Each week yours truly will be sharing various tidbits and revelations that I deem worthy of the attention of fantasy baseball managers of all formats and backgrounds. We are creeping up on the final 3 months of the season. You have all of July/August/September (my H2H peeps have less of September with playoffs) to take your team to another level. There really is a lot of time left to make a play. You just have less room for error is all . So…let’s see what’s happening on the down-low. Let’s find out what’s strictly hush-hush, on the QT and deserves its own meme for Week 13!
— Bally Sports West (@BallySportWest) June 26, 2022
The Day After Yesterday
Here you will find points of reference from this past week that you need to know going forward, so you can be a fantasy baseball kingpin.
- There are days when you look at your stat sheet for a certain team and you start to laugh or make silly noises because everything went exactly according to plan. For me, that moment was last Friday night when I happen to check the score of the A’s/Royals game. My main man Edward Olivares had blasted 2 dongs in his first game back from a quad injury! It was just like heaven! When you include the I-29 Shuffle that he endured since coming over from the Padres, it made his big night even more enjoyable! I have been in love with his swing since 2020 as I waited for the Royals to finally get a clue. Hopefully, it sticks for good so we can see a guy who has legit 30/30 potential in his profile possibly reach that lofty goal someday. Three cheers for Edward! Hip hip hooray! Hip hip hooray! Hip hip hooray!!!!! Paul Rudd approves!
In his first game back from a 6 week IL stint, Edward Olivares has hit two homers tonight! This comes after having 0 on the season prior to his injury🤯
He gets the lead back for the Royals with this one🔵⚪️ pic.twitter.com/iu3QkiLmlx
— Just Baseball (@JustBBMedia) June 25, 2022
- Somewhat newly acquired Tampa Bay Ray Isaac Paredes had a fantasy week to remember! He played in 5 games this week closing out the stellar effort going 3-3 with an RBI. For the week he cranked 5 taters, went 11-20, scored 6 and drove in 9. Yet, he only walked once all week, which occurred on Sunday. I don’t want to get caught up here in the minutiae of the trade that sent the promising Paredes to the Rays from my Bozo Tigers for Austin Meadows (I am still very concerned about the vertigo that has plagued Austin Meadows recently). How about we simply marvel at the splendid performance by this ace in the hole (why can’t a hitter be an ace?) and appreciate his prowess for what it was? Well, nope! My job here is to provide context and analysis about the performances from the last week so that you can make actionable decisions for your own fantasy baseball squad. Paredes actually has shown above-average plate discipline in the minors with his 56 walks in 72 games at AAA Toledo in 2021 being good enough for an 18% BB rate! I can boil down your confusion about whether to rely on Paredes or not with one phrase: Rays are gonna Ray. They will always frighten and confuse us with their very intentional lineups. This week alone Paredes started at 3 different IF positions: 1B/2B/3B. Brandon Lowe can come back to this team without impacting Paredes’ playing time. The Rays also optioned 2B Jonathan Aranda to the minors Sunday after seeing action in 2 games. Yandy Diaz plays a lot of 3B for Tampa, but with the multi-positional ability that Paredes provides, you can be confident that he will see the field at least 5 days a week. Add him now in 12-teamers and deeper, with 10-teamers chilling until the next episode.
