Playing Time Changes: Everything You Need to Know

An examination into EVERY roster's playing time.

One of the easiest ways to gain an edge in your leagues is plucking the breakout player who finds more playing time. Think back to last year when Taylor Ward broke out and anyone that scooped him up early reaped massive benefits. However, part of the problem is identifying which player will get those opportunities. Position battles don’t simply end in Spring Training. Yes, even MLB teams occasionally can’t decide between a group of players at a particular position.

The endgame is to spot players finding additional playing time and making gains at the dish to pay off over the season. To help assist in the process, I’ve scrubbed through major league box scores, analyzing who is playing where, and if they are playing over the competition on the team. Now, since we’re not far into the season, the statistics aren’t a main factor. Instead, the main focus will be on a few other areas.

In this piece, we’ll break down EVERY team’s roster and hope to uncover the ebbs and flows for fantasy purposesThe criteria will be pretty straightforward.

  • Batting Lineup Observations – Analyzing batting orders from the previous week. Which players are moving up/down the lineup card?
  • Potential Platoons – Based on a pitcher’s handedness, a team will swap players in-and-out of the lineup to maximize performance. Which players are in the starting lineup vs. lefties and righties?
  • New Positional Eligibility – Players moving into different defensive to gain eligibility at a new position.


Arizona Diamondbacks

  • Kyle Lewis received leadoff ABs vs. LHP but is currently on the IL. Instead, Ketel Marte jumps up to that spot; meanwhile, Josh Rojas continues his role as the leadoff bat vs. RHP. Furthermore, Rojas’s .447 OBP makes him a terrific table-setter.
  • From a platoon standpoint, SS is between Geraldo Perdomo (vs. RHP) and Nick Ahmed (vs. LHP). Both have been more than serviceable as they both tout an OPS north 800.
  • The other platoon is between Josh Rojas and Evan Longoria at 3B. With Lewis on the mend and requiring a rehab assignment, Longoria could squeeze into the lineup vs. RHP as a DH.



  • The injury bug bit Atlanta in a big way. Travis d’Arnaud, Michael Harris II, and Orlando Arcia moved to the IL.
  • Conversely, Sean Murphy now moved into an everyday role at C and Vaughn Grissom gets the call to replace Arcia. Grissom parlayed his 2022 season with more success in the minors.
  • With Harris II out, the team turned to Sam Hilliard at CF for five of the last six games. However, Harris II is slated to return next Monday (4/17).
  • Lastly, Marcell Ozuna could be in line for a loss in playing time. He’s not played the field in over a week, and his bat is stone-cold (.445 OPS and 31% K-rate).


Baltimore Orioles

  • Baltimore has done a bit of rearranging.
  • On Tuesday (vs. LHP), Cedric Mullins batted 9th. Then, on Wednesday (vs. LHP), Mullins didn’t even get the start. Oddly though, he’s only struggled vs. RHP. Austin Hays and his red-hot start grabbed those two leadoff starts.
  • Gunnar Henderson slightly moved down the lineup. Potentially for a good cause as he’s striking out 38.6% of the time.


Boston Red Sox

  • The team has played four of its last six games vs. LHP. That’s significant here because they use two lineups based on the pitchers’ handedness.
  • Boston was dealt a big blow as Adam Duvall hit the IL. They’ve tried to add some thump with Bobby Dalbec, who’s played 1B, 3B, and SS since moving to the MLB roster.


Chicago Cubs

  • Seiya Suzuki will likely get activated over the weekend. There will be a ripple effect as he returns to his spot in RF.
  • Trey Mancini (vs. LHP) and  Eric Hosmer (vs. RHP) split 1B duties. With Suzuki back, Mancini won’t find extra ABs in the OF and the duo will have to share time at DH. That may take away ABs from Luis Torrens and Edwin Ríos; both have only DH’d.
  • 3B is a platoon with opposites: Patrick Wisdom (vs RHP) carries a K-rate north of 30% and a .324 ISO, while Nick Madrigal has only struck out 5% of the time with a .053 ISO.
  • Nico Hoerner is now 2B/SS eligible.


