The MLB Schedule has been released. With Opening Day coming up in a few weeks on July 23, teams and players are reporting to, “Summer Camp.” This past week we saw several pictures and videos of players showing up to the ballparks. In addition, we’ve seen news continue to come out regarding players testing positive for COVID-19 or opting out. To be honest it feels strange to analyze the fantasy impact of players testing positive or opting out because I respect their decisions. We love baseball, but there are other risks and considerations during this time.
The purpose of this weekly piece will be to look through the news and fantasy impact on players in the American League. It seems like players and situations fall into three main categories – COVID-19 concerns, injury/rehab concerns, and playing time adjustments. This news is up-to-date as of the evening of July 7.
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American League East Summer Camp News
Toronto Blue Jays
- Nate Pearson’s on the Blue Jays 60-man roster pool. It’s unsure whether he’s got a spot in the rotation, but he’s talented enough to be in the rotation. Keep an eye on the news because they could play the service clock game.
- D.J. Stewart had surgery on his ankle last October, but it’s now fully healed. Stewart’s slated to bat 8th for the Orioles and platoon against right-handed pitchers.
Tampa Bay Rays
- Nate Lowe has first base eligibility, but he’s been taking reps at third base too. Might be a nice late-round pick or waiver wire speed dial guy.
- Diego Castillo looked good in live batting practice. He could vultures some saves while providing decent ratios and strikeouts.
- Yonny Chirinos didn’t participate or join the Rays workouts, and it’s unclear the reasoning or when he’ll be with the team.
- He’s currently listed as the fourth starting pitcher, so keep an eye on his status as it could mean potential starts or innings pitched from Brendan McKay or Jalen Beeks.
- Charlie Morton’s expected to be ready to throw four innings once the season starts. His value in a shortened season should continue to rise, especially if he can go five innings sooner than later.
- Update: Tyler Glasnow hasn’t been seen at the Rays workouts.
- According to Juan Toribio of MLB.com, Tyler Glasnow’s workload won’t be limited which means it’s another Rays’ pitcher to gain value in a shortened season.
- Glasnow claims he’s ready to play now and throw 5-6 innings. Take what you want from that, as it’s a strange season and yet to be determined.
- Blake Snell isn’t expected to have restrictions on his workload and should be ready to go once the season starts. He came into the season with elbow concerns, but the delay and rest may have helped him. I’m still concerned about the elbow injury, so look out for more news from the Rays.
- Yoshitomo Tsutsugo performed well in batting practice and hit a few bombs on Sunday. He’s projected to be a lefty platoon bat against right-handed pitching, but has third base and outfield eligibility.
- Austin Meadows hasn’t been present at summer camp over the weekend after being there on Friday. The reasons for his absence are unknown at this point.
Boston Red Sox
- Do you know who the Red Sox’ 4th starter is? It’s Ryan Weber. I’m not sure if we should be targeting him in redraft leagues. However recent news is that he’s been throwing live batting practice. He doesn’t strike out a ton of guys but appears to have decent command and control.
- Nathan Eovaldi will possibly be the Opening Day starter. His second simulated game will be on Thursday. He struggled in 2019, but there aren’t many alternatives outside of Eduardo Rodriguez who recently tested positive for COVID-19.
- Alex Verdugo’s recovering from a back injury and took swings during a simulated game. Verdugo stated that he didn’t feel any pain, so good news so far. It looks like he’s expected to be ready, but keep an eye on his status because back injuries can crop back up.
- Update: Eduardo Rodriguez tested positive for COVID-19.
- Eduardo Rodriguez hasn’t reported to summer camp since he’s waiting on COVID-19 test results. He reportedly came in contact with someone that tested positive, so it appears he’s isolating until further notice.
New York Yankees
- Luke Voit arrived in summer camp 13 pounds lighter after better home nutrition and conditioning. Voit’s a great later round power bat with great on-base skills.
- Jonathan Loaisiga made it to New York from his home in Nicaragua. He’ll have to go through the COVID-19 testing protocols before joining the team. His 13-14% swinging strike rate has been above average the last two years, but needs to limit the walks if/when he gets an opportunity out of the bullpen.
- Update on Clarke Schmidt: Here’s his line from the intrasquad game – 2 IP, 0 ER, 1 H, 1 BB, 3 K. Good start so far.
