Jose Urquidy (SP - HOU) - Whatever I wrote about Urquidy 6 weeks ago, just disregard it. Whatever was wrong with him was clearly fixed on Monday, as he looked as dominant for the first 5 innings as anyone I've seen all year. Virtually every single pitch was thrown with pinpoint control, the movement on the slider and change was enormous, and the fastball velo was at the top of his range at 94-95. He ended up allowing 3 hard-hit balls, all doubles, over 6 innings with 1 walk and 9 K's. It was a ceiling game for him and I'll be very curious to see how he follows it up, but I feel much better about him than I did last month when the velo was down a touch and he was allowing a ton of hard contact. With his control, just that little bit extra in terms of stuff to increase the bat-missing ability will mitigate the huge FB rates and hard contact, allowing him to reach that top-40 SP ceiling. Can't help but be optimistic after that outing.
Rob Refsnyder (OF - MIN) - The Twins are on CF #4 right now, and the last man standing is journeyman Rob Refsnyder, who just turned 30 right before the season started. Refsnyder reached AAA way back in 2014 and has hit .296 at the level over 1582 ABs, yet has never garnered more than a few weeks of consistent playing time at the MLB level before. There are a handful of guys like this scattered throughout the upper minors that I feel could put together a little career if given the chance, and Refsnyder is definitely on the list: his contact ability is solid, the exit velocities have been good at the big league level, he has a pretty solid idea of the strike zone, and he's played every position but SS and C during his minor league time. The last few years he's even changed his formerly very patient, line-drive oriented approach to a bit more aggressive, flyball-based style. The 10 homers in 85 AAA games in 2019 might be more of an idea of his power capabilities now, and he's started off well with the Twins, hitting 320/364/500 through 55 PAs. That's obviously not what we should expect to continue, but since it's almost exactly what he hit in half a season at AAA 2 years ago, it might not be as far off as you'd think. I do think that he's worth a waiver claim in the majority of leagues....there are so many injured players, and unlike a lot of the "stopgap" bodies that are called up, Refsnyder has some legitimate potential despite his age. Even if everyone were healthy Refsnyder would be battling Kiriloff and Larnach for playing time, and Kiriloff could always come in and take 1B from the "seemingly always one week from being benched" Miguel Sano. The more I think about it, the more I'm talking myself into it.
Eduardo Rodriguez (SP - BOS) - It was an odd start from E-Rod on Monday, who started the game getting squeezed by the umpire, then totally lost his command for a few innings, culminating in a pitch to Jose Altuve that wouldn't have left more than 2 ballparks in the majors and would have been an out in most.....but they were playing in one of the two. Immediately after that it looked like a switch flipped and Rodriguez struck out the next 3 batters, then was back to inconsistent for the rest of the outing, finishing up with a couple of inherited runners the bullpen allowed to score. All in all the stats from the start look horrible, but it could have easily been much better. Of much greater concern is the fact that he hasn't had a solid start since April, and the delta between his fastball and changeup that usually sits around 6-7 mph was more like 4 for most of Monday's start. The thing with Rodriguez is that his control is generally very good, but his command comes and goes, and for the past month he has had very spotty command in every single start. For those of you for whom that's an unfamiliar usage of the two terms, control generally refers to simply being able to throw the ball in the strike zone, while command is used as more of a pinpoint descriptive, both inside and out of the zone. He's aware of the issue and referred to it specifically post-game, but this is a tough stretch of games to try and fix something in, with 2 meetings with the Yankees, another with the Astros, and games against the Braves and Rays all scheduled in the next 5 starts. He's a tough guy to want to bench here, as he's easily a top-50 SP on his whole body of work, but if the Yankee offense has heated up at all by this weekend I'm probably sitting him for the short-term. I do expect him to fix this, and sooner rather than later.....the stuff looks fine with the exception of the changeup and in-zone command right now, so he's definitely not in the "drop" category for me.
Jake Fraley (OF - SEA) - Fraley returned from a lengthy IL stint on Monday, going 2-3 with a double and 2 walks in a 6-5 win over Oakland. Fraley just turned 26 this past week, but we've only seen him for a total of 19 games at all levels since 2019.....a 2019 in which he hit almost .300 with 19 HR and 22 SB in just 99 games between AA and AAA. He feels like an average hit, average power, above average speed player to me, and with the injuries Seattle has suffered (White is out, Moore is out, and Lewis left Monday's game with knee discomfort), I think Fraley is going to play quite a bit. I've already grabbed him in my deeper leagues, and he might be worth a look in standard formats as well with his speed. He's also absolutely worthwhile in OBP-based formats with his solid approach at the plate.
Edward Olivares (OF - KC) - The Royals summoned Olivares with Jorge Soler ailing (and struggling big-time) this weekend, and the 25 year old has gone 3-7 with 2 runs and a steal in his first two games Sunday and Monday. Olivares didn't do a ton in 30 games between SD and KC last season, but he had 18 HR and 35 SB in 127 G at AA in 2019, and he was hitting .395 with 5 HR and 7 SB through 20 G at AAA this season when he got the call: there's some multi-category potential here to be sure. I feel like the Royals will find some playing time for him even once Soler is healthy again, as Gutierrez isn't lighting the world on fire at 3B and Dozier could slot in there without any trouble, opening up the DH spot for Soler once again. I do believe that he's worth a claim in just about all formats on the power/speed upside, and I do think there's a bit of potential to be better than league average in batting average as well.
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