In The Field
C Jonathan Lucroy is expected to miss three weeks due to the fractured nose he suffered in the home plate collision with the Astros. SS Carlos Correa (ribs) has started a Triple-A rehab assignment and should be back sometime next week if everything goes well. SS Aledmys Diaz has also started a rehab assignment at Triple-A as he recovers from a hamstring injury. The loser in this situation is going to be 1B Tyler White as SS/3B Alex Bregman will move back to 3B with Correa returning and then 3B/1B Yuli Gurriel will slide over to first with OF/DH Yordan Alvarez occupying the DH spot. This assumes that Alvarez doesn't go on the IL due to a recurring knee injury that has bothered him for over a week now. 3B Matt Chapman left Wednesday's game early with ankle soreness and was not in the lineup on July 18. The hope is that a couple of days off will give it enough time to heal and that it won't require an IL stint. OF Stephen Piscotty (knee) is expected to start a rehab assignment next week. OF's Robbie Grossman and OF Mark Canha will lose playing time when Piscotty returns. OF Mitch Haniger has been cleared to resume light activities. 3B Ryon Healy has resumed baseball activities and when he does return he would push 3B Tim Beckham for at-bats at DH since third base is occupied by Kyle Seager and first base by Dan Vogelbach. OF Mark Trumbo was able to take on-field BP but his return is still up in the air as he recovers from knee surgery last year. 2B Brandon Lowe has been able to run and could be out through the middle of next week according to Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times. 1B Mitch Moreland has started a rehab assignment. When he returns he will assume the strong side of the platoon at 1B with Michael Chavis most likely sliding over against LHP. The player that will lose the most playing time when Moreland comes back is going to be 2B Brock Holt who is only relevant in AL-only leagues. SS Adalberto Mondesi was placed on the 10-day IL with a partially dislocated shoulder. There is not a timetable for his return and this is a huge blow to fantasy owners. 2B Josh Harrison had another setback in his return from a hamstring injury. 2B Harold Castro and 2B Gordon Beckham will continue to see playing time at 2B with neither one being fantasy relevant. OF JaCoby Jones was activated off of the 10-day IL and he slides back in as the Tigers everyday CF. OF Byron Buxton (concussion) was able to do some work on the field July 18. There is hope that he can return early next week. He has missed time with injury but Buxton has been a solid fantasy contributor this year with .249 AVG with 9 HR and 13 SB. 2B Jonathan Schoop left the game early on July 16 with an abdominal injury and then was not in the lineup the next two days. SS Tim Anderson (ankle sprain) is getting closer to a return. He has been able to take ground balls and BP on the field. The hope is that he will be back before the end of July. Anderson is having a very strong season (.317 AVG with 11 HR/15 SB). OF Eloy Jimenez was placed on the 10-day IL with a right ulnar nerve contusion on July 17 and is going to be reevaluated on July 22. OF Giancarlo Stanton has not been able to do any baseball activities due to his PCL strain in his right knee. His return is unknown and as we have experienced this year it is not a wise bet to assume his body will recover as expected. This means that OF Brett Gardner will continue to play every day. He hasn't hit for average (.245) but he has provided both power (15 HR) and speed (8 SB).
On The Mound
Brad Peacock (shoulder) has had a setback in his recovery after experiencing soreness in his shoulder after throwing a bullpen. The Astros are going to have to figure out their last two spots in their rotation behind Verlander, Cole, and Miley. The options currently are Rogelio Armenteros and Framber Valdez with Jose Urquidy as another outside option. Someone else to consider is the chance that the Astros stretch out Josh James. Sean Manaea (shoulder) is getting closer to a return to the Athletics rotation. Corey Kluber (fractured arm) is progressing in his throwing program and is now throwing bullpens. He is going to need to continue to build up his arm strength before embarking on a fairly lengthy rehab assignment. Danny Salazar had his rehab assignment moved to Triple-A. There is so much unknown with Salazar in terms of what his stuff will look like, what will his role be, and how long can he stay healthy. Dylan Bundy was able to throw a bullpen session on July 17 and is expected back next week as he recovers from right knee tendinitis. Tyler Glasnow (forearm strain) will be shut down for two more weeks and then be reevaluated. At this point in his recovery, it is fair to wonder if he will make it back at all this year. Luis Severino (shoulder) is going to throw in two weeks if everything progresses as expected. The time frame in which Severino has to make an impact this year is getting smaller by the day. Brendan McKay has been optioned back to Triple-A Durham after giving up 5 ER over 3.1 IP against the White Sox. Through three major league starts he has shown that he can pitch at the major league upside and has long term upside. The Rays love to shuffle starters around so this is likely not a permanent move. Andrew Heaney has been placed on the 10-day IL. Spencer Turnbull has been placed on the 10-day IL with an upper back strain.
In The Bullpen
Hunter Strickland (lat strain) has moved to live BP which is one step closer to his return to the big league club. It is unknown if he will move back into the closer's role that Roenis Elias has occupied recently but he is worth an add if you need to speculate on saves. Nathan Eovaldi has been activated and after initial comments suggested he would be the Red Sox primary closer upon activation that is no longer the case. It would be wise to hold onto your shares of Brandon Workman and pick up Eovaldi and see how this shakes out. Liam Hendriks is now entrenched as the Athletics closer. He has been fantastic (1.17 ERA, 0.97 WHIP, and 24% K-BB) this year and Blake Treinen has struggled mightily (4.54 ERA, 1.56 WHIP, and 7% K-BB). The Twins closer situation is no longer a timeshare. Taylor Rogers has been the man for a while now and he has been really good (1.61 ERA, 0.94, and 28% K-BB). The Rays bullpen situation is still a clouded situation. It looks like they will continue to mix and match at the end of games with Emilio Pagan and Diego Castillo getting the first cracks while Jose Alvarado is on the IL. Ryne Stanek (hip soreness) has been placed on the 10-day IL and Chaz Roe has been activated. Stanek has been much better as an opener than as a traditional reliever.
Players to add this week:
C Travis d'Arnaud (TBR)- Travis d'Arnaud has been healthy and playing well for the Rays. Overall, he is hitting .235 with 9 HR, 28 R, 28 RBI, and 0 SB in 183 PA. He is getting playing time at both catcher and first base for the Rays. He should only be played as a catcher in fantasy but the additional at-bats increase his overall value.
1B Nate Lowe (TBR)- Nate Lowe has shown that he can hit at the major league level in a small sample. He is hitting .303 with 5 HR, 15 R, 12 RBI, and 0 SB in 87 PA. He has hit the ball hard (42% Hard) and the correct batted ball profile (46% FB) to hit for power. The Rays love to play matchups and move hitters in and out of the lineup but Lowe should get an extended look versus right-handed pitchers giving him the strong side of the platoon. He is worth an add given his ceiling as a four-category performer as steals are not part of his game.
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