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Baseball Daily Dose

Stanton Hurt Again

by Seth Trachtman
Updated On: August 9, 2020, 12:11 pm ET

Stop me if you’ve heard this one before: Giancarlo Stanton is likely headed to the injured list.

The Yankees slugger was removed from the Yankees' second game on Saturday with left hamstring tightness and is set to have an MRI. Manager Aaron Boone said after the game that Stanton will also have another dreaded IL stint after spending most of 2019 on the mend due to multiple injuries.

It’s the latest point of frustration for Stanton, and particularly a blow for the Yankees with the slugger off to a hot start this season. We won’t know until at least later today how much time Stanton will miss, but if his series of injuries and setbacks from last year are any indication, it could be a while.

The good news for Yankees fans and fantasy managers is that the team has many alternatives. Mike Ford replaced Stanton during Saturday’s game, but now would seem to be the perfect opportunity for Miguel Andujar to get another shot. Andujar was demoted two days earlier due to lack of opportunity, with only 14 at-bats and five appearances in the first two weeks. Still, he’s a proven hitter, as shown in his breakout 2018 season when he hit .297-27-92 before sitting out most of 2019 due to a shoulder injury.

Andujar is an intriguing middle of the order possibility, but that’s of little solace for fantasy managers who were finally starting to see Stanton gain some momentum, launching his third home run of the year during the first game of Saturday’s doubleheader.


Some Closer Clarity

The state of MLB closers has never been more frustrating for fantasy managers than in the early 2020 season. We are at least beginning to see some clarity with two situations that were up in the air as recently as a few days ago.

Just off the injured list on Friday, Rafael Montero has been given back-to-back save opportunities and converted for the Rangers. This time the former top Mets prospect was the fifth reliever in the game, pitching a perfect ninth inning to seal a 2-0 victory over the Angels.

Despite battling elbow tendinitis to start the year, Montero’s velocity has been just fine, though it could be telling that he’s yet to unleash his slider, which he threw 14 percent of the time in 2019. Fantasy managers can have no qualms with the performance so far after Montero had a 2.48 ERA and 6.80 K/BB ratio in 29 innings with Texas last year.

The Royals also look like they’ve settled on a closer. Mike Matheny gave Trevor Rosenthal the save chance for the second day in a row, and he was able to tally his third save of the year by throwing 1.1 innings with three strikeouts.

Rosenthal was notably the Cardinals closer for part of the time Matheny managed in St. Louis, so it should come as no surprise that Matheny would turn back to the hard-throwing Rosenthal. After showing almost no control in his return from Tommy John surgery in 2019, Rosenthal is back on track this year and has yet to issue a walk with 10 strikeouts in seven innings. The 30-year-old is also continuing to throw gas, averaging 98 mph on his fastball.

Both relief pitchers are must-adds if they are still available on your waiver wire.

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Going Twice…

Notes: The list below is two-start pitchers for the week beginning August 10. Probable pitchers are as of Saturday, August 8, and subject to change.