Chicago White Sox

  • Another week, and there are more injuries. Tim Anderson and Yoán Moncada missed time with only Anderson needing time on the IL. However, the good news is Eloy Jiménez is set to come back soon.
  • In Eloy’s DH role, Gavin Sheets has started against RHP with Jake Burger facing LHP. Upon Eloy’s return, Burger will likely return to the minors.
  • With SS open, Elvis Andrus slides over and Lenyn Sosa received a promotion from Triple-A. Furthermore, Sosa is splitting 2B duties with Romy González. Sosa could be interesting if he stays up for a bit. Last year, in two minor league stops, Sosa swatted 23 HRs.


Cincinnati Reds

  • Nick Senzel returns to the active roster to roam CF. Getting pushed down to Triple-A is Will Benson, who was striking out over 50% of the time and only facing RHP. That leaves RF/LF for TJ Friedl, Jake Fraley, and Wil Myers (when not at 1B).
  • Jose Barrero looks to have overtaken Kevin Newman at SS. For Barrero, he’s cut the strikeouts by a ton but hasn’t flashed the raw power he was touted for as a prospect.
  • Jason Vosler only has one hit in his previous six games but still getting everyday time at 1B. Perhaps, if the cold spell continues he’ll see fewer ABs with Wil Myers or Joey Votto, who’s currently on a rehab assignment in Triple-A.


Cleveland Guardians

  • Cleveland didn’t have much, in the way of changes.
  • Will Brennan and Oscar Gonzalez appear to be in a platoon? Brennan vs. RHP and Gonzalez vs. LHP. It doesn’t help that Gonzalez has been dreadful at the plate.
  • Gabriel Arias continues to get sporadic playing time all over the diamond (SS, 3B, and 1B).


Colorado Rockies

  • Not a ton of changes here. Ryan McMahon pushed his way into the top third of the batting order. While he’s still striking out a ton, it’s come with eight XBH in 44 ABs.
  • Elehuris Montero suffered a thumb injury and sat the previous two games. Mike Moustakas and Harold Castro filled in but the team promoted prospect, Nolan Jones, who’s been crushing baseballs in the minors (39 AB, six HRs, and a K-rate under 19%).


Detroit Tigers

  • It’s been a string of RHP this week. Akil Baddoo, replacing Austin Meadows (on IL), and Nick Maton found themselves in the leadoff spot vs. RHP. Conversely, Matt Vierling leads off vs. LHP.
  • Javier Báez continues to struggle and showed a lack of focus on the field. In return, he’s been bumped down the order.
  • Kerry Carpenter started getting time in the OF with Meadows out. Again, he’s only starting vs. RHP.


Houston Astros


Kansas City Royals

  • There is a pretty clear platoon at 2B: Michael Massey (vs. RHP) and Nicky Lopez (vs. LHP). Additionally, Massey needs to cut down his 37% K-rate to sustain any sort of regular playing time.
  • The OF is starting to get a little more clear. Jackie Bradley Jr. and Nate Eaton are bench bats and Edward Olivares is getting more playing time. However, let’s be cautious before jumping to the waiver wire as a couple of those starts were against LHP. The Royals are yet to (ever) give Olivares full-time ABs.


Los Angeles Angels

  • There is still a platoon at 1B. Brandon Drury vs. LHP and Jake Lamb vs. RHP. Although Lamb has been really bad at the dish, they don’t have many options.
  • The infield has a carousel going on. Brandon Drury, Gio Urshela, David Fletcher, and Luis Rengifo continue to slot around 2B, SS, and even some 3B. Fletcher holds zero fantasy relevance, while Rengifo and Urshela hold SS eligibility. Both could be short-term fixes for a manager that lost a SS.


