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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
Rangers pitcher Nick Tepesch admits to pressing too hard last spring
by Brandon Wise | CBSSports.com
(12:41 am ET) Rangers pitcher Nick Tepesch is still pushing to earn a spot on the team's starting rotation this spring, but he knows he pushed a bit too hard last year, reports the Dallas Morning News.

"I was just trying to do a little too much," said Tepesch, who threw a scoreless inning on 14 pitches in Sunday's intrasquad game. "I was trying to make perfect pitches and staying who I am. Getting sent down allowed me to look at what made me successful and try to own those types of things. It was beneficial. I also now know that I can only control what I do. If I stay focused on that, pressure takes care of itself."


Tigers' Blaine Hardy hoping to reign in his accuracy in 2015
by Brandon Wise | CBSSports.com
(3/1/2015) Tigers pitcher Blaine Hardy is using this spring training to work on his control. Hardy struggled in 2014 with his control, walking 20 batters in 39 innings pitched.

"Last year I walked more people than I would've liked," he said to MLB.com. "That's definitely a learning point, learning the strike zone. It's a little bit different, a little bit smaller, but more consistent. With that being said, I felt like I had a good year, and hopefully I'll be able to come in and do the same thing with less walks."

Manager Brad Ausmus didn't think Hardy's season was as bad as people believe it was.

"I thought he did a good job for us, quite frankly," Ausmus said. "It kind of irks me a little bit when people want to split players' seasons up: Player X had a good year, but he really struggled in the second half. He still had a good year.

"Guys are going to struggle at some point in the season. It's probably more likely they struggle in the second half as they tire, but you can't discount what they did in the first half. Those games are just as important to win."


Rockies' Jhoulys Chacin faces hitters for first time Saturday
by Brandon Wise | CBSSports.com
(3/1/2015) Rockies pitcher Jhoulys Chacin is feeling good about his health so far in camp. Good enough, in fact, that the 27-year-old faced hitters Saturday for the first time this spring.

Sunday, Chacin said he was without pain.

"Today I feel normal -- not like before," Chacin said. "I threw everything and felt good. I need to get into games to really feel back to normal, like it did two years ago [14-10 with a 3.47 ERA in 31 starts]. I know I've got a long way to go. I don't know what my velocity was, but it'll come up a little."

Chacin injured his rotator cuff in the middle of last season, forcing him out of action for nearly half the season.


Indians P Gavin Floyd comes out of live BP session pain free
by Jason Butt | CBSSports.com
(3/1/2015) Following his first live batting practice of spring training, Indians pitcher Gavin Floyd came away without any pain the elbow he broke last season.

With the Braves in 2014, Floyd fractured his elbow in a game against the Nationals on June 19. The injury required surgery, which ended his season. Sunday morning's batting practice marked the first time he'd thrown to a batter since that game. 

"It's just another step," Floyd said via MLB.com. "It's the first time I had a significant bullpen, cooled down for a little bit and then got back out there. I felt really good. I've just got to continue to make progress and build up strength. Usually, that's just by doing it over and over again, and using spring to do that."


White Sox's Gordon Beckham working at multiple infield positions
by Jason Butt | CBSSports.com
(3/1/2015) Gordon Beckham's main goal this spring training is to win the White Sox's starting second baseman position. 

But for now, the White Sox are planning to use him at multiple positions in the infield during Cactus League play, according to MLB.com. This is somewhat new for Beckham, as he played second base during his first five-plus Major League seasons with the White Sox. 

Though Beckham is looking to earn the starting job at second base, he seems to be enjoying playing multiple spots so far. 

"I'm actually kind of enjoying running around," Beckham said. "I like popping around the infield. I know the coaches and the people making the decisions know I can play second base and know I can play it well. There has been an emphasis on them just telling me to get some work in other places."

Beckham actually played shortstop in college at the University of Georgia and played that position, as well as third base, after the White Sox traded him to the Angels. He was brought back to Chicago on a one-year deal. 

Beckham hit a single-season worse .226 for both the Angels and White Sox a season ago. 


Giants' Tim Lincecum to 'piggyback' starter this week
by Jason Butt | CBSSports.com
(3/1/2015) Giants manager Bruce Bochy said pitcher Tim Lincecum will see a relief appearance early this week, according to MLB.com

Lincecum is generating rave reviews for his performance early on in spring training. However, he won't be getting a start this week. Bochy said Lincecum will "piggyback" either Madison Bumgarner (Tuesday), Jake Peavy (Wednesday), Ryan Vogelsong (Thursday) or Yusmeiro Petit (Friday) this week. 

This means Lincecum will come in and get a starter's workload in relief. 


Giants' Jake Peavy to start Wednesday for Giants
by Jason Butt | CBSSports.com
(3/1/2015) Following Madison Bumgarner's exhibition start on Tuesday, the Giants will go with Jake Peavy to start Wednesday's Cactus League game against the Athletics, manager Bruce Bochy announced via MLB.com

Ryan Vogelsong will pitch Thursday against the Cubs and Yusmeiro Petit will go Friday against the Rangers. 


White Sox's Gordon Beckham working at multiple infield positions
by Jason Butt | CBSSports.com
(3/1/2015) Gordon Beckham's main goal this spring training is to win the White Sox's  starting second baseman position. 

But for now, the White Sox are planning to use him at multiple positions in the infield during Cactus League play, according to MLB.com. This is somewhat new for Beckham, as he played second base during his first five-plus Major League seasons with the White Sox. 

Though Beckham is looking to earn the starting job at second base, he seems to be enjoying playing multiple spots so far. 

"I'm actually kind of enjoying running around," Beckham said. "I like popping around the infield. I know the coaches and the people making the decisions know I can play second base and know I can play it well. There has been an emphasis on them just telling me to get some work in other places."

Beckham actually played shortstop in college at the University of Georgia and played that position, as well as third base, after the White Sox traded him to the Angels. He was brought back to Chicago on a one-year deal. 

Beckham hit a single-season worse .226 for both the Angels and White Sox a season ago. 


Phillies pitcher Paul Clemens fighting for spot in bullpen
by Brandon Wise | CBSSports.com
(3/1/2015) Phillies pitcher Paul Clemens has been told he has a great arm. But Clemens, who posted a 5.51 ERA in 48 appearances with the Astros over the last two years, knows it'll take more than that.

"Some pitching coaches tell me how incredible my arm is and that I could play for a long time, so I think I've been showing some guys what I bring to the table," Clemens said. "I had a couple really good conversations with front office and some guys around here, so it's definitely motivating."

He wants to be able to pick out his spots better during spring training, knowing he has to impress as a non-roster invitee.

"Sometimes I think I get too overzealous with my fastball and I just pound it and pound it and pound it. So picking my spots more, being smarter. You can't really challenge guys at this level. Once in a while you've got to pick your spots, but you can't challenge too many guys, even the guys you don't really know their names as much. You've still got to pitch."


Athletics to ease Coco Crisp into action this spring
by Brandon Wise | CBSSports.com
(3/1/2015) Athletics manager Bob Melvin wants to take things slow with veteran outfielder Coco Crisp this spring, reports MLB.com.

"I'll probably hold him out the first few because I'm going to cut down on his workload," Melvin said Sunday.

Crisp, who is dealing with a case of pinkeye, was held out of an intrasquad scrimmage, even though he was able to take part in batting practice.


 
 
 
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