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Plumbing the Depths for Week 14

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It will soon be last call to set your Fantasy rotations before the majors' 30 managers hit the "Reset" button on their own rotations just after the All-Star break.

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While many of your favorite deep-league options will get a rest during the short week after the break, there are several familiar names who are avaialble to use in Fantasy Week 14 (July 2-8). Daisuke Matsuzaka, Chris Young, Josh Tomlin and Josh Collmenter are all pitchers who have had some appeal in standard mixed leagues in recent seasons, but none is currently owned in as many as 30 percent of the leagues on CBSSports.com. Each however, has an opportunity to help owners in a much larger share of leagues down the road, and in some cases, as soon as next week. For those, like Matsuzaka, who have a challenging matchup in their immedidate future, it's still worth considering a waiver move now, as long as you have a reserve spot available.

Below are some of more enticing options for a pickup and possibly a start outside of standard mixed leagues in Week 14. All stats are current for games through Wednesday, June 27.

Deeper league two-start options

Daisuke Matsuzaka, Red Sox
Projected matchups: @OAK (Parker), NYY (Hughes)
2012 stats: 0-2, 4.91 ERA, 1.14 WHIP, 20 Ks
Ownership/activation rates: 28/16
Outlook: After winding up with a 6.06 ERA after starts against the Nationals, Cubs and Marlins, there was little reason for owners outside of the deepest leagues to take an interest in Matsuzaka. However, he emerged from those first three outings with a 1.10 WHIP, and then he shut down the Blue Jays on Tuesday, allowing seven baserunners in 5 2/3 innings, but only letting one of them score. Most surprising about Dice-K's performance so far has been his sharp control. His track record suggests that he won't continue to throw 65 percent of his pitches for strikes, but even with some dropoff, he should be worth using in deeper mixed leagues. With an upcoming start against the Yankees, only AL-only owners should keep Matsuzaka active but at least some mixed league owners should pick him up and stash him for better weeks ahead.

Andrew Cashner, Padres
Projected matchups: @ARI (Bauer), CIN (Cueto)
2012 stats: 3-3, 3.81 ERA, 1.52 WHIP, 34 Ks
Ownership/activation rates: 26/13
Outlook: If Cashner lives up to the hype, he won't be merely a deeper league option for long. In fact, he could be worth stashing in standard mixed leagues if you have some deadwood to clear on your bench. Like teammate Edinson Volquez, Cashner has some control issues, but he's capable of helping out with strikeouts. Between his ground ball tendencies and favorable home park, home runs shouldn't hinder Cashner much. Though his inexperience as a major league starter makes him a risk, now is the time to roster Cashner. He could even have a decent Week 14, facing a Reds team that is far less potent on the road than at home.

Most Added Pitchers (as of 6/28)
Player % increase
1. Jair Jurrjens, SP, Braves 33
2. Bobby Parnell, RP, Mets 27
3. Franklin Morales, RP, Red Sox 18
4. Dillon Gee, SP, Mets 17
5. Jake Westbrook, SP, Cardinals 16
6. Jose Quintana, RP, White Sox 16
7. Trevor Bauer, SP, D-Backs 15
8. Andrew Cashner, RP, Padres 14
9. Roy Oswalt, SP, Rangers 13
10. Glen Perkins, RP, Twins 13

Marco Estrada, Brewers
Projected matchups: MIA (Zambrano), @HOU (Rodriguez)
2012 stats: 0-3, 4.50 ERA, 1.12 WHIP, 46 Ks
Ownership/activation rates: 14/8
Outlook: The big gap between Estrada's low WHIP and high ERA is indicative of both his strong command and chronic gopheritis. He has been hitting the strike zone consistently this year, and the resulting lack of contact and paucity of walks has been a boon to his WHIP. On the other hand, Estrada has yielded an alarming 2.1 homers per nine innings. He should get away with his strong flyball tendencies against the floundering Marlins, and a good start at Houston is not out of the question either. Estrada is not only a must start for NL-only owners this coming week, but he's a deeper mixed league option as well.

