It didn't take long for fantasy to get served another potential warning on the arrival of one Julio Teheran. His potential return to the Braves and fantasy pertinence comes this Wednesday, when he is expected to take the rotation spot of the injured Brandon Beachy.
One man enters, one man leaves. Beachy is out for about a month with a surprise oblique injury in what has been a fairly stellar start to his fantasy season, and the 20-year-old phenom Teheran is expected to take his place.
We have to warn against trusting rookie pitchers right away. After all, Beachy became the latest cautionary tale. But Teheran has a chance to be every bit of the impact pitcher for fantasy owners that Zach Britton of the Orioles and Michael Pineda of the Mariners have been.
Teheran, still just 20 years of age, wasn't impressive in his spot start May 7 -- which was necessitated by a six-man rotation after a Braves doubleheader -- but he can be even better than Britton and Pineda have been on non-contenders. Teheran could take this rotation spot and not give it up the rest of the season with the contending Braves. That could make him, despite still being a raw pitching prospect, a big winner for the Braves and fantasy owners.
Britton (5-2, 2.42) has been in the top 20 of fantasy pitchers for most of the young season. He sits 17th in standard head-to-head points leagues, one spot ahead of Pineda teammate King Felix Hernandez, who was generally considered the second-best pitcher in fantasy to Roy Halladay coming into the season. That is a pretty impressive spot for Britton, considering the Orioles likely are not a contender that will win that many games.
Pineda is the second-best rookie pitcher in fantasy at No. 36 in scoring, which includes four relievers (Mariano Rivera, Leo Nunez, Francisco Rodriguez and Drew Storen). Pineda has out-pointed the likes of CC Sabathia, Cliff Lee and Tommy Hanson to date.
Neither Britton nor Pineda can keep up such a lofty ranking over the long haul as rookie pitchers, but Teheran is a nice get in any fantasy league if you want someone to pick up the pieces. Teheran could be the best of that trio by season's end, since he actually pitches for a contender.
Teheran's (1.91 ERA in Triple-A) expected trip back to Atlanta comes at the expense of fellow phenom Mike Minor (2.22). Minor started Sunday in Triple-A, but didn't toss a quality start for the first time in his seven outings. Teheran has only allowed three earned runs once in his six starts.
Teheran is still available in about three-quarters of fantasy leagues. There should be quite a rush to get him before he is expected to come back up this week.
We marveled at the encore season Jose Bautista has enjoyed last Monday and it only got better in Fantasy Week 6 (May 9-15). All he did was hit six more homers, go 11-for-26 and further become an OPS monster with five walks to just two strikeouts. MLB's homer leader is a poor man's Albert Pujols now -- or should we start to say it the other way now? Bautista is a clearly the best player in fantasy to date -- all that value for around a sixth-round pick. As for Pujols, by the way, he is getting his average back up, but he hasn't homered in May yet, a rarity for him. In fact, Pujols hasn't homered since April 23. He and the rest of the NL remain disappointing. The NL has yet to get a fantasy player of the week honor through six periods.
Past players of the week: 5. SP Francisco Liriano, MIN; 4. 2B Ben Zobrist, TB; 3. SP James Shields, TB; 2. SP Dan Haren, LAA; 1. SP Jered Weaver, LAA.
OF Nelson Cruz, Rangers (groin) -- He and Josh Hamilton (arm) are hoping to return this month and could start rehab assignments this week. Their returns will cut into at-bats for Endy Chavez and Craig Gentry initially. Julio Borbon (hamstring) is also out as the Rangers' entire primary outfield is stuck on the DL. When everyone is healthy, Chris Davis, Mitch Moreland and David Murphy will get less time.
2B Chase Utley, Phillies (knee) -- One Draft Day injury risk is nearing a return, finally. He could return to the majors during the Phils' next homestand and prove to be a must-start in all leagues before Fantasy Week 8 (May 23-29). He is too risky to use in Fantasy Week 7 (May 16-22).
SP Roy Oswalt, Phillies (back) -- Oswalt is coming back in time for a two-start week, albeit a somewhat risky one. He has struggled with his velocity in bullpens and during his rehab start. The chronic back issues still have to be a serious concern for his fantasy owners at this point.
1B Ike Davis, Mets (ankle) -- He will be out at least through the end of May and likely into June at this point. Daniel Murphy takes over at first base, while Justin Turner gets starts without question at second. Both Murphy and Turner have taken to the added at-bats and worthwhile stopgaps in deeper leagues. They are must-starts in NL-only formats. There is potential in both spots for as long as they are getting at-bats and staying hot.
RP Andrew Bailey, Athletics (forearm) -- The reports are positive, so a rehab assignment could be started this week and a return next week is possible. This might be the last week you can truly rely on Brian Fuentes as a closer in mixed formats.
SP Brian Matusz, Orioles (side) -- He is going to get at least two starts on a rehab assignment this week before a potential return next week. Matusz's return figures to impact either Chris Tillman or Brad Bergesen right now -- although both were good their past times out. Competition is breeding success. Britton, Jake Arrieta and veteran Jeremy Guthrie look safe in the rotation right now.
The most-added players:
1. SS Jhonny Peralta, DET2. C Chris Iannetta, COL3. SS J.J. Hardy, BAL4. 1B Mitch Moreland, TEX5. SP Jordan Zimmermann, WAS
Other than the hot streaks of the pair of shortstops (noted below in most-viewed), Iannetta and Zimmermann made some strides for patient owners. They should be more of must-haves in fantasy than they have proven to be, but there is still plenty of time for them to catch fire. It is a good time to buy. Moreland is getting more fantasy value with full-time at-bats and the addition of outfield eligibility.
The most-dropped players:
1. 1B Kendrys Morales, LAA2. SP Dallas Braden, OAK3. C Jorge Posada, NYY4. SP Javier Vazquez, FLA5. 3B Ian Stewart, COL
Morales goes bust, needing another season-ending surgery and giving his owners nothing this season. Braden is also out for the year, while Posada is clearly in the Yankees doghouse. Vazquez is at risk of losing his rotation spot, if the Marlins had a rotation answer, while Stewart winds up right back in Triple-A. The bet here still is Posada and Stewart will still have some value before the end of the season.
The most-scouted players:
1. OF Colby Rasmus, STL2. OF Grady Sizemore, CLE3. SP Roy Oswalt, PHI4. OF Shane Victorino, PHI5. DH Adam Lind, TOR6. SS Jhonny Peralta, DET7. OF Carlos Gonzalez, COL8. SS Hardy, BAL9. SP Matt Cain, SF10. SP Francisco Liriano, MIN
Most of these guys are getting views because of their questionable injury status for this upcoming week. The only ones on this list not affected by injury right now are the shortstops Peralta and Hardy, who are both scorching hot right now. They have been must-start shortstops in fantasy in the past and notoriously streaky. This is a good time to use them with confidence in any league, especially at that thin shortstop position.
Eric Mack rounds up the fantasy baseball movers and shakers every Monday of the season at SI.com. You can mock him, rip him and (doubtful) praise him before asking him for fantasy advice on Twitter @EricMackFantasy. Hit him up. He honestly has nothing better to do with his free time.