Daily Intel – 9/15/2018

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Arizona Diamondbacks

  • SP Clay Buchholz was shut down for the season after being diagnosed with a flexor strain in his right arm. This is the same type of injury that he dealt with for several years before eventually having surgery last year that kept him out for more than a season.
  • RP Yoshi Hirano got another save chance last night and this time converted with a little drama, allowing a single and a walk but ultimately holding on to a 4-2 win over the Astros.

Atlanta Braves

  • OF Ender Inciarte has multiple hits in three straight games after going 3-for-5 last night with two doubles and two runs scored. He’s hitting .300 overall this month with nine runs scored, but he’s still stolen just two bases since July 5, a span of 210 at-bats.

Baltimore Orioles

  • 1B/OF Trey Mancini hit two solo home runs last night, giving him 23 homers on the season. Mancini’s power has re-emerged since the All-Star Break; before the break, he had 12 homers and 12 doubles in 366 plate appearances; since the break, he has 11 homers and nine doubles, and has already surpassed his RBI total, with 26 before and 27 after. This power boost has come with a total loss of plate discipline and an increase in strikeout rate, but if Mancini wants to sell out for power, he could hit 35 homers next year, though it’d come with a .230-.240 batting average.

Boston Red Sox

  • 2B Ian Kinsler delivered the only meaningful offensive performance of the night as the Sox were shut out by the Mets. Kinsler went 2-for-3 with two singles and two stolen bases, giving him four bags in his last eight games and 15 on the season.

Chicago Cubs

  • RP Pedro Strop is confirmed to be shut down for the rest of the regular season after injuring his hamstring on Thursday, and RP Jorge De La Rosa got the first shot at a save, working a shaky ninth inning and allowing a double and a walk, but ultimately holding on to a 3-2 lead to help the Cubs beat the Reds.

Chicago White Sox

  • 2B Yoan Moncada returned to the lineup last night after missing a game with a sore hip, and he had his first three-hit game since July 15, going 3-for-4 with a double, a walk, an RBI, and a run scored.

Cincinnati Reds

  • SP Matt Harvey worked six shutout innings last night but took a no-decision after the Reds bullpen blew his lead. He struck out six and allowed only two doubles, two singles, and a walk. Harvey has a 2.50 ERA, 1.06 WHIP, and 19 strikeouts in 18 innings this month.

Cleveland Indians

  • SP Trevor Bauer will throw a bullpen session today, his second in four days. If all goes well, he could get an abbreviated start in next weekend and a slightly-longer start in the following week before lining up to start game two or three of the ALDS.

Colorado Rockies 

  • SP Tyler Anderson posted a quality start yesterday for the first time since August 9, limiting the Giants to two runs on seven hits and no walks over six innings. Still, the Rockies offense couldn’t produce anything and Anderson was handed his sixth loss in his last eight starts.

Detroit Tigers

  • The Tigers don’t seem to want to change course on their closer role, giving RP Shane Greene another chance last night despite him having blown three of his last four opportunities. He almost did it again last night, allowing three singles and two runs before barely escaping with a 5-4 win and his 29th save of the year. Greene has now allowed 14 baserunners and nine runs in five innings this month for a 16.20 ERA and 2.80 WHIP.

Houston Astros

  • SS Carlos Correa went 1-for-3 with a walk last night. He’s still scuffling mightily at the plate and has admitted to dealing with continued soreness in his back – he’s gone 17-for-102 (.167) since coming off the disabled list in mid-August.

Kansas City Royals

  • SS Adalberto Mondesi keeps rolling along with another big night last night, going 2-for-4 with a homer, a stolen base, a single, a walk, and three runs scored. The hype on him next spring leading in to draft season is going to be immense.

Los Angeles Angels

  • OF Kole Calhoun went 0-for-3 last night, his fourth straight hitless game. He’s 5-for-43 (.116) in September, thought he has managed to draw 12 walks. Pitchers seem to have adjusted to whatever Calhoun was doing in July and August to generate so much power, and while he’s managed to retain some plate discipline, he’s going to have to adjust back to figure out how to make more contact. That’ll be interesting to watch over the last two weeks, as Calhoun is very much a total wild card for 2019 fantasy value.

Los Angeles Dodgers

  • SP Walker Buehler posted the best start of his young career last night, destroying the Cardinals lineup for eight shutout innings – he struck out nine and only allowed two singles and two walks, generating 18 swinging strikes and 19 called strikes on 105 pitches. Buehler’s dominance has taken a real step forward in the last few weeks, as last night was his fifth start in his last eight where he struck out at least eight batters, and he has 131 Ks in 118 2/3 innings this season.

Miami Marlins

  • C J.T. Realmuto hit his 21st home run of the season last night, his lone hit in three at-bats.