Joe Kelly, Cardinals
Projected matchups: COL (Francis), MIA (Sanchez)
2012 stats: 1-0, 3.38 ERA, 1.50 WHIP, 11 Ks
Ownership/activation rates: 7/4
Outlook: Despite an arsenal that features a mid-90s fastball, Kelly is not a pitcher to pick up if all you need are Ks. However, the slim righty had dramatically improved his control at Triple-A this season, and he has carried those gains over into his first stint in the majors. There's nothing in his skill profile that screams "standard mixed league starter," but more owners in deeper mixed and NL-only leagues should be making room for him. Consider this: Kelly's peripheral stats are not markedly different from Jose Quintana's, yet the White Sox rookie is owned in nearly five times as many leagues. At the very least, pick up Kelly as a deeper mixed league two-start option, as he has great matchups at home against the Rockies and Marlins.

Everett Teaford, Royals
Projected matchups: @TOR (Romero), @DET (Scherzer)
2012 stats: 0-1, 5.06 ERA, 1.56 WHIP, 9 Ks
Ownership/activation rates: 1/0
Outlook: Teaford has gotten off to a poor start in his first four appearances with the Royals this year, but owners should expect something a little closer to the solid stats (3.27 ERA, 1.14 WHIP) he posted in 2011. He is simply too good at inducing grounders and commanding the strike zone to keep a stat line as ugly as the one he currently owns. In future weeks, the southpaw could have some appeal for deeper mixed league owners, but with a pair of solid lineups on his docket in Week 14, Teaford is strictly an AL-only option -- albeit a solid one -- for now.

Waiver wire targets

Franklin Morales, Red Sox
Projected matchups: @OAK (Griffin)
2012 stats: 1-1, 3.12 ERA, 1.18 WHIP, 37 Ks
Ownership/activation rates: 22/17
Outlook: Morales' ability to get whiffs and Ks didn't diminish in his first two turns in the Boston rotation; in fact, he raised both rates in his starts against the Cubs and Braves. His next opponent, the A's, are even more prone to striking out than either of his previous foes. Walks haven't been an issue either, as he has thrown 66 percent of his pitches for strikes over his 34 2/3 innings. Maybe these are all small-sample artifacts, but with Oakland's once-hot offense slowing down, it looks like another good week to start Morales outside of standard mixed leagues.

Chris Young, Mets
Projected matchups: PHI (Kendrick)
2012 stats: 1-1, 3.42 ERA, 1.52 WHIP, 12 Ks
Ownership/activation rates: 17/9
Outlook: Because Young is so prone to flyballs, the rule of thumb with him is to avoid him at all costs when facing a power-hitting lineup or starting in a home run park. His matchup against the Phillies is a borderline case, so Young should probably sit outside of NL-only leagues in Week 14. However, because of the potential for great starts in many of his matchups, his ownership rate should be higher than it currently is. If you're avoiding Young because of his high WHIP, you may be unneccesarily missing out on a superior alternative to someone on your deeper league roster. Because he is a popup machine, Young's career BABIP is a puny .254, but so far this year, he is burdened with a .321 mark. It's practically unthinkable that opposing hitters will continue to bat .462 on grounders against him going forward.

Travis Blackley, Athletics
Projected matchups: SEA (Vargas)
2012 stats: 1-2, 3.69 ERA, 1.10 WHIP, 28 Ks
Ownership/activation rates: 9/6
Outlook: After years of mediocrity and obscurity, it's hard to buy into Blackley's success as a rotation fill-in. There's nothing that stands out in his skill profile that would make you think he can sustain this level of success, but he is just good enough at missing bats and avoiding hard contact to succeed against weaker lineups. Since becoming a starter, the schedule has worked in his favor as he has faced the Twins, Padres, Dodgers and Mariners, and he posted good starts against all of them. Blackley has also been clobbered by the Rangers and Diamondbacks. The good news for Blackley's owners is that he gets the M's again next week, and their offense has slowed down considerably in the month of June. He's a must-start in AL-only leagues for the coming scoring period, but owners have to watch his upcoming matchups closely.

