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Waiver Wire: Cash in on Cashner

Senior Fantasy Writer
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Since the Head-to-Head loophole of letting starting pitchers slot in as relievers continues to exist, owners are going to want to take a closer look at Andrew Cashner this week.

The 26-year-old, who started the season in the bullpen, is now a full-fledged member of the rotation. Cashner apparently wanted it so badly that he didn't even require a long stretching-out period. He went from four innings on April 20 to six on April 26, jumping from 65 pitches thrown to 83. His next start should be a full-fledged Cashnerpalooza, with 95-100 pitches thrown, a flirtation with seven innings, and a near-guarantee of one strikeout per inning.

Cashner isn't Tony Cingrani, but he can offer a Fantasy team something close. He has that relief pitcher eligibility. He can strike out a batter per inning. And he should be able to keep his ERA (2.76 in 205 1/3 minor league innings) and WHIP (1.19) at decent levels. With his fastball averaging 95.7 mph in his two starts, Cashner seems primed for a good deal of success

One very important note on Cashner for his would-be owners to consider, however, is this: his career high in innings pitched is 111 1/3, which he managed in 2010. The closest approximation to this would be Jose Quintana, whose career high in innings pitched before last year was 102. In 2012, Quintana threw 185 innings. His final six games, all in September, were decidedly ugly: a 6.75 ERA and 1.99 WHIP. If Cashner is having a solid season through late July, you might want to consider the innings hit on his arm, and begin feeling out offers for him.

But that's still several months away. For now, grab him in your leagues, exploit the rules, and enjoy your Andrew Cashners!

The Big Leaps

Nate McLouth, OF, Orioles (75 percent ownership, up from 14 percent)

I'm not in the business of regurgitating information two days in a row on the site. My colleague Scott White went very deep into the pros of Nate McLouth in his "Reality Check" column Tuesday. I will add this, however: after his ascent in 2007 and his two big seasons in 2008 and 2009, McLouth just fell apart in 2010 and 2011 in Atlanta. Reasons? He played through abdominal and shoulder pain in 2011 (he was eventually shut down in July) and was concussed in June of 2010 after starting off the season incredibly cold. These may not be stone-cold factors in his seeming demise, but something clicked back on in Baltimore, and McLouth seems to be re-energized.

He doesn't quite have the upside of a "must-add," but if you're looking for a solid outfielder who can be slotted in and left to produce at an Alejandro De Aza-type level, McLouth could be your man.

Over/under on home runs (season): 17
Over/under on average (season): .255
Over/under on steals (season): 11.5

Nolan Arenado, 3B, Rockies (63 percent, up from 25)

Most Added Players (as of 5/1)
Player Name % change
1. Nate McLouth, OF, Orioles 61
2. Nolan Arenado, 3B, Rockies 39
3. Josh Donaldson, 3B, Athletics 38
4. Kyle Kendrick, SP, Phillies 35
5. Yuniesky Betancourt, 1B, Brewers 32
6. Andrew Cashner, SP, Padres 32
7. Russell Martin, C, Pirates 24
8. Justin Grimm, SP, Rangers 23
9. Kevin Gregg, RP, Cubs 20
10. Jose Valverde, RP, Tigers 17

Arenado was recalled without much warning, and the collateral damage -- the release of clubhouse favorite Chris Nelson, who wasn't exactly terrible (.242 average with an ugly .600 OPS) -- was a bit of a surprise, as well. But Arenado is here, and it looks like he's not going anywhere. As one of Colorado's (and baseball's) top prospects, Arenado can offer a team some help in power and batting average.

Arenado enters a pretty solid situation, joining a lineup with Troy Tulowitzki, Carlos Gonzalez, Wilin Rosario, and Dexter Fowler. He's not expected to carry the team, but should benefit in counting stats (runs, RBI) just from being in that lineup. While fellow third base call-up Anthony Rendon is in danger of being sent back to the minors when Ryan Zimmerman is back from the DL, Arenado has no such worries -- Reid Brignac isn't going to push Arenado for his job, and the man he's replacing is searching for a new job with another team.

For the rest of the season, I'd still rather have Mike Moustakas on my team than Arenado, but I've picked Arenado up in any league possible -- even if I already have Moustakas -- because he'll probably play well enough to develop into a viable trading chip.

Over/under on average (season): .269
Over/under on home runs (season): 17
Over/under on his ownership by May 15: 90 percent

Unadvised Drop of the Week

Ben Revere, OF, Phillies (63 percent, down 11 percent)

With a .207 average and five steals, Revere isn't quite getting it done for his owners. But there are some encouraging signs here. In the seven games before Revere was knocked out with a minor injury, he hit .240 and scored four runs. Additionally, his BABIP this season is .237, well below his career average of .303.

