Your boy’s a little under the weather. It seems easing off the throttle even just for a minute signaled to my body that it was OK to let up, and it’s finally catching up on being annoying after a lengthy NBA playoff run (shout out to the Raptors). That’s not to excuse the poor calls and bad puns that follow – you get those in sickness and in health – but to note that I’m writing this late Thursday instead of first thing in the morning, as usual, so if any updates broke after 1 a.m. ET or so, they won’t be reflected here.
So, apologies for that, and now lift a Nyquil Dixie cup in hopes the next intro isn’t nearly as self-involved.
On the agenda:
1. Civil War
2. It’s a new Trea, yes it is
3. Various News and Notes
4. Streaming Pitcher Options
David Wright is expected to miss an “extended period” with the herniated disk in his neck that he recently received a pain-killing injection for. The Mets are expected to make an announcement on Friday, and it’s believed that Wright will hit the DL, considering Matt Reynolds is being recalled to help man the gap at third. Reynolds didn’t hit much at Triple-A last season and didn’t really do much there or in an eight-game stint with the Mets earlier this year, but he does have a bit of speed in his profile and could earn multi-position eligibility with an extended stay (he’s only 2B-eligible in Yahoo right now). Wright, meanwhile, leaves many without their starting third baseman, and despite dealing with injuries and seeing a major surge in strikeout rate, he had still managed to grade out as roughly a starting-CI option thanks to some power and speed. Losing a player to injury is never great, so owners are left to hope that Rosenthal’s over-statingg the severity, and that the time off helps Wright get…right.
It’s a new Trea, yes it is
Ryan Zimmerman and family are the lucky ones with the first baseman hitting the paternity list, but Trea Turner and patient prospect hounds stand to reap a benefit, too. Turner’s expected to be recalled Friday, bringing with him a ton of speed and middle-infield upside. In 50 Triple-A games, Turner was hitting .310 with 17 stolen bases, and one would think the Nationals would mostly give him a green light when he gets on. The issue here is deciding whether to activate him depending on your league’s prospect protocol – Turner’s likely good enough to be in the majors and it’s about the time teams stop tip-toeing around Super Two timelines, but right now reports are he’s only up for the weekend series. I’m very high on him once he has a gig locked up.
Various News and Notes
Updating a couple of items: Ryan Vogelsong underwent surgery to repair facial fractures, but he won’t have a timetable laid out until at least next week; Bruce Bochy says Hunter Pence did “a pretty good job” on the hamstring that sent him to the DL on Wednesday, which doesn’t sound great.
A few Pirates notes: Andrew McCutchen left Thursday’s game with right thumb discomfort, though it was unclear exactly when the injury may have happened or how serious it may be; Francisco Cervelli left, too, citing a sore right foot after getting hit by a pitch earlier in the game; X-rays on Gregory Polanco’s left foot were negative, and he’s considered day-to-day.
Xander Bogaerts extended his hitting streak to 26 games with a bases-loaded double against the Orioles. It wasn’t enough, as the Orioles pasted the Red Sox for seven home runs (including two each for Mark Trumbo, fueled by the new Thrice album, and two from Adam Jones). You’d have to think the Red Sox will be ready to cash in some of their prospect cache for pitching help between now and the deadline.
MLB set a new league record with 6,726 strikeouts in the month of May. It doesn’t mean much except to serve as a reminder that the bar for strikeouts is seemingly ever-rising.
Streaming Pitcher Options
If you enjoy streaming pitchers or play DFS, tune into the Roto Riteup for recommendations each and every day.
A pitcher for today: Chris Rusin @ SD (Drew Pomeranz)
Only nine pitchers throw with an ownership below 55 percent, and three of those draw top-five offenses. That leaves the pickings a little slim, particularly since, you know, you can never really trust Ricky Nolasco, no matter the strikeout rate. Chris Rusin is nobody’s idea of an upside play, but drawing a start at Petco against the league’s No. 28 offense by wRC+ at least provides a reasonable floor.
A pitcher for tomorrow: Junior Guerra @ PHI (Jeremy Hellickson)
Clayton Kershaw against the Braves is a pretty good matchup if he’s available in your league. Failing that, well, the Phillies just traded for a DFA’d player and batted him third, and despite their early team success, they’re the only club threatening Atlanta in the offensive ineptitude department (72 wRC+). Enter 12-percent owned Junior Guerra, the 31-year-old rookie with the 2.84 FIP striking out nearly a quarter of the batters he’s faced.
Blake Murphy is a freelance sportswriter based out of Toronto. Formerly of the Score, he's the managing editor at Raptors Republic and frequently pops up at Sportsnet, Vice, and around here. Follow him on Twitter @BlakeMurphyODC.