In The Field
3B/OF Kris Bryant is wearing a walking boot on his injured left foot. The Rockies have not given a timetable for his return but he has been out since August 1st without any real news. OF Jason Heyward and the Cubs have come to an agreement that he will no longer play for the Cubs. With a focus on rebuilding the Cubs have decided he is no longer part of their plans. 3B Justin Turner (abdomen) returned to the Dodgers lineup on Tuesday. He is going to play every day for the Dodgers whether it is at 3B or DH. 2B Max Muncy left Wednesday's game with a hand injury after taking a ground ball to his hand. He had X-rays done on the hand after the game and they came back negative and he was in the lineup on Thursday and Friday. The Dodgers have a playing time issue in the outfield with the return of 2B/OF Chris Taylor. It looks as though the Dodgers are going to mix and match in the two outfield spots other than OF Mookie Betts. This hurts the fantasy values of OF Joey Gallo, OF Cody Bellinger, and Taylor. They will not see consistent playing time. C Elias Diaz left Wednesday's game early after injuring his hand while swinging. According to manager Bud Black this has been an ongoing problem for him. The Rockies placed him on the 10-day IL on Friday. C Joey Bart is dealing with a right ankle sprain. The Giants are taking a cautious approach with this injury which means he will be day-to-day and checking daily lineups will be key for the next couple of days. 2B Luis Garcia (knee) was scratched from the Nationals lineup on Wednesday but was back on Friday and then out again on Saturday. The Braves called up 2B Vaughn Grissom on Wednesday straight from Double-A and he promptly hit a home run and stole a base in his major league debut. He will play second base with 2B Ozzie Albies and 2B Orlando Arcia (hamstring) on the IL. Grissom was hitting .363 with 3 HR, 10 R, 12 RBI, and 7 SB in 22 GP at Double-A after going .312 with 11 HR, 62 R, 55 RBI, and 20 SB in 74 GP at Single-A. He has been a quick riser this year but does have power/speed upside and has shown the ability to make contact at all levels. He is worth an add in all formats while he is up. C Jorge Alfaro (knee) isn't expected to need a trip to the IL and will be day-to-day with the knee injury. SS Fernando Tatis Jr. (wrist) had started a rehab assignment and was looking good on Tuesday (2-2 with a double and triple). He was expected to play both shortstop and centerfield on this rehab assignment which was going to be important because it had implications for the major league roster. it was most likely going to create a platoon situation for SS Ha-Seong Kim and OF Trent Grisham which would have been a big hit to both their fantasy values however the 80-game suspension for PED's is going to keep both Grisham and Kim in full-time roles going forward. 2B Jonathan India has been in and out of the lineup recently with different injuries. The most recent being a left leg contusion that he suffered after being hit by a pitch on Thursday. Test results did not indicate a fracture so he is considered day-to-day. OF Yonathan Daza (shoulder) left Thursday's game with left shoulder pain. The hope was that he could avoid the injured list but that was not the case. He landed on the 10-day IL on Friday. 1B/OF Garret Cooper left Thursday's game due to calf tightness. This is being viewed as a precautionary move. He returned to the lineup on Saturday. OF Kyle Schwarber left Thursday's game with a calf strain. The team is hoping that he can avoid the IL. If he were to go on the IL it would mean that both OF Matt Vierling and OF Brandon Marsh will play full time instead of splitting centerfield duties. DH Nelson Cruz (shoulder) wasn't in the lineup on Wednesday. Cruz has been dealing with an injury lately and overall has been unproductive (.235 AVG with 8 HR, 43 R, 52 RBI, and 4 SB). 3B Mike Moustakas was placed on the 10-day IL and will be out until August 19. He has struggled this year (.200 AVG with 6 HR, 26 R, 21 RBI, and 2 SB). OF Bryce Harper (thumb) has not been cleared to hit and has experienced "stiffness" in his throwing elbow from a throwing program. There is still a good chance that he returns this year with the Phillies in playoff contention but his timeline keeps getting pushed back. C Omar Narvaez (quad) is hoping to start a rehab assignment in a week. C Victor Caratini has been the Brewers primary catcher in his absence. 3B Ke'Bryan Hayes is day-to-day with back spasms. He seemingly can't stay healthy long enough to get in a good rhythm at the plate. 