— Michael Govier (@mjgovier) June 25, 2022
- The Guardians actually have fun hitters scattered throughout their lineup! I use the term “actually” because for many moons, outside of Jose Ramirez, Francisco Lindor, and a few other stragglers, it always felt like they had disappointments with developing supposedly talented hitters (I am a born and raised resident of the Detroit area though, so maybe my Cleveland bias is greater than I realize?) like Jake Bauers, Bradley Zimmer, Francisco Mejia, Tyler Naquin, and Jordan Luplow to name a few. Forget all that though, as Andres Gimenez has been a beautiful, glorious beacon of fantasy baseball goodness this season. As of this posting, he is hitting .313/.351/.510 with 8 HR, 6 SB in 7 tries, and a very tasty 145 wRC+. The lefty is even hitting .310 against LHP this season! This in particular has been a massive source of improvement and pride for him. Right now there are no whispers about platoons with Owen Miller or the recently traded Yu Chang (I will always have a soft spot in my fantasy heart for Chang). Gimenez has 2B on lockdown. He has started 18 of the Guardians’ 22 games this month. For that span in June, he’s rocking a .343/.405/.537 slash line with 3 dongs, 9 runs scored, 11 RBI and a fair 17% K rate. His HHR (40%), LD rate (25%) and chase rate (35%) are noticeable double-digit improvements from 2021. The only thing I would like more of would be plate appearances that come with a bump to the upper half of the lineup. Let’s not get greedy though. Based on these improvements, I am confident that this mini-breakout is for real. I already held him in high esteem because he was the key piece in the Lindor trade. For dynasty, you should be heavily interested in making an acquisition. For redraft, see if the manager who rosters him in your league is doubtful of his production so far. Lastly, though I love his blend of power and speed, philosophically I am always down to sell a player at his zenith. If you have holes to fill, one of your obligations as a fantasy manager is to at least test the waters for a player’s value. Just like the Tinder Swindler, always keep your options open. By the way, someone needs to tell Gimenez he needs to update his Twitter profile.
— Starting 9 (@Starting9) June 25, 2022
- There was a trade made in my H2H categories home league known as BYB this past week that created some disagreement among the league managers in the text thread (is there a league out there that doesn’t have an endless text thread that stacks up hundreds of messages whenever you step away from the conversation for a few hours?). It’s a 14-team 5×5 with OBP instead of AVG. We’re keeping 8 players after this season. Take a look at this deal and draw your own conclusions:
Team Playoff Hunt sends Spencer Torkelson/Shane Bieber/Jarren Duran
Team Playing For 2023 sends Xander Bogaerts/Trent Grisham/Andre Pallante
Beyond this straight-up deal, what I couldn’t shake was the original deal that Team Playoff Hunt made to acquire Spencer Torkelson before the season started. That deal was Team Playoff Hunt sending Cedric Mullins/Yu Darvish/Luis Castillo to Team Hoping To Make The Playoffs for Spencer Torkelson/Joey Bart/Gary Sanchez. Now to be fair to Team Playoff Hunt, I told him to do that deal in person. I have to come correct here. The deal took place right after our draft in beautiful western Michigan. We were still riding the high of post-draft excitement! The hype around Tork was so strong that giving up 3 possible keepers was worth it. My reasoning was simple: Torkelson is a lockdown keeper for the next 10 years. It’s worth giving up Mullins who I thought overachieved in 2021. Darvish is in his mid-30s and never seems to put together a complete Cy Young season which is definitely possible with his repertoire. We can forget so quickly in this game, but coming into the season, Luis Castillo’s shoulder seemed like a legitimate problem at the time. The return on the original Torkelson acquisition looks real bad right now with Joey Bart currently at triple-A (Gary Sanchez was sent right back for a draft pick consideration). So this is why I took the position that making the current Bogaerts for Torkelson deal looks worse because of the original deal Team Playoff Hunt made to acquire Torkelson. I would want to make sure I got back a haul for Tork especially because the league is filled with several Detroit homers who could be exploited for their team passion. All of you have done this in your home leagues at one point or another. You take advantage of a fantasy manager’s team fandom by trading a beloved player from that fanboy’s team while getting plus value on the deal because that local yokel is so excited to have their hometown favorite on their fantasy roster. This is a classic con that I call the Local Yokel Ruse. Bottom line is this: do you include the prior trade in your final analysis for the original deal that brought a player to a team that is then sent off in another deal? I think it matters when analyzing the long-term success of a fantasy baseball trade. Hit me up @mjgovier on Twitter or comment on this article below.
