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Start and sit hitters for Week 9

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 22.

While Prince Fielder's decision to have season-ending neck surgery is obviously a devastating blow for his Fantasy owners, at least they know exactly what to do with him this week. Fielder's former teammate, Ryan Braun, is another story. He left Thursday's game with tightness in the same side that forced him to the DL in late April, which he said wasn't quite 100 percent from the get-go. A return to the DL is plausible enough for you to bench him unless he returns to the lineup over the weekend.

Carlos Gonzalez is also less than a lock this week, but for several smaller injuries as opposed to one big one. Most recently, he's been bothered by inflammation in his left index finger (not the same one that cost him most of the second half last year), but he's also had to contend with tendinitis in his left knee for several weeks now. How the Rockies use him this weekend should give you some idea of his availability for Fantasy Week 9 (May 26-June 1). As of now, they don't expect him to go on the DL.

As for the good news, Josh Hamilton is set to return from a torn ligament in his thumb Monday, and Jason Kipnis should return from an abdominal injury either Monday or Tuesday. Both are so high-end that you'll want to activate them right away, barring any sort of setback over the weekend.

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, Devin Mesoraco, Wilin Rosario

Scott's sleepers for Week 9
Player Own/Start %
1. Curtis Granderson, OF, NYM 87/68
2. Adam LaRoche, 1B, WAS 79/11
3. Jimmy Rollins, SS, PHI 91/73
4. Dexter Fowler, OF, HOU 59/48
5. Trevor Plouffe, 3B, MIN 63/41
6. Marlon Byrd, OF, PHI 65/52
7. Xander Bogaerts, 3B/SS, BOS 82/56
8. Domonic Brown, OF, PHI 89/59
9. Matt Dominguez, 3B, HOU 55/41
10. Denard Span, OF, WAS 41/28

Start: Jason Castro, Astros
Castro was a must-start catcher for most of his breakthrough 2013, so he was due for this hot stretch that has him batting .346 (9 for 26) with three doubles and one home run over his last seven games. He's still striking out too much, but if the matchups are any indication, he'll continue to overcome it this week against pitchers like Jeremy Guthrie, Danny Duffy, Miguel Gonzalez, Chris Tillman and Wei-Yin Chen.
Instead of: Yan Gomes, Jarrod Saltalamacchia, Mike Zunino

Sit: Derek Norris, Athletics
Just a week ago, Norris was the hottest catcher in baseball, producing with such consistency that the Athletics finally gave in and began playing him every day instead of just against left-handers. So wouldn't you know he's slumping now, batting .182 (4 for 22) in his last eight games. The Athletics haven't backed off him yet, but that's a more likely scenario than him bouncing back in a week he's scheduled to face Drew Smyly, Max Scherzer, Anibal Sanchez, Rick Porcello, Garrett Richards, Tyler Skaggs and Jered Weaver.
Instead of: Castro, Gomes, Kurt Suzuki

First base

Too obvious: Miguel Cabrera, Paul Goldschmidt, Edwin Encarnacion, Albert Pujols, Freddie Freeman, Chris Davis, Adrian Gonzalez, Victor Martinez, Brandon Moss, Buster Posey, Anthony Rizzo, Justin Morneau, Eric Hosmer, Michael Morse, Joe Mauer, Mark Teixeira, Allen Craig

Start: Adam LaRoche, Nationals
Like Josh Hamilton and Jason Kipnis, LaRoche is expected back from the DL at the start of this week, but unlike those two, he's not the type of player you'd for sure activate right away. Remember what he was doing before the injury, though? Typically a slow starter, he was batting .319 with an exceptionally high walk rate, granting him, if only briefly, "too obvious" status at first base. And as you might expect for a left-handed hitter, he was doing most of his damage against righties, batting .326 with all five of his home runs. The Nationals face all righties this week -- and most of them hittable types in the Marlins and Rangers rotations.
Instead of: Michael Cuddyer, Ryan Howard, Adam Dunn

Sit: Garrett Jones, Marlins
Jones has been hot recently, batting .452 (14 for 31) with a home run over his last nine games, and faces nothing but right-handers this week, which always works to his benefit. Unfortunately, they're pitchers like Tanner Roark, Jordan Zimmermann, Julio Teheran, Ervin Santana and Aaron Harang. At a deep position, you can probably do better than him if you need a one-week sleeper.
Instead of: LaRoche, Matt Adams, Nick Swisher

