In The Field
OF Nick Markakis has been out with a fractured left wrist since July 27. The Braves have gone with OF Ronald Acuna, OF Ender Inciarte, and OF Adam Duvall has regulars since then. OF Austin Riley started just 5 games since then which makes him hard to roster in mixed leagues and now he has been placed on the 10-day IL with right knee discomfort. Both Inciarte (speed) and Duvall (power) need to be owned depending on your needs. SS Dansby Swanson (heel) is still without a timetable for his return. SS Charlie Culberson will continue to fill in at shortstop while he is out. OF Lorenzo Cain (knee) is considered day-to-day after fouling a ball off his left knee on Tuesday night. OF Christian Yelich (back) was out of the lineup from Tues.-Saturday. This has been a minor injury that he has dealt with on and off again this year. The good news is that he has still been able to produce elite numbers despite missing time. C Yadier Molina (thumb) has started a rehab assignment and is expected to be activated on Tuesday. OF Tyler O'Neill has been on the 10-day IL sine July 1st and could be back this weekend if not early next week. OF Marcell Ozuna is back which means the Cardinals are running out Ozuna, Fowler, and J. Martinez regularly. C Willson Contreras was placed on the 10-day IL with a right hamstring strain and isn't expected back until September. The Cubs recently signed C Jonathan Lucroy and he figures to start most games with C Victor Caratini spelling him occasionally. Despite regular playing time, Lucroy doesn't have much fantasy value left in the tank. 2B Jedd Gyorko has started a rehab assignment and could carve out a bench role for the Dodgers as a utility man. SS/OF Enrique Hernandez has started swinging a bat and could begin a rehab assignment soon. OF A.J. Pollock is day-to-day with a groin injury. OF Alex Verdugo (oblique) was placed on the 10-day IL on August 6 and oblique injuries tend to last longer for hitters. OF Alex Dickerson (oblique) was placed on the 10-day IL on August 1st and has yet to pick up a bat. SS Miguel Rojas was placed on the 10-day IL with a right hamstring strain. SS Jon Berti is playing short while he is out but he doesn't have a whole lot of fantasy value. 2B Isan Diaz has made his major league debut and needs to be picked up in deeper mixed leagues given his power potential. 2B Robinson Cano was placed on the 10-day IL with a torn left hamstring. This injury could be season-ending which means that recently signed 2B Joe Panik is going to take over everyday 2B duties. 1B/OF Dominic Smith (foot) is not close to returning so OF J.D. Davis is going to continue to play every day. Davis has been really good this year (.305/.373/.502) in limited playing time. He needs to be picked up if he is still available. 3B Howie Kendrick (hamstring) has been placed on the 10-day IL. 3B Anthony Rendon is day-to-day after taking a pitch to the foot on August 7. OF Jay Bruce was activated off of the 10-day IL and OF Adam Haseley was sent back to Triple-A. One game into his return and Bruce was re-injured and went back on the IL and Haseley was recalled. Haseley is likely going to be an everyday player with OF Corey Dickerson and OF Bryce Harper. OF Scott Kingery is going to play 3B with 3B Maikel Franco being demoted. C Francisco Cervelli (concussion) caught two simulated games this week and looks to be close to starting a rehab assignment but as we know concussions can be tricky injuries. OF Gregory Polanco (shoulder) has resumed all baseball activities. It would be nice to get a good month worth of at-bats for Polanco so that he can prove he is healthy heading into 2020 because this has been a lost season for him. 2B Derek Dietrich was placed on the 10-day IL with a shoulder injury. He has been terrible since his hot stretch in May. OF Aristides Aquino needs to be owned in almost all formats given his power potential for the Reds. OF David Dahl is on the 10-day IL with an ankle sprain which is good news given how bad the initial injury looked. This means increased playing time for OF Raimel Tapia and potentially more at-bats for SS Garrett Hampson if the Rockies decide to go that route.
