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Hit Parade for Week 3

Senior Fantasy Writer
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Editor's note: We don't state the obvious here at CBSSports.com because we don't want to waste your time (or ours). You won't read Scott telling you to start Evan Longoria or Andrew McCutchen. Instead, he'll be focusing on the fringe players on every roster to help you make those tough weekly lineup decisions. These designations indicate a player's Fantasy value for the current week only.

All stats are updated through Wednesday, April 10.

Arizona Diamondbacks

Schedule: @NYY3, @COL3
Worth a second look: Gerardo Parra, A.J. Pollock
Less than advisable: Jason Kubel
Even though he's only 1 for 12 against lefties this season, I'm throwing caution to the wind and recommending Parra in points leagues with three lefties on tap this week. That's because two of them, Jorge De La Rosa and Jeff Francis, probably won't last long at Coors Field, where all of the Diamondbacks figure to put up big numbers. Pollock should get consistent playing time with the DH available the first half of the week.

Atlanta Braves

Schedule: KC2, @PIT4
Worth a second look: Evan Gattis, Andrelton Simmons
Less than advisable: Jason Heyward
Now that he's actually eligible at catcher and playing every day to help make up for the loss of Freddie Freeman, Gattis is an advisable start in all formats, especially with three hittable lefties in Jeff Locke, Wandy Rodriguez and Jonathan Sanchez on tap. Those lefties might also be the excuse you need to sit Heyward. Even last year, he hit only .224 against southpaws, and his mechanics appear to be out of whack right now.
Scott's sleepers for Week 3
Player Start %
1. Evan Gattis, C, Braves 18
2. Jayson Werth, OF, Nationals 66
3. Andre Ethier, OF, Dodgers 68
4. Matt Carpenter, 3B, Cardinals 65
5. Coco Crisp, OF, Athletics 60
6. Lucas Duda, OF, Mets 20
7. Paul Konerko, 1B, White Sox 66
8. Domonic Brown, OF, Phillies 54
9. Gerardo Parra, OF, Diamondbacks 35
10. Josh Rutledge, 2B, Rockies 69

Baltimore Orioles

Schedule: TB3, LAD3
Worth a second look: None
Less than advisable: Chris Davis, J.J Hardy
To be honest, I probably won't sit Davis either given his hot start, but I don't think he'll have a particularly good week. The six pitchers he's facing -- Matt Moore, Alex Cobb, David Price, Hyun-Jin Ryu, Josh Beckett and Chad Billingsley -- all have the kind of stuff that should give a free-swinger like him fits. Plus, three of them are lefties. Maybe in a 10-team league with 16-man lineups, I could talk myself into it?

Boston Red Sox

Schedule: TB1, @CLE3, KC3
Worth a second look: Jackie Bradley, Jarrod Saltalamacchia
Less than advisable: David Ortiz
Given his lack of production to date, starting Bradley is no doubt risky, but with Ortiz expected to return from the DL as early as April 19, this week may be Bradley's last chance to make an impression. And seeing as the Red Sox face nothing but right-handers, with the first four being Jeremy Hellickson and whoever the Indians dig up, I trust him to make the most of it.

Chicago Cubs

Schedule: TEX3, @MIL3
Worth a second look: None
Less than advisable: Alfonso Soriano, Darwin Barney
The Cubs have decent matchups this week, but with most of the high-end pitchers around the league making only one start, most teams do. With that in mind, decent matchups aren't enough to compel me to start an ice-cold Soriano, who is without an extra-base hit on the season.

Chicago White Sox

Schedule: @TOR4, MIN3
Worth a second look: Paul Konerko, Alexei Ramirez, Tyler Flowers
Less than advisable: Dayan Viciedo
The White Sox play in nothing but hitter's parks this week, so the fringy hitters who perform significantly better at home -- another hitter's park -- will be getting a second look from me. Konerko has reached the stage in his career when a slow start gets him benched in a third of all leagues, but I'm thinking he steps it up against Mark Buehrle, J.A. Happ and the lightweight Twins rotation.

