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Setting the Trends: Free agents of all shapes and sizes

Senior Fantasy Writer
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We're going to pull back the curtain a little bit here.

Every day, in preparation for the Fantasy Baseball 360 show, we have meetings. And in these meetings, we go over the Roster Trends for that dedicated segment of the show.

It seems like Nolan Reimold has been on top of the Roster Trend list -- either as one of the 10 Most Viewed or 10 Most Added -- for a solid week. This is a pretty big deal for a player, as he will usually see two or three days of jumping to the top of the list, followed by a plateau as another player takes over. But Reimold remains. Even when he started to hit the 70 percent range, there was still room to go up. He haunts our days. He haunts our nights. If you say his name three times while looking in a mirror, he appears on your Fantasy team.

It's not all about Reimold, though. And knowing he's trending won't help many teams, as he's unowned in just 19 percent of leagues right now. So gaze upon the rest of the remaining players to see who's shooting up the charts and being added in CBSSports.com leagues.

Most added players (complete list)

Less than 50, more than 50
Players owned in less than 50% of leagues who should be owned in more than 50%
Player % owned
1. Danny Duffy, SP, Royals 47
2. Francisco Cordero, RP, Blue Jays 41
3. Bruce Chen, SP, Royals 35
4. Raul Ibanez, OF, Yankees 34
5. Drew Smyly, SP, Tigers 26

Philip Humber, SP, White Sox
Jump in ownership: 38 percent (from 29 percent to 67)
Reason for the jump: He threw a perfect game
Why you should join the crowd: Humber, a former first-round pick, seems to have finally realized his potential, and this transformation actually happened before he threw the perfect game. In 2011, Humber threw 163 innings for the White Sox, producing a 3.76 ERA and 1.18 WHIP. His 26 starts last year weren't just a career high -- they blew away his previous work, as he had only two major league starts over parts of six seasons. Credit here goes to white Sox pitching coach Don Cooper, who convinced Humber to change his delivery and add a slider to his repertoire. The move seems to have paid off. Humber isn't just a knee-jerk add for owners who saw the perfect game and expected another; it likely put him on the radar and allowed Fantasy players to see just how good Humber was over almost an entire season last year.
Devil's Advocate: Since we're pulling back curtains today, and if you choose to ignore Cooper's work in harnessing Humber's talent, a look at Humber's minor league numbers may explain why he had only two career MLB starts before last year: in 669 1/3 minor league innings pitched, Humber had a 4.50 ERA and 1.32 WHIP. In 2009, pitching for Minnesota's Triple-A affiliate in Rochester, he sported a 5.34 ERA, with just 87 strikeouts in 119 2/3 innings. The following year, with Omaha (in the KC system), Humber struck out just 80 in 118 2/3 innings.

Owners are sick of these guys
Some of the most deactivated players in our leagues
Player Start %
1. Justin Masterson, SP, Indians 84 - 36
2. Chad Billingsley, SP, Dodgers 88 - 60
3. John Danks, SP, White Sox 69 - 42
4. Francisco Liriano, SP, Twins 40 - 14
5. Brandon McCarthy, SP, Athletics 62 - 37

Bartolo Colon, SP, Athletics
Jump in ownership: 37 percent (from 48 percent to 85)
Reason for the jump: Colon has a 2.62 ERA and 0.93 WHIP so far this season.
Why you should join the crowd: Colon's been pretty great so far this year, kicking off the season in Japan with an eight-inning, one-hit performance, then surviving a shaky outing and rattling off two more starts without surrendering an earned run.
Devil's Advocate: Seattle torched Colon for seven earned runs in his second start of the season. And he had two other starts against the Mariners already in 2012. Seattle isn't as hopeless as people many think -- they're bottom nine in runs scored, for instance, as opposed to botton five -- but it helps to have faced them three times already. On top of that, Colon hasn't pitched 200 innings in a season since 2005.
Why is this Colon capsule so small, dude?: It's Bartolo Colon . There's not much more to say about him except ... beware. The same way you can play games on your phone for free, but they're eventually going to hit you up for some money to play the higher levels; this cannot last forever.

Cody Ross, OF, Red Sox
Jump in ownership: 15 percent (from 36 percent to 51)
Reason for the jump: Ross is batting .283, with five home runs and 13 RBI so far this season.
Why you should join the crowd: Ross was going to play every day in the Boston outfield when it was just Carl Crawford missing from the lineup, but now that Jacoby Ellsbury is gone as well, Ross has suddenly become Boston's most valuable outfielder. He's responded by hitting five home runs through 15 games, which puts him on pace for over 50 on the season (but let's just take that with a grain of salt for now). Of his last six games, three have been multi-hit efforts. Ross also has two 20-plus home run seasons under his belt.
Devil's Advocate: Two 20-plus home run seasons are not the same as, say, four 25-plus home run seasons. Ross also hasn't hit over .270 since 2007. Boston's 2012 offense isn't as presumptively high-octane as it had been in the past, and the eventual return of Crawford and Ellsbury might push Ross into some days off as the outfield becomes more crowded. Also, Ross is batting a relatively-low seventh in the lineup.

