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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
Bud Norris remains without update for contract extension
by Brandon Wise | CBSSports.com
(12:24 pm ET) Orioles pitcher Bud Norris said Saturday nothing has changed between he and the organization for a new contract.

"I haven't heard anything of that," Norris said. "I don't see a reason why I'd want to leave, but that's out of my control."

Norris and the Orioles are preparing for arbitration, when Norris filed for $10.25 million and Baltimore offered $7.5 million. He went 15-8 with a 3.65 ERA and 139:52 K:BB ratio in 165 1/3 innings over 28 starts in 2014.


Orioles' Chris Davis calls using Adderall in 2013 'a moment of weakness'
by Brandon Wise | CBSSports.com
(11:56 am ET) Orioles first baseman Chris Davis told reporters Saturday he was denied an exemption for Adderall in 2013 but he took it anyway.

"It was a moment of weakness," Davis said. He was diagnosed with ADD in 2008 and it isn't a performance enhancer for someone who needs it for medical reasons, according to Davis.

"For me, it was off the field, just an everyday life thing," he said. "I was a little overwhelmed, just kind of with everything that was going on with the (oblique) injury. There were a lot of different things that were taking my focus away from baseball. It was a mistake that I wish I could undo, but I can't, so I've just got to move forward."

Davis has one game remaining on his 25-game suspension for amphetamines, which he test posted for in September last year. He finished with a .196 batting average with 26 home runs and 72 RBI.


Report: David Aardsma to throw bullpen next week for teams
by Brandon Wise | CBSSports.com
(10:07 am ET) Free-agent pitcher David Aardsma will throw a bullpen session for interested teams next week, according to his agent, Jamie Murphy.

"(Aardsma) is looking to showcase added velocity after a change in mechanics and an extremely intense offseason workout regimen," Murphy told FoxSports.com senior baseball writer Ken Rosenthal.

Aardsma missed the entire 2014 season after suffering a torn adductor muscle. He was last with the Mets in 2013 when he posted a 2-2 record with a 4.31 ERA and 36 strikeouts.


Orioles' Jonathan Schoop trying to cut weight for upcoming season
by Brandon Wise | CBSSports.com
(9:37 am ET) Orioles second baseman Jonathan Schoop wants to raise the level of his game for the 2015 season. The 22-year-old is hoping to be more mentally and physically prepared for the grind of the 162-game season.

"My weight is lower than last year. I want to have more range and be faster. Trying to steal some more bases and be faster for the team on the bases to help put more pressure on the defense." Schoop said. "I learned a lot from my teammates. They helped me a lot. One year of experience. I'm better than last year. Mentally and physically, everything. My ups and downs helped me a lot to know myself better too."

Schoop, who hit .209 with 16 home runs and 45 RBI in 2014, is also taking more advice from his teammates about his approach at the plate.

"Be patient. Don't chase too many pitches. Let them throw strikes and swing at strikes. Just have to work on getting better pitches to hit. See how they pitch you. If I can do that, I'll be better," he said. "I worked on everything (this winter). I want to get faster. You have to work on all of it, speed, defense. I want to be a better player than last year."


Twins' Byron Buxton named No. 1 prospect by MLB.com
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(12:00 am ET) Twins outfielder Byron Buxton was named the top prospect in baseball by MLB.com Friday.

Buxton played just 31 games in 2014 due to wrist and concussion issues and finished with a .240/.313/.405 line along with four home runs, 16 RBI and six stolen bases in 121 at-bats with high Class A Fort Myers. He also went 0 for 3 at the Double-A level. Buxton is making his second straight appearance atop MLB.com's top prospect list.

The rest of MLB.com's top-five prospects (in order) are Cubs third baseman Kris Bryant, Astros shotstop Carlos Correa, Indians shortstop Francisco Lindor and Cubs shortstop Addison Russell. None of the quartet appeared in the top five of last year's MLB.com prospect list, though all four cracked the top 12.


Red Sox designate Drake Britton for assignment
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(1/30/2015) The Red Sox designated pitcher Drake Britton for assignment Friday, clearing a roster spot for pitcher Alexi Ogando.

Britton appeared in seven games with the Red Sox in 2014, tossing 6 2/3 scoreless innings while striking out four batters and walking two. He posted a 5.86 ERA and 37:38 K:BB ratio in 58 1/3 innings with Triple-A Pawtucket.


Peter Moylan 'doing fantastic' in return from Tommy John
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(1/30/2015) Free-agent pitcher Peter Moylan indicated Friday that he's "doing fantastic" in his return from his second Tommy John surgery, the Houston Chronicle reports.

"I’m doing fantastic, mate. Dropped 35 pounds," Moylan said. “My goal is to be 100 percent by end of spring. Ball is coming out great, though. Probably have to throw for some teams right around the start of spring to gauge interest, but there have already been some nibbles, which is encouraging."

Moylan underwent the procedure last March after receiving a non-roster invitation from the Astros. He's throwing from about 70 percent strength off a mound and in the process of deciding whether to sign a a deal in the near future or after the season begins. He hopes to resume pitching in the big leagues by midseason at the earliest.

Moylan has made 309 appearances since debuting in 2006, compiling a 21-9 record, 2.80 ERA and 213:121 K:BB ratio in 276 innings.


Braves' Shelby Miller: Sinker is 'going to take me to the next level'
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(1/30/2015) Braves starting pitcher Shelby Miller had an up-and-down season with the Cardinals in 2014. He began the season by going 6-2 with a 2.79 ERA before going 2-7 with a 5.11 ERA over his next 16 appearances (15 starts).

Miller, however, was able to finish the season on a high note, going 2-0 with a 2.08 ERA and .190 opponents' batting average over his final seven starts. Miller attributes his success down the stretch to incorporating a sinker into his repertoire, per FOX Sports South.

"I said I'm going to throw some of these, and we'll see where it's at," Miller said of a conversation he had with catcher A.J. Pierzynski before an Aug. 23 start against the Phillies. "It felt good so we just went with it. I started throwing it literally within three days. It's a good pitch that I picked up quick.

"I still need a lot of work with it. I need a lot of work with all my pitches. There's all sorts of ways to get better. But I think that's definitely a pitch that will help me be more efficient and take me deeper into games. That's [the sinker] going to be a huge pitch for me this year that's ultimately going to take me to the next level. Not only that but kind of mixing it all together, becoming more of a complete pitcher more than a thrower."

Miller added he will also begin to work more on his changeup, which he threw just 2.2 percent of the time in 2014, per FanGraphs.com.

"I know [Braves pitching coach] Roger [McDowell] has been known for changeups," Miller said. "A lot of great pitchers have come through this organization, [and] that's a pitch I would love to pick up. I want to be able to throw it more consistently, [and] have a little bit more confidence in it."


Scott Baker agrees to minor-league deal with Yankees
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(1/30/2015) The Yankees agreed to a minor-league deal with pitcher Scott Baker, according to CBSSports.com Baseball Insider Jon Heyman. If Baker makes the major-league roster, he will be paid $1.5 million.

Baker made 25 appearances (eight starts) for the Rangers in 2014, going 3-4 with a 5.47 ERA. He had 55 strikeouts in 80 2/3 innings.


Rockies designate Jayson Aquino for assignment
by Brandon Wise | CBSSports.com
(1/30/2015) After completing a two-team trade Friday, the Rockies decided to designate Jayson Aquino for assignment, the team announced.

Aquino spent 2014 bouncing around the minor league, pitching in 18 games with a 5.13 ERA in 107 innings pitched. He went 5-10 with 83 strikeouts in stints with both Double-A Tulsa and Class A Modesto.


 
 
 
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