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Hit Parade for Week 14

Senior Fantasy Writer
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The Fantasy Baseball Hit Parade is your guide to setting your lineup for the upcoming scoring period. Each week, we'll assess Fantasy-relevant hitters based on streaks, matchups, injuries and lineup changes and divide them into five categories: "no-brainers," "advisable starts," "shaky starts," "strictly AL/NL-only" and "don't bother."

These designations are designed to rate each player's Fantasy value for the current week only and have no bearing on his value for the season as a whole.

Any player dealing with injury will have the injury listed in parentheses after his name. His condition will most definitely influence his category designation for the week.

Any players not appearing on these lists are presumed to be below "don't bother" status and are obvious sits in Fantasy.

The information has been updated through Saturday, June 30.

Catcher

When Alex Avila missed Monday's game because of knee soreness, manager Jim Leyland called it a "red flag." You might remember knee soreness is what limited the young catcher to an .073 (3 for 41) batting average during the playoffs last year, so if it's back -- or perhaps never went away -- his productivity may suffer. Of course, he returned to the lineup Tuesday and will apparently play through the patellar tendinitis as long as he can tolerate the pain, but just because he's tolerating it doesn't mean he's not compensating in some way. His five hits in four games since returning may indicate the injury is much ado about nothing, but you'll want to keep an eye on him over the weekend just in case.

The Padres recalled prospect Yasmani Grandal from Triple-A Tucson over the weekend -- and not just for one at-bat this time. He has replaced Nick Hundley as the starting catcher in San Diego, making his presence known with two home runs Saturday. Of course, homering twice at Coors Field is far different from doing it at PETCO Park. Though Grandal is a high-upside player, he might be in for a Yonder Alonso-like correction when the Padres return home. In two-catcher leagues, he's worth an immediate pickup, but otherwise, you should give him a week to prove his worth.

Worth a second look: Ryan Doumit, Twins
Doumit's playing time isn't always assured, but you can pretty much trust him to stay in the lineup against righties. And you can pretty much trust him to be at his best against them, compiling a .288 batting average and .821 OPS on the season. With seven on tap this week, which includes three games at Texas, he's looking like a worthy mixed-league option, especially since he's batting .338 (22 for 65) over his last 17 games.
Approach with caution: Wilin Rosario, Rockies
Unlike most Rockies hitters, Rosario is actually better on the road (.301 batting average, .922 OPS) than at home (.206 batting average, .714 OPS), so you'd think the seven road games would make the rookie a favorable start this week. Of course, sample size is probably a factor there for a player who opened the season as a reserve. The bottom line is he's a .246 hitter overall, which means he's a long shot to produce when the matchups aren't in his favor. And with Adam Wainwright, Lance Lynn, Stephen Strasburg, Gio Gonzalez and Jordan Zimmermann on tap, that's clearly the case this week.

No-brainers: Yadier Molina, Buster Posey, Carlos Ruiz, Matt Wieters, Joe Mauer, Miguel Montero
Advisable starts: Brian McCann, Jesus Montero, Mike Napoli, A.J. Pierzynski, Jarrod Saltalamacchia, Ryan Doumit
Shaky starts: Salvador Perez, Carlos Santana (back), Wilin Rosario, Alex Avila, A.J. Ellis, J.P Arencibia, Geovany Soto, Russell Martin, Yasmani Grandal
Strictly AL/NL-only: John Buck, Rod Barajas, Derek Norris, Kurt Suzuki, Miguel Olivo, Martin Maldonado, Jesus Flores, Josh Thole, Devin Mesoraco, Michael McKenry
Don't bother: John Jaso, Steve Clevenger, Ryan Hanigan, Yorvit Torrealba, Kelly Shoppach, Jason Castro, Chris Snyder, George Kottaras, Ramon Hernandez (hand), Jonathan Lucroy (hand), Chris Iannetta (wrist), Victor Martinez (knee)

First base

In a move that seemed inevitable once they moved bumped Bryan LaHair to the outfield, the Cubs promoted top prospect Anthony Rizzo to the majors on Tuesday and, according to manager Dale Sveum, will play him every day. His numbers at Triple-A Iowa -- a .342 batting average, 23 homers and a 1.101 OPS in 257 at-bats -- were insane, which is part of the reason why expectations might be running a little high. The potential for him to emerge as an impact bat makes him worth owning in all leagues, but you might want to let him prove himself before activating him. His arrival didn't go so well in San Diego last year, remember.

