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Waiver Wire: Morrison making sweet music

Senior Fantasy Writer
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Logan Morrison is 25 years old. He has a 23 home run season under his belt (2010), was on pace to equal that in the following season (2011), and he can boast an impressive run of minor league seasons, including two years being ranked among the top 20 prospects in all of baseball (according to Baseball America).

Most Added Players (as of 7/10)
Player % added
1. Ivan Nova, SP, Yankees 27
2. Logan Morrison, 1B, Marlins 25
3. Juan Francisco, 1B, Brewers 23
4. Ricky Nolasco, SP, Dodgers 21
5. Jeremy Hefner, SP, Mets 20
6. Raul Ibanez, OF, Mariners 17
7. Randall Delgado, SP, D-Backs 17
8. Wilson Ramos, C, Nationals 16
9. Alfonso Soriano, OF, Cubs 15
10. Martin Perez, SP, Rangers 15

However, Morrison has shown a somewhat concerning propensity to get injured or disciplined in his short career. In four years, he has accrued just 1,077 at-bats, and has hit the 300 at-bat mark just once in those four major league campaigns.

Still, the minor discipline issue and gripes over his frequent tweeting tend to get overblown, and Morrison's injuries -- while frustrating -- shouldn't cloud his talent. He has 25-30 home run power and can steal the occasional base. He doesn't strike out a ton and contributes enough doubles and walks to make an impact in Head-to-Head formats. While his batting average is going to be impossible to predict -- it could range anywhere from .240 to .285 -- Morrison offers enough value to merit 75 percent ownership, instead of the 50-60 percent in which he currently wallows.

The Big Leaps

Hector Santiago, RP, White Sox (47 percent ownership, up from 35 percent)

Santiago may have a case as one of the more head-scratchingly underowned pitchers in the Fantasy game. He's currently sporting a 3.49 ERA, 1.31 WHIP, and has 82 strikeouts in 80 innings. That alone should turn up a 50-55 percent ownership. But combine that line with the fact that he has relief eligibility (and can be used as a SPARP), and Santiago should see a bigger boost.

But we can take the Santiago love a little deeper, because his overall numbers take into account his 11 appearances in relief, which dragged him down. As a starter, Santiago has a 3.36 ERA and 1.27 WHIP, with 67 strikeouts in 61 2/3 innings. Nearly every measurable statistic improves for Santiago as a starter: his ERA, WHIP, K/9 (9.8 as a starter vs. 7.4 as a reliever), and K/BB ratio (2.39 as a starter vs. 1.50 in relief).

Granted, Santiago speculators may be a little tentative because he could be in danger of losing his rotation spot when Jake Peavy returns, but if Santiago just keeps up the pace he's on -- and that's a very real possibility -- it shouldn't be a concern, as he'll force his way into a permanent spot.

Over/under on ERA (season): 3.65
Over/under on K/9 (season): 8.9

Brian Dozier, 2B, Twins (42 percent ownership, up from 28 percent)

Dozier is hitting .238 with eight home runs and eight steals. In H2H formats, he ranks 16th among shortstops and 17th among second basemen. Yet he is one of the most-added players in Fantasy, thanks to a recent hot streak that Dozier might actually be able to sustain.

Over the last 21 days, Dozier ranks second among shortstops and third among second basemen. He doesn't do a lot that's flashy -- his four home runs are tied with six other second basemen for the lead, he's top five in doubles (with six), top 10 in steals (two), top three in walks (14) and runs scored (10), and is sixth in OBP among 2Bs with 25 or more at-bats. And he's really come to life in July, reaching base safely in every game this month, while hitting .303 with a .910 OPS, eight RBI, two steals, and four doubles in eight games.

Part of this success has been attributed to Dozier finding his way back to the leadoff spot, but that brings up a chicken-or-egg scenario -- in the eight games before going back to leadoff, Dozier had a .367 OBP, bouncing between second and eighth. So is he batting leadoff because he had a solid OBP before that, or is he posting good numbers because he's leading off? I tend to go with the first explanation.

Here's my take: Dozier finally got comfortable at his new position (second base, a position he played sparingly in the minors), and is starting to find a groove at the plate with his focus no longer solely on defense. Dozier hit .298 in the minors, while displaying some nice speed and decent power potential, so he is capable of sustaining this performance throughout the season. I'd expect his power to maybe take a dip while his speed improves, getting more in line with what he did in the minors.

Over/under on average (season): .265
Over/under on steals (season): 22
Over/under on home runs (season): 11.5

The Flavors of Next Week

Adam Eaton, OF, Diamondbacks (Owned in 49 percent of leagues)

It's only a matter of time before the masses start to take note of Eaton, who is currently rehabbing his way back to the majors. If he continues to play without incident (there was a setback in May while rehabbing an elbow injury suffered in spring training), Eaton could be back in the Diamondbacks' lineup right after the All-Star break.

