MLB News and Notes with Fantasy Implications
Major League Baseball is back and in full swing, at least for most teams. It has been a crazy season so far with COVID-19 outbreaks on two teams, postponed games, schedule changes, and a lot of injures. For me, it has felt hard to keep up with everything going on both as a Fantasy Baseball writer and player. This article will cover all the MLB news with Fantasy Baseball implications.
I hope this news and notes article can help keep you up to date with what is happening around the league. I will be breaking down the news by each division and then individual teams within the division. Fantasy relevant implications from different news and notes will help you navigate through your decision making in your Fantasy leagues.
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Latest Fantasy Relevant MLB News
- Ozzie Albies was placed on the Injured List with a right wrist bone contusion. Charlie Culbertson will see the bulk of time at second base in Albies’ absence.
- Mike Soroka will miss the rest of the 2020 season with a torn right Achilles. It is unfortunate news for the Braves as Soroka was off to a great start in 2020.
- With the loss of Soroka, the Braves have just one pitcher remaining from their intended Opening Day starting five.
- Cole Hamels – Tricep Tendinitis
- Felix Hernandez – Opt-Out
- Mike Foltynewicz – DFA
- Mike Soroka – Achillies
- Tucker Davidson and Ian Anderson are possible internal candidates to replace Soroka. The Braves could also explore trade opportunities.
- Matt Adams went on the 10-day IL with a left hamstring injury. Marcell Ozuna has seen increased time at DH, and Austin Riley has been playing almost every day as well.
- Monte Harrison made his MLB debut on Tuesday, striking out in all three at-bats. He should see regular at-bats moving forward. Harrison is a big boom or bust type of play but has loud tools. He has the potential to be a 20-HR, 30-SB type of player if he can hit his ceiling.
- The Marlins have a long list of COVID-IL players, which includes; Sandy Alcantara, Miguel Rojas, Sean Rodriguez, Chad Wallach, Caleb Smith, Adam Conley, Ryne Stanek, Nick Neidert, Jeff Brigham, Robert Dugger, and Yimi Garcia.
New York Mets
- Robinson Cano went on the 10-day IL with a Grade 2 left adductor strain. He will likely miss an extended amount of time. Brian Dozier is likely to be the team’s primary second basemen moving forward. Dozier has not been Fantasy relevant in several years but is known to go on random hot streaks. He is worth monitoring.
- Jeff McNeil has a low grade right intercostal strain. He is considered day-to-day for now as it is minor, and he could return soon. J.D. Davis will play third base, and Dominic Smith should see more time in the outfield.
- Amed Rosario is considered day-to-day with a tight left quad. Andrés Giménez will be the team’s shortstop in Rosario’s absence.
- Yoenis Céspedes opted-out of the season, after a slight scare on Sunday where Céspedes seemed to be missing. It was just a lack of communication with the club’s management, who Céspedes never spoke with about his intentions to opt-out.
- Bryce Harper left game one of the Phillies doubleheader on Wednesday, with an undisclosed injury, but returned for game two. It appears it was a precautionary move removing Harper from the game, as the Phillies had an 11-to-3 lead.
- Spencer Howard could make his Major League debut on Sunday against the Braves. If he does, he is a must-add in Fantasy leagues, so monitor this situation closely. Howard has a nice floor and a high upside as well.
- So far, there have been no new positive COVID-19 cases within the Phillies organization.
- Max Scherzer left Wednesday night’s start after one inning with a tweaked hamstring. There were questions about his ability to start the game, and he did not look sharp in his one inning of work. He was examined by a trainer and came out of the game in the second inning. It is unclear if Scherzer will miss additional time, but it could be a big blow to Fantasy owners if another high-end starting pitcher misses extended time.
- Stephen Strasburg completed a simulated game rather than a bullpen session on Wednesday. The Nationals appear to be getting aggressive with his timeline, which is encouraging for his return.
- Daniel Hudson picked up the save on Tuesday. He looks locked in while Sean Doolittle is struggling with his fastball. It is worth monitoring if Hudson remains the closer.
- Juan Soto was activated from the IL but did not start in Tuesday’s game. He is starting in left field and batting cleanup in Wednesday’s game against the Mets.
- Howie Kendrick, who had been dealing with back tightness, returned to action on Tuesday, going 4-4 with a home run.
- Craig Kimbrel has looked terrible in 2020, allowing six runs in just 1.2 innings of work. He was pulled on Tuesday from a save opportunity after giving up a single and a double. Rowan Wick, Jeremy Jeffress, and Kyle Ryan all could see save chances.
- Jose Quintana threw a 30-pitch bullpen session on Monday without issue. He should be back in the middle of August.
- Kris Bryant is back in action after battling an illness last weekend.
