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Waiver Wire: Potential Twin powers

Michael Hurcomb
Fantasy Writer
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I was kind of hoping, as I imagine many Fantasy owners were, that when the news broke of the Twins signing Kendrys Morales it was just a really late April Fools' Day joke.

No offense to the Twins. In fact, they should be applauded for their aggressiveness in signing a power bat to help bolster their lineup. But from a Fantasy standpoint, it would have been ideal for Morales to sign with the Rangers, who are in desperate need of a first baseman after losing Prince Fielder for the season due to neck surgery and Mitch Moreland for at least a few weeks due to ankle surgery.

It was rumored the Rangers were interested in signing the 30-year-old slugger, but the Twins swooped in. Perhaps the biggest disappointment is that Morales won't get the opportunity to pad his stats at hitter-friendly Rangers Ballpark, where he has 10 home runs and is slugging .504 in 39 career games. He now will call Target Field home, which is one of the worst ballparks in the American League for home runs.

But maybe in Morales' case park factors won't be a major problem. Previously, Morales has called Angel Stadium and Safeco Field home, two ballparks equally bad for hitting home runs. Well, Morales hit 41 home runs and slugged .500 in 246 games at Angel Stadium and hit 19 home runs and slugged .496 in 113 games at Safeco.

Most added players on CBSSports.com
Player Own %
1. Josh Willingham, OF, MIN 71 (+31)
2. Marcus Stroman, SP, TOR 66 (+29)
3. Kendrys Morales, DH, MIN 61 (+23)
4. Danny Santana, SS, MIN 25 (+22)
5. Brock Holt, 3B, BOS 39 (+19)
6. Josh Harrison, OF, PIT 32 (+19)
7. Corey Dickerson, OF, COL 48 (+18)
8. Chase Anderson, SP, ARI 27 (+18)
9. Lonnie Chisenhall, 3B, CLE 85 (+17)
10. John Danks, SP, CHW 32 (+17)

You really have to distance yourself from the notion of Morales being the hitter he was in 2009, when he totaled 34 home runs with 108 RBI, 43 doubles and a .569 slugging percentage. Over his last two seasons, he's compiled a .275 average with a .329 on-base percentage, .457 slugging percentage and .786 OPS.

Now that Morales is back on a major-league roster and should play regularly, I can see him returning to being a top 24 Fantasy first baseman. But to me he falls into the Michael Cuddyer and Adam LaRoche range at the position.

He's definitely worth rostering in deep formats, but it wouldn't surprise me if he sits on waivers in some 12-team, Head-to-Head leagues. I'd much rather own Astros rookie Jon Singleton over Morales because of his potential upside, even though Morales has the track record over the rookie slugger.

Oswaldo Arcia, OF, Twins

Ownership in CBSSports.com leagues: 51 percent (up 7 percent)
Arcia hit the disabled list just four games into the season and was sent to the minors following his activation to work on his timing, so we didn't see him much through the first two months. But all the preseason expectations that followed the 23-year-old slugger are starting to come to fruition. He is batting .308 with a .615 slugging percentage and .976 OPS in 14 games since returning from the minors. He has four doubles, four home runs and 12 RBI in that span. Arcia didn't have a great slash line as a rookie in 2013 (.251/.304/.430/.734), but this kid can rake. He has a .314/.375/.542/.917 slash line in his minor-league career, which included a .312/.365/.597/.926 line in 22 games this season for Triple-A Rochester. Arcia might not have made the same headlines in the minors like Mike Trout, Bryce Harper or Yasiel Puig and might lose a little value in Head-to-Head formats because of a high strikeout rate, but he can definitely hit and is a good pickup off waivers if you are in need of an outfield bat.
Leagues worth owning him: 10-team Rotisserie, 12-team Head-to-Head

Brock Holt, 3B, Red Sox

Ownership in CBSSports.com leagues: 39 percent (up 19 percent)
I'm pretty sure I never saw the day coming that I would write a piece of analysis about Holt or see his Fantasy ownership over 30 percent, but surprisingly that day has come thanks to a nice hot streak from the 25-year-old infielder. He's batting .364 with a .394 on-base percentage, .523 slugging percentage and .916 OPS in his last 20 games, which has forced manager John Farrell to find him playing time at both corner infield positions and in the outfield. However, I continue to temper my expectations for Holt. I just don't see why it's worth getting amped up about a player that doesn't have great offensive upside. He hit for contact in the minors and got on base at a nice clip, but he didn't hit for power or drive in runs. He also had moderate stolen base totals. Now that Mike Napoli is back and Xander Bogaerts is playing regularly at third base, Holt's best chance for at-bats will be in the outfield. However, he's due to regress offensively, so he's nothing more than a short-term option while he's swinging a good bat.
Leagues worth owning him: Deep formats