Most Added Hitters (as of 6/29)
Player % increase
1. Anthony Rizzo, 1B, Cubs 25
2. Will Middlebrooks, 3B, Red Sox 22
3. Cody Ross, OF, Red Sox 17
4. Colby Rasmus, OF, Blue Jays 11
5. Brandon Belt, 1B, Giants 11
6. Salvador Perez, C, Royals 11
7. Chris Nelson, 3B, Rockies 9
8. Jason Kubel, OF, Diamondbacks 8
9. Aaron Hill, 2B, Diamondbacks 7
10. Ike Davis, 1B, Mets 7

After a brief exile to Triple-A Las Vegas, Adam Lind is back in the majors but appears to be sitting against left-handed pitchers, which all but ruins his mixed-league appeal. Fellow blasts from the past James Loney and Gaby Sanchez have also been playing less than every day, but given how poorly they've hit this season, most Fantasy owners had probably given up on them already.

Worth a second look: Paul Goldschmidt, Diamondbacks
Goldschmidt is batting .358 (43 for 120) with nine home runs and a 1.160 OPS in his last 34 games, making him the No. 7 first baseman in Fantasy during that stretch, yet for some reason, mixed-league owners are still on the fence about him. His matchups this week should make your decision easier. Not only is he home, where he's hit seven of his 11 home runs, but he's facing three lefties, against whom he's batting .386 with a 1.236 OPS. And the righties he's facing -- Andrew Cashner, Jason Marquis, Nate Eovaldi and Chad Billingsley -- aren't exactly back-breakers.
Approach with caution: Adam Dunn, White Sox
Sitting a player who's on pace for 50-plus homers is hardly an easy call, but as has happened more than once during the all-or-nothing slugger's career, Dunn has gone cold, batting .130 (6 for 46) over his last 13 games. Normally, you'd just live with it, knowing he's capable of breaking through with five homers any given week, but considering four of the six pitchers on tap for the White Sox this week are left-handers, against whom he's hitting .165 with a .711 OPS, you should feel pretty confident this won't be one of those weeks. If you have alternatives, turn to them now.

No-brainers: Miguel Cabrera, Prince Fielder, David Ortiz, Albert Pujols, Paul Konerko, Mark Teixeira, Mark Trumbo, Edwin Encarnacion
Advisable starts: Joey Votto (knee), Adrian Gonzalez, Billy Butler, Allen Craig, Buster Posey, Joe Mauer, Eric Hosmer, Adam LaRoche, Michael Morse, Paul Goldschmidt, Freddie Freeman, Justin Morneau, Corey Hart, Ike Davis
Shaky starts: Adam Dunn, Michael Cuddyer, Carlos Santana (back), Michael Young, Mike Napoli, Kevin Youkilis, Chris Davis, Kendrys Morales, Lucas Duda, Brandon Belt, Carlos Lee, Carlos Pena, Anthony Rizzo, Mark Reynolds, Daniel Murphy, Bryan LaHair
Strictly AL/NL-only: Logan Morrison, Chris Carter, Yonder Alonso, Justin Smoak, Adam Lind, Tyler Colvin, Todd Helton, James Loney, Gaby Sanchez, John Mayberry, Ty Wigginton, Jordan Pacheco, Wilson Betemit, Matt Carpenter, Tyler Moore, Juan Rivera, Casey McGehee, Garrett Jones, Casey Kotchman, Brandon Moss
Don't bother: Travis Ishikawa, Taylor Green, Chris Parmelee, Mitch Moreland (hamstring), Mike Carp (shoulder), Lance Berkman (knee), Ryan Howard (Achilles), Matt Adams

Second base

After missing most of the first three months with tendinitis in his left knee, Chase Utley returned to the lineup Wednesday and homered in his first at-bat. Clearly, he still has something to offer offensively despite the steady decline in batting average and OPS over the last four years. You shouldn't treat him like the elite player he used to be, but he's back to being a viable starter in mixed leagues.

