In The Field
3B Brian Anderson (shoulder) has been able to do baseball activities without any setbacks. The Marlins haven't given a timeframe for a rehab assignment but it is trending in that direction. His return is going to push 3B Joe Panik to the bench but a lot could change at the trade deadline for the Marlins as they figure to be sellers. OF Adam Duvall (side) is also expected back after the break. It will be interesting to see what the Marlins decide to do with OF Jesus Sanchez who has held his own (.265/.315/.434). OF Starling Marte and OF Garrett Cooper have been swinging hot bats which makes it likely that Sanchez or 1B Jesus Aguilar loses playing time. 3B Phillip Evans has started baseball activities as he recovers from the concussion he suffered prior to the All-Star break. Dodgers manager Dave Roberts hopes to have SS Corey Seager back for their upcoming July 19 series with the Giants. Seager hasn't started a rehab assignment but could get a couple of games in before returning. This will have a cascading effect on the Dodgers lineup. The two likely to lose playing time are SS Gavin Lux and/or OF A.J. Pollock. With the recent hot streak for Pollock, it seems like Lux could be the odd man out. SS Brendan Rodgers sat out Sunday before the All-Star break with an illness but is expected to be back in the lineup on Friday. C Austin Nola has been playing in rehab games but it has been at first base. This is more likely an indication that his knee is not ready for catching yet as opposed to he is going to take 1B Eric Hosmer's spot when he comes back. C Victor Caratini figures to get the majority of playing time behind the dish until Nola's knee is healthy enough for him to catch. 2B David Bote (shoulder) began a rehab assignment on Friday. He should be back after the All-Star break. Currently, there is nowhere for Bote to play when he comes back because 2B Nico Hoerner and 3B Patrick Wisdom are playing well which means Bote has no fantasy value. 3B Alec Bohm was placed on the COVID IL on Sunday and will be out at least 10 days due to testing positive. 3B Brad Miller is likely to fill in for Bohm until he returns. OF Ronald Acuna Jr. was placed on the 60-day IL on Sunday and will be out for the year after tearing his ACL. This was absolutely brutal news for the Braves and fantasy managers. He was hitting .283 with 24 HR, 72 R, 52 RBI, and 17 SB. 15-team mixed leagues will have a hard time finding a replacement outfielder with the waiver wire being surprisingly barren for outfields on a weekly basis. Internally, the Braves will go with an outfield of Orlando Arcia, Guillermo Heredia, and a combination of Abraham Almonte, Ender Inciarte, and Johan Camargo. They do have two highly touted OF prospects in Drew Waters and Cristian Pache. Waters is hitting .257 with 5 HR and 15 SB which is a fantasy-friendly profile but there is already too much swing and miss to his game (31% K) to suggest he is major league ready. Pache has not performed well at the major league level (.111 AVG with 37% K) or at Triple-A (.243 AVG with 33% K). Fantasy folks and prospect followers will be calling for both to be promoted but the chances of them being successful and having fantasy value this year are very slim. SS Javier Baez is dealing with a thumb injury that has been on and off recently. The hope is that the All-Star break gives him enough time for it to heal so that it won't be a lingering issue in the second half. He may not be hitting for average (.238 AVG) but Baez has been a valuable fantasy asset (21 HR, 42 R, 56 RBI, and 10 SB). 3B Asdrubal Cabrera was placed on the 10-day IL with a hamstring injury. Cabrera had not been playing regularly prior to the injury with 2B Josh Rojas getting everyday playing time and serving as the Diamondbacks leadoff hitter. C Yan Gomes was placed on the 10-day IL with an oblique strain. C Tres Barrera will fill in for Gomes but doesn't bring much to the table from a fantasy point of view. C Travis d'Arnaud (thumb) has been able to take two-handed swings. He is trending in the right direction but isn't expected back until mid-August. OF LaMonte Wade (hand) was not in the lineup for Saturday's game but returned on Sunday. This is an injury to keep an eye on but the hope is the All-Star break gave him enough time to completely heal. OF Odubel Herrera (ankle) was placed on the 10-day IL on Saturday. OF Travis Jankowski started five of six games prior to the All-Star break. He doesn't bring much to the table outside of elite speed in terms of stolen bases so if you need speed, he could be a worthy pickup. 3B J.D. Davis is expected to be activated off the IL on Friday after the All-Star break. He was hitting .390 with 2 HR, 5 R, 7RBI, and 0 sB in 14 GP. He can hit but struggles defensively. Regardless, he should be in the Mets everyday lineup which means 3B Jonathan Villar moves back into a part-time role. 3B Evan Longoria increased baseball activities prior to the All-Star break which gives him a shot at returning very soon after the break. He was in the middle of a resurgent year (.280 AVG with 9 HR, 28 R, 30 RBI, and 1 SB) before the injury. 2B Kolton Wong (calf) is expected back shortly after the All-Star break which means that 2B Jace Peterson is headed back to the bench. It also creates an interesting playing time situation at 1B with Keston Hiura and recently acquired Rowdy Tellez. The best-case scenario for Hiura is a short side of the platoon which kills his fantasy value. 2B Tommy La Stella (thumb/hamstring) resumed a rehab assignment on Friday before the All-Star break. He is expected back after the All-Star break and there is a good chance that he goes back to hitting leadoff in an unexpectedly good Giants offense. C Buster Posey (thumb) is eligible to come off the IL after the All-Star break but that is uncertain. C Curt Casali will serve as the Giants primary catcher in the meantime. There was some thought that C Joey Bart could stick with the big league club but he was optioned back to Triple-A on Sunday and the Giants would prefer that he continue to develop in the minors.
