In The Field
3B Zack Cozart was placed on the 10-day IL on May 28 which opens up playing time for 2B Luis Rengifo. He is hitting .241 with just 1 HR and 0 SB which was thought to be his sole fantasy value. SS Andrelton Simmons (ankle) has been able to do some baseball activities but is still weeks away from a return. C Kevin Smith was activated on Friday and will go back to sharing time with C Jonathan Lucroy. OF Justin Upton (toe) has started a rehab assignment which means he is getting close to returning. 2B Jose Altuve will require a rehab stint before making his way back to the big league club. The hope is that Altuve is completely healthy and can start stealing bases which was one of the primary driving factors of his fantasy ownership. SS Carlos Correa is going to be out 4-6 weeks with a fractured rib. The Astros are going to go with a combination of 2B/OF Tony Kemp, 2B Jack Mayfield, and SS/OF Myles Straw between 2B and SS. Straw is the one with the most fantasy upside because of his elite speed. OF George Springer has been able to take batting practice but is not close to returning from a hamstring injury. He wants to be completely healthy so that he can play the rest of the season instead of rushing back. SS J.P. Crawford has been cleared to start a rehab assignment. The Mariners are in full sell mode which means that Crawford should have a full-time role sooner rather than later. 2B Dee Gordon (wrist) was able to hit in the cage and is close to a rehab assignment. OF Mark Trumbo has moved his rehab to Triple-A making his return closer which is good news for those who need power. OF Dwight Smith Jr. was placed on the 7-day concussion IL after crashing into the outfield fence. SS Jonathan Villar left Wednesday's game early with right thumb soreness but returned to the lineup on Saturday. OF Willie Calhoun is expected to start a rehab assignment next week and the Rangers could use his bat in the lineup with Joey Gallo on the IL. 3B Hunter Dozier was placed on the 10-day IL on June 3 with thorax tightness. 3B Jeimer Candelario was placed on the 10-day IL with shoulder inflammation which means increased playing time for 3B Dawel Lugo who doesn't have much fantasy value outside of AL-only leagues. 2B Josh Harrison is going to miss 6-8 weeks after undergoing surgery for a hamstring injury which essentially puts an end to his fantasy value for 2019. SS Didi Gregorius (elbow) was activated on Friday and figures to get the majority of playing time at SS in a loaded Yankees lineup. This is going to have a ripple effect of 2B/SS Gleyber Torres moving back to 2B and D.J. LeMahieu either taking playing time from 3B Gio Urshela or entering into a utility role. OF's Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton are making progress but are not close to returning for the Yankees. This means that OF Clint Frazier's playing time is safe for the time being even with his defensive issues. OF Mitch Haniger underwent surgery to repair a ruptured testicle after fouling a ball off himself. He is expected to miss a couple of weeks so this means that OF Mac Williamson should get some run as the regular LF. OF Shin-Soo Choo had an MRI on his hand and the Rangers are hopeful that he will avoid an IL stint. He was in the lineup on Saturday. C Isiah Kiner-Falefa was placed on the 10-day IL with a right finger ligament sprain. C Willians Astudillo was optioned to Triple-A. He was slashing .259/.282/.370 through 117 PA but there wasn't room for him in the lineup with both C Mitch Garver and C Jason Castro playing well and the addition of 3B Miguel Sano. 1B Mitch Moreland left Friday's game with a tight quad and was placed on the 10-day IL on Saturday.
On The Mound
Sean Manaea threw a 15-pitch live bullpen session this week as he recovers from shoulder surgery. Carlos Carrasco has been placed on the 10-day IL with a blood condition and there is no timetable for his return. This means that the Indians starting rotation to start the year is down to just Trevor Bauer and Shane Bieber. Zach Plesac will become a permanent member of the rotation while Carrasco, Kluber, and Clevinger are out. Plesac has looked good through two starts and needs to be owned in mixed leagues. Mike Clevinger (upper back strain) has started a rehab assignment and will need a couple of starts to build up his pitch count and then he should be good to go for the Indians. Nathan Eovaldi (elbow) is throwing and could return by the middle of this month which would be a nice boost to the Red Sox lineup and fantasy owners. Tyson Ross (nerve) and Jordan Zimmerman (elbow) are getting closer to returning. Michael Pineda (knee) was activated and Devin Smeltzer was sent to Triple-A. Jesus Luzardo (shoulder) threw two innings on Thursday and is scheduled for a rehab start on Tuesday. Framber Valdez is now in the Astros starting rotation. He has pitched well in the minors but has struggled at the major league level with low strikeouts totals and high walks. Trevor Cahill (elbow) was placed on the 10-day IL with right elbow soreness.
In The Bullpen
Colin McHugh (elbow) hopes to resume throwing soon. He will only have value in really deep leagues in which middle relievers are valuable because he is unlikely to return to the rotation anytime soon. Hunter Strickland (lat strain) has been throwing bullpens and is getting closer to a return. When he does return he figures to slide right back into the closer role with no one taking the job outright in his absence. Taylor Rogers picked up two saves this week but still remains as part of a committee with RHP Blake Parker. Roberto Osuna has blown two saves over his last 7.2 IP with 3 HR given up. His job is not in jeopardy at the moment but it is worth keeping an eye on. Jose Leclerc was close to getting his job back as the Rangers closer according to manager Chris Woodard and then went out and gave up the lead in the ninth on Friday night. This would mean that Shawn Kelley would go back to being the setup man if they do make a switch.
Players to add this week:
SP Zach Plesac (CLE)- Zach Plesac has pitched well through three starts. He has a 1.86 ERA and 0.88 WHIP. Plesac has demonstrated his excellent control with 14 K to just 3 BB. The concern with Plesac long term is that he isn't going to miss enough bats. His strikeout rate sits at 20% and his underlying skills (8.5% SwStr and 28% O-swing) do not support a higher strikeout rate. Plesac needs to be owned in deep mixed leagues because he does have excellent control and has shown the ability to miss bats in the minors and it hasn't translated to the majors yet.
RP Hunter Strickland (SEA)- Hunter Strickland is getting closer to returning for the Mariners. He is likely to jump back in as the Mariners closer because no one has run away with the job and he could be a valuable trade chip if he proves healthy and can close out games.
SP Jesus Luzardo (OAK)- Jesus Luzardo will start a rehab assignment on Tuesday. He will need multiple starts to build up his pitch counts but now is the time to stash Luzardo if you have room. He is a major league ready arm that could be a difference maker down the stretch. Luzardo can miss bats with good control. He also has shown the ability to induce weak contact with nice ground ball rates in addition to the strikeouts.
OF Delino DeShields Jr. (TEX)- Delino DeShields Jr. is starting again with Joey Gallo on the IL. DeShields Jr. has struggled at the major league level but he needs to be rostered because he offers speed which has become increasingly difficult to find. He has also hit .556 with 4 R and 2 SB over the past week. The batting average is going to be a drain but you are rostering him for the speed.
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