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Start and sit hitters for Week 12

Senior Fantasy Writer
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All stats are updated through Thursday, June 12.

The most notable player on the verge of coming off the DL is Shane Victorino (hamstring), who probably won't play the whole week and may not be so productive right out of the gate, but several notable players head into the weekend nursing day-to-day injuries.

Scott's sleepers for Week 12
Player Own/Start %
1. Josh Willingham, OF, MIN 75/67
2. Gregory Polanco, OF, PIT 94/69
3. Aramis Ramirez, 3B, MIL 80/53
4. Howie Kendrick, 2B, LAA 91/68
5. Eric Hosmer, 1B, KC 93/64
6. Billy Hamilton, OF, CIN 86/66
7. Coco Crisp, OF, OAK 81/61
8. Matt Adams, 1B, STL 85/16
9. Erick Aybar, SS, LAA 80/66
10. Desmond Jennings, OF, TB 90/66

The most concerning is probably Hanley Ramirez. He got a cortisone shot in his right shoulder Wednesday, hoping to relieve the soreness. We'll know by the end of the weekend whether it worked or not, and you'll want to start him if it did. Brian Dozier's (back), Jose Altuve's (hand) and Jacoby Ellsbury's (hip) injuries don't appear as serious, making them still "too obvious" at their respective positions, but you'll want to keep an eye on them over the weekend.

Wonder where Kole Calhoun has been since returning from a sprained ankle? The Angels have taken to sitting him in favor of Collin Cowgill against left-handers and have faced four lefties in their last five games. Granted, platoons can come and go on a whim, as we've seen recently with Lonnie Chisenhall and, on the other end of the spectrum, Charlie Blackmon, but Calhoun, for all his sleeper appeal coming into the year, isn't productive enough to factor in mixed leagues in his current capacity.

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

Catcher

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

Start: Russell Martin, Pirates
Since returning from a DL stint for a strained hamstring May 23, Martin has been the fourth-highest scoring catcher in Head-to-Head points leagues. And while his .327 (16 for 49) batting average during that stretch is too good to be true, he managed to finish 13th in Head-to-Head scoring despite a .226 batting average last year. He tends to run hot and cold and is certainly hot now, so give him a look if you have a gaping hole at catcher.
Instead of: Mike Zunino, John Jaso, Dioner Navarro

Sit: Carlos Ruiz, Phillies
Speaking of running hot and cold, Ruiz has been on a roller-coaster ride of his own this season, rebounding from a mostly crummy May to hit .333 (15 for 45) with a home run and an .867 OPS in his last 12 games. But the Philies have especially tough matchups against the Braves and Cardinals starting rotations this week -- facing pitchers like Julio Teheran, Adam Wainwright and Michael Wacha -- and play all seven of their games on the road, where Ruiz is batting .253 compared to .300 at home.
Instead of: Martin, Jason Castro, Kurt Suzuki

First base

Too obvious: Miguel Cabrera, Paul Goldschmidt, Edwin Encarnacion, Jose Abreu, Albert Pujols, Anthony Rizzo, Freddie Freeman, Chris Davis, Victor Martinez, Brandon Moss, Joey Votto, Todd Frazier, Jonathan Lucroy, Adrian Gonzalez, Allen Craig, Michael Morse, Adam LaRoche

Start: Matt Adams, Cardinals
After spending two weeks on the DL with a strained calf, Adams returned to the lineup Friday looking to get back to doing everything his pedigree and peripherals say he shouldn't be doing -- i.e., trading off all of his home run power for more singles than he has any right to hit with such poor plate discipline. OK, so maybe that's not his aim, and maybe the time off will allow him to hit the reset button on his swing and get back to driving the ball like we all know he can. He certainly has the right matchups for it this week, facing hittable righties like Jacob deGrom, Bartolo Colon, David Buchanan, A.J. Burnett and Kyle Kendrick.
Instead of: Mark Teixeira, Jon Singleton

