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Setting the Trends: Don't be a Homer owner?

Senior Fantasy Writer
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Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.

Let's just get the cute little quote at the top out of the way now.

There's always an element of not remembering the past here in Fantasy, and I'm sure George Santayana had our beloved game-based-on-a-game in mind when he coined the expression. Homer Bailey, for instance, has fooled plenty of Fantasy players into thinking that he's good enough to be owned in 77 percent of leagues. Those who remember Bailey's past roller coaster-type exploits knew enough to shy away -- even in light of a two-start week. Heck, even those who looked at his splits saw his ERA jump from May to June. But owners flocked to him in droves anyway, and now they're locked in for two June starts from the Reds pitcher in Week 10.

Of course, Santayana probably never encountered the idea of "learning a new pitch," or "playing in Japan." Or even thought of some day, many years after his death, when a man like Ray Searage would roam the earth and teach young men how to corral their talent. We know the sketchy histories of Jason Hammel, Ryan Vogelsong, and James McDonald, for instance. And yet, we ignore them, because Hammel has mastered a new pitch, Vogelsong is a different pitcher after his stint in Japan, and Searage has McDonald throwing more first-pitch strikes.

Most Added Players (as of 6/7)
Player % increase
1. Gordon Beckham, 2B, White Sox 29
2. Dexter Fowler, OF, Rockies 22
3. Wilin Rosario, C, Rockies 20
4. Ernesto Frieri, RP, Angels 17
5. Justin Smoak, 1B, Mariners 17
6. Francisco Liriano, SP, Twins 17
7. Quintin Berry, OF, Tigers 17
8. Paul Goldschmidt, 1B, D-Backs 16
9. Jarrod Saltalamacchia, C, Red Sox 15
10. A.J. Burnett, SP, Pirates 15

Then again, going far deeper than Santayana probably ever wanted anyone playing a game to go with his thoughts, if we also consider that other pitchers and players along the way have made adjustments, then we are simply ignoring one set of past circumstances to appreciate a much larger past.

Right?

Bah. Shake your head a few times and unwind your mind. There are far simpler and less philosophical reasons for this week's adds and drops.

On to the Roster Trends!

Most Added Highlights

Homer Bailey, SP, Reds
Jump in ownership: 41 percent (from 36 percent to 77)
Reason for the jump: In the four starts before getting rocked on Tuesday night, Bailey was 3-0 with a 2.25 ERA. He also has two starts this week.
Why you should join the crowd: Hey, maybe Bailey, a 2004 first-round draft pick, has finally figured things out. He's shown flashes of greatness before and has the ability to rack up a decent amount of strikeouts.
Devil's Advocate: Bailey has a career ERA of 4.75, with a 1.43 WHIP. There have been countless instances of Fantasy owners believing he had figured things out before. His 4.10 ERA in May is the second-lowest of any month for him. The lowest is actually September, which may help explain why players keep running back to Bailey: We remember his early performances, and then remember his late-season appearances, which stick in our memories. But the hard truth is that Bailey's ERA jumps to 7.29 in June, 5.98 in July and 4.87 in August.That's a combination that makes his far more unattractive than his 77 percent ownership would suggest.

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. Jerome Williams, SP, Angels 49
2. Matt Adams, 1B, Cardinals 48
3. Brian Fuentes, RP, Athletics 43
4. Anthony Bass, RP/SP, Padres 42
5. Dillon Gee, SP, Mets 37

Justin Smoak, 1B, Mariners
Jump in ownership: 23 percent (from 44 percent to 67)
Reason for the jump: Since May 25, Smoak is batting .368 with five home runs, 14 RBI and a steal.
Why you should join the crowd: Hey, maybe Smoak, a 2008 first-round draft pick, has finally figured things out (sound familiar?). He's as hot as any player in baseball right now and is in the top 25 for home runs.
Devil's Advocate: Even with the hot streak, Smoak is still batting just .240 and with almost 1,000 at-bats under his belt, he has just a .230 career average. He's hit just 38 total home runs. Just to dampen the spirits of Smoak supporters even further, he's been borderline-miserable at home (.188 average, .552 OPS), but excellent on the road (.268 average, 7 HR in 32 games).
Devil's Advocate's Advocate: Smoak was a top-15 prospect before the 2009 season and while he doesn't have the booming minor league power numbers of an Alex Liddi or Matt Adams, he has shown flashes of some pop over four minor league campaigns. There's hope here that this surge might just be Smoak blossoming at age 25.