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, Yangervis Solarte, Neil Walker

Five Best Hitting Schedules
Team Schedule
1. Twins TEX4, @NYY3
2. Royals HOU3, @TOR4
3. Astros @KC3, BAL4
4. Phillies COL3, NYM4
5. Mets PIT3, @PHI4

Start: Gordon Beckham, White Sox
Though my unabashed Marcus Semien fandom has prohibited me from saying anything positive about Beckham up to this point, I can't deny he's swinging a hot bat, hitting .343 (23 for 67) with three home runs and a .909 OPS over his last six games. Second base has become so deep that you probably have no use for him in the 66 percent of leagues where he's still available, but just in case, he's an advisable sleeper against Josh Tomlin, Justin Masterson, T.J. House and Eric Stults this week.
Instead of: Aaron Hill, Martin Prado, Gordon Beckham

Sit: Emilio Bonifacio, Cubs
If you own Emilio Bonifacio for steals (and why else would you own him?), you probably won't want to hear this: He has only two in his last 26 games, or more than half the season so far. He's also batting just .240 (25 for 104) during that stretch. In other words, after an impossibly hot start, he has come crashing back down to earth even though his overall numbers look satisfactory still. You shouldn't expect a turnaround in a week he's scheduled to face Matt Cain, Tim Hudson, Wily Peralta, Yovani Gallardo and Kyle Lohse.
Instead of: Jed Lowrie, Beckham, Kolten Wong

Third base

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

Start: Trevor Plouffe, Twins
After a cold stretch to begin May, Plouffe has gotten back on track, batting .333 (11 for 33) with two home runs in his last eight games. Even though he's batting just .257 overall, he has been a relevant Fantasy contributor all season and should benefit from especially favorable matchups this week, going against pitchers like Nick Tepesch, Scott Baker, Nick Martinez, Vidal Nuno and Chase Whitley.
Instead of: Pablo Sandoval, Juan Francisco, Casey McGehee

Sit: Kyle Seager, Mariners
Seager has made regular appearances in the "too obvious" section at this position even though most of his production so far this season was confined to a four-game stretch in late April when he hit five home runs, accounting for a 42-point week in standard CBSSports.com leagues. He certainly hasn't done much in his last eight games, batting .179 (5 for 28), and against pitchers like Tyler Skaggs, Jered Weaver, C.J. Wilson, Justin Verlander, Drew Smyly and Max Scherzer, that doesn't figure to change this week. Plus, check out the sleepers table above. Third base is well represented.
Instead of: Plouffe, Matt Dominguez, Chase Headley

Shortstop

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

Five Worst Hitting Schedules
Team Schedule
1. Athletics DET4, LAA3
2. Mariners LAA4, DET3
3. Marlins @WAS3, ATL3
4. Cubs @SF3, @MIL3
5. Rockies @PHI3, @CLE3

Start: Jimmy Rollins, Phillies
Thanks in part to a dramatically improved walk rate, Rollins is having what appears to be a resurgent season after falling off the map in 2013. Though not the power hitter he once was, he's showing plenty of pop now, batting .311 (14 for 45) with three doubles and three home runs over his last 12 games. With a full seven games at hitter friendly Citizens Bank Park against the suspect Rockies and Mets rotations this week, he's a good bet to keep it going.
Instead of: Jed Lowrie, Andrelton Simmons, Jonathan Villar

Sit: Erick Aybar, Angels
Aybar looked unsittable in late April when he went 17 for 33 (.515) during an eight-game stretch, but he could be in for a bumpy finish here in May, batting just .184 (7 for 38) over his last 10 games. Three of the seven pitchers on tap for the Angels this week throw left-handed, and he's batting just .208 (10 for 48) against lefties this year.
Instead of: Asdrubal Cabrera, Alcides Escobar, Everth Cabrera

Outfield

Too obvious: Mike Trout, Andrew McCutchen, Jose Bautista, Giancarlo Stanton, Jacoby Ellsbury, Yasiel Puig, Shin-Soo Choo, 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, Mike Morse, Starling Marte, Christian Yelich, Yangervis Solarte, Allen Craig, Wil Myers, Jason Heyward

