In The Field
OF Ender Inciarte (hamstring) is likely going to miss the rest of the season which means that the Braves have an open outfield spot. In the time since Inciarte went on the IL the Braves have gone with a platoon of OF Matt Joyce and OF Adam Duvall. Neither are fantasy relevant and the fact that they won't be getting everyday at-bats really kills their value. This also means that despite his struggles prior to getting injured, OF Austin Riley should get another look in the outfield when he returns from his own injury. C Brian McCann was placed on the 10-day IL with a left knee sprain. While he is out C Tyler Flowers should see the majority of the at-bats. SS Dansby Swanson has started a rehab assignment and should be back next week if there are no setbacks. OF Jose Martinez (shoulder) is expected to start a rehab assignment this weekend which puts him behind OF Tyler O'Neill who started his rehab assignment on Wednesday. The Cardinals also called up OF Harrison Bader this week which means that the Cardinals are only going to have one outfield spot available when both Martinez and O'Neill come back but they also could rotate all three OF's among the two spots opposite of OF Marcell Ozuna which would hurt all of their values in fantasy because they wouldn't be getting everyday at-bats. C Willson Contreras has started doing some baseball activities but isn't close to starting a rehab assignment. 1B David Freese (hamstring) has been able to workout and should return before the beginning of September. OF Alex Verdugo's recovery from an oblique injury has been slower than expected. He hasn't been able to resume baseball activities. This means that OF Chris Taylor and OF Joc Pederson will continue to platoon and things will get really interesting when Verdugo does return. SS Miguel Rojas (hamstring) is running and doing baseball activities but is still at least a week away from returning. 2B Jed Lowrie has started a rehab assignment but his fantasy value for 2019 remains to be seen because one he has to prove he is healthy and two the Mets have to find a spot for him to play. 2B Jeff McNeill (hamstring) was activated on Saturday and OF Aaron Altherr was designated for assignment. OF Brandon Nimmo (neck) has started a rehab assignment but still remains a ways away from returning because he needs to prove that he is healthy and get enough at-bats to be ready to hit major league pitching. If he is 100% healthy he should push for a starting role alongside OF Michael Conforto and OF J.D. Davis. SS Fernando Tatis Jr. has been placed on the injured list and is expected to miss the remainder of the season. This means that 2B/SS Luis Urias is going to slide over to short and 2B Ty France should get regular at-bats. Urias has struggled at the plate since being recalled (.217 AVG) but the underlying skills are still strong (18% K, 13% BB, 34% Hard). France crushed Triple-A pitching this year (.399 AVG and 27 HR) but has struggled at the major league level (.219/.268/.325). The Phillies put OF Bryce Harper on the paternity list and called up 3B Maikel Franco. This likely means that 3B/OF Scott Kingery shifts back to the outfield for the couple of games that the Harper misses. OF Gregory Polanco is nearing a rehab assignment. It is going to be critical for Polanco to return this season and a months worth of at-bats would give us a good glimpse into his health and potential for the 2020 season. 1B Joey Votto was placed on the 10-day IL on August 18 and is expected to be back on August 25 if everything goes as planned. Votto has been disappointing for a second straight season (.262 AVG, 12 HR, 60 R, 39 RBI, and 4 SB). OF Jesse Winker (back) has not played since August 15. OF David Dahl has started throwing and is running on an underwater treadmill as he tries to make his way back from a high ankle sprain. OF Corey Dickerson has been playing everyday which means that he is mixed league relevant. 1B Anthony Rizzo left Saturday's game early with back tightness. He has dealt with back issues in the past and the hope is that this is a day-to-day injury rather than a trip to the IL. OF David Peralta was placed on the 10-day IL with a shoulder injury. 3B Brian Anderson was placed on the 10-day IL with a broken pinky finger.
