Fantasy Forward: Cespedes Setback and Taillon on the Rehab Trail

In the too good to be true department for Yoenis Cespedes owners, his rehab hit a snag and he will not take live batting practice until Tuesday. This will probably take him out of consideration for those who play in weekly lineup formats for Week 9 – plan accordingly.

Brandon McCarthy seemed to be cruising against the Cubs, but left the game after the sixth inning to undergo an MRI on his sore knee. He’s been battling tendonitis. Kolten Wong missed last night’s game as a late scratch due to his elbow flaring up.

Good news in regards to Jameson Taillon who will appear for Altoona at Double-A on Sunday to start his rehab. Many Rangers fans reacted rashly when seeing Tyson Ross moved to the 60-day disabled list, but the procedural move bought the team time to add Peter O’Brien to the roster off of waivers. Ross will still make his rehab start on Monday but the team may need a spot start on Friday from Yohander Mendez or Connor Sadzeck with Dillon Gee moving to the bullpen to take A.J. Griffin’s roster spot.

Manuel Margot landed on the disabled list prompting the Padres to promote Franchy Cordero as a fill-in. This may extend Allen Cordoba’s time at lead-off for the team. Repeating in baseball’s tough, and the Cubs seem to be finding out. Despite an Anchorman themed road trip, they’ve been shutout in back-to-back games. Last, the Indians beat writer mused they may put Danny Salazar in the bullpen in an effort to turn his season around.

Off to the recaps with new themes in honor of the passing of Gregg Allman.

Pitching with the Midnight Rider

C.C. Sabathia won against the A’s with some favorable strike calls resulting in nine strikeouts despite generating nine swinging strikes all game. He did limit Oakland to six hits and two earned runs, but not buying into a turnaround long-term. In fact, if taking a gamble on a pitcher from this game going forward, it’s Jharel Cotton who struggled with command in the first inning, settled in, then tired before leaving the game. Cotton took the loss, but finished with two more swinging strikes than Sabathia, without his best change-up.

Texas needed more from Yu Darvish than a quality start. Darvish worked six innings allowing five hits, three earned runs, and three walks while striking out four. Under appreciated Marco Estrada struck out eight Rangers with 18 swinging strikes in six innings and only one earned run allowed.

In bizarro statistics land, Tyler Danish won his first major league game giving up three hits with six walks and strikeouts against the Tigers. Michael Fulmer took the complete game loss opposing him. In Game 2, Buck Farmer struck out 11 White Sox and generated 22 swinging strikes. Although he may not have a rotational spot, the Tigers may find a way to create him one.

Not so surprising, Stephen Strasburg tore through the Padres lineup giving up three hits and one walk while striking out 15 to lower his ERA to 2.94 on the season.

Rookie Brian Johnson twirled a complete game shutout against the Mariners with eight strikeouts and, returned to the minors after the game. It’s an unforgiving game.

After being hit hard in Chicago, Chase Anderson allowed one hit at home against the Diamondbacks over seven innings with 11 strikeouts and 19 swinging strikes.

One day after touting Jesse Chavez as a stream option in Miami, J.C. Ramirez proved me right. Ramirez pitched seven innings allowing seven hits, one run (zero earned) and one walk with three strikeouts.

Fresh off the disabled list, Dallas Keuchel showed no signs of rust working six innings giving up four hits, one earned run and two walks with eight strikeouts. Oft injured Brandon McCarthy (covered above) struck out six in six innings allowing two hits and one walk with 13 swinging strikes.

So much for a potential pitching duel in Pittsburgh with Gerrit Cole giving up 10 hits, but Zack Wheeler did stand to win the game before the bullpen meltdown. Wheeler pitched six innings allowing seven hits, three earned runs and three walks with five strikeouts.

Adam Wainwright entered Saturday’s start with a 3.66 FIP in spite of his 4.86 ERA and pitched to the mean. Wainwright hurled seven shutout innings in Colorado, limiting them to three hits and one walk with six strikeouts.

San Francisco needed a strong start from Ty Blach and he delivered, working 7.2 innings giving up six hits, two earned runs and three walks against five strikeouts.

Bullpens tied to the Whipping Post

With Tyler Clippard struggling, Dellin Betances recorded five outs for the third time in his career resulting in a save, his fifth of this year. Roberto Osuna notched his ninth save with a clean inning and a strikeout to lower his ERA to 2.89 on the year.

Koda Glover tightened his hold on the closer role with his fifth save of the season in a clean inning with a strikeout. His perceived replacement, David Robertson, saved his sixth game with two strikeouts.

