.71 ERA, 1.12 WHIP and 29:10 K:BB ratio in 34.0 innings for Triple-A Albuquerque and will benefit from the additional minor-league seasoning. 12-team Mixed: $1; 15-team Mixed: $4; 12-team NL: $7 (if he can be stashed)
German Marquez, Rockies -
Marquez dominated the Cubs over eight scoreless innings Wednesday, allowing just three hits and a walk while striking out eight to lower his ERA to 4.88 in the majors. He has alternated bad-good starts in his four outings this year, so pay attention to how he fares on the road against the Twins on Tuesday. Marquez posted a 2.85 ERA and a 126:33 K:BB ratio with Double-A Hartford last season, prompting a promotion to Triple-A Albuquerque. He also performed well at that stop, leading the Rockies to send Marquez to the big leagues ahead of schedule, where he struggled a bit. Marquez lost his battle to open the year in the rotation but was called up when Jon Gray
(toe) landed on the disabled list. Gray is likely a few weeks away from returning, but if Marquez pitches well and Tyler Anderson
continues to struggle, Marquez could stick in the rotation when Gray is ready. 12-team Mixed: $1; 15-team Mixed: $5; 12-team NL: $9.
Tommy Milone, Mets -
Desperate times call for desperate measures. The Mets claimed Milone off of waivers from the Brewers last Sunday and immediate inserted him in their rotation with Seth Lugo
(elbow), Steven Matz
(elbow) and Noah Syndergaard
(lat) on the disabled list and neither Rafael Montero
nor Adam Wilk
the answer. Milone posted a 6.43 ERA in 21 innings for Milwaukee before he was waived. Those numbers come on the heels of a 5.71 ERA last season and his last good year was 2012 with Oakland. When Milone is going well, he uses all five of his pitches to both sides of the plate and both righties and lefties, when he is not, his stuff is all over the place. Wednesday, Milone limited the Giants to two runs on six hits over five-plus innings, earning another start this week in Arizona. If he pitches passably, Milone could remain as the fifth starter until either Lugo, Matz or Syndergaard returns. 12-team Mixed: No; 15-team Mixed: $0; 12-team NL: $3.
Justin Nicolino, Marlins -
Nicolino, at one time was a solid prospect, but that was in 2014 and since then, his status has waned. He was called up to start Sunday against the Braves despite a 4.46 ERA with 24 strikeouts and 16 walks in 38.1 innings for the Triple-A New Orleans Baby Cakes. Nicolino could stick for a bit with Wei-Yin Chin (elbow) having a setback Saturday and Adam Conley
getting sent down to the minors. 12-team Mixed: No; 15-team Mixed: No; 12-team NL: $2.
Jose Urena, Marlins -
Urena, who began the season as a long reliever, allowed just one hit while walking one and striking out a pair in six scoreless innings in his first start of the season against the Mets last Sunday. That outing earned Urena a second start Friday. He held the Braves to two runs on six hits and three walks while striking out four in six innings. Urena is getting a look in the rotation with Wei-Yin Chen
(left arm fatigue) on the disabled list and likely should get a third start this week against the Astros. He has benefitted from a 94 percent strand rate in his two starts and .259 BABIP overall, making his FIP 4.48, so tread somewhat lightly even though it's hard not to be encouraged by his two starts. 12-team Mixed: $1; 15-team Mixed: $4; 12-team NL: $7
Alex Wood, Dodgers -
Wood was dominant Monday, allowing just two hits and one walk while striking out 11 in five innings. Hyun-Jin Ryu
just returned from his hip injury but Kenta Maeda
(hamstring) joined Brandon McCarthy
(shoulder) on the disabled list, keeping a rotation spot open for Wood. Rich Hill
(finger) is due back this week, though it remains to be seen for how long he can stay healthy, while Maeda may miss just one start. Wood tossed six scoreless innings in Colorado, allowing five hits and a walk with 10 strikeouts, so his rotation spot is secure, at least in the short-term, even though McCarthy and Hill will be back this week. In addition, Maeda may need at least another week of rehab, Urias could head back to Triple-A Oklahoma City as part of his workload management or the struggling Ryu could simply be booted from the starting quintet. 12-team Mixed: $5; 15-team Mixed: $11; 12-team NL: $22 (increased bid on presumption he sticks in the rotation, which is not 100 percent settled)