Chris Nelson hasn't quite entered the mixed-league discussion, but if he continues to hit like he has over his last 15 games, batting .351 (20 for 57) with three home runs, he'll begin getting some looks as a stopgap. If nothing else, he's worth owning in NL-only leagues. You know he'll play, anyway, with Troy Tulowitzki (groin) on the DL.

Worth a second look: Omar Infante, Marlins
For a player known for making consistent contact, Infante sure has delivered inconsistent results this year, taking the Fantasy world by storm with a 41-for-122 (.336) stretch to begin the season before falling off the map with a 21-for-99 (.212) stretch. Apparently, the tides have turned for him yet again. He's batting .342 (13 for 38) over his last 10 games and has the kind of matchups -- Marco Estrada, Randy Wolf, Michael Fiers, Jake Westbrook and Joe Kelly -- that would have you believe he'll keep it going. Time to get him active again in mixed leagues.
Approach with caution: Dustin Ackley, Mariners
After a string of 10 straight home games, the Mariners at least get to play their final three games of the first half on the road this week. Of course, those three are in Oakland, which is another tough place to hit. Even worse for Ackley are the three left-handers on tap. He's batting only .231 with a .610 OPS against lefties. Considering he's been slumping anyway, batting .129 (4 for 31) over his last 10 games, that should be all the incentive you need to sit him.

No-brainers: Robinson Cano, Ian Kinsler, Jason Kipnis, Ben Zobrist, Dustin Pedroia, Dan Uggla, Brandon Phillips
Advisable starts: Mike Aviles, Omar Infante, Aaron Hill, Jose Altuve
Shaky starts: Michael Young, Chase Utley, Kelly Johnson, Marco Scutaro, Kyle Seager, Danny Espinosa, Dustin Ackley, Jemile Weeks, Rickie Weeks, Howard Kendrick, Daniel Murphy, Neil Walker, Gordon Beckham, Everth Cabrera
Strictly AL/NL-only: Chris Nelson, Brian Roberts, Ryan Roberts, Darwin Barney, Brandon Inge, Jamey Carroll, Ryan Theriot, Alexi Amarista, Elliot Johnson, Elian Herrera, Ruben Tejada, Sean Rodriguez, Yuniesky Betancourt
Don't bother: Jerry Hairston, Ryan Raburn, Stephen Lombardozzi, Taylor Green, Tyler Greene, Alexi Casilla, Logan Forsythe, Jose Lopez, Jeff Keppinger, Maicer Izturis, Skip Schumaker, Chris Getz (leg), Mark Ellis (leg), Freddy Sanchez (shoulder)

Third base

Ryan Zimmerman, who has been playing with a sprained AC joint in his right shoulder for much of the season, has looked like a different player since getting a cortisone shot on June 24, batting .344 (11 for 32) with two home runs. Of course, four games at Coors Field likely had something to do with that. Six games at home this week will be a truer test of the shot's impact. He still has huge upside, of course, but he's not quite back to being an automatic start in mixed leagues.

Best Five Hitting Schedules
Team Schedule
1. Cardinals COL4, MIA3
2. Tigers MIN4, KC3
3. Rays NYY3, @CLE4
4. Royals @TOR4, @DET3
5. Angels @CLE3, BAL4

Worth a second look: Mike Moustakas, Royals
With four homers in his last 14 games, Moustakas continues to have a quietly productive season for the Royals and should be able to take advantage of soft matchups like Brett Cecil, Carlos Villanueva, Henderson Alvarez and Drew Smyly this week. The three lefties on tap make him less than an automatic start in mixed leagues, but overall, he's not getting the credit he deserves in Fantasy. He's on pace for a 28-homer season, for crying out loud.
Approach with caution: Michael Young, Rangers
For the first time in seven weeks, Young broke the 15-point mark in Head-to-Head leagues last week, but he's still batting just .222 (14 for 63) over his last 17 games. With three home runs and a .663 OPS on the year, his power has completely evaporated at age 35, so when he's not collecting hits two or three at a time, he's not making much of a dent in Fantasy. Considering he's one of only eight third basemen playing six games rather than seven this week, you can probably do better in mixed leagues.

