Daily Intel – 7/31/2018

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Arizona Diamondbacks

  • SP Robbie Ray failed to get out of the sixth inning for the fifth time in his last six starts, as spotty command limited him to 5 1/3 innings in a no-decision against Texas last night. He allowed four runs on two hits and four walks, striking out six.

Atlanta Braves

  • In his first game with the Braves, RP Brad Brach worked in an eighth inning setup role for RP A.J. Minter, who successfully held a two-run lead in the ninth inning for his sixth save of the year.
  • OF Adam Duvall was acquired from Cincinnati, though there is no obvious opening for him in the lineup unless the Braves start to platoon OF Ender Inciarte. 

Baltimore Orioles

  • It sounds like, despite being one of the worst teams in the majors and likely staring down the barrel of a long rebuild, the Orioles will not be moving SPs Dylan Bundy and Kevin GausmanOF Adam Jones, 2B Jonathan Schoop, or RP Mychal Givens today. Givens will likely be the closer for the rest of the year.

Boston Red Sox

  • SP David Price went eight innings in a no-decision last night, his second longest outing of the season. Price has bounced back nicely after two rough starts to open the month, and has allowed only three earned runs and 20 baserunners in his last 21 innings, striking out 21.
  • 2B Ian Kinsler was acquired from the Angels, which will likely hurt the playing time of 2B/3B/OF Eduardo Nuñez once 3B Rafael Devers is back off the disabled list in mid-August.

Chicago Cubs

  • The Cubs apparently remain in the market for another starting pitcher today. We were a little surprised to hear that SP Mike Montgomery will remain in the rotation and SP Tyler Chatwood will be in the bullpen after the acquisition of SP Cole Hamels, but Montgomery still seems like he’s running out of gas and that is likely driving the team to look for another starter with SP Yu Darvish at least three weeks away from returning.

Chicago White Sox

  • OF Eloy Jimenez is the best minor league stash for fantasy owners right now. He homered again last night and has a 10-game hitting streak at Triple-A, over which he’s hit .583 with five home runs, 11 RBI, and a 1.739 OPS.

Cincinnati Reds

  • SP Matt Harvey went from being an almost-definite trade chip today to looking like a 50/50 shot to stick with the Reds and hit free agency this winter.
  • OF Scott Schebler still needs to play a few games of defense during his minor league rehab stint before being ready to return.
  • With OF Adam Duvall traded to Atlanta yesterday, OF Phil Ervin should be in line for regular playing time the rest of the way.

Cleveland Indians

  • 2B/3B Jose Ramirez hit his 31st and 32nd home runs last night, also stealing his 24th base of the year.
  • SP Shane Bieber failed again to post a start one would consider anything better than average, allowing four runs (three earned) on six hits and two walks over 6 1/3 innings last night. He did strike out seven, but he’ll finish July with a 7.00 ERA and 1.52 WHIP in 27 innings over five starts.

Colorado Rockies 

  • 3B Nolan Arenado went 2-for-5 with last night with his first career road grand slam. July has been a very good month for Arenado, who has hit .313 with eight homers, 16 runs scored and 22 RBI.
  • 2B DJ LeMahieu could be ready to return from his oblique injury as early as Thursday.

Detroit Tigers

  • The most likely trade chips for the Tigers today are SPs Mike Fiers and Francisco Liriano, who are scheduled to start for the team tomorrow and Friday, respectively.

Houston Astros

  • In what will likely go down as the most surprising deal of the trade deadline, suspended RP Roberto Osuna was added in a deal that sent RP Ken Giles to Toronto. Osuna is eligible to return on Sunday and should immediately take over as Astros closer, making him an easy top 10 reliever the rest of the way.

Kansas City Royals

  • General Manager Dayton Moore has stated multiple times that the team won’t be trading SP Danny Duffy, C Sal Perez, or 2B/OF Whit Merrifield today, so expect the Royals to be quiet. 1B Ryan O’Hearn was called up from Triple-A yesterday, though, which will require a 40-man roster move. Because of that, 1B Lucas Duda seems like the most likely candidate to be moved via trade.

Los Angeles Angels

  • SP/DH Shohei Ohtani has upped the rehab work as he tries to get back on the mound, throwing from 110 feet over the weekend. The odds are still long that he’ll pitch again this season.

Los Angeles Dodgers

  • SP Ross Stripling was placed on the disabled list with a toe injury, which he apparently has been working through. The team claimed he won’t miss more than a couple of starts, which should help with his innings workload.

Miami Marlins

  • OF Derek Dietrich went 1-for-2 with two walks and two runs scored in what could have been his swan song with Miami, as he remains a popular name in the rumor mill for today’s deadline. He’s slumped over the last couple of weeks, with only three hits and four walks in his last nine games, with no RBI.
  • 3B/OF Brian Anderson went 1-for-5 with a two-run home run, his first extra-base hit since July 15.