Bud Norris did return to the mound on Saturday allowing a home run to Marcell Ozuna in a non-save appearance. Brandon Kintzler saved his 13th game despite giving up a home run to Colby Rasmus in the process.

Phillies closer Hector Neris did not garner a save, but won his second game in three days when his team walked off with another victory. Will Harris gave Ken Giles the day off for his second save of the year. Tony Watson won a game for the Pirates after they scored in the 10th to complete the come from behind win over the Mets. Addison Reed blew the game allowing three hits and a run in the bottom of the ninth.

Ross Stripling recorded the Goose Gossage save working three innings with two strikeouts and one hit allowed. Seung-Hwan Oh saved his 11th of the year giving up one hit with two strikeouts. Mark Melancon saved his 10th for the Giants recording the last two outs of the game.

Hitting with the Ramblin’ Man

Not sure if Jose Bautista is an Allman Brother’s fan, but he launched his ninth home run of the season to propel Toronto to a win over Texas. Shin-Soo Choo led off with a home run, but this represented his team’s only run in the contest.

Ryon Healy doubled twice with an RBI, and Josh Phegley homered (2) for Oakland in their loss to the Yankees who only mustered two hits – Matt Holliday’s two run home run (9) was one of them.

Detroit’s Victor Martinez walked three times in Game 1 and homered (4) in Game 2 to help the Tigers to a split in their doubleheader.

Colby Rasmus entered as a pinch-hitter and homered in his second at-bat in the ninth inning, but it did not help the Rays win in Minnesota. Brian Dozier finished 1-for-3 with his seventh home run and walked while Eddie Rosario pitched in with his fourth homer of the year.

How hot is Zack Cozart? He finished Saturday 4-for-4 with a walk, his 13th double, fifth home run, and is the only Reds player with an OPS over 1,000. Billy Hamilton stole his 26th base of the year as well. Philadelphia did come from behind to win. Cesar Hernandez returned to the lineup and hit his fifth home run. Michael Saunders added his sixth, and Tommy Joseph his eighth along with his second walk-off hit in the last three days.

Beneath the shadows of the strong Nationals offense, Michael Taylor hit his fourth home run of the year and second in two days. He’s hitting .272 on the year. Anthony Rendon went 2-for-3 with a double and stole his third base as well.

Boston did not need much to defeat the punchless Mariners, but, Jackie Bradley Jr. did hit his fifth home run of the year, but he’s only hitting .211 on the season. Hanley Ramirez stole his first base. This is not a typo.

With Jonathan Villar struggling at the plate and on the bases, Eric Sogard continues to steal at-bats from him. Sogard went 2-for-4 with a double and an RBI to raise his average to .419 in his limited sample this year. Jesus Aguilar could be in line for more at-bats in Week 9 and hit his fourth home run of the year.

Mike Moustakas stand alone, he’s hit 13 home runs this year and 12 of them have been solo shots. Francisco Lindor extended his 12-game hit streak in style with his 11th home run, and teammate Michael Brantley is on an 11-game hit streak also.

Lead-off hitter Cameron Maybin is hot and went 2-for-4 with three runs, a triple, walk, and stole two bases (12) in Miami. Mike Trout launched his 16th home run. For the Marlins, Marcell Ozuna hit his 12th home run of the year during a 3-for-4 day.

Despite struggling, George Springer loves hitting against Baltimore. He finished 2-for-4 with his 10th home run of the year and two RBI. Jose Altuve went 3-for-4 with two doubles, two runs and an RBI.

In one of the biggest surprises of the year, Chris Taylor continues to rake with his sixth home run of the year on Saturday and playing in the outfield to stay in the lineup. Chase Utley did not homer for a third straight day but did go 2-for-4 with three RBI.

While the Mets wait for Cespedes, Lucas Duda seems to be rounding into form with his sixth home run. Jay Bruce added his 12th and Travis d’Arnaud went 3-for-5 with his fifth homer. Pittsburgh has to be encouraged by Andrew McCutchen’s 2-for-3 night with a double, home run (7), three RBI and a walk.

Tommy Pham went ham in Coors with three hits in four at-bats including his fourth home run of the season. Dexter Fowler showed signs of life with two hits, a double, a walk and two runs scored.

In a plus match-up based on past meetings, Brandon Belt made good hitting his 10th home run of the season and his third off of Mike Foltynewicz. Belt also stole his second base. Nick Hundley shined giving Buster Posey a day off with three hits in four at-bats, his first home run, and three RBI.

Statistical Credits:,,


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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