IN THE FIELD
The Braves have said that they are taking it literally day-to-day with Ronald Acuña and his injured knee. He sustained the injury last Sunday in Boston and reportedly was walking around the locker room with no sort of brace Monday, and even was trying to convince the team to let him play in the second game of the doubleheader. Easy DL stash as it sounds like he could be back before the All-Star Break.... Eric Thames has taken a big step in his recovery after being cleared to resume hitting as of 5/30. The Brewers will be very happy to have his 150 wRC+ back in the middle of the lineup, hopefully by the end of this month.... Paul Dejong got an initial time table of 4-to-8 weeks for a return from his broken hand and we are beginning to close in on that four week mark, but have not heard any sort of update for him potentially getting back to action. End of June would be my best guess at when we may see Dejong back on the field for the Cards.... Yadier Molina is hoping to be activated off the DL on Tuesday June 5th after undergoing emergency groin surgery in early May. He was cleared to resume baseball activities on May 29th and he's told reporters he hopes to be activated on Tuesday along with Carlos Martinez. Molina was off to a hot start for the Cardinals hitting six homers over his from 30 games.... As of May 29th the fracture in AJ Pollock's thumb hadn't completely healed, but it didn't sound like the Diamondbacks' staff expected it to be at this point. He's scheduled to get another q-ray on Monday. Pollock received a 4-to-8 week time table but until the fracture is completely healed he won't be able to swing or throw. Keep him stashed though, while he's ran into some injuries the last few seasons he's one of the top players in fantasy on a per game basis.... Steven Souza Jr. is going to get a MRI on Monday to check on his injured pectoral. He was placed on the DL May 22nd with the injury.... Chase Utley was placed on the DL on May 30th with a sprained thumb and the team is hopeful he can be back in mid-June. Logan Forsythe has started three of the four games since the injury with Breyvic Valera getting the start on Thursday.... Joe Panik returned to the Giants lineup Friday night and was immediately slotted into the leadoff spot. He reached base four times in five plate appearances.... Hunter Pence is back with the Giants but hasn't been activated quite yet. There are reports going around that he could be activated Saturday. It'll be interesting to see how the Giants work their lineup as Alex Pavlovic of NBC Sports Bay Area says that Pence is returning as the 4th outfielder and that Mac Williamson (136 wRC+) is going to remain the team's primary left fielder. We can pretty much write off Pence at this point, unless he gets some at bats and then we can maybe consider him in NL-Only.... Yoenis Cespedes is getting closer to returning to from the DL, but isn't quite ready for a rehab stint according to the team. Cespedes' return could not come any faster as the Mets are falling apart injury wise for what feels like the 5th year in a row. Jay Bruce left the game Friday with back spasms. A Cespedes/Nimmo/Conforto could be really solid for the Mets.... Jay Bruce left Friday's game with back spasms that he attributes to not stretching properly before playing first base earlier in the week. Bruce is hitting just .228 with three homers this year so please Mets, don't bench either Nimmo or Conforto when Cespedes comes back. Let Bruce work as the 4th outfielder and backup first baseman because I don't think they are moving on from his three year $39 million deal just yet.... Wilmer Flores was placed on the DL with a back issues that the assistant GM has since elaborated on calling it a "disc issue." Flores was the backup plan for Todd Frazier at third base, and while Frazier is getting close he's not quite back and Luis Guillorme has started each of the last three games at third while Jose Reyes started the two before that.... Todd Frazier is currently in AAA on his rehab assignment and played seven innings in the field while going 1-for-3 at the plate. There's speculation that Jose Reyes will be the the odd man out when Frazier is activated and that his roster spot is in jeopardy.... Adam Eaton began his rehab assignment in AA Friday and played five innings in centerfield while going 0-for-2 at the plate. In the few games Eaton has been healthy as a National he's been exceptional, and adding him to the loaded Nationals lineup will only make the team stronger. Michael Taylor likely heads to the bench when he comes back as phenom Juan Soto has more than held his own with a 140 wRC+ in his first 12 games.... Ryan Zimmerman is going to be evaluated one more time on Monday and there's a above average chance that he begins his rehab assignment this upcoming week.... Franchy Cordero was placed on the DL earlier this week with a forearm soreness. The Padres decided that the injury was effecting him too much at the plate to try and play through as he was hitting slashing .140/.213/.302 since May 11th.... Austin Hedges was close to returning to action and was sent on a rehab assignment on May 21st but then suffered a setback and was shutdown again. He's been cleared to resuming throwing again but hasn't yet been cleared to start swinging a bat. AJ Cassavell for MLB wrote that if Hedges can avoid a cortisone