Fantasy Forward: Wil Myers cycle and other news to note

It’s remarkable to note the Padres as a franchise now have two players to hit for the cycle, and both occurred in Colorado. Wil Myers joins Matt Kemp as the only San Diego players to accomplish the feat. Monday night featured starting pitchers finding redemption on the mound along with some rough outings in regards to high walk results. Philadelphia named its new closer, but he’s not who the fantasy community burned their FAAB on this weekend to roster.

News and notes on all the box scores along with tidbits of information will be sprinkled in below as a part of the Fantasy Forward.

The highs and lows from Monday’s night starting pitching performances

  • Popular breakout candidate James Paxton did not disappoint during his home debut in 2017. Paxton pitched seen shutout innings with eight strikeouts against four hits and two walks. Health seems to befall the talented young southpaw, but if he reaches 185 innings this year, the potential is there to justify reaching for him in drafts.

  • Many were nervous about the strikeout totals for Chris Sale this year. He traded whiffs for contact in 2016, but through 14.2 innings Sale’s struck out 17 batters with a 1.23 ERA. His owners should be frustrated by no wins when Andrew Bailey, Mike Dunn and J.C. Ramirez all have two in relief. Be patient.
  • Justin Verlander faced Sale and did not factor in the decision either, but he limited Boston to three hits with an unearned run allowed.
  • Those who dropped Jharel Cotton in shallow leagues will be kicking themselves following his seven inning win against the Royals on the road. Cotton struck out six with no runs allowed. His six swinging strikes need to be noted since most think about the change-up when referencing Cotton.
  • Whether or not Matt Moore morphs into a home stream starter remains to be seen, but his home debut went nicely with a win over Arizona. Moore lasted eight innings with five strikeouts and one run allowed to lower his ERA to 2.70 to start the year.
  • Jon Lester bounced back despite the Dodgers folly on the bases. If you did not see Joc Pederson’s leads against Lester, check them out. Lester finished with a quality start striking out seven in six inning of work to lower his ERA to 1.64. Just track his velocities as the weather warms.
  • Not ready for prime time just yet, both Tyler Glasnow and Brandon Finnegan failed to throw a pitch in the third inning while finishing with five walks apiece. Finnegan only allowed one run, but Glasnow took the loss with five run against in 1.2 innings pitched. Manager their starts wisely moving forward.
  • Last, but certainly not least, another Jekyll and Hyde performance from “Big Mike” Pineda. After getting blasted in Tampa Bay, he bounced back at home with over six innings of perfect baseball which ended on a Evan Longoria double. He only allowed a home run to Logan Morrison and finished with 11 strikeouts in 7.2 innings of work. Pineda’s stuff can be electric, but he can also last two innings. Welcome to the roller coaster ride if you own him…..

Bruce almighty (?) and other hitters of note

  • Since August 30th of last year, only six hitters recorded a better home run per at bat rate than Jay Bruce‘s 11.67, and with two home runs on Monday night, Bruce has four in his last seven games played. Many remain frustrated by Bruce taking at-bats away from prospect Michael Conforto, but if Bruce keeps hitting home runs, the rookie will stay in reserve.
  • Don’t look now, but Ryan Zimmerman is relevant in mixed leagues. He’s hitting .400 with three home runs and even stole a base on Monday night. His exit velocities the last two years point to progress, but he needs to stay on the field. If he does, Zimmerman could be a sneaky add in leagues while he’s hot.
  • Teammate Bryce Harper could be a bargain when we look back at drafts in the off-season. Harper dropped to around 10th overall in ADP, but his swing looks like it did in 2015. Harper finished with four hits on Monday to raise his OPS to 1.154 after seven games.
  • Speaking of under-rated, almost everyone gave up on Chase Headley, but he’s arguably the hottest Yankee hitter after a week of play. Headley launched his second home run on Monday and his slash line of .375/.483/.667 could be a hot start or a sign of a healthy bump in production. Time will tell.
  • Khris Davis hit his fourth home of the season in Kansas City; his OPS rose to 1.222. When will people believe in his power?
  • As for speed, Billy Hamilton wreaked havoc on the bases with two steals and pressured Tyler Glasnow during his start. More encouraging, Hamilton’s OBP stands at .357 after a week of play, and if the second half gains from last year carry over, a breakout could be on tap.
  • Aaron Judge cut down his swing in the off-season and does not need to do much to generate power. His second home run left Yankee Stadium last night and he’s hitting .261 – monitor his progress and contact rates.
  • Wil Myers could make a liar out of me and others who felt regression had to happen. He cratered after the Matt Kemp trade last year, but seems to be locked in right now. A cycle in Coors of course helps, but his three home runs and 1.176 OPS remain impressive – take note he has not stolen a base yet.
  • Remember when the news from the Nationals lineup suggested Adam Eaton could hit sixth? He led off with Trea Turner going on the 10-day disabled list and finished with three hits and two runs last night. Eaton’s an OBP hog with eight runs scored already this year.

So you added Neris? Now what

  • Even in the preseason, Hector Neris carried a higher ADP than teammate Jeanmar Gomez despite the veteran being the closer breaking camp. It didn’t take long for Gomez to lose the job, so kudos to those who did not take him. However, the Phillies curved all fantasy owners by not only naming Joaquin Benoit the closer, but doing so after many lineups locked for the week due to day games. In fact, reports out of Philadelphia suggest Neris staying in the Betances-like multi-inning role thus depressing his future stock for saves. Stay tuned.
  • Using closers in non-save outings just does not work, but managers insist on doing it. Kenley Jansen gave up two runs in relief on Sunday in this scenario, and Brandon Maurer followed suit on Monday night in Coors Field. Please stop.
  • Those looking to stash saves for the future can take a flier on Joe Jimenez of the Tigers who joined the team on Monday. Detroit finally sent down Bruce Rondon. Jimenez saved 53 games during his minor league career with a 1.57 ERA and 207 strikeouts in 143.1 innings of work. Take the long view here.

Injury news

  • Jean Segura left the game after hurting his hamstring during Monday’s game. His team suggests its minor, but remember what happened with Trea Turner, plan accordingly.
  • After being hit in the head by a Taijuan Walker pitch, Buster Posey left the game. Initial reports suggest he’s alright, but remember, head injuries can be tricky. Pay close attention.
  • Jackie Bradley Jr. landed on the 10-day disabled list for those who own him.
  • Rockies updates: Ian Desmond will begin playing catch and could return this month, but still up in the air. Tom Murphy‘s hand remains in a soft cast, just received a CT scan with his results pending. David Dahl will join the team to be tested by the training staff to see where his rehab needs to head.

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Greg Jewett

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I am a father, PE teacher & fantasy baseball writer. Using saber metrics & information to evaluate players & trends is exciting to me."Passion is the oxygen of the soul." Bill Butler