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 couldn’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

  • The leadoff batter is entirely dependent on the pitcher’s handedness. Kyle Lewis slots into the one-hole as a DH whenever a southpaw takes the mound. Conversely, Josh Rojas gets the nod vs. RHP while manning the hot corner.
  • There are two platoons on the infield.
    • At SS, Nick Ahmed and Geraldo Perdomo fight for playing time. Perdomo starts vs. RHP, and Ahmed starts vs. LHP. Neither bat holds much power, so wait and see if one emerges as the everyday SS.
    • At 3B, newly acquired Evan Longoria splits time with Josh Rojas. Unfortunately, Longoria is on the short side of this platoon and needs to get dropped ASAP.



  • Atlanta’s lineup has been remarkably consistent. Ronald Acuña Jr., Matt Olson, and Austin Riley are a 1-2-3 fixture…and then things get interesting. Regardless of LHP/RHP, Travis d’Arnaud has been the team’s clean-up hitter, performing well, as shown by his 34.6% HC% and 8.7% barrel rate.
  • From a platoon perspective, there was a bit of worry about Michael Harris II getting platooned. However, he’s getting everyday playing time but still struggling vs. LHP.
  • There is an obvious platoon for Eddie Rosario, who has struggled against LHP(last three years: 63 wRC+ and .595 OPS). Marcell Ozuna should slide into the ABs vs. LHP, but his sluggish start has opened the door for some Kevin Pillar starts. None of the trio is getting enough ABs to hold much fantasy relevance.


Baltimore Orioles

  • Baltimore’s lineup has been fairly fluid with few disruptions. After Cedric Mullins batted 8th vs. an LHP in the second game, many probably questioned if this would be a sign of things to come. It wasn’t and he was back in the leadoff role for the next time they faced a southpaw.
  • The main position with a platoon is in the left field. Since Opening Day, we’ve seen starts from Anthony Santander, Austin Hays, Ryan McKenna, Terrin Vavra, and Kyle Stowers. Hays is getting time in RF, and Santander is DHing plenty. At the moment, it appears McKenna is getting the LF starts vs. LHP, and Vavra/Stowers starts vs. RHP.


Boston Red Sox

  • We’ve been able to witness Alex Verdugo lock down a leadoff role vs. RHP with Rob Refsnyder taking the LHP duties. It’s a good spot for Verdugo, who puts the ball in play more vs. RHP and doesn’t strike out much.
  • Masataka Yoshida had high walk rates overseas but surprised many as he’s filled the clean-up role.
  • The lineup has been steady, and the only platoon is Connor Wong and Reese McGuire in a 50/50 timeshare. Both haven’t done much to gain any fantasy relevance and should remain buried in the batting order.


Chicago Cubs

  • Outside of an even playtime time share between Yan Gomes and Tucker Barnhart at catcher, the team is pretty fluid.
  • Eric Hosmer and Trey Mancini will split time at 1B with Hosmer sitting vs. LHP, or Mancini retreating to the outfield against RHP. In either case, we might see Edwin Ríos with a DH role or Nick Madrigal continue to claw his way to 3B eligibility but they’ll only be relevant in NL-only leagues.


Chicago White Sox

  • Until the injury to Eloy Jiménez, Chicago had basically run the same lineup out every day. After a day of rest, we should consider the same lineup we always see out there; except for Eloy, who’ll get replaced by Gavin Sheets (vs. RHP) and Jake Burger (vs. LHP).


Cincinnati Reds

  • Cincy has two distinct lineups depending on a pitcher’s handedness.



  • While a bunch of the names remain the same, the slot in the batting order does not. TJ Friedl will get a nice bump in PAs vs. RHP but drops to the bottom of the order vs. LHP. And it’s the exact opposite for Spencer Steer. For daily transaction leagues, be wary when deciding who to stream on a given day.


Cleveland Guardians

  • In the early goings, Cleveland doesn’t have any platoons and isn’t alternating their batting order.
  • We’ve seen Gabriel Arias get some work at 1B and 3B. He’s somewhat interesting as he showcased 13 HRs and five SB in 288 Triple-A ABs. However, he’s buried behind José Ramírez and a pair of 1B.


Colorado Rockies

  • Since Jurickson Profar joined the team, he’s been a mainstay in the leadoff role.
  • With the addition of Mike Moustakas, many thought he’d secure a spot in the lineup and we’d see a resurgence of power. Not the case at all. Instead, he’s been behind Elehuris Montero and only made his way into one game at 3B.
  • Former Tigers’ infielder Harold Castro started carving out some time in the OF. Although, a pair of the games he started were prior to Profar joining the team and he’s still very far away from gaining OF eligibility.


