Daily Intel – 5/26/2018

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Arizona Diamondbacks

  • C John Ryan Murphy got a start at DH last night, a move that is interesting solely because it shows that the Diamondbacks believe in Murphy’s bat as more than just “good for his position.” He went 1-for-4 with a two-run double, and with 36 plate appearances this month, he’s slowly starting to gain relevance as a potential second catcher in two-catcher mixed leagues.

Atlanta Braves

  • OF Ronald Acuna Jr. struck out three times last night in a 1-for-5 effort, making it 17 straight games with a K. What’s more alarming is that he has 12 strikeouts in his last eight games and just one walk over that span.

Baltimore Orioles

  • OF Mark Trumbo was diagnosed with an arthritic right knee yesterday, and while he will be able to avoid a disabled list stint, this is something to watch for to see if it impacts his power production. He should be back in the lineup early next week.
  • OF Adam Jones put up another multi-hit game last night, going 3-for-4 with a run scored.

Boston Red Sox

  • The Sox made a surprising roster move in correspondence with 2B Dustin Pedroia’s return from the disabled list – they designated 1B Hanley Ramirez for assignment. Ramirez has no value in any format, and 1B Mitch Moreland should gain a boost in playing time thanks to this move. Moreland should be owned in all 15-team mixed leagues, with room to make himself more valuable. He hit cleanup last night and went 2-for-4 with a solo homer.

Chicago Cubs

  • Both 2B/OF Ben Zobrist and OF Albert Almora Jr. were in the lineup Friday, which, as expected, led to 2B/OF Ian Happ’s return to the leadoff spot coming to an end. Zobrist led off and went 2-for-4 with two RBI and two runs scored, Almora went 1-for-4 out of the two hole, and Happ hit seventh, walking and scoring twice, stealing a base, and striking out in his other two plate appearances.

Chicago White Sox

  • OF Adam Engel went 1-for-4 with a run scored and, more important, another stolen base. He’s got three in the last seven days and eight on the season.
  • SS Tim Anderson was bumped back up to fifth in the lineup yesterday and delivered with his eighth home run of the season as part of a 3-for-4 night with two RBI.

Cincinnati Reds

  • Incredibly, 3B Eugenio Suarez leads the National League in RBI with 40 after driving in two last night and eight in the last four days. Suarez missed several weeks in April but continues to hit for a ton of power, with homers in back-to-back games and seven in May.

Cleveland Indians

  • SP Corey Kluber shut out the Astros in to the seventh inning last night, but the continued problems with the supposedly-elite end of the Tribe’s bullpen came back to haunt them again – RP Andrew Miller came on for Kluber in the seventh and allowed three runs to score on two doubles and a walk, and then RP Cody Allen only got one out in the eight after walking a batter and allowing a single and a run.

Colorado Rockies 

  • SP Jon Gray had a solid start at home last night, going six innings and striking out eight Reds, allowing six hits, three walks, and four earned runs. Three of Gray’s last four home starts have been good or better for fantasy purposes. If you own him, you’re best off just starting him all the time because of how unpredictable his performances are.

Detroit Tigers

  • 1B Miguel Cabrera is still in the early stages of his rehab, going some light running yesterday. The Tigers have said he may not need a rehab assignment to return, but he’ll need to do actual baserunning before they will activate him.

Houston Astros

  • OF George Springer went 3-for-6 last night with a double, three-run home run, and a caught stealing. Springer is now up to a .361 average this month with five homers, five steals, 16 runs scored and 15 RBI.
  • C Max Stassi got his third start this week, and he’s picked up at least one hit and an RBI in all three games.

Kansas City Royals

  • 3B Mike Moustakas hit a two-run home run yesterday, his first home run since a two-homer game on May 8. He still has just eight extra-base hits in his last 28 games.

Los Angeles Angels

  • SP Andrew Heaney’s great stretch of starts extended to six last night, as he held the Yankees to a run over 6 1/3 innings of four hits and three walks, striking out five. Heaney got 17 swinging strikes on 97 pitches – he should be considered must-start in all formats next week against Detroit and potentially moving forward in all starts.
  • In a closer watch issue, RP Jim Johnson was asked to reliever Heaney in the middle of the seventh inning, allowing a solo homer to 2B Gleyber Torres that stood as the game winner for New York.

Los Angeles Dodgers

  • OF Matt Kemp, whose bandwagon we’ve been on all season, went 3-for-4 with a three-run homer last night. While Kemp’s power has dropped off a bit this month, he’s still hitting for a high average and striking out far less that in recent seasons.

