Fantasy Forward: Price is still not right?

In a guarded statement, manager John Farrell said David Price came out of rehab feeling fine on the physical side of things, but his next step will be determined. In other words, his six runs allowed and lack of command should yield another rehab start in order to allow Price time to hone his control. Pablo Sandoval finished 2-for-4 with two doubles, a walk, and a strikeout as he nears a return to the Red Sox as well.

Rangers third baseman Adrian Beltre could go on a rehab assignment this weekend with an eye on returning as soon as Monday? Manuel Margot left last night’s game early with a right calf injury, the team hopes it’s a minor injury not worthy of missing too much time. Yankees outfielder Jacoby Ellsbury landed on the seven-day concussion disabled list following last night’s game. His owners should add Aaron Hicks immediately.

Some quick facts:

  • The Phillies have lost 20 of their last 24 games, have Maikel Franco sitting on the bench and need some positive results.
  • Chris Sale’s double digit strikeout run came to a halt at home against the Rangers, a team he has dominated in the past.
  • Jose Quintana allowed a home run to a left-handed batter (Jake Lamb) for the first time since September 18th of last year and it’s only the second one over his last 22 starts.
  • Think you’re having a tough May, the Marlins have placed more players on the disabled list (6) than they have wins this month (5).

Off to the recaps.

Starting pitcher observations

With many focused on Jose Berrios or if Julio Teheran would bounce back at home, Sonny Gray seemed to be lost in the shuffle. Gray worked seven innings allowing three hits, one earned run, one walk, and struck out 11 getting 15 swinging strikes, nine with his slider. The increased use of his slider seems to be fueling the strikeout uptick. Interesting. Health will be a factor but Gray’s worth tracking now.

Speaking of Jose Berrios, he won his third game of the year, but did give up three earned runs with seven strikeouts against the Orioles on the road. Marcus Stroman hung in for the win over the Brewers in Miller Park, but could not make it a quality start.

Another under the radar start for Tyler Chatwood who shut down the punchless Phillies. Chatwood fired seven shutout innings allowing one hit, four walks, and struck out eight. He’s still a road stream option in the right match-up, do not overreact.

Luis Severino continues to surge with eight strong shutout innings at home against the Royals, holding them to four hits, one walk and striking out seven to lower his ERA to 3.11 on the season.

Tanner Roark struck out eight over seven innings with eight hits allowed to defeat the Mariners. Sale pitched 7.1 innings giving up six hits, four runs (three earned) and a walk with six strikeouts. He still won without his best stuff.

Cubs pitcher Kyle Hendricks continues to churn out quality starts this month and won his fourth game of the year, limiting the Giants to five hits while striking out five. It did not end up as a win, but Julio Teheran did not give up an earned run at home. He did allow three after giving up a home run following an error, but it does provide hope to his owners.

Daniel Norris and Charlie Morton engaged in a bit of a pitcher’s duel in Houston. Norris worked into the seventh inning recording one out in it with four hits allowed, two runs (one earned), two walks and struck out five. Morton lasted seven innings allowing four hits, three earned runs and three walks against six strikeouts. Both pitchers showed some growth here.

Mike Leake’s off to a hot start and won his fifth game after allowing one earned run to the Dodgers on the road with five strikeouts. He’s not sexy, but Leake’s on to something with the cutter this year. Five of his 12 swinging strikes were courtesy of the pitch. His ERA is now below two (1.91).



Bullpen Musings

Just when you thought the bullpens were settling in, the Padres threw a curve. Brad Hand entered in the ninth inning with Brandon Maurer working the eighth last night in New York. Maurer has struggled lately, and Hand did load the bases with zero outs and came back to record his first save this year with no runs allowed. Impressive. San Diego’s beat writer thinks this may be a showcase of Hand, but if desperate for saves, you know what to do. Get Mr. Hand.

Although it was not a save situation, Koda Glover pitched the ninth with Shawn Kelley in the eighth. After the game, Dusty Baker said, “It’s his now”, when referring to the closer job with Washington. Act accordingly.

Wade Davis showed he is human giving up a two run home run to Mac Williamson of the Giants during his 10th save of the year. It’s the first home run Davis has allowed since 2015 and the first two runs he has given up this season. Cody Allen lost the strike zone and the save when he allowed two runs to the Reds in the ninth. Raisel Iglesias picked up his eighth save instead, after allowing two hits.