Milwaukee Brewers

  • If there were any doubt that RP Joakim Soria lost all his value when he was traded from the White Sox to Milwaukee, that was erased last night when he again worked the seventh inning after doing so in his debut with the team on Friday. Soria can be dropped in all mixed formats.

Minnesota Twins

  • SP Ervin Santana showed nothing again last night that has him believing he’s anything more than an AL-only option at this point, once again only last five innings. He gave up four earned runs on two walks and six hits, including three home runs, while only striking out one. This is Santana’s two-start week and he’s not going to get another one until the end of the month, so there’s no excuse to own him in most mixed formats.

New York Mets

  • ESPN’s Buster Olney reported it is unlikely that the Mets will move either SP Jacob deGrom or SP Noah Syndergaard. Potential trade options today include OF Jose Bautista and SP Zack Wheeler. 

New York Yankees

  • SP Lance Lynn was acquired yesterday for a minor league pitcher and 1B Tyler Austin, who was pushed to the minors for 1B Greg Bird after a hot start in April and May. Lynn will either be the new number five starter, a temporary number six as the team looks to give rest opportunities to SPs Luis Severino, Masahiro Tanaka, and CC Sabathia, or a potential bullpen piece.

Oakland A’s

  • SP Edwin Jackson bounced back nicely from his first bad outing of the season in his last start on July 25. He shut out the Blue Jays for 5 2/3 innings yesterday, allowing only three hits and three walks while striking out five. He gets another soft touch this weekend when he faces Detroit at home.

Philadelphia Phillies

  • After two starts that were shaky by his standards, SP Aaron Nola stepped in to arguably the toughest matchup in baseball right now and shut down the Red Sox in Boston for eight innings, only being saddled with a no-decision due to OF Odubel Herrera misplaying a line drive in center field that turned an out in to an RBI triple. Nola went eight innings, tied for his longest outing of the year, and allowed only four hits and a walk, striking out six.

Pittsburgh Pirates

  • The Bucs are confident that 1B Josh Bell’s oblique strain is of the mild variety and that he should be able to return early next week when he’s eligible.
  • RP Keone Kela was acquired from Texas, which kills his value in all formats as he’s unlikely to supplant RP Felipe Vazquez as closer.

San Diego Padres

  • It sounds like the Padres will not make a move for Tampa Bay SP Chris Archer. RP Kirby Yates, who worked two scoreless innings last night with two strikeouts, remains the most fantasy-relevant trade chip the team has, and if he goes, the closer duties should either fall to RP Craig Stammen, or, if Stammen is moved, to a committee.

San Francisco Giants

  • SP Johnny Cueto was placed on the disabled list with a right elbow sprain after feeling pain there during his start on Sunday. If you own him, drop him, he’s done for this year.
  • OF Gorkys Hernandez homered for the second consecutive game last night and now has 13 on the season.

Seattle Mariners

  • SP James Paxton was dominant in his return from the disabled list, shutting out the Astros for seven innings last night to earn his ninth win of the season. He struck out eight and allowed only three singles on the night. The team played it safe with him and took him out after 82 pitches.

St. Louis Cardinals

  • SP Carlos Martinez came off the disabled list yesterday and started against Colorado, striking out nine in 4 2/3 innings. Why was start so short despite being so successful? Well, he got hurt again, and this time it may be serious, as the team announced it was a right shoulder strain that forced him out, and his velocity was averaging around 90 mph in his last inning after he was hitting 96-97 mph regularly earlier in the game. If Martinez heads back to the disabled list, it may be time to cut bait on him for the season, because shoulder injuries usually don’t come and go quickly, and the Cardinals look liable to fall out of the race and simply shut Martinez down.

Tampa Bay Rays

  • The players to watch for movement on today at the trade deadline are SP Chris Archer, RP Sergio Romo, 1B C.J. Cron, and SS Adeiny Hechavarria. 

Texas Rangers

  • With RP Keone Kela shipped to Pittsburgh, the closer role is wide open right now. We predicted last week that RP Jake Diekman would be the guy to own here for saves if Kela left, but there’s a chance he could be moved today before the deadline as well. RP Jose Leclerc is the safest pickup if you want to grab someone today.
  • C Robinson Chirinos stayed hot last night with a 3-for-4 effort, stealing a base, scoring twice, and driving in a run.

Toronto Blue Jays

  • With RP Roberto Osuna being traded to Houston, the closer role should remain hard to decipher for at least the next few weeks, with holdover RPs Ryan Tepera and Tyler Clippard likely competing with newly-acquired RP Ken Giles for opportunities. Manager John Gibbons did say Giles would get a shot at the role, for what that’s worth.

Washington Nationals

  • The players to watch for movement on today at the trade deadline are RPs Ryan Madson, Kelvin Herrera, and Shawn Kelley, along with impending free agents 1B/2B Daniel Murphy and, yes, OF Bryce Harper. 

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