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Start and sit hitters for Week 11

Senior Fantasy Writer
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All stats are updated through Thursday, June 5.

Frustrated by his continued lack of production, the Yankees have decided to sit Alfonso Soriano against right-handers for the time being, turning over the majority of his at-bats to Ichiro Suzuki. As streaky as he's been known to be, he could end that arrangement in a week's time, but at least for right now, you don't want to have to count on him in mixed leagues.

Scott's sleepers for Week 11
Player Own/Start %
1. Josh Willingham, OF, MIN 55/45
2. Adam Lind, 1B, TOR 50/42
3. Nick Markakis, OF, BAL 79/65
4. Lonnie Chisenhall, 1B/3B, CLE 69/55
5. Torii Hunter, OF, DET 82/62
6. Brett Lawrie, 2B/3B, TOR 84/67
7. Aramis Ramirez, 3B, MIL 80/33
8. Corey Dickerson, OF, COL 40/27
9. Michael Bourn, OF, CLE 57/42
10. Juan Francisco, 1B/3B, TOR 60/45

Mike Napoli is set to return Sunday after missing about two weeks with a sprained finger. He was slumping just before the injury but remained "too obvious" at first base because of his high walk rate. At a deep position, you can afford to play it safe and wait another week to activate him, but there's no shame in starting him either.

With Carlos Gonzalez sidelined by a finger injury that could potentially require surgery, Corey Dickerson is in line for more at-bats in Colorado. Judging by his minor-league track record and the fact he has hit .340 with seven home runs and a 1.028 OPS in 97 at-bats this year, that's potentially a big deal in Fantasy, but of course, if manager Walt Weiss doesn't see fit to start Charlie Blackmon against lefties, the same figures to be true for Dickerson. He's a sleeper this week regardless.

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

Catcher

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

Start: A.J. Pierzynski, Red Sox
Pierzynski was a "sit" in Fantasy Week 10 (June 9-15) and has fittingly slowed down a little over the last few days, but he's still batting .370 (20 for 54) over his last 13 games. The matchups should work more to his benefit this week. He'll be facing Bud Norris, Chris Tillman, Wei-Yin Chen, Josh Tomlin, Justin Masterson and T.J. House in a seven-game week.
Instead of: Wilson Ramos, Carlos Ruiz, Kurt Suzuki

Sit: Derek Norris, Athletics
Not only do the Athletics have the worst matchups of any team this week, facing pitchers like Garrett Richards, Tyler Skaggs, Jered Weaver, Hiroki Kuroda and Masahiro Tanaka in their six games, but Norris figures to sit half of them, having slumped his way out of regular playing time with a .145 (8 for 5) batting average and one home run in his last 19 games. He has started four of the team's last nine.
Instead of: Pierzynski, Yan Gomes, Dioner Navarro

First base

Too obvious: Miguel Cabrera, Paul Goldschmidt, Edwin Encarnacion, Albert Pujols, Freddie Freeman, Jose Abreu, Chris Davis, Adrian Gonzalez, Victor Martinez, Brandon Moss, Anthony Rizzo, Allen Craig, Michael Morse, Buster Posey, Michael Cuddyer, Justin Morneau, Jonathan Lucroy

Start: Adam Lind, Blue Jays
Lind has obviously been hot since returning from a back injury May 8, batting .360 (27 for 75) with nine doubles and two homers in 22 games. But because he sits against left-handed pitchers, he's been lacking in point production during that time. That won't be an issue this week with nothing but righties on tap for the Blue Jays. And against the Twins and Orioles, about the toughest they'll face is Phil Hughes.
Instead of: Ryan Howard, Jon Singleton, Lucas Duda

Sit: Garrett Jones, Marlins
Jones collected three hits Thursday to snap out of a 5-for-33 (.152) spell, but he'll have to get much hotter than that to make any real impact with only five games on the schedule for the Marlins this week. And considering one of those games is against Yu Darvish, it's really more like four. Or three when you factor in the lefty. Jones is batting .200 with a .488 OPS against left-handed pitchers this season.
Instead of: Lind, Mark Teixeira, Juan Francisco

Second base

Too obvious: Robinson Cano, Ian Kinsler, Jose Altuve, Matt Carpenter, Brian Dozier, Dustin Pedroia, Chase Utley, Anthony Rendon, Daniel Murphy, Jason Kipnis, Dee Gordon, Martin Prado, Ben Zobrist, Howie Kendrick, Neil Walker

