In The Field
OF Bryce Harper (thumb) was activated on Friday providing a jolt to the Phillies and fantasy manager's lineups. Harper was extremely valuable prior to the injury (.318 AVG with 15 HR, 49 R, 48 RBI, and 9 SB). The Phillies are in contention so he will be in the lineup but they could choose to be cautious with him and give him the occasional rest day. This move means that DH Kyle Schwarber will have to move back into the outfield which means that OF Nick Maton will head to the bench with OF Matt Vierling and OF Brandon Marsh splitting time in center field. SS Fernando Tatis Jr. is going to have shoulder surgery while he is out on suspension. He has been suspended for the rest of this season and will miss the early part of next season. The Padres and fantasy managers hope that this is enough time for him to recover from the surgery. The surgery he is having is a major issue that bakes in a lot of risk to his profile for 2023 drafts on top of the missed games due to suspension. 2B Gavin Lux (neck) was out of the lineup on Tuesday-Saturday. He is considered day-to-day. 3B/OF Kris Bryant (foot) is still in a walking boot and it is looking more and more likely that he will not return this season. He would need to shed the walking boot in order to start working out and from there it would be a rehab stint before returning. OF Juan Soto was out of the Padres lineup on Tuesday-Friday due to back tightness. He was back in the lineup on Saturday. 3B Mike Moustakas had to be removed from Tuesday's game due to a re-aggravation of his calf injury. He was placed on the 10-day IL on Saturday and the Reds called up 3B Colin Moran in a corresponding move. OF Garrett Cooper (concussion) is expected back soon but had lost every day playing time prior to the injury. 1B Brandon Belt (knee) has been placed on the 10-day IL with right knee inflammation. 3B J.D. Davis and Wilmer Flores have played first base while he has been out. 2B Jonathan India left Wednesday's game early due to lower leg soreness. This is due to the same injury that kept him out in the middle of August. India has had a frustrating season both due to poor performance (.245 AVG with 8 HR, 32 R, 27 RBI, and 2 SB) and the inability to stay in the lineup because of injuries. C Willson Contreras has missed four straight games due to an ankle injury. He didn't end up hitting the injured list and returned to the lineup on Friday. 3B Nolan Arenado was placed on the paternity list on Thursday. He was activated on Saturday. The Cardinals optioned 1B/OF Juan Yepez to Triple-A. 3B Eduardo Escobar (oblique) started a rehab assignment on Thursday and was activated on Saturday. He will be the Mets utility player which means he will play multiple positions and his playing time is not guaranteed making it hard to roster him in mixed league formats. OF Brandon Marsh (ankle) started a rehab assignment on Thursday and was activated on Saturday. He is likely to enter a platoon with OF Matt Vierling. 2B Orlando Arcia (hamstring) started a rehab assignment on Saturday. The hope is that he can return next week. The way it is looking now, Arcia is likely to slide into a platoon role with OF Robbie Grossman due to the emergence of Vaughn Grissom. OF Avisail Garcia (hamstring) will start a rehab assignment on Saturday and should be back next week. C Jorge Alfaro was placed on the 10-day IL with right knee inflammation. OF Nick Senzel (hamstring) was not in the Reds lineup on Friday or Saturday. The Padres released OF Nomar Mazara on Saturday. The Diamondbacks are hitting 3B Emmanuel Rivera (.247 AVG with 11 HR in 80 GP) second in the lineup which is a nice boost to his value. 2B Rodolfo Castro is playing every day for the Pirates and has been hot in August (.309 AVG with 3 HR and 2 SB).
On The Mound
Kyle Hendricks (shoulder) is unlikely to return this year and has set his rehab goals to be focused on being ready for 2023. Hendricks hasn't been fantasy relevant since the 2020 season. Tylor Megill (shoulder) faced live hitters on Friday. His fantasy value for 2022 has taken a major hit once the Mets made it known that he would be pitching out of the bullpen when he does return from injury. For 2023, he is a pitcher to keep tabs on because the talent is there to be an above-average starter but the Mets currently have depth in their rotation making it hard for him to be in the starting rotation. Aaron Ashby was placed on the 15-day IL with left shoulder inflammation. Ashby has struggled this year (4.58 ERA and 1.43 WHIP) in terms of results but the underlying skills are still great (3.47 SIERA, 27% K, 10% BB, and 56% GB). Ashby is going to be a popular "sleeper" pick in 2023 drafts. Steven Matz (knee) was able to throw 30 pitches in a bullpen session on Wednesday. It will be hard to gauge when he will be back until he starts a rehab assignment. The clock is ticking. Clayton Kershaw (back) threw a three-inning simulated game on Monday and followed that up with a bullpen on Wednesday. He made another simulated start (70 pitches) on Saturday. He is expected to start for the Dodgers late next week. Adbert Alzolay (lat) has started a rehab assignment. He won't have any fantasy value this year but seeing him on a major league mound will help give us an idea of where his stuff is for 2023 drafts. Wade Miley (shoulder) has experienced renewed soreness in his left shoulder after his latest rehab start. This is not good news as he was close to returning to the major league club. Hunter Greene (shoulder) is scheduled to throw a live BP session on Saturday and has his sights set on returning before the end of the year. Graham Ashcraft (bicep) has been placed on the 15-day IL with right bicep soreness. This injury popped up out of nowhere but isn't expected to be serious. The hope is that he can again before the season is over. Ashcraft has good pure stuff and is one tweak away from more strikeouts which help him break out in terms of fantasy. He has a 3.97 ERA and 1.33 WHIP but just 16% K. Walker Buehler has his second Tommy John surgery on Tuesday. This is a major blow to his fantasy value. He is