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Shuffling the Rotations for Week 2

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After enduring the truncated schedule of Week 1, Fantasy owners will be treated to a much broader range of pitching options for Fantasy Week 2 (April 9-15).

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It's also the first week in which everyone in weekly leagues will have two-start pitchers, and there are 37 of them from which to choose. While there are plenty of two-start options to go around, not many of them are on the high end. You may be lucky enough to have two or more two-starters already on your roster, but just as likely, you will have to search the waiver wire to get some extra starts into your Week 2 rotation.

If you go the waiver route, some of the better options available could include Henderson Alvarez (51 percent ownership rate), Tommy Milone (17 percent) and Josh Tomlin (15 percent). Rick Porcello (52 percent), Homer Bailey (36 percent) and Brian Matusz (35 percent) deserve some consideration, too, but because of less-than-favorable matchups, none made this week's top 70. Similarly, Jair Jurrjens (89 percent) and John Danks (87 percent) are among the more popular starters who need to sit in Week 2, and with an impending DL trip, Doug Fister (ribs) needs a replacement as well.

Starting Rotation breakdown for Fantasy Week 2
Rank Player Start 1 Start 2 Stat of note
1 Clayton Kershaw PIT (Correia) SD (Volquez) Career 2.48 ERA at home
As good as Kershaw has been in his career overall, he has been even better at home. It should be a great week with two home starts.
2 Cole Hamels MIA (Sanchez) NYM (Pelfrey) 2.48 ERA vs. MIA in 2011
Hamels hasn't always handled the Marlins well, but he was strong in four starts against them last season.
3 C.J. Wilson @MIN (Blackburn) @NYY (Hughes) 3.38 career ERA at Yankee Stadium
Some pitchers fold at the Yankees' home park, but in limited time there (18 2/3 innings), Wilson has had few problems.
4 Roy Halladay MIA (Johnson) N/A 71 percent strikes thrown
Halladay actually set a career-high in percentage of pitches thrown for strikes last season, as he keeps getting sharper with time.
5 Cliff Lee NYM (Dickey) N/A 7.0 K/9 in six Grapefruit League starts
Spring stats don't often mean much for established veterans, but owners should see if Lee's strikeout rate regresses over his early starts.
6 Justin Verlander TB (Shields) N/A 41 percent flyball rate in 2011
Verlander allowed 10 more home runs last season than the year before. If he has an Achilles' heel, this could be it.
7 Ian Kennedy @SD (Moseley) N/A Two earned runs allowed in 18 career innings at PETCO Park
Kennedy hasn't pitched many innings at PETCO Park, but his track record there confirms what you likely expected.
8 Jered Weaver @MIN (Pavano) N/A 15 Ks in 14 innings vs. MIN in 2011
Weaver's strikeouts were down last season, but he had no problems avoiding contact against the Twins.
9 Felix Hernandez OAK (Colon) N/A Career 12-4 record, 2.47 ERA vs. OAK
The A's haven't been very potent for most of Hernandez's career, and he has taken advantage of their weak lineups.
10 Matt Cain PIT (McDonald) N/A Career 3.12 ERA at home
Cain is a markedly better pitcher at AT&T Park, and add in a favorable matchup, and he is a top 10 starter this week.
11 Adam Wainwright CHC (Samardzija) N/A 23 Ks, 4 BBs vs. CHC in 2010
Last season, the Cubs were second-to-last in the NL in walk rate, and Wainwright has a history of being stingy with free passes against them.
12 CC Sabathia @BAL (Arrieta) N/A Career 2.73 ERA at BAL
Sabathia has a long record of success at Oriole Park at Camden Yards, and it might just be what he needs after Friday's tough start against the Rays.
13 Tommy Hanson @HOU (Weiland) N/A 4.01 pitches per plate appearance (P/PA) in 2011
Hanson needs to be more efficient, but he did cut his P/PA to 3.77 against the Mets last Thursday.
14 Stephen Strasburg @NYM (Santana) N/A 71 percent strikes thrown vs. CHC on Thurs.
It's only one game, but Strasburg was even better at finding the strike zone than he has been over his career so far.
15 Matt Moore @DET (Porcello) @BOS (Doubront) 12.2 K/9 in the minors in 2011
Moore won't be eligible to use as a starter in standard Head-to-Head leagues, but he is worth using in all formats, especially with two starts.
16 Yu Darvish SEA (Noesi) @MIN (Blackburn) 21 Ks in 15 Cactus League innings
It remains to be seen how well Darvish will adjust to big-league hitting, but at least he starts off with two favorable matchups.
17 Dan Haren @MIN (Liriano) N/A 3.29 career ERA vs. MIN
Haren has a good track record against the Twins, and the lineup he will face this week will probably not be one of the strongest he has seen.
18 Zack Greinke @CHC (Garza) N/A 26 Ks in 19 2/3 innings vs. CHC in 2011
Given what Greinke did against the Cubs in his first year in the division, Week 2 could turn out to be a big one for him.
19 David Price @BOS (Beckett) N/A Career 1.75 ERA at BOS
Price has made just four career starts at Fenway Park, but has not given up more than two earned runs in any of them.