Five Best Hitting Schedules
Team Schedule
1. Cubs @PIT4, @PHI3
2. Tigers @CHW4, MIN3
3. Blue Jays MIN3, @BAL4
4. Braves @COL4, LAA3
5. Red Sox @BAL3, CLE4

Start: Tommy La Stella, Braves
Second base is deep enough that relatively high-end options like Aaron Hill, Brandon Phillips and Yangervis Solarte don't exactly qualify as "too obvious" but are nevertheless more advisable than someone like La Stella, so consider this recommendation for deeper leagues only. For what La Stella lacks in power and speed, he makes up for in on-base ability. It was plainly evident in the minors and has so far translated to the majors, which puts him in line to bunches of runs in the Braves' four-game series at Colorado this week. He may not directly benefit from the hitter-friendly venue, but the rest of the lineup will.
Instead of: Gordon Beckham, Kolten Wong, Rougned Odor

Sit: Jed Lowrie, Athletics
This Lowrie pick is kind of like last week's Dee Gordon pick in that it applies more for second base than shortstop, where you won't find nearly as many alternatives. Lowrie has actually begun to turn things around after a mostly disastrous May, batting .333 (5 for 15) with a homer in his last four games, but the position is so deep and the matchups so tough (Garrett Richards, Tyler Skaggs, Jered Weaver, Hiroki Kuroda and Masahiro Tanaka) that you have no reason to clear an opening for him.
Instead of: Aaron Hill, Yangervis Solarte, Brandon Phillips

Third base

Too obvious: Miguel Cabrera, Josh Donaldson, Adrian Beltre, David Wright, Evan Longoria, Matt Carpenter, Anthony Rendon, Ryan Zimmerman, Todd Frazier, Martin Prado, Xander Bogaerts, Pablo Sandoval, Kyle Seager, Pedro Alvarez

Start: Lonnie Chisenhall, Indians
Once again, the Indians face almost exclusively right-handers this week -- six in seven games -- which means Chisenhall should play just about every day even with Carlos Santana back. His year-to-date batting average of .361 pretty much says it all, and it's not like he's slowed down recently, batting .321 (9 for 28) with a home run and a double in his last eight games. Plus, some of the righties he's facing this week -- like Nick Marktinez, Jeremy Guthrie, Jake Peavy and Brandon Workman -- are especially hittable.
Instead of: Yangervis Solarte, Trevor Plouffe, Aramis Ramirez

Sit: Josh Harrison, Pirates
Having earned more at-bats with his high-energy play, Harrison's numbers are beginning to attract attention as well. A third base-eligible player with a .317 batting average and .869 OPS typically doesn't last long on waivers, but in this particular case, you may want to show some restraint. Though top prospect Gregory Polanco didn't arrive Friday as rumored, he's likely just days away and figures to bump Harrison to the bench whenever he does arrive. No reason to risk it for a player who has probably performed over his head anyway.
Instead of: Ramirez, Juan Francisco, Chase Headley

Shortstop

Too obvious: Troy Tulowitzki, Hanley Ramirez, Ian Desmond, Jose Reyes, Alexei Ramirez, Elvis Andrus, Dee Gordon, Ben Zobrist, Xander Bogaerts, Starlin Castro, Jean Segura

Five Worst Hitting Schedules
Team Schedule
1. Athletics @LAA3, NYY3
2. Cardinals @TB2, WAS3
3. White Sox DET4, KC3
4. Nationals @SF4, @STL3
5. Marlins @TEX2, PIT3

Start: Alcides Escobar, Royals
Now that he's back to being one of the game's top base-stealers after slumping in every capacity last season, anytime Escobar is hitting is noteworthy in Fantasy. He's 8 for 17 (.471) with a stolen base so far in June and will get to face hittable lefties Vidal Nuno, Jose Quintana and John Danks (as well as hittable righty Hector Noesi) in his six games this week. Escobar has hit .340 with an .880 OPS against lefties this season compared to .255 and .650 against righties.
Instead of: Everth Cabrera, Andrelton Simmons, Asdrubal Cabrera

Sit; Jhonny Peralta, Cardinals
Among the group of fallback shortstops that includes Escobar, Erick Aybar, Andrelton Simmons, Everth Cabrera, J.J. Hardy and Asdrubal Cabrera, Peralta gets the short straw with the Cardinals' short schedule this week. They play only five games, including three against the Nationals' top three (at least with Gio Gonzalez down) of Jordan Zimmermann, Stephen Strasburg and Doug Fister. Plus, Peralta hasn't exactly been tearing the cover off the ball lately, batting .118 (6 for 51) in his last 14 games.
Instead of: Escobar, J.J. Hardy, Erick Aybar