going to be out the rest of this year and most of next year. There is also a good chance that he is on an innings limit in 2024 and none of this even takes into consideration the risk of a second TJS. Moving on from him in dynasty/keeper leagues might be the way to go but the return will also be at an all-time low. Carlos Carrasco (oblique) threw a bullpen session on Tuesday and reportedly came away feeling good. The initial diagnosis was 3-4 weeks and that still looks realistic given that he is already throwing. David Peterson has been filling in while he has been out and is worth an add in deeper mixed leagues. MacKenzie Gore (elbow) throws off a mound on Wednesday. He has progressed from long toss so it is good to see him on a mound. The hope for the Nationals and fantasy managers is to get him on a mound prior to the end of the season so that we can feel more confident about his stuff heading into 2023. Mike Soroka (Achilles) will make another rehab start on Saturday for Triple-A Gwinnett. He is likely to make one more start after this and then return to the Braves in early September. He has looked good on his rehab stint but is still a risky fantasy bet for this season because there aren't many pitchers who have returned from multiple Achilles surgeries. Zack Wheeler was placed on the 15-day IL with right forearm tendinitis retroactive to August 22. This injury was a surprise and the Phillies hope to have him back when he is eligible which means he will miss two starts in the interim. However, forearm injuries for pitchers are unpredictable and overall not good news. Wheeler owners have every reason to be concerned right now. Jack Flaherty (shoulder) went 5.1 IP (58 pitches) in his latest rehab start. It is undecided if his next start will be another rehab start or a return to the Cardinals. Justin Steele left his start early on Friday due to lower back tightness. It is not known if he will make his next start but it is against the Blue Jays which is one that you want to avoid anyway. Steven Matz (knee) will be a reliever when/if he does return from injury. Sixto Sanchez (shoulder) is expected to get a cortisone shot in his shoulder after having his rehab put on pause. This is another setback for Sanchez and his 2020 season is quickly becoming a distant memory.
In The Bullpen
Ryan Helsley was placed on the restricted list earlier this week but returned to the Cardinals on Friday. He will return to being the Cardinals' primary closer with Giovanny Gallegos as the primary backup. Seranthony Dominquez (tricep) had an MRI on Monday that did not reveal any structural damage. His next step will be to throw without pain and if everything goes well he could return when first eligible on September 2. David Robertson has been the fill-in while he has been out. David Bednar (back) was able to throw on Friday and the hope is that he returns before the end of the season. Wil Crowe
Players to add this week:
OF Jake Fraley (CIN)- Jake Fraley is getting regular playing time for the Reds and is taking advantage of it. He is hitting .296 with 6 HR, 16 R, 14 RBI, and 1 SB in 22 second-half games. Fraley is on a heater which allows him to provide batting average in addition to his power/speed combo. The batting average will come down but the home park and power/speed combo are enough to pick him up at this point in the year.
OF Robbie Grossman (ATL)- Robbie Grossman has started to play regularly for the Braves and they have mad mechanical changes that have allowed him to turn his season around. He is hitting .259 with 2 HR, 8 R, 10 RBI, and 1 SB in 18 GP in August. His playing time is not secure because once Ozzie Albies returns Vaughn Grissom could move to the outfield but for now Grossman has a role.
SP Cade Cavalli (WSH)- The Nationals top pitching prospect struggled in his major league debut (4.1 IP and 7 ER). In Triple-A this year, he had a 3.71 ERA and 1.18 WHIP with 26% K and 10% BB in 20 GS. Cavalli can struggle with command/control at times which leads to hard contact. The prospect pedigree is there but if you want to protect ratios it is probably wise to stay away. However, if you are looking for a shot in the dark he does have good stuff and has missed bats in the minors.
RP Brandon Hughes (CHC)- Brandon Hughes has picked up three saves over the past ten days. He did blow a save on Friday night so the job is not locked down but has been getting the save chances instead of Rowan Wick. He is worth adding even if he shares the role with Wick.
SP Drew Smyly (CHC)- Drew Smyly has a 3.47 ERA and 1.22 WHIP through 17 GS for the Cubs. He is having success with excellent control (5% BB) and just enough ground balls (41% GB). His 4.02 SIERA suggests regression but also points to a league-average starter. He has been much better in the second half (2.38 ERA and 1.03 WHIP).
OF Lars Nootbar (STL)- Lars Nootbar has been playing regularly for the Cardinals and they recently sent Juan Yepez to the minors which is a good sign for his rest of season value. Nootbar is hitting .251 with 8 HR, 36 R, 28 RBI, and 3 SB in 73 GP. The core skills (15% BB, 21% K, and 11% Barrels) are above average.
OF Jake McCarthy (ARI)- Jake McCarthy has become a regular for the Diamondbacks and has provided very nice fantasy value. He is hitting .279 with 4 HR, 33 R, 23 RBI, and 10 SB in 66 GP. He has good plate skills (8% BB and 21% K). Roster him for the speed because the power has been way over his head (3% Barrels and 35% Hardhit).
OF Corbin Carroll (ARI)- If you play in first come, first serve leagues and have the ability to pick up prospects before they are called up Corbin Carroll needs to be owned. He is one of the few prospects left that has real game-changing ability. Between Double-A and Triple-A he is hitting over .300 with 23 HR/31 SB.
2B Rodolfo Castro (PIT)- Rodolfo Castro is playing every day for the Pirates. He has also been on a hot streak. Castro is hitting .309 with 3 HR, 4 R, 4 RBI, and 2 SB in 16 GP in the second half. The skills underneath are solid as well (8% BB, 20% K, and .948 OPS).
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