Daily Intel – 6/18/2018

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Arizona Diamondbacks

  • 1B Paul Goldschmidt went 2-for-3 with a walk and a run scored yesterday, capping a solid homestand – over seven games, he went 10-for-26 with four walks, two homers, six runs scored and four RBI.

Atlanta Braves

  • SP Julio Teheran made a big splash in his first start off the disabled list, striking out 11 Padres over six innings of shutout work. He didn’t allow a hit, but did walk three batters. Teheran said he thought his velocity would return after his time off, and for at least one start, he was right, as his four-seam fastball hung around 91-92 mph for most of the day. He did limp off the mound at the end of the sixth inning, though, as his right hamstring started cramping during the frame. He should be ok for his next start, but if he’s not, we’ll know early this week.

Baltimore Orioles

  • RP Zach Britton worked the ninth inning of an Orioles’ win yesterday, unfortunately it was with a 10-4 lead so he didn’t get his first save chance since returning. Britton worked a relatively easy inning, needing just nine pitches (eight of which were strikes) to put the Marlins down.
  • OF Mark Trumbo went 3-for-5 with a double, home run, two RBI and three runs scored yesterday. Trumbo’s power stroke is slowly returning, as he has four extra-base hits in his last four starts.

Boston Red Sox

  • 3B Rafael Devers went 2-for-5 yesterday with three RBI and a home run.
  • SS Xander Bogearts homered for the third time in four games yesterday, also adding a single and a second run scored in five at-bats.

Chicago Cubs

  • SP Jose Quintana allowed two runs or less for the fourth straight start and the eighth time in 10 starts yesterday, allowing four hits and two walks over five innings. He’s cut his ERA from 5.23 to 4.06 between last night’s start and May 14. After struggling to find his fastball early in the season – it was a negative value pitch in seven of his first 10 starts, per FanGraphs – Quintana’s gotten more out of that pitch and his curveball over the last four starts, and he looks once again to be trustable in every start.

Chicago White Sox

  • SP James Shields earned his eighth quality start in his last 10 outings yesterday, going six innings and allowing six hits, four walks, and three earned runs against the Tigers. He struck out five. His changeup was good again, generating four swinging strikes on 15 offerings. He gets the A’s next at home on Friday, a good start for most formats.

Cincinnati Reds

  • OF Billy Hamilton had his best overall game of the year, making probably the best single defensive play of the year (video here) and going 3-for-4 at the plate with two stolen bases and three runs scored.

Cleveland Indians

  • OF Lonnie Chisenhall went 2-for-3 yesterday with a walk, a triple, and two runs scored. Chisenhall has been very good with full-time opportunities this month, hitting 14-for-37 (.378).
  • SP Shane Bieber produced a start yesterday that fit his scouting and minor league skills profile – high-contact and high-strikeout. He worked 5 2/3 innings, allowing four doubles and six singles, but only one walk and one run. He struck out seven.

Colorado Rockies 

  • RP Wade Davis imploded yesterday in blowing his fourth save of the season, allowing two hits and four walks as he turned a 12-9 lead into a 13-12 loss to the Rangers. Davis’ cutter, the key to his success last year as his fastball got worse, just hasn’t been there and wasn’t again yesterday, as he threw it 12 times and didn’t get one swinging strike, while missing the strike zone with it nine times.

Detroit Tigers

  • SP Blaine Hardy has pitched well enough to make manager Ron Gardenhire consider a six-man rotation moving forward. He won his third game of the year yesterday, holding the White Sox to a run over 5 1/3 innings on six hits. He struck out three.
  • 3B/OF Nick Castellanos capped a great weekend with a 1-for-3 day that included a two-run homer. He went 5-for-12 for the weekend with two walks, three homers, seven RBI and four runs scored.

Houston Astros

  • The bullpen chronicles for one of the best teams in baseball continued yesterday: RP Ken Giles entered in the eighth inning of a game that the Astros had just taken a 6-4 lead in during the top half of the inning, working a clean inning with a strikeout. RP Hector Rondon got the ninth with a 7-4 lead, and other than a walk, had a relatively easy time closing out his fourth save of the month.

Kansas City Royals

  • 2B/OF Whit Merrifield is day-to-day after fouling a 95 mph fastball off his knee yesterday. Both Merrifield and manager Ned Yost said it was “a bruise” and that he should be back in the lineup at some point this week.

Los Angeles Angels

  • RP Blake Parker entered the ninth inning with a 5-3 lead yesterday, but after allowing a lead off home run and two walks, he exited the game in favor of RP Jose Alvarez, who got a strikeout, but RP Cam Bedrosian entered and allowed a two-out single to OF Mark Canha to lose the lead. SP Andrew Heaney had a tremendous start wasted, as he struck out eight over eight innings and allowed only three runs on three hits and a walk. Heaney also had 12 swinging strikes and 21 called strikes on 106 pitches.

Los Angeles Dodgers

  • C Yasmani Grandal has dropped off this month after a start to the season that had him on top of the catcher position in terms of fantasy performance. He went 1-for-3 yesterday but is 8-for-41 so far this month.

Miami Marlins

  • 1B Justin Bour went 2-for-4 with two home runs and four RBI yesterday. He had come in to the game with just one home run since May 17 (102 at-bats).