2B Jeff McNeil left Friday's game early due to a cut on his hand. The injury isn't considered serious but it is to his right thumb which would be heavily involved in throwing so he could miss a day or two. 3B Eduardo Escobar also left Friday's game for the Mets with a side injury. He had fallen into a platoon situation with 3B Luis Guillorme so if he were to miss extended time it wouldn't drop his fantasy value much more than what it already was. Guillorme would become more interesting in NL-only leagues due to more regular playing time. C Travis d'Arnaud (lower leg) isn't going to play this weekend and the Braves hope to have him back Monday. William Contreras is the biggest winner if d'Arnaud continues to miss time. 3B Evan Longoria (hamstring) returned from the IL on Monday and has entered into a part-time role with 3B J.D. Davis. The Giants look to be trying out Davis to see if he could be a cheaper option at third base next year. OF Lars Nootbar has found an everyday role for the Cardinals. He is hitting .241 with 5 HR, 23 R, 21 RBI, and 3 SB in 59 GP. The quality of contact metrics look great (10% Barrels and 44% Hardhit) as well as his plate skills (13% BB and 22% K). There is a risk once OF Juan Yepez comes back that he loses playing time but the skills are there and he has been playing great defense so he has earned this playing time. 2B Nolan Gorman has entered into a platoon situation with 1B Albert Pujols which kills his value in mixed leagues. 2B Thairo Estrada is one of the few Giants that does not get platooned. He is hitting .268 with 10 HR, 50 R, 45 RBI, and 15 SB. OF Nick Senzel has been hitting second for the Reds recently which is a great spot for him. However, it has not led to success as he is hitting just .194 with 0 HR, 2 R, 0 RBI, and 0 SB in August. He has been hurt by a low BABIP (.254) and continues to make contact (18% K) over that time period so things should turn around for him.
On The Mound
Dustin May (TJS) is going to make his final rehab appearance on Sunday and then will make his season debut next weekend against the Marlins. He has looked dominant in his rehab starts so if he is available he needs to be picked up ASAP. Chad Kuhl (hip) is slated to throw a simulated game on Friday which is a positive because he has been on the IL for less than a week. Clayton Kershaw (back) has begun light throwing. The hope is that the epidural shot will help alleviate the discomfort and he can up the intensity of his throwing. Max Fried (concussion) has been placed on the 7-day concussion IL. He started having symptoms after taking a fall in his latest start. He is eligible to return on Monday but that will all depend on how he recovers over the weekend. Wade Miley (shoulder) made his third rehab start on Wednesday and got up to 66 pitches. He is likely to make his next start at the major league level. Adrian Houser (elbow) made his second rehab start on Thursday. He was able to go three innings which means that he will need at least one more start before returning. The Brewers have been cautious in his rehab so it could be more than one start depending on how he responds to the increased pitch counts. Jack Flaherty (shoulder) threw 35 pitches (1 IP) in his rehab start on Wednesday. He is going to progressively up his pitch count with the goal of returning in September. For fantasy, it is going to be hard to count on much from Flaherty. He has tried to pitch multiple times this year and the shoulder has been an issue each time. Kyle Hendricks (shoulder) is going to rest another week from throwing. This pushes his timetable back and makes it difficult for him to make it back in time for any type of contribution. He has been bad once again this year (4.80 ERA and 1.29 WHIP). Hendricks being fantasy viable is quickly becoming a distant memory. Sixto Sanchez (shoulder) is scheduled to throw a simulated game (2 IP) on Saturday. The Marlins are hoping to get some work on a major league mound before the end of the year. He is not going to be fantasy relevant but seeing him healthy on a mound is going to be a huge driver of his draft day price in 2023. Max Meyer had Tommy John surgery on Tuesday which ends his season and will knock him out for all of 2023 as well from a fantasy perspective. Trevor Rogers (back) is going to make a rehab start on Sunday. If everything checks out after this start, he should make his way back to the Marlins rotation. Rogers is looking for some positives over the next month and a half heading into 2023 because this has been a lost year for him (5.85 ERA and 1.60 WHIP). The Braves called up Kyle Muller to start on Saturday (5 IP, 2 ER, 1 BB, and 5 K) and then optioned him to Triple-A in a procedural move. He is expected to be back up soon with Ian Anderson being sent back down after Saturday's start.
