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Waiver Wire: Don't forget about the other Davis

Senior Fantasy Writer
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A lesson should probably have been learned from last week's touting of Jake Arrieta, but screw it -- with a handful of my Fantasy teams clawing to get into the top three, I'm all about the gamble right now.

I've added Daisuke Matsuzaka in several Roto leagues.

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I'm not doing this in Head-to-Head points formats because playoffs are a different beast than just chipping away at a bunch of separate categories over the next month in hopes of getting enough stats to make a run in the standings. This is a pure Roto play.

We last saw Matsuzaka in an emergency spot start for the Mets on Aug. 23, giving up five runs in five innings and striking out four. He threw 86 pitches, his fastball averaged about 88 to 89 mph and he gave up two home runs.

But there were some encouraging signs. Often plagued with control issues, Matsuzaka only walked one batter. And after the second inning (once all five runs had been scored), Matsuzaka was perfect, firing three frames of 1-2-3 baseball. Additionally, he was facing the Tigers, who have the second-most runs scored in baseball this year, as well as the best batting average and OBP.

I don't care what he did Wednesday night against the Phillies; it won't change the fact that Matsuzaka -- owned in 3 percent of leagues -- has two starts next week and a good amount of my Roto teams could use two chances at a win, as well as a boost in strikeouts.

The Big Leaps

Khris Davis, OF, Brewers (63 percent ownership, up from 19)

Khris Davis has been a man on a mission since his mid-July recall from the minors. In 27 games (17 of which he started), Davis is hitting .343 with eight home runs, five doubles and a steal. He's also sporting a 1.170 OPS.

The power output shouldn't come as a big surprise -- Davis has hit double-digit homers in each of his last four minor league seasons, including the last two, in which he was kept below 275 at-bats in each (260 in 2012, 243 in 2013).

Davis is a little erratic in batting average and OBP, and his steals output is unpredictable, but in a late-season, no-pressure role (replacing Ryan Braun on a Brewers team well out of the playoff hunt), Davis could be a nice addition to a Fantasy team. I'd be a little reluctant to start him a 12-team standard roster in the middle of the playoffs, just because this could have a bit of Yuniesky Betancourt flavor to it. But Davis has produced enough in the majors to start in a Roto league and makes for a nice addition to a team's bench in a shallower league, in case injury strikes a starter.

Carlos Ruiz, C, Phililes (42 percent ownership, up from 27)

Ruiz started the season serving out a PED suspension (more of the amphetamine nature than steroid), which pushed his value down significantly -- especially in 12-team Head-to-Head leagues, where you only really need one catcher and can add and drop at will using the wire if anything goes awry. After a brief, unspectacular return in late April, Ruiz found himself sidelined again in mid-May, forced to the DL with a hamstring injury. Batting .235 at the time, Ruiz became a forgotten man, left to toil in the free agent waters.

Fast forward to August and Ruiz is back to form. In 22 games this month, he is hitting .342 with three home runs, six doubles and a .916 OPS. His .278 average fits his career lines much better than his early season .240s, and Ruiz is getting his slugging and OBP totals up to where they should be.

With the Phillies out of the playoff hunt, Ruiz -- who will be a free agent after the season -- is playing for a new contract. The 34-year-old has incentive to finish the year on a high note and could be a nice addition to a Fantasy team in need of a steady presence at catcher. Owned in 42 percent of leagues, Ruiz -- who has gotten MVP votes in each of the last three seasons -- is an underrated option for the rest of 2013.

AL-only fun

Danny Duffy, SP, Royals (11 percent ownership)

In a year where seemingly every pitcher returning from Tommy John surgery has hit some sort of snag (Brandon Beachy, Ryan Madson, Daniel Hudson), Danny Duffy has quietly re-entered the scene without much attention and has worked his way back into the Royals rotation with the team still technically in the postseason mix.

At 24 years old, Duffy hasn't had the chance to "wow" at the major league level -- his 3.90 ERA and 9.1 K/9 over six starts last year were impressive, but had to be somewhat marred by the elbow injury. In the minors, though, Duffy was a borderline stud. His K/9 was sub-10.0 just one season of his five, pre-surgery. Despite having a 4.04 ERA this season, his career ERA in the minors is still 2.88. And he's been great recently -- in his last 10 minor league appearances Duffy has a 2.76 ERA and 53 strikeouts in 45 2/3 innings.

