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Start and sit hitters for Week 15

Senior Fantasy Writer
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All stats are updated through Thursday, July 3.

Oscar Taveras' return hasn't met with the same enthusiasm in Fantasy as his initial callup a few weeks earlier. That's because his playing time will come at the expense of others' this time around. He did get a start in center field Wednesday, but otherwise, he has replaced Matt Holliday once and Allen Craig once. Matt Adams could also be at risk of losing at-bats. Holliday is the only one of the four I'm willing to call "too obvious" for this week.

Josh Willingham has sat out three of the Twins' last eight games. The first time, manager Ron Gardenhire said he just wanted to keep him fresh, but now you have to wonder if, given his injury history and 35 years of age, the Twins see him as an everyday player still. Sit him for now.

Scott's sleepers for Week 15
Player Own/Start %
1. Kole Calhoun, OF, Angels 74/60
2. Corey Dickerson, OF, Rockies 85/65
3. Lonnie Chisenhall, 1B/3B, Indians 92/72
4. Nolan Arenado, 3B, Rockies 94/33
5. Mike Napoli, 1B, Red Sox 84/62
6. Scooter Gennett, 2B, Brewers 66/50
7. C.J. Cron, 1B, Angels 53/39
8. Christian Yelich, OF, Marlins 87/52
9. Mark Teixeira, 1B, Yankees 86/65
10. Andrelton Simmons, SS, Braves 67/44

Joey Votto continues to have leg issues dating back to his DL stint that ended nearly a month ago. The Reds hold out hope he can avoid a return trip to the DL, but given the way his production has suffered, he's less than "too obvious" for the time being.

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

Catcher

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

Start: Yan Gomes, Indians
Gomes has been especially productive in recent days, plating seven runs with a .276 (8 for 29) batting average and two homers in his last seven games. Against pitchers like Vidal Nuno, Chase Whitley, David Phelps, Hector Noesi and Scott Carroll this week, he should have plenty more RBI opportunities this week, and with seven home games, he's a good bet to take advantage. He's batting .305 with an .833 OPS there compared to .242 and .662 on the road.
Instead of: Jarrod Saltalamacchia, Mike Zunino, Jason Castro

Sit: Derek Norris, Athletics
Norris only recently returned from a back injury that sidelined him for about a week, so when the Athletics go without the DH for two games in the middle of this week, you have to think they might use it as an opportunity to rest their top catcher. Even if they don't, Norris faces long odds against pitchers like Ryan Vogelsong, Madison Bumgarner, Matt Cain, Tim Hudson, Taijuan Walker, Hisashi Iwakuma and Chris Young. He does most of his damage against lefties, and only one of those pitchers fits that description.
Instead of: Gomes, Kurt Suzuki, Wilson Ramos

First base

Too obvious: Miguel Cabrera, Paul Goldschmidt, Jose Abreu, Albert Pujols, Anthony Rizzo, Freddie Freeman, Todd Frazier, Chris Davis, Jonathan Lucroy, Justin Morneau, Adam LaRoche, Buster Posey, Carlos Santana, Adrian Gonzalez

Start: Mike Napoli, Red Sox
Napoli has swung a hot bat since returning from the DL in early June, batting .309 (25 for 81) with five home runs and a .411 on-base percentage in 23 games, but his starting rate remains in the 60-percent range, about 10 percent lower than before the injury. He's a good bet to keep it going this week against the White Sox and Astros rotations, especially since three of the pitchers on tap throw left-handed.
Instead of: Allen Craig, Eric Hosmer, Ryan Howard

Sit: Steve Pearce, Orioles
You never like sitting the hot hand, but the Orioles themselves may have to do it when they travel to Washington for two games to begin this week. No DH most likely means no Pearce. And while the 31-year-old journeyman has beat up on bottom-feeders like Joe Saunders, Nick Martinez and Scott Baker in recent days, he'll be in for more of a challenge against Stephen Strasburg, Doug Fister, Tanner Roark, Gio Gonzalez, Hiroki Kuroda and Masahiro Tanaka this week.
Instead of: Napoli, C.J. Cron, Mark Teixeira

Second base

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

Five Best Hitting Schedules
Team Schedule
1. Indians NYY4, CHW3
2. Rockies SD3, MIN3
3. Angels TOR3, @TEX4
4. Yankees @CLE4, @BAL3
5. Red Sox CHW4, @HOU3

Start: Scooter Gennett, Brewers
Though Gennett remains one of the hottest players in baseball, batting .412 (21 for 51) with a 1.170 OPS over his last 14 games, his Fantasy owners haven't benefited recently because of all the lefties the Brewers have faced. They do face two in their seven games this week, but some of the righties -- Kyle Kendrick, Roberto Hernandez, David Buchanan and, at least at this stage of his career, Carlos Martinez -- are as hittable as they come.
Instead of: Neil Walker, Aaron Hill, Jed Lowrie

