Fantasy Forward: Bryce Harper’s potential injury and its ramifications

Trying not to overreact to the video of Bryce Harper‘s injury will be tough to do. Without debating if the game should be played or if the field conditions warranted it, Harper suffered his injury hustling to first base. He is a lightning rod for baseball with many fans, and some who do not like his brash attitude. No matter, Harper’s good for baseball. Speculating on how much time he could miss seems contrite until an MRI is scheduled. A fake tweet did surface last night announcing team doctors reporting a torn ACL and PCL. No doctor would diagnose an injury of a joint without an MRI, so take a collective breath and await the news. It seems prudent to hope for the best in regards to Harper (Hyperextension) and prepare for the worst (Torn ligament) as a fantasy owner.

  • Streak updates

Giancarlo Stanton‘s not done obliterating baseballs. He launched his 41st home run to move within one of tying his franchise’s season home run record with more than a month left to play. Over his last 27 games, Stanton has scored 27 runs, hit 15 homers, and drove in 31 with a .296/.410/.827 slash line. He’s also walking 14.5 percent of the time (not sure why it’s not higher) with a 23.1 strikeout percentage.

Joey Votto extended his personal hit streak to 17 with a single in extra-innings last night. He also reached base three times with two walks to keep his on-base streak of at least two times within the streak intact. Barry Bonds recorded a 20-game span in 2004 in which he reached base at least twice in each game. Only three more for Votto to match it.



  • Aaron Nola’s still surging

Not only did Aaron Nola win his ninth game of the season, but he maintained his start streak with at least six innings pitched and two or fewer earned runs. He’s now achieved this over his last 10 starts. Last night, Nola yielded two hits, one earned run, and two walks with eight strikeouts against the Mets. During the streak, Nola’s 1.71 ERA cannot be overlooked as he continues to raise his stock for 2018 drafts in the midst of this breakout.

  • Powering up in the American League West

Trying to keep the Mariners in the playoff chase in spite of a depleted pitching staff will be tough to do. But, Nelson Cruz seems to be peaking at the right time for Seattle. He leads the American League in RBI with 93 and ranks sixth in home runs (28). Over the last seven days he is 12-for-29 with eight runs, two doubles, six home runs, 13 RBI and a .414/.433/.1.103 slash line. His power spike can be seen in his .690 isolated power during this stretch.

Perhaps Krhis Davis should be the “Crush” of the two in the majors. He has homered four times in the last six games, and in the last seven days owns a .652 isolated power with a .564 weighted on-base percentage. During the last seven days he is eight for 23 with six runs, a double, triple, four homers, 10 RBI, and even walked four times. With 32 home runs on the season and pacing towards a repeat of 40 or more home runs, Davis still does not receive the fantasy love his power deserves.

  • Bundy bounce back in August continues

Dylan Bundy‘s won his last four decisions and all three in to start the month of August. This proves timely since he cratered in July with a rough month. Bundy also became the first Orioles pitcher since Mike Mussina in 1999 to record double-digit strikeouts in back-to-back starts. Allow this to marinate, it’s 2017. Bundy whiffed 10 A’s on Saturday night giving up seven hits, three earned runs and three walks in his start. He’s won all three of his August outings with a 2.14 ERA, 25:4 K:BB, and 0.90 WHIP over 21 innings.

  • Sneaky Twins outfield production

Due to his production upon promotion in the second half last year, many hoped this would be the year of Byron Buxton‘s pending breakout. After another slow start and some nagging injury issues, Buxton once again looks to be turning the corner. Over his last 18 games he’s 22-for-60 (.367) with 12 runs, two doubles, two home runs, seven RBI and five stolen bases. He plays tremendous defense in center field, and with some improved plate discipline could be on the precipice of something good for fantasy owners. Keep in mind he’s 23 years old.

Lurking in the shadows of Minnesota’s outfield, Eddie Rosario. He’s only 25 and surging of late. During his last seven games, Rosario’s scored nine runs with five homers, 10 RBI, a stolen base and a .393/.419/1.036 slash line. This translates to a .643 isolated power rating usually reserved for the likes of a Giancarlo Stanton. He’s currently pacing towards 72 runs, 23 home runs, 65 RBI and seven steals, but remains on most waiver wires due to the fact he’s Eddie Rosario. Keep an eye on him moving forward.

  • Closer musings

Could clarity be nearing in regards to the Angels bullpen? With the Angels on a five-game win streak, Cam Bedrosian notched his second save within it. Keynan Middleton recorded an out in the seventh, Blake Parker worked the eight inning, and turned the game over to Bedrosian in the ninth. It’s Bedrosian’s fifth save of the season, but it could mark his return to the closer role many wanted him to start the year with. Funny how things come around.

Fernando Rodney entered a 6 – 0 game to “get work”. This rarely works out when a closer tries to pitch in non-save situations. Rodney allowed four hits and two earned runs prior to getting the hook with two outs. David Hernandez entered the game to record the last out and his second save of the season, first with Arizona. Archie Bradley did work 1.1 innings prior to Rodney’s appearance, but for those in deep leagues or National League only formats should note it’s Hernandez as the possible handcuff in Arizona.

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