We've seen Duffy twice this season -- in 9 2/3 innings, spanning two starts -- and he's been excellent, with a 1.86 ERA and 1.24 WHIP, striking out 10 batters. With a return to the rotation, Duffy becomes a slam-dunk AL-only play and has value in 12-team Roto leagues and deeper dynasty formats, as well. Take advantage of other owners dialing out for the season and snatch up Duffy where you can. He should be good for nice ERA and WHIP, with a K/9 nearing the 9.5-10 zone.

NL-only fun

Tyler Moore, OF, Nationals (2 percent ownership)

Just looking at Tyler Moore's stats this year does little for you -- he's hitting .214 in 131 at-bats, with three home runs and six doubles. But much of that ugliness came earlier in the season, when Moore was playing sparingly and not afforded regular at-bats.

After heading back down to Triple-A, where Moore hit .318 with 10 home runs and 14 doubles over 173 at-bats, the 26-year-old was recalled a couple weeks ago. He's been a man possessed since, starting six games and getting multiple hits in five of them. Over that six-game span, Moore is hitting .480 with a 1.000 OPS. He's still playing somewhat sparingly, but with the team essentially out of the postseason, Moore can slot in at first and give Washington's starters occasional days of rest in the outfield, as well. He has a ton of power (Moore hit 31 home runs in two straight minor league campaigns) and has kept an average above .300 the last two seasons.

Moore will still see days off, but as the season winds down, the Nationals should play him plenty, if for no other reason than to see what they have in this would-be power hitting outfielder/first baseman.

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
Mets trying to get Jeurys Familia to pitch up in the zone
by Shawn Krest | CBSSports.com
(10:07 pm ET) Mets sinkerballer Jeurys Familia has made a living inducing ground balls and retiring righthanders. With injuries taking away several contributors from the Mets bullpen, however, the team wants to expand Familia's role, and that means moving his pitches up in the strike zone. 

"The way he pitches, everything's down, down, down, down, down," manager Terry Collins said, per MLB.com's Anthony DiComo. "We've got to change the look. If he's going to be that guy who we think possibly could pitch deep in the game, he's got to be able to do a couple other things. There's going to be a time when you're going to need a strikeout, especially against lefties. If he can give them something else to look at, he's going to have a better chance to strike them out."

Pitching coach Dan Warthen has made changes to Familia's delivery to help him pitch up in the zone. 

Familia has a 6.43 ERA so far this spring. 


Juan Centeno making good impression on Brewers
by Shawn Krest | CBSSports.com
(10:01 pm ET) Catcher Juan Centeno signed with the Brewers after getting waived by the Mets in the offseason. There were some growing pains at first, but he's finally made a good impression with his new team. 

"He’s improving all the time from what we’ve seen," said manager Ron Roenicke, per Tom Haudricourt of the Journal Sentinel. "When he first came here, he maybe wasn’t comfortable. It’s hard when you change teams, and he’s trying to impress. He’s a nice player; will be a nice backup for us."

Centeno is hitting .400 for the Brewers this spring. 


Indians outfielder Michael Brantley working on opposite-field power
by Brandon Wise | CBSSports.com
(9:45 pm ET) Indians outfielder Michael Brantley is battling off injury issues this spring. But, the outfielder is still working to get better. And listening to his father, reports MLB.com.

"Hitting it over the left fielder's head -- not always in front," Michael Brantley said. "Making sure that we're catching the ball still out front, but still staying through it so we could stay behind the ball and drive the ball to left-center and over the left fielder's head this year."

His dad, Mickey Brantley is now a hitting coach and continues to give his son advice. Brantley wants to continue to be aggressive at the plate.

"That's not going to change. It worked OK," Brantley said with a laugh. "I don't want to change things that work. There's no set way of going about it, but you've got to be aggressive in this game. The pitching is getting too good to not be aggressive anymore."


Carlos Rodon likely to start season in minors for White Sox
by Shawn Krest | CBSSports.com
(9:42 pm ET) The White Sox will probably have pitcher Carlos Rodon start the season in the minors. 

The number two overall pick in last year's draft, Rodon still needs to work on his changeup, in the opinion of manager Robin Ventura. 