Sit: Josh Harrison, Pirates
Though manager Clint Hurdle said just a couple weeks ago that he needs to find playing time for Harrison, general manager Neal Huntington said Sunday that the team wants to keep the 26-year-old in a utility role. It's not a strict contradiction, but many hoped Harrison would take over at shortstop once Neil Walker and Starling Marte returned from their injuries. Against some of the best the Cardinals and Reds have to offer, you might want to play it safe and bench him this week.
Instead of: Gennett, Brandon Phillips, Mookie Betts

Third base

Too obvious: Miguel Cabrera, Josh Donaldson, Adrian Beltre, Todd Frazier, Evan Longoria, Anthony Rendon, Kyle Seager, Matt Carpenter, Carlos Santana, Ryan Zimmerman, Pedro Alvarez, Aramis Ramirez, Pablo Sandoval

Start: Lonnie Chisenhall, Indians
Though he still boasts a .344 batting average and .960 OPS for the season, Chisenhall's starting rate has dropped from 84 to 72 percent over the last three weeks. It's not like he's fallen flat on his face during that time, batting a disappointing but not debilitating .203 (12 for 59) with a .688 OPS in 16 games, and he has a good chance of bouncing back against Vidal Nuno, Chase Whitle, David Phelps, Hector Noesi and Scott Carroll this week.
Instead of: Manny Machado, Casey McGehee, Martin Prado

Sit: Nick Castellanos, Tigers
Castellanos looks like a hot-hand play with his .330 (35 for 106) batting average over his last 29 games, but a lack of power and patience has limited his productivity during that stretch, which explains his comparatively low .874 OPS. He'll open this week against Hyun-Jin Ryu and Zack Greinke before traveling to pitcher-friendly Kauffman Stadium for four games, which should bring him down to size. He's a .226 hitter away from Tiger Stadium this year.
Instead of: Nolan Arenado, Trevor Plouffe, Brock Holt

Shortstop

Too obvious: Troy Tulowitzki, Hanley Ramirez, Dee Gordon, Ian Desmond, Jose Reyes, Starlin Castro, Alexei Ramirez, Elvis Andrus, Ben Zobrist, Erick Aybar

Five Worst Hitting Schedules
Team Schedule
1. Orioles @WAS2, WAS2, NYY3
2. Dodgers @DET2, SD4
3. Athletics SF2, @SF2, @SEA3
4. Pirates @STL4, @CIN3
5. Phillies @MIL4, WAS3

Start: Andrelton Simmons, Braves
Though six games in the two-hole haven't fundamentally changed Simmons as a hitter -- he's batting .276 (8 for 29) since moving there on a near-everyday basis -- it has improved his run-scoring potential enough to make him relevant in mixed leagues again. Already, he has 12 Head-to-Head points in Fantasy Week 14 (June 30-July 6), putting him just three away from his season high. With him set to play seven more games this week, you could do worse at the weakest position in Fantasy.
Instead of: Jimmy Rollins, Alcides Escobar, Jhonny Peralta

Sit: Jed Lowrie, Athletics
Just when you think Lowrie is on the verge of snapping out of his two month-long funk, the Athletics end up having some of the toughest matchups of any team this week, going against Ryan Vogelsong, Madison Bumgarner, Matt Cain, Tim Hudson, Taijuan Walker, Hisashi Iwakuma and, yes, even Chris Young, who's suddenly good again. All of those games are in a pitcher's parks, too. Hey, you've already gotten used to benching him, right?
Instead of: Simmons, Asdrubal Cabrera, Xander Bogaerts

Outfield

Too obvious: Mike Trout, Andrew McCutchen, Jose Bautista, Giancarlo Stanton, Yasiel Puig, Carlos Gomez, Adam Jones, Jacoby Ellsbury, Hunter Pence, Nelson Cruz, Yoenis Cespedes, Michael Brantley, Justin Upton, Matt Holliday, Shin-Soo Choo, Alex Rios, Melky Cabrera, Jason Heyward, Jay Bruce, Alex Gordon, Billy Hamilton, Charlie Blackmon, Michael Morse, Khris Davis, Martin Prado, Matt Kemp, George Springer, Ryan Zimmerman, Gregory Polanco, Bryce Harper, Josh Hamilton, Coco Crisp, Brett Gardner, Jayson Werth, J.D. Martinez

Start: Kole Calhoun, Angels
Calhoun has been so hot lately, batting .375 (27 for 72) with five home runs and a 1.064 OPS in his last 21 games that you haven't so much cared about him sitting against left-handers. Well, guess what? He faces only one of those in seven games this week, and some of the righties on tap include R.A. Dickey, Nick Tepesch, Colby Lewis, Nick Martinez and Miles Mikolas. Cha-ching!
Instead of: Desmond Jennings, Marcell Ozuna, Adam Eaton

Sit: Austin Jackson, Tigers
Though the lineup crunch hasn't been as notable in recent days with Victor Martinez nursing a sore ribcage (he just returned Thursday), Jackson is one of the more logical choices to forfeit his at-bats to the red-hot J.D. Martinez given that he himself is batting just .211 (35 for 166) with a .557 OPS over his last 46 games. Granted, his defense ensures he'll at least get semi-regular at-bats, but those won't be enough to satisfy you in Fantasy, especially with tough matchups against the Dodgers and Royals on tap.
Instead of: Calhoun, Corey Dickerson, Christian Yelich

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
Carlos Ruiz's activation among Phillies roster moves
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(2:23 pm ET) The Phillies made a few roster moves Wednesday, which included removing catcher Carlos Ruiz (concussion) from the 7-day disabled list.