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Josh Tomlin, Indians
Projected matchups: TB (Hellickson)
2012 stats: 3-5, 5.70 ERA, 1.46 WHIP, 41 Ks
Ownership/activation rates: 9/4
Outlook: As with Estrada, Tomlin can be a boon for both WHIP and ERA, as long as he can avoid the long ball. That's a very big "if," as Tomlin has already allowed 11 dingers in just 66 1/3 innings. To be fair, though, he has allowed five of those just in the past two weeks, having given up three homers at Yankee Stadium and two at Great American Ball Park. Over his career, Tomlin has been a far better pitcher at home, and especially against a middling power team like the Rays, he should be a safe start in Week 14 in AL-only leagues and the deepest mixed league formats.

Josh Collmenter, Diamondbacks
Projected matchups: LAD (Kershaw)
2012 stats: 0-2, 4.80 ERA, 1.40 WHIP, 41 Ks
Ownership/activation rates: 6/2
Outlook: With wild swings between hot and cold streaks, Collmenter was an absolute enigma as a rookie. He hasn't been any easier to figure out this season. After getting clobbered in the rotation to start the year, he has excelled as a reliever, getting more swinging strikes and grounders. Since his demotion to the bullpen, Collmenter has been throwing more cutters and getting more breaking action on them, but he's also faced a soft schedule. It's not clear which factor has played the bigger role in Collmenter's latest resurgence, but now that he is back in the rotation, he is worth a try at least for the coming week. The Dodgers have the majors' lowest batting average and Isolated Power for the month of June, and that should help Collmenter help you, even in deeper mixed leagues.

Vulnerable rotation spots

Astros: With Bud Norris (knee) coming off the DL on Friday, the Astros will expand their rotation to a six-man unit, and they will keep it that way until the All-Star break. The team has not yet decided what will happen once the second half begins, but owners of Dallas Keuchel and Jordan Lyles should be prepared to find a replacement by the time Week 15 (July 9-15) rolls around.

Royals: The Kansas City Star reports that Luis Mendoza and Jonathan Sanchez could be in danger of losing their rotation spots if they don't improve their performance. Doug Davis would probably be the first to get the call from Triple-A, though prospects Jake Odorizzi and Mike Montgomery could also get some consideration. While owners of Mendoza and Sanchez may need to find other alternatives, Odorizzi and Montgomery in particular could be intriguing pickups.

Yankees: Freddy Garcia and Adam Warren will get the first shots to replaced the injured CC Sabathia (groin) and Andy Pettitte (ankle) in the Yankees' suddenly-depleted rotation. While Sabathia could return after the All-Star break, Pettitte will need a longer-term replacement, and it won't necessarily be either Garcia or Warren. David Phelps could be recalled from the minors to fill the vacancy, or the team could pursue an option on the trade market. For now, none of the internal options are worth owning outside of AL-only leagues.

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
Rockies OF prospect David Dahl (spleen) out indefinitely
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(3:23 pm ET) Rockies outfield prospect David Dahl is sidelined indefinitely after sustaining a spleen injury during an on-field collision Thursday, the team announced Friday. 

Rockies senior director of player development Zach Wilson said Dahl, who is playing for Double-A New Britain, underwent surgery to repair his spleen. However, he did not suffer any bone fractures and did not suffer a concussion.

"There is no timetable on David's return," Wilson said in a press release. "The organization is in contact with David and his family. They are in our thoughts as we wish him the best."

According to MiLB.com, Dahl rushed in from center field in the sixth inning of Thursday's game against Altoona to field a fly ball. Shortstop Trevor Story and second baseman Juan Ciriaco also chased the play. Story turned off before the ball fell, but Ciriaco continued his path, leaping to avoid Dahl but instead striking the outfielder's head and torso area with his knee. Dahl stayed on the ground following the collision, but walked off under his own power.

The 2012 first-round pick has a .269/.296/.379/.675 slash line in 44 games. He is considered a top-100 prospect by Baseball America (No. 22) and MLB.com (No. 59).