Jarred Cosart, Padres -
Cosart, sidelined since his April 18 with a strained right hamstring, made his second rehab appearance this week, tossing four scoreless innings for Triple-A El Paso. That outing comes after he tossed 43 pitches over two innings in his first rehab appearance for High-A Lake Elsinore last week. It's unclear when Cosart will be activated and what role he will fill when he is back, as he will either be a long reliever or starter, but he is likely to pitch out of the bullpen. 12-team Mixed: No; 15-team Mixed: No; 12-team NL: $2
Brandon Finnegan, Reds -
Finnegan had an excellent first start, lousy second one and pitched one inning in his third start before getting pulled with a strained shoulder muscle. He just started a throwing program and it will still be a while before Finnegan can throw off a mound. Finnegan is likely a month to six weeks away before he is ready to return to the majors. 12-team Mixed: $1; 15-team Mixed: $4; 12-team NL: $7 (early spec return bid)
Jon Gray, Rockies -
Gray suffered a stress fracture in his left foot about a month ago during the best of his three starts to open the season. The bone scan on his foot showed solid healing and depending on how his checkup went this week, he could be cleared to start running drills in the pool. Gray will need to progress from his current throwing of 90-100 feet to throwing off a mound, then bullpen sessions and rehab starts, putting him a few weeks away from returning. 12-team Mixed: $4; 15-team Mixed: $9; 12-team NL: $14 (early spec return bid; more as he gets closer)
Junior Guerra, Brewers -
Guerra, who injured his right calf in his first start of the season April 3, is working his way back to the Brewers. He threw two innings of live batting practice at Low-A Wisconsin last Saturday and got through a live bullpen session unscathed Wednesday. Guerra will make his first rehab start Monday at Double-A Biloxi, where he expected to toss 75 pitches. If all goes well, he'll head out for a second rehab start before hopefully rejoining the Brewers' rotation before the end of May, at which time Milwaukee will have to decide who he will replace. (Just an FYI as still should be owned in all formats, if not, $9/$18/$25, if a believer in what he did last year.)
Rich Hill, Dodgers -
Hill, sidelined with yet another blister, recorded five shutout innings (68 pitches) in his second rehab start Wednesday for High-A Rancho Cucamonga. In his first, he lasted just two-thirds of an inning, allowing four runs on 29 pitches. Those two starts were viewed as sufficient, as Hill will be activated to start Tuesday against the Giants. Hyun-Jin Ryu
just came off the disabled list while Kenta Maeda
and Brandon McCarthy
landed on it, opening a spot for Hill in the rotation that now consists of Clayton Kershaw
, Julio Urias
, Ryu and Alex Wood
. Both Maeda and McCarthy should be back shortly, creating a logjam. Hill may be moved to the bullpen if his start Tuesday doesn't go well, so bear that in mind while bidding. 12-team Mixed: $2; 15-team Mixed: $7; 12-team NL: $11 (slight drop from prior)
Seth Lugo/Steven Matz, Mets -
Lugo (partial UCL tear) and Matz (strained flexor tendon) each threw two innings (30 pitches) in an extended spring training game Saturday. This outing continues their slow progression back to the majors, as the prior week, each tossed a 20-pitch side session off the rubber after throwing off the slope of a mound. So far, neither has had a setback and both are targeting an early June return following several rehab assignments. Lugo likely is to be used as a swingman out of the bullpen while Matz should move back into the starting rotation as the only lefty in the Mets' starting five. However, there is a possibility that Lugo ends up starting as well with Robert Gsellman
struggling and Zack Wheeler
's innings to be managed. Lugo - 12-team Mixed: $1; 15-team Mixed: $4; 12-team NL: $7 (upped early spec bid based on his starting); Matz - 12-team Mixed: owned; 15-team Mixed: $5 (early spec bid); 12-team NL: owned. (same bids as prior, increase as they get closer to returning)
