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Fantasy forward: New saves targets, more injuries and two more for Yonder

For a short break from all the injury news, there’s two potential saves targets on the waiver wire. Due to the capricious fall of Francisco Rodriguez from fantasy owner’s faith, he has been removed from the ninth inning, for now, by the Tigers. Justin Wilson and his 36 strikeout minus walk percentage will ascend to the closer role. While this may be short-lived, Wilson’s the best pitcher by far in this bullpen.

In a surprising move, the Giants placed Mark Melancon on the disabled list with a right pronator strain. This can come from the torque required to throw his sinker. With no timetable to work with, adding Derek Law seems appropriate, though many will still hope for Hunter Strickland to shift to the ninth. Past results lean to Law.

Robinson Cano hit his seventh home run last night, but left the game with a strained quad. He’s considered day-to-day like the rest of us. Toronto designated hitter Kendrys Morales left his game with a tight hamstring and will undergo an MRI on Wednesday to determine the severity of the injury. Although the Dodgers seem to have a glut of outfielders, Andrew Toles left Tuesday’s game early to injury as well. Stay tuned.

Starting pitcher observations

During the day slate, A.J. Griffin flashed some upside when healthy. He hurled a complete game shutout in San Diego allowing four hits, one walk and four strikeouts to lower his ERA to 2.45. Griffin’s teased before but injuries or a high fly ball rate befell him, Will this year be different?

Max Scherzer has put all the preseason worries to rest and pitched eight innings in Baltimore giving up four hits, two earned runs, two walks and striking out 11 in a no-decision due to his faulty bullpen. Scherzer generated 15 swinging strikes with his slider alone and 22 total.

Another preseason pitcher of concern, Carlos Carrasco moved to 4 – 2 on the year with a 1.86 ERA after firing seven shutout innings in Toronto with seven strikeouts.

Rays starter Matt Andriese may have deserved a better fate but took a no-decision after working 5.1 innings with five hits allowed, three runs (two earned), two walks and seven strikeouts. His ERA sits at 3.12 and he produced 11 swinging strikes.

Two different outcomes for two similar pitchers. Jeff Samardzija struck out nine with 15 swinging strikes but absorbed the loss in New York due to allowing 10 hits and six earned runs. Zack Wheeler picked up the win working six innings with four strikeouts to lower his ERA to 4.18 on the season.

Predicting which Dan Straily will show up is not easy. At home, he should be reliable and turned in a quality start over seven innings. His bullpen let him down resulting in a no-decision. Straily struck out five and induced 13 swinging strikes on Tuesday.

More may have been expected from Charlie Morton but he did win his third in a row. Morton struck out five but walked four with five hits allowed along with one earned run (three total).

Southpaw Hector Santiago won against the White Sox pitching 6.2 innings allowing three hits, two earned runs, five walks and six strikeouts to lower his ERA to 2.76.

Going to Coors usually does not enhance performance, but John Lackey worked seven strong innings giving up three hits, two walks with 10 strikeouts. He generated 16 swinging strikes, nine with the cutter. Perhaps this gets him back on track?

A much-anticipated pitcher’s duel in Arizona seemed to be on tap with Robbie Ray hosting Justin Verlander. One pitcher held up his end of the bargain. Fives were wild with Ray giving up five hits in five innings with five earned runs, five walks and eight strikeouts. But his high pitch counts do not allow him to work later in games and cut down his win probability. As for Verlander, he struggled at times but found a way to finish with seven strikeouts over six innings and 16 swinging strikes.

Dodgers youngster Julio Urias entered the seventh inning with a no-hitter. Not only did he lose the chance at a milestone, his team’s bullpen ceded the lead two innings later. Urias took a no-decision but did strikeout five in 6.1 innings last night.



Bullpen musings

After a rough start, Edwin Diaz seems to be settling in. He struck out one to save his seventh game of the year. Raisel Iglesias locked down his sixth save but pitched for two innings. So did Michael Lorenzen. With an off-day, the Reds bullpen can reset for their arrival in San Francisco.

Not only did Seung-Hwan Oh save his eighth game, he hit 95 MPH on the radar. Kelvin Herrera bounced back for his fifth save with one walk and two strikeouts.

Hitter’s highlights

It’s getting hard to overlook Yonder Alonso. He hit two more home runs on Tuesday night to extend his career high of 11 this year. He’s committed to hitting more fly ball, doing so with harder contact and Alons0’s hot.

With Mark Reynolds in the midst of a renaissance year, he hit his 12th home run and finished 3-for-4 with three runs and three RBI in the first game of the double-header. During the night-cap, Kris Bryant launched his seventh home run to lead the Cubs to a split.

While in San Diego, not only do Ryan Schimpf and Joey Gallo occupy the same park with a similar approach, but Gallo’s power will play anywhere. Gallo’s hitting .2015 with 11 home runs this year.

Naming Ben Gamel as a player to start did not account for a 4-for-5 outing in Philadelphia to start a road trip. He scored three runs, doubled, homered and drove in four during his team’s win. In the opposite dugout, Cesar Hernandez stole his fifth base of the year as well. Tommy Joseph (3) and Aaron Altherr (5) both homered as well.

Orioles second baseman Jonathan Schoop extended his on-base streak to 24 with two more hits last night. Adam Jones homered (5) to help his relievers cause.

It’s easy to note Byron Buxton (Twins) and Keon Broxton (Brewers) started slow. During his first 15 games, Buxton hit .082/.135/.122 (courtesy of Mark Simon, ESPN). Over the last 12 games, Buxton’s hitting .333/.442/.867. Cesar Hernandez of the Phillies stole his fifth base.

Gary Sanchez (2) and Salvador Perez (7) homered on Tuesday night.

Logan Morrison will take on regression as long as the power stays in his repertoire.

Both T. J. Rivera and Michael Conforto continue to spur the Mets offense forward. Rivera finished 3-for-4 with a .209 average at the end of the night. Conforto finished 2-for-5 with his eighth home run to push his average to .330.

Mookie Betts liked his first foray into Miller Park. Betts went 4-for-4 with two doubles, a home run (4) and a walk to raise his average to .304 this year. Andrew Benintendi finished 3-for-4 with an OBP near .400 this year.

Those who gave up on Keon Broxton should look away. They will have missed out on a 3-for-3 night with three runs, a triple, home run (3), four RBI and two walks. During his last 15 games, Broxton’s scored 12 runs with five doubles, two triples, two home runs, seven RBI and a .383/.463/.702 slash line.

Do not look now but Carlos Correa’s heating up. He homered for the fourth time with three RBI’s last night. Josh Reddick added his fourth and Carlos Beltran his third in the game.

After missing out on David Ortiz, the Twins take longer to give up on a prospect. Kennys Vargas hit his fourth home run to push his average to .282 with a .985 OPS since his most recent promotion.

Catcher Yasmani Grandal hit his fourth home run to give the Dodgers an early lead, then Cody Bellinger tied the game up with a hit in the ninth inning.

Anyone with the over on a Ben Revere home run cashed in last night. Both Albert Pujols and Yunel Escobar hit their fifth home run, let this marinate.

Statistical Credits: Fangraphs.com, MLB.com, BaseballSavant.com

 

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Greg Jewett
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

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