American League

Strong Plays

Randy Dobnak: @MIL, KC


Decent Plays

Dallas Keuchel: @DET, STL

Ryan Yarbrough: @BOS, @TOR

Lance McCullers: SF, SEA

Sean Manaea: @LAA, @SF

John Means: @PHI, WAS

Martin Perez: TB, @NYY

Kyle Gibson: SEA, @COL


At Your Own Risk

Julio Teheran: OAK, LAD

Tyler Alexander: CHW, CLE

Gio Gonzalez: @DET, STL

Michael Fulmer: CHW, CLE


National League

Strong Plays

Patrick Corbin: @NYM, @BAL

Max Scherzer: @NYM, @BAL

Dustin May: SD, @LAA

Zack Wheeler: BAL, NYM


Decent Plays

Aaron Nola: ATL, NYM

Kyle Hendricks: @CLE, MIL

Ross Stripling: SD, @LAA

Adrian Houser: MIN, @CHC

Tyler Mahle: KC, PIT

Garrett Richards: @LAD, @ARI

Jon Gray: ARI, TEX

Kyle Freeland: ARI, TEX

Elieser Hernandez: @TOR, ATL

Logan Webb: @HOU, OAK


At Your Own Risk

Steven Matz: WAS, @PHI

Robbie Ray: @COL, SD

Rick Porcello: WAS, @PHI


American League Quick Hits: The news isn’t sounding great for Justin Verlander (forearm). Dusty Baker told reporters that Verlander isn’t progressing as quickly as he’d like. Verlander was put on the injured list following his first start. ... George Springer remained out of Saturday’s lineup with a wrist injury. … Yordan Alvarez had three plate appearances in an intrasquad game. He continues to work his way back from COVID-19 and could be a couple weeks away for Houston. … O’s manager Brandon Hyde told reporters Hunter Harvey (elbow) is about three weeks away from returning. He could be part of the murky closer picture in Baltimore when he does return. … Ryan O’Hearn exited Saturday’s game with a right shin contusion. … Rays pitchers Ryan Thompson and Gilmartin were sent to the team’s alternate site. … Billy McKinney was optioned to the taxi squad by Toronto to make room for Chase Anderson. … The Yankees recalled Ben Heller and optioned Thairo Estrada. They also designated Nick Tropeano for assignment and added Erik Kratz to the roster, as backup catcher Kyle Higashioka was put on the 10-day IL, retroactive to August 6, with a right oblique strain. … Patrick Sandoval was recalled to start for the Angels, and the team optioned Luke Bard in a corresponding move. … Jo Adell returned to the Angels lineup after missing two games with tightness in his quad. … Wei-Chieh Huang was released by the Rangers. … The Royals placed Nick Heath on the 10-day IL with a hamstring strain and recalled Chance Adams. … Orioles speedster Cedric Mullins was optioned to the team’s alternate site. The team recalled Keegan AkinDylan Covey was recalled by Boston, while Ryan Weber was demoted. Covey is expected to get a try in the rotation, but his track record doesn’t show much fantasy upside. … Nomar Mazara and Yasmani Grandal re-entered the White Sox lineup after missing time to minor ailments. … Aaron Bummer was placed on the 10-day IL by the South Siders with left biceps tendinitis and replaced on the roster by Zack Burdi, who made his MLB debut on Saturday.

Aaron Judge hit his league-leading eighth home run in the first game of Saturday’s doubleheader for the Yanks. … Tyler Glasnow was knocked around, allowing four runs in 2.2 innings. … Gerrit Cole didn’t have his best day, allowing three runs in 4.2 innings against the Rays, but he did fan 10 batters. … Miguel Castro converted his first save of the season for the Orioles. The recipient of the next save opportunity for Baltimore would be anyone’s guess. … Nick Anderson picked up a save for Tampa Bay by getting one out in the ninth inning. … Byron Buxton is heating up, launching his third home run in as many games. … Jorge Soler launched a pair of long balls for the Royals. … Chase Anderson allowed one run in three innings in his return from an oblique injury. … Jake Odorizzi also made his season debut, allowing two runs in three innings against the Royals. … Zack Godley might have saved his rotation spot with the Red Sox by throwing four scoreless innings vs. Toronto. … Zach Plesac continues to dominate as Cleveland’s fifth starter, throwing six scoreless innings against the White Sox. … Nick Margevicius might also earn another start for Seattle, throwing 3.1 scoreless innings against Colorado. … Kolby Allard is giving reason he should garner fantasy consideration with his second strong start. He fanned six batters in five scoreless innings. … Anthony Santander hit a three-run homer against the Nats. Pat Valaika and Pedro Severino also hit big home runs in Baltimore’s come-from-behind victory. … C.J. Cron hit his fourth homer of the year in an offensive onslaught by the Tigers for the second day in a row. … Miguel Cabrera looks like his old self, hitting a home run off of Derek HollandMarcus Semien showed signs of breaking out of his early slump by hitting a home run against the Astros. … Framber Valdez was terrific for the Astros, allowing one run in seven innings with nine strikeouts against the A’s. Unfortunately, his counterpart, Frankie Montas, was even better.

