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Weekly Rundown: Chicago under Marshall law, owners advised to scour waiver wire

Known as the Sacagawea of fantasy primers, the Weekly Rundown guides head-to-head owners through a forest of obscure stats and exploitable matchups in an attempt to help solve lineup conundrums. While reading, keep in mind matchups are subject to change due to managerial moves, unforeseen injuries and Mother Nature's influences.

LEADING OFF

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There's a new lawman on Chicago's North-side. And he's throwing the "hook" at wrongdoers.

Cubs lefty Sean Marshall is on the verge of becoming the most famous Windy City Marshall since fearsome Bears linebacker, Wilber, shuffled his way to an NFL title nearly a quarter century ago.

Owned in a miniscule 18 percent of Yahoo! Plus league, the giraffe-legged southpaw has quietly amassed quality numbers. In 19 innings, he's posted a respectable 3.32 ERA, 1.32 WHIP, 7.11 K/9 and 2.84 BB/9. Because the injury imp has devoured the Cubs' offense like Lou Piniella typically does a heaping plate of fettuccini, run support and wins have been elusive for the fourth-year starter -- his 3.79 RS/9 ranks 58th among qualifying NL starters. Shaky bullpen performances haven't helped either.

But once Aramis Ramirez returns to the lineup and Derrek Lee returns to form, quality starts and wins will become commonplace for the 26-year-old. His completely obsessed lovingly devoted Internet followers certainly believe.

Marshall's tweaked arsenal has done wonders for his confidence and overall performance. Practically eliminating a slider from his repertoire, the rotation caboose has relied exclusively on three pitches: an 86-89 mph fastball, cutter and nasty, knee-buckling curve. Despite yielding a 25.9 line-drive rate, he's drawn a commendable number of groundballs (1.11 GB/FB ratio) by painting the outside corner with marked effectiveness (29.2 O-Swing%), a quality indicative of growing maturity.

Slated to toe the rubber against the Giants and Brewers this week, two teams currently hitting a combined .252, the double-dipping hurler is a superb plug n' play in Week 5 and beyond.

If you're an owner drowning in ERA, WHIP and wins, now is the time to install a Marshall plan.

Fearless Forecast (season): 165 IP, 11 W, 3.96 ERA, 1.30 WHIP, 131 K

QUICK HITTERS

Charlie Manuel has finally come to his senses. The portly skipper is starting to realize Chan Blow is completely worthless. Although he said early Sunday Park would make his next scheduled start, the manager's tone wasn't exactly supportive:

"Yeah, more than likely, he's going to make his next start... [Long-term] we haven't made any decisions on him one way or another. We're still assessing his progress and what's best suited for our club."

One more disastrous outing and Park will likely be removed for either J.A. Happ or, even more savory option, ballyhooed prospect Carlos Carrasco. The organization's top pitching farmhand has notched a phenomenal 1.72 ERA and 11.43 K/9 in 36.2 Triple-A innings. Equipped with a 91-96 mph fastball, plus change and average curve, he could deliver quality contributions for deep leaguers if recalled. Stashed in just two-percent of Y! Plus leagues, he's someone to watch very closely.

The Mariners are once again shuffling up the bullpen as closer Brandon Morrow was placed on the 15-day DL with biceps tendonitis. The transaction is retroactive to April 24, which means the power righty could return to action May 9. Based on the 24-year-old's reaction, he wasn't amused by the move:

"I didn't want to (be placed on the DL}. I think I'm fine. I think I'm ready to pitch. But they argued otherwise and eventually won the argument. I was available last night (May 1) in the bullpen and they decided to put me on the DL."

Don Wakamatsu's response:

"We had talked about him being available, but it's kind of at that point where we think that if we're a little proactive with this we can allow him seven days or eight days ... and we'll be able to control it a little more. We thought it was the best move for Brandon and also the club."

Given his young arm, Morrow owners should be appreciative of Wakamatsu's cautiousness. If no setbacks occur, he should return when eligible.

With Morrow resting, Wakamatsu will turn to the well-traveled David Aardsma (59 percent-owned) in the ninth. Surmising from his horrific 53.8 fly-ball percentage and 7.84 BB/9, the righty has benefited from a great deal of luck to start the season. Including last night's shaky effort (1 IP, ER, BB, HA, L), he's three-for-three in save opportunities and has posted a 2.61 ERA. Regardless of the adventurous outings, he's immediately rosterable in 12-team and deeper formats.

• Battered, bruised or should not be used: Alex Rodriguez (could return May 8), Josh Hamilton (15-day DL (ribs)), Hong Chih-Kuo (15-day DL (elbow)), Santiago Casilla (15-day DL (calf)), Brad Zeigler (flu, day-to-day; Michael Wuertz will continue to fill-in), Jarrod Saltalamacchia (eye irritation, day-to-day), Ricky Romero (should start rehab assignment this week), Nick Swisher (elbow, day-to-day), Cole Hamels (shoulder, ankle, bruised ego, could return Tuesday), Dan Uggla (hamstring, day-to-day), Jermaine Dye (hand, day-to-day), Brian McCann (eye, will start rehab assignment Wednesday), Milton Bradley (doughnut syndrome)

DOUBLE DIPPERS

For stream conscious owners who want to push the innings-pitched envelope this is the list for you. Run support, ballpark factors, historical and recent trends, opposing offenses, opposing SPs, managerial tendencies and meteorological influences are painstakingly taken into account to give you the top double dippers of each week.

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Other AL Double Dippers: Gavin Floyd, ChW (at KC, Tex), Koji Uehara, Bal (at TB, NYY), Anthony Reyes, Cle (at Tor, Det), Nick Blackburn, Min (at Det, Sea), Rick Porcello, Oak (Min, at Cle), Brett Anderson, Oak (LAA, Tor), Bartolo Colon, ChW (at KC, Tex), Adam Eaton, Bal (at TB, NYY), Vicente Padilla, Tex (at Sea, at ChW), Brett Cecil, Tor (Cle, at Oak), Shane Loux, LAA (at Oak, KC), Brian Tallet, Tor (Cle, at Oak)

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Other NL Double Dippers: Brett Myers, Phi (at StL, Atl), Jonathan Sanchez, SF (at ChC, at LAD), Ian Snell, Pit (Mil, at NYM), Aaron Cook, Col (at SD, Fla), Kenshin Kawakami, Atl (NYM, at Phi), Eric Stults, LAD (Ari, SF), Mitchell Boggs, StL (Phi, at Cin), Jorge De La Rosa, Col (at SD, Fla), Scott Olsen, Was (Hou, at Ari), Jeff Suppan, Mil (at Pit, ChC), Jeff Weaver, LAD (Ari, SF), Livan Hernandez, NYM (at Atl, Pit), Josh Geer, SD (Col, at Hou), Brian Moehler, Hou (at Was, SD), Daniel Cabrera, Was (Hou, at Ari), Kevin Correia, SD (Col, at Hou), Russ Ortiz, Hou (at Was, SD)

FEAST OR FAMINE?

Torn between two stat-similar infielders this week? Use the pitching and hitting staff sorters below to help you decide whether or not Adam LaRoche or Rick Porcello is fantasy feast or famine. Stats are for games played through May 2:

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Image courtesy of US Presswire

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