Corey Dickerson, OF, Rockies

Ownership in CBSSports.com leagues: 48 percent (up 18 percent)
Injuries to Michael Cuddyer and Carlos Gonzalez have opened up regular playing time for Dickerson, which has resulted in a spike in his Fantasy ownership. Dickerson has posted some pretty good numbers this season, batting .324 with a .380 on-base percentage, .620 slugging percentage and 1.001 OPS in 43 games. And the impressive part is that Dickerson just isn't putting up big numbers at hitter-friendly Coors Field. He actually has a higher slugging percentage (.679) and OPS (1.069) on the road, as opposed to home (.558, .926). You would assume with these types of numbers Dickerson would be playing regularly regardless of the team's injury situation. However, Dickerson continues to do most of his damage against right-handed pitchers, posting a .337/.674/1.055 slash line, and it's not like Drew Stubbs and Charlie Blackmon have been awful. When everyone's healthy, the Rockies have a crowded outfield situation, but now that two starters are on the DL, it's OK to lean on Dickerson for the time being.
Leagues worth owning him: 10-team Rotisserie, 12-team Head-to-Head

John Danks, SP, White Sox

Ownership in CBSSports.com leagues: 32 percent (up 17 percent)
Danks has been pitching particularly well as of late, going 1-1 with a 1.21 ERA and .167 opponents' batting average in his last three starts. He's gone at least seven innings in each outing. I'm definitely intrigued by Danks' recent surge because he said he feels he's getting back to full strength nearly two years removed from shoulder surgery. He's also had good success after making a tweak to his delivery, which he said has resulted in better velocity and movement. I question the improved velocity because the numbers on BrooksBaseball.net and FanGraphs.com don't really support Danks' claim, but you can't argue with the recent results. It would be nice if he could get back to his early days when he was a 10-plus game winner and posted a sub-4.00 ERA. However, Danks still doesn't have a great strikeout rate, walks a fair amount of batters and gives up home runs, so this could just be a temporary hot streak. I like that Danks' confidence is up, but the numbers don't yet support going all in on the lefty hurler.
Leagues worth owning him: Deep formats

Josh Tomlin, SP, Indians

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Ownership in CBSSports.com leagues: 36 percent (up 14 percent)
It's probably time to give Tomlin his due credit because he's been pitching pretty well. Even though he lost out on the fifth spot in the rotation during spring training, Tomlin posted a 3.54 ERA and 1.18 WHIP during the exhibition season. He then continued to pitch well in the minors, going 2-1 with a 2.06 ERA and 0.88 WHIP in five starts for Triple-A Columbus. Since joining the Cleveland rotation, he is 3-2 with a 3.13 ERA and 0.94 WHIP in six starts. Our previous memory of Tomlin wasn't very fond, as he went 5-8 with a 6.36 ERA and 1.46 WHIP in 2012. However, his poor results were due to the elbow problems that led to Tommy John surgery. The farther he gets away from the August 2012 operation, the more he looks like the pitcher he was in 2011 (12-7, 4.25 ERA, 1.08 WHIP) -- if not better. Tomlin is throwing strikes and getting ahead in the count, which is allowing him to attack hitters with his curveball. He is striking out a career-high 7.8 batters per nine innings, which is very encouraging. He's also allowing a career-low 7.4 hits per nine innings and walking just 1.1 batters per nine. He still has a high home run rate, but as long as he doesn't compound the problem by giving up a lot of hits or walks, then maybe Tomlin could be headed for a bounce-back season. He's averaging 23.2 Fantasy points per week over the last five scoring periods.
Leagues worth owning him: 12-team Head-to-Head and Rotisserie

Adam Lind, DH, Blue Jays

Ownership in CBSSports.com leagues: 55 percent (up 7 percent)
Lind has put together a pretty impressive slash line through 39 games, posting a .331 average, .415 on-base percentage, .525 slugging percentage and .940 OPS. However, it would be even more impressive if he was playing every day. Unfortunately, he's stuck in a platoon role, sitting on the days a left-handed hurler is on the hill. Lind has said he's accepted his role as a platoon player and winning has helped any tension that might be brewing. Lind really isn't hurting Fantasy owners in points leagues; he has nearly as many walks (17) as strikeouts (22) and is producing on the nights he starts. Still, he's had just one week of 20-plus Fantasy points and has just three home runs. Lind might sit once or twice per week, so it's not like he's sitting every other day. He's even getting into games off the bench. But as you can see there's limited upside, even with his promising start.
Leagues worth owning him: Deep formats

