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Fantasy Forward: Another one bites the dust

When Jean Segura hurt his ankle, initial reports did not sound encouraging. Segura landed on the 10-day disabled list, but the front office quotes of “he’s likely out for a month with a second possible” means fantasy owners will need to replace another strong fantasy player. Teammate Felix Hernandez finished another simulated game and should complete two rehab starts before returning to the Mariners.

Jameson Taillon pitched five innings at Triple-A during his rehab start giving up three hits and one unearned run with six strikeouts on 68 pitches. His return may be imminent for the Pirates. Wilson Ramos hit in extended spring and should start his rehab assignment next week for the Rays. He may not catch until around July, but if his bat returns to the lineup, fantasy owners looking for a boost at catcher should take note.

Not great news regarding Alex Wood who could miss up to a month now with his SC sprain in the shoulder. Los Angeles targets the upcoming Reds series for his return – monitor his news closely. Eduardo Rodriguez had a rough night on the mound and now video surfaced showing him hurting his knee during a warm-up pitch. He also landed on the disabled list yesterday. Now for some actual baseball results.

Starting Pitching Observations

Whether it’s facing the Phillies or not, Ty Blach registered a complete game shutout on the road allowing seven hits with four strikeouts. He invites contact, but Blach did generate 10 swinging strikes against a team many will try to stream against going forward.

Francisco Liriano returned to the mound for Toronto without his security blanket, Russell Martin. He did work five innings with five strikeouts, but left after giving up a two run home run to Aaron Judge in the sixth inning.

Fellow southpaw Jason Vargas rebounded at home with a complete game shutout of his own, allowing seven hits and one walk with three strikeouts against Cleveland.

In a pitchers duel in Milwaukee, that’s not a typo, Clayton Kershaw and Jimmy Nelson squared off trading strikeouts and shutout innings. Kershaw did allow a home run to Domingo Santana, but pitched seven innings of two hit baseball with a walk and 14 strikeouts. Kershaw’s 19 swinging strikes just eclipsed Nelson’s 17 in the game. Nelson worked eight shutout innings giving up five hits with 11 strikeouts in a no-decision and eventual loss for the Brewers. Fun fact, Nelson is the first Brewers pitcher in team history to record consecutive starts with at least 10 strikeouts and no walks.

Thanks to a rain delay, I watched some of Dallas Keuchel’s start in Texas. He’s back to the 2015 form, keeping the ball down and hitting his spots. Keuchel won his ninth game of the year working six shutout innings with seven strikeouts. Yu Darvish failed to reach the sixth inning again, and his only blemish, a three-run home run to Carlos Correa. Darvish did strikeout eight.

Although his performance may be overshadowed by the bullpen’s blown save, Mike Foltynewicz impressed with 10 strikeouts in seven innings in Cincinnati. He limited the Reds to two hits and two walks in the process. Fantasy owners need more consistency from him, but this kind of start points to his upside.

Stephen Strasburg won in Oakland working seven innings allowing four hits, two earned runs and three walks with seven strikeouts. One would expect a more dominating performance, but the quality start and win on the road will be enough for fantasy.

Should Chris Bergman be taken seriously in deeper leagues? He has shutout the Red Sox on the road and worked six innings against the Rays at home giving up seven hits, two earned runs and two walks with six strikeouts. It would be a 15-team or higher league in order to consider him, but with all the injuries to fantasy rotations, depth is needed.



Bullpen Musings

Normally this goes in order of the games, but Kenley Jansen deserves top spot today. He set a record by striking out 36 hitters to start the season without giving up a walk yet. He won his third game in relief by striking out four over two innings in Milwaukee. Just, dominant. He and Kimbrel seem to be on another level this year compared to their peers.

Wade Davis locked down his 11th save with a strikeout in an inning for the Cubs. Roberto Osuna bounced back to notch his 12th save against the Yankees with a clean inning and a strikeout. Brad Brach worked a clean ninth for Baltimore and his 11th save.

It’s all about volume, but A.J. Ramos has pitched well of late as he recorded his seventh save with two strikeouts. Same goes for Brandon Maurer who finished his ninth save for the Padres with a walk and a strikeout. Brad Hand worked 1.1 innings before him which points to this no longer being a time share.

Jim Johnson became a revelation last year in the second half, but he has blown two of his last four save opportunities. There’s no imminent danger to a switch, but at some point the Braves will be looking to add more talent to their minor league system and Johnson could be moved to a contender to set-up. This could create a chance for Arodys Vizcaino to ascend to the closer role at some point. Stash him now if there’s room.

Raisel Iglesias ended up with the win in relief for his second one of the year. He’s been used more traditionally as the closer lately, and note Drew Storen’s moving more into the eighth inning role with Michael Lorenzen being stretched out, perhaps for a return to the rotation.

