Daily Intel – 6/10/2018

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Arizona Diamondbacks

  • 1B Paul Goldschmidt watch: he dominated again, going 3-for-4 with a walk, two home runs, four RBI, and three runs scored.
  • OF David Peralta went 4-for-5 last night with a double, a run scored, and three RBI. Coors Field has helped these stats the last two days, but Peralta has hits in seven of his last nine games, including four homers, three doubles, and 10 RBI.

Atlanta Braves

  • SP Mike Soroka will be activated from the disabled list on Wednesday and will start that game at home against the Mets. We wouldn’t start him outside of NL-only leagues, as he’ll likely be on a limited pitch count.

Baltimore Orioles

  • 2B Jonathan Schoop went 0-for-4 with a hit by pitch and a run scored yesterday. Schoop is really struggling, with a .196 batting average, .555 OPS, a single home run and RBI in his last 48 plate appearances. Schoop’s hard-hit rate is an awful 22.2 percent – it was 36.1 percent during last year’s breakout season – which doesn’t give us much hope that a major rebound is coming soon.

Boston Red Sox

  • 2B/3B/OF Eduardo Nunez hit cleanup yesterday, a first for this season, going 1-for-3 with a walk and a stolen base.

Chicago Cubs

  • SP Jon Lester has been impressive this year because he seems to have the right game plan in every start – yesterday against the Pirates he used his changeup about twice as much as he has on average this season. The result was a cut back on his the usage of his cutter, which hasn’t been as good a pitch for him as it was last year. The result was both pitches generating strikes and outs, supporting his improved four-seam fastball and allowing him to throw seven one-hit, shutout innings with two walks and five strikeouts.

Chicago White Sox

  • SP Carlos Rodon’s season debut was good, not great – five innings on 97 pitches, four runs (only two earned), six hits, two walks, seven strikeouts. He allowed two home runs, but also picked up 15 swinging strikes. His velocity was either at or above the same level as last year for all four of his pitches, so if you’ve been holding him and waiting to see what he looks like before putting him in your lineup, there’s no reason to hold back now. He’ll get the Indians at home on Thursday and then get them at home the following start in a two-start week that will include a home start against Oakland.

Cincinnati Reds

  • OF Jesse Winker homered again yesterday, his lone hit in four at-bats. Hey, we told you earlier this week that this power surge could be coming. Jump on now if you believe.
  • Home run issues continue to plague SP Luis Castillo, as he gave up back-to-back solo shots with two outs in the first inning. He recovered well enough to strike out 10 Cardinals over six innings, but he also allowed a three-run double with two outs – the five earned runs on the night left him with an ERA of 5.79 on the season.

Cleveland Indians

  • RP Cody Allen gave up his third home run this week to lose yesterday’s game at Detroit in extra innings, but the problem right now with Allen is usage. Yesterday was his fourth appearances in five days, the second time he’s had a run like that in the last three weeks. We don’t think Allen is going anywhere from the closer role soon, but the home runs have become a problem and the Indians are definitely going to trade for bullpen help – if manager Terry Francona wants a ninth inning guy that can go four times in five days and not have diminished stuff, then Allen’s role may be in trouble come July.

Colorado Rockies 

  • 2B DJ LeMahieu has hits in seven of his eight games since coming off the disabled list on June 1, and last night he hit his first homer since April 15 in a 2-for-4 effort. He drove in two and scored twice.

Detroit Tigers

  • OF Leonys Martin stole two bases yesterday out of the leadoff spot and now has three SBs in the last two nights. He went 1-for-5 with a single, a walk, and a run scored.

Houston Astros

  • RP Ken Giles was rested and available yesterday, but manager A.J. Hinch opted to go with former Cubs closer RP Hector Rondon with a one-run lead in the ninth last night, and Rondon converted the save after allowing a leadoff single and a one-out walk. Rondon has been great this year, with 26 Ks and five walks over 23 innings, with an ERA of 1.57 and a WHIP of 1.13.

