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Around the League - N.L.

Kevin Nielsen provides a fantasy baseball update for each National League team. Topics include injury updates, closer news, and call-ups.

Brian McCann homered twice in his first minor league rehab game.
Brian McCann homered twice in his first minor league rehab game.
Kevin C. Cox

Atlanta Braves

Brian McCann went 2/3 with 2 HR and 2 BB in his first rehab game with the Braves Single-A affiliate yesterday. This is really good sign and it's possible he returns to the Braves next weekend. Evan Gattis will lose value and at-bats once McCann returns. Now may be the time to sell high on Gattis. It's still looking like Brandon Beachy's earliest possible return to the rotation will be around the all-star break.

Milwaukee Brewers

Kyle Lohse injured his pinkie on his non-throwing hand in his last start but it looks like he won't miss any time. Aramis Ramirez could potentially return to the Brewers next weekend or very soon thereafter. There's talk that John Axford could be re-instated as the closer if he continues to pitch well. Unless Jim Henderson blows a couple of saves I don't foresee that as a probability even though it is definitely a possibility. Hiram Burgos has had a couple of decent starts but he's still just a matchup play. His next start will come against Pittsburgh in Milwaukee on Wednesday and I wouldn't start him.

St. Louis Cardinals

Matt Adams is on the DL with an oblique injury and Jermaine Curtis has been called up for a bench role. Edward Mujica is doing everything he can to gain security as the closer.

Chicago Cubs

Kevin Gregg got the save last night due to Carlos Marmol being unavailable. Kyuji Fujikawa isn't close to returning just yet so Gregg is the second-in-line guy to own right now if you are desperate for saves. Matt Garza is still about a month away from returning to the rotation.

Arizona Diamondbacks

Didi Gregorious got nailed in the head with a pitch last night and could miss a few days. He has hit safely in all of his games thus far. Jason Kubel should return in the next 7-10 days.

Los Angeles Dodgers

Chris Capuano is close to being healthy enough to replace Stephen Fife in the rotation. With Zack Greinke out until June whoever pitches better out of Ted Lilly and Chris Capuano will likely keep his rotation spot after Greinke's return. Chad Billingsley had Tommy John surgery and is obviously done for the season.

San Francisco Giants

Jeremy Affeldt is only a few days from returning to the bullpen. He is a strong pickup for those who play in leagues that count holds.

Miami Marlins

Joe Mahoney hit a HR last night and is worth a flier in NL-only leagues. He'll play first base on most days and hit cleanup behind Giancarlo Stanton. Logan Morrison and Casey Kotchman are at least a few weeks from returning and until then Mahoney will have some value. Adeiny Hechavarria should return by next weekend. Henderson Alvarez is due back sometime around the middle of May. He'll be interesting for nice matchups at home in the Marlins spacious ballpark.

New York Mets

Shaun Marcum returned to the rotation today and is worth a pickup in all NL-only leagues. He's also a strong matchup play in somewhat deep mixed leagues. Ike Davis has been moved down to the 7th spot in the batting order while Lucas Duda is hitting 5th and Daniel Murphy 3rd for the time being. Don't get too worried, if and when Ike turns things around at the plate he should move back up in the order.

Washington Nationals

Ryan Zimmerman and Wilson Ramos should each be back with the Nationals by next weekend. Anthony Rendon will most likely be sent down upon Zimmerman's return. With Kurt Suzuki batting only .239, look for Ramos to get plenty of playing time after his return.

San Diego Padres

Andrew Cashner is worth adding in most leagues and has potential to be a top-50 SP as long as he is in the rotation. Robbie Erlin was called up from AAA but will work in relief initially. If he enters the rotation then he'll be worth a pickup in NL-only leagues and will be a decent matchup play in mixed leagues. His fantasy potential and strike-throwing style is similar to Tom Milone of the Oakland Athletics. John Sickels posted in interesting piece on Erlin here.

Philadelphia Phillies

Ben Revere is dealing with a leg injury that could lower his amount of steal attempts after his return. Carlos Ruiz will return to the team tomorrow after his suspension is over. Jonathan Pettibone will replace John Lannan in the rotation for now but if he falters the team has a few other options in the minors including Adam Morgan and Jesse Biddle.

Pittsburgh Pirates

Neil Walker cut his finger yesterday but might just miss a few days instead of being put on the DL. Jonathan Sanchez has been terrible and it will only be a couple weeks before Francisco Liriano, Charlie Morton, and Jeff Karstens could all be healthy enough to replace him. Jeanmar Gomez might replace Jonathan Sanchez for the time being.

Cincinnati Reds

Chris Heisey injured his hamstring yesterday and it remains to be seen how serious the injury is. Heisey has struggled thus far and may have been a candidate to lose some playing time anyway. Sean Marhall returned to the bullpen and is a nice pickup for leagues that count holds. If Tony Cingrani continues to perform well then it's possible that Mike Leake could get bumped from the rotation upon Johnny Cueto's return. Devin Mesoraco will try to impress Dusty Baker in the next few weeks until Ryan Hanigan returns from the DL.

Colorado Rockies

Jhoulys Chacin is still a couple weeks from returning to the rotation. Tyler Chatwood should continue to replace him in the rotation but isn't worth a pickup for most fantasy leagues. Todd Helton is on the DL and will miss some time with an arm injury.