No-brainers: Miguel Cabrera, Jose Bautista, David Wright, Adrian Beltre, Edwin Encarnacion, Mark Trumbo, Hanley Ramirez
Advisable starts: Aramis Ramirez, Martin Prado, Brett Lawrie, Alex Rodriguez, David Freese, Mike Moustakas, Mike Aviles, Jed Lowrie, Ryan Zimmerman, Will Middlebrooks, Pablo Sandoval
Shaky starts: Michael Young, Trevor Plouffe, Kyle Seager, Chase Headley, Chris Davis, Mark Reynolds, Kevin Youkilis, Daniel Murphy, Pedro Alvarez
Strictly AL/NL-only: Brandon Inge, Chipper Jones, Chris Nelson, Ryan Roberts, Chris Johnson (lat), Placido Polanco, Todd Frazier, Wilson Betemit, Jordan Pacheco, Ty Wigginton, Sean Rodriguez, Jamey Carroll, Elian Herrera, Matt Carpenter, Casey McGehee, Cody Ransom, Jack Hannahan
Don't bother: Jeff Keppinger, Scott Rolen, Logan Forsythe, Jerry Hairston, Juan Uribe, Taylor Green, Stephen Lombardozzi, Alberto Callaspo, Jose Lopez, Maicer Izturis, Evan Longoria (hamstring), Lonnie Chisenhall (forearm), Ian Stewart (wrist), Brent Morel (back), Emilio Bonifacio (hand), Nolan Arenado, Danny Valencia, Eduardo Nunez

Shortstop

Stephen Drew's season debut Wednesday wasn't quite as dramatic as Chase Utley's, but it was notable nonetheless. He's capable of performing like a top-10 Fantasy shortstop when completely healthy. And the best news is he was in the lineup the very next day, so manager Kirk Gibson seems to have abandoned the plan of sitting him two out of every three games. Rust is the expectation for Drew as he continues to work his way back from ankle surgery last July, but if you have a need at shortstop, you should probably put in your claim for him now.

Worth a second look: Erick Aybar, Angels
Aybar got off to such a miserable start that his overall numbers are still in the tank, but he's been coming around lately, batting .387 (24 for 62) over his last 17 games. His steals are still down, which is why he's probably not a long-term option for mixed-league owners, but during a week when the Angles are facing low-end hurlers like Zach McAllister, Derek Lowe, Dana Eveland and Brian Matusz, he should deliver some cheap production off the waiver wire.
Approach with caution: J.J. Hardy, Orioles
Hardy, on the other hand, has come crashing down after a hot start, batting .111 (6 for 54) over his last 13 games. This level of streakiness isn't entirely new to him. It was an issue back in his Brewers days, which should at least give you some assurance he'll eventually get back on track, but this week, with Felix Hernandez, C.J. Wilson, Jered Weaver and Dan Haren on the schedule, probably isn't the time.

No-brainers: Hanley Ramirez, Jose Reyes, Starlin Castro, Elvis Andrus, Asdrubal Cabrera, Jimmy Rollins, Rafael Furcal
Advisable starts: Derek Jeter, Mike Aviles, Jed Lowrie, Trevor Plouffe, Ian Desmond, Erick Aybar, Alcides Escobar
Shaky starts: J.J. Hardy, Zack Cozart, Marco Scutaro, Jhonny Peralta, Dee Gordon, Alexei Ramirez, Yunel Escobar, Everth Cabrera, Andrelton Simmons
Strictly AL/NL-only: Stephen Drew, Cliff Pennington, Jamey Carroll, Ryan Theriot, Ruben Tejada, Cody Ransom, Sean Rodriguez, Elliot Johnson, Brian Dozier, Yuniesky Betancourt
Don't bother: Willie Bloomquist, Tyler Greene, Alexi Casilla, Clint Barmes, Brandon Crawford, Brendan Ryan, Troy Tulowitzki (groin), Jason Bartlett (knee), Emilio Bonifacio (hand), Eduardo Nunez

Outfield

Worst Five Hitting Schedules
Team Schedule
1. Rockies @STL4, @WAS3
2. Yankees @TB3, @BOS4
3. Orioles @SEA3, @LAA4
4. Indians LAA3, TB4
5. Phillies @NYM3, ATL3

Slowly but surely, Nationals manager Davey Johnson is coming around to Tyler Moore's power potential, starting the rookie in five of the team's last six games. Judging by his minor-league numbers, Moore has a chance to be this year's Mark Trumbo if he gets his fair share of at-bats. With Stephen Lombardozzi losing his grip on the left field job, little stands in Moore's way of claiming the role.