- Yankees pitching prospect Clarke Schmidt received praise from Manager Aaron Boone. Earlier in the year, it looked like Schmidt could take a rotation spot with the injuries and suspensions. I’m a fan of Schmidt and like the talent, so he’s someone to keep an eye on if the starters miss time.
- Aaron Hicks had Tommy John surgery last October and batted leadoff in Monday’s intrasquad game. He’s slated to be the starting center fielder and bat 8th for the Yankees assuming full health.
- Update on Masahiro Tanaka: He was riding a stationary bike on Monday, so that’s good news although he still needs to go through the concussion protocol. It’s positive news to see him doing light activity after the scary incident.
- During live batting practice, Giancarlo Stanton hit a line drive that struck Masahiro Tanaka in the head. That’s a scary situation and I hope he’s alright. Tanaka was discharged from the hospital and CT scans came back negative. It looks like he’ll be monitored and eventually go through concussion protocol.
- Update on Aaron Judge: He played in the intrasquad game on Monday while hitting second and playing in right field. Good news to see that he’s on the field and playing.
- One of the biggest questions of the offseason – Is Aaron Judge healthy? Recent reports say he’s taking cuts with no pain and taking live batting practice. It sounds like things are trending upwards, but still concerning that his rib injury has lingered for so long.
- All reports are that Gerrit Cole’s ready to pitch five innings plus when the season starts. He was already in the top pitcher conversation, so this might bump up his value since pitchers may take longer to ramp up.
- Cole’s wife delivered their baby on June 30th, so it doesn’t look like he’ll miss time due to paternity leave.
- Update on James Paxton: He threw two innings during a simulated game over the weekend. That’s a good step in the right direction.
- James Paxton’s one of the players to benefit from the delayed season and sounds like he’s ready to go. He’s recovered from back surgery that he had in February 2020, and we know Paxton can be dominant when healthy.
- Update on Giancarlo Stanton: He batted cleanup as the DH in the intrasquad game and said his calf is 100% healthy.
- There’s a picture floating on Twitter with Giancarlo Stanton in a sleeveless hoodie. Hopefully, we see him play after battling bicep, shoulder, and calf injuries last year. According to general manager Brian Cashman, Stanton’s ready to DH once the season starts.
- Update: Clint Frazier‘s been dealing with a foot issue for the last two months. It doesn’t appear to be serious, but something to monitor.
- Back in March and April, it looked like Clint Frazier had a spot with injuries to the other Yankees’ outfielders. With the positive news about Judge, it looks like Frazier’s on the outside looking in. However it sounds like he’ll have a chance to play in the outfield or DH.
- Like Clint Frazier, Mike Tauchman was thought to be another beneficiary of the Yankees’ injuries. It sounds like Tauchman will be used in the outfield and DH. Both Tauchman and Frazier are currently slated on the bench according to Roster Resource.
- D.J. LeMahieu tested positive for COVID-19. Keep an eye on his health and recovery.
AL Central Summer Camp News
- Franmil Reyes attended a Fourth of July gathering so he can’t attend team workouts until he clears COVID-19 testing. Apparently he was around people that weren’t wearing masks, so they’re trying to be cautious.
- Surprising news broke that Carlos Carrasco’s ready to pitch six innings. There was some speculation that maybe he’d opt out due to the diagnosis with leukemia. Carrasco’s a solid arm that will likely be pushed up in drafts with the recent news.
- Speedster Delino DeShields tested positive for COVID-19, so he’ll need to recover and then go through the MLB testing protocol of two negative tests. He’s more of a deep sleeper for steals and slated to come off the bench.
Kansas City Royals
- Brad Keller tested positive for COVID-19 and has mild symptoms. Hopefully, he recovers and like others, he’ll need to be away for at least two weeks or more based on his health and the testing protocols.
- Update on Salvador Perez: He was placed on the 10-day injured list this weekend.
- Catcher Salvador Perez tested positive for COVID-19, but he’s asymptomatic. Like DeShields, he’ll need to go through the testing protocol. He already missed 2019 after Tommy John Surgery and hopefully he’ll be ready for the 2020 season.
- The goal is for Spencer Turnbull to ramp up to 75 pitches by the start of the season. Turnbull’s projected to be the 5th starter in the Tigers’ rotation.
- The plan is for Matthew Boyd to be ready to throw 75-80 pitches by the start of the season, meaning he’ll be ready to go about five innings. Boyd has a great slider and he was working on using his changeup and curveball more so we’ll see if that carries over into the season.
