Forgot Log-in or  Password? |  Help  Not a member, Register Now!
      
Fantasy Football Today
Fantasy Football Today Blog
Gameday Inactives
2014 Draft Prep Guide
Downloadable Draft Kit
Mock Drafts
Get Your Draft Board
Player News
Stats
Players
Depth Charts
Roster Trends
Columns
Injury Report
Projections
Rankings
Schedules
Scores
Fantasy Games
Playoff Challenge
Commissioner
Prize Leagues
Free
Office Pool Manager
Game Pick'em
Player Challenge
Fantasy Baseball Today
Fantasy Baseball Today Blog
Downloadable Draft Kit
Mock Drafts
Player News
Stats
Players
Depth Charts
Roster Trends
Columns
Injury Report
Rankings
Projections
Schedules
Probable Pitchers
Scores
Standings
Fantasy Games
Commissioner
Free
Prize Leagues
Player News
Stats
Players
Columns
Injuries
Projections
Rankings
Schedules
Message Boards
Fantasy Games
Commissioner
Free
Player News
Stats
Players
Columns
Injury Report
Projections
Rankings
Schedules
Mock Drafts
Scores
Standings
Fantasy Games
Commissioner
Free
Prize Leagues
Downloadable Draft Kit
Player News
Stats
Players
Columns
Injury Report
Projections
Rankings
Schedules
Mock Drafts
Scores
Standings
Fantasy Games
Commissioner
Free
Prize Leagues
No Fantasy Teams Found
 
 
 

Hit Parade for Week 16

Senior Fantasy Writer
  •  

Editor's Note: In standard CBSSports.com leagues, Fantasy Week 16 includes only the Friday, Saturday and Sunday immediately following the All-Star break. All rankings and predictions in this edition of the Hit Parade were made with the shortened scoring period in mind.

Most Added Hitters (as of 7/18)
Player Name % change
1. Marlon Byrd, OF, Mets 14
2. Alfonso Soriano, OF, Cubs 10
3. Eric Young, OF, Mets 10
4. Justin Smoak, 1B, Mariners 10
5. Darin Ruf, OF, Phillies 10
6. Luke Scott, DH, Rays 10
7. Raul Ibanez, OF, Mariners 8
8. Matt Adams, 1B, Cardinals 8
9. Victor Martinez, DH, Tigers 6
10. Michael Brantley, OF, Indians 6

Catcher

Because of its demands on the body, the catcher position is in a perpetual state of turnover. But three of the more recent newcomers appear to be more than just short-term fill-ins. Of Wilson Ramos, Josh Phegley and Nick Hundley, Ramos has by far the most Fantasy appeal and is practically a must-add in leagues that require the use of two catchers, but Phegley has already shown he can provide cheap power. Hundley is pretty much a known quantity by now, and though uninspiring, he's at least serviceable.
Worth a second look: Evan Gattis, Braves
Gattis returned from his oblique injury in time to make one start for the Braves before the All-Star break, so you can at least trust the rookie slugger's health at this point. Can you trust his playing time? Normally, no, but with Justin Upton among the many Braves hitters nursing injuries entering the second half, Gattis figures to get regular at-bats for the time being. In Fantasy Week 16 (July 19-21), it's a foregone conclusion with the DH spot available for the Braves' three-game series at the White Sox.
Approach with caution: Russell Martin, Pirates
Considering the way his last few seasons had gone, Martin had been surprisingly steady in 2013 until his last 19 games, during which he's batting .175 (11 for 63). If it's a regression to the mean, it's likely nearing its end, but even so, he'll have a hard time jumpstarting his swing against Mike Leake, Mat Latos and Homer Bailey this week.