Outfield

Too obvious: Mike Trout, Andrew McCutchen, Jose Bautista, Giancarlo Stanton, Yasiel Puig, Carlos Gomez, Jacoby Ellsbury, Adam Jones, Ryan Braun, Shin-Soo Choo, Justin Upton, Matt Holliday, Hunter Pence, Nelson Cruz, Alex Rios, Michael Brantley, Brandon Moss, Melky Cabrera, Yoenis Cespedes, Allen Craig, Michael Morse, Jayson Werth, Jason Heyward, Josh Hamilton, George Springer, Alex Gordon, Jay Bruce, Martin Prado, Ben Zobrist, Charlie Blackmon, Christian Yelich, Michael Cuddyer

Start: Josh Willingham, Twins
Willingham has been a notoriously streaky player over his career, looking like Rafael Belliard one month and Rafael Palmeiro the next. Even when he appeared to stray from that pattern in 2013, he still hit .311 with 16 home runs in April and July and .237 with 19 home runs the other four months. So now that he's hot, batting .333 (11 for 33) with four homers and an insane .522 on-base percentage in 11 games off the DL, no need to complicate things by bringing matchups into the picture.
Instead of: Desmond Jennings, Adam Eaton, Denard Span

Sit: Oscar Taveras, Cardinals
Taveras homered in his first game as a major-leaguer May 31 but has gone 4 for 19 with one extra-base hit in five games since. You've already waited this long for him to arrive, so in shallower leagues with ample alternatives, you can wait until he gets hot to activate him. With only five games on tap for the Cardinals this week -- and three of them against Jordan Zimmermann, Stephen Strasburg and Doug Fister -- the odds are against him anyway.
Instead of: Willingham, Nick Markakis, Torii Hunter

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.

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Player News
Blue Jays leadoff hitter Jose Reyes dealing with new reality
by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(9:57 am ET) Jose Reyes is a switch-hitter who is not a switch-hitter at this time. A cracked rib and muscle strain in his left side are preventing the Blue Jays leadoff hitter from batting left-handed. So he is batting right-handed against righties.

And it's not working.

Reyes has just two hits in his last 19 at-bats since being forced into that move. His 2-for-13 slump over four previous games makes it even tougher to deal with. His average has plunged from .417 to .250 since April 12.

"I'm hanging in there," he told the National Post. "The more pitches I see, the more comfortable I'm going to feel. But it's a little bit weird."

Switch-hitters have an advantage in watching breaking balls always break toward them, but Reyes has lost that advantage against right-handed pitchers.

"When I hit against a righty from the left side, the slider comes to be, you know," Reyes said. "Now, right on right, the slider goes away from me. That's a different ball game."


Cardinals will look internally to replace P Adam Wainwright
by Elliott Smith | Staff Writer
(9:56 am ET) With starter Adam Wainwright likely done for the season with an Achilles injury, the Cardinals will initially look at internal candidates to replace the pitcher, per the St. Louis Post-Dispatch

Cardinals GM John Mozeliak said that to fill Wainwright's spot in the rotation Thursday, the team will look to either lefties Tyler Lyons and Tim Cooney or righthander Zach Petrick

That would seem to eliminate the Cardinals making a move for a veteran pitcher like the Phillies' Cole Hamels, at least for now. 

"If you get into May and early June and you don't feel like the internal options are the solution you were hoping for, then you might have to look outside," Mozeliak said. 


Tigers prospect Buck Farmer remains on roll in Toledo
by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(9:41 am ET) Tigers pitching prospect Buck Farmer could be knocking on the door. A short trip north from Toledo to Detroit might not be far off if his start to this season is any indication.

Farmer raised his record Sunday to 3-0 with a blanking over six innings of Indianapolis. He allowed just two hits, walked four and struck out seven. He also learned to make adjustments in facing a team the second time after failing to do so earlier in the year against Louisville.

And considering he did not give up a run against the Indians, his disappointment at the lack of perfection could be thought of as admirable.

"I was really pleased with the first five innings, then I lost the zone for a little bit in the sixth," he said via milb.com. "I walked a couple people and I have always been a guy that would rather give up a coiple runs than walk someone."

Farmer, who was 12-6 with a 3.07 ERA a year ago, is on a similar pace. He owns a 3.00 in 2015 with 28 strikeouts in 21 innings. Walks have been an issue - he has 10.