Cincinnati Reds

Schedule: PHI3, MIA4
Worth a second look: Todd Frazier
Less than advisable: Zack Cozart
In a week the Reds are facing Kyle Kendrick, John Lannan, Kevin Slowey, Wade LeBlanc and Alex Sanabia over seven games, I'd like to be able to hype all of their hitters. Unfortunately, Frazier is the only one who falls into the fringy range, and with a starting percentage of 87, he's pushing it. OK, so there's Cozart as well, but unless he's blazing hot, he's pretty much worthless to me.

Cleveland Indians

Schedule: BOS3, @HOU3
Worth a second look: Mark Reynolds
Less than advisable: Jason Kipnis, Lonnie Chisenhall
As much as you paid for him, maybe you stick with Kipnis out of principle. But he has yet to get anything going at the plate this season, and he hit .215 with a .581 OPS against lefties last season. I expect Felix Doubront, Jon Lester and Erik Bedard to give him fits this week and would be looking to the waiver wire for a short-term replacement.
Most Added Hitters (as of 4/12)
Player % change
1. John Buck, C, Mets 47
2. Jed Lowrie, SS, Athletics 34
3. Coco Crisp, OF, Athletics 28
4. Evan Gattis, C, Braves 25
5. Franklin Gutierrez, OF, Mariners 24
6. Vernon Wells, OF, Yankees 21
7. Gerardo Parra, OF, D-Backs 20
8. Lance Berkman, 1B, Rangers 16
9. J.P. Arencibia, C, Blue Jays 15
10. Daniel Murphy, 2B, Mets 14

Colorado Rockies

Schedule: NYM4, ARI3
Worth a second look: Dexter Fowler, Michael Cuddyer, Josh Rutledge, Chris Nelson
Less than advisable: None
A full week at home. It's a beautiful thing for Rockies hitters, especially when hittable types like Jeremy Hefner, Aaron Laffey and Brandon McCarthy are among the seven pitchers they're facing. Hot hands like Fowler and Cuddyer are no-brainers for this week, but even Rutledge and Nelson are advisable in mixed leagues, given their eligibility at second base. Nelson hit .347 with a .911 OPS at home last year.

Detroit Tigers

Schedule: @SEA3, @LAA3
Worth a second look: Alex Avila, Torii Hunter
Less than advisable: Victor Martinez, Jhonny Peralta
During what was a miserable, injury-plagued 2012, Avila actually posted respectable numbers against right-handed pitchers, batting .262 with a .796 OPS. He gets five this week -- and some of them lightweights like Blake Beavan, Garrett Richards and Joe Blanton. With a couple home runs in his last four games, he could be on the verge of a big week. Coming back from knee surgery, Martinez is 3 for 25 and now playing with a stitched thumb. Sit him until he proves himself.

Houston Astros

Schedule: @OAK3, CLE3
Worth a second look: Jason Castro, Marwin Gonzalez
Less than advisable: J.D. Martinez
Though Gonzalez's power surge is unlikely to continue, he, like many switch-hitters, is significantly better against right-handers than left-handers, batting .291 compared to .138 for his career, so righties like A.J. Griffin, Bartolo Colon, Ubaldo Jimenez, Brett Myers and Carlos Carrasco should help him remain the hot hand at a weak position this week. With Fernando Martinez back from the DL this weekend, J.D. Martinez's time as a semi-regular is likely done.

Kansas City Royals

Schedule: @ATL2, @BOS3
Worth a second look: None
Less than advisable: Eric Hosmer, Lorenzo Cain
The problem for the Royals this week is they're the only team playing five games, and three of them are against some pretty tough pitchers in Kris Medlen, Mike Minor and Clay Buchholz. With the DH spot unavailable in Atlanta, Hosmer is likely to sit at least one game, leaving him with a four-game week. Cain has been heating up but lacks the big-game potential to factor in such a short week.

Los Angeles Angels

Schedule: @MIN3, DET3
Worth a second look: None
Less than advisable: Erick Aybar
Aybar's bruised left heel showed enough improvement after Wednesday's game that a trip to the DL is no longer a foregone conclusion, but it's still enough of a possibility that you're better off sitting him for an Andrelton Simmons or Jean Segura type. The six righties on tap wouldn't do him much good anyway. He hit about 60 points higher against lefties last season.