Tommy La Stella, 2B, Braves

Ownership in CBSSports.com leagues: 19 percent (up 5 percent)
The promotion of La Stella hasn't exactly sent the Braves on a torrid winning streak, as they are just 5-6 in 11 games since La Stella made his MLB debut May 28. However, La Stella has done something Dan Uggla, Ramiro Pena and Tyler Pastornicky failed to do for Atlanta -- provide a reliable offensive presence at second base. La Stella is batting .364 with a .417 on-base percentage and .780 OPS through 10 games. Thus far, La Stella is pretty much doing what was expected. He's hitting for average, getting on base and not striking out much. In fact, he has more walks (three) than strikeouts (two), which is a trend he also produced in the minors. La Stella doesn't have much power at all, doesn't steal a lot of bases or score a ton of runs, so he's not as strong an option in Rotisserie formats. However, he does have a place in deeper points leagues because he won't hurt you with a high strikeout rate.
Leagues worth owning him: Deep formats

Asdrubal Cabrera, SS, Indians

Ownership in CBSSports.com leagues: 71 percent (up 4 percent)
Unless the Indians fall out of playoff contention by the July trading deadline or Cabrera gets hurt, Fantasy owners probably have to start warming up to the notion that top shortstop prospect Francisco Lindor might not make a significant impact this season. After a slow start to the season, Cabrera has been pretty solid offensively since early May. After batting .205 in his first 33 games, Cabrera is batting .307 with a .365 on-base percentage, .509 slugging percentage and .874 OPS in his last 28 games. Even with the slow start, Cabrera is a top 10 Fantasy scoring shortstop in Head-to-Head formats and a top 12 option in Rotisserie formats. He's ahead of the likes of Starlin Castro, Jose Reyes, Jed Lowrie and Xander Bogaerts in points leagues, and ahead of Castro, Bogaerts and Lowrie in Roto leagues. With that said, I'm not sure how much more room Cabrera has to improve. His current slash line (.255/.327/.403/.729) is close to his career line (.271/.334/.413/.747). I will say I'm intrigued that Cabrera is in a walk year, and he has that extra motivation to put up big numbers the rest of the season. But I'm not convinced he will be much more than a low-end Fantasy starter in standard formats, so his Fantasy ownership is probably around the right level.
Leagues worth owning him: 10-team Rotisserie, 14-team Head-to-Head

Josh Collmenter, SP, Diamondbacks

Ownership in CBSSports.com leagues: 43 percent (up 9 percent)
I'm not quite as bullish on Collmenter as my colleagues Al Melchior and Scott White. I will give Collmenter credit for pitching well since joining the Diamondbacks' rotation. He is 4-3 with a 3.82 ERA and .246 opponents' batting average over 11 starts. Collmenter has been able to succeed because he's throwing strikes and not issuing a lot of walks. He's walked just 13 batters in his 11 starts. Still, Collmenter doesn't have a great strikeout rate, and I feel he might have peaked this season when he tossed a complete game shutout May 29 against the Reds. He's gone 0-1 with a 5.25 ERA and .314 opponents' batting average in his last two starts since the shutout, and this is the Collmenter I kind of expected all along. Collmenter hasn't been a terrible starter in his major-league career. Outside of a 5.11 ERA and 1.298 WHIP in 11 starts in 2012, he is 17-15 with a 3.97 ERA and 1.16 WHIP in 46 career starts. I think pitching in relief served him well and taught him how to attack the strike zone, but I don't see a high upside pitcher in the 28-year-old hurler.
Leagues worth owning him: Deep formats

Lucas Duda, 1B, Mets

Ownership in CBSSports.com leagues: 39 percent (up 1 percent)
Since the Mets fired hitting coach Dave Hudgens May 26, Duda is batting .286 with a .444 on-base percentage, .619 slugging percentage and 1.063 OPS in 14 games. He also has three home runs, five doubles and 11 RBI, and even has more walks (11) than strikeouts (nine) in that span. Maybe it is just a coincidence Duda has gotten hot since Hudgens' firing or maybe new hitting coach Lamar Johnson is just letting Duda be Duda. When Duda was putting up big numbers in the minors, his walk rate wasn't far off from his strikeout rate. He seems to be getting back to that hitter over the last few weeks. We've been waiting for Duda to have a breakout season since showing plenty of promise as a rookie in 2011. Perhaps the firing of Hudgens is the unfortunate spark Duda needs, but his recent surge is intriguing enough that you're in a deep format looking for a cheap source of power, then Duda could be a worthy add.
Leagues worth owning him: Deep formats