20 Madison Bumgarner @COL (Moyer) N/A Career .354 opponents' SLG vs. COL
The Rockies haven't hurt Bumgarner with extra-base hits, and he has yielded only two homers in 18 career innings at Coors Field.
21 Mat Latos @WAS (Gonzalez) N/A 2.85 ERA last three months of 2011
Latos struggled early last year, but he pitched like an elite over the second half of the season.
22 Yovani Gallardo @CHC (Dempster) N/A 51 percent strikes thrown vs. STL on Friday
If you're wondering what went wrong for Gallardo in his disastrous first start, his problems with command resurfaced, but he's rebounded from it before.
23 Daniel Hudson @COL (Nicasio) N/A 6.4 percent home run per flyball rate in '11
Though Hudson has some slight flyball tendencies, they haven't hurt him yet, even though he has pitched for teams in home run parks. A start at COL isn't too scary.
24 Jon Lester @TOR (Romero) N/A 0.6 career HR/9 at TOR
Lester is enough of a ground ball pitcher that he has little to fear from the Blue Jays' powerful lineup, even at Rogers Centre.
25 Anibal Sanchez @PHI (Hamels) HOU (Happ) .181 flyball BABIP in 2011
Even though Sanchez missed more bats last year, opponents slugged 42 points higher against him. Some of that looks like bad luck on balls in play.
26 Josh Beckett TB (Price) N/A 10 percent popup rate last year
Frequent infield flies helped Beckett to limit opposing hitters to just 23 doubles last year. If he keeps that up and limits homers from here on out, he is a potential ace.
27 Brandon Beachy @HOU (Happ) MIL (Narveson) Career 4.08 P/PA
Inefficiency is all that keeps Beachy from being a No. 2 starter in Fantasy, but he is a must-start with two starts.
28 James Shields @DET (Verlander) N/A 13 ground balls induced vs. NYY on Fri.
Shields had a forgettable first start this year, but it's a positive sign that he induced grounders on nearly two-thirds of all hit balls.
29 Matt Garza MIL (Greinke) N/A 65 percent quality start rate in 2011
Particularly after a rocky first month, Garza developed a higher level of consistency last season, so you can leave him active each week with confidence.
30 Josh Johnson @PHI (Halladay) N/A 2.39 career ERA prior to May 1
Poor starts like Johnson's opener against STL have been rare for him in the early going, and he could still give Halladay a battle this week.
31 Tim Lincecum @COL (Guthrie) N/A 90 mph average fastball velocity on Fri.
Lincecum's velocity is decidedly down, so Friday's meltdown at Arizona may not be just one of those things. Approach him with caution.
32 Justin Masterson CHW (Humber) N/A Career 0.4 HR/9 at Progressive Field
Masterson's ground ball tendencies along with his pitcher-friendly park add up to a career 3.07 home ERA, making him a solid one-start option.
33 Ricky Romero BOS (Lester) N/A 6.56 ERA vs. BOS in 2011
Romero had two poor starts against the Red Sox last year, but he was fine in the other two. He's riskier than usual, but still worth starting.
34 Johnny Cueto STL (Garcia) N/A Career 3.9 K/9 vs. STL
Cueto was sharp in his season debut, but given his past struggles against the Cardinals, expect a dropoff from him in Week 2.
35 Shaun Marcum @CHC (Volstad) @ATL (Minor) 11 Ks, 1 BB vs. CHC in 2011
Marcum is yet another pitcher who took advantage of the Cubs' impatient ways last year, and you can expect more of the same this week.
36 Erik Bedard @LAD (Billingsley) N/A 72 percent strikes thrown vs. PHI on Thurs.
Bedard had a harder time than usual throwing strikes with BOS last year, but Thursday's performance was a reflection of his improved health.
37 Jordan Zimmermann CIN (Arroyo) N/A 3.71 P/PA in 2011
Zimmermann made huge gains in efficiency last year. No longer chained by an innings limit, he could actually be an asset in the innings category.
38 Cory Luebke ARI (Saunders) N/A 7 HR allowed in 3 starts vs. ARI
Luebke's overall record is strong enough to merit a start this week, but given his Diamondback starts last year, he is a little riskier than normal.
39 Ervin Santana @NYY (Kuroda) N/A 64 percent quality start rate since 2010
If you still think of Santana as erratic, you're living about three years in the past. He's worth using, even with a start at Yankee Stadium.
40 Neftali Feliz SEA (Beavan) @MIN (Marquis) 9.8 K/9 rate in second half of '11
Feliz's K-rate will take a dip now that he is a starter, but he was superb at avoiding contact after a disappointing first half last year.
41 Clay Buchholz TB (Hellickson) N/A 1.18 career ERA vs. TB
Buchholz has owned the Rays throughout his career, though he made just one start against them last year before sitting out the latter part of the season.
42 Gio Gonzalez CIN (Latos) N/A Career .407 opponents' SLG vs. lefties
Oddly, Gonzalez has been a better pitcher against righties, so Joey Votto and Jay Bruce could do some damage against him.
43 Derek Holland SEA (Vargas) N/A Career 3.17 ERA vs. SEA
Holland usually performs exceedingly well against weaker offenses, and the Mariners have been an easy target for him in the past.
44 Ubaldo Jimenez @KC (Sanchez) N/A 92 mph average fastball velocity on Sat.
Jimenez had a decent stat line in his first start on Saturday, but his velocity was well below where it was last year.