On The Mound
Corbin Burnes (shoulder) has started a rehab assignment. He is unlikely to come back as a starter despite the lack of depth in the Brewers current rotation. Jhoulys Chacin (shoulder) is throwing but is not close to returning. Zach Davies (back) was placed on the 10-day IL with back stiffness but is not expected to miss much more than the minimum. The Brewers current rotation consists of Chase Anderson, Jordan Lyles, Gio Gonzalez, Adrian Houser, and Drew Pomeranz. Luke Weaver is going to throw a bullpen this weekend which is an encouraging sign but his return is still unknown. Hyun-Jin Ryu (neck) was placed on the 10-day IL on August 2nd but is only expected to miss the minimum. Ross Stripling (neck) continues to experience soreness and has not been able to start a rehab assignment. Rookie Dustin May looks to have a spot in the rotation for the time being. May doesn't have a huge fantasy upside due to a lower than expected strikeout rate. Johnny Cueto (TJS) has started a rehab assignment and could be back in September. His fantasy value for this season is non-existent but his return could give us a good sense of his value heading into 2020. Pablo Lopez (shoulder) has started a rehab assignment. He has made great strides prior to the injury to it will be nice to see him on the mound again before the end of the season. Max Scherzer (back) continues to be out with a back injury. He has been able to throw but has continued to experience soreness the next day. This is not the time that you want your ace sitting on the bench as it is stretch time in most leagues. The Pirates are calling RHP Mitch Keller up to start on Monday.
In The Bullpen
Craig Kimbrel was placed on the 10-day IL with right knee inflammation. Steve Cishek was placed on the 10-day IL with left hip inflammation and this is expected to keep him out multiple weeks. Pedro Strop is the most likely candidate to step in with the possibility of David Phelps. The Brave went out and added Shane Greene, Chris Martin, and Mark Melancon in order to fix an ineffective bullpen. Greene and Martin have struggled since coming to ATL and manager Brian Snitker announced Friday night that Mark Melancon would serve as the Braves closer for the time being. He needs to be owned everywhere as saves are extremely valuable this late in the season. Archie Bradley has cemented himself as the Diamondbacks closer with a run of 16.1 scoreless innings with three saves during that period of time.
Players to add this week:
SP Dustin May (LAD)- Dustin May looks to have a spot in the Dodgers rotation with Ross Stripling being shut down for another week due to a neck injury. May has a 3.18 ERA and 1.32 WHIP through his first two starts. He has plus velocity and the Dodgers do a great job with their pitchers so May is intriguing but his fantasy upside is capped by a lack of strikeouts due to a heavy emphasis on his two-seam fastball. May needs to be owned but expectations should be tempered.
2B Isan Diaz (MIA)- Isan Diaz is going to be the Marlins everyday second baseman for the rest of the season. He was hitting .305 with 26 HR and 5 SB at Triple-A. This was with a good approach at the plate (22% K, 11% BB). So far in the majors, he has struggled (.105 AVG) and he has been overly aggressive (40% K, 5% BB) which is not uncommon for a rookie. The power potential is real and he could chip in a few steals as well.
OF J.D. Davis (NYM)- J.D. Davis has moved into a starting role in the outfield with Dominic Smith on the injured list. Davis has performed well in his limited playing time this year. He is hitting .308 with 13 HR, 41 R, 36 RBI, and 1 SB. This is with good underlying skills (20% K, 9% BB, and 43% Hard). Everyday at-bats are what he needed to become fantasy relevant and that is exactly what he is getting right now.
OF Aristides Aquino (CIN)- If you need to catch up in power then Aristides Aquino is your man. A stance change has unlocked his ability to make more contact this season allowing his power to play. He is hitting .481 with 7 HR through his first 9 games at the major league level. This is coming off Triple-A where he hit .299 with 28 HR in 78 games. The power is legit.
OF Trent Grisham (MIL)- Trent Grisham has been playing regularly since being called up. He was the Brewers first-round pick in 2015 and hit .381 with 13 HR and 6 SB at Triple-A this season. Grisham profiles as a good candidate to lead off for the Brewers with his ability to make contact and he has posted double-digit walk rates at every stop in the minors. He has the potential to go 15 HR/10 SB with a good average and scoring a lot of runs atop the Brewers lineup over the course of a full season.
P Mark Melancon (ATL)- Mark Melancon was named the Braves closer by manager Brian Snitker on Friday. Anyone getting save opportunities needs to be owned and Melancon is no exception. He has a 3.26 ERA and 1.37 WHIP across 49.2 IP this season. The strikeouts aren't great for a reliever (23% K) but his 61% GB allows that to play up. It is easy to forget he saved 30+ games from 2014-2016 before going to SF and getting injured.
SP Mitch Keller (PIT)- The Pirates are expected to call up Mitch Keller to start on Monday. Keller has struggled at the major league level (12 IP, 14 ER). The positives have been that he has shown he can miss bats (24% K, 11% SwStr) and just needs to refine his control/command (10% BB). At Triple-A he has 3.56 ERA and 1.26 WHIP with 28% K and 8% BB. He is worth an add given his pedigree and lack of upside plays on the waiver wire at this time of the year.
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