Sit: Justin Morneau, Rockies
Morneau came to life in his recent series against the Braves, even homering Thursday, but has mostly been a disaster since mid-May, batting .216 (16 for 74) over his last 21 games. He kicks off this week against Hyun-Jin Ryu, Zack Greinke and Clayton Kershaw, which could put him back in a funk right away, particularly if he sits against one or both of the lefties. And his matchups to end the week against the Brewers starting rotation aren't the best either.
Instead of: Eric Hosmer, Mike Napoli, Adams

Second base

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

Five Best Hitting Schedules
Team Schedule
1. Brewers @ARI4, @COL3
2. Angels @CLE4, TEX3
3. Rays BAL3, HOU4
4. Cardinals NYM3, PHI4
5. Cubs @MIA3, PIT3

Start: Howie Kendrick, Angels
Kendrick isn't far removed from being "too obvious" at the position, but a 13-for-71 (.183) slump has his starting rate down to 68 percent. He has the kind of matchups this week, though, that should get him back on track, particularly in the second series against Rangers. None of Joe Saunders, Nick Martinez and Colby Lewis deserves to be starting every fifth day in the majors. Combined, they've allowed 12.1 hits per nine innings this season.
Instead of: Brett Lawrie, Yangervis Solarte

Sit: Aaron Hill, Diamondbacks
Hill isn't far removed from being "too obvious" at the position either, but more because of reputation than actual production. He hasn't done much of anything for Fantasy owners this season, scoring 15-plus Head-to-Head points in just three of the first 10 weeks, and isn't trending the right direction with a .205 (8 for 39) batting average so far in June. He's also batting just .228 against righties, who the Diamondbacks face in six of their seven games this week.
Instead of: Kendrick, Ben Zobrist, Solarte

Third base

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

Start: Aramis Ramirez, Brewers
Ramirez was slumping just before hitting the DL with a strained hamstring May 10, costing him "too obvious" status at the position, but that slump appears to be behind him now. He's batting .300 (9 for 30) with two home runs in eight games since returning from the DL. The Brewers have far and away the best matchups of any team this week, facing the Diamondbacks' lousy starting rotation for four games at hitter-friendly Chase Field and the Rockies' slightly better than lousy rotation for three games at hitter-crazy Coors Field. Ramirez figures to be just one of the beneficiaries.
Instead of: Brett Lawrie, Yangervis Solarte, Casey McGehee

Sit: Pablo Sandoval, Giants
Sandoval had a great run the second half of May, briefly becoming "too obvious" at the position, but he's cooled off a bit in June, batting .289 (11 for 38) with just two extra-base hits (both doubles) in 11 games. That alone wouldn't be reason enough to sit him, but the Giants are also the only team playing just five games with week, including three against left-handed pitchers. Sandoval is batting just .169 against lefties.
Instead of: Ramirez, Manny Machado

Shortstop

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

Five Worst Hitting Schedules
Team Schedule
1. Rockies @LAD3, MIL3
2. Blue Jays @NYY3, @CIN3
3. Braves PHI3, @WAS4
4. Indians LAA4, DET3
5. Royals @DET4, SEA3

Start: Erick Aybar, Angels
Aybar is currently tied with Ian Desmond for sixth at the position in Head-to-Head points leagues, which is clearly too good to be true. But it gives you some idea just how hot he's been lately, batting .333 (27 for 81) with seven doubles, two homers and two steals in his last 21 games. His batting average is bound to regress and his RBI pace to slow down, but perhaps not this week against the Indians and Rangers rotations.
Instead of: Jimmy Rollins, Yangervis Solarte, Alcides Escobar

Sit: Andrelton Simmons, Braves
Looks like Simmons is having a good week for once, doesn't it? That's what hitting a grand slam can do for a player. Overall, though, he went only 2 for 15 in the Braves' four-game series at Colorado, flopping in his best chance yet to snap out of his season-long slump. It won't get any easier this week against pitchers like Cole Hamels, Jordan Zimmermann, Stephen Strasburg, Doug Fister and Tanner Roark.
Instead of: Aybar, Jhonny Peralta, Asdrubal Cabrera