We are the 1 percent!
Players owned in 1% of leagues who may see an ownership spike in the near future
Player % owned
1. Michael Bowden, RP, Cubs 1
2. Luke Hughes, 2B, Athletics 1
3. Andrew Miller, SP, Red Sox 1
4. Hideki Matsui, DH, Athletics 1
5. Chris Denorfia, OF, Padres 1

Ross Detwiler, SP, Nationals
Jump in ownership: 33 percent (from 13 percent to 46)
Reason for the jump: Detwiler has a 0.94 ERA and 0.56 WHIP in three starts for the Nationals.
Why you should join the crowd: Washington saw enough potential in Detwiler to send John Lannan and his large contract to Triple-A before the season began, crowning Detwiler as their fifth starter. Detwiler, the sixth overall pick in 2007, had a 3.00 ERA and 1.26 WHIP in 2011 over 66 innings pitched and seems to have come into his own as a wonderful parallel to Philip Humber. So far this season, he's raised his ground ball/fly ball ratio dramatically, getting almost two-and-a-half ground balls for every fly ball (last season, it was about 1.3).
Devil's Advocate: In any season, on any level, Detwiler has never pitched more than 124 innings, bouncing back and forth from starter to reliever. His minor league numbers are rather mediocre -- he posted a 3.97 ERA and a startlingly-high 1.50 WHIP across five seasons in the Washington farm system. And while his hot start will probably not have him in the crosshairs, Chien-Ming Wang is on his way back from injury, and if Detwiler takes a downward turn, he could be the odd man out.

Stay in touch with the most passionate Fantasy staff in the business by following us on Twitter @CBSFantasyBB or Nando Di Fino at @NandoCBS . You can also send our staff an e-mail at fantasybaseball@cbsinteractive.com .

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- all updated in real time. Download the CBS Fantasy App.

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Player News
Report: Angels' Hamilton likely to receive suspension
by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
(2:05 am ET) Angels outfielder Josh Hamilton will likely be suspended for at least 25 games, according to FoxSports.com.

Hamilton met with Major League Baseball on Wednesday for a disciplinary hearing. CBSSports.com Baseball Insider Jon Heyman reported that Hamilton experienced a drug relapse a few months ago, and confessed that relapse to MLB. 

This is technically Hamilton's second violation as a major-leaguer. Hamilton was on the Rays 40-man roster during his first suspension, making him a major-league player. Typically, players who violate their drug treatment program for the first time are subject to a 15-25 game suspension. Given that this is Hamilton's second violation of his drug treatment program, it's unclear how severe the punishment will be.

With that said, commissioner Rob Manfred is reportedly trying to be lenient with any punishment. The league has a "favorable view of Hamilton's efforts to remain sober." Since his return to the majors, Hamilton has spoken honestly about his struggles with addition.

On top of that, Manfred is concerned about making the punishment too harsh. Hamilton's past relaspes have come when he's been away from the game. Manfred reportedly is not close to making a final decision on Hamilton's punishment at this time. 

Hamilton was already expected to miss the beginning of the season due to a shoulder surgery. It's unclear how much longer he'll be out due to a suspension.


Angels, Huston Street haven't talked extension yet
by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
(1:11 am ET) The Angels and closer Huston Street have not talked about an extension yet, according to MLB.com.

Both sides are reportedly interested in a deal, but Street wanted to wait a week in order to settle in to camp. Once that happens, the two sides are expected to start negotiating a new deal. Street is entering the final year of his contract, and will make $7 million in 2015.

Street, 31, posted a 1.37 ERA over 59 1/3 innings last year.


Phillies' Ryan Howard working on his swing
by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
(12:20 am ET) Phillies first baseman Ryan Howard is working on his swing, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer

Howard has spent time working with Charlie Manuel during camp. Manuel was brought in as spring training hitting instructor. Manager Ryan Sandberg has noticed the change in Howard's approach already. "As far as making some adjustments there, to really zone in to something that can really be productive for him and a little bit more consistent," Sandberg said. "I think there has been a little tweaking going on there."

Howard apparently has looked different at the plate. His stance has been described as "looser" and his hands are much lower when he starts his swing. 

The 35-year-old hit .223/.310/.380 over 569 at-bats last year. 


Dodgers unsure how Grandal, Ellis will split time
by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
(2/26/2015) The Dodgers aren't sure how they'll platoon their two catchers, according to the Orange County Register.

