Clearing The Bases
Arizona Diamondbacks: Second baseman Aaron Hill has been cleared to start baseball activities after missing the last six weeks with a broken wrist…..Starting pitcher Tyler Skaggs was impressive in his season debut but will still be sent back down to AAA. Not the worst thing though for him or the DBacks as they know they have a top notch pitcher in their system for years to come…..In the weird injury department, Ian Kennedy missed his last start because he cut his finger while doing the dishes. You just can’t make this stuff up, you would really think he could afford a dishwasher.
Atlanta Braves: The Braves gave OF B.J. Upton a couple of days off, we’ll call them mental health days, but I’m having my doubts as to whether or not that will be enough to get him out of his season long slump…..Catcher Evan Gattis now has 12 HRs on the season and Brian McCann is hitting up a storm since his return from the DL. It’s a good problem for manager Freddi Gonzalez to have and Gattis looks like he could be the answer to the Braves question at catcher once McCann leaves via free agency next season.
Chicago Cubs: Catcher Dioner Navarro hit three home runs in Wednesday’s game versus the cross town rival White Sox, there is not a soul on planet Earth who saw this coming…..Tough break for Japanese import RP Kyuji Fujikawa who will need Tommy John surgery and will miss the remainder of the season. He was a sneaky pick for saves in fantasy leagues but when Carlos Marmol blew up, he was never healthy enough to take advantage…..Big question for the Cubs at the trade deadline is will OF Alfonso Soriano accept a trade this year, he has turned down chances to play for a winner in the past (vetoed a deal to San Francisco last year). He states he is tired of losing, well then allow Chicago to trade you to a team that is winning.
Cincinnati Reds: What was closer Aroldis Chapman thinking Monday by throwing two pitches at Indians OF Nick Swisher. The first one looked like what Randy Johnson did to John Kruk in the All-Star game a decade or so ago (so high over his head was almost comical), the second one however was labeled for his ear hole, not sure how it missed him. Chapman and Swisher don’t have a history so I don’t know what he could’ve happened to produce some animosity between the two, but you had to know that someone was going to pay the price for what Chapman did. That someone was 2B Brandon Phillips who was drilled in the ribs with a pitch Tuesday. If I’m Phillips I’m pretty ticked off at Chapman, not the Indians. It was Chapman who was writing checks that someone else on the Reds had to cash.
Colorado Rockies: Outfielder Michael Cuddyer’s name was thrown about a little bit during spring training about someone who could possibly be traded, not because his play had declined, but because of his salary. If the Rockies did decide to go this route they should be able to get a good prospect back as Cuddyer is having another solid season…..Speaking of trading, closer Rafael Betancourt could also bring back a nice piece, especially now that he has recovered from his groin injury.
Los Angeles Dodgers: Lots of doing going on in L.A. Apparently manager Don Mattingly had the blessing of upper management when he blasted the team in a series of quotes last week. Outfielder Andre Ethier wasn’t happy about seemingly being the target of one of the quotes, OF Matt Kemp wasn’t happy about being double switched in a game. Life is really mess right now in southern California…..Where would the Dodgers be without SP Hyun-Jin Ryu? Clayton Kershaw is their ace, but Ryu has been really good in his own right. If Zack Greinke can pitch the way he is capable of, this is a starting three that can match up with anyone. Now, can they hit? That is another problem altogether.
Miami Marlins: Logan Morrison’s rehab is continuing and he should be ready to take over at 1B for the Marlins at some point in early June, yippee, the Marlins are saves, not…..OF Juan Pierre has an OBP of .286, this is just unacceptable for a player that offers no power whatsoever…..OF Marcel Ozuna looks like he is going to be a player for the Marlins. An outfield of Giancarlo Stanton, Christian Yelich, and Ozuna could be fun to watch, that is if the Marlins don’t trade Stanton.