Aaron Nola, Phillies -
Nola, sidelined since late-April with a strained lower back, made his first rehab start Wednesday. He threw four innings for Triple-A Lehigh Valley, allowing one run on four hits with three strikeouts and no walks while throwing 37 strikes in his 52 pitches and topping out at 93 mph during the outing. His next rehab appearance with Triple-A Lehigh Valley on Monday, and it's possible that Nola will rejoin the Phillies after that start or possibly make one more rehab appearance. If he makes one or two starts, that would leave him on pace to return with the Phillies either during their series in Pittsburgh May 19-21 or at home against the Rockies May 22-24. After struggling following a hot start, Nola missed the final two months last season with an elbow strain. He was off to a slow start this year in his first three outings, but if healthy, profiles as a No. 2-3 starter. 12-team Mixed: $2; 15-team Mixed: $7; 12-team NL: $11 (early spec return bid, up as he gets closer)
Jacob Barnes/Corey Knebel, Brewers -
Knebel is in line to close for the Brewers, as Neftali Feliz
was removed from the closer role over the weekend. Feliz had notched eight saves in nine tries this season but last a 6.19 ERA and he had already surrendered five home runs. Knebel missed the first two months of the season with an oblique injury and failed to recapture the form that made him such a solid reliever in 2015. The big issue with Knebel last season was walks, as he allowed 4.4 BB per nine innings. This year, Knebel has posted a 29:8 K:BB ratio and 1.00 WHIP over 18 frames, so while walks are still an issue, he has increased both his K and GB:FB rates, resulting in a solid start. Barnes is likely next in line and at minimum should be a decent source of holds, replacing Knebel in that role. Barnes - 12-team Mixed: $1; 15-team Mixed: $4; 12-team NL: $7; Knebel - 12-team Mixed: $7; 15-team Mixed: $14; 12-team NL: $24.
Koda Glover/Shawn Kelley, Nationals -
Glover, who was on the DL with a left hip impingement, and Kelley, who was recovering from a lower back strain, each were activated Friday. Prior to being sidelined, Kelley and Glover had taken over as co-closers from Blake Treinen
, with Kelley to see the majority of the saves chances. Manager Dusty Baker said that Glover and Kelley would share the closer role, with Kelley be first option to close and Glover getting opportunities when Kelley is unavailable. It remains to be seen how the closing arrangement will work, but for now, each are in the mix with Kelley the slight favorite for saves. Glover - 12-team Mixed: $5; 15-team Mixed: $11; 12-team NL: $18; Kelley - 12-team Mixed: $7; 15-team Mixed: $14; 12-team NL: $20.
Brad Hand, Padres -
Hand was dominant last year for San Diego after he was picked up on waivers from Miami, racking up a career-high 111 strikeouts in 82 relief appearances. The movement away from his curveball and changeup and reliance on his fastball/slider combination made hand one of the best lefty relievers in baseball last season. Hand is rolling again this year, posting a 27:8 K:BB ratio and 1.71 ERA with four holds in 21 innings. His numbers are bolstered by a nearly 94 percent strand rate and .208 BABIP, but even if he regresses, the strikeouts and holds give him value. 12-team Mixed: $0; 15-team Mixed: $1; 12-team NL: $4.
Derek Law, Giants -
Law, profiled last week, gets another mention, as he closed this week with Mark Melancon
sidelined with elbow discomfort. Melancon is due back May 16 but has been dealing with the discomfort for a few weeks and could be sidelined again due to the ailment. Law had an excellent rookie season, including 14 holds and a 5.56 K/BB in 55 innings over 61 games. He was consistently the Giants' best reliever while he was healthy and even served as the team's closer for a brief period after Santiago Casilla
was demoted from the position. Law has four reliable pitches, headlined by his mid- to high-90s fastball, and has continued that rookie success into his sophomore campaign. Even if Melancon is closing, Law should be a source of strikeouts and a solid WHIP along with holds, for those who play that category. 12-team Mixed: $3; 15-team Mixed: $9; 12-team NL: $14 (increased bid from prior).