- It’s become the easiest piece of analysis in the biz, but Shohei Ohtani is the best player to roster in all of fantasy (the singular one not the two-dimensional character on Yahoo). Mashing 2 HR and 8 RBI Tuesday night and then following that up with 13 Ks on the hill over 8 IP is just stupid in the most complimentary way imaginable! Let it be our unified mission to never take for granted his incredibly rare skill set. In this lightning round world dictated by online trends where we all need the Limitless pill to flourish, we should all make it a priority to be forever impressed by what Ohtani can do with a baseball. Without any sense of hyperbole in me, Ohtani should be the AL MVP in perpetuity until he falters or worse suffers a grave injury. There is so much in this world that never meets the standard of the hype set before it. The Obi-Wan Kenobi series on Disney Plus comes to mind. I for one will never let the fear of assumption take hold of me when it comes to admiring Shohei Ohtani. At times, he reminds me of the feeling I felt when my favorite athletes as a kid performed at the highest level. Ohtani brings joy to a culture that often looks first to crush the spirit of others than to encourage others to flourish. I give thanks to a ballplayer whose actions bring people together in utter astonishment! His exploits continue to set a new standard of excellence that we should all be thankful for.
I'm torn because my Main Event team needs this save, but how can I not enjoy the absolute splendor that's Shohei Ohtani tying up the game in the bottom of the 9th with his 2nd 3-run dong of the night! A career high 7 RBI on the evening for the majestic one! #MLB #FantasyBaseball pic.twitter.com/Snljrf4vF9
— Michael Govier (@mjgovier) June 22, 2022
- Over the weekend I was taking in the highly competitive Astros/Yankees series in the Bronx which ended up turning into a combined no-no for the Astros. Cristian Javier dominated the current best team in baseball with 13 K over 7 innings and 115 pitches. Essentially a 2-pitch pitcher (FF, SLD), Javier induced 13 whiffs on 45 swings at his FF while securing a 60% whiff rate on 10 swings with his SLD. Hector Neris and Ryan Pressly finished off the no-hitter in a 3-0 victory. Preventing a team from recording a base hit in MLB is always a marvel to be admired. For me though, I lose a lot of appreciation when the feat is a combined effort. My semantic position on combined no-hitters doesn’t fill my bosom with pride, but one of the most alluring components of a no-hitter is the pressure the pitcher (in concert with his defense of course) has to overcome to conquer against the odds. Two or more players completing the task rings a bit more hollow to me. Back to the game. One particular moment in the top of the 9th inning stood out to me with lasting impact over the no-no. One of the most underappreciated and fascinating sections of any baseball game is the relationship between the 3rd base coach and the player rounding 3rd. I play rec league softball 3 times a week. All three teams are different, but one universal truth shared by all three squads is the lack of desire to coach 3rd base. I for one love coaching third! It gives me a chance to show off my cerebral understanding of the game every time a player is chugging towards 3rd. The moment that struck me in the top of the 9th came when Yuli Gurriel blooped a single to shallow center. As Aaron Judge fielded the ball cleanly, Aledmys Diaz rounded 3rd with total abandon despite former MLB base running wiz Gary Pettis (and cancer survivor) providing a demonstrative stop sign with both hands up over his head. Diaz thought he knew better. In the end, Judge threw Diaz out at home with relative ease thanks to a solid tag by Kyle Higashioka. I would love to have been within earshot of Pettis and Diaz after the inning ended. I imagine Pettis looked at Diaz with a long stare of a parent who scolds you for doing something so egregious that the action doesn’t even warrant actual words. A simple my bad by Diaz surely ensued and then the no-hitter was finalized. Gary Pettis stole 354 bags. ‘Nuff said.
During Saturday's no-hitter Aledmys Diaz tells Gary Pettis to stand down as he is easily thrown out at home despite Gary Pettis (who had 354 career stolen bases) holding up a blatant stop sign with nobody out. You do not disrespect Gary Pettis! #MLB pic.twitter.com/xR3JYmOOOt
— Michael Govier (@mjgovier) June 27, 2022
As the Beastie Boys stated in So What’cha Want, “you think that you can front when revelation comes?” Prepare ahead of time, because you can’t front on that.
