Daily Intel – 7/10/2018

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Arizona Diamondbacks

  • SP Clay Buchholz will throw his second bullpen session in three days today as he works his way back from an oblique issue. If everything stays on track, he should be able to make his first turn in the rotation after the All-Star Break, which will likely be July 23 or 24.

Atlanta Braves

  • OF Ronald Acuña Jr. should be back in the lineup today after sitting out most of the weekend with a groin injury.

Baltimore Orioles

  • Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reported yesterday that the Yankees’ are becoming a bigger player for Orioles SS/3B Manny Machado, and Machado hit third in both ends of the doubleheader against the Yankees yesterday, going 1-for-7 with a run scored and two strikeouts.
  • OF Mark Trumbo hit a two-run home run and added two singles and two runs scored in eight plate appearances yesterday.

Boston Red Sox

  • 1B/OF Steve Pearce homered again yesterday, as the Red Sox continue to give him opportunities to produce by slotting him in the cleanup spot. He also added a single on the night to go with that homer and two RBI.

Chicago Cubs

  • SP Yu Darvish played catch yesterday, the first throwing activity he’s had since his setback during a minor league rehab start a few weeks ago.

Chicago White Sox

  • The Sox claimed OF Ryan LaMarre off waivers from the Twins, now giving them two recent Twins outfielders (OF Daniel Palka being the other) on their 25-man roster.

Cincinnati Reds

  • We’ll admit we were dumb enough to look at the tough matchups OF Scott Schebler was facing this week in a three-game set at Cleveland and figured there were better options on our bench. We say “dumb” because Schebler went 4-for-5 yesterday, including a two-run home run, three singles, and three RBI. He was also caught stealing.
  • OF Billy Hamilton went 2-for-4 with two runs scored and another stolen base, his 22nd on the season and sixth in three games.

Cleveland Indians

  • 2B Jason Kipnis was back in the lineup yesterday after missing Sunday’s game with a tight hamstring, going 2-for-4 with a home run, a double, and two RBI.

Colorado Rockies 

  • In his second start at Triple-A on Sunday, SP Jon Gray went 4 2/3 innings, allowing two earned runs on five hits and four walks. He struck out seven.

Detroit Tigers

  • 2B/SS Niko Goodrum continued his recent good stretch at the plate last night at Tampa Bay, going 2-for-3 with two doubles, three RBI, and a run scored.
  • SP Francisco Liriano’s career-long struggles at Tropicana Field played out again last night, as the Rays tagged him for eight hits, a walk, and seven earned runs in 2 1/3 innings. After getting his ERA below 4 with his June 29 start, this one pushed it back closer to 5 at 4.74. Liriano finishes the first half this weekend at Houston and should be benched for that one in all formats.

Houston Astros

  • SP Gerrit Cole struck out 11 over six shutout innings against the A’s last night, limiting them to three singles and three walks. This was an encouraging outing for Cole, who had 23 swinging strikes and picked up his first game with more than eight strikeouts since May 9. That’s nitpicking, but Cole has recently had an uptick in walks, with 16 in his last 29 innings, so it was good to see him balance that with more Ks in this start.

Kansas City Royals

  • SP Danny Duffy has six quality starts in his last nine outings after throwing six shutout innings at Minnesota yesterday. He limited the Twins to six hits and two walks, striking out nine. When Duffy has bad starts, it is usually against top teams – of those three non-quality starts in his last nine, they came against the Indians, Astros, and Angels, and prior to that he had a bad outing against the Yankees – but when the matchup is right, Duffy is a very strong streaming option in shallow mixed leagues. His last start of the first half comes Sunday at the White Sox, and we like him a bunch in that matchup.

Los Angeles Angels

  • SP Nick Tropeano will throw a bullpen session today after a good minor league rehab outing over the weekend. If all goes well, he could return to the rotation for Sunday’s first-half finale against the Dodgers.
  • SP Tyler Skaggs came out of his Sunday bullpen fine and should be ready to come off the disabled list on Thursday to start against Seattle.

Los Angeles Dodgers

  • OF Andrew Toles was called up to replace OF Yasiel Puig, who will a few weeks after being diagnosed Monday with a Grade 1 right oblique strain. Toles has missed some time at Triple-A this year with a hamstring issue but in the 34 games he’s played he’s hit .326 with a .863 OPS.

Miami Marlins

  • SP Jose Ureña was an under-the-radar two-start option this week, and he was solid in the front end of that yesterday, limiting the Brewers to two runs on seven hits and a walk over 5 2/3 innings. Ureña struck out four and has only allowed more than three earned runs twice in his last seven starts. His second start of the week comes Sunday against the Phillies.

Milwaukee Brewers

  • The Marlins, of all teams, got to All-Star RP Josh Hader last night, handing arguably his worst outing of the season to him with four hits, a walk, and two runs allowed in 1 2/3 innings.
  • OF Lorenzo Cain stole a base yesterday, a nice sign in his second game back after a disabled list stint stemming from a groin injury. He also added three singles, a walk, and an RBI.

