Daily Intel – 8/14/2018

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Arizona Diamondbacks

  • After closing out July and opening August on a hot streak, 2B/SS Ketel Marte has just four hits in his last seven starts, with no extra-base hits, one RBI, and no stolen bases.

Atlanta Braves

  • OF Ronald Acuña Jr. led off both games of a doubleheader yesterday with a home run and went 5-for-8 with five RBI, five runs scored, two walks, and a stolen base.
  • Top prospect SP Touki Toussaint made a successful major league debut in game one of the doubleheader, beating the Marlins with six innings of one-run ball, allowing only two hits and two walks while striking out six. Toussaint has elite-level stuff and a big future in the Braves’ rotation, but for now he should be a bullpen weapon with a likely spot start or two down the stretch after rosters expand.

Baltimore Orioles

  • 1B/OF Mark Trumbo may not be ready to return today due to a recurring right knee issue that kept him out of the lineup on Sunday.

Boston Red Sox

  • OF Andrew Benintendi should be back in the lineup today after missing Sunday’s game with “heavy legs.”

Chicago Cubs

  • SP Yu Darvish will throw a simulated game today, with the hope being that his next step is a rehab assignment.

Chicago White Sox

  • OF Adam Engel hit a home run for the second consecutive game, going 2-for-4 with two runs scored. Engel has been an ace defensively in center field for the Sox and should get everyday run there down the stretch, which gives him some potential value thanks to his speed (he has 12 steals in just 299 at-bats this season).

Cincinnati Reds

  • 1B Joey Votto left last night’s game in the sixth inning with what seemed like a recurrence of the knee injury that has bothered him recently. Votto hasn’t hit a home run since July 9.

Cleveland Indians

  • 2B/3B Jose Ramirez went 3-for-5 with his 35th home run of the season, along with three RBI, two runs scored, and a walk.
  • OF Greg Allen started in center field for the fourth time in five games. He has hits in all four of the games and steals in three of them. Allen once again looks like a sleeper source for steals with OF Leonys Martin battling what has been described as a “life-threatening” viral illness. The team said Martin is recovering but it seems unlikely that he’ll play again this season.

Colorado Rockies 

  • OF Matt Holliday is hitting well in Triple-A, with a .861 OPS, so he could be in line for a call-up before the rosters expand.

Detroit Tigers

  • 3B/OF Nick Castellanos went 5-for-5 with a home run, five RBI, and two runs scored last night.
  • SP Michael Fulmer will begin a rehab assignment this week as he works back from an oblique injury.

Houston Astros

  • 2B Jose Altuve was unable to test his knee over the weekend, which puts a return this week in doubt. He’s going to need at least a day or two of on-field work before getting back in the lineup.

Kansas City Royals

  • SP Brad Keller was impressive again last night, limiting the Blue Jays to a run on four hits and two walks over seven innings. Keller has found consistency with his four-seam/two-seam fastballs and it is doing a nice job to set up his slider as an effective pitch after he struggled with it in June and July.
  • SP Danny Duffy landed on the disabled list yesterday with a left shoulder impingement. The team says he may only miss one start.

Los Angeles Angels

  • SP/DH Shohei Ohtani’s rehab work as a starter continued yesterday with his biggest step yet, a 33-pitch bullpen session that he said he threw at “70 percent effort” but without any splitters, one of his key pitches.
  • OF Mike Trout left the team yesterday due to a family issue, putting his return from the disabled list this week in doubt.

Los Angeles Dodgers

  • RP Scott Alexander blew a gem from SP Clayton Kershaw, allowing three earned runs on four hits in the ninth inning and turning a 2-1 Dodgers lead in to a 5-2 loss. We fully expect SP Kenta Maeda to get the next save chance.
  • Kershaw allowed one earned run on four singles over eight innings, striking out nine.

Miami Marlins

  • C J.T. Realmuto was the lone bright spot in a rough doubleheader against the Braves, going 2-for-3 with a double, two walks, and a run scored.

Milwaukee Brewers

  • OF Keon Broxton was called back up from Triple-A yesterday, but he’s unlikely to be more than a spot starter at this point.

Minnesota Twins

  • SP Adalberto Mejia will seek a second opinion on his left throwing arm after being diagnosed with a nerve traction injury. Either way, he’s out for the season.

