Daily Intel – 8/23/2018

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Arizona Diamondbacks

  • SP Clay Buchholz was dominant again last night, going seven shutout innings and allowing only a double and three singles to win for the seventh time this year. He struck out seven, making it four out of his last five starts where he’s struck out at least six batters.
  • OF David Peralta’s hot streak continued with a 2-for-4 night that included a two-run home run.

Atlanta Braves

  • SP Julio Teheran picked up his third consecutive quality start yesterday, limiting the Pirates to a run on two hits and a walk over seven innings, striking out five. Teheran has doubled his changeup usage in these last three outings, cutting back on some of his fastball deployment and seemingly being better for it. He is set up for a nice two-start week next week, first at home against the Rays and then at home against this same Pirates lineup.

Baltimore Orioles

  • SS/3B Tim Beckham was hitless in three at-bats yesterday and is 3-for-19 in the last week with no extra-base hits and only one walk.

Boston Red Sox

  • SS Xander Bogaerts went 2-for-5 yesterday, with both hits being solo home runs, his 18th and 19th homers of the season.

Chicago Cubs

  • In an unsurprising move, considering manager Joe Maddon has mentioned the injury for a while now, SS Addison Russell was placed on the 10-day disabled list with a left middle finger sprain.
  • 1B/2B Daniel Murphy led off and played second in his debut with the team, going 2-for-5 with an RBI and a run scored.

Chicago White Sox

  • SP Carlos Rodon had major control issues yesterday, throwing only 58 strikes on 106 pitches, walking three, hitting a batter and uncorking a wild pitch, but he overcame all of that to win his fifth game of the year, lasting six innings and allowing two earned runs and three hits while striking out five. He’s still primarily a fastball-slider guy, as the confidence in his changeup as a third pitch seems to waver from game to game, but Rodon has found enough effectiveness in the slider to allow him to post a pretty good season since returning from the disabled list in early June.

Cincinnati Reds

  • SP Matt Harvey cleared waivers yesterday and is now eligible to be traded before the August 31 waiver deadline.

Cleveland Indians

  • 1B/DH Edwin Encarnacion returned to the lineup with a bang, hitting going 2-for-4 with two home runs and four RBI. Despite an up-and-down season, Encarnacion now has 27 homers and could easily get hot in the last 35 games to reach his normal high-30s homer mark.
  • OF Leonys Martin will miss the rest of the season with a viral infection, which should continue to solidify playing time for OF Greg Allen, especially with OF Rajai Davis also hitting the disabled list yesterday.

Colorado Rockies 

  • OF Charlie Blackmon went 2-for-5 with a stolen base and a run scored yesterday; he leads the NL with 91 runs scored.
  • SS Trevor Story (18 on the season) and 1B/OF Ian Desmond (15) also stole bases yesterday, with both guys also adding two hits and Desmond driving in two.

Detroit Tigers

  • 3B/OF Nick Castellanos went 3-for-4 with a double yesterday. He’s got 14 hits in his last nine games, including six for extra bases, plus eight runs scored and 11 RBI.

Houston Astros

  • One day after saying it would happen, manager A.J. Hinch used RP Roberto Osuna in the closer role, shifting RP Hector Rondon to the eighth innings. Both guys delivered yesterday, with Rondon working a scoreless eighth and Osuna a perfect ninth for his 10th save of the season.
  • 1B Tyler White went 3-for-5 with a home run, a triple, two RBI, and two runs scored. White’s now got hits in eight of his last nine starts and is hitting .327 in 55 August at-bats.

Kansas City Royals

  • 1B Ryan O’Hearn was good for the second consecutive game, going 3-for-4 with a double and a run scored. He’s now slugging .563 on the season in 53 plate appearances.

Los Angeles Angels

  • SS Andrelton Simmons went 0-for-4 yesterday hitting out of the cleanup spot for the second consecutive game. He’s 5-for-25 over the last week.

Los Angeles Dodgers

  • SP Walker Buehler threw seven dominant shutout innings yesterday, striking out nine, but RPs Scott Alexander and Kenley Jansen blew Buehler’s shot at a win, with Jansen once again getting hit hard by a St. Louis team that has always seemed to do well against him. He gave up three hits, including a two-run home run, in the ninth, and ended up with his fifth loss of the season.

Miami Marlins

  • SP Trevor Richards struck out nine Yankees in 5 1/3 innings yesterday, allowing three hits, three walks, and two runs scored. That’s four of five starts for Richards with at least seven strikeouts, but he’ll be tough to use next week with a very tough matchup at Boston.

Milwaukee Brewers

  • RP Jeremy Jeffress worked 1 1/3 perfect innings yesterday for his second save this week and sixth of the season.
  • Jeffress was set up by the best outing of the season from SP Freddy Peralta, who shut out the Reds for seven innings on three singles and two walks, striking out seven. There still isn’t enough of a secondary arsenal to believe in Peralta long-term, but he’s shown tiny steps of improvement in his curveball that give us some hope for him next season.

