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Start and sit hitters for Week 8

Senior Fantasy Writer
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Though normally in Fantasy Baseball, you'd start your best players every week regardless of matchups, in those weeks when you do need a fill-in, whether because of injuries or the total collapse of a trusted starter, Scott White is here to help.

At each position, he'll list the players who are "too obvious" for the upcoming week, meaning the ones you wouldn't consider sitting for anyone off the list, and then suggest a start and a sit based on a variety of short-term factors.

All stats are updated through Thursday, May 15.

A bunch of those players you've had stashed in your DL slots the last few weeks are set to return in the days ahead. Devin Mesoraco (hamstring) was back in the lineup Friday, putting him immediately in the "too obvious" category at catcher. Wilin Rosario (illness) still needs a rehab assignment but, but assuming it goes as planned, is high-end enough to start this week in anticipation of a Tuesday return.

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In the outfield, Michael Cuddyer, who has been out since mid-April with a hamstring injury, is on about the same timetable as Rosario, but Adam Eaton (hamstring), who has been out with a hamstring injury of his own, could return as soon as Sunday. Kole Calhoun (ankle) is expected back Tuesday, but he's returning from a more serious injury and wasn't as established as Cuddyer or Eaton at the time he went down. In standard leagues, you might want to give him a week to shake off the rust.

Starling Marte's back injury is more of the day-to-day variety, but because he has yet to start a game in Fantasy Week 7 (May 12-18), he's hardly automatic heading into this week. In five-outfielder leagues, you should probably give him the benefit of the doubt (unless he winds up on the DL, of course), but if you have any concerns about his playing time in a three-outfielder league, you don't risk losing all that much by benching him, given his performance to date.

And with that, on to the position-by-position breakdown ...

Catcher

Too obvious: Buster Posey, Yadier Molina, Joe Mauer, Jonathan Lucroy, Carlos Santana, Brian McCann, Miguel Montero, Salvador Perez, Devin Mesoraco, Evan Gattis

Scott's sleepers for Week 8
Player Own/Start %
1. Yangervis Solarte, 2B/3B/SS/OF, NYY 84/72
2. Seth Smith, OF, SD 37/31
3. Brett Gardner, OF, NYY 70/58
4. Yan Gomes, C, CLE 71/59
5. Torii Hunter, OF, DET 84/69
6. Pablo Sandoval, 3B, SF 72/44
7. Asdrubal Cabrera, SS, CLE 68/52
8. Chase Headley, 3B, SD 68/42
9. Dustin Ackley, 2B/OF, SEA 49/34
10. Everth Cabrera, SS, SD 76/52

Start: Yan Gomes, Indians
Gomes has had his ups and downs this season, but so far in May, he's batting .308 (12 for 39) with three homers in 10 games, looking more like the player who broke out with a .294 batting average and 11 home runs in only 293 at-bats last year. While he faces the Tigers rotation at the beginning of this week, he should do enough damage against the Orioles' projected foursome of Chris Tillman, Bud Norris, Ubaldo Jimenez and Wei-Yin Chen to remain the hot-hand play.
Instead of: Jason Castro, Jarrod Saltalamacchia, Carlos Ruiz

Sit: Josmil Pinto, Twins
Pinto's ownership rate peaked at only 38 percent, but for a few weeks there, he was performing like a high-end catcher, reaching base nearly 40 percent of the time with plus power. But alas, that ride appears to be over. The Twins have started him in just two of six games since bringing Chris Parmelee back to the majors, adding to their options at DH. And they won't even have the DH spot available to do them this week with all five of their games (yes, only five games) in NL parks.
Instead of: Mike Zunino, Yasmani Grandal, John Jaso

First base

Too obvious: Miguel Cabrera, Paul Goldschmidt, Edwin Encarnacion, Albert Pujols, Freddie Freeman, Chris Davis, Prince Fielder, Adrian Gonzalez, Buster Posey, Anthony Rizzo, Victor Martinez, Justin Morneau, Eric Hosmer, Brandon Moss, Joe Mauer, Mike Napoli

Start: Mark Teixeira, Yankees
Teixeira's power surge in his return from the DL probably isn't lost on anyone, but what may be is how often he's getting on base. He's back to walking at the rate he did in his first few years with the Yankees, which helped keep him an elite Fantasy option even as his batting average tanked. If it continues, he's not necessarily just a hot-hand play, but of course, he's hot now and should be able to keep it going against Jake Arrieta, Jason Hammel, Hector Noesi, John Danks, Scott Carroll and Andre Rienzo.
Instead of: Matt Adams, Ryan Howard, James Loney