"Everybody has different opinions on him, but you don’t want to put him in there with one pitch or two pitches," Ventura said, per ESPN's Doug Padilla. "You want him to be armed with the things that make him successful and you don’t want him to come up here and be a flash in the pan, and he’s got to go down and work on stuff. He needs to be a complete product when he comes out of here."

Rodon has made progress with the changeup, so it may not be a long time before he's in Chicago to stay. 

"The changeup is getting much better every time he goes out there," Ventura said. 


Rough day on mound for White Sox pitcher Jeff Samardzija
by Shawn Krest | CBSSports.com
(9:38 pm ET) White Sox pitcher Jeff Samardzija got batted around by his old team on Friday. The Cubs hit four home runs off Samardzija in six innings. 

Samrdzija gave up six runs on seven hits. He struck out nine batters in the game. 

Samardzija suffered the loss, dropping to 1-2 in the spring with a 7.79 ERA.


Astros 1B Jon Singleton working to simplify things at the plate
by Brandon Wise | CBSSports.com
(9:24 pm ET) Astros first baseman Jon Singleton is continuing to progress as a hitter. Singleton has hit .244 so far this spring and manager A.J. Hinch is seeing him get better every day, reports the Houston Chronicle.

"He's working on things to simplify things at the plate, clear his head and take a good pass at the ball and swing at strikes," Hinch said Friday. "Get in a good body posture, making sure that his effort level is at the right consistent. He can swing ferociously with the best of them, and that's not always the best balance swing for him. I think he's trying to find a happy medium on how to try to take his best swing while staying under control. And I think that’s starting to translate into games."

Singleton is getting in the mindset of focusing more at the plate.

"A lot of it is thinking," Singleton said. "You got to get in the box and just let everything go. Let everything that you're working on go. Compete. I think that has a little bit to do with it. I also think it's still early, pitches that I'm missing now I don't think I'm going to miss in May or June. But it’s all a work in progress."


Indians pitcher Corey Kluber reaches seventh inning in start
by Brandon Wise | CBSSports.com
(9:07 pm ET) Indians pitcher Corey Kluber threw 107 pitches Friday in his outing against the Diamondbacks. Kluber, the AL Cy Young award winner in 2014, reached the seventh inning, but was pulled before recording an out.

"I felt good," Kluber said to MLB.com. "I feel like I'm getting stronger each time out. I was able to get the pitch count up to where I wanted to today. For the most part, I executed pretty well."

Kluber allowed six hits with nine strikeouts in the outing.

"He wanted to get out there pretty good," manager Terry Francona said of Kluber's high pitch count. "So, the next outing, if he wanted, if he feels like scaling it back, he can. But, he feels like he's ready. I thought he did a really good job. He's in such good shape. Most guys, when they get out to that point, they're kind of pushing to get through it. He's strong."


MRI reveals no damage to Diamondbacks pitcher Matt Stites' elbow
by Brandon Wise | CBSSports.com
(9:02 pm ET) Diamondbacks pitcher Matt Stites does not have any structural damage in his right elbow after receiving a second MRI, reports MLB.com.

Stites' right arm locked up on him last Saturday and the initial MRI revealed inflammation in the elbow.

"What we heard is it looked good," D-backs manager Chip Hale said. "They said this one was even cleaner. The MRI looked very clean, so they're going to figure out a plan of attack."

It is unclear when Stites will resume throwing again.


Royals' Alex Rios says thumb better, but problem will linger
by Shawn Krest | CBSSports.com
(8:54 pm ET) Royals outfielder Alex Rios said his thumb is doing better, reports Andy McCullough of the Kansas City Star.

Rios sat out two games after jamming the thumb, the same injury he suffered last season. 

Even though the thumb is improved, Rios said he'll likely have to manage the condition all season long. 


Rangers pitcher Anthony Ranaudo tosses six innings Friday
by Brandon Wise | CBSSports.com
(8:41 pm ET) Rangers pitcher Anthony Ranaudo went six innings Friday against the Athletics, allowing just two runs.

Ranaudo, who is competing for a spot in the starting rotation, liked that he was able to get up to the six-inning plateau.

"This was a good day. It was the first time I got up six times (innings) and I felt good," Ranaudo said. "I was throwing my pitches for strikes and mixing my pitches well. It was a step in the right direction as far as getting ready for the season."

Ranaudo added three strikeouts and lowered his spring ERA to 5.02.


 
 
 
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