No-brainers: Buster Posey, Carlos Santana, Joe Mauer, Yadier Molina, Wilin Rosario, Mike Napoli, Matt Wieters, Brian McCann, Jonathan Lucroy
Advisable starts: A.J. Pierzynski, Evan Gattis, Jason Castro, J.P. Arencibia, Salvador Perez
Shaky starts: Miguel Montero, Ryan Doumit, Russell Martin, Jarrod Saltalamacchia, Mike Zunino, Wilson Ramos, John Buck, John Jaso, Carlos Ruiz
Strictly AL/NL-only: Josh Phegley (finger), Nick Hundley, A.J. Ellis, Chris Iannetta, Devin Mesoraco, Dioner Navarro, Alex Avila, Welington Castillo, Derek Norris
Don't bother: Chris Stewart, Erik Kratz, Jose Lobaton, Yan Gomes, Rob Brantly, Geovany Soto, Tyler Flowers, Kurt Suzuki, Hank Conger, Ryan Hanigan (wrist), Francisco Cervelli (hand), Travis d'Arnaud, Jesus Montero

First base

The few players who qualify only at DH now appear alongside the first basemen so that their owners might have some context for how to approach them this week. If you see an asterisk (*) next to a player's name, it means he's DH-only and not a legitimate first baseman.

With a couple games at first base just before the All-Star break, Victor Martinez gained eligibility at the position in standard CBSSports.com leagues. Previously, he was eligible only at DH. Eligibility at first base isn't quite as useful as eligibility at catcher, but it still dramatically improves his utility at a time when you're looking to get him in your lineup. Over his last 16 games, he's batting .406 (26 for 64) with two homers and a 1.051 OPS.
Worth a second look: Justin Smoak, Mariners
Now in his fourth big-league season, Smoak may have already worn out his welcome with some Fantasy owners, but the former top prospect is showing his clearest signs of a breakout yet, batting .333 (26 for 78) with five homers and a 1.018 OPS in 22 games since returning from a DL stint for an oblique injury. And it's not just an isolated hot streak. He hit .282 with three homers and an .861 OPS in his previous 26 games. With the Mariners facing the Astros pitching staff in Houston this week, I'm willing to try him out.
Approach with caution: Adam Dunn, White Sox
With a .263 batting average, 18 homers and a .950 OPS in his last 54 games, Dunn appears to be himself again, but he's still susceptible to left-handed pitching. Maybe in a six-game week, a couple lefties on the schedule wouldn't be enough to render him useless in standard mixed leagues, but in a three-game week, it's kind of a deal-breaker.

No-brainers: Paul Goldschmidt, Chris Davis, Edwin Encarnacion, Joey Votto, Allen Craig, Prince Fielder, Buster Posey, David Ortiz*, Matt Carpenter, Michael Cuddyer, Albert Pujols, Adrian Gonzalez
Advisable starts: Anthony Rizzo, Mark Trumbo, Carlos Santana, Freddie Freeman (thumb), Eric Hosmer, Joe Mauer, Kendrys Morales, Justin Smoak, Billy Butler, Mike Napoli, Brandon Belt, Adam LaRoche, Victor Martinez
Shaky starts: Nick Swisher, Adam Lind, Adam Dunn, Daniel Murphy, Mitch Moreland, James Loney, Daniel Nava, Logan Morrison, Justin Morneau, Mark Reynolds, Michael Young, Yonder Alonso, Todd Frazier
Strictly AL/NL-only: Lyle Overbay, Brandon Moss, Ike Davis, Chris Carter (ankle), Chris Johnson, Matt Adams, Brett Wallace, Juan Francisco, Darin Ruf, John Mayberry, Todd Helton, Garrett Jones
Don't bother: Travis Hafner*, Josh Satin, Gaby Sanchez, Carlos Pena, Matt Tuiasosopo, Mike Carp, Joey Terdoslavich, Yan Gomes, Jeff Keppinger, Jordan Pacheco, Nate Freiman, Ryan Howard (knee), Michael Morse (quadriceps), Paul Konerko (back), Lance Berkman (back), Kyle Blanks (Achilles), Kevin Youkilis (back), Lucas Duda (side), Mike Olt, Jonathan Singleton

