In The Field
3B Zack Cozart was placed on the 10-day IL on April 25. The Angels had been playing David Fletcher and Tommy La Stella anyway with Cozart struggling. Fletcher is someone that could help with batting average but not much else in deeper mixed leagues and La Stella has been hot to start the year with 7 HR in 25 games. He is a career bench player so this is likely just a hot streak but he is worth adding in deep mixed leagues and to ride the hot streak while it lasts. DH Shohei Ohtani has been hitting off live pitching in simulated at-bats. This means that he is close to a return. The biggest concern for fantasy owners in weekly lineup leagues is how often is he going to play. He was phenomenal when hitting last year (.285/22 HR/10 SB). OF Justin Upton still has not resumed running which means that he is not close to a return. This means that OF Brian Goodwin is going to continue to see regular at-bats and he has been very good this year (.333/.427/.576). 1B Matt Olson is expected to start a rehab assignment soon. He is recovering from a hamate bone injury which is going to sap his power even when he does come back. It could take months for him to return to full strength. SS Freddy Galvis (hamstring) could require an IL stay which is going to push the Blue Jays depth but they could bring SS Lourdes Gurriel Jr. back up. OF Bradley Zimmer is rehabbing a side injury from Spring Training and is still without a timetable for a return. The Indians OF continues to be downright dreadful with Leonys Martin, Tyler Naquin, and Carlos Gonzalez so if he does ever return there could be a path to playing time. 1B/OF Jay Bruce has not played all week due to a quad injury. He has hit for power (9 HR) but the strikeouts (31% K) have hindered his batting average (.198). DH Mark Trumbo is expected back by the end of May as he recovers from knee surgery. He is someone to keep on your watchlist because he is going to play once he comes back and will hit for power. 3B Asdrubal Cabrera is dealing with left calf tightness and is considered day-to-day but an IL stint could be in the cards. SS Danny Santana has been helpful to the Rangers in their need for depth with Odor out. He also needs to be owned in fantasy because he has played well with a .286 AVG and 2 HR/4 SB. He doesn't walk much but a league average strikeout rate and 36% Hard contact is going to produce enough value to be relevant in mixed leagues. 2B Rougned Odor was activated on Friday and promptly went 0-5 with 4 K. 1B Ronald Guzman is expected back either this weekend or early next week. This will be a boost to the Rangers lineup. OF Austin Meadows was placed on the 10-day IL with a sprained right thumb. He is expected to be out until the middle of May. The Rays will continue to mix and match their lineup based on matchups but OF Avisail Garcia looks to be the biggest winner of playing time in his absence. Garcia has quietly put together a strong start to the year with a .262 AVG, 4 HR, 11 R, 10 RBI, and 2 SB in 91 PA. He has hit the ball hard with 40% Hard contact which is backed up by a 93rd percentile average exit velocity according to Statcast. 2B Brock Holt, 3B Eduardo Nunez, and 2B Dustin Pedroia are all making their way back from injury. Once they are back it is likely going to squeeze 2B/3B Michael Chavis out of a spot unless the Red Sox decide to do something about 3B Rafael Devers struggles in the field. This is a situation to monitor because it could have a huge impact on the fantasy landscape if Chavis were to get a regular role and/or Devers lost a regular role. 2B Joey Wendle fractured his right wrist and 2B Brandon Lowe looks likely to take over as the full-time second baseman. SS Jordy Mercer was cleared for a rehab assignment on Friday. He isn't mixed league relevant but he is a viable option in AL-only leagues because he will play every day once he comes back. OF Christian Stewart (quad) has progressed to light running in his return from a quad injury. Stewart will be a source of power and profiles better in OBP leagues. OF Eloy Jimenez was activated off the bereavement list on Friday and later had to leave the game after injuring his ankle running into the outfield wall. He is slated for an MRI and the severity of the injury is unknown at this time. 3B Miguel Andujar has started playing in extended Spring Training games on a limited basis. He is not out of the woods yet because season-ending surgery is still on the table and how he responds to game action is going to dictate his season. OF Clint Frazier is expected to be out two weeks with a sprained ankle. This means that OF Mike Tauchman is going to get regular playing time with OF Aaron Judge on the IL and OF Giancarlo Stanton having a setback in his recovery. OF Aaron Hicks is doing baseball activities and is getting closer to a rehab assignment. OF Brett Gardner will continue to be an integral part of the Yankees offense until everyone returns healthy. 3B Vladimir Guerrero Jr. made his major league debut on Friday night going 1-4 with a double against the Athletics. He is going to be a four-category contributor with the exception of steals. OF J.D. Martinez was scratched from Saturday's lineup with back spasms. OF Trey Mancini left Saturday's game early after getting hit on his right hand on a foul ball.