Addison Reed, Mets -
The nightmare that is the Mets' season to date took another hit, as yet another player will hit the disabled list. Jeurys Familia
was diagnosed with an arterial clot in his right shoulder with surgery a possibly that could sideline him the rest of the way. Stepping in to close will be Reed, who filled in for Familia during his 15-game suspension. He racked up four saves during that 15-game stretch, and has struck out 22 batters without a walk in 18 innings overall this season along with having prior closing experience. The trickle down impact is that Salas, Blevins and Robles, each of whom have been heavily used already by manager Terry Collins due to the starters' struggles, will need to handle even more of a burden and could notch the occasional save, adding to their value. Look for New York to try to add another bullpen arm. 12-team Mixed: $11; 15-team Mixed: $22; 12-team NL: $33.
Luis Garcia/Tony Cingrani/Austin Brice/Mauricio Cabrera/Mike Dunn/Matt Grace/Josh Lindblom/Bryan Morris/Josh Osich/Felix Pena/Rob Scahill/Paul Sewald/Jake Thompson/Sam Tuivailala/Nick Wittgren/Rob Zastryzny -
This week's key middle reliever callups/activations, as well as expected callups, were/will be in Philadelphia, Cincinnati, Cincinnati, Atlanta, Colorado, Washington, Pittsburgh, Milwaukee, San Francisco, Chicago, San Francisco, New York, Philadelphia, St. Louis, Miami and Chicago. None have any substantial value, save for Cabrera, Dunn and Thompson. Cingrani is close to beginning a rehab assignment and has some value as a long-reliever and a set-up man for Raisel Iglesias
. Cabrera moves his minor-league rehab assignment to Triple-A Gwinnett on Tuesday, tossing a scoreless inning. Once he is back, Cabrera, who had baseball's second-highest average fastball velocity (100 mph) while posting a 2.82 ERA and six saves in 41 appearances, will work as a set-up man to Jim Johnson
. He needs to limit his walks, as he had 19 versus 32 strikeouts in 38.1 innings, to have further success. Dunn (back) was activated Sunday to resume his role as one of Colorado's top left-handed reliever, providing strikeouts and holds. Thompson started at Triple-A Lehigh Valley, posting a 0.99 ERA and an 18:5 K:BB over his last three starts. Those numbers came after he reverted back to his overhand windup following two poor starts to begin the year. For now, he is serving as bullpen depth for the Phillies, but could get a look for a starting spot with Aaron Nola
(back) on the DL, especially if Nick Pivetta
falters, as he did Friday. All save for Cabrera, Dunn and Thompson - 12-team Mixed: No; 15-team Mixed: No; 12-team NL: $0; Cabrera and Thompson - 12-team Mixed: $0; 15-team Mixed: $1; 12-team NL: $5; Dunn - 12-team Mixed: No; 15-team Mixed: $0; 12-team NL: $3
Tony Wolters, Rockies -
Wolters, who was off to a hot start, batting .346/.393/.442 in 17 games before he was sidelined May 2 with a concussion after getting hit in the helmet by Hector Sanchez
's backswing, kicked off a rehab assignment Saturday at Triple-A Albuquerque. He went 1-for-4 with a home run and a walk, playing the whole game as a designated hitter and will catch Sunday. Wolters ramped up his activity late this week, showing no ill effects from the concussion. With Tom Murphy
's recovery from a broken forearm dragging, Wolters should be the full-time catcher once he returns sometime this week. 12-team Mixed: $5; 15-team Mixed: $11; 12-team NL: $18 (if dropped)
Jesus Aguilar, Brewers -
Aguilar could see more work at first base with Ryan Braun
(calf) on the 10-day disabled list. Milwaukee could move Eric Thames
to left in place of Braun, starting Aguilar at first. But in the two games since Braun was placed on the disabled list, Thames stayed at first while Hernan Perez
played left, leaving Aguilar pinch-hit duty once again. Aguilar batted.452/.521/.855 with seven home runs and 19 RBI in 62 spring training at-bats, but Thames' explosion has relegated him mainly to the bench. 12-team Mixed: No; 15-team Mixed: No, 12-team NL: $4.