In The Bullpen
David Bednar (back) has begun to do strengthening exercises with his back hoping to start throwing next week. This means that Wil Crowe will continue to be fantasy relevant until Bednar comes back. Yerry De Los Santos was placed on the 60-day IL with a right lat strain on Friday. He had picked up a couple of saves earlier in the year when Bednar was out so the job is just Crowe's. Brusdar Graterol (shoulder) has started a rehab assignment this weekend. He should be back shortly which will be a boost for the Dodgers bullpen. Craig Kimbrel has a firm hold on the closer's job so his fantasy value will be very minimal.
Players to add this week:
2B Vaughn Grissom (ATL)-The Braves called up Vaughn Grissom on Wednesday straight from Double-A and he promptly hit a home run and stole a base in his major league debut. He will play second base with 2B Ozzie Albies and 2B Orlando Arcia on the IL. Grissom was hitting .363 with 3 HR, 10 R, 12 RBI, and 7 SB in 22 GP at Double-A after going .312 with 11 HR, 62 R, 55 RBI, and 20 SB in 74 GP at Single-A. He has been a quick riser this year but does have power/speed upside and has shown the ability to make contact at all levels. He is worth an add in all formats while he is up.
SS Paul DeJong (STL)- Paul DeJong is currently the Cardinals starting shortstop. He continues to struggle to hit for average (.188) but has 5 HR and 3 SB in 36 GP. He has also been much better in the second half (.300 AVG with 3 HR, 8 R, 13 RBI, and 0 SB). If you are looking for power and need an MI you could do worse than DeJong.
OF Lars Nootbar (STL)- Lars Nootbar has found an everyday role for the Cardinals. He is hititng .241 with 5 HR, 23 R, 21 RBI, and 3 SB in 59 GP. The quality of contact metrics look great (10% Barrels and 44% Hardhit) as well as his plate skills (13% BB and 22% K). There is risk once OF Juan Yepez comes back that he loses playing time but the skills are there and he has been playing great defense so he has earned this playing time.
RP Rowan Wick (CHC)-The Cubs closer role is firmly Wick's. He picked up three saves this week. The Cubs may not be a good ball club but having a closer's job all to yourself is extremely valuable this time of the year. Wick needs to be rostered in all formats.
P Justin Steele (CHC)-Justin Steele has made 21 starts for the Cubs. He has a 3.63 ERA and 1.41 WHIP. His 3.88 SIERA is right in line with his success this year. Since the beginning of June, he has a 2.48 ERA and 1.30 WHIP with 23% K and 8% BB. The change this year has come from increased use of his slider from 16% to 28%. The slider has a 9.1 pitch value which is by and far his best pitch. He gets an excellent matchup next week against the Nationals.
RP Ian Kennedy (ARI)- The Diamondbacks removed Mark Melancon as closer. Ian Kennedy picked up a save on Monday and has been solid this year (3.13 ERA, 1.26 WHIP, 22% K, and 9% BB). It appears that they will use both Kennedy and Melancon in save chances which means that Kennedy has value to someone.
OF Franmil Reyes (CHC)- Franmil Reyes has started three of four games at DH since coming onboard from Cleveland. Reyes struggled mightily with the Guardians (.218 AVG with 9 HR, 24 R, 29 RBI, and 2 SB). He has been able to hit the ball hard (14% Barrels, 47% Hardhit, and 112.4 mph maxEV). The biggest difference is his HR/FB rate which sits at 15% HR/FB. His career rate is 27% HR/FB. The power numbers should return and hopefully, they will return in Chicago.
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