Detroit Tigers

  • Detroit basically has two separate lineups based on the pitcher’s handedness.


  • This leads to obvious platoon situations. At 2B, Jonathan Schoop and Zach McKinstry are splitting time.
  • Kerry Carpenter is only getting ABs vs. RHP as the DH. Even out of the clean-up spot, will that be enough in 12-teamers? Probably not.


Houston Astros

  • No Jose Altuve? No problem, Jeremy Peña slots to the top and he’s been productive.
  • The offense is still a juggernaut but they’ve got a few spots they churn. In Altuve’s absence, they’ve gone with David Hensley and Mauricio DubónBoth have started vs. LHP and RHP, so their playing time is more dependent on resting others. It’ll be a challenge to predict who’ll start at 2B on any particular day.
  • Centerfield has been a position they’ve tried filling for some time. This year, it’s been between Chas McCormick and Jake Meyers. McCormick has been solid to open the year, and getting ABs vs. LHP and RHP. If you’re looking to add a piece of this lineup to your team, McCormick is where you should lean.
  • From the catcher position, it’s been all Martín Maldonado. If you’ve been stashing Yainer Diaz in hopes of him removing the UT tag for a C, sorry, it’s going to be a while.


Kansas City Royals

  • MJ Melendez batting in the two-hole is great for counting stats and he’s getting time at catcher, OF, and DH.
  • Where things get a bit crowded is the OF. Until Kyle Isbel left on paternity, he was in CF every day. Between Isbel and the occasional Melendez outfield, the team has played matchups with Edward Olivares (16 PA), Jackie Bradley Jr.(14 PA), Nate Eaton, and Nick Pratto(7 PA). Right? That’s too many.


Los Angeles Angels

  • With Jared Walsh out, Jake Lamb has assumed the strong-side platoon at 1B. However, don’t get too used to seeing Lamb all the time. Walsh is back in Triple-A working his way back and both are left-handed bats.


Los Angeles Dodgers

  • The top of the lineup has been very fluid but the bottom half is a mix. Prior to his injury, Miguel Rojas was bringing up the rear but Jason Heyward currently has those duties.
  • Between the #5 and #9 hitters, it’s a blend of David Peralta (grabbing the primary shares of playing time vs. RHP), James Outman (with three XBH in 14 AB but a 36% K-rate), and Trayce Thompson (odd man out with a three-HR game).
  • With Miguel Vargas nursing an injury, Mookie Betts has stepped into 2B duties and already found his way into the lineup three times. Should he grab 2B eligibility, that’s a massive boost, and his value since the position is so slight.
  • Chris Taylor appears to be the team’s utility player and has logged games at SS (3 G), 3B (1 G), and OF (1 G).


Miami Marlins

  • Jorge Soler has been the big name for the Marlins’ offense. He’s hit so well, they’ve bumped him to #2 in the lineup. Additionally, taking the drop in the lineup is Jean Segura, down to the back half.
  • Jesús Sánchez has been getting a few starts in the OF but it won’t come at the expense of Jazz Chisholm Jr., or Avisaíl García. Instead, it’s a back-and-forth with Sánchez and Bryan De La Cruz. The edge goes to De La Cruz, and unless Sanchez gets crazy hot, he isn’t getting in the lineup enough to be on your roster.
  • With Joey Wendle out, Jon Berti is the SS. Remember the speed he provided last year? He’s worth a spot on your bench since he’s getting everyday ABs.


Milwaukee Brewers

  • Christian Yelich hits leadoff vs. RHP but third against LHP. Why? We should point out his 71% GB rate against LHP in 2022.
  • So who leads off vs. LHP when Yelich bats third? Mike Brosseau, of course. He mashes southpaws, and over his recent 261 plate appearances (vs. LHP) he touts .212 ISO and .822 OPS. There is a fair shot he stays atop the lineup with those numbers.
  • With the addition of Luke Voit, we wondered whether he’d take PAs away from Rowdy Tellez. Nope, he’s only making it in the lineup vs. LHP.
  • As Luis Urías sits on the IL, Brian Anderson takes over 3B and leaves OF vacated. This opened up plenty of ABs for Garrett Mitchell and Joey Wiemer. Both prospects looked like they have locked down playing time for a while.
  • The other notable prospect is Brice Turang, who is off to a hot start. However, he’s not starting against LHP. Those few days belonged to Owen Miller.