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Eaton, 24, hit .259 with two home runs and two steals in 22 games with Arizona last year. In three minor league seasons, he compiled a .355 average, stealing at least 20 bases in each of his three seasons. Eaton hit 47 doubles in 2012, with seven home runs and 44 steals. Before this season's rehabbing, his lowest OBP was .434.

Currently owned in just under half of our leagues, Eaton's exploits in the minors will be getting more notice as he closes in on a return. He can offer a team a .290-plus average, with double-digit steals and the occasional home run. Think of him as Jacoby Ellsbury-lite, just with fewer steals and an elbow injury. For the second half, Eaton could be a tremendous stash and will probably see his ownership rise to about 80 percent if he manages a solid first week back.

Over/under on average (season): .289
Over/under on steals (season): 12

Lonnie Chisenhall, 3B, Indians (Owned in 18 percent of leagues)

Continuing the "look deeper into the stats from a certain split so I can make a point!" theme that we have going here, I present Chisenhall. With a .243 average, five home runs, and 10 doubles, Chisenhall doesn't have the greatest of stat lines. However, since his recall last month, Chisenhall has been great: a .293 average with six doubles, two home runs, nine RBI, and a steal. And if you look at what he's done in July, he's even better: a .333 average with two doubles, a home run, and a .988 OPS in six games.

With his previous failings in the majors, it's easy to forget that Chisenhall has twice been a top 35 prospect (according to Baseball America), who showed some nice power and average potential over six minor league seasons. Chisenhall can be a force in doubles for H2H leaguers, as well.

I'm not sure that he's ready for 12-team H2H league adding right now, but I have no hesitation starting Chisenhall as a CI in 12-team Roto leagues, or plugging him in at third base in 14-team leagues after trading my starter (say, for this exercise, giving up Adrian Beltre for David Price) to address another need at a different position.

Over/under on average (season): .269
Over/under on home runs (season): 18

American League-only fun

Josh Phegley, C, White Sox (11 percent ownership)

Phegley has already made a nice splash as the (presumed) starting catcher for the White Sox. He has two home runs in his first three games, hitting .300 with a 1.173 OPS. He also picked off a runner at first base on Monday.

It may be too late to add Phegley in deeper AL-only leagues, as his power outburst has likely caught the attention of single-league players, but shallower AL-only formats -- as well as 16-18 team Roto leagues that use two catchers -- may want to give the 25-year-old some consideration.

Phegley was never one to flex major power or average in the minors ... at least until this year. His .966 OPS this season is over 230 points higher than his career mark over five seasons, and 2013 marked the first time he hit double-digit home runs. A play for Phegley is a play for at-bats, with the hope that you can capture lightning in a bottle.

The man he appears to be replacing, Tyler Flowers, is actually the more interesting of the two catchers. While Flowers has been a disappointment at the plate this season (a .205 average with eight home runs over 210 at-bats), he does boast the sixth-best catcher ERA in the majors. This is significant because Flowers had said in spring training that he wanted to focus on managing the staff first, and worry about the offense later. It appears that while he accomplished his goal, he may have lost his job in the process.

I still have faith in Flowers as an offensively skilled catcher (part of me hopes this is just a Scooter Gennett-type move by the Sox to spur Flowers into action), but until Phegley either bottoms out or is included in a trade (another part of me is thinking this could be a trade showcase), I'm adding him in deeper leagues and possibly stashing Flowers until it all shakes out.

Over/under on average (season): .229
Over/under on home runs (season): Six

National League-only fun

Adeiny Hechavarria, SS, Marlins (6 percent ownership)

At this point, you know the drill:

Current line: .228 average, two home runs, four steals, five doubles.

Carefully-selected easy-to-remember date from which to start counting a recent hot streak: July 1.

Hechavarria's stats from July 1 forward: .406 average, one double, three RBI, one steal in 32 at-bats.

Easy-to-remember amount of games played to prove I'm not just using a small sample size in order to make people like Hechavarria: 25 games

Hechavarria's stats over the last 25 games: .283 average, two doubles, eight runs, seven RBI.

Hedging statement to help temper expectations based on his recent hot streak: "While the batting average has been great for his owners, Hechavarria is not going to supply a ton of power for your team, and his steals have been somewhat disappointing this year. Additionally, Hechavarria has been batting sixth or seventh recently, having last hit leadoff on May 24, so his run-scoring opportunities will be pretty low."

Optimistic twist to justify addition of Hechavarria, followed by a wild guess at what his ownership percentage should be: "Still, in an NL-only league, you can do worse in the scant middle infield spot than a .280-hitting regular with stellar defensive skill. Owned in just 6 percent of leagues, Hechavarria should probably see an ownership number closer to 20 percent, even with the lack of counting stats."

Insightful guesses on where he may finish the season:

Over/under on steals (season): 18
Over/under on batting average (season): .269

Stay in touch with the most passionate Fantasy staff in the business by following us on Twitter @CBSFantasyBB or Nando Di Fino at @NandoCBS .

