Daily Intel – 8/2/2018

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Arizona Diamondbacks

  • 3B Jake Lamb has fraying in his left shoulder’s rotator cuff and will have to decide between a rehab regiment that may give him a chance to return this year, or surgery that would end his season. Either way, he should be dropped everywhere, including NL-only leagues.

Atlanta Braves

  • SP Kevin Gausman will have his debut pushed back from tomorrow to Saturday against the Mets after yesterday’s game against Miami was rained out.

Baltimore Orioles

  • 1B/OF Trey Mancini went 3-for-5 yesterday with a home run, two RBI, and two runs scored. He’s got 13 hits in his last nine starts.

Boston Red Sox

  • Based on postgame comments after Tuesday’s game, 2B Ian Kinsler will hit sixth when he plays, which should be regularly with 3B Rafael Devers out. When Devers returns, Kinsler’s playing time is likely to be impacted through a timeshare with 2B/3B/OF Eduardo Nuñez and 2B/OF Brock Holt. 

Chicago Cubs

  • SP Cole Hamels had a very successful debut with the Cubs, winning a start in which he went five shutout innings and struck out nine, allowing only three singles and a walk. He threw 27 changeups, an interesting shift from his pitch usage in Texas, as that was the second-most changes he threw this season.
  • 2B/OF Ben Zobrist is on fire, going 3-for-5 last night with a walk and two runs scored. Zobrist has 10 hits in last 17 at-bats, 16 hits in his last 29 at-bats, and a 1.223 OPS in the last 15 days.

Chicago White Sox

  • OF Leury Garcia went 2-for-4 with three RBI yesterday, giving him nine RBI in his last seven starts. With every day playing time the rest of the way, Garcia could be a good long-shot bet on speed in deep mixed leagues, as he already has 11 steals in just 229 plate appearances.

Cincinnati Reds

  • OF Billy Hamilton went 2-for-4 with an RBI and a stolen base yesterday, his first bag since July 9, when he stole six bases over a three-game stretch.

Cleveland Indians

  • SP Carlos Carrasco struck out 10 in 7 1/3 innings of shutout work yesterday, allowing only four hits. And, once again, no rhyme or reason to the bullpen here, as RP Brad Hand relieved Carrasco to get the final five outs and his second save since joining the club.

Colorado Rockies 

  • OF Carlos Gonzalez went 1-for-5 yesterday with two strikeouts, but we call him out because that’s three straight road games with a hit for Gonzalez. He’s coming off a terrific July where he hit .345 with 15 extra-base hits, 18 RBI, and 21 runs scored, and with 30 of the Rox’s 55 remaining games at home, Gonzalez looks like a good option in most mixed formats the rest of the way.

Detroit Tigers

  • SP Mike Fiers made his regularly scheduled start yesterday after surprisingly not being traded, but he only lasted two innings after being hit in the shin by a comebacker. He said the team was playing it safe since he couldn’t land on his leg normally after the injury, but it is unclear whether he’ll make his next start. Fiers had thrown two scoreless innings to start the game and looked well on his way to extending his consecutive quality starts streak to seven.

Houston Astros

  • SP Dallas Keuchel scored his seventh quality start in his last nine outings, going seven innings yesterday and allowing three runs on eight hits and a walk. He did only strike out two, but his command was solid all game and he succeeded at keeping the ball down in the zone, continuing to reverse the worrisome home run trend that plagued him early in the season. He’s only allowed two home runs in his last 10 starts after allowing 12 in his first 13 starts.

Kansas City Royals

  • 2B/OF Whit Merrifield went 1-for-5 with a stolen base yesterday, his second consecutive game with a bag, his seventh in his last nine games, and 24th on the year. At this pace, and with the offense behind him weaker than ever, Merrifield could and should challenge for 40 steals.

Los Angeles Angels

  • OF Mike Trout only reached once last night via walk in four plate appearances, but he did steal his 21st base of the season.
  • OF Kole Calhoun homered again last night, his 14th of the year, and he also walked twice. We’ll keep saying it: Calhoun has been the best hitter in fantasy for almost three weeks now and has to be owned everywhere.

Los Angeles Dodgers

  • 2B Brian Dozier hit fifth in his debut, going 3-for-4 with a double, a home run, and two runs scored.
  • C Yasmani Grandal went 3-for-5 with two home runs, including a walk-off shot, three RBI and two runs scored.

Miami Marlins

  • Because of yesterday’s rain out in Atlanta, SP Dan Straily loses his two-start week and will be pushed back to Monday, which makes next week a two-start week against the Cardinals and the Mets.

Milwaukee Brewers

  • In his first game with the team, 2B Jonathan Schoop started at second base, not shortstop as had been mentioned as a possibility. He hit cleanup and went 0-for-5 with three strikeouts.