Leonys Martin was called up just to give the Rangers a little extra outfield depth when Josh Hamilton was hospitalized with an intestinal virus a couple weeks ago, but instead of going back down when Hamilton returned, he has gotten to play even more, starting five of the last seven games. Martin is the Rangers' center fielder of the future and has enough across-the-board potential that he's worth adding in AL-only leagues even if his current role is still something of a mystery.

Worth a second look: Allen Craig, Cardinals and Jason Kubel, Diamondbacks
By now, you'd think Craig would be an automatic start in Fantasy, but the percentages say otherwise. Apparently, a .313 batting average and .983 OPS in an everyday role aren't enough to convince people. His matchups this week are enough to convince anybody, though. He faces the Rockies' joke of a pitching staff for four games before moving on to the ice-cold Ricky Nolasco and Carlos Zambrano. Kubel's numbers have been nearly as good lately. He's batting .326 (28 for 86) with seven homers and a 1.021 OPS over his last 21 games. Of course, he's pretty much always been that way at home, batting .349 with a 1.099 OPS on the season. The Diamondbacks are home for all seven of their games this week, so you might as well stick with the hot hand in Fantasy.
Approach with caution: Michael Cuddyer, Rockies and Michael Brantley, Indians
Cuddyer isn't exactly setting the world on fire with his .257 batting average and .799 OPS this season, but his starting percentage of 89 would lead you to believe otherwise. Maybe when he's at home, as was the case in Fantasy Week 13 (June 25-July 1), he's an automatic start in Fantasy, but on the road, where he's batting .223 with a .698 OPS, you can do better in mixed leagues. Chances are those splits will get even worse this week with pitchers like Adam Wainwright, Lance Lynn, Stephen Strasburg, Gio Gonzalez and Jordan Zimmermann on tap. Brantley had a nice little run there for a while, ranking 22nd among outfielders from May 10 to June 9, but he has since cooled off with a .257 (19 for 74) batting average over his last 19 games. Because he's not a big source of home runs or stolen bases, he has to be red hot to make a legitimate impact in Fantasy, and that's not happening this week against the Angels and Rays pitching staffs.