American League options

Danny Santana, SS, Twins

Ownership in CBSSports.com leagues: 25 percent (up 22 percent)
Twins manager Ron Gardenhire hasn't been afraid to alter his lineup this season to make sure to get the hot hand in the lineup. The latest example is Santana, who is seeing playing time at shortstop, center field and DH. Santana has been a nice addition to the Twins' lineup, batting .364 with a .395 on-base percentage, .506 slugging percentage and .902 OPS in 23 games. While I would like to tell you that Santana will keep this up and be a steal off waivers, I'm just not sure that's going to happen. Not for a guy that hit just .274 with a .318 on-base percentage, .393 slugging percentage and .711 OPS in 545 minor-league games. Santana has decent speed, which helps him as a threat on the base paths and to leg out extra-base hits. However, he doesn't have much home run power and not a lot of offensive upside. Santana isn't the first rookie and won't be the last to exceed expectations early on following his promotion to the majors. Santana's worth using as a stopgap Fantasy option, but he's not worth a large investment.
Leagues worth owning him: AL-only, deep Rotisserie formats

National League options

David Peralta, OF, Diamondbacks

Ownership in CBSSports.com leagues: 5 percent (up 5 percent)
Peralta, much like Santana, is off to a quick start following his promotion from the minors. However, Peralta is a more intriguing option than Santana because of the numbers he posted in the minors. After posting a .359/.404/.566/.970 slash line in 225 games in the Independent League, Peralta had a .346/.370/.534/.904 slash line at high Class A last season and had a .297/.359/.480/.839 slash line at Double-A this season before being called up. Peralta has shown in the minors he has decent power and good plate discipline. But Daniel Nava and Chris Colabello -- two Independent League alums -- also tore up pitching in the minors, but neither player was able to have that same success in the majors. Nava did have a good run last season, but he was demoted to the minors for a spell this season after getting off to a slow start. And it's not like he was a must-start player last season. Peralta had a good run in the minors and the potential is there, but there's no need to rush to waivers right now to add him.
Leagues worth owning him: NL-only

Player you might reconsider dropping

Jaime Garcia, SP, Cardinals

Ownership in CBSSports.com leagues: 62 percent (down 8 percent)
I can't believe Fantasy owners are willing to give up on Garcia so quickly after one bad start. He might have gotten roughed up last Tuesday against the Royals, but he bounced back nicely Sunday at Toronto and it was even more impressive since it was on the road in a hitter-friendly park. Though, Garcia is an extreme groundball pitcher, so keeping the ball on the ground is key in a park like Toronto. Regardless, as I wrote a few weeks ago when I urged you to add the left-handed hurler, Garcia might get hit hard at times, but he doesn't really compound the problem with a high walk rate and has a decent strikeout rate. And the Cardinals are contenders, which gives Garcia the chance to be a regular winner. Garcia hasn't had less than 13 Fantasy points in four scoring periods and is averaging 22 Fantasy points over the last three scoring periods. I know Garcia has a poor track record with durability issues, but to me he's worth rostering in mixed leagues. He's not a Fantasy ace, but he's certainly reliable enough to be part of your Fantasy rotation.
Leagues worth owning him: 10-team Rotisserie, 12-team Head-to-Head

Q&A

Would you drop Carlos Beltran, Christian Yelich, Austin Jackson or Kendrys Morales for Corey Dickerson? --@espletz

MH:Early in the season it would have been absurd to tell you to drop Beltran, but now that he continues to deal with elbow problems, he appears to be the choice to drop. He's just 1 for 14 (.071) since returning from the disabled list, which extends a 14-for-90 slump (.156) dating back to mid-April. Perhaps if Beltran said he's feeling good and is just rusty coming off about a month layoff, then I would be more encouraged. But he said he's still dealing with some pain, which continues to affect his preparation. All four of those other players can help you now, so if you can't afford to wait on Beltran, then drop him for Dickerson.

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Player News
Sonny Gray turns in another gem
by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(1:01 am ET) Athletics pitcher Sonny Gray turned in another gem Thursday night against the Angels in Anaheim. The right-hander permitted three runs on six hits and three walks while striking out six over seven innings of a no-decision. Of his 103 pitches, 66 were strikes.

Over his last four starts covering 27 2/3 innings, Gray has allowed 12 earned runs. He owns a 3.03 ERA and a 1.21 WHIP over 27 starts (178 innings). His next start will come Tuesday at home against Seattle.