A.J. Ellis has been the team's primary option the past few seasons, but the club brought in Yasmani Grandal during the offseason. While Grandal has a much higher offensive upside, it's unclear how much he'll play once the regular season begins. 

"There’s nothing going to come out of this camp where we’re going to say, ‘OK, this guy is going to start 72 percent of the time’" general manager Andrew Friedman said. "It’s going to be much more about Donnie (Mattingly) writing the lineup each and every day for what gives us the best chance to win that day."

Mattingly admitted that Grandal has "tremendous upside offensively," so it's possible he could lead that way more often. While Mattingly has indicated that he doesn't want to assign any personal catchers yet, there's a sense Ellis could be used when Clayton Kershaw is on the mound. 

Grandal hit .225/.327/.401 over 377 at-bats last year. Ellis hit .191/.323/.254 over 283 at-bats. 


Giants sign Ronny Cedeno to minor-league deal
by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
(2/26/2015) The Giants have signed infielder Ronny Cedeno to a minor-league deal, according to the PCL transactions page.

Cedeno, 32, spent most of the year in the minors. He hit .313/.368/.431 over 281 at-bats in Triple-A. Cedeno received nine at-bats with the Phillies, but failed to record a hit. 


Brewers' Scooter Gennett glad to have full-time role
by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
(2/26/2015) Brewers infielder Scooter Gennett is glad to have a full-time role heading into 2015, according to the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel

Gennett spent last season in a platoon with Rickie Weeks, but with Weeks gone, he'll assume the full-time role. Gennett said he feels far less stressed about his position on the team this spring. "Seeing as I'm pretty much the everyday guy, that eliminated the stress, or whatever you want to call it, off my back," he said. 

"Just not having to worry about stuff out of my control. I've put myself in this position where I've earned the job, I've shown them what I can do, and now it's about consistently doing it," he added. 

Manager Ron Roenicke has already said he'll give Gennett plenty of opportunities to prove himself against left-handers. 

Gennett, 24, hit .289/.320/.434 over 440 at-bats last season. 


Cubs' Arismendy Alcantara will play all over the place
by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
(2/26/2015) Cubs utility man Arismendy Alcantara is going to play a lot of positions this season, according to ESPN.

Alcantara saw time in center last season, but the team's trade for Dexter Fowler will alter his role. Alcantara says he's ready for the challenge. "Mentally you have to be ready for that," Alcantara said. "They want me to play second base and the outfield." He's also expected to see some time at third base. 

Manager Joe Maddon is glad to have such a versatile player on the team. "When you get a guy like that and you want to give someone a rest, you don't feel like you're losing anything," Joe Maddon said. "And the big attraction there is also in-game. It's like having an extra guy on the bench."

The 23-year-old Alcantara hit .205/.254/.367 over 278 at-bats last year. 


Rockies ask Corey Dickerson to be more patient
by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
(2/26/2015) The Rockies want Corey Dickerson to be a little more patient at the plate, according to MLB.com.

Dickerson had a breakout season in 2014, hitting .312/.364/.567 over 436 at-bats. He walked in 7.7 percent of his plate appearances, which was actually just above the league average. Still, the team wants Dickerson to be slightly less of a free-swinging this year.

"I talked to Corey about adding this much discipline to his game," manager Walt Weiss said. "We don't want that much, because then he wouldn't be Corey Dickerson." Weiss explained that it's difficult to deliver this type of message, as Dickerson's aggressiveness makes him effective. 

Dickerson said he would work harder to study pitchers and work on his approach during games. 

The 25-year-old is expected to open the year as the team's starter in left.


Marlins unlikely to add reliever now
by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
(2/26/2015) The Marlins are unlikely to add a reliever now that Francisco Rodriguez is off the market, according to MLB.com.

The Marlins were involved in negotiations for K-Rod through at least Wednesday, and were reportedly willing to offer $10 million over two years. The club has been looking for a veteran reliever for some time, but may pass now that Rodriguez has signed with the Brewers.

Both Rafael Soriano and Phil Coke have been connected to Miami, but the team would likely only sign those players to minor-league contracts.


Diamondbacks' Chase Anderson a favorite for the rotation
by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
(2/26/2015) The Diamondbacks consider Chase Anderson a favorite to break camp in the rotation, according to azcentral.com.

The club wants to create a lot of competition for the rotation, and it was initially believed Anderson would be competing for a spot. General manager Dave Stewart sort of quashed those rumors, saying he perceives Anderson as a strong favorite right now. "Chase Anderson won nine games for us last year; you have to strongly consider him as part of our rotation," Stewart said. 

Anderson is expected to pair with Josh Collmenter and Jeremy Hellickson for now. The club will determine the final two spots in the rotation during camp.

Anderson, 27, posted a 4.01 ERA over 114 1/3 innings last year.


 
 
 
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