No-brainers: Jose Bautista, Ryan Braun, Curtis Granderson, Carlos Gonzalez, Josh Hamilton, Matt Holliday, Michael Bourn, Giancarlo Stanton, Carlos Beltran, Adam Jones, Hunter Pence, Mike Trout, Justin Upton, Mark Trumbo, Melky Cabrera, Jason Heyward, Ben Zobrist
Advisable starts: Andrew McCutchen (wrist), Shane Victorino, Josh Willingham, Shin-Soo Choo, Adrian Gonzalez, Jay Bruce, Austin Jackson, Alex Gordon, Martin Prado, Desmond Jennings, Nelson Cruz, Bryce Harper, Josh Reddick, Allen Craig, Alejandro De Aza, Alex Rios, Colby Rasmus, Jason Kubel, Michael Morse, Adam Dunn, Nick Swisher, Corey Hart
Shaky starts: Michael Cuddyer, B.J. Upton, Angel Pagan, Dexter Fowler, Yoenis Cespedes, Ichiro Suzuki, Carlos Quentin, Lucas Duda, Trevor Plouffe, Drew Stubbs, Chris Young, Alfonso Soriano, Chris Davis, Brandon Belt, Howard Kendrick, Carlos Lee, Coco Crisp, Dayan Viciedo, Norichika Aoki, Cody Ross, Gregor Blanco, Torii Hunter, J.D. Martinez, Bryan LaHair, Ben Revere, Rajai Davis, Andre Ethier (oblique)
Strictly AL/NL-only: Michael Brantley, Michael Saunders (illness), Denard Span, Seth Smith, Brennan Boesch, Logan Morrison, Brandon Moss, Yonder Alonso, David Murphy, Cameron Maybin, Jon Jay, Daniel Nava, Luke Scott, Jeff Francoeur, Raul Ibanez, Jordan Schafer, Delmon Young, Ryan Doumit, Tyler Colvin, David DeJesus, Alex Presley, Will Venable, Jose Tabata, Elian Herrera, Quintin Berry, Jarrod Dyson, Gerardo Parra, Tony Campana, Wilson Betemit, Kirk Nieuwenhuis, Ryan Ludwick, John Mayberry, Juan Pierre, Tyler Moore, Bobby Abreu, Garrett Jones, Ty Wigginton, Leonys Martin, Alexi Amarista, Johnny Damon, Lorenzo Cain (groin)
Don't bother: Matt Carpenter, Chris Heisey, Ryan Kalish, Jerry Hairston, Skip Schumaker, Andres Torres, Stephen Lombardozzi, Juan Rivera, Peter Bourjos, Carlos Gomez, Willie Bloomquist, Nyjer Morgan, Nick Markakis (hand), Franklin Gutierrez (head), Matt Joyce (back), Mitch Moreland (hamstring), Ryan Sweeney (foot), Justin Maxwell (ankle), Jason Bay (concussion), Mike Carp (shoulder), Andy Dirks (Achilles), Matt Kemp (hamstring), Lance Berkman (knee), Emilio Bonifacio (hand), Vernon Wells (thumb), Nolan Reimold (neck), Brett Gardner (elbow), Jacoby Ellsbury (shoulder), Jayson Werth (wrist), Carl Crawford (elbow), Grady Sizemore (back), Travis Snider, Eric Thames, Brett Jackson, Domonic Brown, Wil Myers

Stay in touch with the most passionate Fantasy staff in the business by following us on Twitter @CBSFantasyBB or Scott White at @CBSScottWhite . You can also e-mail us at fantasybaseball@cbsinteractive.com .

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Player News
Nationals SP Doug Fister upbeat following first bullpen session
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(11:44 am ET) Nationals starting pitcher Doug Fister gave a good report Tuesday after throwing 20 fastballs during a bullpen session Monday. Fister has been out since mid-May with a forearm injury.

“I think it’s pretty much subsided completely, and that’s a good thing," Fister said of the discomfort in his arm, per CSNwashington.com.

Fister will add breaking pitches to his next bullpen session, which is expected to happen later this week.

“You know, it was really just more tight than complete, utter mayhem,” he said. “So I mean, it wasn’t a bad issue. It was more of just: ‘I really need a break for some reason, there’s so much tightness going on that we really need to address it.'”


Nationals' Taylor Jordan on track to start Wednesday
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(11:39 am ET) Nationals pitcher Taylor Jordan is on track to start Wednesday against the Blue Jays, provided he's not needed in Tuesday's doubleheader, CSNWashington.com reports.

The Nationals have an open spot in the rotation due to a trapezius strain to Stephen Strasburg, who pitched just one inning in his last start. He was replaced in that game by Jordan, who allowed three earned runs on six hits and two walks in 4 2/3 innings of relief in what doubled as his season debut. He was 1-2 with a 2.14 ERA and 26:8 K:BB ratio in 42 innings across seven starts with Triple-A Syracuse before being recalled.


John Lamb could be option for Royals rotation in 2015
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(11:33 am ET) Royals starting pitcher prospect John Lamb is on the team's radar for a potential promotion to the majors, if the big-league rotation needs an arm this summer, according to The Kansas City Star.

“If we needed somebody to go up, and there was an opportunity, I don’t think any of us would hesitate to make that recommendation,” assistant general manager J.J. Picollo said.

The former top-100 prospect is 6-1 with a 2.74 ERA through eight starts for Triple-A Omaha. After struggling in his return from Tommy John surgery in 2011, the left-hander is beginning to round into form again.

“His changeup is looking more like the changeup he had prior to surgery, with good arm speed and deception,” Picollo said. “And the curveball’s got better shape. So there’s a lot of things pointing in the right direction. And he’s doing a much better job being aware of the running game as well.”