Astros SP Scott Feldman on DL with torn meniscus
by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(3:21 pm ET) The Astros have placed veteran right-handed starter Scott Feldman on the 15-day disabled list after he underwent arthroscopic surgery on his right knee to repair a torn medial meniscus.

The team has promoted starting pitcher Michael Feliz from Double-A to take his place on the roster. He could work out of the bullpen.

Brett Oberholtzer has been mentioned as the leading candidate to replace Feldman in the rotation.

Feldman has performed well in 2015, playing a role in the team's surprising start. He has six quality starts in his last eight outings.


Inconsistent Steve Pearce set to sit Friday
by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(3:05 pm ET) The all-or-nothing performance at the plate and struggles against right-handers from Steve Pearce has him out of the Orioles lineup Friday against Tampa Bay.

Pearce is 14-for-77 against righties this season. He has just four hits in his last 24 at-bats - and three of them were home runs. His average is down to .194.


Cody Asche playing left field Friday for Phillies
by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(2:54 pm ET) The Phillies have wasted no time getting Cody Asche into the lineup after promoting him. He is set to play left field and bat sixth Friday night against visiting Colorado.

Asche had been sent to the minors to learn his craft in the outfield. He hopes to return with a hotter stick - he was on a 3-for-29 slide before leaving.


Phillies designate outfielder Grady Sizemore for assignment
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(2:30 pm ET) Phillies outfielder Grady Sizemore was designated for assignment Friday to clear a roster spot for Cody Asche, who was recalled from the minors.

Sizemore had made 23 starts, including 21 in right field, which was the second-most on the team behind Jeff Francoeur (25 starts in RF). 

The veteran outfielder hit .245 with no home runs, five doubles, six RBI, four runs, six walks and 23 strikeouts in 39 games.


Report: Cubs promote prospect C.J. Edwards to Triple-A
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(2:22 pm ET) The Cubs promoted starting pitcher prospect C.J. Edwards from Double-A Tennessee to Triple-A Iowa, according to 670 The Score.

Edwards, who is considered a top-100 prospect by Baseball America (No. 38) and MLB.com (No. 47), went 2-2 with a 2.66 ERA in 13 relief appearances for Tennessee. He had 36 strikeouts and 17 walks in 23 2/3 innings.


Brewers designate reliever Brandon Kintzler for assignment
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(2:11 pm ET) Brewers reliever Brandon Kintzler was designated for assignment Friday. The right-hander is 0-1 with a 6.43 ERA in seven relief appearances.

D-Backs move Oscar Hernandez to 60-day disabled list
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(2:08 pm ET) The Diamondbacks transferred catcher Oscar Hernandez from the 15-day to 60-day disabled list Friday. The Rule 5 pick has been sidelined all season due to a broken hamate bone in his left hand.

Mental, emotional state has Rangers 1B Prince Fielder thriving
by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(2:07 pm ET) The resurgence of Rangers first baseman Prince Fielder is as much mental and emotional as it is physical, suggests CBSSports.com Baseball Insider Jon Heyman.

Those who know Fielder believe he is in a good place after a rough final season in Detroit and an injury-plagued 2014. He did not endear himself to the Tigers after the team was eliminated in 2013 when he suggested there were worse things in life.

Fielder was dealing with a marital issue that year and was concerned with his sons, but his marriage has remained intact and he is tearing it up at the dish. A recent six-game hitting streak included four three-hit games and five home runs. He boasts a sensational slash line of .361/.410/.577.


D-Backs add Saltalamacchia after Gosewisch lands on DL
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(2:05 pm ET) The Diamondbacks purchased the contract of catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia from Triple-A Reno on Friday after placing starting catcher Tuffy Gosewisch (knee) on the disabled list. Saltalamacchia is expected to share playing time with Jordan Pacheco.

Saltalmacchia hit .188 (6 for 32) with two home runs, seven RBI, two walks and 13 strikeouts in nine games for Reno.


 
 
 
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