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Player News
Rockies closer John Axford closes out Phillies for ninth save
by Jason Lempert | Staff Writer
(7:03 pm ET) Rockies closer John Axford nailed down his ninth save of the season in the 5-2 win over the Phillies on Saturday. Axford worked around a pair of singles to lead off the inning, as he got the next three hitters out in order to close out the game. 

The veteran right-hander has been stellar, as he is a perfect 9-for-9 in save opportunities this season.  


Astros 1B Chris Carter connects for eighth home run of the season
by Brandon Wise | CBSSports.com
(7:02 pm ET) Astros first baseman Chris Carter went 1 for 3 at the plate in Houston's 3-0 win over the White Sox on Saturday. Carter, who also drew a walk in the game, did his damage in the eighth when he blasted a solo home run off of Dan Jennings, his eighth of the season.

Carter is now hitting .188 with 27 RBI on the year.


Astros DH Evan Gattis blasts 11th home run of the season
by Brandon Wise | CBSSports.com
(7:00 pm ET) Astros designated hitter Evan Gattis went 2 for 4 at the plate in Houston's 3-0 win over the White Sox on Saturday.

Gattis did his damage in the eighth inning when he crushed a Dan Jennings pitch out of the park for a solo home run, his 11th of the season. Gattis is now hitting .230 with 31 RBI on the season.


Rockies' Ben Paulsen slugs a home run for second straight game
by Jason Lempert | Staff Writer
(7:00 pm ET) Rockies first baseman/outfielder Ben Paulsen homered for the second straight game in Saturday's 5-2 win over the Phillies. Paulsen, who had a pinch-hit home run on Friday, clubbed a key solo shot in the top of the seventh to give the Rockies some insurance in the late innings. 

The 27-year-old slugger now has three home runs after making his season-debut on May 19, and still sports a very healthy .359 batting average. 


White Sox pitcher Jose Quintana strikes out seven in losing effort
by Brandon Wise | CBSSports.com
(6:57 pm ET) White Sox pitcher Jose Quintana allowed one run on five hits in 6 1/3 innings of work in Chicago's 3-0 loss to the Astros on Saturday.

Quintana ran into a jam in the fourth inning when after two men reached safely, he allowed a walk to load the bases with nobody out. Then, Jonthan Villar produced a sac fly to score a run. After that, Quintana settled down and recorded seven strikeouts to go along with four walks.

Quintana, now 2-6, moved his ERA to 4.14 in 60 1/3 innings of work this season. He will look to get back on track Friday against the Tigers.


Rays closer Brad Boxberger bounces back to earn 14th save
by Elliott Smith | Staff Writer
(6:57 pm ET) After a rough outing in his last appearance, Rays closer Brad Boxberger was back on track Saturday, helping Tampa Bay end a six-game skid by picking up a save in the 3-0 victory over the Orioles. 

Wednesday, Boxberger allowed three earned runs in an inning to pick up his third loss of the season, but on Saturday, he was in control, needing just seven pitches to pick up his 14th save of the campaign. 


Rockies C Michael McKenry hits go-ahead home run on Saturday
by Jason Lempert | Staff Writer
(6:56 pm ET) Rockies catcher Michael McKenry, starting in place of Nick Hundley, went deep on Saturday for his second home run of the season. McKenry's go-ahead solo home run came in the top of the second to put the Rockies up 2-1 over the Phillies. They would go on to win 5-2.

McKenry has hit both of his home runs this year in his last five games, as he continues to spell Hundley on a part-time basis. 


Rockies 3B Nolan Arenado goes yard again on Saturday
by Jason Lempert | Staff Writer
(6:52 pm ET) Rockies third baseman Nolan Arenado continued his recent power surge in Saturday's 5-2 win over the Phillies. Arenado went 2 for 4 with his 11th home run of the year.

Arenado's solo shot in the top of the second tied the game at one. It was his fourth home run in his last six games.


Astros pitcher Dallas Keuchel strikes out 11 in complete game shutout
by Brandon Wise | CBSSports.com
(6:52 pm ET) Astros pitcher Dallas Keuchel tossed a complete game shutout on Saturday in Chicago's 3-0 win over the White Sox. 

Keuchel was magnificent on Saturday, recording a career-high 11 strikeouts and no walks in the contest. He allowed just one baserunner to reach third in the game, but finished off the inning with two strikeouts to work out of the jam. It was just Keuchel's second complete game of the season after recording five in 2014. Keuchel, now 7-1, moved his ERA to 1.76 in 81 2/3 innings of work.

He will look to keep things rolling Thursday against the Orioles.


Rays DH Joey Butler cracks solo HR to spark offense
by Elliott Smith | Staff Writer
(6:50 pm ET) Rays designated hitter Joey Butler continued his solid May by going 2-for-3 with a solo homer Saturday in Tampa Bay's 3-0 victory over the Orioles. 

Butler connected for a two-out solo shot in the third to provide the Rays with all the offense they would need as they snapped a six-game losing streak. Butler raised his average to .309 and is hitting .292 with two homers and seven RBIs in May. 


 
 
 
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