Forgot Log-in or  Password? |  Help  Not a member, Register Now!
      
Fantasy Football Today
Fantasy Football Today Blog
Gameday Inactives
2014 Draft Prep Guide
Downloadable Draft Kit
Mock Drafts
Get Your Draft Board
Player News
Stats
Players
Depth Charts
Roster Trends
Columns
Injury Report
Projections
Rankings
Schedules
Scores
Fantasy Games
Playoff Challenge
Commissioner
Prize Leagues
Free
Office Pool Manager
Game Pick'em
Player Challenge
Fantasy Baseball Today
Fantasy Baseball Today Blog
2015 Draft Prep Guide
Mock Drafts
Player News
Stats
Players
Depth Charts
Roster Trends
Columns
Injury Report
Rankings
Projections
Schedules
Probable Pitchers
Scores
Standings
Fantasy Games
Commissioner
Free
Prize Leagues
Player News
Stats
Players
Columns
Injuries
Projections
Rankings
Schedules
Message Boards
Fantasy Games
Commissioner
Free
Player News
Stats
Players
Columns
Injury Report
Projections
Rankings
Schedules
Mock Drafts
Scores
Standings
Fantasy Games
Commissioner
Free
Prize Leagues
Downloadable Draft Kit
Player News
Stats
Players
Columns
Injury Report
Projections
Rankings
Schedules
Mock Drafts
Scores
Standings
Fantasy Games
Commissioner
Free
Prize Leagues
No Fantasy Teams Found
 
 
 

Setting the Trends: Free agent bargain hunting

Senior Fantasy Writer
  •  

Francisco Liriano is currently owned in 54 percent of CBSSports.com leagues. He is started in just 15 percent. He has an ERA of 11.02, with a 2.33 WHIP. He's not good. At least, not right now.

Way back in 2011, there was another pitcher, Javier Vazquez, who carried a miserable 6.39 ERA into May. At the All- Star Break, he had dropped his ERA to, for him, a relatively-low 5.23. And then something clicked. Vazquez became a monster in the second half of the year, posting a 2.15 ERA and 0.86 WHIP. He struck out a batter per inning. He walked just three in 38 September innings.

Most Owned Minor Leaguers (as of 5/1)
Player % owned
1. Trevor Bauer, SP, D-Backs 47
2. Jair Jurrjens, SP, Braves 40
3. Andy Pettitte, SP, Yankees 38
4. Julio Teheran, SP, Braves 27
5. Shelby Miller, SP, Cardinals 27
6. Anthony Rizzo, 1B, Cubs 26
7. Nolan Arenado, 3B, Rockies 24
8. Brett Jackson, OF, Cubs 19
9. Lonnie Chisenhall, 3B, Indians 17
10. Danny Hultzen, SP, Mariners 17

Nothing but some kind of feeling that he would turn it around kept him on Fantasy rosters before the turnaround. And that turnaround came slowly: First, there was a start on June 21, where he didn't allow an earned run in 5 1/3 innings pitched. The very next game, he went seven innings without allowing an earned run. Two starts later, he struck out 10 batters in seven innings. He'd hit double-digit strikeouts two more times before the year was over. And his numbers led plenty of teams to Fantasy glory, just for either having faith in a pitcher who had been brilliant (albeit, with some pretty bad mixed in) in the past, or for jumping on the bandwagon when they saw him rise on the Most Added lists.

Sometimes it doesn't matter how you get there, just that you got there. This isn't meant to be a stirring defense of Francisco Liriano, but I'd monitor him closely -- read the local papers, follow the Twins beat writers on Twitter -- because if he figures out whatever it is he's doing wrong, he'll likely be blazing back up the Most Added lists (he began the season owned in 93 percent of leagues) before long. And Liriano, like Vazquez, can carry a team on his back when he's on.

For now, though, we present the current movers in CBSSports.com Roster Trends ...

Most added highlights

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. Geovany Soto, C, Cubs 49
2. Scott Downs, RP, Angels 49
3. Stephen Drew, SS, D-Backs 45
4. Felix Doubront, SP, Red Sox 35
5. Wei-Yin Chen, SP, Orioles 32

Scott Downs, RP, Angels
Jump in ownership: 44 percent (from five percent to 49)
Reason for the jump: He's the possibly-temporary/possibly-more-than-temporary closer for the Angels
Why you should join the crowd: There's a fairly long history of "temporary" closer moves that end up being more permanent than we're led to believe. It usually plays out with the demoted closer revealing he has been injured, followed by a stint on the DL, which turns into a longer stint on the DL, all while the temporary closer pitches brilliantly and secures the job. This doesn't look to be the case here, as Angels manager Mike Scioscia said that Jordan Walden needed to work on "repeating a pitch" and "being able to get a breaking ball that's consistent." He also managed to be very vague in not giving an actual timetable on how long Walden might in the middle relief role. Downs isn't exactly a stranger to the closer's role: he has 18 career saves, the most coming with Toronto in 2009, when he successfully converted nine saves.
Devil's Advocate: It really could just be a temporary move for Walden.