45 Ivan Nova @BAL (Matusz) LAA (Williams) 1.24 WHIP vs. BAL in 2011
Nova was more of a strikeout pitcher when he faced the Birds last season, and that helped him to post an better-than-average WHIP.
46 Mike Leake STL (Lohse) @WAS (Detwiler) 1.0 HR/9 at home last year
Leake has been homer-prone, but less so at home. He could keep the Cardinals in check, even though they have plenty of power without Pujols.
47 Edwin Jackson @NYM (Pelfrey) CIN (Bailey) 25 percent line drive rate in 2011
Jackson managed to post a 3.79 ERA last year despite the highest line drive rate of his career. He could be even better in 2012 and viable even in some one-start weeks.
48 Jhoulys Chacin SF (Zito) ARI (Collmenter) Career 3.82 home ERA
Not surprisingly, Chacin has been better as a road pitcher, but he is good enough at Coors Field to be trusted with two home starts.
49 Trevor Cahill @SD (Volquez) @COL (Pomeranz) Career 2.85 ERA vs. NL teams
This week Cahill will make his debut as an NL pitcher, but in 12 previous interleague starts, he has been outstanding.
50 Matt Harrison @MIN (Hendriks) N/A 2.99 road ERA in 2011
Harrison is good at avoiding extra-base hits even at home, but he should be especially tough at Target Field.
51 Jeremy Hellickson @BOS (Buchholz) N/A 1.29 WHIP vs. BOS last year
Hellickson has been a much less effective pitcher against lefties, and the Red Sox could give him fits, making him a lower-end choice than usual.
52 Jaime Garcia @CIN (Cueto) N/A Career 1.17 WHIP vs. CIN
The Reds could be the toughest matchup in the NL Central, but Garcia has had few problems against them in nine career appearances.
53 Wandy Rodriguez ATL (Delgado) N/A 78 percent strand rate in 2011
Rodriguez is nothing special in the WHIP category, but consistently high strand rates keep his ERA in the low-to-mid 3.00s.
54 Ryan Vogelsong PIT (Correia) N/A 2.15 home ERA with SF
Vogelsong is not a slam dunk in one-start weeks, but as long as he is at home with a good matchup, you can use him.
55 Brandon McCarthy KC (Chen) N/A 27.6 batters faced per game in 2011
McCarthy didn't last long in Friday's game against Seattle, but that was the exception to the rule.
56 Francisco Liriano LAA (Haren) N/A 33 Ks, 5 BBs in 27 Grapefruit League innings
Liriano's command has been inconsistent over the years, but he gave owners a reason to be hopeful with his spring numbers.
57 Brandon Morrow BAL (Hunter) N/A 10 ground ball outs on Sunday at CLE
Morrow did an unusually good job of keeping the ball down on Sunday, but we need to see more of that before trusting him on a weekly basis.
58 Ryan Dempster MIL (Gallardo) N/A 17 Ks in 17 innings vs. MIL in 2011
The Brewers were one of Dempster's tougher opponents last year, but he still managed to get whiffs. He's still worth starting for the Ks.
59 Colby Lewis SEA (Millwood) N/A 2 HR allowed in 22 1/3 innings vs. SEA in '11
Lewis seemingly gave up numerous dingers to everyone last year, but not to the Mariners. Even in Texas, Lewis is safe to start when he faces the M's.
60 Tommy Milone KC (Mendoza) @SEA (Noesi) 9.7 K/BB in Triple-A last year
Welcome to the top 70, Tommy. Great command and two favorable matchups earn you a spot here this week.
61 Bartolo Colon @SEA (Hernandez) N/A 67 percent strikes thrown in 2011
Colon posted one of the highest strike thrown percentages of his career last year, and he hit the zone with 73 percent of his pitches in his season debut.
62 Edinson Volquez ARI (Cahill) @LAD (Kershaw) Career 2.59 ERA at SD
Maybe there's a chance the PETCO Effect can help Volquez after all. He has only pitched 24 1/3 innings there, but the results have been good.
63 Vance Worley NYM (Niese) N/A Career 3.00 ERA vs. NYM
Worley's control (11 BBs in 24 innings) hasn't been good against the Mets, but he has escaped largely unscathed.
64 Josh Tomlin CHW (Sale) @KC (Mendoza) 0 career HR allowed in 18 1/3 innings at KC
Tomlin usually gets into trouble in road games, but the pitcher-friendly confines of Kauffman Stadium have worked to his advantage so far.
65 Jonathon Niese @PHI (Worley) N/A 55 percent ground ball rate in 2011
Niese showed all sorts of improvement last year, and a career-best ground ball rate is just one reason to like him as a sleeper this year.
66 Henderson Alvarez BOS (Doubront) BAL (Matusz) 5.0 K/BB ratio last season
Alvarez showed impressive command for a rookie last year; now he just needs to induce more whiffs with his mid-90s fastball.
67 Chris Sale @CLE (Tomlin) DET (Porcello) 28 Ks, 4 BBs in 28 Cactus League innings
Control has been a minor issue for Sale as a reliever, but it wasn't a problem in six spring starts.
68 Ricky Nolasco HOU (Harrell) N/A Career 1.06 WHIP vs. HOU
Barring a dramatic turnaround, Nolasco won't be a pitcher you'll want to start every week, but he gets a good matchup this time around.
69 Max Scherzer @CHW (Floyd) N/A Career 2.30 ERA vs. CHW
Scherzer is a home run risk at U.S. Cellular Field, but even in his starts there (2.95 ERA), he has had some success.
70 Hiroki Kuroda LAA (Santana) N/A Career 2.45 ERA vs. LAA
Kuroda may be new to the AL, but the Angels are something of a familiar opponent. He should be able to hold their lineup in check.

