In The Field
C Austin Nola is performing baseball activities that included taking BP and doing some light catching work. He is working his way towards a rehab assignment but that timeframe is still unknown. SS Corey Seager (hand) is expected to start a rehab assignment early next week and should be back in early July. It will be interesting to see what the Dodgers do with their lineup when everyone is healthy. The guys most at risk of losing playing time are SS Gavin Lux and OF AJ Pollock. SS Didi Gregorius continues to have inflammation in his throwing elbow which had prevented him from getting into game action earlier in the week but he returned to his rehab assignment on Thursday. 2B Tommy La Stella (hamstring) begins a rehab assignment and is not eligible to be activated until July 2nd. OF Corey Dickerson (foot) is going to be in a walking boot for three weeks and won't be re-evaluated until after the All-Star break. This has opened up playing time for OF Jesus Sanchez who has hit .250 with 2 HR through his first eight games. The concern with Sanchez is that he is striking out over 30% of the time with just 3 % BB. It is a small sample but to stick on the roster he needs to improve his plate skills. OF Harrison Bader is in Florida at the Cardinals facility and he has been able to do light activities. He is not close to returning at this point. OF Michael Conforto (hamstring) returned to the lineup on Wednesday. 2B Jeff McNeil also returned this week off the IL. 3B Jonathan Villar has a calf injury and was placed on the 10-day IL. Once everyone gets healthy OF Kevin Pillar looks to be the odd man out. OF Kole Calhoun is nearing a rehab assignment and could be sent out on one as soon as early next week. 2B Ketel Marte was removed from Tuesday's game with hamstring tightness. He was not in the lineup Thursday or Friday. 1B Daniel Vogelbach suffered a hamstring injury on Tuesday and he is expected to miss six weeks. The Brewer called 1B Keston Hiura back up to take his place on the roster. Hiura promptly went yard in his first game back but needs to cut down on the strikeouts before he becomes fantasy relevant. OF Mookie Betts (illness) was removed from Tuesday's game and didn't play on Wednesday but returned to the lineup on Thursday. 3B Eduardo Escobar (quad) returned to the lineup on Friday after sitting out the past three games. 2B Wilmer Flores wasn't in Wednesday's lineup due to hamstring tightness but returned on Friday. 1B/OF Garrett Cooper (back) has been reinstated to the active roster and was in the lineup on Friday night. OF Jesus Sanchez remained in the lineup playing left field and it was 1B Jesus Aguilar heading to the bench. OF Ronald Acuna Jr. sat out Wednesday and Thursday with lower back tightness but returned to the lineup on Friday. 1B Brandon Belt (knee) was placed on the 10-day IL. 1B Darin Ruf is expected to see the majority of playing time at first while he is out. OF Brandon Nimmo (finger) is expected to be back early next week. OF Nick Senzel (knee) was able to play catch on Thursday but isn't expected back until after the All-Star break. 1B Josh Bell was scratched from Thursday's lineup with right side soreness. He was also absent from the lineup on Friday but returned on Saturday after imaging revealed no injury. 2B Kolton Wong left Saturday's game early with calf tightness. He is considered day-to-day. OF Jesse Winker left the game early with a hip injury but downplayed its seriousness after the game. C Buster Posey (back) is day-to-day with a back injury. OF Bryce Harper was hit by a pitch left leg by a pitch and had to leave the game early. 2B Nico Hoerner (hamstring) is slated to begin his rehab assignment on Sunday which is good news for both him and the Cubs.
On The Mound
Joey Lucchesi (elbow) underwent Tommy John surgery and is out for the year. Madison Bumgarner completed a 20-pitch bullpen session on Monday. He is going to need a rehab assignment before coming back and news of that will give us a better understanding of his return date. Jeff Hoffman (shoulder) has started a rehab assignment and how many starts he will need is unknown. He wasn't pitching particularly well before the injury but the Reds staff has been hit with injury woes so Hoffman is needed. Sonny Gray (groin) had his rehab start on Thursday pushed back to Saturday due to back stiffness. Gray is scheduled to pitch three innings and then return to the big league club next week. He is likely going to be on a pitch limit when he does come back. This means that Tony Santillan should get at least one more start. The Reds will likely have to make a choice between Hoffman, Vladimir Gutierrez, and Santillan for the back end of their rotation. Sixto Sanchez (shoulder) has been able to throw up to 120 ft. The Marlins are being cautious with their talented right-hander as he has already been shut down once this year. With this being said he is not close to returning and shouldn't be counted on in re-draft leagues this year. Max Fried was placed on the 10-day IL with a blister. He had been rolling since coming back from the IL so this was disappointing. The hope is that Fried can make his next turn through the rotation but blisters are not a sure thing in terms of recovery. Kyle Wright was called up and got shelled (2 IP, 5 ER). Brett Anderson (knee) was placed on the 10-day IL. In a corresponding move, Eric Lauer has joined the rotation. Lauer (5.21 ERA, 1.24 WHIP, 25% K, and 8% BB) isn't appealing from a fantasy perspective outside of AL-only leagues. Marcus Stroman (hip) left his start early on Tuesday but is expected to make his next scheduled start after getting his hip checked out. Daniel Ponce de Leon is dealing with shoulder discomfort and it is very similar to the same injury he suffered in May for which he was out three weeks. He was placed on the 10-day IL. Steven Brault is scheduled to face live hitters as he returns from a lat injury that has kept him out all year. Tyler Beede (TJS) has now made ten rehab appearances and has built up his pitch count to be a starter but has struggled mightily (7.84 ERA and 1.87 WHIP) so it is unlikely that he gets called up any time soon. Elieser Hernandez (quad) has been cleared to resume throwing but isn't eligible to return until August so he is not close to returning to fantasy rosters. Aaron Sanchez (bicep) has had his rehab assignment paused due to a blister on his right middle finger. Jon Gray (elbow) returned on Friday against the Brewers and pitched very well (5 IP, 5 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, and 10 K). Carlos Carrasco (hamstring) threw a light bullpen on Saturday. Miles Mikolas is scheduled to start throwing bullpens after the All-Star break which means he is not particularly close to returning. Mike Soroka is out for the year after suffering a re-tear of his right Achilles. This is just devastating news.
