IN THE LINEUP
Ender Inciarte began his rehab assignment with Gwinnett on Thursday. Inciarte has been shelved with a hamstring injury for around three weeks but is nearing his return now. He'll slot in as a backup outfielder for the team with Christian Pache also back in the mix... Daulton Varsho is going to focus on OF for the time being according to the Diamondbacks. Torey Lovullo did explain though that Varsho can catch and will catch when the need presents itself but they would rather have him work on fine-tuning things in the OF for now... Tim Locastro started in CF on Wednesday in his first start back from the IL. Locastro missed two weeks with a broken finger... Jake Marisnick hit homerun number four of the season on Wednesday. He's played well in his additional playing time while Ian Happ (10-day IL) has been out of the lineup with his rib injury... Joey Bart was called up to the Giants on Tuesday but was sent back down Thursday after getting just one appearance as a pinch hitter. Bart will be the regular starter in AAA and we should see him again at some point this season... Buster Posey is managing a tight hamstring but was back in the lineup Friday after leaving early on Wednesday. He hit his 8th homer of the season Friday... Dylan Carlson left game one of Wednesday's doubleheader with a shin contusion and was held out of the lineup for game two... Brandon Nimmo is dealing with a bone bruise on his left index finger and will be placed on the IL. Kevin Pillar should get the bulk of the playing time for the Mets in CF while Nimmo is on the shelf... Francisco Lindor was benched for game two on Wednesday's doubleheader as he is in the middle of a 0-23 slump. Lindor is too talented for this lack of production to continue all year, but it definitely has not been pretty to this point... Cody Bellinger still has not been cleared to run at full speed, instead, he's been running at about 60% speed according to the team. Bellinger is dealing with a hairline fracture in his leg and there's still no real timetable for his return, but has been able to swing and throw without issue recently... CJ Cron is dealing with lower back tightness and was held out of the lineup on Friday. Matt Adams filled in at first base in the game against St. Louis... Mike Yastrzemski was activated from the IL with his oblique injury. Yaz wasn't immediately placed back into the lineup on Friday but is available off the bench and should be back in the lineup over the weekend... Alex Dickerson was placed on the IL on Friday with a bone bruise in his shoulder. Darin Ruf should be the primary left fielder while Dickerson is out of action... Omar Narvaez is making progress in his rehab from his hamstring strain. The initial timetable for Narvaez was two weeks and with him already running, and he's supposed to begin catching again this weekend... Manny Pina is expected to return to the Brewers this weekend. He'll take over the primary catcher role for the team until Narvaez can get back to the team... Juan Soto is back with the Nats but he's only been cleared to hit right now. The team is starting a weekend set with the Yankees so he'll be able to DH, but he was only able to serve as a pinch hitter in their recent series against the Braves... Bryce Harper returned to the lineup for the Phillies and slotted into his normal third spot in the lineup. Harper was returning from getting hit in the face and wrist when he aggravated the wrist issue again and was forced to sit out for four days... Jorge Alfaro has been catching bullpen sessions and is expected to hit in live BP this weekend. Alfaro has been dealing with a hamstring injury since the middle of April... Lewis Brinson is battling a sore middle finger and it's unsure how much time he may miss because of it... Jean Segura was activated off on the IL Friday. Nick Maton returned to the bench for the Phillies and Mickey Moniak was optioned to AAA as the corresponding move... Nick Castellanos was back in the lineup on Friday after being scratched Wednesday with back tightness... Austin Nola left Friday's game with a left-hand injury after getting hit by a pitch. Victor Caratini replaced him in the lineup but Nola was able to play in the game Saturday and won't miss any time... AJ Pollock left Friday's game with a leg injury, but there are no reports yet as to how much time he may miss. Gavin Lux played left field after Pollock's departure... Jazz Chisholm is nearing a rehab assignment according to GM Kim Ng. He's been out of action for a while with a hamstring strain and Isan Diaz has been the primary second baseman for the Marlins in his absence... Joey Votto fractured his thumb during Wednesday's game against the White Sox and he's expected to be sidelined for about a month. Mike Moustakas filled in at first base for the Reds on Friday... Colton Welker has suspended 80 games for testing positive for a banned substance. Welker nearly made the Rockies right out of camp so there was a decent chance we would see him up this season, obviously, that situation gets a little murkier now... Yadier Molina was activated from the IL on Saturday... The Braves lost both their primary catcher Travis D'Arnaud and backup Alex Jackson to injuries this week and that thrust top prospect William Contreras into the starting role. TDA is going to be out for a significant chunk of time with a torn thumb ligament so Contreras will get plenty of run behind the plate, and with a good performance, he could secure his spot as the everyday catcher for 2022... Edwin Rios was placed on the IL with a right shoulder injury. He's been terrible this season and we'll see what the Dodgers do with him after he gets healthy, as I wouldn't rule out a return to the minors at this point... Ronald Acuña Jr was hit by a pitch on his left hand but x-rays were negative and he's day-to-day with a bruised pinky finger. This looked far worse than it ended up being so it's terrific news for the Braves... Javy Baez left Saturday's game with back tightness. It sounds like it's a minor issue as he hung around the dugout during the rest of the game... Colin Moran left Saturday's game with groin discomfort. He's considered day-to-day at this point and Todd Frazier will likely fill in for him on Sunday.