Jose Altuve, 2B, Astros
Jump in ownership: 41 percent (from 48 percent to 89)
Reason for the jump: Of his last seven games, five have been multi-hit.
Why you should join the crowd: Altuve came up last year and hit a forgettable .276, with two home runs in 221 at-bats. He also stole seven bases. It wasn't a debut that caught the attention of numerous owners. This resulted in a 286 ADP for 2012. But Altuve has been scorching hot so far this year, posting a .361 average through Tuesday morning, with four steals and one home run. And a look at his minor league numbers show that this isn't a fluke; over 382 games, Altuve amassed a .327 average. The only season in the minors in which he hit lower than .300 was in 2008, when an 18 year-old Altuve batted .284. He also flashed some power with 10 home runs in 2011 and 15 in 2010. In 2011, his OPS was 1.017. And the speed seems to be legit, as well -- Altuve stole 42 bases in 2010, and 24 in 357 minor league at-bats last year.
Devil's Advocate: Altuve did skip Triple-A entirely, so there's always a chance that major league pitchers discover a way to get him out consistently at the higher levels. But that's a bit of a stretch.

Chris Davis, 1B/3B, Orioles
Jump in ownership: 27 percent (from 38 percent to 65)
Reason for the jump: Three home runs in the last six games.
Why you should join the crowd: Davis isn't exactly an unknown to owners; he hit 21 home runs in 391 at-bats with the Rangers in 2009 before slowly sliding into a rut/the minors and being traded to Baltimore late last season. But Davis has been stellar so far in 2012, batting .310 with four home runs and 12 RBI. He has never had 400 at-bats in a season, and his minor league numbers are great: a .318 average in 472 games with a .971 OPS. He has hit more than 20 home runs in three separate minor league seasons and those totals would likely be higher if not for his call-ups to Texas. On top of it all, Davis can be slotted at either first or third base in pretty much every league.
Devil's Advocate: We've been tantalized by Davis' possibly-realized potential before only to see him slide back, hit around .230, and be sent to the minors. With Wilson Betemit and the slumping Nick Johnson able to play first base, there's no guarantee Davis will be given too long of a leash if he hits a prolonged slump.

Tony Campana, OF, Cubs
Jump in ownership: 17 percent (from three percent to 20)
Reason for the jump: He's running wild on the basepaths.
Why you should join the crowd: After Marlon Byrd's trade to Boston, Campana became the De facto starting center fielder for the Cubs. He's currently batting .370 with seven steals in just 27 at-bats on the season. Last year, in a late-season stint with the Cubs, Campana stole 24 bases in 143 at-bats -- a rate better than even Dee Gordon's. He has seasons of 66 and 48 steals in the minor leagues with a career .303 average over five seasons.
Devil's Advocate: Campana also has a total of one home run in the minors and has a minor league track record eerily similar to Joey Gathright, who never caught on in the major leagues but had stellar minor league numbers. Complicating matters is the eventual call-up of Brett Jackson, Chicago's presumed center fielder of the future, which will likely mean a decreased amount of playing time for Campana.

David Phelps, SP, Yankees
Jump in ownership: Nine percent (from two percent to 11)
Reason for the jump: He will start on Thursday for the Yankees.
Why you should join the crowd: You'd likely be ahead of the crowd on this one. While Phelps has been a solid member of the Yankees' bullpen so far this year, his name may elicit a bunch of "who?"s from even Yankees fans. With Freddy Garcia struggling, Phelps, who started in 86 of his 87 minor league appearances, has been moved into the rotation. He doesn't have the exciting "top prospect" status of a Phil Hughes or Joba Chamberlain, but he does have some really impressive minor league numbers: a 2.61 career minor league ERA, and a 1.18 career WHIP. He doesn't get a ton of strikeouts, but he's probably good for five or six in his seven-inning starts.
Devil's Advocate: The Yankees still have Andy Pettitte looking to take someone's spot in the rotation and if Phelps stumbles in his role as a starter, he could be moved back to the bullpen.

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.

  •  
 
CBSSports Facebook Google Plus
COMMENTS
Conversation powered by Livefyre
 
 
Player News
Archie Bradley open to bullpen role: It's about making the club
by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(11:36 am ET) Diamondbacks pitching prospect Archie Bradley told reporters he is open with battling for a bullpen spot, as long as he's part of the 25-man roster, per MLB.com. Manager Chip Hale said Monday that he is considering Bradley for the role.

"For me it's just about making this club any way that I can and helping them win and if it's out of the pen that’s fine with me," Bradley said.

Bradley is 2-2 with a 2.20 ERA, a 1.35 WHIP and 12:3 K:BB ratio over 16 1/3 innings this spring.


Rays' Cash not getting caught up in one bad outing from Matt Andriese
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(11:28 am ET) Rays starting pitcher Matt Andriese had his worst outing of the spring Monday against the Orioles in likely what was his last start before Tampa Bay finalizes its rotation plans.

However, manager Kevin Cash said he is not going to base his decision after one bad outing from Andriese, who is 1-1 with a 2.33 ERA in six spring outings (four starts).

“I don’t think it hurts. I don’t think it factors in too much,” Cash said, per The Tampa Tribune. “He’s had a good spring. If we’re judging on one start, one bad outing, that’s not fair to the guy."

