On The Mound
Tyler Skaggs threw from 80 feet on August 24th, which was the first time he had thrown since initially
going on the DL on August 12th. The Angels said on Friday that he's not a close to returning to the
team.... Shohei Ohtani is starting Sunday for the Angels in his first start since June 6th. If the pitcher
version of Ohtani was dropped in your leagues I don't think I'm super desperate to go out and get him.
He's likely going to be on an extremely tight pitch count upon his return. Ohtani said that he has made a
few small tweaks to his mechanics that should help alleviated some of the elbow issues that he had
before.... Lance McCullers is still throwing on flat ground in his rehab from his elbow issues. AJ Hunch
confirmed last weekend that when McCullers does return to the Astros it will be in a relief role. His value
for 2018 is pretty much gone at this point besides elite level relief strikeout numbers when he returns...
Charlie Morton was placed on the DL on August 29th with right shoulder discomfort, but he said that he
should only miss one start. Good news for the Astros as they are being chased by the red-hot A's and
have already lost McCullers..... Brett Anderson placed on the DL 28th with a forearm issue but tests have
contained good news for the lefty as it appears that everything is structurally sound. Bob Melvin
described the injury as "irritation of the ulnar nerve" and Anderson has already started playing catch.
Anderson is hopeful that he'll be able to pitch again this season.... Sean Manaea placed on the DL
August 26th with a shoulder injury and while he's optimistic about a return to the majors this year,
manager Bob Melvin is less so. On Friday Melvin put the odds at Manaea pitching again this season at
below-50%..... Marcus Stroman has been playing catch but there's no definitive timetable for return his
blister issue.... Trevor Bauer began throwing off a mound this week and he's hoping that he'll return in
time for the end of the season. Terry Francona said that the team knows that Bauer's arm is going to be
in shape for when he's ready to come back and that as long as he isn't putting himself in any pain while
pushing himself in his rehab that they are going to let him roll.... James Paxton started Saturday for the
Mariners after being activated off the DL.... Chris Sale played catch on the 27th and 28th and Alex Cora
said on Friday that the Red Sox are planning for Sale to make just two more starts this year before the
playoffs. This obviously puts a pretty huge damper on Sale's fantasy value, especially for owners about
to enter the playoffs... David Price exited the game on the 29th after being hit by a line drive on the
wrist, but he's currently just slated as being day-to-day for the Sox. Michael Silverman says that the Red
Sox will likely hold him out of the upcoming series in Atlanta, putting him in line to start a game in the
Astros series that starts September 7th.... Ian Kennedy lasted 3.2 innings in his rehab start on August
30th. He allowed three runs on four hits with two strikeouts.
IN THE FIELD
Josh Donaldson was acquired by the Indians Friday night on the final day of the waiver trade deadline.
Donaldson isn't healthy enough to return yet but when he is the Indians have talked about moving Jose
Ramirez to second base and Jason Kipnis to the OF to accommodate the former MVP.... Albert Pujols
underwent season-ending surgery on his knee. Kaleb Cowart and Jefry Marte have both received starts
for the Angels at first since Pujols was ruled out.... Brian McCann was activated and started for the
Astros on Saturday after missing time with his knee surgery..... Brandon Drury will reevaluate next
week after he gets the splint removed from his broken thumb. He should be in line for an increase in
playing time when he returns with after the Donaldson trade and the news that the Blue Jays are very
unlikely to call up Vlad Guerrero Jr this season..... Yangervis Solarte is performing strengthening exercises
and is hoping that he'll be able to return to the team by the end of the season. He, like Drury, has the
potential to pick up some playing time with the departure of Josh Donaldson..... Jean Segura exited the
game on the 29th and was held out of the lineup on the 30th after fouling a ball off of his shin.... Mark
Trumbo is slated to undergo season-ending knee surgery next week. The recovery process could take up
to six months for a full recovery so there's a chance he could miss the beginning of next season.....
Mallex Smith was released from the hospital per an update on August 28th. He's going to start a rehab
assignment on Saturday and is slated to play nine innings. Throwing him out there right away for a full
game makes it sound like he's not far from a return to Tampa. Smith has enjoyed a breakout season in
Tampa hitting .307 with a 126 wRC+..... Rafael Devers was sent on his AAA rehab assignment on August
29th and will stay there through at least the weekend. Michael Silverman says that there's a chance he
returns to the Red Sox next week, but that the team is going to be cautious with him..... Jorge Soler was
sent out on a AAA rehab assignment on the 27th and went 1-for-4 with a walk and three strikeouts in
each of the two games he has played in. Soler posted a 123 wRC+ over 61 games before getting hurt and
could enter drafts next year as a guy with breakout potential..... Jose Iglesias has no tear in his abdomen
and is expected to miss 10-to-14 days and was placed on the DL on the 30th. Ronnie Rodriguez has
started for the Tigers at SS for the last two games with Dawel Lugo playing second after being called up
from AAA.... Eddie Rosario left the game early on Thursday and was held out of the lineup on Friday.