Los Angeles Dodgers

Schedule: SD3, @BAL3
Worth a second look: Andre Ethier
Less than advisable: None
Ethier has been a disappointment so far, but when you consider the Dodgers have faced five left-handers in their eight games, it's not too surprising. Ethier hit only .222 with a .606 OPS against lefties last year compared to .325 with a .945 OPS against righties. The Dodgers do face two lefties this week, but the four righties on the schedule -- Jason Marquis, Tyson Ross, Jason Hammel and Jake Arrieta -- are the kind that end slumps.
Best Five Hitting Schedules
Team Schedule
1. Rockies NYM4, ARI3
2. Rangers @CHC3, SEA3
3. Reds PHI3, MIA4
4. Diamondbacks @NYY3, @COL3
5. Red Sox TB1, @CLE3, KC3

Miami Marlins

Schedule: WAS3, @CIN4
Worth a second look: None
Less than advisable: Justin Ruggiano
Maybe if you play in a deep NL-only league, players like Placido Polanco and Donovan Solano might have some value at weak positions during a week when the Marlins are playing seven games, but as much trouble as they've had scoring runs so far, who can I honestly endorse here? Ruggiano did most of his damage against lefties last year, so with six righties on tap, I wouldn't expect a bounce-back week.

Milwaukee Brewers

Schedule: SF3, CHC3
Worth a second look: Norichika Aoki
Less than advisable: Carlos Gomez, Jonathan Lucroy
Aoki is hot enough, batting .500 (11 for 22) with three doubles and two steals over his last five games, that the matchups shouldn't have much say in whether you start or sit him. But Ryan Vogelsong, Matt Cain and Jeff Samardzija won't do much good for anyone else. I wouldn't suggest you drop Lucroy, but given the number of hot-hitting catchers emerging off the waiver wire right now, if you can afford to roster two, Lucroy is probably the one to sit.

Minnesota Twins

Schedule: LAA3, @CHW3
Worth a second look: Justin Morneau, Darin Mastroianni
Less than advisable: Aaron Hicks
It may not happen this week, but with rookie Aaron Hicks bombing at the plate and angering manager Ron Gardenhire with his lack of hustle, the transition to speedster Mastroianni in center field seems inevitable. The 27-year-old, who was hobbled by a bruised ankle at the start of the year, has league-leading steals potential, so even now, he's startable in Rotisserie leagues if you need help in that category.

New York Mets

Schedule: @COL4, WAS3
Worth a second look: Lucas Duda, Daniel Murphy
Less than advisable: John Buck
Yes, it's true. Buck, the lord of the long ball, opens the week with four games at Coors Field, and I want nothing to do with him. He's performed so far over his head to this point that you've probably missed your opportunity with him. A course correction is coming, and if it doesn't during that first series, it's sure to against Stephen Strasburg, Gio Gonzalez and Jordan Zimmermann to end the week.

New York Yankees

Schedule: ARI3, @TOR3
Worth a second look: Vernon Wells
Less than advisable: Travis Hafner
The Yankees haven't faced a left-hander since Jon Lester in the season opener, so going against Wade Miley, Patrick Corbin and Mark Buehrle this week is uncharted territory for them. It can only be a good thing for the already-hot Vernon Wells, though, whose career batting average is about 30 points higher against lefties than righties. He's adequate in leagues that require five outfielders.

Oakland Athletics

Schedule: HOU3, @TB3
Worth a second look: Coco Crisp, Jed Lowrie
Less than advisable: Brandon Moss, John Jaso
The Athletics have some of the hottest hitters in baseball right now, and pitchers like Brad Peacock, Bud Norris, Jeremy Hellickson and Roberto Hernandez figure to keep it that way. Unfortunately, the other two pitchers on tap, Erik Bedard and Matt Moore, are tough enough lefties that the Athletics are likely to sit Moss and Jaso against them, and I wouldn't recommend any player destined for a four-game week.