Cody Bellinger, Dodgers -
Bellinger, profiled the last two weeks, gets another mention, as playing time for the remainder of the season seems to be a bit more settled. Bellinger is starting at first base with Adrian Gonzalez
on the 10-day disabled list due to a herniated disk in his back that he aggravated in April and right elbow soreness. In addition, Andrew Toles
tore his ACL, so when A-Gone returns, which may be in about a week, Bellinger will shift back to left field. By the time Gonzalez returns, Bellinger will have played at least 10 games at first and left field, giving him eligibility at both spots in most leagues. Bellinger, the sixth-rated prospect on RotoWire and seventh-rated prospect by Baseball America, earned his original promotion thanks to his hot start at the plate. He slashed .343/.429/.627 with five home runs and 15 RBI over 18 games at Triple-A Oklahoma City to earn that call up. Bellinger, a 2013 fourth-round pick, is just 21 but he progressed rapidly up the ladder. He has a stellar combination or power and average at the dish with solid plate discipline, so if you were waiting to grab (presuming he is somehow still available) or activate him, if you league has ROY rules for minor-leaguers, do so ASAP. 12-team Mixed: $80; 15-team Mixed: $85; 12-team NL: $95 (increased from prior bid since he is likely sticking in the majors for the rest of the year)
Tyler Moore, Marlins -
Moore broke camp with the Marlins but saw minimal at-bats before he was designated for assignment and sent back down to the minors after passing through waivers. With Miguel Rojas
(thumb) landing on the 60-day disabled list, a 40-man roster spot opened for Moore to re-emerge in the big leagues. Moore could see some at-bats against southpaws in place of Justin Bour
at first base, though that was the plan when the year started, which failed to come to fruition for Moore. 12-team Mixed: No; 15-team Mixed: No, 12-team NL: $2.
Lucas Duda, Mets -
Duda, on the 10-day DL with a hyper-extended elbow, was activated off the disabled list and started at first base Friday. He was shut down from his initial rehab assignment after experiencing a twinge in the elbow but played in three rehab games at High-A St. Lucie. After an injury-plagued and poor 2016, Duda was off to a steady start in his first 13 games as well, slashing .238/.360/.571 with four home runs and seven RBI. Now that he is back, Duda isn't guaranteed to play daily, as T.J. Rivera
did a great job filling in for Duda and could earn more time at first base, but he played third on Friday. 12-team Mixed: $11 (in case not owned); 15-team Mixed: owned; 12-team NL: owned
Ian Happ, Cubs -
Happ was promoted Friday due to several injuries to the Cubs' positional players. Kris Bryant
(illness) and Addison Russell
(shoulder) are both still ailing, leaving Chicago a bit short, resulting in Happ's callup. Happ got off to a great start in Iowa, hitting .298/.362/.615 with nine home runs in 26 games, including three long balls in his last four games prior to the promotion. His debut went about as well as one could expect, as he blasted a home run Saturday. Happ is a switch-hitter with a quick bat, an advanced eye and a bit both power and speed but unclear is where he will play. He started in right field Saturday and has been playing second base in the minors. Happ is likely to be returned to Iowa once Bryant and Russell are healthy but his future is extremely bright. 12-team Mixed: $2; 15-team Mixed: $7, 12-team NL: $11 (increase markedly in keeper leagues)
Steve Lombardozzi, Marlins -
Lombardozzi, whose contract was selected from Triple-A New Orleans on Wednesday, started at second base that day with Dee Gordon
shifting to shortstop due to J.T. Riddle
's bruised right finger. With Adeiny Hechavarria
landing on the 10-day disabled list for the second time this season with a strained left oblique Wednesday, as well as, Miguel Rojas
and Martin Prado
(hamstring) sidelined, Lombardozzi was called up and is back in the big leagues for the first time since 2015. His playing time depend on how long Riddle is out with the injury. 12-team Mixed: No; 15-team Mixed: No, 12-team NL: $0.