Milwaukee Brewers: Do you think the Angels would like a mulligan on the trade that sent SS Jean Segura to the Brewers? He looks like the real deal, someone who can anchor SS for the next decade or so…..Not that anyone should be surprised, but IF Yuniesky Betancourt has turned back into a pumpkin…..I know RP John Axford was pretty terrible the first couple of weeks this season but with Jim Henderson out with injury isn’t it time to find out if he can close again. At the very least it would lift his trade value if the team has had enough of him.
New York Mets: Mets manager Terry Collins has to be breathing a sigh of relief. The Mets have won four straight games against the Braves and Yankees. The media should be off his back for at least a little while…..Speaking of off his back, 1B Ike Davis had a couple of hits and RBIs on Wednesday which might delay his ticket to Las Vegas for a little bit, now let’s see if he can use those hits as a springboard for the remainder of the season…..Shortstop Rueben Tejada had to come out of the game Wednesday in the ninth inning with what looked like a lower body injury. Wouldn’t be the biggest loss as he already should’ve been sent down to AAA as well.
Philadelphia Phillies: Second baseman Chase Utley who is on the DL with an oblique injury will not be ready to come off when first eligible, June 5. These things do tend to linger and if the Phils aren’t careful, can easily cost Utley a month or more of time…..Third baseman Michael Young was placed on the bereavement list on Wednesday, that means he will miss at least the next three games, and as much as seven…..First baseman Ryan Howard is dealing with a knee injury of his own that won’t force him to the DL, but is very likely to cost him to miss games from time to time.
Pittsburgh Pirates: Closer Jason Grilli is not 21-21 in save opportunities. Who saw that coming? Guess the Pirates knew what they were doing when they traded Joel Hanrahan away. The rotation may be shaky, but with Gerrit Cole and Jameson Taillon ready to help from AAA, help is on the way, not to mention Charlie Morton is just about ready to return from his rehab stint…..Migraine headaches have been costing OF Starling Marte some games of late. The situation doesn’t seem to be chronic but it bears watching just the same.
St. Louis Cardinals: Seems the fantasy world can’t wait for Michael Wacha’s start versus Kansas City on Thursday. Is he worth blowing your entire fantasy budget on? Probably not. For all we know, he’s one and done, not to mention Chris Carpenter looks like he could return to the rotation in about a month. Now that the super two arbitration deadline is just about up, you can look forward to quite a few of the top rookies being called up within the next few weeks…..Another one of those top prospects is the Cardinals OF Oscar Tavares, but he hasn’t played since May 13 and is currently on the DL in AAA with a sprained ankle. Not like he has a place to play in St. Louis anyway.
San Diego Padres: Catcher Yasmani Grandal, he who was finally eligible to play Tuesday after being suspended for the first 50 games due to PED use, looks to be in a battle for playing time with Nick Hundley. Grandal is the better play and prospect, but this may be the Padres way of telling Grandal that nothing will be handed to him after he disappointed the team with some extremely poor judgment…..In a points league where wins are everything, I’m actually thinking about picking up Andrew Cashner for his two starts next week. Unfortunately though, one is in Colorado. Decisions, decisions, decisions.
San Francisco Giants: Outfielder Angel Pagan may have hit a walk off inside the park home run Sunday, but it came with a price. He has missed the first three games this week with a hamstring injury and even had a cortisone injection Wednesday in the hope that he can return to the lineup Friday…..Santiago Casilla who would be next in line for saves after Sergio Romo will be lost to the team until sometime around the All-Star break after undergoing surgery to remove a cyst from his tibia.
Washington Nationals: What a power display put on by 3B Ryan Zimmerman on Wednesday, three HRs in his first three ABs. The Nats struggling offense could certainly use Zimmerman’s or anyone else’s power for that matter…..The other Zimmerman however fell back down to Earth on Wednesday as he gave up more earned runs, seven, than he had in the entire month of May, six…..Starting pitcher Ross Detwiler still isn’t throwing and won’t make his return from the DL this weekend…..Outfielder Bryce Harper is also out of the lineup as he is dealing with bursitis in his knee. Best case scenario is a return this weekend, but that’s iffy at best.
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