- Michael Fulmer missed 2019 due to Tommy John Surgery. More of a deep sleeper, but monitor his progress as he recently threw a bullpen session. He’s also lost weight and plans to use his body more efficiently when he pitches to put less stress on his elbow and knee.
- Miguel Sano tested positive for COVID-19 so he’ll need to isolate and go through testing protocol. Keep an eye and his health and progress, but the list of players testing positive continues to rise.
- Update: Byron Buxton has reported to Twins camp.
- Byron Buxton hasn’t arrived at the Twins’ facility due to the birth of his child. It also sounds like he’s recovered from the shoulder injury and should be ready to play. He showed flashes last year and hopefully we can see Buxton continue those improvements into 2020.
- Willians Astudillo also tested positive for COVID-19. He’s a notable name but doesn’t look like he’s got a path for playing time on the Twins when he recovers.
- Update on Rich Hill: On Monday he threw a short simulated game of four innings. He’s currently slated to be the fifth starter, so it’s good to see him ramping up.
- Rich Hill’s another guy that’s been jumping up in drafts due to the shortened season. He had elbow surgery last fall and reportedly fully healthy. Has Rich Hill ever been fully healthy? Regardless, we know Hill’s valuable whenever he pitches.
Chicago White Sox
- On Monday, Dylan Cease threw a few innings of live batting practice. He made adjustments to his delivery in spring training, so we’ll see if those changes carry over to the season.
- Flamethrower Michael Kopech was recovering from Tommy John surgery last season and thought to benefit from a delayed season. However recent reports state he’s dealing with a personal matter and there’s no timetable for return.
- He wasn’t projected to be in the White Sox rotation, but definitely an exciting young arm. He’s best to avoid in drafts because a recent report from the Chicago Sun-Times stated that he could be away for a while.
- This was unfortunate news to come across for fantasy purposes. Leury Garcia is expected to start at second base, not Nick Madrigal. It sounds like Madrigal having an everyday role isn’t likely, but the White Sox general manager Rick Hahn states he will “help us at some point over the course of the summer.”
- It seems like they’re playing the service time game because Madrigal should be the everyday second baseman over Garcia.
- Not surprisingly, Luis Robert’s expected to be the starting center fielder and batting 8th in the White Sox lineup. One of the more exciting rookies to be locked into a role coming into 2020.
- Yoan Moncada has been absent from the team workouts. The reason for his absence is unknown at this point.
AL West Summer Camp News
Los Angeles Angels
- Patrick Sandoval hasn’t reported to camp and the reasons are unknown at this time. Sandoval was expected to be a part of the Angels six-man rotation.
- Julio Teheran was placed on the 10-day injured list, but the reasoning hasn’t been disclosed.
- Andrew Heaney plans to start and throw four innings in the Angel’s intrasquad game on Tuesday.
- Update on Shohei Ohtani: He’ll throw 3-4 innings and face Heaney in the intrasquad game on Tuesday. It looks like he’s projected to pitch once a week and DH four days a week.
- There’s been a lot of positive news about Shohei Ohtani. He’s been throwing bullpens and likely to be a two-way player in the 2020 season. The delayed season benefited Ohtani and the Angels project to have a six-man rotation with the shortened season. In a daily moves league, Ohtani should be bumped up in drafts.
- Griffin Canning says his elbow “feels like normal.” It’s hard to believe that, but he’s ramped up to 60 pitches. Elbow issues are always scary for pitchers.
- Mike Trout hasn’t decided whether or not he’ll play this season. He’s been one of the top draft picks. His wife’s due in August, so it’s yet to be determined whether he’ll play or miss time during the season. It’s completely understandable as family comes first. From a fantasy standpoint, he may drop down in drafts with the recent news.
- Jo Adell’s one of the most exciting prospects in baseball. However, it doesn’t look like he’ll be up in 2020 to start the season since he’s not on the 40-man roster. He’s got the potential and talent to be a game-changer in fantasy, but as of now, he may not be worth drafting.
- Josh James hasn’t attended camp yet due to personal/family matters. He’s projected to compete for the 5th starter spot.
- Jose Urquidy was locked into the Astros’ starting rotation but hasn’t reported to camp. It’s still early, but monitor Urquidy who was a sleeper coming into 2020.
- Lance McCullers has been throwing live batting practice after missing 2019 due to Tommy John surgery. He’s still projected to be in the starting rotation, but hard to imagine he’ll build up to a full workload right away given the injury history. Yet in a shortened season, he’s a player that’s jumped up in drafts.
