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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
Report: Angels' Hamilton likely to receive suspension
by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
(2:05 am ET) Angels outfielder Josh Hamilton will likely be suspended for at least 25 games, according to FoxSports.com.

Hamilton met with Major League Baseball on Wednesday for a disciplinary hearing. CBSSports.com Baseball Insider Jon Heyman reported that Hamilton experienced a drug relapse a few months ago, and confessed that relapse to MLB. 

This is technically Hamilton's second violation as a major-leaguer. Hamilton was on the Rays 40-man roster during his first suspension, making him a major-league player. Typically, players who violate their drug treatment program for the first time are subject to a 15-25 game suspension. Given that this is Hamilton's second violation of his drug treatment program, it's unclear how severe the punishment will be.

With that said, commissioner Rob Manfred is reportedly trying to be lenient with any punishment. The league has a "favorable view of Hamilton's efforts to remain sober." Since his return to the majors, Hamilton has spoken honestly about his struggles with addition.

On top of that, Manfred is concerned about making the punishment too harsh. Hamilton's past relaspes have come when he's been away from the game. Manfred reportedly is not close to making a final decision on Hamilton's punishment at this time. 

Hamilton was already expected to miss the beginning of the season due to a shoulder surgery. It's unclear how much longer he'll be out due to a suspension.


Angels, Huston Street haven't talked extension yet
by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
(1:11 am ET) The Angels and closer Huston Street have not talked about an extension yet, according to MLB.com.

Both sides are reportedly interested in a deal, but Street wanted to wait a week in order to settle in to camp. Once that happens, the two sides are expected to start negotiating a new deal. Street is entering the final year of his contract, and will make $7 million in 2015.

Street, 31, posted a 1.37 ERA over 59 1/3 innings last year.


Phillies' Ryan Howard working on his swing
by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
(12:20 am ET) Phillies first baseman Ryan Howard is working on his swing, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer

Howard has spent time working with Charlie Manuel during camp. Manuel was brought in as spring training hitting instructor. Manager Ryan Sandberg has noticed the change in Howard's approach already. "As far as making some adjustments there, to really zone in to something that can really be productive for him and a little bit more consistent," Sandberg said. "I think there has been a little tweaking going on there."

Howard apparently has looked different at the plate. His stance has been described as "looser" and his hands are much lower when he starts his swing. 

The 35-year-old hit .223/.310/.380 over 569 at-bats last year. 


Dodgers unsure how Grandal, Ellis will split time
by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
(2/26/2015) The Dodgers aren't sure how they'll platoon their two catchers, according to the Orange County Register.

A.J. Ellis has been the team's primary option the past few seasons, but the club brought in Yasmani Grandal during the offseason. While Grandal has a much higher offensive upside, it's unclear how much he'll play once the regular season begins. 

"There’s nothing going to come out of this camp where we’re going to say, ‘OK, this guy is going to start 72 percent of the time’" general manager Andrew Friedman said. "It’s going to be much more about Donnie (Mattingly) writing the lineup each and every day for what gives us the best chance to win that day."

Mattingly admitted that Grandal has "tremendous upside offensively," so it's possible he could lead that way more often. While Mattingly has indicated that he doesn't want to assign any personal catchers yet, there's a sense Ellis could be used when Clayton Kershaw is on the mound. 

Grandal hit .225/.327/.401 over 377 at-bats last year. Ellis hit .191/.323/.254 over 283 at-bats. 


Giants sign Ronny Cedeno to minor-league deal
by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
(2/26/2015) The Giants have signed infielder Ronny Cedeno to a minor-league deal, according to the PCL transactions page.

Cedeno, 32, spent most of the year in the minors. He hit .313/.368/.431 over 281 at-bats in Triple-A. Cedeno received nine at-bats with the Phillies, but failed to record a hit. 


Brewers' Scooter Gennett glad to have full-time role
by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
(2/26/2015) Brewers infielder Scooter Gennett is glad to have a full-time role heading into 2015, according to the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel

Gennett spent last season in a platoon with Rickie Weeks, but with Weeks gone, he'll assume the full-time role. Gennett said he feels far less stressed about his position on the team this spring. "Seeing as I'm pretty much the everyday guy, that eliminated the stress, or whatever you want to call it, off my back," he said. 

"Just not having to worry about stuff out of my control. I've put myself in this position where I've earned the job, I've shown them what I can do, and now it's about consistently doing it," he added. 

Manager Ron Roenicke has already said he'll give Gennett plenty of opportunities to prove himself against left-handers. 

Gennett, 24, hit .289/.320/.434 over 440 at-bats last season. 


Cubs' Arismendy Alcantara will play all over the place
by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
(2/26/2015) Cubs utility man Arismendy Alcantara is going to play a lot of positions this season, according to ESPN.

Alcantara saw time in center last season, but the team's trade for Dexter Fowler will alter his role. Alcantara says he's ready for the challenge. "Mentally you have to be ready for that," Alcantara said. "They want me to play second base and the outfield." He's also expected to see some time at third base. 

Manager Joe Maddon is glad to have such a versatile player on the team. "When you get a guy like that and you want to give someone a rest, you don't feel like you're losing anything," Joe Maddon said. "And the big attraction there is also in-game. It's like having an extra guy on the bench."

The 23-year-old Alcantara hit .205/.254/.367 over 278 at-bats last year. 


Rockies ask Corey Dickerson to be more patient
by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
(2/26/2015) The Rockies want Corey Dickerson to be a little more patient at the plate, according to MLB.com.

Dickerson had a breakout season in 2014, hitting .312/.364/.567 over 436 at-bats. He walked in 7.7 percent of his plate appearances, which was actually just above the league average. Still, the team wants Dickerson to be slightly less of a free-swinging this year.

"I talked to Corey about adding this much discipline to his game," manager Walt Weiss said. "We don't want that much, because then he wouldn't be Corey Dickerson." Weiss explained that it's difficult to deliver this type of message, as Dickerson's aggressiveness makes him effective. 

Dickerson said he would work harder to study pitchers and work on his approach during games. 

The 25-year-old is expected to open the year as the team's starter in left.


Marlins unlikely to add reliever now
by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
(2/26/2015) The Marlins are unlikely to add a reliever now that Francisco Rodriguez is off the market, according to MLB.com.

The Marlins were involved in negotiations for K-Rod through at least Wednesday, and were reportedly willing to offer $10 million over two years. The club has been looking for a veteran reliever for some time, but may pass now that Rodriguez has signed with the Brewers.

Both Rafael Soriano and Phil Coke have been connected to Miami, but the team would likely only sign those players to minor-league contracts.


Diamondbacks' Chase Anderson a favorite for the rotation
by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
(2/26/2015) The Diamondbacks consider Chase Anderson a favorite to break camp in the rotation, according to azcentral.com.

The club wants to create a lot of competition for the rotation, and it was initially believed Anderson would be competing for a spot. General manager Dave Stewart sort of quashed those rumors, saying he perceives Anderson as a strong favorite right now. "Chase Anderson won nine games for us last year; you have to strongly consider him as part of our rotation," Stewart said. 

Anderson is expected to pair with Josh Collmenter and Jeremy Hellickson for now. The club will determine the final two spots in the rotation during camp.

Anderson, 27, posted a 4.01 ERA over 114 1/3 innings last year.


 
 
 
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