My brother decided to schedule his wedding the same weekend as the Arizona First Pitch Forums because he is an awful person and hates me. I am really bummed I am going to miss it, but hopefully my future sister-in-law will forgive my absence. Here are the players that will be on the field during the Arizona Fall League:
— MLB Pipeline (@MLBPipeline) August 29, 2017
On the Agenda:
1. Shohei Otani
2. Danny Duffy
3. Trade Rumors!
4. Various News and Notes
5. Streaming Pitcher Options
According to Jon Morosi of MLB Network, as many as 15 MLB teams have contacted the Hokkaido Nippon-Ham Fighters in regards to seating for scouts for Shohei Otani’s next start. Otani is scheduled to start on Thursday and has only been able to make one start this year after recovering from injury. A two-way superstar, Otani has hit five home runs in 44 games played with over a .300 average. He is likely to garner serious interest this offseason if he is posted. However, due to a change in MLB rules, Otani would be subject to the MLB international spending limit if he were to come stateside. This would cost him millions to come over in 2018. If he were to delay his arrival by another year, he would be considered a free agent in 2019.
According to multiple reports, Danny Duffy was charged with driving under the influence on Sunday evening. Duffy had returned to the Kansas City area for an MRI and apparently fell asleep behind the wheel while waiting for his order at a local Burger King. The Royals issued a statement of support for Duffy and there is no real reason to suspect this would result in a suspension as Major League Baseball does not typically intervene in issues of substance abuse. Major League Baseball has begun to take a stand against domestic violence, but yet to come up with more stringent rules against substance abuse or a substantive plan to combat addiction issues within the game itself.
According to Jon Morosi of MLB Network, there has been increased interest in Tigers starting pitcher Justin Verlander and another team “other than the Astros has emerged as possible suitor.” It is unknown who this mystery team may be, but to be on a playoff roster Verlander would have to be acquired before September 1st. He has been very good in the second half, throwing 56 innings of a 2.41 ERA with over 10 strikeouts per nine innings. He has only issued 12 walks in that time period as well.
Morosi also reported that the San Francisco Giants have expressed interest in Tigers outfielder Justin Upton. Upton, who has an opt out clause in his contract that he can exercise at the end of this season, has a limited no-trade clause that allows him to block any trade to 20 teams which would likely include San Francisco considering he has made comments about not liking to hit in SF. One thing that could entice him is the presence of his brother Melvin Upton in the Giants organization. In order to do a deal however, the Giants would have to know that Justin Upton wouldn’t opt out of his deal and Morosi called this a “major hurdle.”
Various News and Notes
According to manager Bruce Bochy, Brandon Belt is expected to return at some point this year from a concussion. However, Belt has not resumed baseball activities as of yet and there is no current timetable for return.
According to Andy McCullough of the LA Times, Alex Wood will return to the Dodgers rotation on Sunday against the Padres. Wood will take the mound in San Diego and has been an elite pitcher when healthy this season. Health has been a major concern in the past for Wood, but this has been a breakout year for the 26-year-old southpaw.
Streaming Pitcher Options
A pitcher for today: Jerad Eickhoff vs ATL
Eickhoff has pitched well down the stretch and could be an interesting sleeper heading into next season.
A pitcher for tomorrow: Robert Stephenson vs NYM
This one is really high risk, but Stephenson has looked better as of late and struck out 11 in his last start. He a sub 2 ERA during the month of August with a k/9 of over 10. He has not been able to get to six innings during the stretch which limits his upside if you are streaming for wins or quality starts.
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.