New York Mets

  • We should probably stop making pronouncements about the Mets bullpen other than to say there’s really no reason to own anyone there. A night after RP Robert Gsellman pitched the eighth inning and RP Seth Lugo pitched the ninth, they flipped roles yesterday, with Lugo struggling in the eighth and Gsellman having a perfect ninth for his seventh save of the year.
  • OF Michael Conforto has hits in five straight and eight of nine after going 2-for-4 with two runs scored yesterday. He also homered for the second consecutive game.

New York Yankees

  • It was an all around bad day for the Yankees rotation; SP CC Sabathia was placed on the disabled list with a right knee issue that the team says is minor, but has to be taken seriously for a guy with Sabathia’s injury history and age. And SP Luis Severino was hit hard again by a bad lineup, allowing seven hits and a walk over four innings to the Mets, leading to four earned runs and another loss. He struck out six.

Oakland A’s

  • SS Marcus Semien stayed hot last night with a single, a walk, a run scored, and a stolen base out of the leadoff spot.
  • 3B Matt Chapman raked three doubles in five at-bats, driving in two and scoring twice. He’s now hitting .357 in August.

Philadelphia Phillies

  • C Wilson Ramos is already looking close to a return after catching five innings during a rehab game in High-A on Sunday. While the original timeline was the end of the month, we wouldn’t be surprised to see Ramos back in the middle of next week, especially with the DH being an option for a three-game set at Toronto that begins on August 24.

Pittsburgh Pirates

  • SPs Jameson Taillon and Chris Archer will get the starts in a two-game set with Minnesota that begins today.

San Diego Padres

  • 1B/OF Wil Myers is now a third baseman in San Diego, starting there last night after being activated from the disabled list. Myers only played one game on his rehab stint at third, and hasn’t started at the position in the majors after having 15 starts there in his minor league career. The team sounds serious about trying this, which means Myers will almost certainly gain third base eligibility for this year (10 games in most formats) and probably next year (20 games), giving him a huge boost on draft boards.
  • In a somewhat related move, previously-everyday 3B Christian Villanueva is lined up to get starts at second base and shortstop down the stretch.

San Francisco Giants

  • SP Madison Bumgarner was sharp over six innings at the Dodgers last night, allowing two runs on seven hits and two walks while striking out four.
  • OF Steven Duggar went 2-for-4 with a run scored and two stolen bases. Duggar has been solid in August with everyday playing time, going 11-for-36 (.306) with five runs scored and three extra-base hits.

Seattle Mariners

  • 2B/OF Dee Gordon was originally scheduled to return from his ankle injury yesterday, but ended up being a late scratch.
  • OF Mitch Haniger led off last night for the fifth consecutive game, going 3-for-5 with a double, two RBI, and two runs scored.

St. Louis Cardinals

  • The team announced Monday that ace SP Carlos Martinez will be shifted to the bullpen upon his return from the disabled list, which looks like it could be next week. That point – his timeline – is part of the reason for this move, as general manager John Mozeliak said trying to get Martinez ready to start again would mean a mid-September return. This obviously crushes Martinez’s value in most mixed leagues, but we still consider him worth stashing for the first week or two that he’s back to see what his workload is and how it may dovetail with save opportunities.

Tampa Bay Rays

  • SP Jake Faria will likely be ready to pitch today for the first time in over a week as he dealt with a sore neck. We expect him to get innings after “opener” RP Hunter Wood gets things going against the Yankees in the first of a three-game set.

Texas Rangers

  • 3B Adrian Beltre injured his left hamstring for the third time this season during last night’s game against Arizona. He’ll have an MRI today, but at this point he’s become droppable in all mixed leagues if the outcome is another disabled list stint, which it was the first two times he had this injury.

Toronto Blue Jays

  • SP Sean Reid-Foley made his major league debut last night, going five innings and allowing three runs on six hits and three walks, striking out three. Foley turns 23 later this month and has had a strong bounceback season in the minors, with a 2.98 ERA in 23 starts between Double-A and Triple-A, and 146 strikeouts in 126 2/3 innings.

Washington Nationals

  • OF Juan Soto hit his 15th home run of the season last night, driving in two and scoring twice in two at-bats. He also walked once and, for August, has more walks (14) than strikeouts (11). Soto’s plate discipline has progressively improved throughout the season, a surefire sign of a young superstar who will likely merit top 30 consideration in drafts next year.

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