Second base

Though Robinson Cano escaped his All-Star game plunking with just a bruised quadriceps -- a milder injury than initially perceived -- he's still less than assured of playing all three of the Yankees' games this week. And in a three-game week, one absence can make a huge difference. Still, he said he probably wouldn't have come out if it was a regular-season game, and any replacement you have likely wouldn't come close to matching his production. Better keep him active.
Worth a second look: Dan Uggla, Braves
Though he's batting just .234 (30 for 128) over his last 36 games, Uggla has been surprisingly productive during that stretch, ranking 10th at his position in Head-to-Head leagues. His homers and walks make all the difference. For the season, he ranks 12th at the position, ahead of both Martin Prado and Marco Scutaro. Don't sleep on him during a week when he's on the road, where his OPS is about 130 points higher than at home, and facing mostly left-handers, against whom he has an .827 OPS.
Approach with caution: Daniel Murphy, Mets
Though Murphy has scored between 14 and 19 Fantasy points each of the last eight weeks, he might have trouble measuring up to other second basemen this week. Not only is he facing two lefties, against whom he's batting .241 with a .537, but they happen to be two of the game's toughest in Cole Hamels and Cliff Lee. Plus, all three of his games are at home, where he's batting just .240.

No-brainers: Jason Kipnis, Dustin Pedroia, Ian Kinsler, Matt Carpenter, Brandon Phillips, Ben Zobrist
Advisable starts: Robinson Cano (quadriceps), Jose Altuve, Chase Utley, Howard Kendrick, Anthony Rendon, Brad Miller, Dan Uggla, Aaron Hill, Nick Franklin
Shaky starts: Martin Prado, Jed Lowrie, Jedd Gyorko, Marco Scutaro, Daniel Murphy, Rickie Weeks, Gordon Beckham (quadriceps), Brian Dozier, Jurickson Profar, Brian Roberts
Strictly AL/NL-only: Darwin Barney, Derek Dietrich, Josh Rutledge, DJ LeMahieu, Kelly Johnson, Mark Ellis (leg), Emilio Bonifacio, Dustin Ackley, Brock Holt, Maicer Izturis, Eric Sogard
Don't bother: Jordy Mercer, Omar Quintanilla, Mike Aviles, Logan Forsythe, Daniel Descalso, Jeff Keppinger, Ryan Flaherty, Chris Getz, Neil Walker (oblique), Omar Infante (shin), Jemile Weeks, Danny Espinosa, Kolten Wong

Best Five Hitting Schedules
Team Schedule
1. Indians @MIN3
2. Cubs @COL3
3. Mariners @HOU3
4. Rockies CHC3
5. Giants ARI3

Third base

Though Juan Francisco has been on a nice little run recently, the fact the Brewers sat him for four of their final six games before the break shows they still don't trust him against left-handed pitchers. As a platoon player, he won't matter much in mixed leagues whether he hits home runs or not. He's an adequate option this week, though, with three righties on tap for the Brewers.
Worth a second look: Pablo Sandoval, Giants
Sandoval needed a few weeks to rediscover his stroke after missing time with a strained foot in June, but he finally seemed to be back on track just before the All-Star break, batting .381 (8 for 21) with four doubles and a homer in his last six games. As long as the break didn't interrupt his momentum, he should be a quality option against Ian Kennedy, Wade Miley and Randall Delgado this week.
Approach with caution: Todd Frazier, Reds
Over the last month, Frazier has just one home run and two multi-hit games. Since April 20, he's batting .223 with a .667 OPS. Plenty of mixed-league owners have stood by him that whole time, but he's reached the point where he has to prove himself all over again. Against Francisco Liriano, A.J. Burnett and Jeff Locke this week, I don't foresee a turnaround.

No-brainers: Miguel Cabrera, Edwin Encarnacion, Adrian Beltre, David Wright, Evan Longoria, Hanley Ramirez, Matt Carpenter, Kyle Seager, Josh Donaldson, Ryan Zimmerman
Advisable starts: Pedro Alvarez, Manny Machado, Anthony Rendon, Pablo Sandoval, Chase Headley
Shaky starts: Martin Prado, Jedd Gyorko, David Freese, Nolan Arenado, Mark Reynolds, Michael Young, Lonnie Chisenhall, Brett Lawrie, Trevor Plouffe, Todd Frazier
Strictly AL/NL-only: Chris Johnson, Mike Moustakas, Brett Wallace, Juan Francisco, Matt Dominguez, Alberto Callaspo, Luis Valbuena, Jose Iglesias, Brock Holt, Adeiny Hechavarria, Maicer Izturis
Don't bother: Eric Chavez (hip), Mike Aviles, Daniel Descalso, Jeff Keppinger, Placido Polanco, Jordan Pacheco, Aramis Ramirez (knee), Kevin Youkilis (back), Alex Rodriguez (hip), Wilson Betemit (knee), Will Middlebrooks, Nick Castellanos