Philadelphia Phillies

Schedule: @CIN3, STL4
Worth a second look: Ryan Howard, Domonic Brown, Ben Revere
Less than advisable: None
In short, any Phillie worth rostering is worth starting this week (John Mayberry and Erik Kratz don't quite make the cut for me). Howard, Brown and Revere aren't off to the greatest starts this season, but none of them look lost at the plate either. With seven games at tiny ballparks and six right-handers on the schedule (which is especially important for Howard and Brown), I have a feeling all three come alive this week.

Pittsburgh Pirates

Schedule: STL3, ATL4
Worth a second look: Garrett Jones
Less than advisable: Pedro Alvarez, Starling Marte
With the Pirates facing a disproportionate number of lefties to start the season, Jones has been sort of an afterthought in Fantasy, but he hit .289 with an .888 OPS against righties last year. With six on tap this week, he's a sleeper for deeper leagues. The specific pitchers are pretty tough, though. Marte, one of the few Pirates who's been hitting well, has poor splits against righties and at home so far in his career.
Worst Five Hitting Schedules
Team Schedule
1. Padres @LAD3, @SF3
2. Orioles TB3, LAD3
3. Royals @ATL2, @BOS3
4. Brewers SF3, CHC3
5. Pirates STL3, ATL4

San Diego Padres

Schedule: @LAD3, @SF3
Worth a second look: None
Less than advisable: Yonder Alonso, Jedd Gyorko, Everth Cabrera, Chase Headley
In a week when few teams have bad matchups, the Padres have the worst, facing off against Clayton Kershaw and Madison Bumgarner, among others. None of their fringies are good enough to start with those hurlers on tap. Headley doesn't normally fall into that category, of course, but the possibility of him picking up a few at-bats at the end of the week may cause some Fantasy owners to waver. Better give him more time.

San Francisco Giants

Schedule: @MIL3, SD3
Worth a second look: Angel Pagan
Less than advisable: Brandon Belt
Apart from Buster Posey and Pablo Sandoval, who are too obvious to mention, really, Pagan is the Giant swinging the hottest bat right now, batting .429 (9 for 21) with a double, a triple and a steal in his last five games. He's startable even with so-so matchups this week. Belt may eventually earn that status, but with him still regaining his strength after losing 10 pounds to an early-season illness, you can do better.

Seattle Mariners

Schedule: DET3, @TEX3
Worth a second look: Kendrys Morales, Kyle Seager, Raul Ibanez
Less than advisable: Dustin Ackley
Looking at last year's splits, the five righties on tap should benefit both Kendrys Morales, who has been heating up lately, and Kyle Seager, who hasn't but who hit .364 with a .977 OPS in 44 at-bats at Texas last year, where the Mariners close out their week. Ibanez figures to be the prime beneficiary of Michael Saunders' sprained shoulder, at least against righties. Deeper-league owners, take note.

St. Louis Cardinals

Schedule: @PIT3, @PHI4
Worth a second look: Matt Carpenter
Less than advisable: Jon Jay, Matt Adams
Adams has raised eyebrows by homering in back-to-back games, the first as a pinch-hitter, but manager Mike Matheny has suggested the rookie will play only two or three times per week -- and not always at Allen Craig's expense. The distribution of at-bats between Carpenter, Freese and Daniel Descalso at second and third base is the one more pertinent to Fantasy owners. The way he's swinging the bat, Carpenter could sit twice during a seven-game week and still deliver starter-worthy numbers.

Tampa Bay Rays

Schedule: @BOS1, @BAL3, OAK3
Worth a second look: None
Less than advisable: Yunel Escobar
The only Rays to play every game through the team's first nine games are Evan Longoria, Ben Zobrist, Desmond Jennings and Yunel Escobar. With all that mixing and matching, none of the borderline types are especially advisable even in a seven-game week. Escobar qualifies as a borderline type, but considering he's off to a 3-for-30 start, you can do better.

Texas Rangers

Schedule: @CHC3, SEA3
Worth a second look: Lance Berkman
Less than advisable: Leonys Martin, Mitch Moreland
Fear not, Berkman owners. With only Moreland standing in his way, the Rangers should have no qualms playing the 37-year-old at first base during the three games they'll be without the DH. He may sit once during that series, but chances are he'll sit once a week anyway. Speaking of sitting, Martin has done too much of it so far for me to trust him in mixed leagues, good matchups or not.