- Mike Moustakas left Tuesday’s game against the Indians with a bruised left quad. Kyle Farmer took over for Moustakas at second base. There is no further news on Moustakas.
- Josh Lindblom made an early exit from his last start with back cramps but will start Thursday against the Pirates.
- Ray Black has resumed a throwing program but is still “a long way away” from rejoining the Brewers. He has been on the IL with a strained rotator cuff.
- J.T. Brubaker will start on Thursday in place of Mitch Keller, who is on the IL with left side discomfort.
- Keone Kela has been cleared by doctors to return to workouts. He will need time to get back into game form, so do not expect him to be the closer anytime soon.
- Nick Burdi is on the 45-day IL with an unspecified elbow injury. The Pirates’ closer situation is a mess, but when Kela is ready to return, he will likely be slotted back into the role.
St. Louis Cardinals
- Kwang Hyun Kim has been moved into the Cardinals rotation, leaving the closer job up for grabs. Giovanny Gallegos, Ryan Helsley, Andrew Miller, Tyler Webb, and Alex Reyes could all see ninth-inning opportunities moving forward.
- The Cardinals will resume playing this Friday against the Cubs
- The following Cardinals players have been played on the IL; Yadier Molina, Kodi Whitley, Carlos Martinez, Paul DeJong, Edmundo Sosa, and Junior Fernandez.
- Alex Reyes is back with the Major League club after missing most of summer camp with COVID-19. He is healthy and could have a nice role in the Cardinals bullpen moving forward.
- Brad Miller was activated from the 10-day IL after dealing with right ankle bursitis. He could see action with multiple Cardinal players on the IL.
- Daulton Varsho was called up and made his Major League debut with the Diamondbacks. Varsho is an extremely talented player who is primarily a catcher, but athletic enough to play the outfield. Unfortunately, Varsho has only started one game since being called up last Thursday.
- The Rockies’ closer situation has been unusual. Wade Davis was placed on the IL with a right shoulder strain. Scott Oberg could miss the rest of the season with blood clots. That left Jairo Diaz as the likely option to close games in Colorado. Diaz has a clean save on Sunday but blew up on Monday, allowing two runs. Yency Almonte picked up the save on Tuesday, allowing no runs in 1.2 innings of work.
Los Angeles Dodgers
- Manager Dave Roberts said they do not feel like Gavin Lux is ready to join the team. He was struggling mechanically and is still getting back up to speed at the team’s alternate training site. It is getting hard to continue to roster Lux in shallower re-draft leagues. For more on the Lux situation check out Eric Stephen’s article on True Blue LA.
- Zack McKinstry was called up by the Dodgers. He can play all over the diamond, having played every position other than first base and catcher, meaning he could have a utility role moving forward. McKinstry could also factor in regularly at second base.
- Edwin Rios was hit on the foot by a pitch in a game Tuesday night, causing him to leave the game. His X-rays turned up negative, and he is available for Wednesday night’s game.
- Mookie Betts is dealing with swelling in his left middle finger. He entered Tuesday’s game as a defensive replacement but remained out of the starting lineup on Wednesday.
- Alex Wood has resumed a throwing program after spending time on the IL with shoulder inflammation.
San Diego Padres
- Eric Hosmer has been dealing with gastritis but is expected to come off the IL Saturday.
- Luis Patiño was called up to the big league squad. He is likely to begin in the bullpen, but if he starts strong, it is hard to imagine the Padres keeping him out of the rotation. Patiño could become a must-add if he finds himself in the rotation.
San Francisco Giants
- Yolmer Sanchez was cleared to resume baseball activity and plans to begin participating in simulated games this weekend.
- Drew Smyly was placed on the 10-day IL after straining a finger on his throwing hand.
- Trevor Cahill will throw a simulated game this week after dealing with an issue on his fingernail.
- John Means is on the bereavement list. He will likely be back in time for his next scheduled start.
- Rio Ruiz has not played since Saturday. He is dealing with shoulder inflammation.
- Jose Iglesias is back in Wednesday’s lineup after missing several games due to a sore quad.
Boston Red Sox
- Eduardo Rodriguez will not return during the 2020 season due to myocarditis. He is expected to make a full recovery, but the team does not believe he will fully recover before the end of the 2020 season.
New York Yankees
- Aroldis Chapman is not expected to return anytime soon, according to Yankees manager, Aaron Boone. Zack Britton will continue to serve as the team’s closer until Chapman is ready to go.
- Tommy Kahnle underwent Tommy John surgery on Tuesday. He will likely miss most of the 2021 season in addition to 2020.
- Luis Cessa was activated before Wednesday’s doubleheader against the Phillies after missing nearly two weeks with COVID-19.