Kansas City Royals

  • SP Danny Duffy used a dominant changeup to put together his best start of the season – he threw the pitch 34 times out of 96 pitches, got nine swinging strikes, two called strikes, and all eight times it was put in play resulted in outs. Overall, Duffy worked seven shutout innings, limiting the A’s to three hits and three walks while striking out 10. After Tuesday’s absurd 21-flyball out start, it was good to see Duffy also only need five flyball outs to put together a start this good. He’s now allowed just six runs in his last 25 2/3 innings and has re-established some level of value in shallower mixed leagues. Unfortunately, his next four starts are projected to be against the Astros twice, Milwaukee, and the Indians, though he does get Houston and Cleveland at his hitter-friendly home park.

Los Angeles Angels

  • 2B Ian Kinsler homered for the sixth time in his last 11 games, his lone hit in yesterday’s game.
  • SP Tyler Skaggs went seven innings yesterday, his longest start since April 23, holding the Twins to a run on five hits and a walk. He struck out eight. Skaggs hasn’t had a truly awful start in almost two months and should be trusted every time out in all formats.

Los Angeles Dodgers

  • 1B/3B Max Muncy homered again yesterday and now has 11 on the season. He walked three times as well – on the season, he’s hitting .268 with a .978 OPS, and it is hard to see a scenario in the next month where the Dodgers stop playing him every day.

Miami Marlins

  • SP Dan Straily failed to take advantage of a three-game stretch of great matchups, as that ended yesterday with the Padres beating him up for nine hits and four runs in 3 2/3 innings. Straily also struggled against San Diego two starts ago and couldn’t get out of the fifth inning on Monday at pitcher-friendly Arizona. Straily can be dropped in any shallow mixed leagues, but he still gets decent matchups the next two times out, getting a home-and-home with San Francisco.

Milwaukee Brewers

  • 2B Jonathan Villar’s slow return to respectability continued yesterday, with a two-run home run and two runs scored. He’s got a .284 batting average and a .792 OPS over the last 30 days, and his slugging percentage has been around .450 for most of the last month and a half.

Minnesota Twins

  • SP Kyle Gibson made two mistakes yesterday, and they both ended up as solo home runs for his only blemishes on an otherwise great start – besides those hits, he allowed only three singles and walked two, striking out five over seven innings. He threw a career-high 118 pitches, and that type of volume has kept him valuable despite him going more than two months without a win due to a lack of run support.

New York Mets

  • SS Amed Rosario led off for the first time this season yesterday – in fact, it was the first time he hit above sixth in the order. The Mets sound like they are getting ready to release SS/3B Jose Reyes, and while Rosario’s playing time wasn’t threatened much by Reyes, it does cement that he is going to play every single day save for the occasional rest day, so if he can move in to the top of the order more frequently, there’s a shot for him to rebuild some value this year. He singled yesterday and stole a base.
  • OF Yoenis Cespedes was removed from his rehab game at Double-A yesterday due to right quad tightness. The injury he’s recovering from is a right hip flexor strain. The team said the move was precautionary, but that sounds like lower body chain issues that aren’t going to be helped by putting Cespedes in a corner outfield role in expansive Citi Field, especially if today’s New York Post rumors of OF Michael Conforto being demoted turn out to be true, because that would definitely leave Cespedes in an everyday defensive role.

New York Yankees

  • SP Masahiro Tanaka suffered strains in both his hamstrings tagging up to score from third base in Friday’s start, and the result is a disabled list that will last “weeks,” according to manager Aaron Boone. We wouldn’t count on having Tanaka back before the All-Star Break.

Oakland A’s

  • RP Chris Bassitt made a spot start with SP Trevor Cahill dealing with an Achilles’ issue, and it was his first major league outing in more than two years. He came through with a great start, going seven innings and 93 pitches, allowing a run on three hits and a walk, with six strikeouts.

Philadelphia Phillies

  • 1B/OF Rhys Hoskins returned from his jaw issue earlier than originally expected and was right back in the lineup hitting second yesterday. He delivered a solid return performance with a three-run home run and a single.