Toronto Blue Jays

Schedule: CHW4, NYY3
Worth a second look: J.P. Arencibia
Less than advisable: Colby Rasmus
Arencibia's high strikeout rate hasn't held him back so far. As long as he's hot, you might as well make the most of his power potential. He's always fared better against lefties, and some of the Blue Jays' toughest matchups in a relatively easy week are Jose Quintana, Chris Sale and Andy Pettitte. Rasmus has just as many home runs so far but was almost a non-factor against lefties last season.

Washington Nationals

Schedule: @MIA3, @NYM3
Worth a second look: Jayson Werth, Denard Span
Less than advisable: Wilson Ramos, Kurt Suzuki
Yet another of the many teams with terrific matchups this week, about the only Nationals you'd consider sitting are those mired slumps, which basically just includes Ryan Zimmerman. He's obviously too high-end to sit. Given the way Ramos and Suzuki are alternating starts, you should probably avoid both in standard mixed leagues. Werth, meanwhile, is looking like a must-start again now that his wrist is back to full strength.

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
Rockies' Jhoulys Chacin ready for bounce back 2015 season
by Brandon Wise | CBSSports.com
(12:46 am ET) Rockies pitcher Jhoulys Chacin had a tough 2014 season. After injuring his shoulder in spring training, Chacin struggled in 11 starts, posting a 1-7 record with a 5.40 ERA in 63 1/3 innings. He suffered right rotator cuff strain, which forced him to miss nearly half the season.

However, manager Walt Weiss is happy with Chacin's progress this offseason.

"He's doing great. He's been throwing and working out really hard. He's had a really good offseason," Weiss said to The Denver Post.

Teammate and pitcher Jorge De La Rosa thinks 2015 will be much kinder to Chacin.

"He surprised me a lot," De La Rosa said. "He was playing catch with me every day (in Scottsdale, Ariz.), and his arm looks really good. His ball really had some life, and he's lost some weight. I think he's getting stronger. He's going to have a good year."


Report: Braves sign reliever David Carpenter
by Sean d'Oliveira | CBSSports.com
(1/24/2015) The Braves signed relief pitcher David Carpenter, reports Baseball America.

Carpenter spent the last three seasons pitching for the Angels. During his career, Carpenter has pitched 43 innings and produced a 5.23 ERA.


Rockies' Troy Tulowitzki wants to move past injury concerns
by Sean d'Oliveira | CBSSports.com
(1/24/2015) Rockies shortstop Troy Tulowitzki has heard the rumors about being injury-prone and he said it only motivates him to play better, reports MLB.com.

Tulowitzki only appeared in 91 games during the 2014 season and said his main goal for 2015 is to stay on the field.

"I've heard that I'm injury-prone. I've heard that I'm getting older. I like it," he said. "That stuff fuels me. It makes my workouts better. It makes me want it that much more. I just want to prove that I can do it. For so long, I've worked so hard to try to stay on the field. That's what keeps driving me - to stay on the field, help this team win and try to solidify myself as the best player in the game."

He added that he wants to play between 140 and 160 games, but he knows it will be a challenge as he gets older.

"It's been a battle for me, no doubt," Tulowitzki said. "I do everything I possibly can to prepare for the season and make myself healthy."


Red Sox's Hanley Ramirez confident he can play outfield
by Sean d'Oliveira | CBSSports.com
(1/24/2015) When Hanley Ramirez makes his spring training debut, he’ll be trying to learn new teammates and a new position.

The Red Sox signed Ramirez in the offseason with the intent of having him play in left field. Ramirez has never played in the outfield during his career, but has been working on outfield mechanics, including tracking balls and hitting the cutoff man. Ramirez believes the switch from the infield to the outfield will be seamless, once he receives enough experience, reports ESPN.com.

"I think if I put in all the work that I need to put to get better it's not going to be that hard," Ramirez said.


Tigers sign pitcher Al Alburquerque for $1.725 million
by Brandon Wise | CBSSports.com
(1/24/2015) The Tigers have re-signed pitcher Al Alburquerque to a $1.725 million contract with a $12,500 bonus for 75 appearances, according to CBSSports.com Baseball Insider Jon Heyman.

