Matt Carpenter (STL) - Carpenter exited the Cardinals game in the 3rd inning on Wednesday night and after the game, Mike Matheny confirmed that the Cardinals' second baseman suffered an oblique strain and mentioned that the team has a "high level of concern". It's a brutal blow for fantasy owners and teams will likely be without their star for at least a month of action. Kolten Wong is likely the biggest beneficiary of Carpenter's absence and he could be in the mix to hit near the top of the batting order in the interim. Wong has serious contact issues (like many Cardinals), but he does possess a nice combo of power and speed and is eligible in the middle infield. Unfortunately, he continues to struggle against southpaws, so you'll need to monitor his matchups on a daily basis. In a non-fantasy baseball note, Aledmys Diaz got the nod to replace Carpenter on the NL roster.
Tyler Glasnow (PIT) - Pirates fans got a glimpse of the future on Thursday as uber-prospect Tyler Glasnow made his major league debut against a banged up Cardinals offense. With Brandon Moss, Johnny Peralta, and Matt Carpenter all out of the lineup, Glasnow certainly "eased" his way into the major leagues. Glasnow got off to a great start, holding the Cardinals to just 2 runs over the first 5 innings, but the wheels fell off in the 6th inning and he was eventually pulled after allowing a leadoff double and walk. The Pirates bullpen let him down and allowed both inherited runners to score, leaving the rookie with a final line of 5.1 IP, 3H, 4ER, 2 BB, 5 K, 1 HR. Glasnow's biggest enemy at any level has been himself. He can strike anyone out with his plus fastball and devastating curveball, but his control has been an issue at all levels and at the time of his call-up, he had a 30% walk rate. Look for plenty of up-and-downs the rest of the season, but it certainly seems like the Pirates will give him a shot to stick around.
Matt Harvey (NYM) - Absolutely devastating news for Matt Harvey was announced on Thursday when the team announced that the starting pitcher has been diagnosed with Thoracic Outlet Syndrome. The injury occurs when there is excess pressure around the thoracic inlet in the shoulder (part of your body's vascular system), which causes pressure on the nerves and blood vessels in the area. The result is a painful situation, which can obviously affect the performance of a starting pitcher. It sounds like there's a surgical route or a non-surgical route, although the latter isn't always as effective as going under the knife. Either way, fantasy owners are going to be without their ace for an extendable amount of time. It might be too early to consider cutting him (at least until we have a timetable for the non-surgical route), but I think it's a very fine line. Tough news.
Daniel Murphy (WAS) - Daniel Murphy continued building his case for NL MVP with a 2-for-5 day with his 15th homerun and 57th, 58th, and 59th RBI. Murphy has been nothing short of extraordinary this year, already setting a career high is home runs and is just 14 RBI and 5 runs shy of those highs. So what's different? Looking at his stats, it's obvious that his BABIP is through the roof at .351, but it's also being supported by a hard hit rate of 37%, which is 8% higher than his career levels. The homeruns can be explained by a shift in his approach at the plate - trading in some groundballs for more flyballs. Pair the hard hit rate with the higher fly ball rate and you're seeing a blossoming power hitter. I have no reason to believe Murphy can't keep this up in the second half, although the .347 batting average is probably a little bloated. Even against Syndergaard, Daniel Murphy looks like a nice tournament option tomorrow night at only $3,200. Not only does he have the handedness splits in his favor, Syndergaard's elbow could force him out of the game at any time.
Randall Grichuk (STL) - Randall Grichuk had a nice day at the plate on Thursday going 2-for-3 with a home run and an RBI. With the injuries to Brandon Moss, Matt Carpenter, and Johnny Peralta, Randall Grichuk should be a staple in the Cardinals lineup leading up to the all-star break. He's certainly more talented than some of the other players on the Cardinals roster, but his contact issues have been well documented and a batting average around the Mendoza line isn't going to be enough to get back into Matheny's good graces. On the brightside, his hard hit rate remains strong, which means when he does make contact, he's going to hit the ball a long way. Getting the favorable park shift to Milwaukee on Friday night, Grichuk looks like a pretty good value in the daily space where he's just $2,900 on FanDuel. Opposing pitcher Jimmy Nelson is better against righties, but not by much, and Grichuk has actually fared better against RHP this year than LHP.