Los Angeles Dodgers

  • Miguel Vargas earned 2B eligibility. Also, on Vargas’ off days, Mookie Betts starts at 2B. So, eventually, he’ll gain eligibility there too. How soon? That depends on your league’s format but he’s up to four starts now.
  • James Outman is an everyday OF. He’s started 12 of the last 13 games, and in that timeframe, put up a 1.122 OPS with three HR. If he’s still on your waiver wire, consider picking him up.
  • David Peralta’s lousy start to the season (5-for-28 with one XBH) has pushed him down to eighth in the lineup. Remember, he’s only in the lineup vs. RHP. Drop him.


Miami Marlins

  • The lineup got shuffled. Jazz Chisholm Jr. bumped up to the leadoff role and Luis Arraez becomes the #3 hitter. Sandwiched between them is Garrett Cooper. With Jorge Soler cooling off, he’s not batting clean-up.
  • Even with Avisaíl García out a few days with a hamstring issue, Jesús Sánchez isn’t getting on the lineup cards. Drop him, not enough playing time.
  • If you need a CI, Yuli Gurriel has played 1B the previous four days and batted in the middle third of the lineup. Even in his elder years, he’s a good source of BA with a bit of pop.
  • Joey Wendle remains shut down from baseball activities. Jon Berti continues to get everyday opportunities at SS and keeps running (3 SB).


Milwaukee Brewers

  • Jesse Winker has been out sick for four straight games, and the team opted to get more thump in the lineup. Luke Voit and Mike Brosseau grabbed extra playing time. That’s an interesting development for Brosseau because he’d only faced southpaws prior to this three-game stretch vs. RHP.
  • Garrett Mitchell and Joey Wiemer continue to get everyday playing time. Mitchell has pushed his way up the lineup, and Wiemer still sits toward the back third.
  • Brice Turang (vs. RHP) and Owen Miller (vs. LHP) are still a platoon at 2B. That’s a good trend for Turang managers as the team will face far more RHP in the upcoming week. He’s also gained 2B eligibility.


Minnesota Twins

  • This roster has all sorts of activities going on.
  • Carlos Correa was out for four days but never hit the IL. Joey Gallo and Kyle Farmer are both on the IL with Gallo starting a rehab assignment over the weekend. In Gallo’s 1B spot, Donovan Solano is getting ABs, and sometimes even in the leadoff slot.
  • The big news is the promotion of Edouard Julien. He’s started both games at 2B as the team pushed Nick Gordon to the OF. Many thought Julien would get a roster spot on Opening Day as he flaunts massive upside. In 2022 at Double-A, he went 17 HR/19 SB in 400 AB. Unfortunately, he likely isn’t going to stay in the big leagues all that long.
  • Byron Buxton is still not playing the OF.


New York Mets

  • With Omar Narváez out for quite a while, we might expect to see a bit of Francisco Álvarez, right? right?! Not so fast. Instead, Tomás Nido has four games, while Alvarez struggled in his two appearances behind the dish.
  • This week we haven’t seen much of Daniel Vogelbach. That’s because he’s only squaring up to RHP and four of their previous six SPs are southpaws.
  • Early on, it appeared Eduardo Escobar and Luis Guillorme were in a platoon at 3B. However, that’s not the case and Escobar has started the last six games. Though he hasn’t done much to cement his playing time (43 PA with a .348 OPS).


New York Yankees

  • After being an afterthought on Opening Day, Franchy Cordero has locked himself into the OF. He’s flexed big-league power by mashing his 4th HR in only 25 ABs.
  • Josh Donaldson hit the IL and that opened up 3B for DJ LeMahieu, who’s also been injured. As Donaldson works his way back, the team tipped their hand by showing Isiah Kiner-Falefa and Oswaldo Cabrera as suitable replacements. My lean, Cabrera would get the first crack at 3B if Donaldson and LeMahieu were out for an extended period.