Alex Gordon hits another home run
by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
(12:51 am ET) Royals outfielder Alex Gordon clubbed his 17th home run Thursday against the Twins. 

Gordon struck in the bottom of the seventh inning. He took a 93 mph fastball from from Ryan Pressly out to right center for the solo shot. Gordon also singled earlier in the contest. He finished 2 for 5, with two runs scored and two RBI. Gordon has now hit five home runs in his last 11 games. 


C.J. Wilson settles for no-decision
by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
(12:50 am ET) Angels pitcher C.J. Wilson couldn't last six innings Thursday against the Athletics.

Wilson allowed three runs on seven hits over 5 2/3 innings. He struck out two and walked three during the outing. Wilson was excellent early, tossing four scoreless innings to open the game. He got into some trouble in the fifth inning. Wilson led things off by giving up a single and a run-scoring double against the first two hitters he faced. After a groundout, Coco Crisp managed to drive in another run on a single. Wilson escaped the inning with a one-run lead. That lead was erased almost immediately. Josh Donaldson homered to start the sixth, tying the game.

Wilson was pulled after putting two men on base with two outs. Wilson did not factor into the decision. He’ll take on the Astros in his next start.


Jason Castro belts a grand slam Thursday
by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
(12:43 am ET) Astros catcher Jason Castro belted a grand slam Thursday against the Rangers.

Castro struck in the bottom of the fifth inning. With the bases loaded, he sent a 96 mph fastball out to right for the grand slam. Castro also singled and walked earlier in the contest. He finished 2 for 3, with one run scored and four RBI.


Derek Holland throws 98 pitches during rehab start
by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
(12:33 am ET) Rangers pitcher Derek Holland tossed 98 pitches during a rehab start Thursday.

Holland allowed four runs, three earned, on six hits over 5 2/3 innings. He struck out five and walked two during the outing. He gave up two home runs during the appearance. Despite the performance, Holland managed to pick up a win. He was scratched from his previous start due to back spasms. 


Charlie Morton goes four innings in rehab start
by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
(12:29 am ET) Pirates pitcher Charlie Morton went four innings during a rehab start Thursday.

Morton allowed two runs on four hits over four innings. He struck out six and walked one during the outing. Morton threw 73 pitches. He's working his way back from hip inflammation. Morton has not pitched since August 15 due to the issue. 


Luke Putkonen knocked around during rehab game
by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
(12:26 am ET) Tigers pitcher Luke Putkonen was knocked around in his first rehab appearance.

Putkonen gave up four runs in just 2/3 of an inning. He allowed two hits, including a home run, and walked two batters. Putkonen is attempting to come back after June elbow surgery. 


Bruce Chen has late meltdown
by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
(12:10 am ET) Royals pitcher Bruce Chen had a big time meltdown Thursday against the Twins.

Chen entered with the game tied in the top of the 10th inning. After notching a strikeout against the first batter he faced, Chen gave up a triple and two walks to load the bases. Two singles quickly gave the Twins a three-run lead. Chen was then able to induce a pop out for the second out of the inning. With two outs, he allowed two straight doubles, plating another three runs.

When all was said and done, Chen gave up six runs on five hits during his one inning of work. His record dropped to 2-4. 


Jeremy Guthrie escapes with the no decision
by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
(12:07 am ET) Royals pitcher Jeremy Guthrie turned in a tough start Thursday against the Twins.

Guthrie allowed five runs on nine hits over six innings. He struck out five and walked two during the outing. Guthrie was tagged early. With one out in the first, the Twins managed to put runners on second and third. One run would come in on a groundout. The other would score on a single. Guthrie made it through the next two innings unscathed, but gave up two more runs in the fourth inning. He gave up his final run on a walk and a double in the sixth inning. 

Guthrie exited with the game tied, picking up the no-decision. He’ll take on the Rangers in his next start.


Tommy Milone gets knocked around Thursday
by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
(12:06 am ET) Twins pitcher Tommy Milone had a rough start Thursday against the Royals.

Milone allowed four runs on nine hits over 5 1/3 innings. He did not record any strikeouts, but walked two batters. Milone gave up two runs in the first inning. After giving up a leadoff single, Milone allowed an RBI-single to Alex Gordon after the runner got into scoring position. Gordon would reach second on a walk, and score on another RBI-single. Milone made it through the next two innings without any issues, but was tagged for a run in both the fourth and fifth innings. 

Royals starter Jeremy Guthrie had similar struggles during the start, giving Milone the no-decision. He’ll take on the White Sox in his next start.


 
 
 
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