- Javier Baez is back baby! El Mago is FINALLY doing what I expected from him during draft season. Prior to this year, I was very much against drafting or rostering Baez because of his penchant for whiffs. It’s fair to say that I have a certain profile for my hitters that I hope to stay within the scope of. A career .304 OBP is an example of a player I would not be interested. Certain people have told me that walk-heavy players don’t fly in standard 5×5 because walks are not a category. Well, total bases are not a typical category either, but a player who racks up a lot of them is still very useful. Despite my lack of interest in Baez for fantasy, I ended up drafting him several times this year. I blame my buddy and superstar Fantrax analyst in his own right Ryan Venancio. Ryan even has his very own fantasy advice channel in the Pallazzo Podcast Discord! So Ryan responded to a tweet of mine expressing displeasure with the Baez signing right before the lockout began last November. He told me that I was being too negative and that he liked the offensive value of Baez. Staying sharp with your fantasy knowledge is all about being ready to adjust your opinion on a player if new information comes to light. Somehow, I let myself be talked into drafting Baez because he had an opt-out in his new contract that would allow him to become a free agent again after two seasons. This was a clear case of recency bias. I assumed since he had put up a very useful stat line in 2021, he would clearly be motivated to do it again. I don’t feel great about myself as I share this with you. In fact, it would be easier to say nothing at all while I told you how many times I get things right. That’s not how we get better though as fantasy baseball managers. Holding myself accountable helps me to find the gaps in my process that result in poor decisions. I don’t want to make the same mistake twice and if my gaffes help you avoid the same errors, then my admission is worth it. In the end I drafted Baez about 6 times believing he could end up with top 40 overall fantasy value by the end of 2022. WRONG! He won’t finish even close to that, but his current hot streak is valuable. He’s also cut down his K rate this season overall. Combine that with his 7% reduction on swings in the zone with his 7% improvement on zone contact from 2021 and you have a player who has a few adjustments to make that are not difficult to achieve. Since the start of a four-game series against Texas on June 16th, he had a hit in every single game played until Sunday. In that same span 8 of his 14 hits were for extra bases, he stole 2 bags in 3 tries and rocked an 8% K rate. The bad news though is the Tigers only have 5 games scheduled for this week. With two at San Francisco and three at home versus the Royals, maybe there’s a scenario where his 5 opportunities to play are worth it over a player with six or seven games who is struggling. That’s a decision for you to make. The bottom line is this: based on the adjustments made to his overall hitting profile in 2022, I don’t think this is just a moment of glory. Baez could be a hit all summer long in Motown.
Javier Baez launched a grand slam that traveled 459 feet.
Third straight game with a home run for the Tigers shortstop. pic.twitter.com/IXE2LK82Bg
— Brad Galli (@BradGalli) June 25, 2022
- You cannot give up on Joey Votto. Dude is still crushing the baseball and he plays in one of the best parks for offense in the majors. For the season he has a 10% barrel rate and since June 6th he has a 45% HHR. All signs point to a solid offensive week on tap for Votto. The Reds have three games at Wrigley before returning home to their launching pad to take on the Braves. Hold steady on Votto. In seven ays time, you will look back and be grateful that you did so.
- The Mariners closer situation is hell on earth! I have literally been on the opposite side of either Paul Sewald or Diego Castillo depending on what week it is. Whoever is closing that week, I have the other guy. So last week I decided to split the middle by going heavy on Ken Giles as the eventual closer. He returned to action last week for the first time since September 15th, 2020 while rocking a beard that looked as if he had been growing it since that day. However, there’s also teammate Andres Munoz who has struck out 14 hitters over his last 5.1IP. He will probably be next! Is it better to just be wrong and stick with one guy who doesn’t close than to play musical chairs a Seattle RP who is always one step behind the song? I’d rather be Johnny Knoxville getting flipped by a bull in Jackass than to try to solve this riddle. What’s more annoying? Trying to predict who will close in Seattle or Jim Carrey’s performance as The Riddler in Batman Forever? The good news I suppose is that the Mariners are home for 7 games against Baltimore and Oakland this week. I’m continuing to start Ken Giles with the hope that he racks up a high K9 while possibly stumbling into some wins or maybe even a save. Who the hell knows! Anybody who tells you they have solved the riddle of this bullpen is someone you should openly and loudly laugh at in public.