Minnesota Twins

  • 2B Logan Forsythe continues to rake at an absurd clip, going 3-for-5 yesterday with an RBI, giving him 26 hits in August. He’s started 18 of 19 games since arriving in Minnesota earlier this month.

New York Mets

  • 2B Jeff McNeil was good again yesterday, going 2-for-4 with a triple and an RBI. McNeil has thrived in the two hole for the Mets and is carrying a seven-game hitting streak, over which time he’s picked up 14 hits, six runs scored, and five RBI, with five of his hits going for extra bases.

New York Yankees

  • RP Aroldis Chapman was placed on the 10-day disabled list with left knee tendinitis yesterday. He’s likely out until at least the second week of September.

Oakland A’s

  • SP Edwin Jackson finally showed some cracks yesterday, allowing seven hits, three walks, and four runs in 4 1/3 innings, striking out just two and taking the loss against Texas. His ERA is still a stellar 2.97 on the season.

Philadelphia Phillies

  • SP Zach Eflin couldn’t get out of the fourth inning yesterday, allowing 10 hits and two walks in 3 1/3 innings, resulting in five runs (four earned). In his last four starts, Eflin has increased his slider usage considerably – through his July 23 start, it was being used about 20 percent of the time, but in the last five outings he’s used it 27.5, 28.2, 32.2, 32.3, and 37.5 percent of the time. While it was effective in his last three starts, the Nats seemed to figure it out yesterday, putting it in play six times, three for hits. Eflin also only threw the pitch for a strike eight times, with one being a swinging strike.

Pittsburgh Pirates

  • SP Trevor Williams keeps on rolling with good start after good start, albeit without any value in strikeouts. He held the Braves to two hits, two walks, and one run yesterday, making it seven straight outings with two runs or less allowed, but he only K’d four. In that seven-start stretch, he’s thrown 42 innings to a .86 ERA and 1.10 WHIP. He’ll get another one-start week next week, facing St. Louis on the road, then a likely two-start week after that to open September.

San Diego Padres

  • 1B/3B/OF Wil Myers took a ground ball off the face before yesterday’s game and sat out. He should be ok to return either this afternoon against Colorado or for Friday’s series opener against the Dodgers.
  • 3B Christian Villanueva was placed on the disabled list with a fractured finger.

San Francisco Giants

  • OF Andrew McCutchen cleared waivers yesterday and could be traded before the August 31 waiver deadline – he also sat out yesterday’s game, which doesn’t seem coincidental. OF Steven Duggar got to hit in McCutchen’s regular leadoff spot.

Seattle Mariners

  • SS Jean Segura left yesterday’s game early due to tightness in his rib cage. The injury was known before the game and Segura was allowed to play through it, so we’ll see Friday when the M’s are back on the field how severe this tweak is. If it puts Segura on the disabled list, 2B/OF Dee Gordon could play a few more games at shortstop and pick up eligibility there.

St. Louis Cardinals

  • OF Marcell Ozuna hit the disabled list yesterday due to right shoulder inflammation. He shouldn’t miss much more than the minimum 10 days, and 1B/OF Matt Adams should get regular playing time in his absence.
  • RP Jordan Hicks struck out the side in the ninth inning yesterday to earn his third save in the last two weeks.

Tampa Bay Rays

  • 3B Matt Duffy and OF Carlos Gomez both picked up two hits, an RBI, and a stolen base yesterday, their ninth and tenth bags of the season, respectively.
  • OF Kevin Kiermaier went 2-for-3 with a double and a walk yesterday and has started to wake up a little, with hits in three straight and five of six games, including three for extra bases.

Texas Rangers

  • SP Mike Minor returned yesterday after missing a start last week due to back tightness, delivering six innings of one-hit, shutout ball to win his 10th game of the year. He only made it through 73 pitches, but his velocity was normal on all four of his pitches, so he should be fine for his last few starts down the stretch. It wouldn’t be a surprise to see him shut down soon, as he currently sits at 129 innings after throwing just 77 2/3 last year, 42 1/3 in 2016, and missing all of 2015 with an injury.

Toronto Blue Jays

  • SP Thomas Pannone carried a no-hitter in to the seventh inning of his major league debut yesterday, but after he allowed an infield single to 1B John Andreoli to leadoff the eighth, he left the game and settled for his first career win, finishing with no runs allowed, two walks, and three strikeouts. Pannone’s command wasn’t incredibly sharp, as he threw just 11 first-pitch strikes to 25 batters, but his four-seam fastball generated 14 swinging strikes on 82 offerings despite averaging just 88.3 mph.

Washington Nationals

  • SP Stephen Strasburg scuffled in his return to the rotation, lasting only four innings and 84 pitches and allowing seven hits, four for extra bases, a walk, and five earned runs. He struck out five.

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