Injuries, especially to pitchers, have been a constant theme of the early season, and we got dealt more bad news from a couple of Braves starters Wednesday. Kyle Wright (elbow) and Max Fried (shoulder) are expected to miss at least two months due to their injuries, with Wright telling reporters he thinks he's likely to miss more time than Fried.
That's a blow, and it's one I don't think prospect Jarred Shuster (a candidate to return from Triple-A in the coming days) nor the returning Mike Soroka will likely help Fantasy players overcome. There is one big-name pitching prospect who we learned will get the call this week on Wednesday, and a few guys like Josiah Gray and Brayan Bello who impressed enough Tuesday to be worth adding, at least for the short term.
But we're going to miss Fried especially, while Wright's is starting to look like a totally lost season following his breakout campaign last year. It's been tough to find consistent pitching basically since Opening Day, and it's not going to get any easier.
I'm Chris Towers, filling in again for Dan Schneier on the FBT Newsletter, and here's what you need to know from Wednesday:
Another day, another big prospect
In this instance, "big" is not just a figure of speech – the Marlins are calling up top pitching prospect Eury Perez from Double-A to start Friday against the Reds, who measures in at 6-foot-8, 220 pounds. Perez just turned 20 midway through April but already had 106 innings with a 3.57 ERA and 148 strikeouts at Double-A.
He is, by most accounts, a top-15 prospect -- Edward Cabrera, he has no trouble locating and commanding the pitch. Most scouts view it as a legitimate plus pitch, with a hard slider, a slower curveball, and a firm changeup that has the makings of a potential plus pitch – again, no surprise, given the organization.-- and a top-five pitching prospect in the game right now. As you probably surmised given his size and the organization he pitches for, Perez comes to the mound armed with a high-90s fastball – and unlike fellow skyscraper-esque teammate
Perez is making the leap from Double-A and it's not entirely clear he'll have a role in the Marlins rotation moving forward, so the chances of him face-planting here are well north of zero. An added complication is that Perez has been using a different, tackier ball that MLB has been experimenting with in the Southern League, so there could be an even bigger adjustment period than usual for him.
Still, there's obvious upside here, and the Marlins have more holes than you might think in their rotation than you might think, so if Perez is good, I have a feeling he'll stick. He's worth adding in all leagues, and I'd be perfectly fine dropping the likes of Tyler Anderson, Edward Cabrera, or even the struggling Lance Lynn for a chance at him.
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Yesterday, Scott White did his semi-weekly Bullpen Report column, so if you're chasing saves, that's an invaluable resource. Here are the key updates you need to now about:
Phillies: Jose Alvarado was placed on the IL with elbow inflammation, and while an MRI showed no structural damage, he's going to miss some time. The Phillies have Craig Kimbrel, Seranthony Dominguez, and Gregory Soto in the pen with closing experience, but they've all been pretty terrible so far. Maybe Matt Strahm is a dark horse here – he's been pretty awesome in a hybrid role so far and got a two-inning save over the weekend. Keep an eye on that one.
Yankees: Clay Holmes hasn't officially been demoted, but two of his past three appearances have come before the ninth inning, so maybe they're losing faith just a bit. Michael King is a totally speculative add at this point, but a report came out over the weekend that they're looking to use him more in late-inning situations, so consider it in deeper leagues.
Rockies: Daniel Bard has looked better since making his return, but the Rockies haven't put him back in high-leverage situations just yet. I think it will happen eventually, but Pierce Johnson got the save again Wednesday and is pitching well enough (more or less) that he should remain in the role for now.
Dodgers: With Daniel Hudson seemingly nowhere near returning, it's between Evan Phillips and Brusdar Graterol here. Prior to Tuesday, Phillips had a save in three straight appearances, but then he worked the eighth while Graterol got the save Tuesday, so it seems like this is a genuine committee. I'd guess the split is more like 60-40 in Phillips' favor, but he won't dominate chances, I don't think.
Rangers: The Rangers showed their confidence in Will Smith by going right back to him for consecutive saves after he gave up three earned runs in blowing a save last week, and he got another one Wednesday against the Mariners. He's the clear top option here.
News & notes
- Max Scherzer attempted to play catch Wednesday but was unable to finish the session as his neck spasms remained an issue. That's concerning, and I wouldn't be surprised if an IL stint followed.
- Tyler Glasnow was removed from his rehab start Wednesday after just one inning due to left side tightness. Glasnow is, of course, working his way back from a left oblique strain, so that's obviously less than ideal. Let's see what the Rays say in the coming days.
- Jose Miranda was optioned to Triple-A with Kyle Farmer being reinstated from the IL. Miranda still has some upside, but I'm fine dropping him in all redraft leagues.
- Nico Hoerner has missed two straight with a left hamstring strain. It's not clear if he's likely to need an IL stint at this point, so keep an eye on him.
- Corey Seager is expected to return "early" during the Ranger's upcoming homestand, which begins May 15. He'll begin a rehab assignment at Double-A Thursday, so we could have him in our lineups by next week.
- Liam Hendriks has at least three rehab outings left, with a planned back-to-back outing likely the last hurdle. His velocity has been down a few ticks so far, which is not exactly surprising, and it might lead to some lessened effectiveness as he works his way back.
- Luis Severino threw 49 pitches in his first rehab start Wednesday, allowing one run over 3.1 innings. He'll likely need a few more rehab outings, but this is a good first step.
- Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said that a decision on whether Noah Syndergaard will be placed on the IL won't come before Friday. Syndergaard is dealing with a cut on his right index finger.
- Jesus Sanchez exited Wednesday's game with a hamstring injury, which is a shame because he's been heating up of late.