On The Mound
Jouhlys Chacin (lat strain) has been throwing bullpens which is an encouraging sign but he is still weeks away from returning to the mound. In somewhat of a surprise move the Brewers designated Chacin for assignment. Jimmy Nelson (elbow) has been on a rehab assignment as he works his way back from an elbow injury. It remains to be seen if he returns and what his role is going to be when he does make it back. Brandon Woodruff (oblique) has started throwing but hasn't progressed to bullpens which means he is still weeks away from returning. The Diamondbacks are hoping that Robbie Ray (back) is able to be activated and start on Sunday. Ray has been as advertised this year with a ton of strikeouts (187 K) and solid ratios (3.99 ERA and 1.28 WHIP). Luke Weaver (elbow) throw a 40-pitch bullpen session on Tuesday. There is hope that he makes it back in September but he is unlikely to provide any fantasy value. Rich Hill (elbow) has been able to throw bullpen sessions and is preparing to return as a starter. Since the Dodgers have their division wrapped up they are focused on getting Hill ready for the playoffs which could mean that he pitches very little in the regular season the rest of the way. Ross Stripling (bicep) is not going to return before September and when he does return he is going to be in the bullpen which eliminates his fantasy value. Julio Urias is in the middle of serving a 20-game suspension but the Dodgers announced that he is going to prepare to be a starter upon returning. He has pitched 67.2 IP this year and the Dodgers are likely to try to get him close to 100 IP so that he can be a full-time starter next time year. Shaun Anderson (finger) has been activated off the 10-day IL but the Giants did not say if he was going to start or head to the bullpen. Johnny Cueto has had his rehab assignment moved up to Triple-A as he makes his way back from Tommy John surgery. Eliaser Hernandez left Tuesdays start early with a blister on his pitching hand. The Marlins have not indicated whether he would miss a start or not so he is day-to-day at this point. Pablo Lopez (shoulder) has started a rehab assignment. It would be nice to see Lopez make 3-4 starts before the end of the year so we can get a good read on him heading into 2020 because he started to fulfill some of his potential prior to the injury. Jose Urena (back) has started a rehab assignment. By the time he returns he is going to have very little fantasy value. Marcus Stroman (hamstring) left his last start early but expects to make his next scheduled start. Max Scherzer (back) was activated off the 10-day IL and started against the Pirates (4 IP, 1 ER, 3 K). His post-game comments suggested that this injury could be an issue for the rest of the season which is going to create a difficult situation for fantasy owners. Garrett Richards (TJS) is close to starting a rehab assignment and it is worth keeping an eye on him for 2020. Jake Arrieta elected for season-ending surgery on his throwing elbow. This means that both Zach Eflin and Vince Velasquez will remain in the rotation for the foreseeable future. Nick Pivetta was optioned back to Triple-A. Chris Archer (shoulder) was placed on the 10-day IL on August 21 and has been shut down from throwing for 7-10 days. There is a chance that this could put him out for the year with just five weeks left in the season. Kyle Freeland (groin) has been placed on the 10-day IL. Jon Gray was placed on the 60-day IL on August 21 which means that his 2019 season is over. It was a solid yet unspectacular season for the right-hander (11-8 with a 3.84 ERA and 1.35 WHIP).
In The Bullpen
Yoshihisa Hirano (elbow) was placed on the 10-day IL on August 17. The Diamondbacks bullpen situation is still the same with Archie Bradley being the team's primary closer. Sean Doolittle (knee) was placed on the 10-day IL. There is no clear guy to step in for Doolittle but the options include Daniel Hudson, Hunter Strickland, and Fernando Rodney. Roenis Elias (hamstring) should be returning soon and he could also factor into the closer situation based on matchups (LHB's). Scott Oberg was placed on the 10-day IL and then transferred to the 60-day IL with a blood clot in his throwing arm. The Rockies have not announced a plan at closer but the three candidates are Wade Davis who has been terrible this year and then Carlos Estevez and Jake McGee. The Marlins closer situation is one to keep an eye on. It looked like Ryne Stanek would get an opportunity to close but he has been terrible since being traded and manager Don Mattingly said that Jose Urena could be the closer when he returns from injury. Seth Lugo and Edwin Diaz are sharing the closer's role in New York which makes both of them fantasy viable but also limits each others save chances.
Players to add this week:
SP Adrian Houser (MIL)- Adrian Houser has been pitching well for the Brewers. On the year, he has a 3.62 ERA and 1.28 WHIP. He has also shown the ability to miss bats (25% K and 10% SwStr) with at least average control (8% BB). His 3.91 SIERA suggest that if his current skills hold he can continue to be an above-average starter. At this point in the year riding the hot streaks is important and he has given up 2 ER or less in seven of his last eight starts.
OF Mike Yastrzemski (SFG)- Mike Yastrzemski is hitting .278 with 17 HR, 46 R, 47 RBI, and 1 SB through 75 games. He has been red hot in August with a .288 AVG with 8 HR, 12 R, and 16 RBI. Outfield has been surprisingly difficult to find options on the waiver wire in deeper leagues so if he is still available he is worth an add.
SP Logan Webb (SFG)- Logan Webb is going to get a shot to stick in the Giants rotation and you should give him a shot as well. At Double-A this year he had a 2.18 ERA and 1.28 WHIP with 26% K and 7% BB. He's got a three-pitch mix and at the bare minimum he is going to be useful in home starts due to it being the best pitchers park in the league.
SP Sandy Alcantara (MIA)- On the year, Sandy Alcantara has 4.15 ERA and 1.38 WHIP through 149.2 IP. The strikeout rate is well below league average at 17% and he walks too many batters (11%) but he has been pitching well lately. He has a 2.36 ERA and 0.94 WHIP. The same concerns still exist in terms of low strikeouts (18%) and too many walks (11%) so be prepared to jump off the train immediately but he is on a roll.
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