Revere is walking at about his career rate, but his 15.1 percent strikeout rate suggest that he's maybe pressing with the new team, in a new league. Revere is only 24 years old, and hit .294 with 40 steals last year. We've seen players struggle a little when switching leagues. We've also seen Revere struggle early in the season -- in 108 April at-bats, Revere has a career .213 average and .248 OBP. He may just be a slow starter.

I'm willing to give Revere, who will eventually return to the leadoff spot and hit ahead of a very underrated Phillies lineup, the benefit of the doubt. He'll turn things around, get back on base, and should be good for 35-40 steals on the season.

Over/under on home runs (season): 0
Over/under on batting average (season): .280

The Flavor of Next Week

Trevor Bauer, SP, Indians (36 percent ownership)

So far, Bauer's major league career has been a big bouncy ball of disappointment -- a 5.91 ERA and 1.69 WHIP in five starts. But Bauer's four starts last year came with an injured groin, and his one start this year was just killed by his control -- in five innings, he walked seven batters (but only gave up two hits!)

Bauer will start for Cleveland on Wednesday, and even though the team is calling it a spot start, there's a pretty good chance that if Bauer pitches to a level of which he's capable (he's been a top 15 prospect each of the last two years), he can stick around and work himself into a two-start situation next week.

Bauer currently has a 2.50 ERA and 1.17 WHIP in three Triple-A starts this season. He's struck out 24 batters in 18 innings, and has only walked six total batters in those three starts. There is skill here, but Bauer has yet to put it on full display in the majors. And this makes him a wonderful target for Fantasy players -- Bauer has pretty much flamed out twice, giving would-be owners a touch of weariness when they're about to click on that big green cross next to his name to add him. Blow past the hesitation -- the upside of Bauer is too great to pass up, especially if he manages to stick around for more than this one start.

Over/under on starts (season): 24
Over/under on ERA (season): 3.80
Over/under on K/9 (season): 9.5

American League-only fun

David Phelps, SP, Yankees (21 percent ownership)

For most of his minor league career -- 90 of 91 appearances, to be exact -- Phelps was a starter. And he was an exceptionally good one, with a 2.51 ERA and 1.17 WHIP over 515 1/3 innings. It's a little unfair to judge Phelps by his track record as a starter in the majors, as his only real consistent run came in early September, when he had to stretch out and contend with an arm that had been accustomed to pitching relief innings for most of the season.

Phelps probably won't strike out a batter per inning (his nine strikeouts in four innings last week were probably an aberration) and he may need a start or two to get stretched out, but AL-only owners would be wise to add him in their leagues, especially in Head-to-Head formats, where he can be slotted as a reliever.

Over/under on starts (season): 15
Over/under on ERA (season): 3.20

National League-only fun

Francisco Liriano, SP, Pirates (21 percent)

This recommendation is based on one factor: Ray Searage, the pitching coach for the Pirates, who resurrected A.J. Burnett's career and guided the Pittsburgh staff to the 13th-best ERA in the majors last year. Burnett is the only pitcher on the staff who had marked success before joining the team, and Liriano fits that bill -- a once-brilliant starter who has fallen on some very hard times, looking to return to what worked for him earlier. I'm not fully convinced Searage is Leo Mazzone 2.0, but he has found success with a variety of pitchers, and Liriano could be next in line.

In his current minor league rehab assignment, Liriano has improved with every start -- his last two have been dominant -- 11 total innings, with a 1.64 ERA, 0.73 WHIP and 17 strikeouts. With Jonathan Sanchez gone, James McDonald struggling and Jeanmar Gomez not exactly the most exciting of options, Liriano should be up relatively soon, and could carry over his recent success to the majors. for what it's worth, Liriano -- in his first go-round in the National League -- has a stellar track record in interleague play, with a 3.31 ERA, 1.12 WHIP, and 126 strikeouts in 117 innings pitched. It's a risk, but a calculated one -- adding him now could be a sly move, as Liriano's minor league exploits will gain more attention and the secret will soon be out.

Over/under on starts (season): 21
Over/under on ERA (season): 3.70

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' Michael Cuddyer out of lineup, Eric Campbell batting cleanup
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(2:54 pm ET) Mets left fielder Michael Cuddyer is not in the lineup for Tuesday's game against the Marlins.

Cuddyer has started 19 of the Mets' 20 games, serving as the cleanup hitter every time. Third baseman Eric Campbell, who found himself in the No. 4 spot during Cuddyer's prior off-day, will serve in the same capacity Tuesday.

The Mets are underdogs (+102) in Miami Tuesday.