Paul Molitor told the media on Friday that he doesn't expect Rosario to play at all during the remainder
of the homestand. The Twins go on the road Monday to take on the Astros..... Jose Abreu is still at least
a week away from returning to baseball activities according to manager Rick Renteria. Matt Davidson
has played first base every day for the White Sox this week.... Clint Frazier has entered his rehab
assignment and went 1-for-2 with a walk, two RBI, and a run scored for Tampa. Frazier has a chance to
be a September call-up for the Yankees as rosters expand, although playing time would be sparse....
Despite Aaron Judge having still not begun swinging a bat, Aaron Boone is optimistic that he'll return to
the Yankees this season. Judge has been running the bases, doing outfield work, and playing catch this
week but he just isn't at the point yet where he's ready to start swinging. He said earlier this week that if
the pain was a "five" two weeks ago that it was a "four" now..... Andrew McCutchen was acquired by
the Yankees this week and will help fill the void that they have missed with Judge being out.... Gary
Sanchez was activated Saturday for the Yankees and started at catcher. Bryan Hoch of MLB.com says
that Sanchez appears much slimmer and Sanchez said that he increased his workouts while he was on
the DL stint. Aaron Boone also said that Sanchez's conditioning right now is the best that it's been all
season.... Dustin Fowler is back with the A's playing LF and hitting leadoff with Roman Laureano
continuing to get the majority of the starting time in CF. Fowler is interesting in AL-only leagues and
deep mixed leagues as throughout the minors he's posted good numbers but it hasn't quite translated
to the majors yet.... Eloy Jimenez will not be a member of the Chicago White Sox this season according
to the club. He's not in their plans to be called up as a part of the expanded rosters as they are playing
the team control game with one of baseball's top prospects..... Mitch Moreland has been out of the
lineup since August 29th but was able to pinch hit on Friday.... Salvador Perez has been held out of the
lineup since the 29th and is being listed as day-to-day.... Didi Gregorius has progressed to running and
hitting on the field according to an update from the team on Saturday.
IN THE BULLPEN
Andrew Miller was placed on the DL for the third time this season, this time with an impingement in his
left shoulder. The Indians wanted to be cautious with him after the last time he was activated from the
DL, so we may not see Miller again this year until right before the playoffs... Matt Bush officially out for
the season as of August 29th as he and the team decided that there just wasn't enough time left on the
calendar to get him back to where he needs to be before the season closes. Bush had a terrible season
with a 4.70 ERA while walking 13% of the batters that he faced. He still is an elite arm talent and after
the deadline gutting of the bullpen for the Rangers, he could be in the mix for a high leverage role in
2019..... Aroldis Chapman could start playing catch for the Yankees next week but there's still no
timetable yet for his return. Zach Britton, Delin Betances, and David Robertson have all notched a save
in Chapman's absence.... Stephen Tarpley was added to the Yankees bullpen and could be another
impact arm for them out of the pen. He owns a 2.65 ERA across two levels this season and has been
used mostly as a multi-inning reliever. He could end up being an arm that can help get the ball to the
studs at the back end of the pen.
PLAYERS TO ADD
Josh James was called up by the Astros as a part of their September call-ups and he's a potential impact
arm for them and got the start for the injured Lance McCullers. James regularly pitches in the upper 90's
and he has 171 strikeouts in just 114 innings, the third most strikeouts in all of minor league baseball.
James threw five innings in his major league debut on Saturday against the Angels and struck out nine
batters while allowing three hits and three runs.
Lucas Giolito has really turned his season around over his last few starts posting a 2.84 ERA over his last
four starts. He's striking out over a batter per inning he's shaved his walk rate down from 4.5 per nine to
2.1 per nine in his last 25.1 innings. Giolito has the prospect pedigree where a run like this is certainly
possible, and he could be starting to unlock some of that potential he's held onto for the last few seasons.
We saw Tyler White get off to an incredible start in 2016 before slowly fading and he's on another one
of those stretches right now. In August he hit .325 with a ridiculous 196 wRC+. He launched eight
homers in the month which helped fuel his absurd .386 ISO for the month. White is worth an add in all
leagues while he's on this ridiculous hot streak.
Jonathan Villar continues to thrive in Baltimore picking up six hits this week since I highlighted him last
week and he swiped three bases and scored five runs. He's been great since the trade and definitely
should be higher on the ownership percentage list than just 25% on ESPN leagues.
More of a housekeeping name here, Mallex Smith has dropped under 50% ownership on ESPN with
after his hospitalization for a virus. He's slated to start his rehab assignment soon so he's worth going
ahead and stashing if you have the space for him.