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 22

Senior Fantasy Writer
  •  

All stats are updated through Wednesday, Aug. 21.

Catcher

Here we go again with Evan Gattis. With Jason Heyward sidelined for what might end up being the rest of the regular season with a broken jaw, the converted catcher once again has a shot at regular playing time in the Braves outfield. Of course, Jordan Schafer also has nice numbers off the bench and would be a better fit in the leadoff spot. At catcher, Gattis doesn't need to play every single day to be a big contributor in Fantasy, but you'll want to see how the at-bats shake out before you trust him as a true No. 1.

Worth a second look: Jason Castro, Astros
Look, I understand that in most Fantasy leagues, you don't have to dig too deep into the catcher pool. It's not like anybody is starting a catcher at utility, so for the most part, every catcher who isn't occupying a catcher spot goes unowned. But I defy you to find 10 catchers better than Castro, particularly in a week the Astros are one of only eight teams playing seven games and facing pitchers like Erasmo Ramirez, Aaron Harang and Joe Saunders. Unless you play in a league as shallow as eight teams, he should be starting for someone.
Approach with caution: Jarrod Saltalamacchia, Red Sox
Saltalamacchia seems like a decent hot-hand play this week given that he's batting .324 (22 for 68) with two homers and a .916 OPS over his last 17 games, but for players who make as little contact as he does, the hot streaks don't last long. This week seems like a decent time for his to end. He's facing three lefties, against whom he's batting .235, and playing six games on the road, where his OPS is about 130 points lower than at home.

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

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.

The Twins placed Joe Mauer on the DL with a concussion Tuesday, and though they have yet to determine a timetable, they're concerned enough about their franchise player to at least entertain the possibility of moving him out from behind the plate. Neither he nor Justin Morneau would be at risk of losing at-bats in that scenario, but with the DH spot occupied, the Twins would have fewer places to play Josh Willingham, Oswaldo Arcia and Chris Colabello. Just something to keep in mind in leagues where those players are relevant.

Worth a second look: Brandon Belt, Giants
With just three hits in his last five games, Belt has slowed a bit after a torrid first two weeks of August. Given the matchups he's had, it's not too surprising. The good news is the adjustments that initiated the hot streak -- such as moving back in the batter's box, which the Giants coaching staff had suggested he do from the beginning -- are still intact, so I don't see why he wouldn't come roaring back with six games at two of the league's more hitter-friendly parks this week. Only one of the pitchers on tap is a lefty, and four of the righties -- Juan Nicasio, Chad Bettis, Randall Delgado and Brandon McCarthy -- are hittable types.
Approach with caution: Anthony Rizzo, Cubs
So Rizzo homered twice Wednesday. Pretty cool, right? He also homered twice Aug. 1 and went on to hit .115 (7 for 61) in his next 16 games. Until you see a sustained hot streak from him, you can assume he's still the .200 hitter he's been since June 1. In a week the Cubs are facing Zack Greinke, Clayton Kershaw and Cliff Lee, I'm not willing to get my hopes up.

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

Second base

Best Five Hitting Schedules
Team Schedule
1. Royals TB1, @MIN3, @TOR3
2. Mariners TEX3, @HOU4
3. Astros @CHW3, SEA4
4. Reds @STL3, @COL3
5. Giants @COL3, @ARI3

Kolten Wong, probably the best pure second base prospect in the minors at the time of his promotion Aug. 16, has started four of the last six games for the Cardinals. A left-handed batter, he seems to be replacing David Freese against right-handed pitchers, with Matt Carpenter shifting from second to third base as necessary. As a hitter, Wong is probably somewhere between Carpenter and Jose Altuve, offering less power than the former but more on-base ability than the latter. Of course, that's speaking in terms of upside. As a platoon player just beginning his career, he's better left for NL-only leagues.

Worth a second look: Brad Miller, Mariners
Not a week goes by without Miller getting a mention of some kind in the Hit Parade, but his starting percentage has hardly changed despite his steady production. It's still below 50. This week, the Mariners have an especially favorable schedule. Not only are they one of only eight teams playing seven games, but they're facing low-end hurlers Travis Blackley, Jordan Lyles, Brad Peacock, Dallas Keuchel and Brett Oberholtzer in five of them.
Approach with caution: Jed Lowrie, Athletics
Reduced to being more or less just a doubles hitter after an impressive power display to begin the season, Lowrie needs to be hitting his absolute best to deserve a starting spot in standard mixed leagues. With a .184 (9 for 49) batting average over his last 12 games, he clearly isn't. And with Anibal Sanchez, Justin Verlander, Doug Fister, Max Scherzer, Alex Cobb and potentially Matt Moore on tap this week, he doesn't figure to be anytime soon.