Stay in touch with the most passionate Fantasy staff in the business by following us on Twitter @CBSFantasyBB or Al Melchior at @almelccbs . You can also e-mail us at fantasybaseball@cbsinteractive.com .

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Player News
Indians' Gavin Floyd has Cactus League start pushed back
by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(12:10 pm ET) Indians pitcher Gavin Floyd had his Cactus League scheduled start on Sunday pushed back to an unknown date in the near future, according to MLB.com on Thursday.

Floyd has pitched in just 14 games over the past two seasons due to elbow injuries. He had Tommy John surgery in 2013, and then broke his elbow after making nine starts in 2014. Manager Terry Francona told reporters he's taking a cautious approach with the right-hander moving forward.


Dodgers' Zack Greinke, Hyun-Jin Ryu scheduled to throw BP
by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(12:02 pm ET) Dodgers pitchers Zack Greinke and Hyun-Jin Ryu are scheduled to throw batting practice Friday and Saturday, respectively, per MLB.com. Both players are dealing with injuries, and remain one start behind the other pitchers on the roster. Both pitchers will make their spring debut five days after their BP session.

Pirates' Jordy Mercer looks to build from last season's strong finish
by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(11:54 am ET) Pirates shortstop Jordy Mercer worked on improving his defensive struggles last year with Clint Barmes and his offensive struggles with first-base coach Nick Leyva, according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

"What's the best thing that Barmes could do for our ballclub? That's to tutor this young kid, and that’s exactly what he did," Leyva said. "It was phenomenal to watch that."

Mercer hit .199 through the first 49 games last season. He bounced back with a .278 batting average, a .333 on-base percentage, 11 home runs and 19 doubles since June 2. Now that Mercer is the incumbent starter at shortstop, he is hoping to use his experience as an advantage to beat out Korean shortstop Jung Ho Kang for playing time throughout the season.