- Recent times have been frustrating for Tarik Skubal. For the season he has a 3.63 ERA with a 2.67 FIP! That tells me all I need to know about my main Tarik! He’s an ace in the making who has had some bad luck recently. Mix in a 1.93 BB/9 for the year and I really don’t require much more to make sure I get him on as many teams as possible. I would try all that I could to get him from the fantasy manager in your league who is fed up with him and his 5.86 ERA in June. With all that I know and am, I have total confidence in Skubal ending this season with a solid stat line that will make you proud. He has a start this week at the Giants and then has a 2-start week to follow. BUY! BUY! BUY!
Tarik Skubal has a 9.88 ERA in his last three starts:
13 2/3 IP, 21 H, 7 BB, 14 K, 3 HR.
He's been victimized by both the long ball and the BABIP gods. He's also faced three very solid lineups (Toronto, Texas, Boston) during this stretch.
— Evan Woodbery (@evanwoodbery) June 23, 2022
- The Blue Jays are in a serious pennant race in the AL East. They don’t have time to fart around. One example of how things can change has to do with 2B Santiago Espinal. He has hit a wall lately with his stick. Since June 13th he owns a .136/.174/.159 triple slash with a 26% (career 16%) K rate and a wRC+ of -11! Suddenly he’s not the guy who ascended into a starting opportunity because he was making it difficult for Charlie Montoyo to sit him. Now he’s making it difficult for Montoyo to play him. There’s also the added intrigue of Cavan Biggio becoming a viable option again. Biggio started all three games over the weekend in Milwaukee likely because all three starters for the Brewers were RHP. For the Blue Jays’ upcoming series at home against the Red Sox, all three starters for Boston are RHP including rookie Connor Seabold who starts Monday night. I expect Biggio to start all three games versus Boston and then some in the series after that against Tampa. Outside of Shane McClanahan, there should be all RHP starters taking the bump for the Rays. Biggio had a solid prospect pedigree with his father being HOF Craig Biggio. He showed promise in 2019 with 16 HR and 14 SB in 100 games. The one worry was that he was too selective. The 2020 bozo season may have messed with his development as he continually lost time in that season and in 2021 as the Blue Jays went with guys who they could rely on. Now, Espinal’s struggle is Biggio’s gain. Another added bonus is that the Jays need a lefty bat in the lineup pretty badly. All signs point to yes for Biggio stake a claim in that Toronto lineup.
Cavan Biggio – Toronto Blue Jays (1) pic.twitter.com/k7hNv52jqt
— MLB HR Videos (@MLBHRVideos) June 21, 2022
- The Rangers demoting Ezequiel Duran did surprise me a tad. He had three straight games without a hit, but it’s not like that is an epic cold stretch. His final MLB line so far after 64 PA in 2022 ended up with a 103 wRC+ with 2 HR, 2 SB, 3 doubles, a triple and a 27% K rate. I still believe everything I ever said about him prior to his demotion. He has quality pop that pairs with 20 SB potential. My major fear is he will get lost in the shuffle. With 3B Josh Jung still in the mix once he’s healthy, the depth chart looks to bury Duran deeper and deeper. A trade for him or a teammate seems like the only option at this point. Duran was sent down because Josh Smith came off the IL while the mighty Steven Duggar came over from the Giants in a trade that sent Willie Calhoun out west. Josh Smith is actually just as exciting as Duran and shares the common thread of coming over from the Yankees just like Duran. Smith may have less power than Duran in my view, but he can swipe bags just as well. He stole a base Saturday night while hitting 7th. In the minors, Smith showed a propensity to be patient at the plate by drawing 25 walks in 44 games at triple-A. In 4 different stops between the Yankees and Rangers minor league system in 2021, Smith combined to mash 13 HR, pilfer 26 bags and walk 45 times in 341 PA. The Rangers kick off a 9-game roadie Monday starting in Kansas City then at the Mets and a final stop at Camden Yards. If you need steals, Smith is an ideal target to wipe bases while playing almost every day.