Miami Marlins

  • 3B Martin Prado suffered a left hamstring injury late in the game, and an MRI taken immediately after showed a tear that could keep Prado out for a while. He’s droppable in NL-only leagues, with 3B/OF Brian Anderson likely moving back to third full-time and, perhaps, OF Cameron Maybin getting some more playing time in the corners where Anderson was.

Milwaukee Brewers

  • SS Orlando Arcia was demoted to Triple-A yesterday, a move we considered somewhat surprising since Arcia has played very good defense. SS Tyler Saladino has hit well since coming over from the White Sox, but we don’t expect that to last – the only value here is if 3B/OF Hernan Perez gets increased time at short and takes that opportunity to run more.

Minnesota Twins

  • 3B Miguel Sano was back, but he played first base last night with 1B Joe Mauer out and 1B Logan Morrison sitting against a lefty. Sano went 0-for-4 with three strikeouts.
  • Another fine start for SP Fernando Romero, as he took a hard-luck first career loss after holding the Mariners to two runs on five hits and two walks over seven innings. He struck out seven.

New York Mets

  • OF/1B Jay Bruce was slotted at cleanup last night but went hitless against a righty starter (SP Junior Guerra). Bruce still has only one homer and two RBI in May – in 12-team and shallower mixed formats, you can probably give him another week or so to show signs of his old self. If he doesn’t, drop him.

New York Yankees

  • 1B Greg Bird will be activated today, and while the corresponding roster move isn’t known yet, it would make sense to send down 1B Tyler Austin rather than forcing yourself to DFA 2B Neil Walker. 

Oakland A’s

  • SP Sean Manaea had six runs hung on him by a struggling Arizona offense, allowing eight hits and two walks in 3 2/3 innings. Manaea has gone five starts without producing anything beyond average from a fantasy perspective, and his declining strikeout rate (16 in his last five starts after 30 in his first five) is alarming.

Philadelphia Phillies

  • 1B Carlos Santana hit his ninth home run of the season yesterday – he’s now got seven on the month to go with his .376 on-base percentage and 21 RBI.

Pittsburgh Pirates

  • OF Starling Marte will be activated today, but there has been no indication of a corresponding roster move, including a demotion of red-hot OF Austin Meadows. Meadows went 2-for-4 last night with a triple, a stolen base, and two runs scored.

San Diego Padres

  • The elite-level starts for SP Clayton Richard stopped last night, but considering he opened the game with two walks and a home run, his final line could be seen as a success – six innings, four hits, three walks, four earned runs, three strikeouts. As we mentioned yesterday, Richards has a great start coming up next at home against Miami. ay 2

San Francisco Giants

  • OF Mac Williamson was activated from the concussion disabled list on Friday, starting in left field and going 0-for-4 with three strikeouts. Williamson hit seventh, and manager Bruce Bochy said he will be the everyday left

Seattle Mariners

  • RP Edwin Diaz worked a perfect ninth inning with a strikeout to earn his 18th save last night. Diaz is now on pace for 84 1/3 innings, which explains part of the reason the team traded for Tampa Bay RP Alex Colome yesterday. Colome is fine back-end-of-the bullpen depth and is the next logical option to close if Diaz gets hurt.

St. Louis Cardinals

  • 3B Jedd Gyorko played shortstop for the first time in four games yesterday and just the third time this season.

Tampa Bay Rays

  • The trade of RP Alex Colome and OF Denard Span has some impactful playing time implications, most notably the state of the closer role for a decent team that does tend to win more games by closer margins than blowouts. If you wanted to speculate on one Rays reliever to own now for potential long-term save chances, it would be RP Jose Alvarado. Earlier in the year, we thought it may be RP Sergio Romo, but he seems entrenched in this role now where he starts for an inning once or twice a week. With RP Jonny Venters giving the Rays a decent second lefty option, Alvarado isn’t so desperately needed for matchup plays.

Texas Rangers

  • 1B Ronald Guzman went 2-for-4 with three RBI and two runs scored yesterday. That’s four homers in the last four starts for Guzman, and he’s also cut down on his strikeout rate these last two weeks, with just two Ks and two walks in his last seven starts.

Toronto Blue Jays

  • Well, it didn’t take long for the bullpen mechanics to change in Toronto – RP Tyler Clippard was asked to work the eighth with a three-run lead last night, and he was followed in the ninth by a save opportunity for RP Ryan Tepera. Both guys gave up a run and two hits, but Tepera did close it out for his first save of the year.

Washington Nationals

  • 2B Daniel Murphy will start rehab games today, the last step in his return from injury. With any luck, he should be available to fantasy owners by the second full week of June.

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