The Phillies also recalled reliever Phillippe Aumont from Triple-A Lehigh Valley, optioned catcher Cameron Rupp to Triple-A and designated pitcher Jeff Manship for assignment.


Sergio Santos clears waivers, shuffled off to Buffalo
by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(2:23 pm ET) Blue Jays reliever Sergio Santos has cleared waivers and will report to Triple-A Buffalo.

The veteran right-hander was designated for assignment on July 12 after a miserable stretch in which he yielded five runs on seven hits in 2 1/3 innings to balloon his ERA on the season to 7.78.


Nationals recall infielder Zach Walters
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(2:19 pm ET) The Nationals recalled infielder Zach Walters from Triple-A Syracuse to take the roster spot of third baseman Ryan Zimmerman, who was placed on the disabled list Wednesday with a hamstring injury. It's the second time Walters has been on the major-league roster this season.

Jayson Werth getting a few days to rest sore right knee
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(2:16 pm ET) Nationals manager Matt Williams said outfielder Jayson Werth is dealing with a sore right knee, which is an injury that has been lingering, according to MASNsports.com. The thinking behind keeping Werth out of the lineup Wednesday at Colorado is it will give him two days off coupled with Thursday's off-day.

Werth is having a big month at the plate in July, batting .377 with a .472 on-base percentage, .852 slugging percentage and 1.325 OPS in 16 games. He also has six home runs, 11 doubles, 16 runs and 20 RBI.


Setback all but kills shot at return this year for Joel Hanrahan
by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(2:14 pm ET) Reliever Joel Hanrahan has experienced a setback in his recovery from Tommy John surgery and has been shut down by the Tigers. The move all but eliminates any chance of him returning this season.

Hanrhan has been sidelined since early May 2013.


Noah Syndergaard could join Mets rotation in August?
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(2:09 pm ET) Although Mets manager Terry Collins isn't sure if starting pitcher prospect Noah Syndergaard will make his major-league debut in 2014, others in the organization anticipate the top pitching prospect being in the majors as early as August, according to the New York Daily News.

They view Syndergaard as a potential replacement for Bartolo Colon, who is being mentioned in trade rumors.

"In the worst case, it would be (Daisuke) Matsuzaka, and in the best case, it would be Syndergaard," one source said, explaining why the organization would be comfortable replacing Colon over the next two months.


Report: Zach McAllister to start Saturday against Royals
by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(2:06 pm ET) What was expected has been all but confirmed. The Indians will promote right-hander Zach McAllister from Triple-A Columbus to start Saturday in Kansas City, per the Cleveland Plain Dealer.

McAllister has earned a spot in the rotation with a strong run with the Clippers, followed by two starts with the Indians in which he surrendered just four runs in 12 1/3 innings.


Ryan Zimmerman placed on DL for second time this year
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(2:00 pm ET) The Nationals announced Wednesday third baseman Ryan Zimmerman was placed on the 15-day disabled list due to a right hamstring strain. It his second stint on the disabled list this season, as he missed 44 games earlier this year with a fractured right thumb.

The injury comes at a bad time for Zimmerman, who is batting .387 with a .613 slugging percentage and 1.050 OPS in his last 17 games. He has two home runs, eight doubles and 17 RBI in that span.


Aramis Ramirez to continue career past 2014 season
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(1:49 pm ET) Brewers third baseman Aramis Ramirez, who appeared in his 2,000th MLB game Wednesday, said he has decided to continue his career past the 2014 season, per the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

"I'm going to go for 2,500 (games) so let's see what happens," Ramirez said. "I'm only 36; I'll be OK. I'm playing past this year, for sure. I don't know how much longer but definitely more years. I'll see where I'm at after the season but I feel good right now. Health is the main thing. My body is telling me I can still play."

Ramirez has a mutual option for $14 million for next season. If Ramirez exercises the option and the Brewers decline, he gets a $4 million buyout.

"That, I don't think about," he said. "I don't really like to talk about contracts during the season. They haven't approached me about anything, either, so we'll see what happens.

"I like it here. It's the reason I came here. I have no regrets. I've had a great three years here. I've liked it. It's a good place to play baseball. A great stadium; we have a roof (so) I don't have to worry about the conditions. A good team. We just missed the playoffs my first year here. This year, we're in the pennant race. So, we have a good team and it was the right choice."


Yankees promote one righty, DFA another
by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(1:48 pm ET) The Yankees have made moves with two right-handers. They have designated for assignment Bruce Billings while calling up Chris Leroux from Triple-A Scranton-Wilkes Barre.

The 30-year-old Leroux made two regrettable appearances with New York earlier this season, giving up five earned runs on seven hits in two innings pitched.


 
 
 
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