Fantasy Forward: Oakland’s youth movement

With the A’s accepting their rebuild, they’ve made it clear their young players will take the majority of at-bats and innings going forward. On Saturday, the team matched some history. For the first time since 1914, three teammates hit their first major league home run in the same game. Hopefully you read this yesterday and added Franklin Barreto ahead of his promotion. He hit his first home run in his first game. Jaykob Brugman also hit his first homer, and Matt Olson liked it so much, he hit two home runs driving in four and walked twice. Do not forget about catcher Bruce Maxwell who recorded three hits in five at-bats and has seven over his first 12 since being called up earlier in the week with four runs scored. Marcus Semien did finish a triple shy of a cycle during his rehab start in Stockton.

On the rehab trail, both Ryan Braun and Jonathan Villar played with no setbacks. Jon Gray made a Triple-A start on his way back to the Rockies. Gray lasted five innings giving up five hits, one earned runs and four walks with six strikeouts on 94 pitches. Cincinnati announced Brandon Finnegan will start on Monday, rejoining the rotation. San Francisco DFA’d Aaron Hill, promoting Ryder Jones to take over at third base with Eduardo Nunez on the shelf. No matter how the situation was handled, by the team, manager or beat writers, Roberto Osuna is dealing with anxiety issues and his availability could be limited moving forward. It’s easy to root for the kid; he’s only 22 and hopefully can overcome this. A.J. Pollock will resume his rehab on Sunday. Wash, rinse, repeat. Off to the recaps.

Starting Pitcher Observations

No, it’s not a country band, Austin Bibens-Dirkx won his third game of the year working seven innings in the Bronx holding the Yankees to five hits, one earned run and one walk with three strikeouts. Luis Cessa whiffed eight Rangers, but took his second loss giving up three earned runs. Each pitcher registered 14 swinging strikes.

Daniel Gossett, another Oakland rookie, recorded his first major league win. Gossett allowed five hits, two runs (zero earned) and a walk with five strikeouts over six innings.

Hard luck loser, Marco Estrada, dropped his fourth straight, but showed signs of turning the corner. Estrada lasted seven innings giving up five hits, three earned runs and four walks with six strikeouts on 14 swinging strikes. Jason Vargas took over the major league lead in wins with his 11th. Vargas allowed eight hits, two earned runs, and two walks with two strikeouts during his seven innings.

Dylan Bundy snapped the Orioles streak of allowing five or more runs. He pitched seven innings ceding five hits, three earned runs and four walks with eight strikeouts on 12 swinging strikes. Jacob Faria turned in a quality start, but did not factor in the decision. He lasted six innings giving up five hits, three earned runs, and a walk with seven strikeouts on 16 swinging strikes.

Jon Lester won his fifth game in Miami. He pitched seven innings allowing four hits, three earned runs and a walk with four strikeouts.

R.A. Dickey had the frisbee working, striking out six over seven innings, giving up five hits, one earned run, and a walk to win his sixth game on 10 swinging strikes.

Corey Kluber whiffed 13 Twins, but did not factor in the decision. Kluber lasted seven innings allowing three hits and two runs (zero earned) with 14 swinging strikes.

Gerrit Cole may be turning a corner as well. He pitched six innings on the road giving up five hits, one earned run, and two walks with five strikeouts.

Jacob deGrom dazzled the Giants again over eight strong innings allowing four hits, one earned run, and a walk with seven strikeouts. He’s pitched 25 innings during his last three starts with a 0.72 ERA, 0.76 WHIP and 21 strikeouts. deGrom credits John Smoltz with advice on how to throw his side session. Johnny Cueto turned in a quality start, but did not factor in the decision. Cueto lasted seven innings giving up five hits, one earned run and three walks with three strikeouts.

J.C. Ramirez won his seventh game in Fenway, striking out five over six innings with  four hits and one earned run allowed. David Price lost his second game of the year despite giving up six hits, three runs (two earned runs) and a walk with five strikeouts.

After a rocky first inning, Clayton Kershaw settled in firing six shutout innings yielding four hits and striking out eight on 12 swinging strikes.

Neither Anibal Sanchez nor Dinelson Lamet factored in the decision, but each turned in a quality start. Sanchez worked six innings allowing two this, two runs (one earned) and struck out four. Lamet whiffed five over six innings giving up three hits and three runs (two earned).

Lance McCullers Jr. returned from the disabled list by striking out eight Mariners over five innings. He ceded four hits and one earned run with 13 swinging strikes.

Robbie Ray won his eighth game of the season. Ray lasted 6.1 innings allowing six hits, two earned runs, four walks and struck out five.

Bullpen Musings

With the Rangers scoring four in the top of the ninth off of soon to be released Tyler Clippard, Keone Kela worked a meaningless ninth inning striking out two. There’s no clarity about who will close going forward for Texas, but Matt Bush owners should handcuff with Kela if he’s still available.

Kelvin Herrera locked down his 18th save giving up a hit with a strikeout. It’s his fifth save in nine days and he lowered his ERA to 2.29 in save chances.