On The Mound
Andrew Heaney (elbow) had a successful bullpen on Wednesday and is slated for more throwing over the weekend. Heaney is someone to keep an eye on and consider picking up early before he gets close to a return. Heaney had a strong 2018 season with a 4.15 ERA and 1.20 WHIP with 24% K. Tyler Skaggs (ankle) was activated on Friday and looked good in his return with five scoreless innings against the Royals. Marco Estrada (back) was eligible to come off the 10-day IL this weekend but is going to need more time for his back to heal. He was not pitching well prior to the injury (6.85 ERA). Aaron Sanchez (fingernail) left his last start early but was able to start on Saturday. He has a long history with blister/finger related issues. Matt Shoemaker (torn ACL) is going to miss the remainder of the season. Carlos Carrasco (knee) had an MRI on his left knee and the results came back negative and he is considered day-to-day. Carrasco has struggled this year with a 6.00 ERA and 1.52 WHIP. The underlying skills all point to a correction and a .462 BABIP is not going to last. LHP Drew Smyly (nerve tightness) is expected to miss 1-2 starts and has been placed on the 10-day IL. He had not pitched well to start the year (7.80 ERA and 1.90 WHIP) so a break might be a good thing for Smyly. Taylor Hearn didn't last long in his major league debut (0.1 IP, 4 ER, 4 BB). Hearn had shown good strikeout numbers in the minors (31% K, 14% SwStr) but control has been an issue (12% BB). He was placed on the 10-day IL left elbow tightness. Nathan Eovaldi (elbow) had surgery on April 23 to remove loose bodies from his pitching elbow. He is expected back around the end of May. Eovaldi was struggling prior to the injury (6.00 ERA and 1.52 WHIP) so there is hope that once he is fully healthy he can return to the pitcher we saw last year. Danny Duffy (shoulder) made his return to the big league on Friday and gave up 3 ER over 5 IP against the Angels. Jakob Junis (hand) exited his start on April 24 early after being struck by a line drive on the right hand. He is considered day-to-day. Jordan Zimmerman (elbow) left his latest start early with right elbow soreness. This is definitely a red flag for a pitcher especially someone who has had trouble staying healthy. Ervin Santana was DFA'd by the White Sox. He is likely to catch on with another team but his fantasy relevant days are behind him. The Mariners called up LHP Justus Sheffield on Friday. He worked in long relief behind Yusei Kikuchi who "opened" for the Mariners. Sheffield is an intriguing pitching prospect but he is more potential than he is results at this point. Lucas Giolito (hamstring) has been able to throw a bullpen and is expected back within the first couple of weeks of May. Giolito made an arm slot change coming into this year and his strikeouts have ticked up backed up by increased whiffs. The only problem has been control (12% BB). The Angels are going to call up pitching prospect Griffin Channing to make his major league debut on Tuesday against the Blue Jays.
In The Bullpen
Cody Allen unsurprisingly was removed as the Angels closer and manager Brad Ausmus said that he will use multiple guys to cover the ninth. The most likely candidate to replace Allen is Ty Buttrey (0.75 ERA, 1.17 WHIP, 33% K, 6% BB). Hansel Robles is in the equation as well with a 3.00 ERA, 0.92 WHIP, 33% K, and 6% BB. The Rangers situation is one to keep an eye on because Jose Leclerc has really struggled to start the year. Shawn Kelley is the name to remember if they do decide to make a change. Anthony Swarzak blew the save on Friday night by giving up a pinch-hit home run to Shin-Soo Choo. This situation is still fluid with Roenis Elias still in the mix and pitching better than Swarzak at the moment.
Players to add this week:
OF Brian Goodwin (LAA)- Brian Goodwin has done well in Justin Upton's absence. He is hitting .333 with 3 HR, 16 R, 10 RBI, and 0 SB across 24 GP. Goodwin has an intriguing blend of power and speed that is viable in mixed leagues. If given regular playing time he would be a candidate for double-digit HR/SB albeit with a low average. His 27% career strikeout rate is going to hold down his average but in OBP formats he is more palatable due to his career .331 OBP.
OF Avisail Garcia (TBR)- Avisail Garcia is quietly having a very good season for the Rays. Despite not getting regular at-bats he is hitting .262 with 4 HR, 11 R, 10 RBI, and 2 SB. He is also a Statcast darling with top 7% average exit velocity and top 3% barrels. He also has 81st percentile speed which makes his 2 SB legit. Garcia is going to get increased AB's with Austin Meadows on the IL so he is someone that needs to be owned in the time being.
2B/3B Michael Chavis (BOS)- Michael Chavis is going to play while Dustin Pedroia, Brock Holt, and Eduardo Nunez are out with injuries. Chavis has a track record in the minors of being an above average hitter. He has legitimate power which has already flashed at the major league level with 2 HR in 6 games. In a limit sample, he has the exit velocity (96mph) and launch angle (12 degrees) to hit for power in the bigs. He could definitely hit his way into a full-time role so this is a situation in which you roster him and figure the rest out later.
SP Griffin Channing (LAA)- Griffin Channing is expected to make his major league debut on Tuesday against the Blue Jays. This is a good landing spot as the Blue Jays offense has not been good this year. Channing struggled at Triple-A last year with a 5.49 ERA and 1.53 WHIP but the underlying skills were solid with 24% K, 8% BB, and 12% SwStr. He was hit with a .376 BABIP which could have been part of the problem. Channing has started strong this year with a 0.56 ERA, 0.94 WHIP, 25% K-BB through three games. In the current climate of pitching Channing is worth an add.
3B Renato Nunez (BAL)- Renato Nunez has been very good to start the year for a bad Baltimore team. He is hitting .289 with 6 HR, 16 R, and 18 RBI. Nunez has legit power (43% Hard and 43% FB). The average is not likely to stick in the .280ish range because a 36% O-swing% portrays an approach that pitchers can exploit which could lead to an increase in his K% from 22%. The flip side of this scenario is that Nunez is going to play every day and a .250 hitter with 25-30 HR potential is still valuable in today's environment.
RP Ty Buttrey/Hansel Robles (LAA)- Cody Allen has been removed as the Angels closer. The top two candidates are Ty Buttrey and Hansel Robles. Both pitchers have shown the skills to succeed in the role. Buttrey (0.75 ERA, 1.17 WHIP, 33% K, 6% BB) is most likely to get the first shot but Robles is in the mix (3.00 ERA, 0.92 WHIP, 33% K, and 6% BB).
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