In The Field
OF Christian Yelich was activated on Saturday from the COVID IL. 2B Josh Van Meter (back) wasn't in the lineup on Friday is dealing with back spasms and is day-to-day. SS Trea Turner was with the team on Friday but not in the lineup. He made his Dodger debut on Saturday hitting leadoff and playing second. 2B/OF Chris Taylor, OF A.J. Pollock, and OF Cody Bellinger are the guys most likely to lose playing time. If it were by performance alone, Bellinger would be the easy case and manager Dave Roberts has said that he will play against just right-handed pitchers to try to get his rhythm back. The likely scenario is a rotation which isn't going to kill their fantasy value but it does lower their at-bats and overall value. SS Fernando Tatis Jr. has made significant progress. This is after news of season-ending shoulder surgery was floated around earlier in the week. The bottom line is that this injury is going to be a reoccurring issue for him until he does have surgery. C Tyler Stephenson is dealing with a hamstring injury but is not going to be put on the IL. C Tucker Barnhart continues to see the majority of starts. OF Juan Soto (knee) was not in the lineup on Friday and is considered day-to-day. 1B Rhys Hoskins is dealing with a groin issue so he was not in the lineup on Friday or Saturday. He is day-to-day but keep in mind this injury has bothered him all week so there is a possibility of an IL stint. SS Didi Gregorious (elbow) was not in the lineup Saturday after getting hit by a pitch on Friday night. OF Ben Gamel was placed on the 10-day IL on Friday with a right hamstring strain. OF Jason Heyward was placed on the IL with index finger inflammation. The Cubs called up OF Greg Deichmann and he will likely get most of the at-bats while Heyward is out. Deichmann came over from the Athletics where he hit .300 with 4 HR/7 SB at Triple-A. He doesn't have an elite tool but does have a little bit of power and speed. He has shown swing and miss to his game in the minors so that is likely to show up at the major league level. C Travis d'Arnaud (thumb) was scheduled to catch Thursday and Friday night at Triple-A and then DH on Saturday. He is expected to be activated on Tuesday. C Stephen Vogt and C Kevan Smith have been splitting time of late so that means Smith's time with Atlanta is about to come to an end. 2B/3B Mike Moustakas was activated and in the lineup on Friday. This is going to create a playing time dilemma for the Reds. 2B Jonathan India has been playing well enough that he deserves to play second which means that Moustakas has to play third. This is bad news for 3B Eugenio Suarez who has struggled mightily this year to hit for average (.177 AVG) but has been able to hit for power (22 HR, .203 ISO). The Reds seem to be done with experimenting with Suarez at short so it's likely that he is relegated to a part-time role unless the Reds decide to rotate India, Moustakas, and Suarez between two positions which would hurt all of their fantasy values. The Reds have also had OF Nick Senzel work out at shortstop during his rehab which makes this even more interesting. 2B Josh Rojas (finger) has started his rehab assignment and is likely going to return sometime next week. 3B Evan Longoria (shoulder) has started a rehab assignment and should be activated next week. OF Mike Yastrzemski (hamstring) wasn't in the lineup on Thursday but was able to return on Friday. 2B Tommy La Stella is back as well and should play most days. The one change is that he has not been leading off and instead batting eighth which represents a big drop in his value. 2B Nico Hoerner has been able to resume baseball activities as he tries to recover from an oblique injury. While this is an important step, he isn't considered close to returning. 1B Brandon Belt was activated and returned to the lineup on Thursday. He was playing first base and batting second ahead of Buster Posey and Brandon Crawford. OF Eddie Rosario (abdomen) was able to take batting practice this week and should start a rehab assignment soon. When he does return it will be interesting to see what the Braves do with all of their recently acquired outfielders (Jorge Soler, Eddie Rosario, Adam Duvall, and Joc Pederson). The most likely scenario is that they platoon based on matchups which is going to hurt their fantasy values due to reduced playing time. OF Nick Castellanos returned to the lineup this week after missing time with a micro-fracture in his wrist. SS Francisco Lindor told reporters on Saturday that his rehab is going well but there is still not a timetable for his return. OF Mookie Betts left Friday's game early with right hip discomfort. This injury has been bothering Betts for a while now and is one to keep an eye on.
