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Setting the Trends: Don't get too comfortable

Senior Fantasy Writer
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Many moons ago, there existed a cartoon about a somewhat-brutish, blue-suited crimefighter called, The Tick. It was one of those brilliant cult shows that never caught a lot of mainstream love, for many silly reasons. But, in 1995, an episode had The Tick caught in the grips (cushions?) of The World's Most Comfortable Chair. Seventeen years later, I will soil its beautiful memory by using it to offer Fantasy advice.

Everyone can get a little too comfortable with players -- letting the wrong one go at the absolute worst time is a mistake that can haunt a Fantasy player forever. But holding on to someone for too long can also damage the team, by not making a move once you've squeezed optimum value from your roster spot. Take, for instance, Bryan LaHair. Gambling on him early paid off -- you got your value returned by the end of May. But it soon became apparent that Dale Sveum wasn't going to play him every day. And, when Anthony Rizzo was called up, LaHair was sent to the outfield, a move that saw his stats take a marked decline:

LaHair as a 1B: 181 AB, .287 average, .899 OPS, 11 HR, 1 SB
LaHair as an OF: 90 AB, .222 average, .615 OPS, 2 HR, 1 SB

LaHair is still sporting a .266 average with 14 home runs and two steals -- numbers that have more than earned the $1 placed on him in auction leagues. But owners who have him stashed away on the bench may have waited too long to deal him. In other words, they got comfortable with LaHair, which isn't a terrible thing -- although the signs of a downturn were there, plenty of owners (myself included) still had hope that he'd homer his way into more playing time. But he didn't. LaHair owners, in retrospect, should have ripped ourselves out of The World's Most Comfortable Chair, getting value when we had the chance.

For those of you ready to make like The Tick, and rip yourself away from the comfort of some of your more familiar players, we present...Roster Trends!

Most Added Players (as of 8/7)
Player % increase
1. Dan Straily, SP, OAK 38
2. Ryan Ludwick, OF, CIN 29
3. Ross Detwiler, SP, WAS 27
4. Josh Rutledge, SS, COL 23
5. Mike Olt, 3B, TEX 22
6. Chris Johnson, 3B, ARI 20
7. Michael McKenry, C, PIT 20
8. Patrick Corbin, SP, ARI 20
9. Greg Holland, RP, KC 20
10. Blake Beavan, SP, SEA 18

Most Added Highlights

Ross Detwiler , SP, WAS
Jump in Ownership: 27 percent (from 37 percent to 64 percent)
Reason for the jump: Since his return to the rotation, Detwiler has a 2.55 ERA in eight games started.
Why you should join the crowd: When Detwiler was yanked from the rotation in late May, he had given up a total of 16 earned runs in four previous games. But his ERA was just 3.88 at the time. In a six-game stint as a member of the bullpen, Detwiler sparkled, sporting a 1.35 ERA in 13 1/3 innings. At no point this season has his ERA crept over 3.88. While he won't get a lot of strikeouts for a team, Detwiler's been a steady presence for the Nationals, and the former first-round pick could be a great source of low ERA and WHIP for Fantasy owners looking to impriove in those areas as the season winds down.
Devil's Advocate: There's always the chance that Detwiler finally figured things out this year, building on a promising 3.00 ERA and 1.26 WHIP in 66 innings last season, but his previous years -- and even minor league numbers -- left a lot to be desired. Before this season, Detwiler had a 4.07 career ERA in the majors, and his career minor league WHIP was 1.50.
Still...: Detwiler got that career ERA down to 3.65 after his breakout 2012, meaning he didn't have the largest of sample sizes to turn around prior to this season.

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. Starling Marte, OF, PIT 48
2. Greg Holland, RP, KC 47
3. Todd Frazier, 3B, CIN 40
4. Tyler Colvin, 1B, COL 31
5. Kris Medlen, RP, ATL 30

Greg Holland , RP, KC
Jump in Ownership: 20 percent (from 26 percent to 46 percent)
Reason for the jump: Holland is the new closer for the Kansas City Royals.
Why you should join the crowd: Holland has been a force out of the Royals' bullpen this year, with a 3.22 ERA and 59 strikeouts in 44 2/3 innings. Since being named the new closer, Holland has pitched five scoreless innings, holding opposing batters to a .176 batting average, and getting two saves and a win.
Devil's Advocate: For as good as Holland has been lately, he did have a pretty rocky start to the season, having an ERA over 4.00 up until the end of June. His 1.50 WHIP is also high for a closer, and his 25 walks aren't pretty: they are just two fewer than Kyle Lohse (in 148 1/3 IP), and as many as Jordan Zimmermann (139 1/3 IP) and Bartolo Colon (138 2/3 IP). If he gets into some trouble, Aaron Crow could be a real alternative down the line.

