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- The fracture in OF A.J. Pollock’s left thumb is not fully healed yet, per Nick Piecoro of AZCentral. With a 4-to-8 week timetable on his return in the initial days after the injury, it looks likely Pollock will return closer to the 8-week end of things.
- SP Robbie Ray threw a bullpen session yesterday and underwent an MRI afterward that showed progress in the healing of his oblique injury. Accounting for more healing time and at least two rehab starts, and it looks like late June/early July is a feasible time frame for Ray’s return.
- OF Ender Inciarte has now led off in all three games with OF Ronald Acuna Jr. out, so he looks to be set back in that spot for as long as Acuna is on the disabled list.
- SP Mike Soroka will make a rehab start on Friday and should rejoin the Braves’ rotation next week if everything checks out.
- SP Dylan Bundy took a high-contact approach against the Nationals last night, allowing 11 hits, but no walks, in six innings. He allowed two solo home runs, but other than that the other nine DC hits were singles. Bundy also struck out six and threw first-pitch strikes to 20 of 27 hitters. Overall, a positive night considering some of Bundy’s recent total duds.
- RP Zach Britton will start his rehab assignment today with Triple-A Norfolk and is scheduled to be with them through their homestand this weekend.
Boston Red Sox
- On a day when the Sox added 1B/OF Adam Lind on a minor league deal, their lineup shifted again with 2B Dustin Pedroia back after an off day on Monday. 2B/3B/OF Eduardo Nunez sat out, even with OF Mookie Betts still not back from his minor injury issue, with OF Brock Holt starting in right field.
- 1B Anthony Rizzo has home runs in consecutive games, as he went 2-for-3 with two walks last night.
Chicago White Sox
- OF Daniel Palka has built a nice case for fantasy worthiness in 12-team mixed leagues over the last couple of weeks. He hit his second homer in four days yesterday and also doubled, scoring twice. Palka has hit fourth or fifth and played every day in the last eight White Sox games.
- Command issues popped back up last night for SP Luis Castillo, as he walked three and threw a wild pitch over five innings, also allowing four hits and five runs (four earned).
- 2B Jason Kipnis has quietly gotten his bat going over the last week and a half. He hit his second homer in four games last night and also had a single, giving him seven hits over his last four games and 12 over his last 10 games, with eight RBI over that same 10-game stretch.
- OF Charlie Blackmon went 1-for-5 with two runs scored last night. He still has just one home run in 90 plate appearances at Coors Field, compared to 11 in 131 plate appearances on the road. As difficult as it is to trade for elite players like Blackmon, if you have the means to do so in your league, we’d make him a top priority, because he will go on a tear in his hitter-friendly home park soon.
- Last year, SP Michael Fulmer went 10 starts before giving up more than five runs. And after he gave up five in two early June starts, he then went six more without giving up more than three runs until a five-run outing on July 20. But then, five of his last seven starts before he was shut down ended in him giving up five runs. Using that frame of reference, it is a little concerning that after last night’s 3 1/3-inning outing where Fulmer allowed five runs on six hits and four walks, Fulmer has now allowed at least five runs in four of his last nine starts. We actually really like Fulmer’s total ability as a pitcher, but he doesn’t strike out enough guys to feel comfortable using him indiscriminately every time out. Take more heed with his matchups moving forward.
- C Evan Gattis hit his seventh home run of the season last night, and his sixth in his last 13 starts (since May 12). We said a few times this month that Gattis was worth adding early in his hot streak because he tends to hit homers in bunches, and that’s played out.
- In other relevant catcher news, C Brian McCann was placed on the disabled list with right knee soreness, an injury similar to the one he missed time with last summer. We’ve been praising C Max Stassi’s hitting work for most of the season, and he stands to gain a big playing time boost while McCann is out. Stassi should be owned in all two-catcher leagues.
Kansas City Royals
- SP Danny Duffy pitched well last night, his second consecutive start solid start after giving up 14 earned runs in his previous two starts. He limited the Twins to a run, four hits, and four walks in six innings, striking out four.
Los Angeles Angels
- 2B Ian Kinsler had his first multi-hit game since May 10 and only his third this month, going 3-for-3 with a home run, three RBI, and three runs scored.
Los Angeles Dodgers
- SP Kenta Maeda only lasted 1 2/3 innings last night before leaving with a right hip strain. He will have an MRI today but manager Dave Roberts said after the game that “it looks like a potential DL situation.
- OF/3B Brian Anderson returned to third base last night for just the second time since May 8, going 2-for-4 with an RBI and a run scored.
- With low strikeout totals – four or less – in every start since his first two, there’s not much upside in keeping SP Zach Davies when he’s struggling to prevent runs like he has in his last two starts since coming off the disabled list. Last night he went five innings and allowed eight hits, three walks, and five earned runs, striking out four. In a 15-team mixed and NL-only format, you probably don’t want to cut him yet if you have reserve space, but in shallower leagues there are probably higher upside options to take risks on, especially if you need to make up ground in categories.