Start: Curtis Granderson, Mets
Though his overall numbers are still in need of correction after a dreadful first month with the Mets, Granderson has clearly found his stroke in May, batting .310 (22 for 71) with five home runs in 19 games. Facing six righties and playing four games at hitter-friendly Citizens Bank Park should help his cause this week, as should his matchups against bottom feeders like Brandon Cumpton, Edinson Volquez, Charlie Morton, David Buchanan and Kyle Kendrick.
Instead of: Coco Crisp, A.J. Pollock, David Murphy

Sit: Seth Smith, Padres
The Padres have favorable matchups against the Diamondbacks and White Sox this week, and Smith has been a monster since about the beginning of May, batting .464 with four home runs and an absurd 1.487 OPS in 17 games. But the Padres faced only three left-handers during that stretch. Smith sat against all of them and has yet to start against one this season. So you can understand why I recommend sitting him, regardless of the matchups or how productive he's been, in a week the Padres are scheduled to face three.
Instead of: Dexter Fowler, Marlon Byrd, Denard Span

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
Report: Padres continue to talk to Braves about Justin Upton
by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
(12:15 am ET) The Padres continue to talk to the Braves about outfielder Justin Upton, according to Bleacher Report's Scott Miller.

Despite the fact that the Padres acquired both Matt Kemp and Wil Myers on Thursday, the team may not be done yet. It's unclear where Upton would fit into the team's plans, but he would be a clear upgrade over whoever the club is planning to start in center field. If the team were to acquire Upton, one of that trio would be pushed into action in center. While Kemp has experience at the position, he's not considered a strong defender. 

The 27-year-old Upton is coming off a season in which he hit .270/.342/.491 over 566 at-bats.


Report: Rangers showing interest in Brandon Beachy
by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
(12/18/2014) The Rangers have shown interest in pitcher Brandon Beachy, according to the Dallas Morning News.

Beachy is coming off Tommy John surgery, but multiple teams are said to have interest in signing him. The 28-year-old has a 3.23 career ERA over 267 2/3 innings, but underwent his second Tommy John surgery in March. Beachy's representative, Robert Martin said Beachy has multiple offers, but doesn't believe a decision is imminent. 


Report: Athletics sending Derek Norris to Padres
by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
(12/18/2014) The Athletics have agreed to trade catcher Derek Norris to the Padres, according to the New York Daily News.

After dealing Yasmani Grandal to Los Angeles in the Matt Kemp deal, the Padres were in need of a new backstop. It didn't take long for them to replace Grandal, as the team acquired Norris shortly after the Kemp deal went through.

Pitcher Seth Streich will also head to the Padres in the deal, according to FoxSports.com The 23-year-old posted a 3.16 ERA over 114 innings in High A last season.

The 25-year-old Norris is coming off a season in which he hit .270/.361/.403 over 385 at-bats. Norris is under team control through the 2018 season.

The Athletics are expected to receive pitchers Jesse Hahn and R.J. Alvarez in the deal, according to Yahoo! The 24-year-old Alvarez posted a 1.25 ERA over 43 1/3 innings at Double-A last year.

Hahn, 25, posted a 3.07 ERA over 73 1/3 innings in the majors last year. He was excellent in Double-A, posting a 1.91 ERA in 42 1/3 innings before being called up.


Padres, Rays and Nationals complete Wil Myers trade
by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
(12/18/2014) The Padres, Rays and Nationals have completed a trade that will send Wil Myers to San Diego, according to CBSSports.com Baseball Insider Jon Heyman.

The deal had been in the works for a few days, but was finally agreed to late Thursday night. Myers, 24, will head to the Padres in the deal. He hit .222/.294/.320 over 325 at-bats with the Rays last season. Myers also missed time due to a wrist injury. 

The Padres will also receive catcher Ryan Hanigan and pitchers Gerardo Reyes and Jose Castillo in the deal. 

Tampa Bay will receive outfielder Steven Souza and pitcher Travis Ott from the Nationals. Souza, 25, hit .345/.427/.577 in 357 at-bats spread over three levels last year. 