Eric Sogard, Brewers -
Sogard was promoted Friday to serve as depth while Ryan Braun
(calf) is on the 10-day disabled list. He homered while starting at shortstop Friday, but don't expect many repeats of either the homer or the starts for Sogard. 12-team Mixed: No; 15-team Mixed: No, 12-team NL: $0.
Logan Forsythe, Dodgers -
Forsythe landed on the disabled list with a fractured toe after getting hit-by-a-pitch April 18. Original speculation was that Forsythe could miss up to six weeks but that timeframe was dialed back. The fracture has healed and Forsythe had resumed baseball activities but was shut down May 3 with hamstring tightness. He is now finally slated to resume game action, as he will be designated hitter Tuesday in a rehab game. Forsythe could rejoin L.A., barring a setback, in about a week. Chase Utley
and Chris Taylor
are manning second base with Forsythe out, but L.A. will be happy to get its offseason acquisition back in the lineup. 12-team Mixed: $11; 15-team Mixed: $18; 12-team NL: likely still owned
Alexi Amarista/Pat Valaika, Rockies - Trevor Story
(shoulder) was placed on the DL this week, leaving a hole at shortstop for Colorado. Filling the gap is Amarista and Valaika. It looks like Valaika is getting the first shot to man the position with Amarista the backup. Valaika showed a decent bat at Double-A Hartford last year but failed to carry that forward to Triple-A and his propensity for striking out reduces his fantasy value a bit, though playing at Colorado helps. Amarista - 12-team Mixed: No; 15-team Mixed: No, 12-team NL: $2; Valaika - 12-team Mixed: No; 15-team Mixed: No, 12-team NL: $5.
J.T. Riddle, Marlins -
Riddle is in line to get the majority of playing time at shortstop with Adeiny Hechavarria
out again due to a strained hamstring. However, he was scratched Wednesday due to a bruised right index finger, forcing Dee Gordon
to move from second to shortstop and Steve Lombardozzi
, who was just called up, to start at second base. Riddle, who was called up earlier this year, was promoted Monday with Martin Prado
(hamstring) and Miguel Rojas
(thumb) out due to injuries suffered Sunday against the Mets. He returned to action Friday as a defensive replacement and started Saturday against the Braves. 12-team Mixed: No; 15-team Mixed: No, 12-team NL: $2.
Jeimer Candelario/Tommy La Stella, Cubs -
Candelario was called up to be the 26th man in the Cubs' doubleheader Tuesday and has surprisingly remained with the club. He has started four consecutive games due to some injuries but will run into a roster crunch before too long. The switch-hitting Candelario posted a .340/.443/.649 batting line through his first 28 games at Triple-A Iowa but is behind Kris Bryant
at third base. His fine numbers at Iowa the last two seasons could result in a deal later this season to bolster the team's chances to repeat. La Stella was promoted last Sunday to serve his usual role, as utility infielder off the bench. He could see some time at third base when Kris Bryant
needs a day off or plays the outfield. Candelario - 12-team Mixed: No; 15-team Mixed: No, 12-team NL: $4 (while up in the majors); La Stella - 12-team Mixed: No; 15-team Mixed: No, 12-team NL: $2
Derek Dietrich, Marlins -
Dietrich opened the season as the starting third baseman in Miami as Martin Prado
's strained right hamstring sidelined him as expected. After a breakthrough 2015 season, Dietrich was unable to replicate that success despite an uptick in playing time due to Dee Gordon
's suspension and Justin Bour
's injury. Dietrich did improve his batting average but didn't do much while Prado was initially out. Prado now is sidelined again due to his hamstring with Dietrich filling in at third base. His value is greatest in OBP-leagues, but he could provide a bit of power. 12-team Mixed: $2; 15-team Mixed: $7, 12-team NL: $11.