- SP Kyle Gibson continues to pitch very well with little fanfare, putting up his best outing of the season with last night with seven shutout innings in a no decision at Kansas City. He allowed one walk and five hits, striking out eight. Gibson will get a nice test on Sunday at home against Cleveland, but we’d be confident starting him.
New York Mets
- SP Noah Syndergaard was placed on the 10-day disabled list yesterday with a strained ligament in his right index finger. This shouldn’t be a long-term injury, as it was reported that Syndergaard will likely throw a bullpen session this weekend. If that’s the case, he should be worth starting in weekly lineup leagues next week with a weekend start most likely. RP Seth Lugo will spot start in Syndergaard’s place tomorrow at home against the Cubs.
- SP Steven Matz was cruising through three innings last night, but left in the fourth after injuring his middle finger during his at-bat in the top half of the inning. He’ll have an MRI today and will likely require at least a short DL stint.
New York Yankees
- OF Brett Gardner went 4-for-5 with two home runs and three RBI last night. He’s been very good over the last nine games, with 14 hits and three walks with only three strikeouts. For as bad as Gardner’s line has looked for most of the season, he’s now on pace to score 118 runs while also delivering 13 homers and 16 steals with 57 RBI. Even with his current .256 average, that type of production would make him a borderline top-25 outfielder in all formats.
- 2B Jed Lowrie had two hits for the second straight game last night, breaking out of a mini-slump that saw him go 3-for-24 with seven strikeouts over a seven-game stretch.
- 2B Cesar Hernandez went 2-for-2 with three walks, a stolen base (his 10th) and two runs scored. Hernandez was having a down month at about the midway point, but he’s got 11 hits and seven walks in his last 10 games and has returned to scoring runs at his elite pace – with 38 on the season, he’s on track to score 118 this year, which doesn’t seem outlandish considering the depth of the Phillies’ lineup.
- SP Jake Arrieta still can’t do much to add to his strikeout total, but last night’s seven innings of shutout ball against the Dodgers was his fourth start this season where he finished with no earned runs in at least 6 2/3 innings. His hard contact rate is at 25.4 percent, very close to the levels he posted during his elite run from 2014-2016.
- OF Austin Meadown went 3-for-5 with a double and his fourth home run in nine games. Meadows has continued to play regularly since OF Starling Marte came back, with OF Gregory Polanco losing playing time as a result.
San Diego Padres
- OF Franmil Reyes homered for the second consecutive night and for the third time in six games. Reyes is striking out a ton – 15 in just 39 plate appearances – but he’s emerging as a short-term power source for deep leagues for as long as he has playing time (that will change when OFs Franchy Cordero and Wil Myers return at some point in June).
San Francisco Giants
- SP Madison Bumgarner will make his season debut next Tuesday against Arizona. Bumgarner struck out eight in his first rehab start on Saturday and will make another tomorrow.
- Bumgarner may be taking the rotation spot from SP Jeff Samardzija, who left last night’s game after one inning with right shoulder tightness.
- C Mike Zunino went 0-for-4 with two strikeouts last night – after getting his average up to .214 last week, he’s got one hit in his last 18 at-bats with nine strikeouts and no walks, and is back down to .190.
St. Louis Cardinals
- SS/3B Jedd Gyorko hit second in the lineup for the first time this season last night, going 2-for-5 with two RBI.
Tampa Bay Rays
- RP Sergio Romo was called on for the first “normal” save chance since the trade of RP Alex Colome, as he was asked to close out the ninth inning of a game the Rays led by three. Romo scuffled a little, allowing consecutive hits to start the inning that both eventually came around to score, but he held on to preserve a 4-3 win.
- 1B Ronald Guzman and 2B Rougned Odor continue to hit very well at the bottom of the Texas order – yesterday Guzman went 4-for-4 with a double, a walk, three singles, and an RBI, and Odor hit a three-run double that put the Rangers ahead for good.
- 3B Adrian Beltre is “very close” to returning to the lineup, according to manager Jeff Banister.
Toronto Blue Jays
- C Russell Martin, after starting in left field on Monday, started at third base yesterday. The Jays claim that baseball’s best prospect, 3B Vladimir Guerrero Jr., remains in the minors because of his defense, but when Martin is playing third in 3B Josh Donaldson’s absence, that reasoning doesn’t hold much water.
- We mentioned yesterday that OF Michael Taylor may be reestablishing his value in shallower mixed leagues, and yesterday he stole two bases and added a single and a walk.
- 2B Daniel Murphy will play at least two more games with Double-A Harrisburg before the Nationals evaluate him, so it’s looking like he should be safe to put in lineups for next week.