Minnesota Twins

  • As Jorge Polanco continues his journey back to health, Nick Gordon is a fixture at 2B. More surprising has been Joey Gallo getting every rep at 1B. He’ll pick up eligibility there in no time while batting 5th in the lineup.
  • Prior to Max Kepler taking a few days off with a knee issue, it was a fluid lineup. Undoubtedly, Joey Gallo and Trevor Larnach will retreat to the bench vs. LHP. Willi Castro and Donovan Solano grabbed their spots in the lone LHP matchup for the Twins. Neither is exceedingly appealing for fantasy.


New York Mets

  • Daniel Vogelbach is the team’s DH, but only against RHP since he’s touting a .223 ISO against them, as opposed to the .035 ISO vs. LHP. So, you may be asking yourself, who is the other DH? It has been a blend of Mark Canha and Tommy Pham. Although, Canha is favored by the Mets pushing his bat into the lineup every day.
  • Omar Narváez and Tomás Nido were 50/50 splits at catcher. But with recent news, it appears prospect Francisco Álvarez will get his shot. He’s a mega-hyped prospect that you’d need to scoop up ASAP.
  • The utility role belongs to Luis Guillorme, who will bounce around the diamond. So far, he’s played 2B and 3B. Furthermore, with how poor Eduardo Escobar has swung the bat to start, Guillorme might get more time at 3B.


New York Yankees

  • Rain or shine, DJ LeMahieu has been the team’s leadoff hitter. Sometimes while playing 2B, sometimes at 3B, and even at 1B.
  • The left field has been shared by Aaron Hicks and Oswaldo Cabrerasorta. Thus far, Hicks has done nothing at the dish and Cabrera has vastly more PAs. Hicks needs to be off your radar.
  • In an interesting development, Isiah Kiner-Falefa (Gold Glove infielder) has only started in the OF. Course, that’s been sparingly and it’ll be a while til he grabs the extra eligibility.


Oakland Athletics

  • Oakland is not a good team and has to play the platoon game probably more than anyone.
  • Against LHP, they’ll deploy speedster Esteury Ruiz in the leadoff role and get Nick Allen in at SS. Last year, Allen played much more against RHP but was far more successful against lefties(122 wRC+). Unfortunately, he puts the ball on the ground too much to be fantasy relevant.
  • Against RHP, Tony Kemp and Aledmys Díaz vault to the #1 and #3 hitters, respectively.
  • In some formats, Shea Langeliers is UT only. He’s played nearly every game at catcher and will gain eligibility in no time.


Philadelphia Phillies

  • No Rhys Hoskins has been a big blow, and now no Darick Hall is another one. So, who plays 1B? Alec Bohm will shift over there and gain eligibility as well. Slotting behind Bohm at 3B is likely Edmundo Sosa, who can play all over the infield.
  • The only true platoon comes out in the left field with Jake Cave and Josh Harrison (who was not playing due to injury). Additionally, Cave will get the strong side of the platoon since he’s the left-handed bat. If you’re holding onto Harrison, consider swapping him for Cave.


Pittsburgh Pirates

  • Against LHP, Oneil Cruz has received every leadoff slot. Against RHP, it’s been, Ke’Bryan Hayes. This trend should continue since Cruz struggled to make contact vs. LHP last season. Conversely, they basically flip-flop between the leadoff and 6th lineup spot.
  • Andrew McCutchen stays in the lineup every as DH and RF, but the rest of the OF is up for grabs. By that, no one has done a good enough job distancing themselves from others. The platoon consists of Canaan Smith-Njigba, Jack Suwinski, and Connor Joe. Even Ji Hwan Bae has found some time in the OF but has been a stable presence in the lineup with his 2B defense. Bae could be a sneaky source of speed from your 2B.


San Diego Padres

  • The lineup stays fairly consistent with a few tweaks.


  • Nelson Cruz and Matt Carpenter share DH responsibilities based on the pitcher’s handedness.
  • There is a clear emphasis to get Trent Grisham atop the lineup against RHP and utilize his near 12% walk rate. On the other hand, against LHP, Grisham put the ball on the ground over 50% of the time and has a .634 OPS last season.
  • If you’re looking to get a piece of this offense, remember that Fernando Tatis isn’t far away and Ha-Seong Kim is likely going to lose significant playing time.


San Francisco Giants

  • The Giants have only faced RHP, so the lineup is yet to get tested against LHP. Although, in six games we can notice that Michael Conforto has been a staple towards the top, and Joc Pederson is batting cleanup as the team’s DH. Furthermore, Mike Yastrzemski has batter toward the back half, and LaMonte Wade Jr. leads off.
  • Where things get interesting is in the field. Blake Sabol is getting time at catcher and OF. This could be a huge boost to Sabol’s fantasy value as he’s already found his way to the plate 15 times. For reference, that is more PAs than Danny Jansen and Jonah Heim.
  • With a few minor injuries, we have discovered that J.D. Davis has found time at 1B and 3B but plays second-fiddle to David Villar (2B/3B). Villar continues to solidify his presence at the top of the order Additionally, Wilmer Flores appears to be the odd man out for playing time.