Shortstop

Worst Five Hitting Schedules
Team Schedule
1. Dodgers @WAS3
2. Mets PHI3
3. Nationals LAD3
4. Royals DET3
5. Reds PIT3
Starlin Castro has made his way back into the no-brainers at shortstop even though his current starting rate is lower than the 90 percent I usually require of a player in that group. But I just can't envision sitting him at the weakest position in Fantasy when he's finally showing signs of breaking out of his season-long slump, batting .303 (23 for 76) with three homers in his last 18 games, and beginning a three-game series at Coors Field. To me, that's the definition of a no-brainer.
Worth a second look: Brad Miller, Mariners
With so few at-bats to his name, Miller's batting average is still susceptible to extreme fluctuation, but the rookie has already won me over with his seven walks and seven extra-base hits. Though he won't be as consistent as Matt Carpenter, he has similar capabilities when at his best, which I suspect he'll be with three games at Houston this week.
Approach with caution: Alcides Escobar
With only two steals in his last 44 games, Escobar is severely short-changing Fantasy owners of the one thing they expected to get from him. And this week, he doesn't figure to hit so well either. Not only are the Royals facing high-end hurlers in Anibal Sanchez, Justin Verlander and Doug Fister, but they play all three of their games at home, where he has hit .211 this season.

No-brainers: Troy Tulowitzki, Jean Segura, Hanley Ramirez, Jose Reyes, Ben Zobrist, Ian Desmond, Everth Cabrera, Starlin Castro
Advisable starts: J.J. Hardy, Asdrubal Cabrera, Elvis Andrus, Brad Miller, Jhonny Peralta, Nick Franklin, Jimmy Rollins
Shaky starts: Jed Lowrie, Alexei Ramirez, Alcides Escobar, Marco Scutaro, Andrelton Simmons, Erick Aybar, Brian Dozier, Jurickson Profar, Yunel Escobar (hamstring), Zack Cozart
Strictly AL/NL-only: Brandon Crawford, Didi Gregorius, Derek Jeter (quadriceps), Derek Dietrich, Josh Rutledge, Adeiny Hechavarria, Maicer Izturis, Eric Sogard
Don't bother: Jordy Mercer, Pete Kozma, Eduardo Nunez, Omar Quintanilla, Mike Aviles, Daniel Descalso, Pedro Florimon, Stephen Drew (hamstring), Danny Espinosa, Dee Gordon, Billy Hamilton

Outfield

Among the higher-profile outfielders who ended the first half on an injured note, Matt Holliday and Jason Heyward seem like fairly safe bets to play this week. Their teams have more or less ruled out DL stints for their sore hamstrings, and both got several days off leading up to the All-Star break. Justin Upton's situation isn't as clear. He's suffering from a strained calf -- an injury that's notoriously slow to heal. In the absence of a clear timetable, you should probably assume the worst and reserve him in standard 10- or 12-team leagues.
Worth a second look: Alfonso Soriano, Cubs and Michael Brantley, Indians
Even in his prime, Soriano was the type of slugger who did 75 percent of his damage in 25 percent of the season. Considering nine of his 16 home runs this season have come in his last 16 games, he hasn't changed in that regard. If you're not using him during these hot streaks, you're not getting anything out of him. With the Cubs visiting Coors Field in the shortened three-game week, he may have a couple more homers in store. Brantley doesn't offer much in the way of homers, but he's been surprisingly productive in Head-to-Head leagues, scoring 20-plus points in four straight weeks. With a .333 (19 for 57) batting average and three steals over his last 15 games, he's clearly at his best right now and is a good bet to keep it going against the ever-hittable Mike Pelfrey, Kevin Correia and Scott Diamond this week.
Approach with caution: Daniel Nava, Red Sox and Marlon Byrd, Mets
After emerging as a steady contributor over the first 11 weeks or so, Nava has fallen into a rut in the last four, batting .267 with just four extra-base hits -- three doubles and one homer -- in his last 101 at-bats. He's been that way against left-handers all season long, batting .232 with a .627 OPS. Unfortunately, that's who the Red Sox are facing in two of their three games this week. Byrd has been a more recent find for Fantasy owners, batting .299 with nine homers since the start of June -- a span of only 39 games -- but his long track record of mediocrity suggests this run will soon end. Three games at home -- where he's batting just .233 with a .664 OPS on the year -- against the Phillies' high-end trio of Kyle Kendrick, Cole Hamels and Cliff Lee could be the start of it.

