Shohei Ohtani, Los Angeles Angels - Ohtani is returning to the mound.... to throw a bullpen session on Saturday. Ohtani hasn't pitched since June after spraining a ligament in his elbow, but has been throwing in the outfield at around 120 feet recently and is doing so pain-free and setback-free. There's no timetable on him returning to game action and my guess is that the most aggressive timeline would still be September, it's still a shock to me that we may see him pitch again this year. In batting news, Ohtani went 2-for-4 with a homer and a steal on Tuesday.
Marcus Stroman, Toronto Blue Jays - Stroman bounced back from his last start where he allowed seven runs over five innings with seven innings of two-hit one-run ball on Tuesday. Stroman did have three walks in the outing, unusual for him, but he did generate a 90% ground ball rate. Before the crooked number in his last start, Stroman has been extremely good since returning from the DL posting a 2.98 ERA over seven starts as the time off definitely worked for him. Stroman did have to leave this start with a blister issue but he says that there's no way he misses his next start.
Tyler Glasnow, Tampa Bay Rays - Glasnow was absolutely dominant in his start on Tuesday as he struck out nine batters in four innings while allowing just one run which was a solo homer. He now has allowed just four hits over his first seven innings as a Ray and has struck out a ridiculous 14 batters in that span. The most impressive part out of all of this is he also has walked only two batters since the trade, where he was walking over five batters per nine in Pittsburgh. His pitch mix from a percentage standpoint looks the same so maybe the Rays made a small mechanical tweak to Glasnow that has been able to set him straight. He's becoming someone on my radar now for the stretch run of the season.
Jurickson Profar, Texas Rangers - Profar hit his 12th homer of the season on Tuesday, bringing his season line to .253/.340/.450 with a 111 wRC+. Profar has finally gotten a chance to get regular at-bats (though in a super utility role) and has shown that he's more than capable of hitting at the major league level. He's also provided at least close to league average defense at multiple positions (minus shortstop) which has helped keep him in the lineup as well. He's benefited this season from making hard contact at a far more consistent rate than he did in any prior season, while also showing a sharp increase in his pull% as well. He's a solid utility/MI in mixed leagues for sure with his regular at-bats.
Luis Severino, New York Yankees - Severino has been rough up heavily lately but I like him to get back on track against the White Sox Wednesday who have the highest strikeout rate in all of baseball at 25.6% and at tied for 18th in wRC+ against right handed pitching this season at 94. Two of his rough starts recently have come against the Indians and Red Sox, playoff teams, and in the other two starts he struck out over 10 per nine and ran BABIPs over .500 in each game. At $11,300 he's a pricey option for someone who is struggling lately, but everything he bodes for him to get back on track Wednesday.
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