Fantasy Forward: Big Maple, A-Gonz and Kelley to the DL

Yesterday’s title pleaded for injuries to cease and desist this season in fantasy baseball, but Friday provided more casualties. How bad can it be? Adrian Gonzalez has played 1,833 games and landed on the disabled list for the first time in his career. Here’s a capsuled list of the tangible injury news:

  • James Paxton sidelined with forearm soreness, targeting 2-to-3 starts missed.
  • Shawn Kelley on the disabled list with a bad back, Koda Glover to be activated on Saturday.
  • Wei-Yin Chen, Travis d’Arnaud and Stephen Piscotty all placed on the 10-day disabled list.
  • Zach Britton did not pitch in the ninth inning Friday night and will get another MRI due to lingering soreness in his forearm. Stay tuned. Hope you did not drop Brad Brach already.
  • In good news, J.D. Martinez played in Lakeland as part of his rehab assignment.
  • Kevin Kiermaier was hit by a pitch in the hand. Monitor his status; he will undergo X-rays.
  • Logan Forsythe was shut down during his rehab assignment to receive more treatment on his hamstring.

As for baseball, San Francisco went four years without a pitcher giving up nine earned runs. Two have done it during their turns in the rotation this week, Matt Cain and Matt Moore. Dexter Fowler did not land on the disabled list and could have pinch hit on Friday night. Ryan Zimmerman cannot be stopped right now. He became the Nationals franchise leader in extra-base hits with his double last night at 569, then added his 12th home run for good measure. He’s hitting .433 with a 1.359 OPS this year. On to the rest of the recaps.

Hitter’s highlights

During the only day game on Friday, Brett Gardner hit a three-run home run off of Hector Rondon to propel the Yankees to a win over the Cubs. Gardner’s on a seven game hit streak with three home runs in his last three played. Both Kyle Schwarber (5) and Kris Bryant (6) homered against Michael Pineda for the two Cubs runs.

Billy Hamilton flashed what the Reds hope for when he hits leadoff. He finished 3-for-4 with two walks and two stolen bases (18) during their walkover against the Giants. Joey Votto has been more aggressive this year but walked four times. After moving to seventh in the lineup, Jose Peraza picked up his production and went 3-for-4 with a triple, four RBI and stole his eighth base.

Signs of life from Chris Davis last night. He launched an opposite field blast for his fourth home run of the year.

During a long rain delay in Pittsburgh, Josh Bell hit a double and home run (5) in four at-bats while hitting second in the order.

Another player of intrigue batting second, T.J. Rivera of the Mets hit his first home run of the year Friday night, finished 2-for-4 with a double as well. Curtis Granderson joined the party with his second home run, but he’s hitting .143 on the year. This is not a typo, Wilmer Flores played against a right-handed pitcher and recorded two hits in three at-bats.

Many dismiss batter versus pitcher data, but Kendrys Morales made good last night hitting two home runs in the game with one off of Chris Archer who he crushes the ball against. Kevin Pillar added three hits and Justin Smoak-ed his fifth home run.

With Dexter Fowler sidelined, Kolten Wong ascended to leadoff for the Cardinals. Tommy Pham filled in affably for Piscotty going 2-for-4 with a home run. He could hit higher in the order against left-handed pitching as well. Aledmys Diaz has been dropped in the order and responded with a perfect 4-for-4 night with a run and three RBI.

Not to be overlooked, Matt Carpenter hit his fifth home run. Over his last eight games he has recorded 12 of his 17 RBI this year.

All Andrew Benintendi and Miguel Sano do is hit of late. Benintendi’s average is at .309 and he hit his fourth home run in Minnesota. Sano recorded two hits with a triple (?) to push his average to .312 with a 1.120 OPS.

Both Eric Hosmer (3) and Edwin Encarnacion (5) homered in Kansas City last night.

Death, taxes and Paul Goldschmidt crushing baseballs against the Colorado Rockies. Goldy continued his assault on Rockies pitching going 3-for-3 with two home runs and five RBI. On the opposing side, Mark Reynolds played first base with Carlos Gonzalez out of the lineup and hit his ninth home run.

Many overlooked Josh Reddick signing with the Astros. He hit his third home run last night, his average moved to .293, and he’s hitting second. Venerable veteran Brian McCann added his fifth homer.

With Adrian Gonzalez on the disabled list, Cody Bellinger recorded his second two-home run game in his last six starts. Over his last 28 at-bats: 12 hits, one double, one triple and four home runs.

Two second baseman hit a home run in Seattle. Rougned Odor hit his sixth of the year but he’s hitting .195 to start the season. Robinson Cano hit his sixth as well, but he has hit safely in six of his last seven and homered in two of his last three.

Starting pitcher observations

In maybe the most Michael Pineda start ever, he took a no-decision with six strikeouts in six innings and two home runs allowed. Kyle Hendricks could not complete a quality start, leaving after 5.1 innings of work with fie strikeouts.

White Sox starter Miguel Gonzalez bounced back with a quality outing giving up two earned runs to his former employer. Wade Miley was hit not once, by twice by comebackers and left the game in the first inning. Gabriel Ynoa filled in affably with five strikeouts over six innings for the win.

If Stephen Strasburg is going to throw 119 pitches, one would hope he could last more than 5.2 innings in Philadelphia, but he did not. Strasburg walked four with five strikeouts to push his record to 3 – 1 this year.

Volatility may be Mike Foltynewicz’s middle name. After a strong outing in Milwaukee, he returned home and imploded against St. Louis without Piscotty or Fowler in the lineup. Once again in a quiet manner, Lance Lynn worked six innings with six strikeouts for the win and lowered his ERA to 2.04 on the year.

Michael Fulmer used his extra-day off to stymie the A’s offense, pitching eight innings and allowing one earned run with nine strikeouts.

It seemed like status quo with Dallas Keuchel cruising to a victory until he loaded the bases in the eighth inning. Despite giving up five earned runs his ERA sits at 1.88, though more regression seems likely moving forward.

While drafting Kenta Maeda can be fruitful, he does not work deep into games. Although he won in San Diego, he threw 88 pitches in five innings with eight strikeouts to lower his ERA to 5.81 – those in quality start leagues could use a little more from him. But, not sure the Dodgers are willing to let him work longer in games.

Bullpen musings

Aroldis Chapman returned to Chicago and recorded his seventh save with two strikeouts while watching his former team’s bullpen implode.

For those who dropped Brad Brach when Zach Britton returned, you may need to get him back pending the MRI results. Brach saved his sixth game, though it was a bit rocky yesterday.

Nationals pitcher Matt Albers saved the first game of his career. He continues to pitch well in the bullpen, but the team should be activating Koda Glover on Saturday.

Jeurys Familia pitched a clean ninth inning for his third save. Kelvin Herrera notched his fourth of the year and Fernando Rodney recorded two outs for his eighth save last night.

Brandon Kintzler and Ken Giles benefited from the blown save win scenario. Kintzler is walking a thin line with six strikeouts against five walks in 13.1 innings of work this year. Giles entered a bases loaded mess and fared well with contact against but had some bad luck as well. Chris Devenski saved the game in the 10th inning for his second of the year.

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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