Pittsburgh Pirates

  • C Francisco Cervelli took a foul ball off his jaw while on defense yesterday and left the game early. He was hitting cleanup for the third time in five games, as manager Clint Hurdle said before the game that 1B Josh Bell, who had hit there in 57 of the Pirates’ 63 games this year, will not be in that spot for the foreseeable future.
  • SP Ivan Nova will come off the disabled list today and start. He’s been out since May 25 with a sprained right finger.

San Diego Padres

  • Interesting bullpen usage yesterday, with RP Brad Hand working the bottom of the eighth inning with the Padres up 5-4 and facing the heart of Miami’s order in C J.T. Realmuto, 1B Justin Bour, and 3B/OF Brian Anderson. Hand was perfect, striking out Bour, and RP Kirby Yates handled the bottom of the ninth to get the save, allowing only one baserunner on an error. With rumors of Hand’s trade viability going up, even in spite of the team-friendly extension he recently signed, Yates is a smart guy to add if you have space to speculate on a closer for July and beyond. That said, Yates could just as easily be dealt instead of or along with Hand.

San Francisco Giants

  • C Nick Hundley is getting more playing time behind the plate than any backup in the C Buster Posey era in San Francisco, and he’s making it count. He went 2-for-5 yesterday with a three-run home run and an RBI double. Hundley now has a .273 batting average and .857 OPS, and he is more than viable as a number-two catcher in mixed leagues.

Seattle Mariners

  • After watching SP Felix Hernandez’s high-contact approach work against the Rays last week, we figured he’d provide at least an average start yesterday in pitcher-friendly Tropicana Field. Not so much. Hernandez only lasted 53 pitches because the Rays jumped all over his stuff in the strike zone, putting together seven hits (three for extra bases) and six runs (five earned) before KO’ing Hernandez after three innings.

St. Louis Cardinals

  • RP Jordan Hicks is starting to harness his 100+ mph fastball – he struck out the side for the save in the ninth yesterday, his fourth appearance in his last six where he’s struck out multiple batters. He now has 12 Ks in his last 7 1/3 innings.

Tampa Bay Rays

  • 1B/OF Jake Bauers looks locked in to every day playing time at first base, so you wonder how long the Rays will wait to call up SS Willy Adames at Durham, as he is considered a higher-ceiling prospect than Bauers and arguably just as ready for the majors. After a couple of rough games to start his career, Bauers was actually moved up to second in the lineup yesterday and rewarded manager Kevin Cash with a 2-for-4 day that included a double and a run scored.
  • RP Chaz Roe came in with two outs in the eighth inning, and the tying run was on deck in a 7-3 game, so he actually earned a save when he got out of the eighth and worked an easy ninth.

Texas Rangers

  • SS/OF Jurickson Profar doesn’t look like a guy who wants to cede his every day playing time when SS Elvis Andrus is healthy in a week or so. He has hits in eight of his last 10 games after picking up a single, a walk, and a stolen base. His plate discipline has been faltered a little since a good month in April, but he still strikes out far less than the other windmills in the Texas lineup (1B/3B Joey Gallo and 2B Rougned Odor) and his power his ticked up steadily throughout the season.

Toronto Blue Jays

  • OF Kevin Pillar was in a major funk before getting a semi-day off on Thursday, hitting .108 with a .348 OPS in his the nine games prior. He entered that game in the ninth as a pinch-hitter and had and RBI single, and in the last two games back in the starting lineup he’s gone 4-for-9 with a home run and a caught stealing.

Washington Nationals

  • OF Adam Eaton was not only activated yesterday, he was started in right field and placed in the lead off spot. Eaton went 1-for-4 with a hit by pitch and two runs scored. OF Bryce Harper moved to center field and OF Juan Soto stayed in left field, with OF Michael Taylor going to the bench, at least for one game.
  • SP Stephen Strasburg, as speculated yesterday, will in fact hit the disabled list due to inflammation in his right shoulder.

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