Josh Smith turned on the wheels and got the Rangers an extra run pic.twitter.com/ztWXh1qUQs
— Talkin’ Baseball (@TalkinBaseball_) June 22, 2022
Speed Round Musings
The musings you find in this segment are just my thoughts. Assume total bias on my part in this section.
- Jesse Winker is getting back on track with his bat recently. Unfortunately, he was the main heel in Sunday’s WWE event between the Mariners and the Angels. He will likely get 5 games at least for his actions. He can appeal though, so you might want to take the risk of playing him in weekly lineups if only for Seattles’s tasty schedule this week.
- Old brittle bones himself Nick Senzel had 3 straight games with a SB last week. I never trust him because he is always on the brink of an injury, but if you need steals, I can’t blame you for getting in bed with him. Just be wary of the reality he lives in. An oft-injured one.
- Dodger youngster Dustin May is facing live hitters. He reportedly hit 101 MPH on the gun in his session! It will still be some time before he returns, but after the All-Star Break is very plausible. Secret stash is now open.
- Watching arguably my favorite player Ty France lose playing time to an unfortunate collision at first base was one of the most painful moments of the 2022 season for me. I really hope he’s back sooner than later. A left elbow strain isn’t devastating for hitters. Be patient.
- Do not worry about Craig Kimbrel. I looked under the hood and he is pitching much better than some of his results. With the Dodgers losing Daniel Hudson to a knee injury, this is another notch in Kimbrel’s belt. Since June 1st he has 3 saves with a 3.00 ERA, a 1.57 FIP, and a .500 BABIP! He does sport a 1.78 WHIP over that span too, but I think all will be well with the veteran closer.
- The Cubs DFA’ed Jonathan Villar because they know that Patrick Wisdom is all they will ever need in this life. Wisdom continues to crush the baseball with his 51% HHR. He is a 30 HR power bat who was not a fluke. I now know this with all of my essence.
- It’s been a bummer to see Seiya Suzuki miss so much time with a bad left ring finger. He has been trying to ramp up activities but has suffered a setback or two along the way. Whenever he does return over the next 2 weeks, I want him on my team. It’s fair to assume the finger could linger, but he offers stat stuffing capabilities, especially in OBP leagues. Go get him if you can!
- If you’re in redraft leagues, you might consider dropping Bryce Harper now. It might get too close to call for him to come back and help your team this season. He is a really tough dude, but a thumb is an injury that is cumbersome for a hitter. If you need help now, trade him or move on from him Especially in 10-teamers.
- If you think the Orioles are pushovers, you got another thing coming! They continue to compete in the toughest division in MLB. That bullpen is seriously good! Felix Bautista will be closing as soon as Jorge Lopez is gone. Way to go Baltimore!
- Reds studly catcher Tyler Stephenson should fire up a rehab stint in the next week or so. He’s so good, that you need to stash him now. I know I said Alejandro Kirk might be the best offensive catcher in baseball, but Stephenson is right there with him. Plan accordingly.
- The Guardians are a very patient group. Myles Straw has done almost nothing offensively this season outside of stealing 11 bags and scoring some runs. Yet, they have not benched him. He has been dropped to the bottom of the lineup, but he still gets reps every day. This is tells me they don’t want to give up on him. If you need steals, take a chance. He might even surprise you with a little more too.
- The Jays Alejandro Kirk is becoming the best offensive catcher in MLB. My fears over his size and frame as a catcher were unfounded. Well, they were founded but they haven’t come up as a problem lately. His .322/.409/.523 triple slash is the stuff dreams are made of!