Jays' Ryan Goins draws the start at shortstop, Dalton Pompey out
by Brandon Wise | CBSSports.com
(2:54 pm ET) Blue Jays infielder Ryan Goins will start at shortstop Tuesday for the injured Jose Reyes, the team announced. Goins fills in for Reyes, who was placed on the 15-day DL Monday with a rib injury. Goins is hitting .238 in 21 at-bats this season.

Outfielder Dalton Pompey is out of the lineup, with Danny Valencia taking over in left field and Kevin Pillar playing center. 


Yankees recall Chase Whitley, option Gregorio Petit to Triple-A
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(2:50 pm ET) The Yankees recalled pitcher Chase Whitley from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre on Tuesday. To clear a roster spot, infielder Gregorio Petit was optioned to Triple-A.

Indians' Kipnis, Chisenhall, Santana have good history vs. Guthrie
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(2:47 pm ET) Indians second baseman Jason Kipnis, first baseman Carlos Santana and third baseman Lonnie Chisenhall all have a pretty good track record against Royals starting pitcher Jeremy Guthrie, who is on the hill Tuesday for Kansas City.

Kipins is batting .550 (11 for 20) with two home runs, three doubles and nine RBI in his career against Guthrie. While Santana is batting .476 (10 for 21) with two home runs, three doubles and four RBI, and Chisenhall is batting .533 (8 for 15) with one double, one home run and five RBI against the veteran right-hander.


Marlins' Marcell Ozuna batting cleanup in fourth straight game
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(2:44 pm ET) Marlins center fielder Marcell Ozuna is serving as the cleanup hitter Tuesday for the fourth straight game.

Ozuna opened the season in the No. 6 spot before moving to the fifth slot a week ago. He then shifted to the cleanup role Saturday and has remained there since. The center fielder has hit has hit .270/.342/.317 with four RBI in 63 at-bats.

The Marlins are favorites (-112) against the Mets Tuesday, per VegasInsider.com.


Nationals recall A.J. Cole, option Rafael Martin
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(2:30 pm ET) The Nationals recalled pitcher A.J. Cole from Triple-A Syracuse Tuesday and optioned pitcher Rafael Martin to the same club, the team announced.

Cole will start Tuesday against the Braves in what will be his major-league debut. He's posted a 2.40 ERA and 10:1 K:BB ratio in 15 innings with Syracuse across three starts. Cole was rated the No. 91 prospect in baseball by Baseball America prior to the 2015 season.

Martin, who struck out five straight batters in two scoreless innings in his debut April 15, has posted a 9.00 ERA and 11:2 K:BB ratio in five innings.


Reds' Zack Cozart batting second for second straight game
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(2:20 pm ET) Reds shortstop Zack Cozart is batting second for the second straight game in Tuesday's matchup against the Brewers.

Cozart was a fixture in the No. 8 spot during the first two seasons, but a spate of excellent play recently earned him his first look in the second slot Thursday. After two more days hitting in the bottom third of the lineup, he's slotted second in each of the team's first two games against the Brewers this season. Cozart has hit .300/.333/.557 with four home runs and 10 RBI in 70 at-bats.

The Reds are heavy favorites (-190) against the Brewers Tuesday with Johnny Cueto on the mound.


Reds' Devin Mesoraco remains out of lineup Tuesday
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(2:16 pm ET) Reds catcher Devin Mesoraco (hip) remains out of the lineup for Tuesday's game against the Brewers.

Mesoraco hasn't started since April 12 while recovering from a hip impingement, but he's served as a pinch-hitter sporadically over the last week. Bryan Pena draws the start at catcher and bats eighth Tuesday.

The Reds are heavy favorites (-190) against the Brewers Tuesday with Johnny Cueto on the mound.


Red Sox third baseman Pablo Sandoval back in the lineup Tuesday
by Brandon Wise | CBSSports.com
(2:16 pm ET) Red Sox third baseman Pablo Sandoval is back in the starting lineup Tuesday against the Blue Jays after suffering a neck injury in Monday's game. 

Sandoval left Monday's game after making a diving catch and hitting his face in the grass. Manager John Farrell said after the game he was dealing with whiplash-like symptoms.

 Sandoval is hitting .294 with two home runs and 11 RBI in 68 at-bats this season. The Red Sox are currently the favorites (-120) against Toronto.


Red Sox first baseman Mike Napoli out of the lineup again Tuesday
by Brandon Wise | CBSSports.com
(2:11 pm ET) Red Sox first baseman Mike Napoli is out of the starting lineup again Tuesday against the Blue Jays, the team announced per ESPN.com.

Napoli missed Monday's game while battling an illness. Daniel Nava will draw his second straight start at first and bat sixth. He is hitting .167 in 36 at-bats this season.


 
 
 
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