Minnesota Twins

  • After a multi-week rough patch in late June that extended in to last week, 3B Eduardo Escobar has hits in three straight, including a 3-for-4 effort yesterday that included an RBI.

New York Mets

  • SP Zack Wheeler had made it at least six innings in 10 of his last 12 starts entering yesterday’s start, but he only got 4 2/3 innings out of his 102 pitches for his shortest outing since April 24. While Wheeler allowed seven hits, three walks, and three earned runs, the positive continues to be his improved dominance trend – he struck out eight, and in his last five starts (31 innings), he’s struck out 35 batters.

New York Yankees

  • OF Giancarlo Stanton had a strong doubleheader performance at Baltimore yesterday, going 4-for-9 with three runs scored, a solo home run, and a double.
  • OF Brett Gardner sat in game one, but continued his solid play from last week in game two, going 4-for-6 with a home run, a double, three runs scored, and three RBI. Gardner has 10 hits in his last six starts, including five for extra bases, as well as three walks, a stolen base, and six runs scored.

Oakland A’s

  • RP Lou Trivino worked two very impressive scoreless innings yesterday at Houston, and in his last 13 2/3 innings he’s pitched to a 0.66 ERA with 15 strikeouts and three walks. Trivino picked up almost 15 innings in both May and June, and could be emerging as one of the rare middle relief options worth rostering in mixed leagues if he can continue that pace.

Philadelphia Phillies

  • OF Nick Williams went 3-for-5 with an RBI in the first game of yesterday’s doubleheader against the Mets. He added a walk in the second game, and has now reached base safely in his last 10 starts, picking up six runs scored, two homers, and four RBI in that span, lifting his season-long batting average to .245 and his OPS to .773.

Pittsburgh Pirates

  • OF Gregory Polanco’s has really fixed his season-long stats with this multi-week hot streak. After going 2-for-3 yesterday with a home run, four RBI, a walk, a steal, and two runs scored, Polanco is now sporting a .236 batting average and .815 OPS after being as low as .200 and .702 in those categories as recently as June 16.
  • SP Ivan Nova was able to get his fifth win of the season last night with 5 2/3 innings of work against the Nationals, but he allowed two home runs, and in his last three starts he’s allowed eight homers in 16 2/3 innings.

San Diego Padres

  • 1B/OF Wil Myers homered again yesterday and added a single, and now has gone 9-for-24 with five homers, nine RBI, and a 5-to-4 strikeout-to-walk ratio over the last week, good for a 1.608 OPS.

San Francisco Giants

  • SP Andrew Suarez allowed only one earned run for the fourth consecutive start, going six innings against the Cubs for a no-decision. Suarez allowed three hits and four walks, striking out five. He’s not a big strikeout source, but Suarez’s 3.75 ERA is supported by his underlying numbers, including a 52.5 groundball percentage and low 5.6 percent walk rate.

Seattle Mariners

  • In his off-day mailbag, Greg Johns of MLB.com has some very relevant fantasy info on key pitchers SPs Marco Gonzales, James Paxton, and Wade LeBlanc, all of whom are on pace to smash their innings totals from last season and could be forcing the Mariners to consider a six-man rotation moving forward to slow them down. SP Erasmo Ramirez, who has been injured most of the year but is close to returning, could be the man added to the rotation.

St. Louis Cardinals

  • C Yadier Molina was named to the All-Star team as a replacement for Giants C Buster Posey, who said he has been dealing with hip inflammation all season and wants to take the four-day break to rest.

Tampa Bay Rays

  • SP Chris Archer struggled in his first start back in over a month, only making it 3 1/3 innings due to a 75-80 pitch limit. Archer was undone by shaky command that left many of his pitches in hittable spots for Detroit, which tagged Archer for six hits, two walks, and three earned runs. Archer’s stuff looked solid, as he had 11 swinging strikes and 10 called strikes, plus 19 foul balls, and we’d still be fine using him in most formats for his weekend start at Minnesota.

Texas Rangers

  • SP Mike Minor has navigated a tough schedule pretty well over the last month – he went 5 1/3 innings yesterday at Boston and allowed just six hits and two earned runs, striking out four without a walk. In his previous five outings, which were all quality starts and including two games against the Astros, he went a total of 32 innings with just nine earned runs allowed.

Toronto Blue Jays

  • RP Roberto Osuna had his court date for a domestic dispute pushed back again yesterday, and it now looks like it’ll still be hanging open when he is eligible to return to the team on August 4.

Washington Nationals

  • C Matt Wieters returned to the lineup yesterday after missing nearly two months with a strained left hamstring. He started at catcher, hit seventh, and went 1-for-4 with a strikeout.

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