Sit: Juan Francisco, Blue Jays
Excited to take advantage of all the home runs Francisco's been hitting in May? Pardon me while I dampen your enthusiasm. Francisco sat against a left-hander Monday and will likely continue to do so with Adam Lind and Brett Lawrie back from injuries. The Blue Jays face four lefties this week, including high-end types like Jon Lester, Scott Kazmir and Drew Pomeranz. Striking out more than every third at-bat, Francisco is due for a downturn anyway.
Instead of: Loney, Corey Hart, Garrett Jones

Second base

Too obvious: Robinson Cano, Dustin Pedroia, Matt Carpenter, Ian Kinsler, Brian Dozier, Anthony Rendon, Jose Altuve, Dee Gordon, Chase Utley, Daniel Murphy, Howie Kendrick

Five Best Hitting Schedules
Team Schedule
1. Yankees @CHC2, @CHW4
2. Giants @COL3, MIN3
3. Mariners @TEX2, HOU4
4. Padres MIN2, CHC4
5. Tigers @CLE3, TEX4

Start: Yangervis Solarte, Yankees
He's listed here at second base, but in standard CBSSports.com leagues, you can start Solarte at third base, shortstop or even the outfield. Wherever he best meets your needs, you want him active this week and potentially long after that. He's shown excellent bat control and plate discipline in first big-league season, boasting a 1-to-1 strikeout-to-walk ratio that makes his high batting average not so far-fetched. He'll get to beat up on the Cubs and White Sox rotations this week and is plenty hot to begin with, batting .429 (15 for 39) with three home runs in his last 10 games.
Instead of: Martin Prado, Neil Walker, Jedd Gyorko

Sit: Brandon Phillips, Reds
A non-factor for much of the season, Phillips has actually been swinging a hot bat in May, batting .349 (15 for 43) with two home runs in 11 games, but because of his putrid plate discipline and lackluster supporting cast, he's been only the 13th-best second baseman in Head-to-Head point leagues during that stretch. That's more disappointing than bad, but against Stephen Strasburg, Doug Fister, Tanner Roark and Adam Wainwright this week, he figures to take a step back from there.
Instead of: Solarte, Walker, Dustin Ackley

Third base

Too obvious: Miguel Cabrera, David Wright, Evan Longoria, Josh Donaldson, Adrian Beltre, Matt Carpenter, Anthony Rendon, Pedro Alvarez, Nolan Arenado, Todd Frazier, Carlos Santana, Kyle Seager

Start: Pablo Sandoval, Giants
Though still not hitting for his usual power, Sandoval has piled up singles in his last five games, batting .400 (8 for 20) with only two strikeouts. If it's a sign of him breaking out of his early-season funk, he's picked the right week. The Giants are in Colorado for three games and then host Minnesota for three, making Ricky Nolasco the best pitcher they'll face all week. He's not as promising as Solarte, of course, but at a thin position, he's usable.
Instead of: Brett Lawrie, Trevor Plouffe, Casey McGehee

Sit: Martin Prado, Diamondbacks
Though he's been getting more hits in recent days, Prado still hasn't made much of an impact this season, and while his track record says it's only a matter of time (it certainly was last year, when he hit .324 in the second half), his matchups this week won't help his cause. He's facing six righties, including Adam Wainwright, Michael Wacha, Lance Lynn, and Rafael Montero, and what little he's done this year has come against lefties, against whom he's 10 for 30.
Instead of: Solarte, Sandoval, Chase Headley

Shortstop

Too obvious: Troy Tulowitzki, Hanley Ramirez, Ian Desmond, Jose Reyes, Elvis Andrus, Dee Gordon, Alexei Ramirez, Starlin Castro, Jed Lowrie, Jean Segura

Five Worst Hitting Schedules
Team Schedule
1. Rangers SEA2, @DET4
2. Pirates BAL2, WAS4
3. Blue Jays @BOS3, OAK3
4. Reds @WAS3, STL3
5. Twins @SD2, @SF3

