Fantasy Forward: Freddie Freeman too?

Perhaps renaming this to General Hospital would be more appropriate since new injuries seem to highlight the introductions each day. Freddie Freeman left last night’s game immediately after being hit on the hand with a pitch, his X-rays proved inconclusive with an MRI and CT scan scheduled for today. If one owns Freeman, plan on the worst and hope for the best. Reports from the team feel as though there’s some type of fracture in his wrist.

For those who replaced an injured pitcher with Trevor Cahill, back to the drawing board with his 10-day disabled list designation yesterday. Names like Nate Karns, Jesse Hahn, Jimmy Nelson, Tyler Anderson and Eddie Butler come to mind depending on league size. Anyone holding out hope on Jung-Ho Kang may need to turn the page for 2017 due to his losing an appeal, the court upheld his DUI sentence so gaining a work VISA seems unlikely.

For some good news, after debuting with three strikeouts, Bradley Zimmer hit his first major league home run and a double yesterday for the Indians. If wondering about his fantasy impact, my article on him for Fan Rag can be accessed here. Off to the recaps.

Bullpen Musings

Another rocky outing for Brandon Maurer who entered a tied game and allowed multiple runs for the fourth time in five outings. His ERA and FIP do not match, but keep tabs on Brad Hand along with the rehab progress of Carter Capps.

Ken Giles (11), Wade Davis (9) and Corey Knebel (2) recorded saves yesterday for their respective teams. A nice bounce back by Justin Wilson for his third save, though he did allow a hit and a walk with two strikeouts. Dellin Betances notched his first save of the year with four pitches after the bullpen created a mess.

Speaking of mess, Raisel Iglesias entered for the dreaded work in a non-save situation and promptly loaded the bases with three walks, then struck out the side in a non-contact inning.

Starting Pitcher Observations

In efficient but not strikeout conducive performances, Lance McCullers, Clayton Kershaw and Gerrit Cole all won yesterday. McCullers struck out three in six innings over 95 pitches, Kershaw recorded five strikeouts allowing three hits over seven shutout innings, and Cole worked seven innings on 98 pitches giving up one earned run with three strikeouts.

Kyle Hendricks continues to survive with reduced velocity and turned in a quality start at home for the win over the Reds. He pitched six innings allowing six hits, two earned runs, two walks with four strikeouts to lower his ERA to 3.35 on the season. Repeating last year was impossible; this version seems more likely moving forward.

Both Alex Cobb and Andrew Cashner turned in quality starts for wins. Michael Pineda avoided the big inning, but did give up four runs (three earned) with five strikeouts to beat Kansas City on the road.

Three surprise pitchers led the way in the evening.

  • Matt Shoemaker worked 6.1 innings giving up nine hits, four runs (three earned), one walk and struck out nine. His splitter generated 16 of his recorded 17 swinging strikes in the game.
  • Jhoulys Chacin continues to be a home stream. He struck out eight Brewers with 11 of his 14 swinging strikes attributed to his slider.
  • Christian Bergman pitched 7.1 innings allowing two hits, two walks and struck out nine A’s. Not sure if this represents a strong start or how bad Oakland’s offense can be? Bergman did produce 13 swinging strikes with his curve (6) and slider (4) leading the way.

Hitter highlights

Mike Trout hit his fifth home run (13) in six days after missing time to injury. He’s tremendous and still goes under appreciated. Cameron Maybin led off again, finished 3-for-4 with a walk and two runs. Maybin is heating up and in a great spot ahead of Trout in the lineup. Keep tabs on Albert Pujols who hit a ball of the wall, tried to stretch it into a double and pulled up running prior to being thrown out.

George Springer returned to the lineup with two hits in five at-bats, one run scored and two RBI. Jose Altuve hit two triples among his four hits to push his average to .311 on the year.

Rays slugger, Corey Dickerson keeps on rocking with a 2-for-5 game with three RBI and his ninth home run. Logan Morrison continues to produce with his 11th home run and 27th RBI. Deep league players should note Tim Beckham continues to hit with three hits in four at-bats raising his average to .279 on the year.

With the Mets lineup in flux, Jose Reyes led off yesterday and finished with three hits in six at-bats – he’s almost past the Mendoza line. Michael Conforto hit second and homered off of Patrick Corbin for his 10th this year. He just needs to keep playing. Jake Lamb may be heating up again with his ninth home run, and Chris Herrmann walked off with his third home run this year. If Chris Iannetta ends up missing time, Herrmann’s stock goes up at catcher.

Justin Turner continues to rake, but with just one home run on the year. He’s hitting .372 with a .935 OPS so stick with him. Yasiel Puig stole his fifth base of the year as well. Eduardo Nunez hit his first home run of the year and batted first for the Giants. Track his spot in the lineup.

Andrew McCutchen looked spry last night with two hits and two stolen bases. Josh Bell added his eighth home run. Another player doing well under the radar.

Entering the game cold as ice, Tyler Collins finished 3-for-4 with two home runs and four RBI to carry Detroit to the win.

Borrowing a stat line from my friend Michael Florio, Jose Bautista since April 21st: .266/.381/.511 with 17 runs, six home runs, 18 RBI, .245 ISO and 38.2 hard hit rate. Patience. By the way, Devon Travis added a hit and a walk while Justin Smoaked his ninth home run of the year.

Zack Cozart continues to hit with three in five at-bats and his fourth home run; he’s hitting .350 with a 1.045 OPS. Billy Hamilton upped his league leading stolen base total to 20.

Kyle Schwarber and Jonathan Lucroy seem to be heating up, but in different manners. Schwarber’s power seems to be gearing up while Lucroy’s trading power for contact.

The Yankees took care of some pending regression for Jason Vargas with 11 runs. Brett Gardner continues to hit well going 2-for-5 with a run and two RBI. Aaron Hicks hit his seventh home run, and Didi Gregorius surged again – since his return from the disabled list he has a .319 average. Salvador Perez launched his eighth home run as a part of a balanced Royals attack.

White Sox first baseman Jose Abreu hit his seventh home run, and Avisail Garcia added three more hits but fell short against Matt Shoemaker. Keep tabs on Tim Anderson who may have cleared his head during his time on the bereavement list. He tallied two more hits and a triple.

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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