Itchy trigger fingers
The most-dropped injured players who may still return
Player Change in ownership percentage
1. Carlos Ruiz, C, PHI -23
2. Emilio Bonifacio, SS, MIA -19
3. A.J. Griffin, SP, OAK -17
4. Lance Berkman, OF, STL -16
5. Yasmani Grandal, C, SD -7

Ryan Doumit , C, MIN
Jump in Ownership: Seven percent (from 69 percent to 76 percent)
Reason for the jump: Doumit has a .295 average, with 12 home runs in 322 at-bats.
Why you should join the crowd: Doumit has catcher eligibility, but has appeared at the position in just 40 games this season, racking up 35 games at DH, 12 in the outfield, and one at first base. In August, Doumit is batting .417, with two home runs, five doubles, and six RBI. He has played two of those games at DH, two in left field, and two at catcher, showing a flexibility that keeps his bat in the lineup on a regular basis. This makes him more valuable at the catcher position, where most players require occasional days off. Since the All-Star Break, Doumit ranks second among all catchers in at-bats (behind only teammate Joe Mauer), third in runs scored, first in doubles, and third in home runs.
Devil's Advocate: Doumit didn't exactly come out swinging, hitting just .250 in April and .262 in May. And, for the year, he doesn't rank in the top 10 among catchers for home runs, runs scored, steals, or walks. In points leagues, Doumit ranks 10th among catchers, and his 199.5 total points have him ranked 51st among outfielders, behind Angel Pagan, Carlos Lee, and Cody Ross.

Farm club freewheeling
The most-traded minor leaguers
Player Number of trades over the last week
1. Trevor Bauer, SP, ARI 301
2. Wil Myers, OF, KC 169
3. Lucas Duda, OF, NYM 152
4. Jacob Turner, SP, MIA 148
5. Shelby Miller, SP, STL 141

Luis Mendoza , RP, KC
Jump in Ownership: 4 percent (from 6 percent to 10 percent)
Reason for the jump: Five of Mendoza's last seven starts have been Quality Starts, and he is in the middle of a two-start week.
Why you should join the crowd: Despite a 4.36 overall ERA, Mendoza has decent numbers lately -- a 3.61 ERA in his past seven starts and a 1.20 WHIP. Additionally, Mendoza has that sexy relief pitcher eligibility, meaning points-leaguers could slot the starter in one of their RP slots, and enjoy the spoils. It's a brand of tomfoolery that I don't agree with, but it's well within the rules, and does offer a path to value for Mendoza.
Devil's Advocate: Mendoza has a 4.36 ERA and 1.44 WHIP on the season. And, over a six-year career, he has a 5.80 ERA and 1.58 WHIP. He's been good recently, but he can't be relied on for strikeouts, and is always capable of walking four batters in any given start.

Jean Segura , SS, MIL
Jump in Ownership: 7 percent (from 8 percent to 15 percent)
Reason for the jump: Segura, the main return in the trade for Zack Greinke, was called up to the Brewers this week, and will likely start the rest of the season.
Why you should join the crowd: Despite being hitless in 10 at-bats so far this year, Segura has a solid bat (.313 minor league average), and a string of high-steal seasons, with 37 so far this year, 18 in 52 games last year, and 50 in 2010. He also has decent power for a shortstop; nothing earth-shaking, but he did hit 10 home runs in 2010, and could have hit 10 again in 2011 if he didn't miss three months with a hamstring injury. In deeper leagues, where teams may be desperate for a shortstop, Segura could return a few steals and decent average.
Devil's Advocate: Don't go overboard in trying to get Segura, as he is probably not worth a roster spot in even 14-team mixed leagues. He will eventually be a good player, but will likely have a some growing pains as this season finishes up. There's always a chance he can hit for some average and steal some bases, but there are safer options that already exist on most waiver wires.

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
Mets pitcher Dillon Gee unclear of role when activated from DL
by Brandon Wise | CBSSports.com
(12:14 am ET) Mets pitcher Dillon Gee was baffled on Sunday for multiple reasons. After losing his luggage, Gee was told he will head back to make a third rehab start this week. He is also unclear of what his role will be in the starting rotation when he is able to return, according to the New York Daily News.

"I don't know what to think about it," Gee said. "I kind of raised that, I felt like I am just wasting bullets trying to get over 100 pitches in a minor league rehab game. I am doing what they want me to do.

"Obviously you wondered what the roles will be, because all the roles are all filled," Gee said. "He's (Syndergaard) pitched really well, so he deserves to be here as well. I wonder the same thing as most of you... what’s going to happen."

Gee is 0-2 with a 3.86 ERA in 30 1/3 innings of work this season.


Giants pitcher Jean Machi preserves bullpen on Sunday
by Brandon Wise | CBSSports.com
(12:08 am ET) Giants pitcher Jean Machi allowed three runs, two earned, on five hits in 2 2/3 innings of work in San Francisco's 11-2 loss to the Rockies on Sunday.