Holding Out for A Hero
The five most owned minor leaguers
Player Ownership %
1. Roy Oswalt, SP, Rangers 69
2. Trevor Bauer, SP, Diamondbacks 64
3. Anthony Rizzo, 1B, Cubs 46
4. Daniel Bard, RP/SP, Red Sox 34
5. Gaby Sanchez, 1B, Marlins 32

Wilin Rosario, C, Rockies
Jump in ownership: 17 percent (from 24 percent to 41)
Reason for the jump: Rosario has a .346 average and three home runs over his last nine games.
Why you should join the crowd: Unlike Bailey and Smoak, Rosario doesn't have an extensive major league track record to dampen our optimism. He saw limited time last year after pounding the ball in the minors in 2010 and 2011, with 19 and 21 home runs, respectively. His batting average probably won't get much higher than .250, but for a power-hitting catcher, that's about .030 points higher than what you'd expect anyway. As a bonus, Rosario's power doesn't seem to be solely the product of Coors Field, as his OPS is just slightly higher (.892 vs .832) at home.
Devil's Advocate: Rosario is only 23 years old and just got his 150th major league at-bat. There may be some growing pains along the way and some owners may jump on him too quickly -- passing over better catching options -- just to prove that they got "The Next Big Thing" before their league mates. Expect the power to continue to a degree (I'd guess he ends up with about 18 home runs on the year), but be prepared for the average to take a hit at some point.

Dillon Gee, SP, Mets
Jump in ownership: 16 percent (from 21 percent to 37)
Reason for the jump: The 26 year-old is 2-0 with a 2.63 ERA in his last four games. He has struck out 28 batters in his last 27 1/3 innings.
Why you should join the crowd: While the jump in Gee's ownership is somewhat inflated by his two-start week, the numbers on his full season so far might have his new owners holding on to him after this mercenary stint. Gee has gone into Colorado and held the Rockies to three runs. He's also allowed the Blue Jays and Cardinals to score five total runs off him as well. As a bonus, Gee is currently sporting an 8.3 K/9 ratio, which is more in line with his minor league rate (7.9) than his 6.4 K/9 with the Mets in 2011. His 65 strikeouts have him 23rd in the majors.
Devil's Advocate: Gee had a decent 3.78 ERA through five minor league seasons and has a career 4.16 ERA in his MLB career. While he did hold some high-powered offenses to just a few runs, his 4.48 ERA this season can't really hide a blowout against the Giants (seven runs in 6 2/3) and the Brewers (seven runs in 5 1/3).

More than 50, less than 50
Players owned in more than 50% of leagues who should be owned in less than 50%
Player % owned
1. Francisco Liriano, SP, Twins 51
2. Joe Saunders, SP, Diamondbacks 52
3. Delmon Young, OF, Tigers 53
4. Tyler Clippard, RP, Nationals 54
5. Russell Martin, C, Yankees 55

Kris Medlen, RP, Braves
Jump in ownership: Four percent (from four percent to eight)
Reason for the jump: Medlen has been sent to the minors to get stretched out as a starter.
Why you should join the crowd: Eight percent is hardly a crowd, which makes the Medlen play even tastier. This is as under-the-radar as they come. Medlen had Tommy John surgery a couple years ago but he has an electric arm (he struck out 10.5 batters per nine innings in the minors) and enough talent to make his ownership double when Fantasy players saw he was going to be converted to a starter. There's little to go on as far as his effectiveness as a member of a rotation -- he only started about 23 percent of his appearances in the minors, with really good numbers in that role -- but grabbing him now, and stashing him (especially in keeper and dynasty leagues), could be a move that pays off handsomely down the road.
Devil's Advocate: Of course, this could all go terribly awry and blow up in our faces, as Medlen's last time pitching as a starter was 2010, when he bounced between the rotation and the bullpen. That year, though, he had a 3.68 ERA and 1.20 WHIP while producing a 6.9 K/9 ratio. It's also the year he hurt his elbow, so take those numbers with an even larger grain of salt. In his first start with Gwinnett -- and this is just being pessimistic here, as it's tough to make a case to not pick up Medlen right now in keeper, single, and deeper league formats -- he gave up four runs in 2 1/3 innings pitched.

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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Player News
Braves activate Manny Banuelos from DL; four others recalled
by Jason Lempert | Staff Writer
(2:30 pm ET) The Braves made a flurry of roster moves with the expansion of the roster on Tuesday. 

Left-hander Manny Banuelos (elbow) was activated from the 15-day disabled list, and he'll start Tuesday's game against the Marlins.

Additionally, right-handers Danny Burawa and Brandon Cunniff , as well as infielders Hector Olivera and Daniel Castro were recalled from Triple-A Gwinnett


Rockies' Kyle Kendrick, Boone Logan activated from DL Tuesday
by Jason Lempert | Staff Writer
(1:47 pm ET) The Rockies have reinstated a pair of pitchers from the disabled list. Starter Kyle Kendrick and reliever Boone Logan were activated on Tuesday, as the rosters expanded.

Kendrick was placed on the DL with right shoulder inflammation earlier this month. He is scheduled to start the second game of Tuesday's doubleheader against the Diamondbacks.

Logan has been sidelined since Aug. 12 with elbow inflammation. The veteran left-hander has a 4.75 ERA in 48 relief appearances this season. 


Rockies recall Wilin Rosario, two others from Triple-A on Tuesday
by Jason Lempert | Staff Writer
(1:42 pm ET) Rockies slugger Wilin Rosario has been recalled from Triple-A Albuquerque. Rosario had two stints with the Rockies earlier this season, but was rather disappointing at the plate. 