Minnesota Twins

  • SS Jorge Polanco is on a nice stretch of reaching base. After a 2-for-4 day yesterday, he’s now reached 17 times in his last nine starts. It hasn’t translated in to a ton of runs, as he has just six in that span, but that should even out if he continues to produce like this, and we think he will.

New York Mets

  • SP Noah Syndergaard returned to the rotation yesterday after missing a couple of turns with a viral infection. There were no issues with his stamina, as he lasted 91 pitches and seven innings, taking a loss after giving up three runs on six hits and a walk. He struck out four. In three starts and 17 innings since returning from a seven-week disabled list stint on July 13th, Syndergaard has only struck out 11.

New York Yankees

  • It seems unclear to us how the Yankees can continue to run out SP Sonny Gray at home after another stinkbomb yesterday – 2 2/3 innings, seven earned runs, eight hits, two walks. He’s now started 11 games at home this year and thrown 49 innings to a 7.71 ERA. To make matters worse for him, newly-acquired SP Lance Lynn relieved him and threw 4 1/3 innings of shutout ball, striking out five.

Oakland A’s

  • SS Marcus Semien had his third consecutive multi-hit game and sixth multi-hit game in his last 10 starts yesterday. Since being bumped down in the order, Semien has been hitting much better.

Philadelphia Phillies

  • Matt Gelb of The Athletic had an interesting article looking at how the Phillies plan to get through September balancing their spot in the standings with heavy workload considerations for all of their starters. One thing that could destroy the value of their younger starters – Nick Pivetta, Vince Velasquez, and Zach Eflin – is Gelb’s speculation that they could be shifted to starters that “face an opposing lineup once, then piggyback them with one of the young starters at Triple A like Ranger Suarez, Enyel De Los Santos, Drew Anderson or Cole Irvin.” The Phils have 24 pitchers on their 40-man roster, and 22 have pitched in the majors this year, making it very likely that their roster expansion moves on September 1 will be to go heavy on arms.

Pittsburgh Pirates

  • SP Chris Archer will make his debut tomorrow at home against the Cardinals.
  • SP Nick Kingham only made it through an inning last night, getting burned a little by bad defense but also having poor command, all of which resulted in him allowing three hits, a walk, and four runs (two earned) in his inning of work, along with a wild pitch and a hit by pitch. Kingham also had three-ball counts to six of the nine batters he faced. With Archer in tomorrow, it is likely Kingham will head back to Triple-A, at least temporarily.

San Diego Padres

  • It’s still possible SP Tyson Ross could be moved via trade as he’ll likely make it through waivers.

San Francisco Giants

  • SP Johnny Cueto will have Tommy John surgery today and will be out until 2020. He’ll be 34 at that point. He should be dumped in all dynasty/keeper leagues.

Seattle Mariners

  • Newly-acquired OF Cameron Maybin got his first start in center field yesterday, going 1-for-2 with two walks and a run scored hitting out of the fifth spot in the order.

St. Louis Cardinals

  • SP Luke Weaver had his shortest outing of the season yesterday, needing 74 pitches to make it through only 2 2/3 innings, allowing two earned runs on five hits and two walks. Weaver is an absolute must-start next week though for all formats, as he gets a two-start week at Miami and at Kansas City.
  • RP Greg Holland was released.

Tampa Bay Rays

  • SP Blake Snell threw a 20-pitch bullpen session and aiming to come off the disabled list for a start this weekend.
  • SP Tyler Glasnow was very impressive in his debut, which ended up being his first start of the season after 34 relief appearances in Pittsburgh. Glasnow went three innings, striking out five, allowing only a solo home run to the hottest hitter in baseball (OF Kole Calhoun), a single, and a walk.
  • SP Jake Faria returned from a long disabled list stint and relieved Glasnow, getting the win with 3 2/3 innings of work where he allowed four hits, three walks, and one run. He struck out four. Faria will likely stick in a hybrid relief/starter role the rest of the way as the Rays work to help him overcome his command struggles.

Texas Rangers

  • No big news on the off day for Texas, but in his mailbag at the Dallas Morning News, Evan Grant speculates that SP Mike Minor could still be moved via trade this month, as the $20 million he is still owed would make it likely for him to get through waivers, thus opening him up for a post-deadline trade.

Toronto Blue Jays

  • OF Teoscar Hernandez went 0-for-4 with three strikeouts yesterday, and is now 3-for-28 in his last 10 games, with 15 strikeouts in that span.
  • SP Marcus Stroman gave up 11 hits, a walk, and seven earned runs in five innings yesterday. He entered the game with a 2.98 ERA in his seven starts since coming off the disabled list on June 23, so he was due for a bad outing.

Washington Nationals

  • SS/OF Trea Turner went 1-for-4 yesterday, but he reached three times thanks to a fielder’s choice and an error, and he scored a run all three times he reached, also stealing two bases. In his last six games, Turner has 12 hits, 10 runs scored, and six steals.

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