No-brainers: Mike Trout, Chris Davis, Carlos Gonzalez, Jose Bautista, Jacoby Ellsbury, Andrew McCutchen, Allen Craig, Jay Bruce, Shin-Soo Choo, Adam Jones, Giancarlo Stanton, Matt Carpenter, Carlos Beltran, Nelson Cruz, Desmond Jennings, Domonic Brown, Michael Cuddyer, Bryce Harper, Hunter Pence, Starling Marte, Carlos Gomez
Advisable starts: Matt Holliday (hamstring), Yasiel Puig (hip), Ben Zobrist, Alex Rios, Ryan Braun, Mark Trumbo, Nick Markakis, Alex Gordon, Austin Jackson, Alfonso Soriano, Josh Hamilton, Yoenis Cespedes, Shane Victorino, Wil Myers, Jason Heyward (hamstring), Raul Ibanez, Michael Brantley, Alejandro De Aza, Brett Gardner, Jayson Werth, Dexter Fowler, Norichika Aoki
Shaky starts: Nick Swisher, Michael Bourn, Coco Crisp, Evan Gattis, Justin Upton (calf), Torii Hunter, Carlos Quentin, Colby Rasmus, Leonys Martin, Martin Prado, Ichiro Suzuki, Daniel Nava, Logan Morrison, Nate McLouth, Melky Cabrera (knee), Gerardo Parra, Marlon Byrd, Luke Scott, Drew Stubbs, Eric Young, Adam Eaton, Ryan Doumit, Josh Reddick, Denard Span
Strictly AL/NL-only: Andre Ethier, Carl Crawford (back), Dayan Viciedo, Aaron Hicks, Jose Tabata, Nate Schierholtz, Marcell Ozuna, Brandon Moss, Chris Carter (ankle), Darin Ruf, Zoilo Almonte, Jon Jay, Michael Saunders, Lorenzo Cain, Will Venable, David Murphy, Gregor Blanco, Matt Joyce, Kelly Johnson, Justin Ruggiano, Jason Kubel, Seth Smith, J.D. Martinez, John Mayberry, Garrett Jones, Cody Ross, A.J. Pollock, David Lough, Delmon Young, Jarrod Dyson, Chris Denorfia, Andy Dirks, Emilio Bonifacio, Dustin Ackley, Rajai Davis, J.B. Shuck, Justin Maxwell, Nolan Reimold, Vernon Wells, Chris Young
Don't bother: Grant Green, Mike Carp, Juan Pierre, Jonny Gomes, Matt Kemp (shoulder), Michael Morse (quadriceps), Curtis Granderson (hand), Angel Pagan (hamstring), Ben Revere (foot), B.J. Upton (adductor), Lucas Duda (side), Franklin Gutierrez (hamstring), Josh Willingham (knee), David DeJesus (shoulder), Peter Bourjos (wrist), Kyle Blanks (Achilles), Ryan Ludwick (shoulder), Cameron Maybin (knee), Darin Mastroianni (ankle), Oswaldo Arcia, Oscar Taveras, Christian Yelich, George Springer, Jackie Bradley, Avisail Garcia, Anthony Gose

The Hit Parade is your guide to setting your lineup for the upcoming scoring period. Looking at matchups for the week ahead and considering other factors such as streaks, injuries and lineup changes, we sort all Fantasy-relevant hitters at each position into five categories: "no-brainers," "advisable starts," "shaky starts," "strictly AL/NL-only" and "don't bother."