The Rays will also receive catcher Rene Rivera, first baseman Jake Bauers and pitcher Burch Smith from San Diego.

Washington is set to acquire pitcher Joe Ross from San Diego. The team will also receive infielder Trea Turner in the deal. Turner was a 2014 draft pick, and cannot be traded until midseason, so he's currently considered a player to be named later.


Phillies to send Jimmy Rollins to Dodgers
by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
(12/18/2014) The Phillies have completed a trade that will send shortstop Jimmy Rollins to the Dodgers, confirms CBSSports.com Baseball Insider Jon Heyman. News that the deal was finally going through was initially reported by Yahoo!

The deal has been in place for some time, but was dependent on a separate Dodgers deal going through. The Dodgers will send pitcher Zach Eflin to Philadelphia as part of the Rollins trade, but first needed to acquire Eflin from the Padres in the Matt Kemp deal. The Dodgers and Padres finally reached an agreement late Thursday night, meaning Eflin could finally be sent to Philadelphia. The 20-year-old Eflin posted a 3.80 ERA in 128 innings at High A last year.

Rollins, 36, hit .243/.323/.394 over 538 at-bats last season. He's in the final year of his contract, and is set to make $11 million next year.


Dodgers complete Matt Kemp deal with Padres
by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
(12/18/2014) The Dodgers and Padres have agreed to a deal that will send outfielder Matt Kemp to San Diego, confirms CBSSports.com Baseball Insider Jon Heyman. News that the deal had finally come together was first reported by Yahoo!

The trade has been in the works for some time, but was dependent on Kemp passing a physical. It was reported early Thursday that Kemp's physical revealed arthritic hips. The Padres had to to figure out insurance on the contract, which is why it took so long for the deal to go through.

Catcher Tim Federowicz will also head to San Diego in the deal. The Dodgers will send $32 million over as well. 

In return, Los Angeles is set to receive catcher Yasmani Grandal and pitcher Joe Weiland and Zach Eflin. Eflin is expected to be flipped to Philadelphia for shortstop Jimmy Rollins.

The 30-year-old Kemp hit .287/.346/.506 over 541 at-bats last year. Kemp is set to earn a little over $21 million in each of the next five seasons. 


Rockies seeking veteran right-handers to fill out rotation
by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
(12/18/2014) The Rockies are looking at a number of veteran right-handers to fill out the rotation, according to MLB.com.

Kevin Correia, Aaron Harang, Josh Johnson and Kyle Kendrick have all been considered by the club. With Johnson reportedly signing a deal with the Padres, that leaves the other three as options for the club. Though the team is said to be interested in all three players, it has not engaged in serious conversations with any of them. 


Cubs agree to sign Anthony Carter
by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
(12/18/2014) The Cubs have signed reliever Anthony Carter to a minor-league deal, according to MLBTradeRumors.com.

Carter spent last season in Japan, pitching for the Nippon Ham Fighters. He posted a 3.97 ERA over 45 1/3 innings. 


Padres to sign Josh Johnson
by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
(12/18/2014) The Padres are set to sign pitcher Josh Johnson to a one-year deal, confirms CBSSports.com Baseball Insider Jon Heyman. Yahoo initially reported the two sides were on the verge of a deal.

Johnson will make a base salary under $2 million, but can earn as much as $8 million due to incentives. Given his recent injury issues, it's assumed those incentives will revolve around both his numbers and his ability to remain healthy. Johnson signed with San Diego last season, but was unable to pitch after undergoing Tommy John surgery. The team declined his option during the offseason, but showed interest in re-signing Johnson to a lesser deal.

Johnson posted a 6.20 ERA in 81 1/3 innings with Toronto in 2013. 


A's C Stephen Vogt expects to be ready for opening day
by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
(12/18/2014) Athletics catcher Stephen Vogt believes he'll be ready for opening day, according to MLB.com.

Vogt had foot surgery in October, but had his walking boot removed Thursday. Vogt admitted that he may not be 100 percent by spring training, but said he expects to be ready for opening day. After playing multiple positions due to the injury last season, Vogt said he's eager to get behind the plate again. 

The 30-year-old Vogt hit .279/.321/.431 over 269 at-bats last year. 


 
 
 
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