On The Mound
Steven Brault (lat) was able to make a rehab assignment on Sunday (1.2 IP, 2 BB, and 3 K). He is expected to make one more rehab start before being activated. Brault was an interesting deep mixed league dart throw but has spent all season on the IL. Carlos Carrasco (hamstring) is scheduled to throw one inning in a rehab game on Thursday. He has not recovered nearly as fast as he or the Mets would have liked. A return in early August is the target at this point provided there are no setbacks. Ryan Weathers left his latest start after 2 IP with a lower-body injury that turned out to be a right foot injury. He is expected to be out until early August. There is a growing chance that he returns to the bullpen given the injury and lack of a third pitch but the health of the Padres rotation is the main factor. Blake Snell (illness) is going to start on Saturday. Yu Darvish was placed on the 10-day IL with left hip inflammation. The hope is that rest during the All-Star break will be enough but there is a possibility that he is out longer. Miles Mikolas (elbow) is targeting a rehab assignment before the end of July. From a fantasy perspective, it's not worth counting on anything from Mikolas. Merrill Kelly left his start on Sunday with an injury but no update has been provided. Ian Anderson (shoulder) is likely headed to the 10-day IL with a right shoulder injury. He was going to have it examined over the All-Star break so we should have more news heading into the weekend. This is bad news for a Braves rotation that is struggling with production and injury. They currently have Tucker Davidson, Mike Soroka, Touki Toussaint, and Huascar Ynoa on the IL. Kyle Wright, Bryse Wilson, and potentially new signed Tanner Roark could fill in the final two spots in the rotation but none are fantasy viable starters. Huascar Ynoa is approaching mound work which means that he is still not close to returning but this is a step in the right direction. It would be nice to see him get back on the mound before the end of the season. Aaron Nola (COVID) was placed on the COVID IL on Sunday due to contract tracing. There is hope that he can clear protocol before they return after the All-Star break. The same goes for Bailey Falter. Zac Gallen (hamstring) threw a 44-pitch bullpen on Saturday. He is expected to return when first eligible after the All-Star break. Madison Bumgarner (shoulder) made a rehab start on Saturday (4.1 IP, 4 ER, 9 H, 1 BB). The plan going forward is unknown but it appears as if he is ready to return to the major league club but they might give him another rehab start to iron everything out. Austin Gomber (forearm) threw a two-inning simulated game on Saturday. The plan is for him to throw a bullpen on Wednesday and possibly a rehab start on Friday. Gomber, despite the one awful blow-up, has been a productive fantasy arm (3.68 ERA, 1.07 WHIP, 17% K:BB). Aaron Sanchez (biceps) began a rehab assignment on Saturday (4.1 IP 3 ER, 7 K). Clayton Kershaw owners can breathe a sigh of relief after his MRI revealed forearm inflammation and nothing worse. He is expected back shortly after the All-Star break. Michael Lorenzen (shoulder) did not get activated prior to the break but that was simply to keep him on rehab assignment until after the break which will allow him to return without limitations. Dinelson Lamet (forearm) has been able to throw and could return soon after the break. Sonny Gray (rib cage strain) was placed on the 10-day IL following his most recent start (7 IP). The severity of the injury is not known so his return after the All-Star break is unknown. Jeff Hoffman (shoulder) is going to make one more rehab start prior to being activated.
In The Bullpen
Jordan Hicks (elbow) has resumed throwing but isn't close to returning. The Phillies bullpen is a mess following the demotion of Hector Neris from the closer's role. The guy pitching the best currently is Ranger Suarez and has now has two saves. He has not been named the closer but he is the hot hand with a caveat because the Phillies could go with Jose Alvarado, Archie Bradley, or Hector Neris as well.
Players to add this week:
1B Rowdy Tellez (MIL)-The trade from Toronto to Milwaukee should allow for Tellez to get an extended look at the major league level. In his time at the major league level, he has 43% Hard hit rate and 11% Barrels. That makes his career .240 AVG hard to believe given the quality of contact he is making as well as his approach at the plate (25% K and 7% BB). Buy the skills and hope he puts it together.
RP Ranger Suarez (PHI)- The Phillies bullpen is a mess right now but Suarez is pitching the best. He has a 0.77 ERA and 0.74 WHIP with 26% K and 8% BB. He has also picked up two saves this month which is worth betting on.
OF Harrison Bader (STL)- Harrison Bader may not be hitting for average (.234) but he is hitting for both power and speed (6 HR/5 SB) which is fantasy relevant. He is doing so with a career-low strikeout rate (16% K). Outfield has become an increasingly difficult position to fill in deeper mixed leagues so someone who is going to play every day and provide power/speed needs to be owned.
1B/OF Garrett Cooper (MIA)-Garrett Cooper is having a breakout 2021 season at the age of 30. He is hitting .291 with 9 HR, 29 R, 32 RBI, and 1 SB in 67 GP. He is hitting the ball extremely well (53% Hard and 11% Barrels). Cooper also has a good idea of what he is doing at the plate (27% K and 12% BB).
SP David Price (LAD)-David Price is being stretched out as a starter after beginning the year in the bullpen. Pitching for the Dodgers is a great spot to be in and Price is full of talent to take advantage of that. In 2019, he posted a 4.28 ERA with a 1.31 WHIP with 28% K and 7% BB. This year he has a 3.23 ERA and 1.66 WHIP. The control has been there but the strikeout have not. If you buy Price, you are buying the proven track record along with the environment in LA.
OF Ben Gamel (PIT)- Ben Gamel has been playing every day for the Pirates. He has been red hot in July (.333 AVG with 4 HR, 9 R, 8 RBI, and 0 SB). On the year, he is hitting .238 with 6 HR/0SB. The approach has been good (25% K and 11% BB) and he has been barreling the ball (11% Barrels) which is reason enough to pick him up.
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