Machi was called on early when starter Tim Hudson struggled to find the zone and was knocked around. He helped to keep San Francisco was digging deeper into the bullpen, manager Bruce Bochy said per CSN Bay Area.

"Machi saved us," Bochy said. "I thought he had some of his best stuff, too. He should feel good about that and the fact that he did give us those innings."

Machi now has a 4.63 ERA in 23 1/3 innings of work this season.


Rangers DH Prince Fielder continues hot hitting with two RBI
by Brandon Wise | CBSSports.com
(12:03 am ET) Rangers designated hitter Prince Fielder went 3 for 5 at the plate in Texas' 5-2 win over the Yankees on Sunday.

Fielder, who also singled twice, did his damage in the first when he doubled to deep center field, driving home a run. Fielder singkled to right in the seventh to collect his second RBI. Fielder is tearing the cover off the ball, hitting a blistering .358 with 32 RBI in 176 at-bats this season.


Yankees catcher Brian McCann leaves with foot injury on Sunday
by Brandon Wise | CBSSports.com
(5/24/2015) Yankees catcher Brian McCann was forced to leave Sunday's game against the Rangers with a cramp in his foot/calf, according to MLB.com. 

Manager Joe Girardi said he was a little concerned with the injury, but won't know more about it until Monday. McCann went 1 for 4 with two RBI in Sunday's game before exiting.


Rockies 1B Justin Morneau remains out, unlikely to travel with team
by Brandon Wise | CBSSports.com
(5/24/2015) Rockies first baseman Justin Morneau remains on the disabled list while dealing with concussion-like symptoms and is unlikely to travel with the team for their upcoming six-gane road trip this week, according to the Denver Post.

Morneau has been out since May 14 with the injury and is hitting .290 with nine RBI in 100 at-bats this season. 


RP Shawn Tolleson picks up third save for Rangers
by Elliott Smith | Staff Writer
(5/24/2015) Shawn Tolleson continued to perform well in his new role as Rangers closer, striking out the side in the ninth inning to preserve Texas' 5-2 triumph over the Yankees on Sunday. 

Tolleson only needed 13 pitches to power through the Yankees lineup and pick up his third save since being installed as co-closer with Ross Ohlendorf since Neftali Perez was removed from the position. 


2B Adam Rosales' homer powers Rangers to sweep
by Elliott Smith | Staff Writer
(5/24/2015) Second baseman Adam Rosales may be the Rangers' No. 9 hitter, but Sunday he provided the big hit in Texas' 5-2 victory over the Yankees with his third home run of the season. 

Rosales connected off Yankees starter Chris Capuano with two outs in the second inning to give Texas a 3-2 advantage, a lead that would stand up the rest of the way. Rosales finished 2-for-3 to lift his average to .214. 

Rosales now has five hits and three RBIs in his last three games.


SP Yovani Gallardo gets back on track for Rangers
by Elliott Smith | Staff Writer
(5/24/2015) One start after allowing a season-high 10 hits, Rangers starter Yovani Gallardo found his stride and picked up his fourth victory of the year as Texas defeated the Yankees 5-2 on Sunday. 

Gallardo went six innings, allowing just four hits and two earned runs. More importantly, he walked just one batter while striking out six to pick up his second win in his last seven shots. 

Gallardo was able to induce nine ground ball outs and keep the Yankees offense in check to lower his ERA to 4.13. 


Yankees pitcher Chris Capuano roughed up in start on Sunday
by Brandon Wise | CBSSports.com
(5/24/2015) Yankees pitcher Chris Capuano allowed three runs, two earned, on eight hitsin 4 1/3 innings on Sunday. Capuano struck out four and did not allow a walk, but New York fell to the Rangers 5-2.

Capuano had issues in the first two innings when after allowing a single, he surrendered an RBI double to Prince Fielder in the first. Then in the second, Capuano gave up a two-run blast to Adam Rosales. He was pulled in the fifth after allowing back-to-back singles. 

Capuano, now 0-2, has struggled in his first two starts of the year, allowing seven runs in 7 1/3 innings. He will look to get back on track Friday against the Athletics. 


Nationals pitcher Doug Fister still not throwing yet
by Brandon Wise | CBSSports.com
(5/24/2015) Nationals pitcher Doug Fister was in attendance for Sunday's game against the Phillies, but is yet to begin throwing, according to MLB.com.

Fister, who is currently on the 15-day DL with right forearm tightness, hopes to start the process soon.

"It's kind of a slow process," Fister said. "The process of getting complete game ready is going to be a little bit, but I'm making strides every day."

Fister is 2-2 with a 4.31 ERA in seven starts this season.

"It's been nagging me a little bit, the tightness," Fister said. "It has not allowed me to completely pitch to full capacity. … But that San Diego start really fired it up real tight."


 
 
 
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