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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 .

Get player news notifications, manage your team and check scores
- all updated in real time. Download the CBS Fantasy App.

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Player News
A's P Jarrod Parker happy with how first rehab start went
by Jason Butt | CBSSports.com
(9:33 pm ET) Despite giving up a home run and hitting a batter in his first minor-league rehab start, Athletics pitcher Jarrod Parker came away with mostly positive thoughts about being back on the mound. 

“I might not have been very sharp," Parker said, via the Bay Area News Group. "My delivery was probably quick, but I was healthy enough to catch up and be where I wanted to be.”

Parker threw 56 pitches in 3 2/3 innings at Class A Stockton on Thursday. Coming off of Tommy John surgery, Parker is looking forward to being 100 percent again. 

“Going through it for a second time, it’s not a cake walk, but you’re a little more comfortable with it,” Parker said. “We’re already a year out and everything has gone the way we wanted to go.”


Rockies P Jorge De La Rosa looks to rebound after disastrous first star
by Ted Leshinski | Staff Writer
(9:27 pm ET) Rockies starting pitcher Jorge De La Rosa got knock around in his first start of the season Monday but says it was just a matter of adjusting his pitch location, reports the Denver Post.

"I left the ball up. I got hit hard. I have to do better," De La Rosa said.

The left hander, who began the season on the disabled list with a groin injury, was tagged for nine runs (seven earned) on nine hits in just two innings in his 2015 debut.

"He was almost too strong," Rockies manager Walt Weiss said. "The velocity was up. He was trying to go harder and harder and the ball kept getting elevated."

Mets P Jon Niese tossed from game while sitting in dugout
by Jason Butt | CBSSports.com
(9:25 pm ET) Mets pitcher Jon Niese was ejected in Friday night's game against the Yankees despite not even being in the game. 

Niese apparently said something in the fifth inning that umpire Doug Eddings wasn't OK with. Eddings then motioned toward the dugout that Niese was ejected from the game. This happened during Juan Lagares' at-bat. 

NJ.com posted a vine of the ejection, with Eddings apparently saying, "Hey, I don't wanna hear anymore from you. That's it. You're gone."


Brewers 3B Aramis Ramirez still planning to retire after season
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(9:24 pm ET) Even with the Brewers slow start to the season, veteran third baseman Aramis Ramirez is not rethinking his plans to retire after the season, per MLB.com.

"This is going to be my last year, regardless of what happens," Ramirez said. "Regardless of what happens to me and regardless of what happens to the team. That has nothing to do with my decision. I've already made my decision, and this will be my last year."

Ramirez hit his first home run of the season Thursday against the Reds, but he is still batting just .167 through 15 games. 

"It's not working right now," he said, "but all I can do is show up and keep trying."


Blue Jays P Marcus Stroman is going back to school
by Jason Butt | CBSSports.com
(9:20 pm ET) Blue Jays pitcher Marcus Stroman likes to keep himself busy. 

As if rehabbing a torn ACL wasn't going to take up enough time, Stroman has decided to head back to Duke to work on finishing his degree. On May 4, he'll return to campus to rehab his knee and further his studies. 

"My parents pushed me from a very early age to make sure that it was all academics first," Stroman said, via MLB.com. "I was a kid who wasn't allowed out if I wasn't going to work, or I was the kid studying when everyone else was partying. That's something I always try to preach to everyone I'm around, even high school students now, I always try to gear them towards college."

Stroman played three seasons from 2010-2012 with the Blue Devils before entering the draft. The Blue Jays selected him with the 22nd overall pick, giving Duke its first-ever first-round pick in school history.

Stroman tore his ACL during spring training and decided to go back to Duke shortly after. He said he feels ahead of schedule in his recovery right now. 

Stroman went 11-6 with a 3.65 ERA last season. 


Mariners recall pitcher Lucas Luetge
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(9:20 pm ET) The Mariners recalled pitcher Lucas Luetge from Triple-A Tacoma on Friday after placing starting pitcher Hisashi Iwakuma on the 15-day disabled list due to a lat strain. Luetge is 3-5 with a 4.47 ERA in 110 career relief appearances.

Mariners place Hisashi Iwakuma on 15-day DL due to lat strain
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(9:14 pm ET) Mariners starting pitcher Hisashi Iwakuma was placed on the 15-day disabled list Friday due to a right lat strain. Iwakuma was scheduled to pitch Sunday against the Twins, but the team has yet to name a replacement.

The veteran right-hander has struggled through his first three starts, going 0-1 with a 6.61 ERA and 1.41 WHIP. He has allowed five home runs and three walks, while recording 11 strikeouts in 16 1/3 innings.


Phillies don't appear to be in rush to promote Maikel Franco
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(9:02 pm ET) Phillies third base prospect Maikel Franco is certainly on the radar for a promotion to the majors, as he has begun the season at Triple-A Lehigh Valley with a .355/.403/.565/.968 slash line through 14 games.

However, it doesn't appear the Phillies are in a rush to promote the 22-year-old infielder, per MLB.com.

"We'll see," Phillies manager Ryne Sandberg said Friday, when asked if he could see Franco sooner rather than later. "There hasn't been much talk about him."


Reds waiting for Sam LeCure to find fastball command
by Shawn Krest | CBSSports.com
(8:58 pm ET) When the Reds sent reliever Sam LeCure to Triple-A Louisville at the end of spring training, they were looking for him to get better command of his fastball. 

LeCure has a 3.68 ERA in five appearances for Louisville this season. It's a positive sign, but the Reds are still waiting to see a change in his fastball. 

"I think he’s doing a nice job of managing the games he’s getting into,” Reds manager Bryan Price said, per MLB.com. “Our primary focus with Sam when he went to Triple-A was to get the fastball command back. in the second half of last year, it was more challenging for him. It’s such a big pitch – that two-seam sinker, comebacker that he throws. He was able to lean a bit more on the curveball and changeup last year. I think for him to be the impact pitcher he was for us in the past, the fastball command will need to come back in force. And I have not lost any optimism that he’ll be a part of this bullpen here over the course of the season. We certainly miss his influence."


Twins' Tim Stauffer struggling with changeup
by Shawn Krest | CBSSports.com
(8:28 pm ET) Twins reliever Tim Stauffer admits that he's not "where I'd like to be at this point in the year," per TwinCities.com.

Through five appearances, Stauffer has a 9.00 ERA.

"I’ve always been a little bit of a slow starter," he said. "Obviously, I don’t want to make any excuses. I’d like to be able to go out there and get in a groove. I really don’t feel like I’ve hit that groove quite yet." 

Stauffer said that his changeup "is still not where I want it to be".


 
 
 
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