shot that the team is hoping for a mid-June return and if he were to get a shot it would knock it back a few days.... Wil Myers is dealing with a oblique strain that stemmed from a back injury on the second day of the season. The initial back injury the he attributes some to his workout regimen in the offseason when he added 25 pounds, and then the oblique injury came as a result of compensating for a non-100% back. Myers says that the oblique is ahead of schedule, but that the back is still the issue that he and the Padres are watching closely.... JP Crawford is currently with Clearwater on his rehab assignment and went 2-for-5 with a HR and 2RBI Friday night. Scott Kingery has been the everyday SS for Philadelphia while Crawford has been out but currently owns just a 67 wRC+ with slightly below average defense at SS. Crawford hasn't hit much in his major league career but at least has a reputation for a great glove even if even the metrics don't love him this year.... Rhys Hoskins fractured his jaw fouling off a pitch on Monday and was placed on the DL, but as of Thursday he's not going to require surgery. Avoiding surgery would be huge as he would then have to deal with him jaw being wired shut and all the side effects of having that. Dylan Cozens was recalled from AAA to take his place on the ML roster but I'm not rushing out to grab him anywhere except maybe NL-Only.... David Dahl unfortunately is on the DL (again) after fouling off a pitch and fracturing his foot. He's expected to miss the next six-to-eight weeks with the injury. Dahl's last three plate appearances came as a pinch hitter so you can still pen in Charlie Blackmon in center, but use pencil for Gerardo Parra and Carlos Gonzalez in the corner spots.... Brandon Belt underwent an appendectomy on Friday and is out indefinitely.... Matt Adams left Saturday's game against the Braves after fouling a ball off his foot, he will be reevaluated on Sunday.
IN THE ROTATION
Mike Soroka completed a rehab start for the Rome Braves as he works back from his shoulder discomfort that sidelinded him in May. The Braves recently said that Luiz Gohara will pitch from the bullpen when he returns from Brazil which means that a rotation spot is likely Soroka's whenever he is back to full strength. Both Brandon McCarthy and Anibal Sanchez have struggled recently so either could be bumped for Soroka, but I'd bet that Sanchez's job is more likely in danger.... Carlos Martinez is tentatively scheduled to be activated from the DL on Tuesday and start for the Cardinals. Martinez last appeared for the Cardinals May 8th before straining his lat.... Alex Reyes has suffered a "significant" lat strain and he's on the DL again after his first start returning from Tommy John surgery. The team is saying he's going to miss more than a few starts which makes it sounds like it'll be well over a month before he potentially returns to the mound. At least it isn't his elbow right? I'm stashing Reyes on the DL right now but if I end up losing a better player to pitch at some point during the season he'll be one of the first I consider moving on from.... Yu Darvish had an outside shot of returning to the Cubs when they are on this current road trip but that's been ruled out as he's still dealing with his biceps tendonitis. He also is dealing with some psychological issues about Cubs fans and the fact he believes they hate him. He's struggled overall this season with a 4.95 ERA in 40 innings.... Robbie Ray is still rehabbing his way back from his oblique injury and the last update we have from him was that he threw 10 pitches on flat ground earlier in the week. The team is still hoping for a return sometime in June... Shelby Miller had his first rehab appearance on Thursday and threw 65 pitches over five innings, allowing one run and eight strikeouts. This was his first start since undergoing Tommy John Surgery early last year. Manager Mike Lovullo says that he wants to see Miller get his pitch count up to 90-95 pitches before having him potentially rejoin the rotation.... Rich Hill threw a simulated game on May 26th as he's dealing with blisters yet again.... Clayton Kershaw returned to the Dodgers for a start but is now back on the DL with back discomfort. The Dodgers have said that this injury is similar to last season for Kershaw and he missed five weeks that time. The Dodgers are expecting to be without Kershaw for at least a month.... Kenta Maeda is staying in Arizona this weekend to receive treatment while the team heads to Colorado for a series. Maeda is going to rejoin the team on Monday the 4th but won't be eligible to come off of the DL until the following weekend.... Madison Bumgarner is tentatively scheduled to return to the Giants on Tuesday and gets the struggling Diamondbacks in his first time out. He struck out 15 batters in his 8 1/3 innings last time out on Thursday.... Johnny Cueto is now throwing/playing catch from 90 feet as he continues to work back from his elbow injury.... Jeff Samardzija was placed on the 10 day DL but the Giants don't expect him to be out any longer than that.... Steven Matz is currently out with a finger sprain but has not been placed on the DL and is currently being listed as day-to-day.... Noah Syndergaard is on the DL with a finger strain but it's not looked at as being too serious as he's going to resume throwing this next week.