Start: Asdrubal Cabrera, Indians
A forgotten man this season after a disappointing 2013 campaign, Cabrera has started to perform more like the player who made the All-Star team in 2011 and 2012, batting .471 (16 for 34) with two homers, five doubles and a steal in his last eight games. Granted, he had his share of hot streaks last year as well, but once you get past the "too obvious" options at a weak position, you'll cling to whatever you can. His matchups against Chris Tillman, Bud Norris, Ubaldo Jimenez and Wei-Yin Chen should at least give him a chance to keep it going.
Instead of: Andrelton Simmons, J.J. Hardy, Xander Bogaerts

Sit: Jonathan Villar, Astros
Fittingly, as soon as I got on the Villar bandwagon, making him my "start" at this position last week, he began doing what he probably should have been doing all along: making out after out after out. He's 3 for 30 over his last nine games, his batting average falling to where you'd expect it to be for a player who strikes out every third at-bat. Expect no letup against Garrett Richards, Tyler Skaggs, Jered Weaver, Felix Hernandez and Hisashi Iwakuma this week.
Instead of: Asdrubal Cabrera, Everth Cabrera, Alcides Escobar

Outfield

Too obvious: Mike Trout, Andrew McCutchen, Jose Bautista, Giancarlo Stanton, Carlos Gonzalez, Jacoby Ellsbury, Carlos Gomez, Yasiel Puig, Shin-Soo Choo, Ryan Braun, Adam Jones, Justin Upton, Matt Holliday, Hunter Pence, Alex Rios, Jayson Werth, Melky Cabrera, Nelson Cruz, Charlie Blackmon, Yoenis Cespedes, Matt Kemp, Michael Brantley, Brandon Moss, Wil Myers, Desmond Jennings, Michael Morse, Austin Jackson, Jason Heyward

Start: Seth Smith, Padres
Particularly with Carlos Quentin back, Smith probably isn't the safest long-term bet in Fantasy. A big reason why he's on everyone's radar now is because the Padres have faced only two left-handed pitchers in their last 14 games. He sat against both and figures to continue sitting against lefties going forward, but once again, the Padres face only one this week. With a .513 batting average and 1.526 OPS over his last 11 games, Smith is as hot as it gets right now and could keep it going against pitchers like Kevin Correia, Phil Hughes, Edwin Jackson and Jake Arrieta.
Instead of: George Springer, Nick Markakis, Marcell Ozuna

Sit: Chris Colabello, Twins
You know how Chris Parmelee's promotion has impacted Josmil Pinto's playing time? With the DH unavailable to the Twins for their five games in NL parks this week, it could impact Colabello's as well. Clearly encouraged by his .305 batting average and .920 OPS at Triple-Rochester, the Twins have started Parmelee against both lefties and righties so far, and he's justified it with his performance. Colabello, meanwhile, is 0 for 18 in his last six games and 8 for 69 (.116) in his last 18, so sending him to the bench isn't much of a stretch. Even if he plays, he'll face Ian Kennedy, Tyson Ross and Madison Bumgarner in three of those five games.
Instead of: Smith, Brett Gardner, Torii Hunter

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

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Player News
Diamondacks outfielder David Peralta rips second home run Saturday
by Brandon Wise | CBSSports.com
(4/18/2015) Diamondbacks outfielder David Peralta went 1 for 4 at the plate in Arizona's 4-1 loss to the Giants Saturday.

Peralta did his damage in the fourth inning, ripping a 2-0 pitch from Chris Heston over the right field wall for a solo home run, his second of the season. Peralta is now hitting .267 in 30 at-bats this season.


Giants shortstop Brandon Crawford cranks third home run Saturday
by Brandon Wise | CBSSports.com
(4/18/2015) Giants shortstop Brandon Crawford went 1 for 4 at the plate in San Francisco's 4-1 win over the Diamondbacks Saturday. 

Crawford did his damage in the fourth inning when he ripped the first pitch he saw from Rubby De La Rosa over the right field wall, driving in Gregor Blanco. It was Crawford's third home run of the year and now has eight RBI with a .163 average.


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by Brandon Wise | CBSSports.com
(4/18/2015) Diamondbacks pitcher Rubby De La Rosa allowed four runs, three earned, on nine hits in Arizona's 4-1 loss to the Giants Saturday.

