FANTASY PLAYER UPDATES & NEWS

Derek Jeter went 2-for-5 with a double, two RBI and a run scored in Saturday's 6-4 victory over the Red Sox.

This is Jeter's second decent game in a row. In fact,he has hit .297 in his last ten games over 37 at bats. It is good to see the legend having a decent final run this year. ANALYST:

Matt Szczur will be called up to the Cubs on Tuesday.

Szczur will fill in for Chris Denorfia, who injured his hamstring in Monday night's game against St. Louis. He's not a real power threat or some one to put stock in quite yet and will most likely fill the 4th/5th outfielder role for the time being. Analysis: Rob Trayah

Sam Travis extended his hitting streak to eight games Monday.

Travis is a second-round draft pick out of Indiana, who the Sox selected and put at first base. He currently sits in Single-A ball, so he won't be making any big-league impact this season. Analysis: Rob Trayah

The Patriots are releasing CB Alfonzo Dennard.

Dennard played a limited amount in the Patriots' secondary, making only 15 tackles and being placed on IR before the playoffs started. With Darrelle Revis and Brandon Browner leaving New England, Dennard figured for an increase in time, but apparently the Pats have different thoughts. Analysis: Rob Trayah

Update: Chicago Cubs outfielder Chris Denorfia will go on the 15-day disabled list with a pulled hamstring after leaving Monday's 10-9 loss to the St. Louis Cardinals in the third inning.

Tough news for the outfielder who was having a great start to the season. Denorfia will be out for the next two weeks and probably longer after pulling up lame rounding second base. Matt Szczur will be called up from Triple-A to replace Denorfia and not much should be expected of the call-up so look to other available options. Analysis: Rob Trayah

Manager Ryne Sandberg said Severino Gonzalez is a candidate to pitch when the Phillies next need a fifth starter.

The 22-year old got his first major-league win after enduring a brutal first major-league start when he gave up ten hits and seven runs against the Cardinals. Gonzalez was sent back to Triple-A in the hopes that Sean O'Sullivan would be healthy as well as Chad Billingsley, but the health of both of those two are in question and Gonzalez would be an option to fill a spot in the rotation. Analysis: Rob Trayah

Santiago Casilla picked up his eighth save after throwing a perfect ninth inning with one strikeout to preserve the Giants’ 2-0 win over the Padres on Monday.

Casilla has already made 14 appearances for the Giants this season and is posting solid numbers for a closer, though the strikeout rate has seemingly taken an inexplicable nose-dive. Along with his eight saves, he’s got a 2.13 ERA but just a 9:4 K:BB over 12 2/3 innings. So long as he maintains this 56.4-percent ground ball rate though, we’ll trade off some strikeouts for more saves and lower ratios. Analysis: Howard Bender

Madison Bumgarner threw 7 1/3 scoreless innings and allowed just two hits and a walk with six strikeouts as the Giants beat the Padres 2-0 on Monday.

It was a dominant outing for Bumgarner as he carried a no-hitter into the seventh inning. He lost it with back-to-back singles to Justin Upton and Yangervis Solarte but he quickly shut the door on what was the only offensive output for the Padres. He was finally lifted in the eighth inning having thrown 107 pitches (72 strikes). So now after a bit of a rough start to the season, Bumgarner has thrown four-straight quality starts with a 25:4 K:BB over 28 2/3 innings. Expect the trend to continue when he faces the Marlins his next time out.  Analysis: Howard Bender

Tyson Ross allowed two runs on seven hits and three walks with five strikeouts over seven innings against the Giants on Monday.

Had he been facing any other pitcher other than Madison Bumgarner, he probably could have walked away with the win. But his offensive support was shut down completely and after a few hits allowed, he landed in a 2-0 hole that the Padres just couldn’t work themselves out of. He threw 107 pitches (65 strikes) and induced 13 ground ball outs. He may have lost a little on the strikeouts in this outing, but that’s not going to be a long-term issue. Look for another solid outing when he faces the Diamondbacks next. Analysis: Howard Bender

David Freese went 1-for-3 with a solo home run and a walk against the Mariners on Monday.

While the home run is obviously nice, Freese is just 2-for-14 over his last four games and his overall average is sitting at a woeful .220 right now. He does have five home runs and 19 RBI so you are getting some production out of him and he’s been a little more helpful with this start than he’s been in recent years. Just be wary of the fact that he may not keep this type of power going throughout the season. There is the possibility that he comes close to that 20-home run level he once sat at, but you can’t rely on that to actually happen just yet. Analysis: Howard Bender

Matt Joyce went 1-for-3 with a solo home run and a walk during the Angels’ 3-2 loss to the Mariners on Monday.

Joyce is still not a full-time regular as he sits against left-handers, but he always seems to manage to get some pinch-hitting work in there and he’s actually appeared in 24 of the Angels’ 26 games this season. He’s batting just .148 which is a huge drain though and he’s either going to need to pick that up or at least start hitting for more power. Obviously we’d love to see both, but at least give us one or the other.  Analysis: Howard Bender

Matt Shoemaker allowed three runs on four hits and a walk with 10 strikeouts over 7 1/3 innings against the Mariners on Monday.

Shoemaker has had his struggles this season, and while he allowed three home runs during this outing, there was still a lot to like about the effort. Obviously, the 10 strikeouts were huge and a season-high for him, but what was even more noticeable was how deep he went into the game and how few pitches he needed to get there. He was incredibly efficient with his offerings and needed just 90 pitches (59 strikes) to get him into the eighth inning. If he can continue to pitch at this level, he’ll prove to be as valuable a starter as he was last season. With a match-up against a strikeout-prone Houston team next, he certainly has the potential to keep it up.  Analysis: Howard Bender

Logan Morrison went 1-for-3 with a solo home run and a walk during Monday’s 3-2 win over the Angels.

Morrison is on a nice tear right now as he’s hit safely in six-straight games and is batting .435 (10-for-23) with a double, a triple, three home runs and five RBI in that span. This run has brought his average up to .222 on the year, so he still has a ways to go before he stops hurting you in that category, but in the meantime, as long as he’s being productive at the plate, he should be used in your starting lineup. Analysis: Howard Bender

Nelson Cruz went 1-for-4 with a solo home run during the Mariners’ 3-2 win over the Angels on Monday.

Cruz smacked his league-leading 14th home run in this one and now has four in his last four games and five in his last six. It will be tough for him to maintain such a tasty batting average – he is currently hitting .340 – but so long as he continues to hit for power, you should accept the fact that anything above .260 is a gift from the fantasy baseball gods.  Analysis: Howard Bender

Seth Smith went 1-for-4 with a solo home run against the Angels on Monday.

While he does still take a seat every so often against tough left-handers, Smith has been, pretty much, a regular in the Mariners lineup. His production has been fairly stable and if he can continue to maintain this .274 average while hitting a few homers along the way, he should end up providing you with some decent value in AL-only and deeper mixed leagues.  Analysis: Howard Bender

Fernando Rodney picked up his eighth save of the season despite allowing one run on one hit and a walk over one inning against the Angels on Monday.

Rodney escaped with the save here despite allowing a solo home run to David Freese in the bottom of the ninth as he shut the door soon after. He’s hit a few bumps in the road this season, but this was actually the first run he allowed in his last eight appearances and he’s had a 10:2 K:BB over that span. He’s got a nice long leash in Seattle and should be counted on as a reliable closer option moving forward. Analysis: Howard Bender

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