No-brainers: Robinson Cano, Dustin Pedroia, Ian Kinsler, Matt Carpenter, Jason Kipnis, Brandon Phillips, Martin Prado, Aaron Hill, Ben Zobrist
Advisable starts: Jose Altuve, Chase Utley, Brett Lawrie, Brad Miller, Daniel Murphy, Brian Dozier
Shaky starts: Neil Walker, Jed Lowrie, Anthony Rendon, Jedd Gyorko, Nick Franklin (knee), Gordon Beckham, Scooter Gennett, Emilio Bonifacio, Omar Infante, Marco Scutaro
Strictly AL/NL-only: Dan Uggla (eye), Kolten Wong, DJ LeMahieu, Jurickson Profar, Brian Roberts, Darwin Barney, Donovan Solano, Mark Ellis, Ryan Raburn (calf), Chris Nelson, Grant Green, Alberto Callaspo, Logan Forsythe, Yuniesky Betancourt, Dustin Ackley, Eric Sogard, Luis Valbuena (oblique), Kelly Johnson, Chris Getz, Daniel Descalso, Alexi Amarista
Don't bother: Jordy Mercer, Omar Quintanilla, Mike Aviles, Jeff Keppinger (back), Howie Kendrick (knee), Maicer Izturis (ankle), Jemile Weeks, Josh Rutledge, Derek Dietrich

Third base

So yes, even with Eric Chavez and Cody Ross down, Matt Davidson is getting only limited at-bats for the Diamondbacks. Basically, he's platooning with Adam Eaton, starting strictly against left-handed pitchers, with Martin Prado shifting between third base and left field as necessary. Clearly, Davidson isn't going to make a Fantasy impact that way, and considering he's just 3 for 19 without an extra-base hit, he may be squandering his opportunity to contribute even in that limited capacity. The Diamondbacks are still competing for a playoff spot, after all. Frankly, Eaton owners are rooting for Davidson to fail so that maybe their guy can play every day.

Worth a second look: Will Middlebrooks, Red Sox
In 11 games since returning from Triple-A, Middlebrooks has been as good as ever, batting .441 (15 for 34) with two homers and a 1.241 OPS. Better yet, he has seven walks compared to seven strikeouts, seemingly correcting the poor plate discipline that had characterized his time in the majors up until now. One thing he's done from the beginning is handle lefties, compiling an .863 OPS in 166 career at-bats against them. With three on tap this week, he's a pretty safe bet to continue the hot hitting.
Approach with caution: Mike Moustakas, Royals
Moustakas has had to contend with a calf issue since mid-August, starting just two of the Royals' last nine games. Granted, one of them was Wednesday, but considering how slow calf injuries normally are to heal, you can't assume he's out of the woods yet. And even if he is completely healthy, he was just beginning to get his season on track at the time of the injury. Even with favorable matchups this week, he might not just pick up where he left off.

No-brainers: Miguel Cabrera, Edwin Encarnacion, Adrian Beltre, Matt Carpenter, Evan Longoria, Hanley Ramirez, Martin Prado
Advisable starts: Kyle Seager, Josh Donaldson, Manny Machado, Pedro Alvarez, Ryan Zimmerman, Brett Lawrie, Will Middlebrooks
Shaky starts: Aramis Ramirez, Jedd Gyorko, Anthony Rendon, Alex Rodriguez, Chris Johnson, Mike Moustakas, Chase Headley, Nolan Arenado, Pablo Sandoval (back), Michael Young, Todd Frazier, Matt Dominguez
Strictly AL/NL-only: Cody Asche, Trevor Plouffe, Juan Francisco, DJ LeMahieu, Jurickson Profar, Wilmer Flores, Matt Davidson, David Freese, Conor Gillaspie, Brett Wallace, Chris Nelson, Donnie Murphy, Yuniesky Betancourt, Jose Iglesias, Alberto Callaspo, Luis Valbuena (oblique), Kelly Johnson, Lonnie Chisenhall, Adeiny Hechavarria, Daniel Descalso, Alexi Amarista
Don't bother: Josh Satin, Mike Aviles, Jeff Keppinger (back), Placido Polanco (concussion), David Wright (hamstring), Kevin Youkilis (back), Maicer Izturis (ankle), Wilson Betemit (knee), Eric Chavez (hip), Nick Castellanos

Shortstop

Worst Five Hitting Schedules
Team Schedule
1. Marlins @WAS3, @ATL3
2. Cubs @LAD3, PHI3
3. Cardinals CIN3, @PIT3
4. Indians @ATL3, @DET3
5. Athletics @DET4, TB3