Dellin Betances struck out the side for his fourth save, Alex Colome locked down his 12th save in a clean inning, Fernando Rodney fired an arrow for his 12th save as well with a walk allowed. Note Rodney’s depressed BABIP this month, sell if you can. Santiago Casilla gave up a hit and a walk, but recorded his ninth save of the year.

Hitter highlights

Brian Dozier finished 2-for-4 with a double and a walk to raise his average to .253 – he heated up around this time last year too. J.J. Hardy (3), Chris Davis (10) and Jonathan Schoop (6) all homered during the Orioles loss.

In case you keep overlooking him, in May, Devon Travis slash rose to .351/.364/622 along with hitting his third home run in Milwaukee last night. Jose Bautista continues to rake of late with his eighth home run along with two hits to raise his average to a palatable .241. Kevin Pillar added his seventh homer of the year. For the Brewers, Domingo Santana hit his sixth dinger to chase Marcus Stroman, and Keon Broxton added his fifth home run of the year.

Does Jed Lowrie go unnoticed as well? He finished 4-for-4 yesterday with two doubles (14 on the year) and he’s hitting third for the A’s with a .300 average and .856 OPS. Khris Davis hit his 14th home run of the season, and since the start of last year, he leads the majors with 56 home runs.

Jose Abreu stayed hot with four hits including his 10th home run and three RBI in Arizona last night. Leury Garcia hit his sixth home run and his average sits five points below .300. Nick Ahmed tallied two more hits with two runs, a double, two RBI and his third stolen base for those in deeper formats. And Jake (Rake) Lamb hit his 13th home run off of Jose Quintana. If he hits southpaws too, look out.

Both Adam Duvall (10) and Carlos Santana (5) homered in their game last night. Santana also finished with three hits and three RBI.

Charlie Blackmon stayed hot and will head home, but not as hot as Carlos Gonzalez who raised his slugging once again with his fourth home run and three RBI. For the Phillies, Michael Saunders accounted for most of the offense with his fifth home run, but he’s hitting .229 on the year.

While most focus on any Yankee other than Didi Gregorius, he’s hitting .330 on the season and launched his third home run last night.

Although the Mariners offense is struggling, Robinson Cano showed no signs of rust after his time on the disabled list with three hits in four at-bats. Trea Turner has made headlines in fantasy, but could be going through an adjustment period. He did steal two bases (11 on the year) with a hit in four at-bats. Anthony Rendon hit his eighth home run and drove in three.

The average still stings for fantasy, but Hunter Renfroe did hit his ninth home run against the Mets. Michael Conforto continues to rake with two hits in three at-bats, an RBI, and two walks to push his OPS to 1.149 on the year.

Chasing history, Albert Pujols hit his sixth home run on the season and 597th of his career in Tampa Bay. Steven Souza hit two home runs, his first since April 24th, an encouraging sign for his owners. Colby Rasmus added his fifth home run.

Delino DeShields went 1-for-3 with two runs and a walk from the lead-off spot for the Rangers, and Mike Napoli hit his 11th home run to push closer to the Mendoza line. Mookie Betts finished 2-for-4 with a run and two RBI. Sam Travis made his major league debut with two hits (his first in the majors) and a run scored. He will platoon with Mitch Moreland at first base going forward.

Another hot day for Adam Frazier who’s hitting .408 in 17 games as the lead-off hitter for the Pirates with 14 runs and 12 RBI. Since returning from the disabled list he’s 19-for-43 (.441) in 12 games. Pittsburgh exploded in the 10th inning with David Freese (5), Jose Osuna (3) and Jordy Mercer (4) hitting home runs. For the Braves, rookie Rio Ruiz turned in a solid game with two hits in five at-bats with two runs, a double and an RBI.

Denard Span homered for the Giants, his third of the year. Eduardo Nunez and Brandon Belt both turned in multi-hit games. Anthony Rizzo sparked the Cubs offense with two home runs (11).

Could Alex Bregman be turning things around? He homered (3) and stole a base (4) during the Astros loss to the Tigers – his owners hope this continues.

Jedd Gyorko tallied three hits in four at-bats to raise his average to .331 and OPS to .955 last night. Yadier Molina added his fourth home run as well.

Statistical Credits: Fangraphs.com, BaseballSavant.com, ESPN.go.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