Dioner Navarro set to come off DL in between doubleheader games
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(11:24 am ET) The Blue Jays will bring catcher Dioner Navarro off the disabled list prior to the second game of Tuesday's doubleheader against the Nationals, manager John Gibbons said.

Navarro has been sidelined since late April due to a hamstring injury. Navarro has been on a rehab assignment with Triple-A Buffalo. He hit .286 (4 for 14) with one double, one home run, four RBI, one run, two walks and four strikeouts.


Report: Mets limiting Steven Matz's pitch count to save for majors
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(11:21 am ET) The Mets have limited to Steven Matz to less than 80 pitches in his last two starts to save his arm for the majors, the New York Post reports.

The Mets are currently featuring a six-man rotation, so he doesn't have a clear path to major-league playing time, but Mets officials unconcerned he'll grow frustrated waiting for a promotion.

"I think he realizes, he sees everybody that is up there and knows there is no place to put him," an organizational source told the Post. "If he was going to lose interest, he would have lost it, I think, three or four starts ago."

Matz is 6-3 with a 1.98 ERA and a 70:23 K:BB ratio in 68 1/3 innings with Triple-A Las Vegas in the hitter-friendly Pacific Coast League.

"It’s like taking a big league guy and throwing him against a rookie ball team," a PCL talent evaluator said. "He just dominates every night he goes out. He’s done everything he’s supposed to do at Triple-A, and it’s a lot easier to evaluate a pitcher in this league, because if they are as good as Matz is in the Pacific Coast League, he is pretty damn good. They don’t hit the ball against him."


Rays recall outfielder Mikie Mahtook
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(11:20 am ET) The Rays recalled outfielder Mikie Mahtook from Triple-A Durham on Tuesday after placing reliever Ernesto Frieri on waivers.

Mahtook went 1 for 4 (.250) with one home run and two RBI in four games earlier this season for Tampa Bay.


Pirates' Chris Stewart smacks three doubles in win Monday
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(11:05 am ET) Pirates catcher Chris Stewart went 3 for 4 with three doubles in his team's 4-3 win over the Giants on Monday.

It was the 12th start of the season for Stewart, who doubled his extra-base total on the season in a single game. He has hit .296/.304/.407 with six RBI in 54 at-bats.


Blue Jays' Kevin Pillar gets breather in first game of doubleheader
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(11:04 am ET) Blue Jays center fielder Kevin Pillar was held out of the starting lineup for the first game of Tuesday's doubleheader against the Nationals. It was just the second time in 53 games that Pillar was held out of the lineup.

Ezequiel Carrera started in the place of Pillar, who is mired in a long hitting slump. Pillar is batting just .156 in his last 27 games, which has dropped his average from .289 to .223 in that span.


Blue Jays' Encarnacion, Martin still out for Game 1 of doubleheader
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(10:59 am ET) Before Monday's game was rained out, Blue Jays manager John Gibbons made the decision to sit first baseman Edwin Encarnacion and catcher Russell Martin. Gibbons didn't change his lineup for the first game of Tuesday's doubleheader, as both players remained out of the lineup against Nationals starting pitcher Jordan Zimmermann.

Although, Martin's absence also had to do with the fact knuckleballer R.A. Dickey was on the mound for Toronto since Josh Thole has been his personal catcher for most of the season. Justin Smoak was in the lineup for Encarnacion.

Encarnacion heads into Tuesday's doubleheader mired in a 1-for-24 slump in his last six games. Prior to his slump, he hit .297 with a .615 slugging percentage, five doubles, eight home runs and 24 RBI in his previous 26 games.

Martin has also hit a bit of an offensive wall as of late, as he is batting .176 with no home runs, one double and one RBI in his last 10 games.


Mets' Ruben Tejada racks up three hits in win Monday
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(10:58 am ET) Mets third baseman Ruben Tejada went 3 for 5 with a double and two runs scored in his team's 7-0 win over the Padres on Monday.

Tejada was batting second and serving as the starting third baseman for the fourth straight game, and he's been excellent in the role, going 8 for 17 with three doubles and four RBI. Manager Terry Collins said on Sunday that Tejada would continue to serve as the regular third baseman for now. The infielder has hit .274/.357/.419 with one home run and eight RBI in 62 at-bats.


 
 
 
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