Alburquerque originally filed for $2.05 million in arbitration while Detroit offered $1.375 million, according to Heyman. The five-year veteran went 3-1 in 2014 with a 2.51 ERA in 72 games. 


Astros ask third baseman Matt Dominguez to learn first base
by Sean d'Oliveira | CBSSports.com
(1/24/2015) With the Astros recently acquiring infielder Luis Valbuena, third baseman Matt Dominguez has been asked to start learning how to play first base, reports the Houston Chronicle.

"You get a bigger glove, so it can't be that hard," Dominguez said.

Dominguez has spent the last two seasons as the full-time third baseman for the Astors, but he will compete with Valbuena for the starting role this season. If Valbuena wins the third base job, the Astros want Dominguez to be able to switch to first base.

"[Astros manager A.J. Hinch] thinks I'm going to be a third baseman, but he wants to also help me try to make the team by adding a little more versatility and move around a little bit more," Dominguez said. "Do whatever I need to do."


Citing health, Allen Craig hopes to play well for Red Sox
by Sean d'Oliveira | CBSSports.com
(1/24/2015) After declaring himself healthy, Red Sox outfielder Allen Craig hopes to justify the Red Sox’s decision to trade for him, reports the Boston Herald.

Craig suffered a ligament tear in his left foot in 2013 and struggled throughout 2014, hitting .215 with eight home runs and 46 RBI.

"I'm just going to go to spring training and compete wherever I'm at and just play the game like I always have," Craig said. "The Red Sox traded for me because they believe in me, so I want to go out there and play well."


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by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(1/24/2015) White Sox catcher Tyler Flowers told reporters he doesn't plan on giving up his starting job easily, per MLB.com. On Thursday, Geovany Soto signed a minor-league deal with an invite to spring training.

"I really don't think there's much of a question going in there," Flowers said. "I would definitely say it's my job to lose. Barring an injury, there's really no doubt I'll be the guy catching opening day."

Flowers avoided arbitration by agreeing to a one-year deal, worth $2.675 million for this season. The 28-year-old hit .241/.297/.396 with 15 homers and 50 RBI over 407 at-bats in 2014.

"At this point, there's no reason to move off of that," general manager Rick Hahn said. "Competition is good. It brings out the best in people. And if someone comes in and fights for that job and earns it, I'm sure we'll be flexible. But certainly, we view Tyler as the starter."


Red Sox 2B Dustin Pedroia: 'I plan on playing 162' games
by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(1/24/2015) Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia, who is coming off September wrist surgery, told reporters he plans to play all 162 games this season, per Comcast SportsNet Northeast.

"I plan on playing 162," said Pedroia. "[Farrell] said that because my numbers were impacted [by the injury]. But I don't look at it any different. I mean, I played 178 games (in 2013) with a torn thumb. Obviously, I'm human -- the next year, you're going to have a tough time."

Pedroia has been limited the past three seasons due to a number of injuries. He injured his wrist in the home opener and wasn't the same the rest of the way. The 31-year-old Pedroia hit just .278 with seven home runs, 33 doubles and 53 RBI in 135 games last season. He has hit fewer than 10 home runs in two straight seasons.

Pedroia reiterated that he's at 100 percent to start spring training.

"I'm back...you'll see," Pedroia said. "I'm good, ready to go. If [the season] started tomorrow, I'd be good. I'm very excited. Obviously, after last year, it didn't go very well, so we've got a lot of stuff to prove.'"


Report: Brandon Beachy finalizing deal with new team
by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(1/24/2015) Free agent pitcher Brandon Beachy is zeroing in on an agreement with a new team, reports Darren Wolfson of 1500 ESPN Twin Cities on Saturday. Beachy, who drew interest from several teams this offseason, is not expected to return to Minnesota, per the report.

The 28-year-old missed all of 2014 while recovering from Tommy John surgery. He owns a 3.23 career ERA along with a 275:86 K:BB ratio in 267 2/3 innings across 46 starts.


 
 
 
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