Oakland Athletics

  • Oakland lost arguably their best hitter (Seth Brown) for four-to-six weeks.
  • Ryan Noda benefits the most, as he’ll be the RHP platoon at 1B. Jesús Aguilar will start 1B against any southpaw.
  • Kevin Smith was dominating the minor leagues (five HR and 4 SB in 30 AB) but is currently 0-for-12 with a 38% K rate. Though, he has started four straight games at SS.
  • Shea Langeliers picked up C in NFBC leagues.


Philadelphia Phillies


Pittsburgh Pirates


San Diego Padres


San Francisco Giants

  • The Giants’ lineup is all over the place. Against RHP, LaMonte Wade Jr is the leadoff hitter. Against LHP, Thairo Estrada is the leadoff hitter. From there, Michael Conforto sits in the top third of the lineup. Then, depending on the pitcher’s handedness, vs. LHP, Joc Pederson sits and Mike Yastrzemski bumps way down the lineup. Lastly, either way, J.D. Davis has pushed his way into the 3/4 hitter spot.
  • Joey Bart returned from the IL and grabbed two of the possible three starts, with Blake Sabol getting the other. This is not great news for anyone hoping to regularly see Sabol in the outfield.
  • Wilmer Flores, who wasn’t getting much playing time to open the season, is now playing 1B and batting second vs. LHP. It’s not an ideal situation for Flores, but on stretches like recently (three LHP in four games), he could be a decent streaming-hitting option.


Seattle Mariners

  • Will Seattle let Jarred Kelenic loose, and give him starts vs. LHP? Well, they haven’t…yet. For now, he’s been sitting with AJ Pollock getting those starts. Either way, he’s off to a fantastic start and pushed up the lineup.
  • The other platoon is at 2B. As mentioned last week, Kolten Wong starts vs. RHP, and Sam Haggerty starts vs. LHP. Although, Wong has struggled a bunch and bumped down the lineup.


St. Louis Cardinals

  • There is a strong chance Lars Nootbaar is activated over the weekend. That’ll push Juan Yepez back to the minors and keep Dylan Carlson on the bench. Furthermore, the OF will, once again, get crowded. It’s still a little bit of a mystery how that will shake out.
  • Against LHP, Tommy Edman winds up near the top of the order, and against RHP, he’s batting out of the 8/9 hole.
  • Nolan Gorman is finally seeing time in the field but still only getting ABs vs. RHP.


Tampa Bay Rays


Texas Rangers


Toronto Blue Jays

  • Toronto faced an abundance of lefties, which put Brandon Belt on the bench.
  • The only platoon is at 2B. Cavan Biggio starts vs. RHP and Santiago Espinal starts vs. LHP. Neither has done very much to stand out from the other. They are a combined 6-for-50 with one XBH.


Washington Nationals

  • In the previous six games, Alex Call moved into the leadoff spot. Previously, this was held by Lane Thomas (vs. LHP) and Luis Garcia (vs. RHP). Even with Thomas and Garcia back in the lineup, Call stood atop the lineup card. This could be a sign of things to come.
  • After not hitting well enough (.569 OPS), Joey Meneses slides down to the clean-up hitter. He’s not playing much on the field; so, he’ll need to pick it up. Someone that could end up taking Meneses’ job is Stone Garrett. It’s (again) a small sample but Garrett’s got three XBH in 12 AB and striking out less than Meneses.


Dave Swan

Dave Swan is an avid Chicago Cubs fan that enjoys all aspects of fantasy baseball-especially DFS. He would trade his right arm for a GIF library of Greg Maddux pitches. Swan's baseball thoughts are available at @davithius.

One response to “Playing Time Changes: Everything You Need to Know”

  1. Art Vandalay says:

    This is excellent and an incredibly useful resource for staying on top of waiver candidates. Thanks for your excellent work.

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