In The Field
OF Mookie Betts (hip) wants to return next week but that isn't going to be enough. His chronic hip is going to have to allow for that to happen. This is also an injury that he is expected to deal with for the rest of this season until he can get it taken care of in the offseason. 1B Pete Alonso (elbow) had a negative x-ray after getting hit by a pitch on Wednesday and having to leave early. C James McCann (back) was placed on the 10-day IL on Saturday. OF Nick Senzel (knee) was activated off the 60-day IL on Sunday and optioned to Triple-A but after being re-examined this week he was put back on the major league IL. This is a very confusing process but the bottom line is that there is nowhere for the Reds to play Senzel right now and he can't stay healthy so he has very little fantasy value for the rest of the season. OF Odubel Herrera (elbow) was removed from Thursday's game after being hit on the elbow by a pitch. He returned to the lineup on Saturday. OF Dylan Carlson (wrist) is making progress and the hope is that he will be activated on Tuesday when first eligible. 1B Daniel Vogelbach (hamstring) started a rehab assignment at Triple-A on Thursday. He no longer has any fantasy value due to the emergence of 1B Rowdy Tellez. OF Jesse Winker (ribs) has not been able to resume baseball activities. He was expected to just miss the minimum but is without a timetable for a return. Once he begins swinging a bat we should have a better indication of his return. 1B Rhys Hoskins (groin) was not activated off the IL on Saturday. When he is activated it will have cascading effects because 1B Brad Miller has primarily been playing first while Hoskins has been out with 3B Ronald Torreyes handling the hot corner with 3B Alec Bohm on the bench. It will be interesting to see what the Phillies do with third base. They could move Miller over to third full-time or they could platoon Miller and Torreyes. This matters from a fantasy perspective because a platoon kills their fantasy value (Miller and Torreyes) but full-time playing time makes them fantasy relevant. SS Javier Baez (back) worked out and did baseball activities this week. The belief is that he will be activated on Sunday when first eligible. OF Raimel Tapia (toe) tested his toe by running on Friday. OF Yonathan Diaz (thumb) was placed on the 10-day IL on Wednesday with a left thumb laceration. OF Connor Joe has been playing every day and leading off the Rockies which is someone to add if you need an outfielder. The other outfield spot has been a platoon between OF Sam Hilliard and OF Garrett Hampson. Both are fantasy relevant so checking the Rockies upcoming opposing pitcher's handedness is important. SS Francisco Lindor (oblique) faced live pitching this week and is expected to return early next week. The return of both Lindor and Baez is going to cause playing time issues in New York. SS Jonathan Villar is going to go back to a bench role with 3B J.D. Davis and 2B Jeff McNeil fighting for playing time at the hot corner. 2B Nico Hoerner is getting closer to a rehab assignment and should return shortly thereafter. OF Tyrone Taylor (oblique) is going to be out 3-4 weeks. 3B Evan Longoria (hand) was not in the lineup on Saturday which marked the third game in a row that he sat. He is day-to-day for now. C Travis d'Arnaud has been placed on the paternity list. This means that Stephen Vogt will fill in and C Williams Contreras will be recalled from Triple-A. OF A.J. Pollock was scratched from Friday's game with back spasms but was able to re-enter the lineup on Saturday.
On The Mound
Ian Anderson (shoulder) went 4.1 IP and struck out six in his rehab start on Tuesday. He went a total of 76 pitches. The Braves are undecided on whether he will require another rehab start or not but the bottom line is that he is close to returning. Wade LeBlanc (elbow) played catch on Thursday but is without a timetable for his return. Freddy Peralta left his start early on Wednesday with a shoulder injury. He said that he was fine and expected to make his next start but the Brewers wanted to be careful with him considering he only threw 29.1 IP last year and went ahead and placed him on the 10-day IL. Tony Gonsolin (shoulder) threw a fastball-only bullpen on Thursday. The next progression is to incorporate breaking balls. It doesn't appear that Gonsolin is anywhere close to returning. Julio Urias (calf) threw a simulated game on Wednesday and will be activated on Tuesday. Kwang Hyun Kim (elbow) went 2 IP and allowed 2 ER (2 HR) in his latest rehab start at Triple-A. It is likely that he will need at least two more rehab starts to build up his pitch count before being activated. Clayton Kershaw (forearm) threw from 90 ft. on Thursday and this was his fourth consecutive day of throwing. The Dodgers and Kershaw wanted to see how his forearm would respond to this type of throwing. The Dodgers' main goal with Kershaw is to get him ready for the playoffs which are most likely not in line with our fantasy goals. He could make it back before the end of the year but betting on this seems unwise and in re-draft formats, if you don't have an IL or need the roster spot he can be dropped. Pablo Lopez (shoulder) threw a 35-pitch bullpen session on Thursday. He will need to continue to build up his pitch count and the next progression is to face live hitters. Zach Eflin (knee) will begin a rehab on Saturday. He is lining up for a late August or early September