These designations rate each player's Fantasy value for the current week only and have no bearing on his value for the season as a whole. Injuries are shown in parentheses.

Any players not appearing on these lists are presumed to be below "don't bother" status and are obvious sits in Fantasy.

Stay in touch with the most passionate Fantasy staff in the business by following us on Twitter @CBSFantasyBB or Scott White at @CBSScottWhite .

Get player news notifications, manage your team and check scores
- all updated in real time. Download the CBS Fantasy App.

  •  
 
CBSSports Facebook Google Plus
COMMENTS
Conversation powered by Livefyre
 
 
Player News
Royals OF Jarrod Dyson agrees to $1.225M salary for 2015
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(1:54 pm ET) Royals outfielder Jarrod Dyson avoided arbitration Tuesday by agreeing to a $1.225 million salary for 2015, according to CBSSports.com Baseball Insider Jon Heyman. He will also receive a $25,000 bonus for 350 plate appearances.

Dyson is in his first year of arbitration. He hit .269 with one home run, 24 RBI and 36 stolen bases in 120 games in 2014.


Angels invite reliever Frank Herrmann to spring training
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(1:22 pm ET) The Angels announced they've invited reliever Frank Herrmann to spring training as a non-roster invitee. Herrmann, 30, spent the previous five years in the Indians' organization, last pitching in the majors in 2012.

Padres' Bud Black: Jedd Gyorko 'learned a lot' from 2014 struggles
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(12:07 pm ET) Padres second baseman Jedd Gyorko definitely went through a sophomore slump in 2014 after belting 23 home runs as a rookie in 2013. Although, dealing with plantar fasciitis in his left foot certainly didn't help his cause.

Still, Gyorko seems to indicate the injury wasn't the main reason he struggled offensively last season. He hit .210 with 10 home runs in 111 games.

"I think I maybe put a little too much pressure on myself," Gyorko said, per MLB.com. "We were struggling as a team. And I think all of us, not just myself, felt like we needed to come up with that big hit to get us going. It's hard to hit when you put that kind of pressure on yourself."

Gyorko missed nearly two months of games last season due to the foot injury, but once he returned, his numbers began to improve. He hit .260 with a .347 on-base percentage over his final 55 games. 

"He was better. I think he started making some adjustments, some mechanical, some at-bat to at-bat in terms of pitch selection," manager Bud Black said. "Before, you saw him chasing pitches up in the strike zone and also sliders away. I think that a lot of that was him wanting to be aggressive and wanting to help the team."

The Padres are expecting better results from Gyorko in 2015, especially with a revamped lineup that includes Matt Kemp, Justin Upton, Wil Myers, Derek Norris and Will Middlebrooks.

"We saw in 2013 what Jedd can be, and I think there's more to Jedd based on 2013," Black said. "I think last year there were a lot of factors that went into his season that he expected or adjusted to, but that is something he's hopefully learned from. It's a tough game. You've got to work and stay on top of it. In that regard, I think he learned a lot."


Infield shifts have become an issue for players like Reds' Bruce
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(11:46 am ET) Reds outfielder Jay Bruce is not going to use infield shifts as an excuse for his low batting average, but he admits it does play a factor, according to the Cincinnati Enquirer.

"That's definitely taken some hits away from me," Bruce said. "I don't use it as an excuse. But the bottom line is it takes hits away. You smoke a ball up the middle and you think it's a hit. But the shortstop is playing right behind second base.

"It's definitely cut down on average. You look at a player like Mark Teixiera. He was a .300, .280 hitter. You put the shift on him. He's a guy who drives the ball, pull hitter. He uses the other side of the field some. But guys like that are hitting in the .250s."

Bruce added that beating the shift is difficult. 

"Everyone's like, 'Hit a ground ball to shortstop or hit one down the line.' Like you can do whatever you want." he said. "A lot of times, pitchers pitch to the shift. And shifts are getting more sophisticated. In New York, (shortstop Derek) Jeter was playing third, in on the grass. So you can't bunt. Ideally, you want to get a hit. It's hard to do."

Reds hitting coach Don Long said eventually hitters will be taught in the minors to beat the shift.

