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Fantasy Forward: Rebounds nearing for Travis and Miller?

Not to beat a topic to death, but the disabled list attrition this year seems inordinate. Two Indians left their game early with Abraham Almonte already landing on the disabled list, and Carlos Carrasco will be tested today to see how his pectoral muscle responds. A.J. Pollock (groin), Steve Pearce (calf) and Geovany Soto (surgery) all landed on the shelf yesterday.

Troy Tulowitzki headed to Dunedin to start his rehab assignment along with Junior Guerra who will go to Biloxi. Sean Manaea returned from the disabled list, but struggled with his control in Seattle walking five in a loss. Brandon McCarthy’s activation did not go as planned for the Dodgers who seem to be using the disabled list as a conduit to extend innings and protect arms. Bill Shaikin covered it well, here.

Hitter highlights

Whether it’s the media coverage, playing for a franchise not in the limelight, or baseball’s fault, how does Mike Trout not garner more attention? He homered for the fourth straight game, became the youngest player with 150 home runs, and stolen bases this weekend. Trout’s hitting .352/.450/.752 with 12 home runs and seven steals.

Off to a slow start – especially with the power, could Brad Miller be a buy low? He’s almost tripled his walk rate this year, hitting too many ground balls, but his hard contact is higher than 2016 with only two home runs in 39 games. If he gets more lift soon, the home runs may return. Teammate Kevin Kiermaier seems to be turning the corner going 2-for-2 with his third home run and scoring two runs.

Lonnie Chisenhall’s improved his outfield defense, homered in two straight games and may be on the periphery of mixed league status with a .282/.358/.549 slash line. Francisco Lindor hit his ninth home run as well.

A young reliever facing Freddie Freeman did not seem fair, and Freeman launched his 13th home run in Toronto as a result. More importantly, Matt Kemp finished 4-for-4 with two doubles, three runs and a walk for a perfect day at the plate.

Three more hits for Jose Bautista with the window to buy low potentially closing soon? Justin Smoak finished 2-for-3 with two runs, his eighth home run and raised his OPS to .868 on the year. Another buy low or add now target should be Devon Travis. He went 3-for-5 with two doubles (12 on the year) with a run and two RBI. His BABIP sits at .235, almost 100 points his career rate. A hot streak may be under way.

Yuli Gurriel hit a grand slam in the Astros comeback win in Miami. He also hit a double and raised his average to .293, note he’s a reverse splits guy. Jose Altuve hit a home run to center showing off the power for his sixth of the season.

Not to be outdone, Justin Bour homered for the fourth time in five games. During his last five, he’s 9-for-20 with the four home runs and seven RBI.

Arizona pummeled the struggling Mets relief staff for three home runs in the eighth inning. Before the home run barrage, Paul Goldschmidt hit two doubles, but then Jake Lamb (8), Yasmany Tomas (7), Jeff Mathis (2) and Daniel Descalso (3) all went yard with only Lamb hitting one off of Zack Wheeler.

Los Angeles needs Kole Calhoun to heat up. He moved to lead-off on Monday and responded with a three run home run, his fifth. Martin Maldanado continues to quietly put up strong second catcher numbers with his second home run and a .271 average.

Milwaukee may need to keep finding a place for Hernan Perez in the lineup with a three hit night and raising his average to .291 as well with Ryan Braun sidelined. Another buy low, Domingo Santana tallied three hits as well to push his average to .280. His blend of power and speed could provide value moving forward.

San Diego benefited from Austin Hedges reaching three times with two walks, his power’s been solid, if the OBP improves, his value goes up. Hunter Refroe carried over his strong performance in Chicago with a 2-for-4 night at home with a home run (7), four RBI and a walk. Yes, Renfroe walked.

One day too late on Khris Davis, but he hit his 11th home run in Seattle. Stephen Vogt homered for the first time in 26 games spanning 89 at-bats. Ho-hum, Nelson Cruz homered for the ninth time this year and at home against a south paw. Kyle Seager added his third.

What will the Dodgers do with Chris Taylor when Logan Forsythe returns? Taylor went 3-for-4 and he’s hitting .324 on the year. Buster Posey homered for the seventh time, his RBI total, 11.



Starting pitcher observations

How does a pitchers duel go bad? Ask Chris Archer who allowed five runs in the first, and Carlos Carrasco who left after 3.2 innings. Baseball is so frustrating.

Bartolo Colon won in Toronto without producing a swinging strike. Buyer beware.

Joe Musgrove won in Miami with five strikeouts in 5.2 innings of work, but if Dan Straily did not leave early due to a comeback injury, things may have been different.

Both Zack’s pitched well in Arizona. New York’s Zack Wheeler, worked six innings allowing seven hits, one earned run, one walk and six strikeouts. With all the other pitchers grabbing headlines, Wheeler’s been rock solid. Zack Godley did not factor in the decision, but pitched 6.2 innings with one earned run allowed as well and seven strikeouts. Now, if he can cut down the five walks, much more interesting. But may be worth a flier in deeper formats.

Both Jesse Chavez and Luis Perdomo pitched adequately at home – which with this slate, proved to be enough. Yovani Gallardo may be bouncing back in Seattle. He pitched 6.1 innings with four hits allowed, three earned runs, two walks and five strikeouts. Not sold yet, and the same goes for Matt Cain who beat the Dodgers at home with only one earned run against and five strikeouts in 6.2 innings.

Bullpen musings

Taking a walk on the wild side, Edwin Diaz may be on watch to lose his job as the closer. Steve Cishek returned and Tony Zych came on to record the save for Diaz who walked four batters in one-third of an inning. Track this closely. Zych makes for an interesting dart throw in deeper formats.

Both Indians high leverage relievers allowed a run but still won. Andrew Miller gave up his first earned run of the year and Cody Allen allowed a home run en route to his 10th save. Bud Norris worked 1.1 innings with a walk and two strikeouts for his eighth save.

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