Tampa Bay Rays
- Austin Meadows was activated from the COVID IL and hit leadoff in Tuesday’s game. He went 2-4 with an RBI.
- Manuel Margot is on the bereavement list following the death of his father.
Toronto Blue Jays
- Travis Shaw was activated from the bereavement list on Tuesday but did not play against the Braves.
Chicago White Sox
- Edwin Encarnacion left Tuesday’s game with a sore left shoulder. Zack Collins took over for Encarnacion at designated hitter but struck out in both at-bats. Encarnacion remains out of the lineup on Wednesday.
- Nick Madrigal made his Major League debut last Friday with the White Sox but left Tuesday’s game with a left shoulder injury on an awkward slide into third base. He has been placed on the 10-day IL with a separated left shoulder.
- Reynaldo Lopez has resumed throwing after suffering a right shoulder strain last week.
- Carlos Rodon is on the 10-day IL with left shoulder soreness.
- Tim Anderson could return as early as next week. He will begin rehabbing from a groin strain Thursday at the team’s training site.
- Brad Hand was back in the closer role on Tuesday, earning the save with a perfect inning against the Reds. Hand’s velocity was also back up, averaging 92.4 miles-per-hour. He is likely to get the next save chance.
- Matthew Boyd will start on Friday against the Pirates. The Tiger’s four-game series against the Cardinals was postponed this week due to COVID-19 concerns.
Kansas City Royals
- Brad Keller will make his season debut against the Cubs on Thursday. Keller was a late arrival to summer camp due to a positive COVID-19 test.
- Josh Donaldson remains out of the lineup again on Wednesday. He is dealing with tightness in his calf. The Twins remain optimistic he will return soon, but Donaldson has not played since last Friday.
- Rich Hill is on the 10-day IL with left shoulder soreness. Hill has struggled with injuries throughout his career, and now at 40 years old, this is concerning.
- Trevor May earned the save on Tuesday for the Twins. Taylor Rogers will still see the majority of opportunities, but May is a reliable handcuff option.
AL West News
- Michael Brantley missed Tuesday and Wednesday’s games due to a quad injury. Kyle Tucker should continue to see regular playing time and hopefully solidify his spot in the lineup.
- Roberto Osuna’s initial diagnosis is that he needs Tommy John surgery. He is seeking a second opinion, but it does not look promising for the Astros’ closer. Ryan Pressly should see the majority of save opportunities moving forward and has the skillset to be a high-end closer.
- Josh James will be moving to the bullpen, according to reports. Framber Valdez and Brandon Bielak will move into the rotation. James could be a factor in the Astro’s closer situation with Osuna likely out for the season.
Los Angeles Angels
- Manager Joe Maddon confirmed that the team would be using a closer-by-committee moving forward. This statement came after Ty Buttrey closed the game on Tuesday night. Buttrey would be the best add off the waiver wire, but Keynan Middleton and Felix Pena could also factor into the equation on top of Hansel Robles.
- Jo Adell made his Major League debut on Tuesday, going 1-for-4, and showing off his speed on several plays. Adell is going to play every day and is a must-add in all Fantasy leagues.
- Julio Teheran will make his 2020 debut on Wednesday, after being a late arrival to summer camp due to a positive COVID-19 diagnosis.
- Tommy La Stella was back in the lineup on Tuesday after missing two games due to a tight neck.
- Jesus Luzardo made his first career Major League start on Tuesday, throwing five scoreless innings with five strikeouts. Luzardo looked very impressive and has SP1 upside for Fantasy purposes. He will get the Astros in his next start, who hit left-handed pitching hard.
- James Kaprielian is now with the Athletics after starting the season at the team’s alternate training site. He is likely a middle-relief option for the team but could provide solid ratios and high strikeout upside.
- Khris Davis has been in a bad slump but had a nice game on Monday, going 2-for-3 with a home run. Unfortunately, Davis has been out of the lineup both Tuesday and Wednesday in favor of Mark Canha at designated hitter.
- Kendall Gravemen went on the IL due to neck issues. Nick Margevicius will get the start on Saturday in his place.
- Yoshihisa Hirano continues to rehab and throw bullpen sessions since recovering from COVID-19. He should be fully ready to rejoin the Mariners bullpen in the middle of August. It is unclear if he will regain the closer role or not.
- Rougned Odor remained out of Wednesday’s lineup, dealing with tightness in his right oblique and has not played since Saturday. Nick Solak has been the primary beneficiary of playing time at second base.
- Danny Santana is on the 10-day IL, retroactive to July 30, due to a right forearm strain.
Be sure to check out Jake Devereaux’s debut article “Top 100 SP For Redraft Leagues.”
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