De La Rosa ran into trouble in the first, when he gave up a leadoff double to Nori Aoki, who was driven in by Joe Panik on a single. He gave up another run in the third inning on a Buster Posey RBI single, driving in Joe Panik. 

De La Rosa then gave up a two-run homer to Brandon Crawford in the fourth before settling down. De La Rosa, now 2-1, boasts a 6.00 ERA on the year. He will look to get back on track Saturday against the Pirates.


Giants pitcher Chris Heston allows one run in win Saturday
by Brandon Wise | CBSSports.com
(4/18/2015) Giants pitcher Chris Heston allowed one run on five hits in 7 2/3 innings Saturday in San Francisco's 4-1 win over the Diamondbacks.

Heston made just one mistake in the outing, allowing a leadoff home run to David Peralta in the fourth inning. He settled down and sent the remaining hitters down in order. Heston allowed just one hit over his last three innings of work.

Heston, now 2-1, boasts a blistering 0.87 ERA in three starts and will look to keep rolling Friday against the Rockies.


Giants pitcher Santiago Casilla earns fourth save Saturday
by Brandon Wise | CBSSports.com
(4/18/2015) Giants relief pitcher Santiago Casilla worked a scoreless one-hit ninth inning in Saturday's 4-1 win over the Diamondbacks. 

Casilla allowed a single to Mark Trumbo and then hit Tuffy Gosewich with a pitch before forcing Chris Owings into a game-ending double play. Casilla lowered his ERA to 3.60.


Battered Brewers starter Lohse expresses frustration
by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(4/18/2015) Brewers veteran starter Kyle Lohse actually improved his ERA after giving up six runs in six innings Saturday.

And that frustrates him.

Lohse fell to 0-3 with his loss in Pittsburgh. His ERA is 10.34.

"I know what to do. I just got to go out there and do it," he told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. "The frustrating part is it's so close. But it doesn't matter because the results are really crappy. I've got to go out there and make better pitches. That's the bottom line."

The 36-year-old Lohse, the team's Opening Day starter, is 54-30 over the last four seasons and his ERA has not topped 3.54 during that time.


D'backs pitcher Daniel Hudson looking to throw back-to-back days
by Brandon Wise | CBSSports.com
(4/18/2015) Diamondbacks pitcher Daniel Hudson may not have pitched back-to-back games yet this season, but he feels confident he can if needed, reports AZCentral.com.

"I think that's honestly helped me out to bounce back better mentally, and it's helped my arm, too," Hudson said. "Having gone through what I've gone through the last 2 1/2 years, I knew most of it was going to be mental. The thought of something bad happening was always going to be in the back of my mind. But that last outing, knowing I could get to that point and my arm not fall off, it kind of took a lot of pressure off me."

Hudson has thrown 4 2/3 scoreless innings so far this season with one strikeout and no walks.

"I don't think there's ever going to be a day anymore where they're not asking me how I'm feeling," Hudson said. "It's just kind of communicating with them whether or not I can go every night and luckily they've been able to not let me go back to back, but I feel like I could do it if needed because my arm has been bouncing back so well, knock on wood."


RHP Brandon Gomes gets call from Rays
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(4/18/2015) The Rays have promoted reliever Brandon Gomes from Triple-A Durham to replace Grant Balfour on the roster.

Gomes pitched in 29 games for Tampa Bay in 2014.


Rays DFA reliever Balfour after Saturday pounding
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(4/18/2015) The Rays have seen enough of faltering reliever Grant Balfour. After he surrendered a grand slam Saturday night to Chris Young, he was designated for assignment, per the Tampa Tribune.

The 37-year-old Balfour has been struggling since last season, when he arrived in Tampa as the closer and quickly lost the job. He had pitched 3 2/3 shutout innings this season before walking three and giving up the blast to Young on Saturday.


Athletics 3B Lawrie after beaning: 'Why fuel the fire?'
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(4/18/2015) Fresh off a game in which he was plunked by Royals fireballer Yordano Ventura, Athletics third baseman Brett Lawrie was asked why he didn't go ballistic.

"They want me to blow up, but why fuel the fire?" Lawrie told MLB.com. "Why dump another thing of gasoline on it when I can just put a smile on?"

Lawrie had been the center of controversy after his hard slide Friday night injured Kansas City shortstop Alcides Escobar. The hit-by-pitch came right after Josh Reddick homered to give Oakland a 5-0 lead.


 
 
 
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