Outfield

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

Start: Josh Willingham, Twins
Willingham claims this spot for the second straight week. He doesn't have quite as much momentum as he had then, but particuarly because of his high walk rate, he's still contributing starter-caliber numbers in Fantasy. And the Twins' matchups this week are a little more in his favor. He's the type of hitter who could take advantage of the Green Monster in three games at Boston, and his matchups against the White Sox to close out the week are far from imposing. In four games, he'll face Jose Quintana, Hector Noesi, Andre Rienzo and John Danks.
Instead of: Nick Markakis, Angel Pagan, Brett Gardner

Sit: Corey Dickerson, Rockies
Starting Dickerson may seem to be obvious given the kind of run he's on as a fill-in for the injured Carlos Gonzalez (or Michael Cuddyer, depending on how you look at it), but the Rockies' series at Dodger Stadium to begin the week could put him in a hole before the team returns to Coors Field for a three-game series against the Brewers. Not only are the matchups against Hyun-Jin Ryu, Zack Greinke and Clayton Kershaw unfavorable, but two of those pitchers throw left-handed, making Dickerson a good bet to sit against one or both. Sitting him in a five-outfielder league may be harder to justify, but in a three-outfielder league, you can do better.
Instead of: Willingham, Billy Hamilton, Coco Crisp

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.

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
Twins OF Torii Hunter plans to mentor Aaron Hicks, Byron Buxton
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(4:38 pm ET) Twins veteran right fielder Torii Hunter said one of his goals this season will be to mentor outfielder Aaron Hicks and top outfield prospect Byron Buxton, per MLB.com.

"I know Hicks can play, but with Buxton -- I haven't seen video or seen him play, but every word I hear is good about him," Hunter said. "I definitely think when we get to spring training we'll sit down and I'll work out with them and evaluate what they're doing right and what they're doing wrong."

Hicks said he will lean on Hunter this spring, as he competes with Jordan Schafer for the starting job in center field.

"I'll be all in his ear the whole time," Hicks said. "He might get annoyed I'll be in his ear so much. He's definitely a guy I'm going to go to.

"I believe that I have the ability to play center field here for a long time. I've just got to go out there and show people that I can be the center fielder that everybody wants me to be and also that I want myself to be."


Latest MRI on Jurickson Profar's shoulder comes back clean
by Sean d'Oliveira | CBSSports.com
(3:43 pm ET) The latest MRI on Rangers second baseman Jurickson Profar’s shoulder appears to show the shoulder is healing properly and Profar can increase his workload, reports FOXSports.com/southwest

Profar has been throwing from 60 feet, but will begin throwing from 75 feet starting next week. He'll also begin taking dry swings from the right side.


Free-agent pitcher Brandon Beachy delays contract decision
by Sean d'Oliveira | CBSSports.com
(1:31 pm ET) Free-agent pitcher Brandon Beachy has decided to delay his decision on which team he'll pitch for in 2015, his agent told FOXSports.com.

The former Braves pitcher is recovery from Tommy John surgery and wants to wait until closer to spring training before making his decision. Beachy did not pitch in 2014 because of the injury.


Nationals' Jayson Werth pleads guilty, sentenced to 5 days in jail
by Sean d'Oliveira | CBSSports.com
(12:24 pm ET) Nationals outfielder Jayson Werth will serve five days in jail after pleading guilty to reckless driving, reports The Washington Post.

Werth was pulled over in July by Virginia State Police after driving 105 mph in a 55 mph zone and Werth did not necessarily disagree with the assessment.

"It's possible I exceeded 90 miles per hour," Werth said in court.

Werth was initially convicted of reckless driving Dec. 5, but appealed the verdict. He was originally sentenced to 10 days in jail, but it was reduced to five after Werth's guilty plea.

The prosecutor said Werth will turn himself in Friday and begin serving his sentence, according to NBC4's Northern Virginia Bureau. 