"You can't substitute for innings played, you can't substitute for at-bats, you can't substitute for innings pitched at this level," Leyva said. "You talk all you want about it, but when you get 450 at-bats, you've had a major league season. When you've played 140 games, you've played a major league season. The only way you're going to get those is by competing and getting the job done."


Indians 2B Jason Kipnis (hand) to make spring debut Saturday
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(11:50 am ET) Indians manager Terry Francona said second baseman Jason Kipnis will make his spring debut Saturday against the Dodgers, per MLB.com. Kipnis had surgery in December to repair a damaged tendon in the ring finger on his left hand.

Tigers' Ausmus: Miguel Cabrera really close to running on flat ground
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(11:45 am ET) Tigers first baseman Miguel Cabrera (ankle) has run at 72 percent body weight on the AlterG anti-gravity treadmill, manager Brad Ausmus said Thursday. Once Cabrera can run at 80 percent body weight, he will be cleared to run on flat ground and have grounders hit directly at him.

"He should be really close," Ausmus said, per the Detroit Free Press.

Cabrera participated in batting practice on the field Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday.

"He was hitting balls 425 feet out to left-center," Ausmus said.


Yankees might not have room on roster for Pirela as bench option
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(11:39 am ET) Yankees manager Joe Girardi said he is curious about keeping Jose Pirela on the roster as a bench player, according to The Journal News. However, there is no clear path right now for Pirela, and it might take an injury for him to get on the roster.

“We’re going to move him around because that flexibility is nice to have,” Girardi said. “In the limited time that he was up last year, he did a really good time for us. And you could put him in the outfield as well. I don’t know how much we’ll put him in the outfield in spring, but I’m comfortable putting him out there anywhere. You never know how things are going to shake out in camp.”


Reds 1B Joey Votto getting closer to playing in spring games
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(11:30 am ET) Reds manager Bryan Price said Thursday first baseman Joey Votto is getting closer to making his spring debut, per the Cincinnati Enquirer. Votto missed 100 games last season with a left knee injury. 

"You won't have to hold your breath, I promise you, you won't have to hold your breath for this," Price said. "Just to reiterate, we just went too far into the rehab and made a commitment to do an extensive rehab to do anything before we feel he's ready. I think he's very close and he's champing at the bit to get in there."


A's 1B Nate Freiman to miss at least two weeks with back injury
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(11:26 am ET) Athletics manager Bob Melvin said first baseman Nate Freiman will miss at least two weeks due to a muscle strain in his back, per MLB.com. Freiman is competing for a spot on the A's bench.

Cardinals' Matheny wants Heyward, Adams to gain confidence vs. LHPs
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(11:24 am ET) Cardinals slugger Matt Adams is tired of hearing folks say he can't hit left-handed pitchers. But the numbers don't lie. He is batting just .197 off lefties in his major-league career, as opposed to .306 against righties.

“People think I can’t hit lefties,” he said, per the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. “Coming up through the minors, I hit them. But that’s totally different. Hitting lefties in the minors and hitting lefties in the big leagues is different. The confidence for me is there, in the back of my mind. I know what I can do. That hasn’t changed. This is where I definitely have to focus and put the hammer to it.”

Adams isn't the only starter for St. Louis that struggles against lefties. Outfielder Jason Heyward hit just .169 against lefties in 2014. However, manager Mike Matheny isn't a fan of platooning either player.

“There are certain guys that you don’t want to platoon,” Matheny said. “There are guys you don’t want to have off the field, and I think that’s what they want. They want to be the guy who doesn’t come off the field. They want to be out there all the time. Both of them have shown it in the past that they can have success against left-handed pitching. It’s just a matter of getting them comfortable. With our lineup they’re going to throw a lot of (lefties) at us. Maybe that will help generate that confidence.”


Pirates' Josh Harrison not too concerned about ankle injury
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(11:11 am ET) Pirates outfielder Josh Harrison doesn't seem too concerned after rolling his left ankle during Wednesday's spring game against the Blue Jays.

"I wouldn't even say I completely turned it. I kinda caught myself when I felt something," Harrison said Thursday, per MLB.com. "The trainers spotted me pulling up and right away said, 'Let's just be cautious,' so I came out."

Harrison had issues with his left ankle in 2014 after twisting it June 11. He had recurrences later in June and in early September, but he did not miss significant time.

"And this wasn't anything like last [year's ankle injury]," Harrison said. "I know how it felt then, and this time it was a lot less [painful]."


 
 
 
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