Reds SS Zack Cozart looks to awaken bat vs. Brewers
by Elliott Smith | Staff Writer
(9:28 am ET) Reds shortstop Zack Cozart is mired in a 2-for-15 slump, but he hopes to get his bat back on track as Cincinnati opens a series with the Brewers beginning Monday. 

Cozart has seven career home runs vs. Milwaukee, the most he's hit against any team. In four games this season against the Brewers, Cozart is hitting .313 with three homers and six RBIs. 


Orioles to have hard time taking Jimmy Paredes out of lineup
by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(9:21 am ET) Buck Showalter has already declared that there should be space on the Orioles roster for Jimmy Paredes when J.J. Hardy returns from the disabled list in about a week.

One would certainly think so based on how Paredes is swinging the bat. Showalter will likely have to find him some significant playing time.

Paredes is batting .352 with five homers, eight doubles and 17 RBI in 24 games since joining the team in 2014. He was 8-for-15 with two doubles, one triple and a tater with seven RBI in the just-completed series against Boston. And at least one teammate is quite impressed.

"It's amazing watching that guy," Steve Pearce told MASNSports. "Hope he keeps it rolling. He could hit in the top of the order or the middle of the lineup. He can do some damage with the bat."


Marlins SS Adeiny Hechavarria among MLB RBI leaders
by Elliott Smith | Staff Writer
(9:17 am ET) Nestled among the sluggers on the RBI leaders chart is Marlins shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria, who racked up three more RBIs in Florida's victory over the Nationals on Sunday. Hechavarria is tied for seventh in the category with 16 RBIs, but is the only player in the top 10 who does not have at least five homers. 

Hechavarria has nine hits and nine RBIs in his last four games, all of which have been Marlins wins. He is hitting .333 in 19 games.  


Mets SS Wilmer Flores coming out of funk
by Elliott Smith | Staff Writer
(9:08 am ET) Mets shortstop Wilmer Flores hit just .182 over the season's first 10 games, but credits manager Terry Collins for sticking with him as his bat begins to warm up, per NJ.com.

Flores saw his eight-game hitting streak come to an end in Sunday's loss to the Yankees, but he has raised his average to .276 with three homers - tied for second in the majors among shortstops. 

"I know that everything would come around and I would start doing good," Flores said. "I've had the opportunity to play everyday in the minors and I know how it goes. If I start everyday I know I'm going to hit. Just gotta keep pushing, keep pushing. I have the opportunity to play everyday so that's why I wasn't worried about it."


Red Sox closer Koji Uehara not utilizing fastball this season
by Brandon Wise | CBSSports.com
(1:02 am ET) Red Sox closer Koji Uehara has been throwing an unusual amount of offspeed pitches to start the season. Uehara has thrown fastballs on just 15 percent of his pitches this season, compared to 50 percent over the last three years, according to the Boston Herald.

Manager John Farrell isn't reading too much into it.

"He's going to go with what he feels," Farrell said. "Every 3 mph is about a foot distance in traveling to home plate. So there's a little bit different reaction time. But regardless of velocity there still needs to be the use of (the fastball) just to create separation between his fastball and his split."

Uehara is 1-1 so far this season with a 4.15 ERA and three saves in 4 1/3 innings.


White Sox send reliever Daniel Webb back to Triple-A
by Elliott Smith | Staff Writer
(4/26/2015) White Sox reliever Daniel Webb , who was called up Sunday as the 26th man for the team's doubleheader against the Royals, was sent back down to Triple-A Charlotte after the game. 

Webb pitched in 57 games last season for the White Sox but was one of the team's final cuts in spring training. 


Diamondbacks struggling to fill in void at third base
by Brandon Wise | CBSSports.com
(4/26/2015) Diamondbacks manager Chip Hale knew his team wasn't going to go the entire season without an injury. But the skipper was hoping to avoid the issue he currently has at third base, according to AZCentral.com.

With Jake Lamb on the disabled list with a foot injury, Aaron Hill and Yasmany Tomas have struggled to put it together, combining for a .559 OPS in the last five games.

"Yeah, that's huge," Hale said. "You're going to have injuries all year. There's going to be a multitude of them for every team. If you can't make the adjustment — if guys can't come in and fill the void — then you're going to be in trouble as a club."

Tomas is hitting .286 in 14 at-bats this season while Hill is scuffling along at .156 in 45 at-bats.


 
 
 
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