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Nick Markakis grabbing some pine Wednesday


by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(3:51 pm ET) Orioles right fielder Nick Markakis has been given the night off Wednesday with Toronto in town.

Markakis is in a 6-for-40 slide that has weakened his stat line to .272/.336/.375. His average is at its lowest point since April 16.


Josh Willingham back in action Wednesday for Royals


by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(3:23 pm ET) Royals designated hitter Josh Willingham is set to start Wednesday against the White Sox after being benched for six starts with a groin injury. He has had just one at-bat since Sept. 11.

Willingham returns with 14 home runs and 40 RBI in 287 at-bats this season. But he has 96 strikeouts.


Alejandro De Aza on fire since joining Orioles


by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(2:29 pm ET) Orioles outfelder Alejandro De Aza has sizzled since arriving from the White Sox and has started every game since Sept. 7.

De Aza has hit safely in 11 of 12 games and is 16 of 49 during that stretch with two home runs and nine RBI. He has fanned just seven times.


Red Sox promote slew of players from Pawtucket


by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(1:51 pm ET) Ballyhooed Cuban outfielder Rusney Castillo is far from the only promotion from Triple-A Pawtucket made by the Red Sox on Wednesday. But he is certainly the most significant.

The team has also brought up left-hander Edwin Escobar, right-hander Heath Hembree, third baseman Garin Cecchini, outfielder Bryce Brentz and catcher Ryan Lavarnway.


Rusney Castillo not much help this year


by Scott White | Senior Fantasy Writer
(11:31 am ET) Rusney Castillo's debut for the Red Sox Wednesday night in Pittsburgh shouldn't create the mad dash to the waiver we're used to seeing for midseason callups. If you play in a traditional weekly league, you have just one more opportunity to set a lineup, and nothing he does in the next five days would compel you to switch from what you already have (outside of AL-only leagues, of course, where he's probably been owned since the day he signed).

And I suspect it won't be so noteworthy anyway. Other than the 22 at-bats he got during the minor-league playoffs, he hasn't played competitive baseball in over a year. And now, he's competing against the best the world has to offer.

But his arrival is still welcome news in Fantasy. Often, the most difficult players to assess going into a new season are the ones imported from overseas, where the competition is questionable and the available scouting reports are limited. The Red Sox are removing much of the mystery by giving us this sneak peak.

So what would be a successful debut for Castillo? My latest post to the Fantasy Baseball Today blog discusses just that. Be sure to give it a look.


MRI reveals no structural damage for Zach Walters


by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(9/16/2014) An MRI on the ribcage of Indians outfielder Zach Walters has revealed no structural damage, the Cleveland Plain Dealer reports.

The injury is believed to be of the soft-tissue variety, and Walters may be able to make it back on the field before the end of the season. He's just 2 for 20 in September.


Shin-Soo Choo to undergo ankle surgery Wednesday


by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(9/16/2014) Rangers outfielder Shin-Soo Choo will undergo arthroscopic surgery on his left ankle to repair torn cartilege Wednesday, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports.

Choo won't begin his running program for six-to-eight weeks while recovering from the surgery. He was ruled out for the season in August due to bone spurs in his elbow.


Albert Pujols, Josh Hamilton back in lineup Tuesday


by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(9/16/2014) Angels first baseman Albert Pujols and outfielder Josh Hamilton are back in the lineup for Tuesday's game against the Mariners.

Pujols left Monday's game with a hamstring injury, but it won't cost him any time. Hamilton, who will be the team's designated hitter Tuesday, has been out since Sept. 4 while recovering from a right shoulder injury.


Astros shut down George Springer


by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(9/16/2014) Astros outfielder George Springer has been shut down for the remainder of the season, the team announced Tuesday.

Springer has been sidelined since mid-July due to a quad strain after suffering a setback during a minor-league rehab assignment in early August. The team will take precautions now in the hopes of having him available for a full season next year.


Rusney Castillo to make first MLB start Wednesday


by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(9/16/2014) Red Sox outfielder Rusney Castillo will make the first major-league start of his career Wednesday in center field, the Boston Globe reports.

The Red Sox will get a good look at the prized international signee over the remainder of the season in anticipation of Castillo potentially manning center field full time in 2015. He inked a seven-year contract with Boston in August.


Zach Walters, Ryan Raburn held out Tuesday


by Chris Towers | CBSSports.com
(9/16/2014) Indians infielder Zach Walters (intercostal) and outfielder Ryan Raburn (knee) are both out of the lineup for Tuesday's game against the Astros as a result of their injuries. Both players are day to day as a result of injuries suffered over the last two days. 

Oswaldo Arcia sidelined by back injury Tuesday


by Chris Towers | CBSSports.com
(9/16/2014) Twins outfielder Oswaldo Arcia is out of the lineup Tuesday, after leaving the team's game the previous night with a back injury. He is day to day moving forward, at this point. 

Michael Choice's season ends with hamstring injury


by Chris Towers | CBSSports.com
(9/16/2014) Rangers outfielder Michael Choice's season is over, the team announced Tuesday, as a result of a strained left hamstring.

Choice will miss the final 13 games of the season as a result of an injury suffered Sunday. Choice hit .182/.250/.320 in 253 at-bats for the Rangers over 86 games.


Josh Willingham still held out


by Chris Towers | CBSSports.com
(9/16/2014) Royals outfielder Josh Willingham missed his third game in a row due to a groin injury Tuesday against the White Sox. Willingham has not played since last Thursday, and remains day to day at this point. 