In The Bullpen
Dellin Betances (shoulder) has his rehab assignment moved to Triple-A Syracuse. Lucas Sims (elbow) was placed on the 10-day IL and is expected to miss 3-4 weeks. This once again throws a major wrench into the Reds closer situation. The leading candidate right now would have been Tejay Antone who has pitched the best of anyone in the bullpen but he was also placed on the 10-day IL. Brad Bach may get a chance to save games or we could also see manager David Bell give Amir Garrett an opportunity. Antone is the guy to own but don't be surprised to see the Reds play with us over the next week. The Phillies made a change at closer on Friday with Hector Neris out as closer and Jose Alvarado in. Alvarado promptly blew his first save chance and Hector Neris ended up with the save. Archie Bradley blew a save in the second game of the double-header to make things even more complicated. Alvarado should get another chance and needs to be picked up.
Players to add this week:
OF Steven Duggar (SFG)- Steven Duggar is hitting .323 with 6 HR, 25 R, 22 RBI, and 5 SB in 49 GP and hardly anyone is talking about it. The underlying skillset is not great (32% K) but he does show a good eye at the plate (9% BB) and the ability to barrel the ball (13% Barrels). This is a deeper league play and is really dependent on the matchups because he primarily only plays against RHP. The power/speed combo is hard to pass up in NL-only formats.
SP Caleb Smith (ARI)- Caleb Smith has transitioned back to the rotation after a rash of injuries to Diamondback starters. He has a 3.03 ERA and 1.26 WHIP with 26% K. His walk rate is high at 12% but this is something that he has dealt with the majority of his career. His 4.27 SIERA is a more likely outlook going forward but even that has value in deeper mixed league formats and NL-only. His start next week is against the Brewers at home.
3B Brendan Rodgers (COL)- Brendan Rodgers is playing every day and well in the month of June. He is hitting .288 with 4 HR, 7 R, 14 RBI, and 0 SB. This is also backed up by above-average plate skills (19% K and 7% BB). The quality of contact has been there as well with 45% Hard.
RP Joakim Soria (ARI)- The Diamondbacks have been hard-pressed to get a win let alone a save chance but one has to imagine that their luck will turn around at some point and save chances will present themselves once again and the most likely candidate to get that opportunity will likely be Joakim Soria.
RP Jose Alvarado (PHI)- Phillies manager Joe Girardi said on Friday that Hector Neris is no longer the closer and that Jose Alvarado would get a chance. He promptly blew the first save albeit he was put in a difficult situation. The Phillies will hopefully give him another opportunity to close out games.
1B Keston Hiura (MIL)- Keston Hiura has been recalled to replace Daniel Vogelbach. Picking up Hiura is tough because he has not shown anything at the major league level this year that warrants being rostered but he is going to play every day and has the pedigree and potential to be an impact player. Watch the strikeout rate and honestly, no one will blame you if you just pass on Hiura.
OF Jesus Sanchez (MIA)- Jesus Sanchez has now played nine games at the major league level and is hitting .243 with 2 HR, 2 R, 5 RBI, and 0 SB. His approach at the plate is worrisome (29% K and 3 %BB) but he has legitimate power (42% Hard, 12% Barrels, and 111.9 mph maxEV). The Marlins should give him an extended look to see what they have in the 23-year-old outfielder.
RP Brad Bach (CIN)-He could be next in line for saves with Lucas Sims and Tejay Antone on the IL and Amir Garrett struggling.Registered members can click on the following link to see the complete weekly report: http://www.fantistics.com/baseball00/M-Strategyplus.htm Click here for details: https://www.insiderbaseball.com/baseballsample.htm