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In Some Depth: 10 Interesting Situations

Carson Cistulli

Carson Cistulli writes about fantasy sports for RotoWire.

When I say "depth" you say "charts."





Okay, that was fun.

Please, reader, find below 10 particularly interesting cases among the league's various depth charts.

Here they are, ordered from the AL East to the NL West:

Team: Chicago White Sox
Position: Third Base
Players: Brent Morel
Notes: Has been starting third baseman more or less since departure of Mark Teahen at end of July, but hasn't seemed like particularly interesting fantasy option. Still, has slashed .252/.319/.457 (.250 BABIP) with seven homers in 170 PA (and (15:20 BB:K) since Teahen left -- this, after hitting .251/.269/.300 (.280 BABIP) in 235 PA (with a 3:27 BB:K) up till that point. His two strikeouts Sunday night were first since September 10th -- a span of 27 PA, over which he walked six times.

Team: Cleveland Indians
Position: Second Base
Players: Jason Donald, Jason Kipnis
Notes: Kipnis was activated from DL on Tuesday but took a few days to resume everyday second-base role. Enters week having played four consecutive at the keystone, however. Through play Saturday, has slashed .299/.352/.577 (.365 BABIP) in first 105 PA. Stole third base of season on Sunday and is now 3-for-3 in that category.

Team: Cleveland Indians
Position: Third Base
Players: Lonnie Chisenhall, Jack Hannahan
Notes: After late-June promotion, Chisenhall played poorly in something close to everyday third-base position. After conceding role to Jack Hannahan for some time, has now played every game since September 5th, since which time he's slashed .271/.271/.542 (.257 BABIP) with four homers in 48 PA. The plate-discipline numbers (0:9 BB:K) are worrisome, but the power is interesting, especially given Chisenhall's youth (he's only 22).

Team: Cleveland Indians
Position: Left Field
Players: Ezequiel Carerra, Trevor Crowe, Shelley Duncan
Notes: Entering the week, Duncan has started, somewhat surprisingly, six of Cleveland's last seven games in left. Also somewhat surprising is the line he's put together on the season (.269/.332/.484, .311 BABIP, in 205 PA). Duncan started again on Sunday and went 2-for-4 with a double and home run. He appears likely to retain the starting role for the time being.

Team: Minnesota Twins
Position: Outfield
Players: Joe Benson and Some Other Guys
Notes: Including Sunday, Twin prospect Joe Benson has now started 10 consecutive games in the Minnesota outfield -- five in left field, two in center, and three in right. His ability to play all three outfield spots -- combined with the team's myriad injuries -- means Benson is likely to see starting-type time until the end of the season. In terms of skills, he's basically Minnesota's answer to Cub prospect Brett Jackson: good power, good speed, not so much with the "contact."

Team: Texas Rangers
Position: Right Field / Designated Hitter
Players: Adrian Beltre, Nelson Cruz, David Murphy, Michael Young
Notes: Cruz returned to the Ranger active roster mid-week after spending a couple of weeks on the DL with what seems like a never-ending stream of hamstring injuries. He started at DH on both Saturday and Sunday, but timetable for return to outfield is unclear. Expect Ron Washington et al. to use caution with Cruz, which could affect everyone listed above but David Murphy.

Team: St. Louis Cardinals
Position: Left Field / Right Field
Players: Lance Berkman, Allen Craig, Matt Holliday
Notes: After injuring after injuring his hand while taking practice swings last week, Holliday is out for at least the remainder of the Cardinals' current road trip (i.e. through Tuesday) and maybe for the rest of the season. That's bad for Holliday owners, but good for anyone who happens to own Allen Craig: with Holliday out, Lance Berkman has shifted over to left field with Craig playing right. Craig went 3-for-4 on Sunday with two homers and a double, giving manager Tony LaRussa incentive to stick with him.

Team: Colorado Rockies
Position: Catcher
Players: Chris Iannetta, Wilin Rosario
Notes: Since his promotion on September 6th, Wilin Rosario has started eight of 11 games at catcher for the Rockies -- even including the Sunday games started by Iannetta. Rosario's plate discipline broke down this season at Double-A Tulsa (19:91 BB:K), but his 21 homers in 426 PAs are pretty impressive. He'll likely continue to get two-thirds of the starts at catcher, or slightly more.

Team: Colorado Rockies
Position: First Base / Third Base
Players: Jason Giambi, Todd Helton, Kevin Kouzmanoff, Jordan Pacheco, Ty Wigginton
Notes: If any player from the above-listed players is likely to play every game between now and the end of the season, it's Jordan Pacheco. Predominantly a catcher in the minors, Pacheco has now played 10 of the last 11 Colorado games -- six at third base and four at first base. He had only three homers in 411 PA at hitter-friendly Colorado Springs, so he's unlikely to be a big source of power, but his contact skills -- combined with the park -- could help him in the batting-average department.

Team: Los Angeles Dodgers
Position: Outfield
Players: Jerry Sands
Notes: First, Jerry Sands was an exciting prospect for the Dodgers. Then, following an April recall, he hit poorly (.200/.294/.328, with a .253 BABIP). Then, he was demoted. Then, in September, he was recalled again. Now, with Andre Ethier out, he's basically starting every day. He went 4-for-6 with a homer on Sunday. That seems promising.