Adrian Beltre might be headed back to the 10-day disabled list after suffering an ankle injury in Tuesday's game against the Mets. While he was sidelined on Wednesday, the team insisted earlier in the day that he would not need a trip to the DL. Apparently things have changed.
According to Jon Heyman of FanRagSports.com, he might be dealing with more than a day-to-day variety injury and if he needs more time to recover he'll hit the shelf. The fact that the DL length has been changed from 15 days to 10 days makes the move more likely, as a player with a more minor injury isn't forced to spend more than two weeks on the shelf. In addition, Beltre's propensity for injury also likely plays a role in the team's decision, as he has had plenty of injuries in the past and they likely will not want to rush him back.
In the meantime, the team has already summoned Jurickson Profar from Triple-A Round Rock, so some time of corresponding move is expected Wednesday. Profar managed just five hits over 37 at-bats in his earlier stint with the big club, so he'll obviously need massive improvement at the dish before fantasy owners will want to rely upon him again. He was showing some signs of life at the dish with the Express, posting 15 doubles with 20 RBI through 34 games while hitting .267. Even so, he'll only serve as the depth player spelling veterans on occasion while also seeing time as a defensive replacement and/or pinch hitter or runner.
Joey Gallo is expected to serve as the team's primary option at the hot corner, a role he fulfilled admirably when Beltre started the season on the DL due to his calf injury. Beltre didn't make his regular season debut until May 29 due to the ailment, and he had been in a nice groove since his return. The veteran hit safely in each of his first seven games with three doubles, a home run and six RBI while slashing .385/.452/.615 with a 1.067 OPS. He needs 48 hits to reach 3,000 for his career, but apparently all of the pomp and circumstance that comes along with such a milestone achievement is a ways off at this point.
So Gallo is expected to play at third base on a regular basis, if in fact Beltre hits the shelf. Profar is likely to pick up some playing time in left field, and he has the versatility to help out in the infield if need be. Ryan Rua should also see an increase in his at-bats, likely playing plenty of first base, while Delino DeShields also sees continued regular at-bats. DeShields has picked up the pace at the plate by going 5-for-8 with a double, RBI and two stolen bases over his past three outings. He has shown an ability to pick up hits in bunches when playing regularly, so perhaps he is in line for another hot streak like he had from May 12 to 24 when he raised his average 77 points over just 10 games.
Fantasy owners of Beltre know the drill already, they were likely just hoping that the ride would last a little longer than seven games without the next injury, especially waiting for so long for the veteran to debut. If it's possible, grab DeShields or Profar as a short-term addition. Beltre's injury doesn't sound like anything that will keep him sidelined past 10 days, but with his history one can never be 100 percent certain.
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Baltimore's Manny Machado was forced out of Wednesday's interleague game against the Pirates due to a sore left wrist, as he was inadvertently spiked by a sliding Andrew McCutchen at third base. Initially he was able to stay in the game, but eventually he gave way to recent recall Ruben Tejada. The good news is that Machado had X-rays after the game and the tests were negative, so he is considered day to day.
While Machado received good news as far as dodging a bullet with potential fractures or broken bones, MASNSports.com reports that he had a gash on the back of his hand that could not be stitched. He will have a precautionary MRI to determine if he had any other kind of damage, perhaps nerve damage or otherwise. Manager Buck Showalter said Machado attempted to swing a bat in the cages and he was very sore and did not feel good, mainly due to the deep puncture on the back of his hand. Showalter also seemed to indicate roster moves might be forthcoming on Thursday, and it's uncertain if Machado could be a candidate for the 10-day disabled list.
If Machado is forced to the shelf it might mean Tejada is forced into a regular role. He was hitting .269 with seven doubles, six homers and 21 RBI while drawing 15 walks to 17 strikeouts over 130 at-bats across 37 games for Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. He might be a solid short-term pick-up in deeper AL-only fantasy play and as a low-cost salary saver in DFS if he sees semi-frequent at-bats over the course of the next several games. He won't give you a lot of pop, and he never has, and he is no longer a threat to steal. But he can get on base, he has a discerning eye at the plate and he'll drive in an occasional run.
