Tuesday was my first day back at school for the semester and it’s got me feeling like:
— MLB GIFS (@MLBGIFs) August 23, 2017
On the Agenda:
1. Pitcher Speculation Pickups
2. Bringer of Range!
3. Various News and Notes
4. Streaming Pitcher Options
Pitcher Speculation Pickups
As I mentioned yesterday, I spent my Monday night podcast talking prospects with Matt Thompson of Friends with Fantasy Benefits and Ralph Lifshitz of Razzball and thought it might be useful to pass along some of the things I learned. With rosters expanding on September 1st, I thought I would highlight some interesting potential difference makers that could be here in about 10 days.
•Walker Buehler: Buehler has made a transition to the bullpen so that he could potentially make a Major League contribution down the stretch for the Dodgers. With Yu Darvish, Alex Wood, and Clayton Kershaw all on the DL and Rich Hill and Hyun-Jin Ryu both approaching their highest single season innings pitched thresholds in years, it would not be surprising to see they use him aggressively down the stretch.
•Chance Adams: Considering the whoas that the Yankees have experienced in this year, it is surprising Adams hasn’t been up yet. Considered somewhat of a low ceiling guy, he has consistently out pitched his peripherals and expectations. With over 100 innings at AAA this year, one would think he is on the short list of stretch run rotation candidates.
•Brent Honeywell: It is hard to read how the Rays will play this one, but it appears that Honeywell is the least likely of this group to make a Major League appearance this season. The stuff is ready, but the AAA squad will be in the playoffs and the Rays move their guys notoriously slow.
Bringer of Range!
According to multiple reports, Josh Donaldson will continue playing SS throughout the rest of the season. A few days ago, I mentioned that Donaldson was playing shortstop and could potentially gain in-season eligibility this year at the position. Now is appears there is a real shot for him to gain full season eligibility for 2018. Donaldson has struggled with injuries this year, but has still managed a .265/.391/.533 triple slash with 21 home runs in 353 plate appearances. Donaldson could be an interesting bounceback candidate next year if he can prove he can stay healthy rest of the way.
Various News and Notes
According to Phillies beat writer Todd Zolecki, Vince Velasquez will head to the 60-day DL. He will have surgery on his middle finger to fix a vascular problem. Zolecki states that the Phillies still plan to keep him as a starter, but others are less confident about those prospects long term. Velasquez has struggled with injuries and consistency since his arrival at the Major League level and one has to begin to wonder if he isn’t destined for the bullpen. In other news, the Phillies are expected to sign Henderson Alvarez according to Jon Heyman of Fanrag Sports. Alvarez has been pitching for an independent league team, but reports have him hitting 98 mph there.
Danny Salazar was placed on the 10-day DL with elbow inflammation. Salazar had been pitching well since returning to the Majors until a poor start last weekend and then felt stiffness in a side session. Salazar has always had a high ceiling, but injuries and control issues have tempered his overall production.
Michael Conforto was not in the lineup Tuesday due to a minor thumb issue. During interviews with reporters, Conforto expressed that the issue is no big deal and he expects to play soon. Both x-rays and an MRI were negative. Consider him day-to-day.
Jason Kipnis was removed from Tuesday’s game with a hamstring injury. Kipnis has reportedly been dealing with this issue for a while, but appears he may be headed for a DL stint to ensure he is good to go for the stretch run and the playoffs. Yandy Diaz replaced him in the game after being recalled on Tuesday and could be in line for an increased role if Kipnis hits the DL.
Jackie Bradley Jr., left Tuesday’s game after injuring his thumb on a slide home in the seventh inning against the Indians. Bradley has struggled a bit in the second half, but has begun to turn things around recently. He is scheduled to have and MRI and should be considered day-today at this time.
Kelvin Herrera left tuesday’s game with the dreaded right forearm tightness. He will be reevaluated on Wednesday. If he needs to head to the DL, there is no clear favorite with Joakim Soria on the DL. Brandon Maurer would be the obvious choice, but he has struggle much of the season and that hasn’t changed since coming to Kansas City. Peter Moylan has been the best pitcher in the Royals bullpen over the last month, racking up five holds with a 2.70. However, Scott Alexander finished off Tuesday’s game after Herrera left and has gotten two holds in the last week as well.
Streaming Pitcher Options
A pitcher for today: Matt Moore vs MIL
Moore has been better of late and draws a Milwaukee team that sports the second highest strikeout percentage against left-handed pitching in the Major Leagues.
A pitcher for tomorrow: Jerad Eickhoff vs. MIA
Since the beginning of July, Eickhoff is 3-0 with a 3.65 ERA and an 8.93 k/9.
While it’s been an even smaller sample, he’s sporting a 1.69 ERA at home during this stretch.
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.