David Wright (3B - NYM) - David Wright left the team and returned to New York for an MRI on Saturday. The test revealed a bruised rotator cuff which should sideline him for a few days but isn't serious enough to require a stint on the DL. Wright has disappointed owners who drafted him in the first 3 rounds this spring, hitting .277/.333/.396 with just 6 homeruns and 41 RBI. Unsurprisingly, Wright's HR/FB ratio is nearly 6% lower than his career average. As with many statistics, hitters typically land back towards their career mean, which in Wright's case, would be a HR/FB ratio closer to 13%. If this were the only statistic off from his historical average, I wouldn't be concerned about Wright's outlook for the rest of the year. In fact, about a month ago I touted Wright as an excellent buy-low opportunity. Unfortunately, I haven't seen the type of advancement I was expecting and his underlying statistics actually have regressed in that time frame. He has the highest strikeout rate since 2011 and lowest walk rate since his rookie year in 2004. I'm staying away from Wright.
Gerrit Cole (SP-PIT) - Gerrit Cole returned from the disabled list with a clunker versus the Mets. He surrendered 5 earned runs over 4 innings while also walking 4 batters and giving up 6 hits. It wasn't an ideal return but the good news was that he didn't show any signs of reduced velocity. Cole isn't getting batters to chase as many pitches out of the zone this year, but he is striking batters out at around the same rate as last year (21%). Despite high strikeout numbers in the minor leagues, Cole has pitched more to contact in his short time in the major leagues. This approach has worked well for him, specifically because of his 51% groundball rate. I'm not overly concerned with the rough first outing and I'm willing to chalk it up as rustiness. Look for him to get back on track against the Phillies.
Christian Bethancourt (C-ATL) - On Saturday, the Braves recalled Christian Bethancourt, the second best prospect in their minor league system. Bethancourt is a better real-life player than fantasy, but his elite defensive skills might buy him some extra playing time at the major league level in the meantime. Should he see regular playing time, Evan Gattis will likely see extra playing time in the outfield while B.J. Upton will probably see more time on the bench. Even though he's known for his defensive prowess, he's not completely inept behind the plate. Through 63 games at Triple-A Gwinnett, Bethancourt was hitting .273/.304/.372 with 3 HRs and 32 RBIs. He also has tallied 4 steals this year and has 50 stolen bases through 5 and 1/2 seasons in the minor leagues. As with most young players, don't expect too much from him in his first year. He has developed decent power the last few years but he's a free-swinger and doesn't walk at a high rate. He'll probably remain off the radar in most fantasy leagues but could find a role on teams in deeper, two-catcher formats.
Hanley Ramirez (SS-LAD) - Hanley Ramirez returned to the Dodgers' lineup on Saturday, but left the game after just 2 at-bats. The good news is that it sounds like it was just a mild cramp in his calf and not the shoulder that caused him to miss a few games earlier this week. Hanley's an elite fantasy talent when he's on the field, but he has had a myriad of injury problems the last few years. Hanley's batting average is only .269 this year while his career average is closer to .300. Part of the lower number is partially driven off slightly bad luck (career LD rate of 19% with a BABIP of .332 while this year he has a 20% LD rate and just a .293 BABIP). I'd expect his batting average to rise in baseball's second half.
Dallas Beeler (SP-CHC) - Called up as the 26th man for a double-header on Saturday, Dallas Beeler impressed in his major league debut. Facing the Nationals, he went 6 innings yielding just one unearned run while allowing 4 hits, 3 walks and striking out 6. He'll be sent down on Sunday, but he earned himself another look the next time the Cubs need an extra starter. The strikeout-per-inning performance was surprising today because he hasn't flashed that type of ability in the minor leagues. Through 10 starts at Triple-A, Beeler has a strikeout rate of just 17.5%. He probably doesn't have much of a ceiling in the major leagues and he remains safely off the fantasy baseball radar for now. He'll serve as organizational depth for the ball club.
Nathan Eovaldi (SP- MIA) - Nathan Eovaldi scattered 8 hits and 3 walks while yielding 5 runs on 7 innings on Saturday. He struck out just 3 batters. Saturday's performance was the 3rd start in 4 games that he has given up 5 or more runs. After posting a 23% strikeout rate through the first month of the season, Nathan Eovaldi struck out just 15% of the batters he has faced since then. His 18% mark for the season is near his career levels and limits his overall upside in terms of fantasy value. Pitching in Miami helps his overall value, as does his groundball tendencies, but he no longer has the top-tier starting pitcher upside when he doesn't miss bats.
This is just a small sample our our daily analysis, join our member area for more premium content: http://www.fantistics.com/join/join.php3