Andriese allowed five runs (three earned) on eight hits and two walks in three innings Monday. Although, Cash assigned some of the blame to the Rays defense.

“We didn’t make some plays we know we should make,” Cash said. “We definitely didn’t help him by any stretch. He did fall behind some guys, so that doesn’t help the cause.”


Rangers release pitcher Jamey Wright
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(11:19 am ET) The Rangers released pitcher Jamey Wright on Tuesday, per the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. The veteran right-handed pitcher posted a 7.50 ERA in nine spring outings.

Report: Smolinski, Rua make Rangers' Opening Day roster
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(11:15 am ET) Rangers outfielder Jake Smolinski and outfielder Ryan Rua have been told they have made the Opening Day roster, according to MLB.com. It appears Rua will be the starting left fielder, with Smolinski coming off the bench as a fourth outfielder.

Rua hit .298 with two triples, two home runs, four doubles, seven runs and 11 RBI in 19 spring games. Smolinski hit .348 with one triple, two home runs, five doubles, seven RBI and eight runs in 18 spring games.


Red Sox's Quintero holds off in exercising opt-out clause
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(11:03 am ET) Red Sox catcher Humberto Quintero will wait a few more days before deciding if he will exercise the opt-out clause in his minor-league contract.

Quintero was in good shape to make the Opening Day roster following the news of Christian Vazquez's elbow injury, but the acquistion Monday of catcher Sandy Leon means Quintero is still vying for a spot on the roster.

“I’ve been playing in the big leagues for a few years so I know, it’s baseball,” the 35-year-old Quintero said, per WEEI.com. “I’ll just try and do my best every time they put me in the lineup. I’ve hit the ball well, blocked the ball, and I feel great.”


Orioles' Lough disappointed hamstring injury will force him to DL
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(10:58 am ET) Orioles outfielder David Lough is no longer dealing with back discomfort, but he admitted Tuesday a left hamstring injury will prevent him from making the Opening Day roster.

"My hamstring was sore a couple weeks ago and then we think it went to my back and SI joint (sacroiliac joint)," he said, per MASNsports.com. "It's just getting back to where I was at the beginning of spring training. We thought the best approach to getting back healthy was to take some time off and get right.

"Your body works together and when you get a hamstring injury it can stem up to your back. I was bending down to get a ball and my SI joint gave out. I had some back spasms. We think those two were related in the injury. At that point my hamstring wasn't 100 percent. Now my back is completely fine, it's just taking care of my hamstring and getting healthy."

Lough won't be eligible to return from the disabled list until April 11.

"It's not much time that I'd miss, but I do need to catch up on my at-bats with the rest of the guys," he said. "I don't know my schedule or anything like that so far, so we're just taking it day to day and trying to get healthy."


Orioles SS J.J. Hardy disappointed he will begin year on DL
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(10:52 am ET) Orioles shortstop J.J. Hardy expressed his disappointment Tuesday on having to open the start of the season on the disabled list. Hardy was diagnosed with a strained muscle in his left shoulder after undergoing an MRI.

"I think they found exactly what they thought it was," Hardy said, per MASNsports.com. "I didn't know it was going to take 10 days or whatever they're saying to get all the swelling out and get the strength back, so that's a little disappointing, but I guess it could have been a lot worse.

"I feel better today than I did yesterday. At this rate, who knows how long it's going to be? I'm getting better quick, so I have no idea."

Hardy cannot participate in baseball activities for at least 10 days.

"I don't know how they can make these timetables," he said. "I feel better. That's kind of what I'm going off of, so if I'm feeling better, then who knows how long it will be?

"I'm getting range of motion back. I think there's still swelling in there and I think that's what we need to get rid of, and then once the swelling is gone, we can start strengthen it and go from there.

"I don't think it will be full inactivity. I think I'll be able to move around and do stuff, and then it'll just be a matter of swinging the bat full speed."


O's going with Chris Tillman on Opening Day for second straight year
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(10:48 am ET) The Orioles announced Tuesday starting pitcher Chris Tillman will start Opening Day (April 6) against the Rays. It will be the second straight year Tillman starts on Opening Day for Baltimore.

Tillman has posted a 2.38 ERA through three spring starts. He also has 10 strikeouts in 11 1/3 innings.

The right-hander, who was an All-Star in 2013, has gone 38-16 with a 3.42 ERA in his last 82 MLB starts. He has a 1.20 WHIP in that span.


Twins don't have roster spot for Thompson, optioned to Triple-A
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(10:40 am ET) The Twins announced Monday they optioned reliever Aaron Thompson to Triple-A Rochester. Thompson went 1-1 with a 2.16 ERA and two saves in seven relief appearances this spring.

Blue Jays' Dayan Viciedo opts out of contract, becomes free agent
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(10:38 am ET) Blue Jays general manager Alex Anthopoulos said outfielder Dayan Viciedo has opted out of his contract and has become a free agent, per Sportsnet.ca. Viciedo, who signed a minor-league deal in early March, hit .233 with no home runs, four doubles and two RBI in 15 spring games.

 
 
 
Rankings