The Cardinals already lost one middle-of-the-order bat in Matt Adams due to a serious right quad injury. Will they now be without another big bat for a while due to the same ailment?
Matt Holliday injured his quad during Monday’s loss to the Rockies while chasing a pop-up in left field. The veteran outfielder stumbled and fell to the ground and immediately began writhing in pain, remaining down for a couple minutes. He was eventually able to walk off the field on his own, although he was doing so quite gingerly.
Holliday will be re-evaluated on Tuesday before more is known about his status, but it sure looked like an injury that will send him to the disabled list, perhaps for a long time. It would be a big blow, of course, with Holliday off to a .303/.417/.421 start that includes a 45-game on-base streak to start the season.
The Cardinals do have options should they lose Holliday for a while. Randal Grichuk has been playing regularly of late, moving around between all three outfield spots. He would likely take over as the everyday left fielder while Holliday is out, with Jay regaining his status as the regular in center field against right-handers. Peter Bourjos would also figure to be an active fourth outfielder in this instance.
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D’Backs Get Swanson at No. 1
They said it was going to be a Draft for shortstops, and it certainly kicked off that way in the first round on Monday.
As expected, the Diamondbacks made Vanderbilt shortstop Dansby Swanson the No. 1 overall pick in the 2015 MLB Draft, and the Astros and Rockies followed with shortstop selections of their own, nabbing LSU’s Alex Bregman and high schooler Brendan Rodgers at No. 2 and No. 3, respectively.
Swanson, 21, has been a monster for the Commodores this season, batting .348/.443/.656 with 14 home runs, 21 doubles and six triples in 63 games. He’s expected to remain at shortstop and could move relatively quickly.
Rodgers was ranked by some as the top talent in the class and might have the most upside from a fantasy perspective. He has big raw power from the shortstop position which will only be enhanced with him calling Coors Field home.
The quickest mover in the class might be Tyler Jay, who the Twins snagged at No. 6. Minnesota is optimistic that the Illinois left-hander can be a starter over the long haul, but he could reach the majors in a relief role later this season, especially if the Twins are still in contention. Vanderbilt’s Carson Fulmer is another guy who the White Sox plan to develop as a starter but who could potentially help out in relief soon if that’s the route the club wants to take.
Another notable pick from Monday’s first round was the Indians tapping Brady Aiken at No. 17. Aiken, of course, was the No. 1 overall selection last year by the Astros but didn’t sign after questions arose about the health of his elbow. The southpaw wound up having Tommy John surgery in March and probably won’t be game-ready until midseason next year, but his upside is huge if he can regain his pre-op stuff.
Cubs’ Closer Conundrum
The Cubs took three of four from the Nationals over the weekend, which is good for them. They used three different relievers to record saves, which is bad for fantasy owners.
Hector Rondon closed out Thursday’s game with the help of a David Ross pickoff but was pulled in favor of Pedro Strop on Saturday after walking the first batter he faced. Strop bailed Rondon out with no issues, recording a couple strikeouts while retiring all three batters he faced. Then, with Strop unavailable Sunday, Rondon pitched a perfect eighth before giving way to Jason Motte for a 1-2-3 ninth.
The situation looks like a potential headache for fantasy owners, and manager Joe Maddon did nothing to clarify the bullpen circumstances when asked on Sunday.
"How's like, 'Be ready to pitch in the last three innings'?" Maddon said. "If you're keeping score, you know when the seventh, eighth and ninth is popping up. I've been through that. I think it's a product of millennials. It's that generation that needs definition consistently."
Rondon hasn’t been as sharp this season as he was last year, but he also hasn’t been bad at all with a 2.96 ERA, 1.23 WHIP and 21/7 K/BB ratio over 24 1/3 innings. He should get another chance in the closer role, although Strop might be the better bet for the ninth inning the next time out. Motte has closer experience and has gotten some of his velocity back this season, but he has just a 14/8 K/BB ratio over 21 1/3 frames and is probably clearly third in line here.
National League Quick Hits: Giancarlo Stanton doubled twice and hit a two-run home run in Monday’s loss to the Blue Jays ... Andrew McCutchen was not in the Pirates' lineup on Monday due to his ongoing knee issue ... Shelby Miller tossed seven innings of one-run ball but settled for a no-decision against the Padres ... Zack Cozart went 3-for-4 with an RBI double and a solo home run in Monday’s win over the Phillies ... Cameron Maybin went 2-for-5, notching his fifth consecutive multi-hit game in Monday’s loss to the Padres ... Lance Lynn has received treatment on his right forearm and might alter his between-starts throwing routine but is expected to make his next start ... Patrick Corbin (elbow) was touched up for four runs on four hits and two walks over just two-thirds of an inning Monday in his first rehab start with High-A Visalia ... Brandon Morrow has been sent to San Diego to undergo an MRI on his right shoulder ... The Phillies signed Kevin Correia to a major league deal Monday ...
American League Quick Hits: Chris Sale was fantastic again Monday, punching out 14 Astros hitters while yielding just one run over eight innings ... Carlos Correa had an infield single and an RBI in his major league debut on Monday ... The Astros will call up Vince Velasquez to make his major league debut on Wednesday ... Derek Holland (shoulder) won't be cleared to resume throwing from a mound until at least June 19 ... Jason Vargas held the Twins scoreless over six innings on Monday to earn a victory ... Josh Donaldson went 2-for-5 with a solo home run and a two-run single in Monday’s win over the Marlins ... The Astros designated Matt Dominguez for assignment Monday ... Edwin Encarnacion (shoulder) is expected back in the lineup on Tuesday ... Avisail Garcia belted a two-run home run in Monday’s victory over the Astros ... Kendrys Morales launched a two-run shot against the Twins Monday in a win ...