return which means he should get a couple more starts before the end of the year. Adrian Houser (illness) is slated to start Sunday for the Brewers. Jake Arrieta (hamstring) was forced to leave his start on Wednesday and placed on the 10-day IL on Saturday. Anthony DeSclafani (ankle) left his start early on Wednesday. He had an MRI done and it showed no structural damage. The hope is that the Giant's training staff can get him back on the mound in a short amount of time. Jacob deGrom (elbow) had a doctor's appointment that showed improvement in his inflammation but he will still be shut down from throwing until August 27. It is looking less likely that he makes it back this year and similar to Kershaw he can be dropped in re-draft formats where there is no IL and you need the roster spot. Chris Paddack (oblique) threw a bullpen session on Wednesday. The Padres desperately need starters right now but Paddack will likely need a rehab assignment even if he is progressing. Adbert Alzolay (hamstring) threw a bullpen session on Wednesday and Friday. The hope is that he returns after just the minimum. Merril Kelly (COVID) is symptomatic, which means his return will take longer than first expected. Luke Weaver (shoulder) started a rehab assignment on Friday. Caleb Smith is looking at a 10-game suspension for foreign substances on his glove which means that the Diamondbacks will likely turn to someone from Triple-A or potentially use long-man Matt Peacock as a starter. The only four starters healthy right now are Madison Bumgarner, Tyler Gilbert, Zac Gallen, and Taylor Widener. Yu Darvish (back) has been able to throw while on the IL but his return is unknown. He is eligible to come off the IL on Tuesday but the Padres have not given an indication either way. Austin Voth (illness) has begun a rehab assignment and should be back shortly. Dinelson Lamet (hip) threw a bullpen session on Thursday and is expected to ramp up his throwing. The Padres want him to return as a reliever which kills his fantasy value. Johnny Cueto (elbow) will return next week against the Mets. Noah Syndergaard (elbow) threw a live bullpen session on Saturday. He is inching closer to a rehab assignment where he is expected to return as a reliever this year.
In The Bullpen
Jordan Hicks (elbow) threw a bullpen session on Monday. The Cardinals are going to continue to use caution with Hicks and it is unlikely that he returns this year and even if he does there is no fantasy value due to Alex Reyes taking over the closer's role. Danny Duffy (elbow) is eligible to come off the IL on September 15. At that point, if healthy, he will be a long reliever which kills his fantasy value despite a very nice setup in LA. Tejay Antone (forearm) should return early next week if everything continues to progress for him. He may not immediately close out games but should eventually be in the mix for saves considering how bad the Reds bullpen has been this year.
Players to add this week:
OF Connor Joe (COL)- Connor Joe is playing every day and leading off for the Rockies. On the year, he is hitting .290 with 7 HR, 14 R, 27 RBI, and 0 SB. He is showing good plate skills (21% K and 11% BB). Joe doesn't have speed so don't count on that but anyone playing every day in Coors Field is fantasy-relevant.
OF Frank Schwindel (CHC)- Frank Schwindel is playing every day and batting second which is what you want from a waiver wire add. Schwindel is hitting as well (.313 AVG with 5 HR, 10 R, 18 RBI, and 0 SB). He is 29-years-old so his production could drop off a cliff at any point but as long as he is playing he needs to be rostered. His Statcast numbers (112.5 maxEV, 38% Hard, and 9% Barrels) also back up what he has been doing.
SP Elieser Hernandez (MIA)- Elieser Hernandez has now made two starts since coming off the IL last week. The first start was good (5.1 IP, 1 ER, 1 BB, and 4 K) but he struggled in his most recent outing (4.2 IP, 4 ER, 2 BB, and 2 K). Hernandez is primarily a two-pitch pitcher with a below-average fastball so there will be blowup starts. He also has good control (4% BB) and an elite slider that helps him miss bats (26% K).
SP Huascar Ynoa (ATL)- Huascar Ynoa made his first start of the year and went 5.1 IP with 0 ER, 1 BB, and 4 K. On the year, he has a 2.70 ERA and 1.02 WHIP with 21% K:BB. Ynoa has elite skills and that is represented in his 3.49 SIERA. If he is still available, he needs to be picked up.
SP Ranger Suarez (PHI)- Ranger Suarez has two starts this upcoming week against the Rays and Diamondbacks. He has transitioned from the bullpen to rotation. Suarez has a 2.45 ERA and 1.43 WHIP as a starter. The profile isn't sexy because the strikeouts have dropped since becoming a starter (18% K) but it is just four starts and anyone with two starts this time of year is fantasy relevant.
RP Mychal Givens (CIN)- Mychal Givens has been excellent this year (2.08 ERA and 1.21 WHIP) with 28% K and 12% BB for both the Rockies and Reds. He's also got four saves this month and has taken over as the primary closer in Cincinnati.
RP Tejay Antone (CIN)- Tejay Antone is expected to be activated this week. Prior to his injury, he had been the Reds' best reliever (1.87 ERA, 0.86 WHIP, 33% K, and 9% BB). The Reds have a closer in Mychal Givens currently so Antone should work as a fireman/setup guy, to begin with, but could easily work his way in to save chances if Givens falters at all.
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