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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
Royals' Greg Holland blows save, gets win in Game 1 of DH Tuesday
by Jason Lempert | Staff Writer
(6:06 pm ET) Royals closer Greg Holland blew his second save of the season in the first game of Tuesday's doubleheader against the Rays. But he was able to secure his third win of the season in the 9-5 walk-off victory.

Holland (3-0) entered the game with the Royals up 5-4, but he allowed a lead-off triple to Kevin Kiermaier, who later scored on a wild pitch. Holland was able to finish the inning without any further damage being done.

Holland's ERA rose from 2.23 to 3.00 after this outing. It was his first blown save in nearly two months, as he had gone 16 outings between blown saves. 


Cardinals' Matt Holliday conducts running drills Tuesday
by Sean d'Oliveira | CBSSports.com
(6:04 pm ET) Cardinals outfielder Matt Holliday was able to do some running drills Tuesday, reports MLB.com.

Holliday has been sidelined since June 8 with a quad injury and he was recently dealing with an illness.


Royals SP Chris Young strikes out five in no-decision Tuesday
by Jason Lempert | Staff Writer
(6:00 pm ET) Royals right-hander Chris Young allowed four runs on five hits over six innings in the first game of Tuesday's doubleheader against the Royals. Young walked one and struck out five, as he took a no-decision in the 9-5 walk-off victory.

Young gave up a solo home run to James Loney in the second inning to open the scoring. Then Evan Longoria launched a two-run shot as part of a three-run fourth inning. Young left the game with the score tied 4-4.

Young's ERA rose to 2.89 with this performance. Tuesday was just the third time in has last seven starts that he has allowed more than one earned run.


Tigers DFA Josh Wilson on Tuesday
by Sean d'Oliveira | CBSSports.com
(6:00 pm ET) The Tigers designated infielder Josh Wilson for assignment on Tuesday, the team announced.

The move was made to make room for Marc Krauss. Wilson hit .381 in 21 at-bats this season.


Rays SP Matt Moore allows four runs in no-decision Tuesday
by Jason Lempert | Staff Writer
(5:56 pm ET) Making his second start of the season, Rays left-hander Matt Moore struggled again on Tuesday against the Royals. Moore went 4 1/3 innings, allowing four runs on nine hits. He walked two and struck out one, and he did not factor into the decision.

With the bases loaded in the second inning, Moore hit Alex Gordon with a pitch, forcing in a run. Then Kendrys Morales hit a two-run single. Gordon then launched a solo home run in the fourth inning. 

Moore threw 85 pitches on Tuesday, and has allowed four runs in each of his first two starts since returning from Tommy John surgery.


Padres' Federowicz to catch sim game before rehab assignment
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(5:54 pm ET) Padres catcher Tim Federowicz (knee) will catch starting pitcher Brandon Morrow's sim game in Texas on Saturday. He will then head out for a rehab assignment with Class A Fort Wayne. 

Astros 3B Luis Valbuena (toe) still out on Tuesday
by Jason Lempert | Staff Writer
(5:40 pm ET) Astros third baseman Luis Valbuena remains out of the starting lineup on Tuesday due to a toe injury. Valbuena was also forced to miss Monday's contest with the ailment. Though, manager A.J. Hinch does believe Valbuena will be able to return at some point during the four-game series with the Indians. 

Marwin Gonzalez is once again drawing the start at third base while Valbuena heals up.


1B Marc Krauss to join Tigers on Tuesday
by Sean d'Oliveira | CBSSports.com
(5:34 pm ET) Tigers manager Brad Ausmus said first baseman Marc Krauss will join the Tigers for Tuesday's game at Kansas City, reports MLB Radio Network.

Krauss was recently claimed off waivers after the Rays designated him for assignment. He is expected to play a platoon role at first base while Miguel Cabrera is sidelined. 

Krauss is hitting .133 with one home run and six RBI in 45 at-bats this season. He will bat seventh and play first base in Tuesday's contest. 


Cubs OF Chris Denorfia plates three runs in win vs. Cardinals
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(5:33 pm ET) Cubs outfielder Chris Denorfia drove in three runs during a 7-4 win in the first game of Tuesday's doubleheader against the Cardinals. 

He opened the scoring with a two-out, two-RBI single in the bottom of the third inning. He added an RBI single in the eighth inning. He also had a walk and strikeout in the game.

Denorfia has hit safely in 10 of his last 12 games (eight starts). He is batting .361 (13 for 36) with three doubles, three RBI, two runs and six strikeouts in that span.


Cubs 1B Anthony Rizzo ends HR drought at 13 games
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(5:28 pm ET) Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo homered during a 7-4 win in the first game of Tuesday's doubleheader against the Cardinals. He connected for a two-run homer off Randy Choate in the eighth inning -- his 16th home run this season.

Rizzo went 2 for 3 with two runs, two walks and one strikeout. He ended his home run drought at 13 games.

He entered play Tuesday mired in a 4-for-32 slump in his previous nine games.


 
 
 
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