Hitter Highlights

With a nice schedule for Week 10, could Dexter Fowler heat up just in time? He homered in his first at-bat back in Chicago for his eighth of the year and walked in the Cardinals loss. Kris Bryant launched his 12th home run, and Anthony Rizzo reached in all four plate appearances with a single along with three walks.

Pablo Sandoval hit his first home run since returning from the disabled list for his fourth of the year. Seth Smith (5) and Manny Machado (11) homered for Baltimore.

Arriving in Philadelphia seemed to wake up the Giants bats with Denard Span recording five hits and scoring three runs while Eduardo Nunez went 3-for-5 with two doubles and three RBI.

Aaron Judge hit a titanic shot to right-center field in the second deck for his major league leading 18th home run. Starlin Castro added his eighth in the loss. Josh Donaldson’s hit the ground running off the disabled list and homered twice with Justin Smoak adding his 13th of the season with three RBI.

Paul Goldschmidt hit his 13th home run with three RBI, but it was not enough in Miami. Giancarlo Stanton went 2-for-3 with three runs and his 15th home run. Since moving to second in the order, Stanton’s recorded 36 at-bats with four home runs, nine RBI, a .417/.462/.778 slash line, a .361 ISO, .512 wOBA, and a 224 wRC+… wow. Christian Yelich (7) and Justin Bour (16) also homered for the fish.

White Sox lead-off hitter Leury Garcia continues his under the radar campaign with two more hits and three RBI; he’s hitting .291 this year. Dixon Machado went 2-for-6 with a run, triple and three RBI for Detroit. However, Miguel Cabrera doubled twice with four RBI, and his second double marked his 1,000th extra-base hit. Marinate that thought. J.D. Martinez hit his ninth home run as well.

Josh Harrison also may be heating up at the right time with a friendly Week 10 schedule on tap. He went 3-for-4 with his seventh home run and two RBI. Josh Bell added his 10th for Pittsburgh. Lucas Duda continues to surge with two home runs to reach 10 this year, and his OPS is one point below four digits. Michael Conforto added his 14th despite his manager hinting he’s tired. Why, Terry, why?

Houston stayed hot for their eighth straight win. George Springer homered for the third time in his last two games, and over his last seven he’s 15-for-32 (.469) with five home runs and 11 runs scored. During the win streak, Carlos Correa’s 17-for-36 (.472) with four home runs and 13 RBI. Brian McCann stole his first base since August of last year, and Adrian Beltre homered for the first time this year off of Ken Giles in the ninth.

With the Dodgers looking at a potential one to zero loss, Yasmani Grandal homered in the ninth off of Corey Knebel for his sixth of the year. Then, Cody Bellinger launched his 12th for the win. His home run matched his father’s major league total, but Cody only needed 135 at-bats to reach 12 while his Dad needed 311. Happy early Father’s day Clay. Domingo Santana homered for the Brewers only run marking his seventh over the last 29 games.

All Mike Moustakas does is hit solo home runs. He hit his 14th home run last night and he’s averaging one every 13.4 at-bats this year. Whit Merrifield extended his personal hit streak to 17 in which he’s batting .397/.444/.638.

Home runs everywhere for the Nationals in Oakland. Michael Taylor (5), Brian Goodwin (1), Jayson Werth (8) with Anthony Rendon and Daniel Murphy hitting their 10th. Trea Turner also stole a base for the third straight game to raise his total to 14 on the year. He’s pacing for 15 home runs and 43 steals with hits in six of his last seven played along with five multi-hit games in them. Matt Joyce homered for the two A’s runs, his sixth of the year.

Robbie Grossman and Max Kepler hit their sixth home runs of the year for the Twins. And should Joe Mauer get more love? He’s 12 for his last 28 (.429) with two home runs and seven RBI.

Nolan Arenado went 3-for-4 with two doubles and an RBI in San Diego. For the Padres, Allen Cordoba finished 3-for-4 as well with a run, a double, triple and two RBI. He’s hitting .310 as a 21-year-old moving all over the field. Yangervis Solarte added his fourth home run among his three hits. Austin Hedges (10) and Wil Myers (12) also hit home runs.

Everyone threw Kevin Kiermaier’s slow start under the bus. He’s 10 for his last 29 (.345) with six runs, three doubles, three home runs and four RBI. Currently Kiermaier is on pace for 20 home runs and 26 stolen bases. Patience. Colby Rasmus hit his seventh home run, and Tim Beckham added his ninth. All the Rays offense could not overcome a strong showing by a former teammate with Taylor Motter hitting a grand slam against his old team. Danny Valencia went 3-for-3 with three runs, a double, a home run (5) and five RBI.

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