On The Mound
Pablo Lopez is scheduled for a 20-pitch bullpen on Saturday. This is positive news that he has progressed to mound work but also a reminder that he is still weeks away from returning. Clayton Kershaw (forearm) is still experiencing soreness which is ominous sounding and puts into question his return this year. Adrian Houser tested positive for COVID-19 and was placed on the COVID IL. Dinelson Lamet (forearm) was able to throw one for Low-A Lakeshore on Wednesday. He is trying to make it back this year as a reliever which kills most of his fantasy value. Kevin Gausman was placed on the paternity list on Thursday. He is expected to make his next scheduled start Tuesday against the Diamondbacks. Luke Weaver (shoulder) was able to throw a 40-pitch batting practice session on Wednesday. The Diamondbacks are uncertain what his role is going to be because they mentioned that he could return sooner if it is as a reliever but it seems like he is building up to be a starter. Daniel Ponce de Leon (shoulder) was able to throw 1.2 IP at Double-A Springfield. He is expected to be a long reliever at the major league level and is close to a return. Miles Mikolas (forearm) completed 4.2 IP at Double-A on Tuesday. He is likely to be activated this weekend or early next week. Anthony DeSclafani (shoulder) is expected to miss just one start and come off the IL and start against the Rockies on August 13th. Jack Flaherty (oblique) went four innings for the Springfield Cardinals (4 IP, 3 H, 3 ER, 0 BB, and 3 K) and got to 75 pitches. He is getting close to returning to the big league club. He said that he expects to start sometime next week against the Pirates. Huascar Ynoa (hand) has moved his rehab assignment to Triple-A. He has made two rehab starts and will likely need one more but the Braves could opt just to activate him and let him continue to build up his pitch count at the major league level. Eric Lauer is on the COVID IL after testing positive. Ian Anderson (shoulder) started his rehab assignment on Thursday. He could require one more rehab start before being activated but he is very close to returning.
In The Bullpen
Lucas Sims (elbow) is expected to be activated on Sunday. Tejay Antone (forearm) is expected to start a rehab on Saturday. He hasn't pitched for the Reds since late-June and they could really use him in their bullpen. Dylan Floro picked up two saves for the Marlins this week while Anthony Bender also got one. Both need to be owned but Floro seems to be the guy right now. Tyler Clippard and Sean Poppen saved games for the Diamondbacks this week.
Players to add this week:
1B Rowdy Tellez (MIL)- Rowdy Tellez and the Brewers are slated to face six right-handed pitchers this week which makes Tellez a great pickup. This doesn't even factor in that he hit .351 with 5 HR, 10 R, 17 RBI, and 0 SB since the beginning of July. Over the same time period, his plate skills have been excellent (15% K and 13% BB).
SS Kyle Farmer (CIN)- Kyle Farmer has been the Reds starting shortstop and has consistently been batting sixth. On the year, he is hitting .267 with 10 HR, 42 R, 37 RBI, and 2 SB. He has the ability to make contact (17% K) which is a plus. He has hit .386 since the beginning of July so ride the hot streak until the wheels fall off.
OF Sam Hilliard (COL)- Sam Hilliard is the strong side of the platoon right now for the Rockies. They face five of six righties this week, which is good for Hilliard. He has been killing it in August (.421 AVG with 3 HR, 5 R, 7 RBI, and 0 SB). He has swing and miss to his game so this is not going to last but ride it for as long as it goes.
OF Rafael Ortega (CHC)- Rafael Ortega is playing every day and leading off for the Cubs. It may no longer be a good lineup but leading off is a valuable spot to be regardless. Ortega is also on fire (.313 AVG with 6 HR and 5 SB). His success rate stealing bases (50%) leaves a lot to be desired but the Cubs aren't going anywhere this year so there is no reason to believe that he will stop running.
OF Lorenzo Cain (MIL)- Lorenzo Cain has been in the lineup regularly and playing well since coming back from the IL. He is hitting .324 with 0 HR, 6 R, 6 RBI, and 2 SB in the nine games since his return. The key is the stolen bases because every steal counts this time of year with the category likely bunched up in your league.
3B Patrick Wisdom (CHC)- Patrick Wisdom has been batting cleanup for the recently deleted Cubs lineup. Wisdom is hitting .269 with 16 HR, 31 R, 32 RBI, and 3 SB. The power is legit given his batted ball profile (49% FB) and quality of contact (56% Hard and 16% Barrels). If you need a 3B/CI or power Wisdom is the guy.
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