Hernan Perez, Brewers -
Perez had a breakthrough campaign in 2016, receiving 430 at-bats last year, producing 13 HR, 56 RBI and 34 SB. This season, the additions of Eric Thames
and Travis Shaw
has pushed him into more of a super utility role. Despite that, Milwaukee continued to find a place for him in the lineup, playing Perez at short, third and all three-outfield spots. With Ryan Braun
(calf/forearm) landing on the 10-day disabled list, Perez should be in the lineup daily, likely at third or in left while also batting third for Milwaukee. 12-team Mixed: $15; 15-team Mixed: $28; 12-team NL: owned.
David Freese, Pirates -
Freese, out since April 25 with right hamstring soreness, was activated Friday. With Jung Ho-Kang unlikely to play in the U.S. this season, Freese is now the clear-cut starting third baseman. He was off to a strong start, batting .321/.418/.536 with three homers and 10 RBI through 56 at-bats before the injury. Freese, who parlayed a one-year spring training deal a year ago into a two-year, $11 extension, moves Josh Harrison
back to second base and Adam Frazier
to left field. 12-team Mixed: $8; 15-team Mixed: $18, 12-team NL: owned.
Jhonny Peralta, Cardinals -
Peralta, sidelined since April 20 with an upper respiratory infection, moved his rehab from High-A Palm Beach to Triple-A Memphis to better test his recovery and energy. Prior to being sidelined, Peralta had slipped to fourth in the hot corner pecking order behind Jedd Gyorko
, Greg Garcia
and Matt Carpenter
due to a .120 average with no extra-base hits and a 9:2 K:BB in 27 plate appearances. Peralta missed almost half the year last year due to injuries and ceded the starting job to Gyorko and shouldn't see a lot of at-bats when he is ready to return. 12-team Mixed: No; 15-team Mixed: $1, 12-team NL: $4 (same as prior)
Aaron Altherr, Phillies -
Altherr continues to rake at the plate, blasting four home runs in a three-game span this past week. He is now up seven homers and 21 RBI through 27 games, but there are some warning signs. Altherr has an unsustainable BABIP, a ridiculous HR/FB rate and high ISO, so he is likely to face some regression. Despite that, he still should be in the Philly lineup daily and is a must-start, especially while he is hot. 12-team Mixed: $35; 15-team Mixed: owned, 12-team NL: owned
Mike Aviles/Brett Eibner/Nick Franklin/Brian Goodwin/Chris Heisey/Ty Kelly/Scott Van Slyke -
This week's fourth and fifth outfielder callups/activations, as well as expected callups, or those potentially to see a slight uptick in playing time were/will be in Miami, Los Angeles, Milwaukee, Washington, Philadelphia and Los Angeles. None have substantial value, save for Goodwin and Heisey, as the rest likely will see minimal action, either in spot starts or pinch-hitting assignments. Goodwin and Heisey could see some time in left if Jayaon Werth's groin injury sidelines him. All save for Goodwin and Heisey - 12-team Mixed: No; 15-team Mixed: No; 12-team NL: $0; Goodwin and Heisey - 2-team Mixed: No; 15-team Mixed: No; 12-team NL: $4.