- Yordan Alvarez hasn’t joined the team yet, but the reasons are unknown. He was dealing with a knee injury coming into 2020, so hopefully, he’s healed and ready to go as the everyday DH.
- Abraham Toro’s projected to come off the bench for the Astros. More of a watch list guy because we’ve seen Toro hit well in the minors last year.
- Mike Fiers participated in the A’s workouts after being away for a few days.
- Sean Manaea‘s thinking about wearing a face mask during games. He’s also been a full participant in the A’s workouts.
- If the Frankie Montas’ video back in May wasn’t clickbait, then I’m not sure what is. If you haven’t seen it, then check it out here where he’s hitting 99-100 mph repeatedly. According to catcher Sean Murphy, the velocity was for real in his bullpen session over the weekend.
- A.J. Puk won’t have any workload restrictions, and with that news, he’ll likely jump up in drafts. If the season started on time, his workload would’ve been restricted. On Roster Resource, he’s slated to be in the rotation so he’ll be an intriguing arm this year.
- Update on Jesus Luzardo: Luzardo tested positive for COVID-19, so he’ll have to follow the testing protocol. Hopefully, he’s healthy and recovers, but he’ll need to be away for at least 14-days plus additional days for negative tests.
- Like Puk, recent reports state there won’t be any restrictions to Jesus Luzardo’s workload which is interesting due to the injury history. We’ll see what no restrictions look like because it wouldn’t be surprising if they paired Puk and Luzardo to throw 6-7 innings total in the same game.
- Tom Murphy fouled a ball off his foot so he will miss some workouts, but should be ready to be the Mariners starting catcher.
- Marco Gonzales has been throwing 40-50 pitch bullpens and he’ll work up to his regular pitch count by the start of the season.
- Yusei Kikuchi’s been working out and throwing with the delayed season. He’s been an interesting pitcher to watch since he added velocity in spring training. Kikuchi’s a deep sleeper and one to monitor.
- Update on Jake Fraley: He got hit in the head with a pitch but walked off the field, so hopefully he’s alright.
- It looks like Jake Fraley will play in the outfield quite often with the Mitch Haniger news. He’s currently slated to bat 7th and platoon against right-handed pitching. In the minors, Fraley was a decent power/speed source so he’s a late draft pick in deeper leagues.
- Mitch Haniger struggled with multiple injuries and hoped he would be able to play in 2020. Unfortunately, it appears unlikely for him to play since he’s recently been placed on the 60-day injured list.
- Dan Vogelbach will be the Mariners’ DH and bat in the heart of the Mariners lineup. He’s a good source of power and OBP.
- Kyle Lewis has been getting positive reviews from Mariners manager Scott Servais about being in good shape so take that for what it’s worth. He’s projected to bat 6th behind Vogelbach.
- Lance Lynn pitched very well in the intrasquad game. He threw six innings, two hits, zero walks, zero earned runs, and eight strikeouts. Seems like the Rangers’ starters are ramping up and ready to go.
- Update on Joey Gallo: After a report of testing positive for COVID-19, there’s now been an update. According to Evan Grant of The Dallas Morning News, Gallo recently tested negative for COVID-19. The league requires two consecutive negative test results, and Gallo tested negative, then positive, and then negative for the most recent test. He’ll need one more negative test prior to returning to the field. He’s tested negative via nasal swabs, but positive via the MLB lab saliva test.
- Joey Gallo tested positive for COVID-19 and he’s asymptomatic at the moment. Hopefully he stays healthy, but we’ll keep an eye on his health status.
- Corey Kluber threw 85 pitches in a five-inning simulated game. Sounds like he’s built up quicker than other pitchers, and could mean a slight jump in his ADP assuming they’re quality innings.
- Mike Minor threw a 77 pitch, four-inning simulated game. Like Kluber, Minor seems to be throwing more pitches than other starters at this point.
- Jose Leclerc struggled with his command during a throwing session while working on his mechanics. He’s projected to be the Rangers’ closer, but we saw the struggles last season.
- Nick Solak doesn’t have a home on defense with Shin-Soo Choo slated as DH. Solak can play in the infield and outfield, so he may find his way into an everyday role.
- Rangers manager Chris Woodward stated that Rougned Odor’s on the hot seat for losing his job if he struggles in 2020. That could be good news for Solak since we’ve seen the slumps from Odor.
Also check out Corbin’s Top 5 Underrated Hitters for the 2020 MLB season.
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