Jake Smolinski brought off DL Tuesday


by Chris Towers | CBSSports.com
(9/16/2014) Rangers outfielder Jake Smolinski has been activated from the disabled list and will be available Tuesday in Oakland, the team announced.

Smolinski has been out since late July as a result of a broken foot. He was hitting .389 in 36 at-bats prior to the injury. 


Blue Jays to extend qualifying offer to Melky Cabrera


by Chris Towers | CBSSports.com
(9/16/2014) The Blue Jays plan to extend a qualifying offer to outfielder Melky Cabrera, CBSSports.com Baseball Insider Jon Heyman reports Tursday.

The qualifying offer to Cabrera will likely be between $15-16 million, according to the report, but the team won't stop there. The Blue Jays are also expected to negotiate with Cabrera on a long-term extension, coming off Cabrera's two-year, $16 million deal.

Cabrera hit .301/.351/.458 with 16 home runs and 73 RBI before undergoing season-ending surgery to repair a broken pinky earlier in the month.  


Oswaldo Arcia day to day with back injury


by Chris Towers | CBSSports.com
(9/16/2014) Twins outfielder Oswaldo Arcia is day to day after tweaking his upper back on a swing in Monday's 8-6 loss to the Tigers.

Arcia suffered the injury in the sixth inning and was replaced in the eighth by a pinch-hitter. After the game, manager Ron Gardenhire told MLB.com he hopes the injury is not a serious one, but should know more Tuesday.

Arcia is second on the team with 18 home runs in just 333 at-bats, while hitting .231/.304/.456 overall.


Zach Walters suffers intercostal strain


by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(9/15/2014) Indians shortstop Zach Walters left Monday's game against the Astros in sixth inning with a right intercostal strain, the team announced. He went 0 for 2 before leaving the game. He will likely be re-evaluated before Tuesday's game against Houston.

Dustin Ackley back in action against the Angels


by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(9/15/2014) Mariners outfielder Dustin Ackley returned to the starting lineup Monday night against the Angels. Ackley has played in just one of the team's previous six games, as he has been dealing with bone spurs in his ankle. He is hitting .249/.298/.396 with 11 home runs, 60 RBI and eight stolen bases in 457 at-bats. 

Josh Hamilton could serve as a designated hitter Tuesday


by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(9/15/2014) Angels outfielder Josh Hamilton felt a little tight but did not experience any pain after three rounds of batting practice prior to Monday's game against the Mariners. He also ran the bases before the game. According to the Los Angeles Times, Hamilton could be healthy enough to serve as a designated hitter on Tuesday.

Hamilton has been sidelined since Sept. 4 because of a right shoulder injury. He batted .263 with 10 homers and 44 RBI over 335 at-bats.

Red hot Chris Young out of the lineup


by Scott White | Senior Fantasy Writer
(9/15/2014) With the return of Carlos Beltran to the starting lineup, Yankees outfielder Chris Young was forced to take a seat Monday at Tampa Bay. Young, who was signed to a minor-league deal after the Mets released him in August, had started seven straight games for the Yankees and is one of their hottest hitters, batting .385 (10 for 26) with three home runs during that stretch. 

Josh Willingham a no-go Monday


by Scott White | Senior Fantasy Writer
(9/15/2014) Royals outfielder Josh Willingham, who has been the team's primary designated hitter since arriving from the Twins in a mid-August trade, was out of the lineup for a fourth straight game Monday against the White Sox because of a strained groin. Billy Butler once again started in his absence.

Willingham is batting .274 (17 for 62) with two home runs in 20 games for the Royals.


Josh Hamilton makes some progress


by Scott White | Senior Fantasy Writer
(9/15/2014) According to MLB.com, Angels manager Mike Scioscia seemed encouraged by Josh Hamilton's progress following the outfielder's workout Sunday morning.

"He made a lot of progress this morning, so we're excited about that," Scioscia said.

Hamilton has missed the last 10 games with a sore right shoulder. He's hoping to return before the end of the season but still hasn't taken part in baseball activities.

"There's no doubt he moved a little further down the tracks this morning, which is good news," Scioscia said.


George Springer able to do some running


by Scott White | Senior Fantasy Writer
(9/15/2014) Astros outfielder George Springer ran the bases Sunday for the first time since suffering a setback on a minor-league rehab assignment Aug. 6, according to the Houston Chronicle. He's been out since July 19 with a strained left quadriceps.

"Felt good. I felt good and we'll take it from there," Springer said. "See how I feel and we'll go from there."

With only two weeks to go in the regular season, Springer isn't ready to talk about shutting it down just yet.

"If that's a conversation takes place, I'll have it, and we'll make that decision when it's time," Springer said. "I obviously want to be out there and compete and play."


Hitters to sit in Week 25


by Scott White | Senior Fantasy Writer
(9/14/2014) Thinking about starting Carl Crawford, Kurt Suzuki, Mike Napoli, Rougned Odor, Trevor Plouffe or Javier Baez in Fantasy Week 25 (Sept. 15-21)? You might want to think again.

Find out why in the latest Start and Sit Hitters.


 
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Fan Poll

Which of these third basemen would you want on your teams for the second half?

Nolan Arenado, Rockies
17%
Manny Machado, Orioles
25%
Todd Frazier, Reds
33%
Martin Prado, Diamondbacks
4%
Kyle Seager, Mariners
17%
Pedro Alvarez, Pirates
4%

Total Votes: 3,689