Keon Broxton, Brewers -
Broxton got off to a horrific start but has found his game since April 25, especially lately. Since April 25, Broxton is 20-for-52 with a pair of home runs, eight runs batted in and 14 runs scored. Broxton's hot stretch enabled Milwaukee to designate Kirk Nieuwenhuis
for assignment and quelled the calls for Lewis Brinson
or Brett Phillips
to be promoted. This hot stretch is somewhat in line with Broxton's production after his late-May callup of a year ago, which is what earned him the center field job to begin the year. The key for him remains cutting back on the strikeouts, especially since his BABIP and ISO power are out of line with his norms. 12-team Mixed: $11; 15-team Mixed: $22, 12-team NL: owned
Matt Szczur, Padres -
San Diego acquired Szczur last weekend from the Cubs, where he was squeezed out due to all the depth in Chicago. Szczur, a right-handed hitter and 2010 fifth-round pick, is in line for regular playing time the next several weeks with Travis Jankowski
(foot) out and Alex Dickerson
(back) on the 60-day disabled list. The speed he showed several years ago in the minors looks to be gone, but he is a solid defensive outfielder and should post some counting stats while he is in the lineup. 12-team Mixed: No; 15-team Mixed: No; 12-team NL: $4
Raimel Tapia, Rockies -
Tapia, one of the Rockies' top prospects, was called up for the second time this season Friday. He was off to a hot start at Triple-A Albuquerque, posting a .400/.434/.583 slash line with 15 doubles, three triples and 20 RBI in 25 games, earning him the second promotion. With Mark Reynolds
playing well at first base, Ian Desmond
is in left field on a regular basis, which could squeeze Tapia out of playing time unless they choose to play him over the struggling Carlos Gonzalez
in right with David Dahl
(ribs) still out. In addition, it's possible Colorado tries Desmond at short with Trevor Story
(strained left shoulder) sidelined. Tapia hit 323/.363/.450 with 34 RBI and 17 steals in 104 games for Double-A Hartford last season and then batted.346 with 14 RBI in 104 at-bats at Triple-A. He likely will serve as a bench bat, but playing time could arise if certain shifts are made. 12-team Mixed: $1; 15-team Mixed: $4, 12-team NL: $7 (if you can stash him)
David Dahl, Rockies -
Dahl, sidelined with a stress reaction in his sixth rib, resumed dry swinging Friday after not being able to show 100 percent exertion on his swing the last week. He should begin hitting relatively soon, which will mean batting practice and then a rehab assignment, but a firmer timetable for his return will be known as he ramps up his activity further. Even if he is able to return in the next few weeks, Dahl is not a lock to get more than a handful of starts per week as long as Mark Reynolds
remains hot at the plate and continues to earn starts at first base, which has been pushing Ian Desmond
to left field lately. In addition, there is also a possibility Dahl could be optioned to the minors, but that seems remote at this time. (Just an FYI as should be owned in all leagues, but if not, the bids should be $4/9/14, drop from prior with Desmond in outfield.)
Alex Dickerson, Padres -
Dickerson, on the 60-day DL with a herniated disc in his back, could return by mid-June so long as he avoids any setbacks in his rehab. Late last month, Dickerson progressed to cardio work, light weight lifting and some baseball activities. Matt Szczur
was recently acquiring and is filling in for Dickerson while Travis Jankowski
(foot), who's currently on the 10-day DL, is sidelined. If Dickerson has no setbacks and can be back in mid-June, he could take over the left field job building off last year's strong performance following his promotion. 12-team Mixed: No; 15-team Mixed: $1; 12-team NL: $4 (early spec bid)
Adam Frazier, Pirates -
Frazier was profiled the first two weeks of the year, as early season usage hinted at increased value. That value spiked due to the 80-game suspension handed down to Starling Marte
for testing positive for a performing-enhancing substance. Pittsburgh moved Andrew McCutchen
from right field back to his old spot in center, creating a hole in right. Frazier along with Jaso was seeing the most action there, as the Pirates do not appear inclined to promote Austin Meadows
at this point. A strained hamstring landed Frazier, who was batting .306 with a home run and five RBI through 15 games, on the disabled list April 24 but he was activated Friday. Look for Frazier to start in left field against righties with Jose Osuna
playing against lefties and for Frazier to play second when Josh Harrison
needs a day off. 12-team Mixed: $3; 15-team Mixed: $9, 12-team NL: owned.
Denard Span, Giants -
Span returned to action Thursday after missing 17 games with a shoulder ailment. Prior to landing on the DL, Span had played 14 games, during which he went just 10-for-50 (.200) at the plate. Span returned with a bang, going 4-for-5 Thursday. If Span hits like he did the second half of the season, batting .287 with seven home runs in the final 63 games of the season, the Giants will have their catalyst at the top of the order. Look for runs, some stolen bases and a little pop from Span. 12-team Mixed: $5; 15-team Mixed: $11; 12-team NL: $18