"Not everybody's going to be the perfect hitter and be able to do everything," he said. "But I think you're going to find guys who want to have the ability to hit to both sides of the field."


Royals invite C J.C. Boscan to spring training
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(11:38 am ET) The Royals signed catcher J.C. Boscan to a minor-league contract with an invitation to spring training, according to multiple reports. Boscan, 35, spent 2014 with the Dodgers' organization, batting .259 with a homer and seven RBI in 52 games for Double-A Chattanooga.

Adrian Gonzalez confident in 'deeper lineup' for Dodgers
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(10:26 am ET) Dodgers first baseman Adrian Gonzalez had an MLB-best 116 RBI in 2014, mostly batting in front of the likes of Matt Kemp and Hanley Ramirez. While both players are no longer part of the Dodgers' batting order, Gonzalez is not worried about lineup protection, per the Los Angeles Times.

"I think we're deeper, so I don't think we're going to be so dependent on the middle of the order," Gonzalez said Monday. "People say that we lost power, but I think we just put the power in different areas of the lineup."

Some of the key acquisitions this offseason for the Dodgers have been shortstop Jimmy Rollins, catcher Yasmani Grandal and second baseman Howie Kendrick. Gonzalez is confident in the new additions to the lineup.

"They're going to battle every at-bat," Gonzalez said. "They're going to be prepared. I'm not saying that we didn't before, but I think the guys that we got are guys that are going to be tougher to game plan for. From that end, it will be a deeper lineup."


Orioles' Matt Wieters has goal of being ready by opening day
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(10:15 am ET) Orioles catcher Matt Wieters, who is throwing from 150 feet in his recovery from Tommy John surgery, said he is preparing to be ready by opening day.

"The rehab's going well and going how it's supposed to from all the talk I've gotten with Dr. (James) Andrews and my physical therapist down here and Richie (Bancells)," Wieters said, per MASNsports.com. "Everything's kind of moved along and we're preparing for me to be ready for opening day. We still have a good couple of months before we're there, so it's still going to be a lot of work to put into it, but that's what I'm preparing for. We're trying to get all the steps checked off before we get there.

"We'll see when I'm actually going to be able to get behind the plate and catch in games during spring training, but it's just a matter of making sure the arm has been tested enough to where when we do get into games with adrenaline and a little bit of pressure that we're ready to go."

Wieters added making sure his shoulder is also in good shape is part of the rehab process coming off elbow surgery.

"(Monday) we went out to 150 just to test it out a little bit," he said, "and everything has kind of checked out and we've had nothing really major to set back the progression."


Indians want Michael Bourn to get back to his base-stealing ways
by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
(1/26/2015) The Indians want outfielder Michael Bourn to get back to his base-stealing ways, according to the Plain Dealer

Prior to joining the team, Bourn had compiled five straight seasons with at least 40 steals. Since joining the team, he's stolen 33 bases in two seasons. Injuries have played a role in his decline. Bourn admitted he had some trouble adjusting to the American League in his first season with Cleveland. He tore his hamstring on the final day of the season, and had offseason surgery, but the issue still plagued him in 2014. 

Manager Terry Francona agreed, saying "When he gets on base, he has to disrupt the game." Francona added, "he wants to do it really bad, he just wasn't in position to do it the last couple of years. Hopefully, those injuries are limited and he can use his legs because he's a huge part of what we do."

Bourn, 32, hit .257/.314/.360 over 444 at-bats last year.


Rockies, Adam Ottavino avoid arbitration
by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
(1/26/2015) The Rockies have avoided arbitration with pitcher Adam Ottavino, according to MLB.com.

Ottavino agreed to a one-year deal with the club. Ottavino will make $1.3 million next season, according to CBSSports.com Baseball Insider Jon Heyman.

The 29-year-old posted a 3.60 ERA over 65 innings last year.


Astros looking at pitcher Kevin Correia
by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
(1/26/2015) The Astros are looking to add pitcher Kevin Correia, according to CBSSports.com Baseball Insider Jon Heyman.

Houston is said to be seeking a backend starter, and Correia fits the bill. The 34-year-old posted a 5.44 ERA over 154 innings with the Twins and Dodgers last year. 


 
 
 
Rankings