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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
Huston Street earns four-out save for Angels
by Shawn Krest | CBSSports.com
(1:10 am ET) Huston Street recorded his 15th save of the season for the Angels in Friday's win over Detroit.

Street entered with the bases loaded in the eighth inning and protected a two-run lead, as he recorded a four-out save. 

Street didn't allow a baserunner and struck out two. 


Hector Santiago moves to 4-3 with win for Angels
by Shawn Krest | CBSSports.com
(1:09 am ET) Angels starter Hector Santiago moved to 4-3 on the season with a win over Detroit on Friday. 

Santiago went 7 1/3 shutout innings, allowing just three hits. He walked three and struck out seven. 

Santiago's next start is Wednesday, against Tampa Bay. 


Braves 1B Freddie Freeman hits solo home run on Friday
by Jason Lempert | Staff Writer
(1:09 am ET) Braves first baseman Freddie Freeman hit his first home run in nearly a month in Friday's 4-2 loss to the Giants. Freeman came up in the top of the ninth with his team down by three. He proceeded to take closer Santiago Casilla deep for a solo home run, his sixth of the season. But it wasn't enough as the Giants were able to hold on for the victory.

The home run was Freeman's only hit of the game, and he has now collected just eight hits in 36 at-bats over his last 10 games. 


Chris Colabello homers in Blue Jays' win
by Shawn Krest | CBSSports.com
(1:06 am ET) Blue Jays left fielder Chris Colabello hit a game-winning home run in Friday's win over Minnesota. 

Colabello hit a two-run shot in the top of the ninth to break a 4-4 tie. He went 1 for 4 on the night and hit his fourth home run. He now has 14 RBI. 


Josh Donaldson homers, drives in three for Blue Jays
by Shawn Krest | CBSSports.com
(1:05 am ET) Blue Jays third baseman Josh Donaldson hit a three run home run to help lead Toronto to a win over Minnesota on Friday. 

Donaldson went 2 for 5. The homer was his 14th of the year and brought him to 38 RBI. 


Giants closer Santiago Casilla gives up a run, gets 15th save
by Jason Lempert | Staff Writer
(1:03 am ET) Giants closer Santiago Casilla made things interesting on Friday night, but was able to nail down his 15th save of the season in the 4-2 win over the Braves. Casilla entered the game with a 4-1 lead in the top of the ninth inning.

With one out, the right-hander promptly served up a solo home run to Freddie Freeman and then walked Nick Markakis. After getting Chris Johnson to strike out, Casilla loaded the bases by walking A.J. Pierzynski.

Finally, Casilla was able to get Todd Cunningham to ground out and end the game. Though shaky, this was the first time Casilla gave up a run since April 25, and sports a fine 1.66 ERA on the season. 


Giants C Buster Posey homers, drives in three in win on Friday
by Jason Lempert | Staff Writer
(12:58 am ET) Giants catcher Buster Posey was involved in all of the team's offense during Friday's 4-2 victory over the Braves. Posey got the scoring started with a two-run home run in the first inning, and then added an RBI-double and scored a run in the eighth.

The home run was Posey's eighth of the season. The two-hit performance brought his season batting average just over the .300 mark. 


Braves SP Mike Foltynewicz gets tough-luck loss on Friday
by Jason Lempert | Staff Writer
(12:56 am ET) Braves starter Mike Foltynewicz went 6 2/3 strong innings in the 4-2 loss to the Giants on Friday. The young right-hander allowed two runs on five hits, walked one and struck out eight. The only runs he gave up came on a two-run home run from Buster Posey in the first inning.

Strangely, Foltynewicz actually struck out three batters in his final inning, but two of them reached on wild pitches. Luis Avilan was called upon to get the final out of the seventh. 

Nevertheless, it was still an impressive outing for the 24-year-old. Foltynewicz will take a 3-2 record and 3.96 ERA into his next start, scheduled for Wednesday in Arizona.


Giants SP Tim Hudson stymies Braves offense in win on Friday
by Jason Lempert | Staff Writer
(12:55 am ET) Giants starter Tim Hudson was excellent against his former team on Friday. Hudson limited the Braves to one run on five hits over seven innings. He struck out four and did not allow a walk in the 4-2 victory.

Hudson (3-4) lowered his ERA to 4.62 with the superb outing. The only run he gave up came on a Cameron Maybin RBI single in the third inning. He needed just 83 pitches to get through his seven innings.

The veteran right-hander will look to keep rolling in his next start, scheduled for Wednesday at home against the Pirates.


Twins' Glen Perkins suffers loss after ninth inning meltdown
by Shawn Krest | CBSSports.com
(12:42 am ET) Twins closer Glen Perkins took the loss against Toronto on Friday, after giving up two runs in 1/3 of an inning.

Perkins entered the tie game to start the ninth and allowed three hits, including a home run, and a walk. 

Perkins dropped to 0-1 and saw his ERA grow to 1.96.


 
 
 
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