IN THE BULLPEN
Greg Holland was placed on the 10-day DL with a hip impingement and Tyler Lyons was activated as the corresponding move. Holland has been terrible for the Cardinals with a 9.45 ERA in 13.1 innings.... Mark Melancon was activated from the DL and he has been added to the Giants pen but Hunter Strickland is likely going to hang on to the 9th inning role.... The artist formerly known as Felipe Rivero, Felipe Vazquez, has had a rough week dealing with a forearm scare and then having a disaster of an outing on Thursday with him allowing three hits, five runs, and a homer while blowing the save. Clint Hurdle said though that they have no plans to removing him from the 9th inning role.... Adam Ottavino's incredible season is facing a small hiccups with an oblique strain that has landed him on the DL. It's currently unknown how long he's going to be out, but the team wanted to be cautious with him as he's been weapon for the team this year... Luiz Gohara was in Brazil visiting his sick mother and is headed back to rejoin the team. The Braves have said that Gohara is going to return to the team in and head to the bullpen which is good for the Braves but bad for fantasy. I still think Gohara long term is a rotation piece but he could be used in a Josh Hader-type of role for the team.
PLAYERS TO ADD
Kudos to those that found Nimmo (shows self the door) at the beginning of May and have been able to reap the benefits all month, as he's been outstanding since getting full time at bats early in the month. Brandon Nimmo slashed .277/.406/.578 during May with five homers 16 runs, and four stolen bases. He's been the primary leadoff man for the Mets and that lineup is about to get Yoenis Cespedes and Todd Frazier back. He's always been a highly thought of prospect for the Mets but has been buried on the depth chart because the Mets collect corner outfielders like baseball cards. He's need to get everyday at bats even when Cespedes comes back.
ESPN OWNERSHIP: 49%, 41.8% growth over the last week.
Joe Musgrove has made two starts for the Pirates this year and has turned in two quality starts, allowing just one run over 14 innings. His second start though saw his command slip as he walked five batters over seven innings after not allowing a single free pass in his first start (which also went seven innings). Last season for the Astros Musgrove had a 6.1% walk rate and he sits at 7.1% this year, just giving us the two extremes of what he is capable of. The two team's he has faced as well, Cardinals and Cubs, both have very formidable lineups so he's off to this great start against good teams. He faces another tough offense in the Dodgers next Tuesday.
Additional note: He's also SP/RP eligible in ESPN leagues
ESPN OWNERSHIP: 30.8%, 22.9% growth over the last week
Here's a blast from the past, Clay Buchholz is pitching again and doing a darn good job of it. He's made three starts now for the Diamondbacks and he's allowed one run in each of those games while striking out 14 batters against just two walks. The first two starts you could argue about being a bit fluky with BABIP's under .100 in each, but seven innings with nine strikeouts and a .316 BABIP against him isn't anything fluky at all. I'd jump at him in NL only right now and could look at him in deep mixed leagues as a streamer.
ESPN OWNERSHIP: 14.4%, 9.2% growth over the last two weeks.
Ross Stripling has turned in three gems in a row with the latest coming against the Phillies where he struck out nine batters over seven innings, allowing four hits and just one run. The Dodgers rotation is currently littered with injuries so there's definitely a spot available for him to keep throwing for them. Since he moved to the rotation on May 6th, Stripling is striking out 35.4% of batters that he's faced while walking just 3.5%. Batters are also hitting just .220 against him and he's been exceptional at limiting hard contact at 17.4%. Combined a lack of hard hit balls with a 55% ground ball rate and you have yourself and absolute stud.
ESPN OWNERSHIP: 64.6%, 38.5% growth over the last week
Mac Williamson has performed well enough to keep the everyday LF job even with Hunter Pence returning from the DL. Williamson has played in just 12 games this season thanks to a freak neck injury when he tripped on the bullpen mounds in San Francisco down the third base line, but he's slash .273/.3109/.545 in those games with a 136 wRC+ and three homers. Williamson is a product of the launch angle revolution and demolished AAA for 16 games before getting called up and his power potential is definitely something to watch. He's a definitely add in NL-Only right now with full time at bats and I could see him in mixed leagues based on roster construction.
ESPN OWNERSHIP: 9.7%, 1.4% growth over the last week.
Kyle Barraclough has been named the Marlins closer and his near 6 per nine walk rate is now going to look to finish out the few games Miami is going to have a chance to win. He's done a remarkable job at limiting damage with a 90% strand rate but it's reflected in his FIP (4.07) that he's been flirting with danger all season. He's worth an add because really all closers should be rostered if saves are a category, but this is a dicey one that I don't have a ton of confidence in.
ESPN OWNERSHIP: 14.3%, 8.9% growth in the last week