Things didn't go exactly as planned Wednesday night for one of the best pitchers in baseball last season and for the New York Yankees. Carlos Rodon's injury was supposed to sideline him for just the start of this season but kept him out until July, and his third start this season was one that he would love to have back. We'll dive into Rodon's debut, some pitchers you can beat the waiver wire with, a possible sell high scenario with a high profile player and more. Let's dive into it:
Rodon's rocky road
Rodon's transition to the Yankees hasn't been smooth sailing. In his third start, he struggled to find the plate, giving up six earned runs over 4 1/3 innings against the Angels. During the game, he was seen blowing a kiss towards heckling Yankee fans in Anaheim, sparking some controversy. Fantasy managers are concerned about his early-season struggles, but it's essential to remember that it takes time for some players to settle into a new team. He'll look to bounce back in his next start against the Mets, who rank 24th in wOBA against left-handed pitchers. We discussed Rodon and much more on the FBT in 5 podcast here.
Beat the wire: Potential two-start pitchers
Kenta Maeda (MIN - SP): Maeda put up an impressive performance against the Mariners, pitching 6 1/3 innings, allowing only two earned runs, and striking out nine. Over his past five starts since coming off the IL, he has excelled with a 2.73 ERA and a 1.03 WHIP. He has favorable matchups next week, facing the Mariners again and then the Royals.
Aaron Civale (CLE - SP): Civale had a solid outing against the Pirates, pitching 5 1/3 innings with two earned runs and three strikeouts. Although his velocity was down in this start, he has been effective this season with a 2.71 ERA and a 1.08 WHIP. He'll face the Royals and the White Sox in his next two starts.
Kyle Hendricks (CHC - SP): Hendricks delivered a quality start against the Nationals, allowing only one earned run over six innings. While he has had some struggles recently, he remains a valuable pitcher with a 3.38 ERA and a 1.06 WHIP. Next week, he's set to face the White Sox and the Cardinals.
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Should you sell Pete Alonso?
Alonso's performance has been lackluster since returning from the IL. He's hitting only .132 with four home runs in 25 games. His average exit velocity and barrel rate have also declined. Fantasy managers might consider trading him based on his name value, especially if his wrist injury continues to impact his performance. We've seen wrist injuries derail seasons before, and instead of sitting around it might make the most sense to sell now.
Nolan Gorman's resurgence
Gorman has been turning it on recently, boasting a .278 batting average with four home runs and a .932 OPS in July. After a rough June, he has picked up the pace and is showing consistency at the plate. Fantasy managers should keep an eye on him as he continues to heat up. Fire him back up in your lineups now.
Handling struggling early-round pitchers
Two pitchers who were expected to be early-round studs, Sandy Alcantara and Julio Urias, have faced challenges this season. Alcantara had a mediocre outing against the Cardinals, while Urias was crushed by the Orioles. Both pitchers have shown glimpses of brilliance, but inconsistencies have plagued them. Fantasy managers should consider the overall track record and assess whether it's worth being patient or exploring potential trade options. At this point, both feel more like buy lows. The opportunity is there for you to take a swing on one of these two providing a surge for your pitching categories in the stretch run.
News and notes
- Aaron Judge ran the bases Wednesday for the first time since suffering the injury to his right big toe. There's been chatter that he could return next week.
- Framber Valdez has been cleared to start Friday in Oakland. He left his previous start with a cramp in his left calf.
- Kevin Gausman threw a bullpen session Wednesday and is on track to make a start this weekend in Seattle.
- Max Fried is slated to pitch five innings in his next rehab start Thursday and could rejoin the Braves next week.
- Cedric Mullins was placed on the IL with a right adductor strain. It's unfortunate news that will likely help Aaron Hicks and Colton Cowser get in the lineup consistently.
- Adolis Garcia was removed after getting hit by a pitch on his forearm. X-rays came back negative.
- Rafael Devers was back in the lineup after missing two straight with tightness in his right calf.
- Chris Sale will throw another bullpen session this weekend and is tracking toward a return in early August.
- Jon Gray was removed from his start after getting hit on the leg by a comebacker. X-rays came back negative.
- Kris Bryant left early after getting hit by a pitch on his forearm. X-rays came back negative.
- Trevor Story will begin a rehab assignment Friday at Double-A. He's 59% rostered if you're looking for a 2B to stash.
- Ryan Helsley threw a bullpen session Tuesday and has been out since mid-June due to a forearm strain. There's no guarantee he gets the closer's role back upon return, unless the Cardinals trade Jordan Hicks, which is a possibility.
- Salvador Perez returned to the Royals lineup after missing the past few days with a left hamstring strain.
- Starling Marte has missed two straight with migraines and will undergo tests with a specialist.
- Nestor Cortes will begin a rehab assignment Sunday. He's been out since late May with a strained rotator cuff.
- Kyle Wright is not expected to be an option for the Braves until early September at the earliest. He's been out the past few months with a right shoulder strain.
- Angels manager Phil Nevin said Logan O'Hoppe is trending toward a return before the end of the season. O'Hoppe had surgery to repair a torn labrum in his left shoulder back in April.
- Ryan Noda was placed on the IL with a fractured jaw he suffered pregame during fielding practice.
- Brandon Crawford was placed on the IL with left knee inflammation, retroactive to July 17.
- Dustin May is expected to be sidelined 12 months after undergoing right flexor tendon and UCL reconstruction surgery this week.
- The A's traded Shintaro Fujinami to the Orioles in exchange for minor-league pitcher Easton Lucas.