Brave New Twirl
Mike Foltynewicz turned in his second consecutive scoreless appearance, giving the Braves something they haven't been getting with their veteran pitchers. He allowed four hits with just two walks and four strikeouts over seven scoreless innings in a 14-1 rout of the Phillies. He hasn't allowed a run in 14 innings in the month of June while lowering his ERA from 4.44 to 3.48 in just two outings. It's an impressive start to the month after turning in a 6.12 ERA across 25 innings in five May starts.
Foltynewicz has turned in quality starts in four of his past six outings, and he hasn't allowed a home run in three of his past four starts while winning four of his past five decisions. Casual fantasy owners might not trust a pitcher in the middle of the rotation on a subpar team like the Braves, but savvy owners know red hot pitchers like this can be the key to winning. He and Jaime Garcia are giving Atlanta some solid pitching to make up for the likes of Bartolo Colon and R.A. Dickey, who have struggled mightily. Garcia has posted four straight quality starts while turning in a 1.23 ERA over the past 29 1/3 innings.
National League Quick Hits: Kyle Freeland picked up his seventh victory of the season, allowing just one run with six hits over 6 1/3 innings in his 100-pitch quality start. He has recorded seven quality starts over his past nine outings, including three in a row. … Clayton Kershaw allowed one earned run, three hits and three walks with nine strikeouts over seven innings, besting Stephen Strasburg in a much-anticipated pitcher's duel. Strasburg yielded just two runs - one earned - and three hits with eight punchouts over six frames. … Raisel Iglesias continues to look like an All-Star in Cincinnati. He nailed down his 11th save, working a tidy 13-pitch ninth inning while lowering his ERA to a microscopic 0.59. … Scott Schebler belted his 17th home run, finishing a perfect 3-for-3 at the plate. … Dansby Swanson had what fans and fantasy owners hope is a breakout game. He was 3-for-4 with a three-run home run and three runs scored against the Phillies. He still has a ways to go, but he is 8-for-22 (.364) in six games in June with a pair of homers and six RBI. … John Lackey has allowed five or more runs in three of his past four outings, and his ERA has risen from 4.37 to 5.12 in four outings since May 16. … Corey Knebel worked a perfect ninth inning, throwing 10 of his 13 pitches for strikes, to nail down his seventh save. He is humming along with a 1.20 ERA and he has allowed just two runs over his past 20 2/3 innings. … Domingo Santana smacked his 11th home run, as he is making himself known for more than his cannon of an arm from right field. … Fernando Rodney appears to have ironed out his issues and he has it on cruise control right now. He has not allowed an earned run since April 29, a span of 11 2/3 innings over 12 appearances.
American League Quick Hits: It wasn't all bad news in Texas. Elvis Andrus was able to extend his hitting streak to 12 games with a single, and he is hitting a cool .412 (21-for-51) with 11 runs, two home runs and 11 RBI during the impressive span. … George Springer also extended his hitting streak to 12 games, tying Andrus for the longest active run in the majors. He is hitting .436 (24-for-55) with seven home runs, 14 RBI and 16 runs scored during the outstanding run. … Salvador Perez was lifted early after suffering a left thumb injury while catching. Manager Ned Yost indicated the receiver is considered day to day. … CC Sabathia has enjoyed a renaissance in the Bronx, winning his fifth consecutive start to run his record to 7-2. His outing against the rival Red Sox might have been his best, allowing just five hits and no walks with five strikeouts over eight scoreless innings, dropping his ERA from 4.12 to 3.66. In fact, he has decreased his ERA in each of his past five outings. … Josh Rutledge had a double and a triple, accounting for two of Boston's five hits, as he continues to hold down the fort with Dustin Pedroia (wrist) on the mend. … Justin Smoak belted two homers in Oakland, pushing his total to 17. It has taken the former University of South Carolina standout a while to blossom, as he is now 30 years old. However, he is on pace to shatter his previous career highs in most categories. He is just three homers short of the career-high 20 he posted in 2013 with the Mariners. He is also a career .228 hitter, but he is currently sailing along at a .291 clip this season. … Rajai Davis had a four-hit game to raise his average to .216. He entered with four hits in 38 at-bats over the past 11 outings. … Buck Farmer continues to shine, allowing just three hits and a walk over 6 2/3 scoreless innings. He is 2-0 and he hasn't allowed a run over 13 innings in his first two starts of the season. … Mike Zunino smashed two homers against the Twins, doubling his season total.