Most likely, no prospect bigger than Xander Bogaerts will get called up between now and the end of the season, so Fantasy owners are understandably excited about him. Unfortunately, the Red Sox seem committed to breaking him in slowly, using him mostly just to spell Stephen Drew against tougher lefties. Bogaerts is talented enough (and Drew ordinary enough) that he could potentially force his way into more at-bats, but in mixed leagues, he's little more than a speculative stash right now.
Worth a second look: Erick Aybar, Angels
As of Wednesday, the Angels had played 126 games this season. Since Game 64 -- or half their season so far -- Aybar is the sixth-best shortstop in Head-to-Head leagues, batting .291 with nine doubles, three triples, three homers and 10 steals. Maybe he's not a must-start option, but he deserves to be starting in more than 50 percent of leagues. He's a safe and steady choice if Brad Miller and Brian Dozier are unavailable on waivers.
Approach with caution: Starlin Castro, Cubs
That's quite enough now, I think. We've given Castro four-fifths of the season to show some semblance of the ability that made him an early-round pick this year, and he's only gotten worse, scoring less than 10 Head-to-Head points every week since the All-Star break. Jeff Bianchi has outperformed him during that stretch. A tough week against the Dodgers and Phillies pitching staffs is as good of an excuse as any to move on.

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

Outfield

On the spectrum of all Fantasy-relevant outfielders, Khris Davis still rates pretty low, but if the Brewers had better matchups, he'd be "worth a second look" this week. Since returning from the minor leagues July 23, he's batting .370 (20 for 54) with six homers and a 1.195 OPS, earning the starting left field job vacated by Ryan Braun. Obviously, he won't continue to perform quite at that level, but he did hit .350 with 15 homers and a 1.055 OPS in 260 at-bats between three stops last year. Granted, his numbers weren't as impressive at Triple-A this year, but the same was true for Darin Ruf before his promotion. If you're looking for a relative unknown who could make a similar impact in five-outfielder leagues, Davis is the perfect candidate.
Worth a second look: Marlon Byrd, Mets and Gerardo Parra, Diamondbacks
Byrd was in Khris Davis' shoes not too long ago, but Fantasy owners have been slow to come around to him, starting him in just 67 percent of leagues. Maybe this will change their minds: Since June 12 -- or about half the season so far -- he's the 12th-best hitter in Head-to-Head leagues. And it's not like he's ever cooled off. Over his last 10 games, he's batting .364 (16 for 44) with four homers. Let's get his starting percentage up to where he's no longer a candidate for this designation. Parra had a similar run in the first half, at least in terms of Fantasy points, before coming back down to earth in July. But he's showing signs of life again, ranking 14th among outfielders since the start of Fantasy Week 20 (Aug. 12-18). Facing five righties, against whom he's batting .291 with an .810 OPS, in six games at home, where he's batting .289 with a .796 OPS, he should be able to keep it up this week.
Approach with caution: Nick Swisher, Indians and Coco Crisp, Athletics
After disappointing his Fantasy owners for much of this season, Swisher is showing signs of a turnaround, batting .333 (9 for 27) with three homers in his last six games. He's right up there with Kelly Johnson in terms of streakiness, so you'd hate to have him benched the week he goes off. It is just six games, though -- nothing all that definitive. I'd feel more comfortable using him if the Indians had better matchups this week, but against Mike Minor, Alex Wood, Anibal Sanchez and Justin Verlander, he's a candidate to disappoint. Crisp, who has been dealing with a wrist injury for weeks now, did homer Wednesday, but considering he can't even play against lefties because of how much the wrist bothers him from the right side of the plate, he's not over the hump yet. Against the Tigers and Rays rotations this week, he's not a particularly wise gamble.

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

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
Report: Padres-Dodgers trade delayed following Kemp's physical
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(1:08 pm ET) The Padres are mulling whether or not to finalize the trade for Dodgers outfielder Matt Kemp after his physical revealed severe arthritis in both hips, a person familiar with the diagnosis told USA Today. The source spoke to USA Today on the condition of anonymity.

The Padres and Dodgers agreed to a trade last week that would send Kemp, catcher Tim Federowicz and $32 million to San Diego for catcher Yasmani Grandal and pitching prospects Joe Wieland and Zach Eflin.

However, after Kemp's physical Tuesday, Padres' physicians are now discussing whether the arthritis would impact his career.

If the Padres choose to void the trade, then it would impact the Dodgers' trade with the Phillies for shortstop Jimmy Rollins since the deal included Eflin.

While the USA Today report has surfaced, Kemp's agent -- Junior Spivey -- told FOX Sports reporter Ken Rosenthal, "Everything is OK. We're just waiting on the final details. Should be good to go." Although, Spivey added he has not heard from the Padres since Kemp took his physical Tuesday.