- I wrote a week ago that I had no confidence in Jack Flaherty’s shoulder. Wouldn’t ya know it, he left his start Sunday with shoulder discomfort. Now Cardinals manager Oli Marmol is going out of his way to say it wasn’t the same area of his shoulder as before. Get real! You can’t fool me. Jack Flaherty is not right and I see no reason to start him. He is somebody that we used to know.
- Matt Chapman is starting to become a more consistent offensive force. Like the thousands before him that showed great peripherals only to produce so little, he is starting to make up for lost time. I have full confidence in Chapman going forward and you should too.
- The Reds bullpen has been crushed all season long, but maybe there is hope in Hunter Strickland. He locked down the save last Friday night by the bay by striking out Brandon Crawford with a nasty breaker after walking the previous batter. Walks are the issue with him, but I actually think he might be the guy while being serviceable until the trade deadline for them. I must be crazy.
- Pirates rookie Bligh Madris came up last week and proceeded to mash the baseball against the Cubs. He went 3-4 with a SB in his first game, hit a HR in his second and drove in 3 meaningless runs in the 9th in his third. He also went 3-4 again on Saturday in Tampa. Hot streaks= points for your fantasy team. Ride the lightning!
- The Marlins must be at their wits end with Trevor Rogers. I am still buying despite his endless struggles. He’s only given up 3 ER once over his last four starts. And though his 5.86 ERA looks ugly, his FIP is a run lower at 4.87. I am buying Rogers and right now I can get him pretty cheap.
- As soon as I tweeted that Daulton Varsho was having a horrid June, he went out on Sunday and kicked some serious butt against my bozo Tigers. As of Saturday he had 1 HR, 1 SB and 24 wRC+ for the month of June. Sunday he made it clear he read my tweet as he went 2-4 with a HR, 3 RBI and 2 run scored. Never had a doubt, just needed to motivate you is all, Daulton.
- Red Sox prospect Connor Seabold will start Monday in Toronto. He made his MLB debut last year going 3IP while giving up 2 ER, 2 BB and no Ks. In 11 starts at triple-A he has a 2.09 ERA to go with 8.88 K9 and 2.44 BB/9. Tough matchup for sure, but there is promise in that young arm. Take a flyer if you like, but don’t expect miracles.
- Yermin Mercedes was claimed off waivers by the Giants and is now on the active MLB roster. We all remember the Linsanity like run that Mercedes went on early in 2021 only to be demoted after being hung out to dry by manager Tony LaRussa. Mercedes has some thump and the Giants are the keepers of the secrets that unlock the potential in almost every player they bring into the fold. I bet Yermin has a few big games here and there.
- The Tigers are expecting Michael Pineda back as soon as this week. Chris Fetter is a masterful pitching coach and I expect him to maximize the return on Pineda once he takes the bump again. Pick him up in 14-teamers and deeper without hesitation.
- The Rangers continue to enjoy the fruits of Adolis Garcia. I keep telling you he’s a legit power/speed threat. He even does walk-off homers. What else do you need to know about him? He can help your fantasy baseball team right now!
- The A’s look to be locked into Lou Trivino once again as their closer. He registered back-to-back saves over the weekend after I went on the record on Twitter saying that I thought Sam Moll would get a crack at the job. He promptly got roasted in the 8th inning Saturday in Kansas City and then pitched even earlier in the next game Sunday. It’s Lou Trivino for now until they trade him. I think.
- Red Sox starter James Paxton is throwing bullpens as he returns from TJ. Paxton has to hit the rehab trail first of course and we still don’t know when that is. Look to August possibly for his return. I wouldn’t stash him at this moment in time.
- One of the last 5 remaining Negro League ballparks exists locally right here in metro Detroit in a town called Hamtramck. The field, now known as Norman “Turkey” Stearnes field after the former Negro League great, was once home to the Detroit Stars where play began in 1930. Just recently there was a $2.6 million renovation done to the park along with a celebration and, of course, a tribute game which was held on Juneteenth. Some of the greatest ever play graced that field once upon a time. The celebration also honored native Detroiter Ron Teasley Sr. who is one of the 4 Negro League players still alive today. Pretty cool (Papa Bell) if I do say so myself.