Milwaukee Brewers

  • RP Jeremy Jeffress worked a sharp ninth inning last night, striking out two for his 12th save of the year. Jeffress still looks like the best option to own in this bullpen for saves, as RP Corey Knebel worked the middle innings again last night and had another scoreless outing.
  • 1B/2B/3B Travis Shaw went 1-for-3 last night with a solo homer and a stolen base. Shaw has three hits this month in 24 at-bats, but two are homers, and he’s also walked 12 times.

Minnesota Twins

  • C Willians Astudillo is making a real strong impression with increased playing time this week, going 3-for-4 yesterday with his first major league walk! He’s now got seven hits in his last 18 at-bats. Astudillo has batted 52 times in the majors and has an incredible 2-to-1 strikeout-to-walk ratio. Just to provide context, in a full season of work as a catcher, which would likely be around 450 at-bats, Astudillo would project to strikeout somewhere between 15 and 20 times. He’s going to be a very fun guy to own next season if the Twins give him a chance.

New York Mets

  • 1B/OF Jay Bruce went 2-for-5 with a home run, a double, and four RBI last night. Bruce is putting together an intriguing end to his season after losing most of it to injury, hitting .270 this month with four homers, two doubles, and 12 RBI so far.

New York Yankees

  • OF Aaron Judge was activated from the disabled list last night, but he’s still not ready to hit. He’ll be a pinch runner and defensive replacement while he continues to do the last stages of rehab to get him back to the plate after dealing with a chip fracture in his right wrist.
  • OF Andrew McCutchen went 3-for-3 with two walks, a double, a solo homer, and two runs scored yesterday. He’s hitting only .222 since joining the Yankees but has a .442 on-base percentage and .500 slugging percentage.

Oakland A’s

  • OF Khris Davis hit a solo home run, his 42nd of the season, last night to break a 1-1 tie with the Rays in the 10th inning and all but bury the slim chance Tampa Bay had of catching Oakland in the wild card race. Davis has hits in eight straight games and now leads the majors in homers.

Philadelphia Phillies

  • OF Aaron Altherr made his first start since last week and went 4-for-5 last night with two homers, five RBI, and three runs scored.
  • SP Zach Eflin posted his first quality start since August 10 with 6 1/3 good innings last night, limiting the Marlins to one run on five hits and a walk. He struck out four.

Pittsburgh Pirates

  • The surgery OF Gregory Polanco had earlier this week will keep him out between seven and nine months, which will severely hamper his draft value next season. Best-case scenario is a late April return.
  • SP Chris Archer was bad again last night, allowing four runs on six hits and two walks over five innings. He did strikeout eight, but Archer has posted just two quality starts and a 5.49 ERA in eight outings since joining the Pirates at the trade deadline.

San Diego Padres

  • In a sign of how much they believe in his bat, C Francisco Mejia got a shot to lead off last night with 2B Luis Urias getting the night off. Mejia went 1-for-3 with a single and a walk, and is now hitting .273 with a .924 OPS in his short time with the big club. He did continue to have struggles defensively, though, allowing a passed ball.

San Francisco Giants

  • SP Chris Stratton had the best start of his major league career last night, throwing a complete game shutout on 114 pitches to earn his 10th win of the year. Stratton’s command was great all night, delivering first pitch strikes to 24 of 31 batters faced; overall, he allowed only two singles and two walks, striking out seven.

Seattle Mariners

  • SS Jean Segura went 1-for-5 with a run scored last night, but he was also caught stealing for the 11th time this season. His 20-for-31 stolen base rate – 64.5 percent – is the worst of his career.

St. Louis Cardinals

  • SP Jack Flaherty was sharp for six innings last night, striking out eight and allowing just one run on a solo homer, three singles, and two walks. He’s allowed one run or less in six of his last eight starts and is now sporting a 2.86 ERA in 138 1/3 innings this year.

Tampa Bay Rays

  • 1B Jake Bauers went 0-for-3 last night and is now 3-for-31 in September. Despite the total drop off in hitting performance since early August, which has lowered Bauers’ batting average to .189 on the season, he’s still retained some impressive plate discipline, walking six times in the last six games and 50 times in 330 plate appearances this season. Bauers, to us, looks like someone who will carve out a career offensive profile similar to Phillies 1B Carlos Santana.

Texas Rangers

  • 1B/SS/3B/OF Jurickson Profar’s career year continued with a 3-for-4 night that included a two-run homer, two singles, three RBI and two runs scored.
  • OF Delino DeShields led off for the third time this week after going two months without a chance to hit at the top of the order. He went 2-for-4 with a double and a caught stealing. He stolen two bases earlier this week out of the leadoff spot, the first two bags he had swiped since July 22.

Toronto Blue Jays

  • OF Kevin Pillar went 0-for-3 last night, lowering his batting average this month to .143 (6-for-42). After a strong March and April, where he posted a .305 batting average and OPS over .900, Pillar has has four months with an OPS under .610.

Washington Nationals

  • SS/OF Trea Turner stole his league-leading 39th base last night and went 2-for-5 with a double. He’s got four stolen bases in his last seven games.

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