Showalter: Machado appears more likely for O's opener than Wieters
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(11:38 am ET) Orioles manager Buck Showalter conveyed third baseman Manny Machado has a better chance of being ready for the Orioles season opener than catcher Matt Wieters, according to CSNBaltimore.com. 

Machado had right knee surgery in August and Wieters underwent Tommy John surgery in June.

"With both of these guys, it will be when and not if. I think if you held a gun up to my head, I think Manny makes the start of the year, and I think Matt is very close thereafter, but we won’t put either one of these guys on the field until it’s time to go, and try to keep the finish line in mind," Showalter said.


Report: Rockies considering Kendrick as back-of-the-rotation arm
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(9:28 am ET) The Rockies are looking at free agent Kyle Kendrick as a potential back-of-the-rotation arm, according to ESPN. Kendrick is 1-1 with a 5.26 ERA and 1.46 WHIP in seven career outings (six starts) at Coors Field.

Rangers' Daniels: Ryan Rua 'in a good position' to make roster
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(8:57 am ET) Ryan Rua received his first stint in the majors late last season and made such a strong impression in such a short period of time that the Rangers are looking to him to potentially be the starting left fielder in 2015, per MLB.com.

"He's in a spot where he if continues progressing at the rate he has, then I would expect that he's in a good position to make our club and get at-bats," general manager Jon Daniels said. "It's not going to be handed to him, but he has a strong chance to earn that spot."

The 24-year-old Rua hit .295 with two home runs, seven doubles and 14 RBI in 28 games with the Rangers in 2014. He had a .285/.365/.489/.854 slash line in 382 minor-league games before his promotion to the majors.

"He's not a guy that was off the radar screen and only produced for a month," Daniels said. "He's always hit from Day 1, and is an extremely hard worker that I think is going to have a good big league career."


Hart: Braves expecting Markakis to be 'full go' in spring training
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(8:29 am ET) Braves outfielder Nick Markakis underwent fusion surgery to repair a herniated disk in his neck Wednesday, per MLB.com. The team expects Markakis to resume baseball activities before the start of spring training. 

"We talked to (Dr.) Steve Wray after the surgery and he said it really went well," Braves president of baseball operations John Hart said. "He said [the procedure] really went well, and he thinks that this guy will be ready to go full go in spring training. The only thing is that there will be a little bit of a disruption for his normal routine getting ready for spring training."

Markakis is expected to be cleared for physical activities within the next month, and the hope is he will be fully cleared within six weeks. Markakis agreed to a four-year, $44 million deal with the Braves in early December.


Three teams showing interest in Norichika Aoki
by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
(12/17/2014) The Orioles, Reds and Mariners are among the teams looking at outfielder Norichika Aoki, according to CBSSports.com Baseball Insider Jon Heyman.

The 32-year-old Aoki hit .285/.349/.360 over 491 at-bats last year. With the Royals signing Alex Rios earlier in the week, Aoki will likely have to move on with a different club. 


Report: Athletics release Jorge De Leon
by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
(12/17/2014) The Athletics have released pitcher Jorge De Leon, according to SB Nation.

De Leon was designated for assignment by the club last week, and the team couldn't find a way to deal him. De Leon appeared in eight games last season, posting a 4.91 ERA over 7 1/3 innings. 


Report: Padres' Seth Smith popping up in trade talks
by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
(12/17/2014) Padres outfielder Seth Smith has come up in trade talks recently, according to ESPN.

If the Matt Kemp and Wil Myers trades go through, the team would have a surplus in the outfield. On top of those two players, San Diego would also have Carlos Quentin, Will Venable, Cameron Maybin and Smith. The 32-year-old Smith hit .266/.367/.440 over 443 at-bats last year. 


D-Backs, David Hernandez avoid arbitration
by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
(12/17/2014) The Diamondbacks have reached an agreement with David Hernandez on a contract, according to the azcentral.com.

Hernandez was eligible for arbitration, but settled on a $2 million salary figure for next season. The 29-year-old posted a missed all of last season after undergoing Tommy John surgery.


Report: Three teams showing interest in Jake Peavy
by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
(12/17/2014) The Marlins, Braves and Giants are showing interest in pitcher Jake Peavy, according to FoxSports.com.

The 33-year-old Peavy is coming off a season in which he posted a 3.73 ERA over 202 2/3 innings. Peavy had some issues in Boston, posting a 4.72 ERA to start the season, but settled in once he joined the Giants. With San Francisco, Peavy had a 2.17 ERA over 78 2/3 innings. The Marlins interest in Peavy is dependent on whether Dan Haren decides to pitch. If Haren comes back, the team would not have interest in Peavy.


 
 
 
Rankings