IN THE ROTATION
Mike Mikolas allowed two runs and five hits over 2.1 innings in his rehab start Wednesday. For a first start, 57 pitches is a solid number and we'll see what the plans for him are when his turn comes around in the rotation again... Max Fried earned the win in his return to the rotation on Wednesday. Fried has been held out of action with a hamstring injury but is back with the team and will remain a staple in the Braves rotation... David Price has begun throwing off a mound while rehabbing his hamstring injury. It's uncertain how the Dodgers will use him upon his return as he started the season in the bullpen, but with the injuries to Dustin May and Tony Gonsolin, the team could have a spot in the rotation for Price... Clayton Kershaw will start Saturday for the Dodgers after throwing less than 40 pitches in his start on Tuesday... Stephen Strasburg has a sim game scheduled for Tuesday as he rehabs his shoulder injury. The expectation is that Strasburg will need at least three more of these rehab outings before being able to return to the rotation for the Nats... Jacob deGrom is feeling good after a bullpen session on Friday and he's expected to start Sunday. He was scratched earlier in the week with lat soreness but it wasn't something that was expected to make him miss a chunk of time... Elieser Hernandez will throw a live batting practice session on Saturday. He's only expected to throw 20 pitches, so there's still a long way to go before he's back to a workload to rejoin the rotation for Miami... Merrill Kelly missed just three days after being placed on the IL so that likely just means he was potentially exposed to COVID-19 and he needed to clear the protocols... Madison Bumgarner was hit by a pitch on his non-throwing wrist Thursday, and X-rays came back as negative. Bumgarner was able to stay in the game and keep pitching, so it doesn't sound like anything too severe and he's expected to make his next start against Miami... Drew Smyly returned from the IL Wednesday and allowed just one unearned run over six innings. Smyly has struggled this season and while this start was excellent, it came against a less than 100% Nationals club. He gets Toronto next time out... Tyler Beede has begun his rehab assignment after undergoing Tommy John surgery last season. He's reporting to the AAA club and this will be the first time he's faced live hitters since the injury. The Giants haven't specified as to what role he'll return to... Dinelson Lamet came out of Tuesday's start feeling good according to the team. Lamet was a surprise start after experiencing forearm tightness in his first start of the season, but he saw a sharp drop in velocity in his second inning. The team attributes the drop to rust... Chris Paddack could return to start for the Padres on Sunday, but there's no official word yet from the club. He's been out for over a week after being placed on the IL for undisclosed reasons... Noah Syndergaard could begin his rehab assignment in a week. He's expected to return to the Mets in the middle of June... Corbin Burnes is going to throw a bullpen session on Monday and should be activated off the COVID-19 list later in the week... Aaron Sanchez was placed on the IL with right biceps tightness. Kevin Gausman was activated off of the COVID-19 IL as a corresponding move.
IN THE BULLPEN
Joakim Soria returned from the IL on Wednesday and allowed two runs and three hits over one inning... Jose Alvarado notched a save Wednesday after Hector Neris threw 40 pitches the night before... Joe Kelly was activated off the IL and Scott Alexander was placed on the IL as a corresponding move... Wander Suero is starting a rehab assignment on Sunday. Suero has been out since the middle of April with an oblique strain and most recently threw a 22 pitch bullpen session on Thursday, so in terms of workload he's about ready to go... Carl Edwards was called up by the Braves and will work in a middle relief role. Nate Jones was DFA'd by the Braves on Friday... Keona Kela left Friday's outing with a strained right forearm and he was placed on the IL... Rex Brothers picked up the save Friday with Craig Kimbrel unavailable due to his recent work.... Brent Suter left his spot start on Friday with calf cramps. It's unlikely to make him miss time due to the cramps but was placed on the bereavement list on Saturday... Archie Bradley has been dealing with a cold that is delaying his return from his oblique injury. He's expected to begin throwing bullpen sessions soon and could return to the team when they get back from their road trip.
PLAYERS TO ADD
Josh Rojas, Arizona Diamondbacks - Josh Rojas has been on a tear in May after an extremely slow start to the season. Rojas is slashing .478/.500/.826 for the month with a pair of homers and he has a hit in every game this month. The strong month has pulled his line for the season all the way up to .272/.352/.506 with five homers and a stolen base. Rojas had a strong spring training that won him a spot on the roster and regular playing time, but it's taken some time for him to get back up to full steam. There's a good chance that his roster% isn't this low ever again.
Huascar Ynoa, Atlanta Braves - Ynoa has taken advantage of some injuries and underperforming in the Braves rotation to seize a spot in it. Ynoa is getting hit hard, but he's been able to limit the damage so far with just a 2.36 ERA. He's striking out over a batter and inning and generating above-average whiffs to go along with a strong BB%. It'd be nice if he started to limit the hard contact against him but with two pitches it's likely batters will continue to focus on the fastball to avoid his excellent slider.
Pavin Smith, Arizona Diamondbacks - Smith is taking advantage of playing time opportunities and has hit three homers to go along with a .268/.305/.446 slash line. Smith is doing two things extremely well: he's hitting the ball consistently hard and he's not swinging and missing very often. It'd be nice to see his walk-rate improve a little bit but he's being aggressive in the count and that's going to keep both his strikeout and walk numbers down. As long as he keeps hitting the ball hard in that approach I have no objections to it.