Wade Davis struck out two in a clean inning of work for his 15th save. Jim Johnson bounced back with two strikeouts and a hit allowed for his 15th save as well.

Brandon Kintzler continues to make a liar out of me recording his 20th save giving up a hit during his inning of work.

After disparaging Mike Scioscia, he handed the ninth inning to Cam Bedrosian who melted down allowing two hits, two earned runs, two walks with two strikeouts before being bailed out by Blake Parker who recorded his first save. In Bedrosian’s defense, using a past closer in a five run lead never works out well. It seems as though it’s still Huston Street’s job to lose with the Angels. Speaking of which, Addison Reed gave up an earned run on two hits appearing in a non-save situation for the Mets. Last but not least, Ken Giles allowed a run and walked three in a non-save outing. Wash, rinse, repeat regarding not giving closers an inning of work. It does not.

Hitter Highlights

Delino DeShields Jr. continues to maintain fantasy value stealing his 18th base while going 1-for-4 with two runs and a walk. Carlos Gomez will not stop mashing. He hit his 10th home run, drove in two run, walked, and stole his sixth base. Since returning from the disabled list, Gomez is hitting .333/.394/.967 with 11 runs, six home runs, 16 RBI and a stolen base. Aaron Judge once again represented the Yankees offense launching his 26th home run. Mason Williams did steal two bases for the Yankees, but his time may be short-lived with Jacoby Ellsbury playing in a Triple-A rehab game on Saturday.

Troy Tulowitzki hit his third home run, and first since May 29th. Kevin Pillar added his ninth home run, but only his second over his last 27 games. Eric Hosmer also hit his ninth homer, his fourth in 13 games. Alcides Escobar went 3-for-3 with two runs and a triple.

Billy Hamilton tallied two hits and scored a run. Scooter Gennett went 2-for-4 with a run and a double. Patrick Kivlehan entered as a pinch hitter, cracking his fifth home run and driving in two.

Trea Turner reached base six times going 5-for-5 with four runs, two RBI and a walk. Since May 20th over a span of 32 games Turner has scored 26 runs with three doubles, three triples, three home runs, 13 RBI, nine walks and 19 stolen bases. Brian Goodwin scored three runs with a hit and walked twice. Ryan Zimmerman tallied two hits, scored twice, and drove in two while Daniel Murphy knocked in four runs with a double in four at-bats. But, Michael Taylor may have turned in the best game with four hits, a double and two home runs (10) among them, four runs scored, and three RBI. Over his last 10 games, Taylor is 15-for-38 (.395) with 12 runs, six doubles, four home runs and nine RBI.

Both Manny Machado and Mark Trumbo turned in 2-for-4 days with Machado registering one RBI while Trumbo doubled with two RBI. Trey Mancini hit his 13th home run among his two hits with two RBI. Adam Jones (13) and Welington Castillo (8) also homered. Mallex Smith finished 2-for-3 with a run and a walk. Corey Dickerson launched his 17th home run with two RBI. Evan Longoria hit his 11th home run going 2-for-4 with an RBI.

Addison Russell tallied two hits, a double and scored two runs. Javy Baez paced the Cubs offense with two hits, a run, a double, and three RBI. Albert Almora Jr. doubled with an RBI. Dee Gordon only recorded one hit, but scored, walked and stole his 29th base of the year. J.T. Realmuto hit a three-run home run, his seventh.

Keon Broxton led off going 2-for-4 and scored the Brewers only run. Over his last 14, Broxton is hitting .318 in 44 at-bats with six home runs and 13 RBI. He’s streaky, to put it mildly. Brandon Phillips stayed hot as well with two hits, two runs, his seventh home run, and two RBI. Dansby Swanson extended his hit streak to eight games going 11 for his last 32 (.344) – he’s hit safely in 19 of 23 games in June.

Brian Dozier hit his 13th home run and scored two runs. Joe Mauer went 2-for-2 with a run, double and two walks while Chris Gimenez hit his fourth homer. Francisco Lindor tries to break out of his slump, doubled in four at-bats with a walk. Jose Ramirez hit his 12th home run; he’s hitting .371/.404/.708 in June.

In a game devoid of much fantasy value, Joc Pederson did hit his sixth home run and drew a walk with Yasmani Grandal adding two hits for the Dodgers.

Andrew Romine led the way for Detroit going 2-for-4 with a run, double and RBI. For San Diego, Carlos Asuaje tallied two hits batting second with a run and an RBI. Cory Spangenberg finished with two hits and two RBI while Austin Hedges drove in a run along with stealing his first base of the year.

George Springer racked up two more hits and scored two runs. Josh Reddick continues to thrive hitting second for Houston, launching his eighth home run with two RBI. Brian McCann ran his RBI total to 40 with a three RBI double. Nelson Cruz paced the Mariners with two hits, a run scored and a double.

Freddy Galvis notched his fourth straight multiple hit game and he’s nine for his last 18, hitting .300/.341/.500 in June. Jake Lamb hit his 17th home run among his two hits. Daniel Descalso went 3-for-4 with two runs. Chris Herrmann added two hits, scored a run, doubled and drove in three.

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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