Milwaukee Brewers

  • 1B/OF Eric Thames had his first big game since coming off the disabled list yesterday. Playing left field and leading off, he went 2-for-4 with a walk and two home runs. With 1B/OF Ryan Braun sitting, 1B Jesus Aguilar was also in the lineup, and he homered, hit two singles, and drove in two runs.

Minnesota Twins

  • 3B Eduardo Escobar stayed hot yesterday in an otherwise quiet day for the Minnesota bats, hitting three doubles in four at-bats.

New York Mets

  • RP Jeurys Familia was back yesterday and worked the start of an eighth inning that the Mets entered down 2-1. He threw 22 pitches, gave up three hits and a walk, and allowed a run, but he did get the win after the Mets scored four in the top half of the ninth to take a 5-3 lead. RP Robert Gsellman closed it out with a perfect ninth for his third save of the year.

New York Yankees

  • SP CC Sabathia struck out 10 yesterday, his first double-digit strikeout start since August 2016. Overall, he allowed three runs in 7 2/3 innings on 10 hits and a walk. Those strikeouts are a rarity in a Sabathia start, which keeps him best used as a high-level matchups play in shallower mixed leagues. His next start is a good one, getting the Rays in Tampa on Friday.

Oakland A’s

  • RP Blake Treinen’s dominant season continued yesterday with two perfect frames in the 10th and 11th innings of an extra-inning win. He threw 21 pitches, 18 for strikes, and struck out three.

Philadelphia Phillies

  • Manager Gabe Kapler tried to let RP Hector Neris finish yesterday’s game with a 10-5 lead, and Neris proceeded to give up four hits and four runs on just 18 pitches, including two home runs. RP Seranthony Dominguez worked the seventh and part of the eighth inning yesterday, and it really doesn’t look like he’s a viable saves source, though we continue to value him highest in this mish-mash Philadelphia bullpen.

Pittsburgh Pirates

  • OF Gregory Polanco had his first multi-hit game since May 31 yesterday, going 3-for-3 with a home run, two RBI, and two runs scored. He entered the game with just four hits in 35 plate appearances this month, and still looks fourth in the playing time pecking order in the outfield until OF Corey Dickerson is traded.

San Diego Padres

  • RP Matt Strahm has been pretty good in the “opener” role for the Padres over the last couple of weeks. He struck out five in 2 2/3 shutout innings to open yesterday’s game, and in his last three outings he’s pitched eight innings and struck out 11 with no walks, three hits, and an earned run.

San Francisco Giants

  • Bullpen update in SF: RP Mark Melancon worked the eighth inning, getting two outs before turning it over to RP Tony Watson, who got two outs of his own between the eighth and ninth before handing it over to RP Hunter Strickland, who got the final two outs for the save. If you’re holding on to Melancon hoping for saves soon, you may be waiting a while.
  • 1B Brandon Belt homered yesterday and also scored a run after walking. He looks just fine after returning from his appendectomy.

Seattle Mariners

  • SP Mike Leake drew a tough matchup yesterday against the Red Sox and had his first bad start in over a month, allowing five runs on eight hits and a walk over six innings. He only struck out one, making it five out of seven starts where he’s struck out three or less.

St. Louis Cardinals

  • OF Tommy Pham has an 11-game hitting streak after a 1-for-3 night yesterday that included a walk and two runs scored. Power continues to be absent for Pham, though, as he has only one extra-base hit, a home run, in 82 plate appearances since May 26.

Tampa Bay Rays

  • In SS Adeiny Hechavarria’s first game back off the disabled list, he started at shortstop and moved SS Willy Adames over to second base. Hechavarria went 3-for-4 with a run scored and Adames went 1-for-4 with a run scored. Rumors are that the Rays are actively shopping Hechavarria as they begin their veteran sell off, but if Adames can get second base eligibility in the next week and a half, he’d gain a nice uptick in value.
  • RP Sergio Romo was handed a save opportunity with a 3-1 lead in the ninth inning, and he closed out his third save of the year with a solid inning that included a walk and two strikeouts. RP Diego Castillo continues to be the Rays’ best reliever overall, though, as he struck out two in the eighth inning yesterday and now has 10 Ks in 6 2/3 innings.

Texas Rangers

  • OF Delino DeShields is slowly recovering a lot of expected preseason fantasy value. He went 1-for-2 yesterday with two walks, four runs scored, and two stolen bases.
  • SS Jurickson Profar continues to make a case to retain his playing time before SS Elvis Andrus returns – he went 2-for-5 yesterday with a home run, a double, and four RBI, and over his last 10 games he’s got 12 hits, 13 RBI, and four homers.

Toronto Blue Jays

  • OF Randal Grichuk went 3-for-3 with two home runs, four RBI, and a stolen base yesterday. Grichuk has five home runs this month, and with the Blue Jays all but done with contending this season, we’d expect Grichuk to continue getting every day at-bats the rest of the way with an opportunity to have a big power output in the second half.

Washington Nationals

  • We’ve said a few times this season that OF Michael Taylor is worth rostering in deep leagues because of his ability to produce short bursts of value, but you have to be able to stomach the down points. Yesterday was the epitome of that, as he went 3-for-4 with three singles, but stole four bases and now has 21 on the season. Despite his .236 batting average, Taylor is a top-35 outfielder in roto formats for the season, simply because he’s been able to deliver volume. Over his last 22 games, Taylor is hitting .357 (25-for-70).

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