National League Quick Hits: The Cardinals schedule following their COVID-19 outbreak continues to get more complicated. Monday’s game against the Pirates has been officially postponed, and their games Tuesday and Wednesday could also be in up in the air. St. Louis last played baseball on July 29. … Alanna Rizzo of SportsNet LA reports Max Muncy fractured his left ring finger during summer camp. He does have four home runs in the early going. … Phillies top pitching prospect Spencer Howard is set to make his MLB debut today. … Jeff Samardzija was placed on the 10-day IL by the Giants with a right shoulder impingement. Andrew Suarez replaced him on the roster. … Corey Seager got good news after leaving Friday’s game with back discomfort, as his scan came back clean. He’s considered day-to-day. … Nick Senzel is day-to-day after leaving Friday’s game with a groin injury. The team might also need to place Pedro Strop on the injured list with a groin injury, according to manager David Bell. … Max Scherzer threw a bullpen session on Saturday. He left his last start early with a hamstring issue. … Ryan Braun (finger) isn’t quite ready to return, as he needs more simulated at-bats. … Eric Hosmer came off the injured list following a bout of stomach issues. Abraham Almonte was optioned to San Diego’s alternate site in a corresponding move. … There was a scary scene in Pittsburgh, as Phillip Evans had to be removed on a stretcher after a collision with Gregory Polanco in foul ground. … Mike Soroka underwent successful surgery for his torn right Achilles. … The Reds optioned Jose De Leon and recalled Joel Kuhnel. … In a series of moves before Saturday’s game, the Marlins placed Richard Bleier on the 10-day IL with a triceps strain, optioned Humberto Mejia, recalled Brian Moran, and purchased the contract of Pat Venditte… Marlins top pitching prospect Edward Cabrera is on a throwing program after experiencing right arm discomfort, putting his arrival to the majors this season in serious doubt. … Keone Kela threw live batting practice on Saturday. He’s expected to be the Pirates closer when he rejoins the team after testing positive for COVID-19.

The Rockies carried a no-hitter into the sixth inning between Ryan Castellani and Jeff Hoffman. The staff was able to finish off the game allowing only one hit to the Mariners. … Charlie Blackmon also continued his tear in the game, going 3-for-4 with three RBI and two doubles. He now has 18 RBI in only 14 games. … Austin Slater hit leadoff and launched two home runs for the Giants. The Stanford alum might earn more playing time if he continues to hit. … Trevor Gott converted his fourth save for San Francisco, further solidifying his role as the team’s closer. … Justin Turner hit a three run bomb for the Dodgers. … Clayton Kershaw was unable to repeat the success he had in his first start, allowing four runs in 4.1 innings against the Giants. … J.D. Davis went 2-for-4 with a homer and four RBI against the Marlins’ group of no-name pitchers. Pete Alonso and Michael Conforto also hit home runs for the Mets. … Anthony DeSclafani was terrific for the Reds, throwing six scoreless innings with six strikeouts vs. Milwaukee. … Eugenio Suarez was the difference maker for Cincinnati with a three-run shot… Corbin Burnes was terrific in relief of Brett Anderson, allowing one run on one hit in 5.1 innings. He had eight strikeouts and three walks. … Monte Harrison was an asset for the Marlins in the nine hole, going 1-for-2 with two RBI and two walks. … Sean Doolittle’s prospects of regaining the Nats closer role don’t look good after he struggled on Saturday, allowing back-to-back home runs. … Juan Soto finally hit his first home run of the season. The start of his year was delayed after testing positive for COVID-19. … Jake Arrieta was great against Atlanta, throwing six scoreless innings. … Jay Bruce hit his second home run of the week, a three-run shot. … J.T. Realmuto hit his third home run in as many games… Joe Musgrove was scratched from his start on Sunday due to right ankle soreness. He’s coming off a nightmarish outing. … Speaking of nightmarish outings by Pirates starters, Derek Holland allowed nine runs on 13 hits in five innings vs. Detroit … Huascar Ynoa and Max Fried will start the Braves doubleheader on Sunday.