Around the League - AL and NL

Dane De La Rosa - Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Kevin Nielsen provides an update on injuries, call-ups, and closer situations around MLB. Danny Farquhar, Dane De La Rosa, and Latroy Hawkins are all closing. Wilmer Flores, Michael Wacha, Carlos Martinez, Danny Salazar, Sonny Gray, Will Middlebrooks, Avisail Garcia, and Scooter Gennett all got called up. Can one of these players help your team?

Saves

Danny Farquhar is the guy to own for saves in the Seattle bullpen. Read more about him here.

Dane De La Rosa got the save last night for the Angels. With Ernesto Frieri's struggling it's likely that De La Rosa will continue to get all the save chances until he falters. Although De La Rosa has a pedestrian 3.74 ERA, his FIP is just 3.03 and his xFIP is 3.36. He has the talent to keep the job, at least for the next couple months.

Latroy Hawkins will continue to close for the Mets while Bobby Parnell is injured. If Parnell needs surgery then he could be out for the season. Hawkins doesn't have closer-worthy skills but he is the best option the Mets have and should perform decently in the role.

What I wrote last week regarding the Astros closing situation still holds true. Any option for saves in their bullpen runs an extremely high risk of ruining your ERA. Josh Fields got the save last Monday and then gave up 5 ER in his next two innings of work. Try to avoid this situation at all costs unless you can afford to inflate your ERA/WHIP.

Pedro Strop has been terrific with the Cubs and if Kevin Gregg is traded then Strop will likely get the first shot to close.

Call-Ups

Wilmer Flores was called up by the Mets and will start at 3B while David Wright is out. For more information on Flores, check this out.

Michael Wacha was called up today to start against the Cubs. If he remains in the rotation then he can be a top-30 SP the rest of the way.

Carlos Martinez was called up to make a spot-start but might not get another. If he does then he's worth picking up due to his top of the rotation potential.

Danny Salazar was very impressive against the Tigers earlier in the week. He gets the Twins on Monday and should be picked up for that start if you are in need of SP help. Salazar has strong strikeout potential and his ERA/WHIP should be decent.

Sonny Gray was called up today to start against the Blue-Jays in Toronto. It's unclear if he'll remain in the A's rotation and this is an unfavorable start. Tom Milone pitched very well at AAA a couple days ago and I think he is superior to Gray and will be called up sooner rather than later, especially if Gray gets lit up today.

Will Middlebrooks will likely be called up today by the Red Sox. He was hitting .316 with a couple HR in his last ten games at AAA. He's worth an immediate pickup in AL-only leagues. If you are in a mixed league then I recommend a wait-and-see approach.

Avisail Garcia was called up by the White Sox to replace Alex Rios who was traded to the Rangers. Garcia has a nice all-around skill-set. He has the ability to hit for a strong average and should be a 15/15 type of power/speed guy. It will be interesting to see where he will bat in the White Sox lineup.

Scooter Gennett will replace Rickie Weeks as the Brewers starting second baseman for the rest of the season. He's not a great fantasy option but should at least provide a decent batting average. His power/speed potential is very limited.

Notes

I really like Marco Estrada as a SP option for the rest of the season. He pitched tremendously against the Giants earlier this week in his return from the DL. I wouldn't start him against the Rangers on Tuesday but look for him as a matchup play in mixed leagues thereafter.

Don't put your trust into Brett Oberholtzer. He has pitched 14 shutout innings in his last two starts. This has been fluky with his low strikeout rate and a low BABIP against. I think that reality will hit on Monday when he faces the Rangers. His xFIP on the season is 4.68, his ERA at AAA was 4.37, and I expect a 4+ ERA for the rest of the season while he's in the Astros rotation.

Ryan Vogelsong returned yesterday and should be owned in all NL-only formats. He can be much better than he was earlier in the season.

Injured Hitters

Yadier Molina should return by next weekend. Hopefully, with his knee healed, he will produce like he did earlier in the season.

Ryan Ludwick will be activated on Monday. Many will add him right away because of how well he produced last season but I would wait to see how he produces before adding him. He is coming off a serious shoulder injury and struggled throughout his rehab assignment. If you have bench space then adding him and sticking him on your bench is a good idea. Obviously in NL-only leagues it makes sense to take a chance right away but I'd be careful about investing too much in his if you are in a FAAB league.

Carlos Gonzalez will miss a couple weeks with a sprained finger.

Sal Perez should return from his concussion within the next couple weeks.

Peter Bourjos is attempting to return despite continued pain in his wrist. This isn't a good sign for his potential production or lack thereof for the rest of the season even if he does return.

Aramis Ramirez is about a week away from being activated. His knee injury will likely limit his production and his playing time for the rest of the season though.

Howie Kendrick will likely hit the DL with a minor knee injury.

David Wright will miss at least the next month with his hamstring injury.

Rickie Weeks will miss the rest of the season with a torn hamstring.

Lance Berkman should return within the next couple weeks. His body is so broken down that it's doubtful he will have much of an impact.

Injured Pitchers

Trevor Cahill is very close to being activated and rejoining the Diamondbacks rotation.

Jason Vargas might make one more rehab start which would result in a return next weekend.

Brett Anderson remains on track to return towards the end of August.

Bobby Parnell will miss the rest of the season if he ends up needing neck surgery. At this point his outlook is uncertain.

Paul Maholm should be back in a couple weeks. He's returning from a sprained wrist on his throwing hand.

Clay Buchholz is continuing to make progress but still hasn't made a rehab start yet. He'll probably need 3 of them before being activated.

Roy Halladay has a chance to return in early September and could make an impact, particularly in H2H leagues, if he can return to form.

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