Seattle Mariners

  • At 2B, Kolten Wong is a prime example of a player needing a platoon. Last season, against LHP, Wong had a .441 OPS and 37 wRC+, yet was much better vs. RHP (.845 OPS and 135 wRC+). Anytime a lefty takes the bump, Sam Haggerty will surely get a start. In 130 PA vs. LHP, Haggerty touts a 211 wRC+ .288 ISO.
  • Also, it appears there is an obvious platoon between Jarred Kelenic and AJ Pollock. The good news for Kelenic truthers, the strong side of the platoon leans his way.
  • Lastly, it’s been a bizarre carousel for the DH. We’ve seen five players taking hacks as the DH including Tommy La Stella, Cooper Hummel, and Tom Murphy. None of which is entirely helpful, and we should see more DH time for Pollock.


St. Louis Cardinals

  • The lineup starts with Brendan Donovan and is quickly followed up by Alec Burleson in the #2 hole, since Lars Nootbaar is out. Additionally, Tommy Edman seems planted at the bottom of the batting order, unless facing an LHP (where he led off). Not good for Edman drafters at all.
  • This is a crowded outfield, and the person without a spot is Dylan Carlson. He only made it into the recent game after an incident that resulted in Tyler O’Neill getting a night off. Clearly, it looks like Burleson is ahead of Carlson for playing time.
  • Juan Yepez remains on the roster as a DH, but it’ll only be against LHP as Nolan Gorman is crushing baseballs and getting on-base.


Tampa Bay Rays

  • One of the greatest mysteries is how the Rays can mix and match so many players and still find success.
  • The batting order is consistent near the top but tapers off as they incorporate more talent.
  • Where they find the most success is mix and matching through the defense. The following players have been everyday contributors: Yandy Díaz, Brandon Lowe, Randy Arozarena, Wander Franco, and Jose Siri. The rest has been somewhat of a roster platoon with a slight playing time edge to Isaac Paredes.


Texas Rangers

  • Texas has been a remarkably fluid lineup with very few changes.
  • Nor have they mixed up much of the defensive alignments.
  • Josh H. Smith has been out a couple of games and Ezequiel Duran has started both games in his place. It would appear the team views Duran as the 4th OF, not Bubba Thompson or Travis Jankowski. This all could change once Leody Taveras returns from an oblique injury.


Toronto Blue Jays

  • From the catcher position, it’s been a 50/50 split between Alejandro Kirk and Danny Jansen, with Kirk batting slightly higher in the lineup.
  • If Toronto faces an RHP, Brandon Belt has been in the lineup. While he hasn’t done much yet, he could garner your attention in a very stacked lineup and plenty of ABs.
  • The 2B position has been a three-way platoon with Whit Merrifield, Cavan Biggio (getting starts vs. RHP), and Santiago Espinal (getting starts vs. LHP). If you’re playing the volume game, that makes Biggio a bit more valuable than Espinal.


Washington Nationals

  • The Nationals have faced four LHPs and two RHPs. In both of those matchups against RHP, Luis Garcia was the leadoff hitter. When a southpaw took the hill, Lane Thomas was numero uno, which makes a world of sense because Thomas sports a .822 OPS vs. LHP and a K-rate a shade shy of 20%.
  • With Corey Dickerson shelved on the IL, the team finds themselves choosing between Stone Garrett and Alex Call in left field. At the moment, it’s been Call grabbing all the playing time. However, they’ve faced primarily LHP, who Call has flourished against(145 wRC+ vs. LHP, 74 wRC+ vs. RHP), albeit a small sample.
  • The defensive alignments have been fluid, with Ildemaro Vargas playing the utility role of SS and OF.


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.

5 responses to “Playing Time Changes: Everything You Need to Know”

  1. Jay Ada says:

    Very informative article but one clarification. Ha-Seong Kim won’t lose significant playing time. The guys losing most time will be David Dahl/Rougned Odor/Jose Azucar.

  2. Moelicious says:

    Great piece!

  3. Stan the Man says:

    Thanks so much for this! A great new addition to the site.

  4. Sasha Fletcher says:

    hi this content is amazing and i am real sorry for what i am about to say as it’s real damn pedantic but “fluid” means unstable and changing, it does not mean that roles are fixed, that would be solid, or stable; fluid means it’s changing and in flux. Two catchers with unclear playing time would be a fluid situation; the top of a lineup being the same pretty much every time would be a stable or solid or fixed situation.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Account / Login