The catcher/first baseman hit .273 with just five home runs in 183 at-bats for the Rockies. His numbers were a little bit better with the Isotopes, hitting .297 with five dingers. 

Rosario is in the starting lineup for Game 1 of Tuesday's doubleheader against the Diamondbacks. He will be at first base and bat cleanup. 

The Rockies also recalled infielder Cristhian Adames and left-hander Rex Brothers from Triple-A, as rosters expanded on Tuesday.


RP Miguel Castro called up to make Rockies debut
by Jason Lempert | Staff Writer
(1:38 pm ET) The Rockies have recalled right-hander Miguel Castro from Triple-A Albuqueruqe. Castro was acquired from the Blue Jays in the deal that sent Troy Tulowitzki to Toronto. 

Castro made the Blue Jays out of spring training, and began the year as the team's closer. But he struggled in his first taste of the big leagues, going 0-2 with a 4.38 ERA in 13 appearances before being sent down to Triple-A. He was particularly bad in his last five outings, posting an unsightly 12.27 ERA. He was 4-for-6 in save opportunities with the Jays.

The Rockies have not declared what role Castro will play in the final month of the season. John Axford is the team's current closer, but it is possible Castro could see some late-inning action in September.


Orioles summon pitchers Steve Johnson, Oliver Drake from Triple-A
by Jason Lempert | Staff Writer
(1:15 pm ET) The Orioles have recalled a pair of right-handed pitchers from Triple-A Norfolk on Tuesday. Steve Johnson and Oliver Drake have been added to the active roster and will be available for Tuesday's game against the Rays.

Johnson hasn't appeared in the Major Leagues since making nine appearances--including one start--in 2013. At Norfolk this season, Johnson was 4-1 with a 2.30 ERA in 32 appearances.

Drake, a 28-year-old rookie, spent five games with the Orioles earlier this season, posting a 3.52 ERA in 7 2/3 innings of relief. 


Tigers' Kyle Ryan, Bryan Holaday join active roster Tuesday
by Jason Lempert | Staff Writer
(12:30 pm ET) The Tigers have recalled left-hander Kyle Ryan and catcher Bryan Holaday from Triple-A Toledo

Ryan has made 10 appearances with the Tigers this year, including five starts. Things have not gone well for him however, as he is 1-2 with a 5.94 ERA over those 10 outings.

Holaday will provide depth behind the plate for manager Brad Ausmus. He went 13 for 48 with a home run in 16 games with the Tigers earlier this season. 


Indians activate Floyd, Johnson from DL; recall Armstrong
by Jason Lempert | Staff Writer
(12:26 pm ET) The Indians announced a series of roster moves on Tuesday. The Indians activated right-hander Gavin Floyd and infielder Chris Johnson from the disabled list. They also recalled Shawn Armstrong from Triple-A Columbus.

Floyd has not pitched this season after undergoing offseason shoulder surgery. He was expected to miss the entire 2015 campaign but his recovery went better than originally thought.

Johnson, who came over from the Braves in a waiver deal earlier this month, was placed on the DL back on Aug. 18 with an infection stemming from a spider bite. He was 9 for 21 in six games with the Indians prior to the injury.

Armstrong was up earlier this year with the Indians, pitching 2 2/3 innings of scoreless relief. 


Diamondbacks add three players to active roster on Tuesday
by Jason Lempert | Staff Writer
(12:19 pm ET) The Diamondbacks announced the recall of a trio of players on Tuesday. Right-handers Enrique Burgos and Matt Stites , as well as infielder Brandon Drury have all been summoned from Triple-A Reno.

Burgos and Stites have both seen time with the D-Backs this season. Drury, however, has yet to get a taste of the big leagues. The 21-year-old was a 13th-round draft pick by the Braves back in 2010.

He is making his Major League debut on Tuesday, as he is the starting third baseman for Game 1 of the doubleheader against the Rockies.


Braves to promote Hector Olivera on Tuesday
by Jason Lempert | Staff Writer
(12:15 pm ET) The Braves are expected to call up Cuban prospect Hector Olivera on Tuesday, according to CBSSports.com Baseball Insider Jon Heyman. Olivera, who came over from the Dodgers at the July 31 trade deadline, has been dealing with a hamstring injury for much of the season.

But he appears to be over the injury, and is primed to make his big-league debut for the Braves. Olivera will likely be the Braves' regular third baseman for much of the final month of the season.

The team has not officially announced the callup.


Brewers promote Zach Davies to start Wednesday's game
by Jason Lempert | Staff Writer
(12:12 pm ET) The Brewers have recalled right-hander Zach Davies from Triple-A Colorado Springs. Davies, who was acquired from the Orioles in the Gerardo Parra deal, will start Wednesday's game against the Pirates, making his Major League debut.

Davies was drafted by the Orioles in 2011 as a 26th-rounder. This season, the righty went 6-8 with a 3.30 ERA in 24 appearances (23 starts) across the Orioles' and Brewers' Triple-A squads.


 
 
 
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