— MLB (@MLB) April 17, 2018
On the Agenda:
1. Oh No-tani
2. Closer Chaos
3. Various News and Notes
4. Streaming Pitchers
Shohei Ohtani left yesterday’s game with a blister. He was erratic with his control from the beginning of the game, especially with his splitter. This was the first splitter he threw in the game:
He only threw 13 total splitters during the game and only two of them registered as strikes (both foul balls.) Compare that with the 47.1% whiff rate the pitch got in his previous start when it was thrown 34 times:
It remains to be seen if he will be able to make his next start and if this blister issue becomes a recurring problem.
Josh Hader picked up his first save of the year after pitching two innings and striking out five without allowing a baserunner. The Brewers have tried a number of guys out in the ninth inning with Corey Knebel on the DL, but have been reluctant to give Hader a shot until now. It remains to be seen whether he will get more opportunities, but he has been worth owning in all formats even without the save opportunities.
Bud Norris got the save for the Cardinals over the Cubs on Tuesday. Norris recorded five outs in the outing and has been the best of the Cardinals relievers recently and appears to have the closer job locked down until Greg Holland can turn it around.
Chris Devenski got the save for the Astros on Tuesday. Devenski was chosen over Ken Giles who has struggled this year and was apparently available. This is starting to look a bit more like a committee than anything else.
Various News and Notes
Jake Lamb is scheduled to play in an extended spring training game today. He has missed the last two weeks with a shoulder injury and may need a few games before he is ready to be activated, but this looks like he may be back sooner rather than later.
Miguel Cabrera was removed from the game Tuesday with back tightness. This is a bit troubling after Cabrera struggled with back problems last year. Supposedly, this was just precautionary, but it is something to monitor for sure.
Taijuan Walker will seek a second opinion on his injured elbow after an MRI found structural damage to his UCL. This appear to mean Walker will likely need Tommy John Surgery which would end his season. He is now droppable in all formats.
Evan Longoria was a late scratch versus the Diamondbacks. He is dealing with lingering pain from an ankle injury. Consider him day-to-day at this time. Pablo Sandoval will man third base in the meantime.
According to Hank Schulman of te San Francisco Chronicle, Jeff Samardzija could return to the Giants this weekend against the Angels. Samardzija has been on the DL since injuring his pectoral muscle in spring training. He has been rehabbing without an issue and should be good to go in a few days.
Daniel Norris will start game two of Friday’s double header versus the Royals. Norris has been moved to the bullpen, but is still viewed as a starter long-term for the Tigers. He once had a lot of promise as a prospect and could be a viable AL Only or GPP option this week.
White Sox prospect Ryan Cordell will miss 8-10 weeks after breaking his collarbone. Cordell impressed in spring training and has shown the ability to hit for power and speed and he was one of the final cuts before the start of the year. He could still make an impact for the White Sox who are in a rebuild and have no reason not to give him a shot at some point.
Streaming Pitchers Options
A pitcher for today: Matt Boyd vs BAL (Game moved from 6:40pm EST to 1:10pm EST)
Boyd has been very good this season and gets the Orioles (who lead the Major Leagues in strikeout percentage) at home.
A pitcher for tomorrow: None
Only six pitchers are less than 50% owned and most of them have bad matchups.
Justin is the co-host on The Sleeper and The Bust Podcast and writes for Rotographs covering the Roto Riteup as well as random topics that float into his juvenile brain. In addition to his work at Rotographs, Justin is the lead fantasy writer/analyst and co-owner for FriendswithFantasyBenefits.com, owner of The Great Fantasy Baseball Invitational, and a fantasy football and baseball writer for Fantasy Alarm. He is also a certified addiction treatment counselor. Follow Justin on Twitter @JustinMasonFWFB.