White Sox DFA Dayan Viciedo to see if any trade interest remains
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(11:07 am ET) White Sox general manager Rick Hahn said putting outfielder Dayan Viciedo on waivers could be the final step to trading him, which is something the team has explored all offseason. Viciedo was designated for assignment Wednesday, which means Chicago has 10 days to trade, release or outright him to the minors.

"It got to the point where Dayan didn’t very likely fit on this club in a meaningful way for 2015,"  Hahn said, per CSNChicago.com. "The thought with designating him was flesh out any interest over the next 10 days or so and find him a better home going into the next season."

Viciedo, who will turn 26 years old on March 10, has hit more than 20 homers in two of the last three seasons. But he has yet to reach his full potential, batting just .254 with a .424 slugging percentage in five MLB seasons. 

The White Sox seem OK if they deal Viciedo and he finally reaches his full potential with another team.

"He's still young and he still has a world of talent and a great deal of power that we’ve all seen on display over a number of years," Hahn said. "It's not going to surprise any of us in the least if he goes on to have a very successful career elsewhere."


Reds' Price 'realistically' targets Mesoraco to catch 145 games
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(10:54 am ET) Reds manager Bryan Price indicated catcher Devin Mesoraco could see a lot more time behind the plate in 2015, per the Dayton Daily News. He appeared in 114 games in 2014, starting 109 at catcher.

“I’ve been asked that question a lot about Mesoraco playing first base,” Price said. “How much would he play? Only if (Joey) Votto was injured. Realistically, I see him as a Yadier Moilina-type guy, who is going to catch 145 games a year, more so than I see him catching 110 a year and playing 20 or 30 at first base.

“It stood out more last year because I linked up Johnny Cueto with (Brayan) Pena catching. I anticipate Mesoraco catching a lot more games this year, especially if he stays healthy. We won’t pair Pena with Cueto as much. Devin did a real nice job with Johnny the times he caught him.”


Report: Blue Jays making a push to sign Ronald Belisario
by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
(1:32 am ET) The Blue Jays are making a push to sign reliever Ronald Belisario, according to FoxSports.com.

The 32-year-old Belisario posted a 5.56 ERA over 66 1/3 innings with the White Sox last season. While his performance looks spotty on the surface, Belisario managed to cut his walk rate by three percent last season. He had awful luck with men on base, which may have contributed to his struggles. Belisario actually posted a 3.54 FIP, so there's a chance at a possible rebound. 

The Blue Jays have been linked to a number of free-agent relievers, including Rafael Soriano, Francisco Rodriguez and Burke Badenhop. 


Report: Blue Jays looking at multiple free-agent relievers
by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
(1/28/2015) The Blue Jays are looking at multiple free-agent relievers, according to FoxSports.com.

The team has been in contact with Francisco Rodriguez, Rafael Soriano and Burke Badenhop. Both Rodriguez and Soriano have closer experience, while Badenhop has only saved four games over his career. Badenhop, however, did post the lowest ERA of the bunch last year, coming in at 2.29. 

Rodriguez, 33, posted a 3.04 ERA over 68 innings last year. He saved 44 games with Milwaukee.

The 35-year-old Soriano posted a 3.19 ERA over 62 innings last season. He lost his closer role late in the season after going into a bit of a slump.


Marlins designate Arquimedes Caminero for assignment
by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
(1/28/2015) The Marlins have designated pitcher Arquimedes Caminero for assignment on Wednesday, according to MLB.com.

The 27-year-old Caminero spent most of the year in Triple-A. He posted a 4.86 ERA over 63 innings. Caminero was briefly promoted to the majors, posting a 10.80 ERA over 6 2/3 innings with Miami.


Giants release Marco Scutaro
by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
(1/28/2015) The Giants have released second baseman Marco Scutaro, according to MLB.com.

Scutaro was designated for assignment by the club Jan. 21. Scutaro underwent back surgery in December, and was expected to miss 4-6 months due to the surgery. The 39-year-old was limited to five games last season due to back issues. He hit .297/.357/.369 over 488 at-bats back in 2013.


 
 
 
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